What is a backlink?

What is all this hoopla on backlinks? Every forum and SEO blog you stop constantly boasts the power and the need for backlinks, it must be a hell of a deal! So what is a backlink? In simple terms, a backlink is a link to another (external) website leading to a page on your website. For example, a link on this page to a page on another website would constitute a link back to this webpage.

How does Backlinks help us to rank?

Think of it like this: backlinks are human quotes. In a sense, we decide which pages we, as Internet users, want to display in search engine result pages (SERPs) by linking to the content we like. A page with more links of higher quality than others will be better ranked. The quality part is really important. It's not just about who has the most backlinks, but also where these links come from.

If you were trying to lose weight, would you be more inclined to trust the opinion of Joe Shmo or a health expert? This principle is applied to backlinks and how they affect our ranking. Links from sites established as authorities (like the health expert) carry a lot more weight than a link from someone commenting somewhere in a fitness forum. Google evaluates these links and their value using their complex algorithm and uses this data to decide the ranking of your website / web page. Your site does not need to be a monster authority site to have a high rank. Instead, you can rank highly by getting high quality backlinks from other authority sites.

Suppose the health expert from earlier told us that Joe Shmo has made some good points and his opinions are quite valid. Would not we trust Joe Shmo more and would we see more value in his opinion? In the same way, if an authority site linked to Joe Shmo's small niche site, Google would realize that Joe's site might be more authoritative, then they realize it and rank it higher. The Web is not controlled by computers. It is managed by people and this is reflected in the way we act and make connections online. Search engines know this and react accordingly to try to give us the results we ask for and to build ourselves.

How can we get backlinks?

Now that we know the importance of backlinks and why they affect our ranking, we need to determine how we can get backlinks. A complete answer to this question can take hundreds of pages. So we will give a general overview of some rear projection strategies to get a good idea of ​​how to get quality backlinks.

Unfortunately, backlinking is not as simple or simple as our health expert example above. It is unlikely that you will receive a link from a powerful authority such as CNN or Apple solely for the creation of quality content. Our techniques will have to be a little more guerrilla-esque. This does not mean that the quality of your content is not important, quite the contrary. At the heart of your promotion and crosslinking strategy should be quality content. We'll assume you already know how to create good content and go backlinking.

There are many ways to get backlinks and each method takes time to learn and master. Rather than deepen a backlinking strategy, I'll give you a list of ways to get backlinks. We will continue this SEO course by covering the guiding principles of backlinks and how to measure their quality - knowledge that you can apply to each successful crosslinking method. Here is a complete list of ways to get backlinks:

Free blogs (blogger, wordpress, squidoo)
Profile Links
Commenting blog
Article Marketing
Press Releases
Social bookmarks
Directories of websites
Carnival Blog
Video Marketing
Commenting Forum
Distributors of documents
Podcast Directories
Software Distributors

Each of these methods can be explored in depth for the best results. For this SEO course, we will rather address the factors that constitute an excellent link back.

Anchor text

Anchor text is clickable text in a hyperlink. For example, if you look at the links in the resource box of this article, one of them contains the anchor text "SEO Quotes", while the other simply has the URL of my website in as an anchor text.

The anchor text is very powerful and has a significant impact on the effectiveness of a backlink. The anchor text gives search engines a quick overview of what the page on the other side will look like. So you want to use your keyword and other keyword variations as often as you can. Google and other SEs look at the text closest to a link to decide what it is. In essence, the text of your anchor is technically the text closest to the link (this is the link!). You will not always be able to use an anchor text, but do not give up an opportunity when it comes up.


Relevance is another factor that determines the effectiveness of a backlink. Relevance is really the name of the game when it comes to ranking in search engines. Google consistently claims that its goal is to provide the most relevant search results. It means having relevant content and relevant backlinks pointing to your content. A relevant backlink seems to be very relevant to your keyword. The same factors that make any page relevant to a keyword are those that would make a link back relevant to your keyword. For example, an article with a good keyword density for your keyword and keyword in your anchor text would be very relevant. To increase the relevance of any link back, you can use an appropriate anchor text, surround the link with relevant text and use a relevant title if possible.


The effect of PageRank on your ranking is often overestimated. The truth is that public relations is not very important for ranking your keyword. This is just one of the 200 factors that affect your rankings and its value is often exaggerated. It's always best to get high PR page backlinks when you can, but do not give too much importance to that.

A really obvious misconception is that if a site's home page has a high PR, any page containing a link on that domain will go through a lot of PageRank. For example, people who sell link packages sometimes explain how they can rely on high-level public relations forums. This makes no sense because your link will not be on the homepage. It's called PAGE Rank, not SiteRank - it's just in the name! If you create a profile link on any forum, it will appear on your new profile page with a PR 0. Getting links from top pages PageRank ranking (pages - not sites) is great and certainly useful, but it's not the holy grail of the rankings.

Nofollow Vs. "Dofollow"

Another factor that affects links is whether the nofollow link element is applied or not. The nofollow link attribute was created to tell Google to ignore certain links. These are essentially links to sites you are not comfortable with. Google states that the nofollow tag must be used for links that are paid or lead to unreliable content. In addition, they are a bit vague about how they explore nofollow links. They say that's usually not the case, but they do it sometimes:(I know?) What does this mean for our backlinking?

Google makes it very clear that nofollow links do NOT pass anchor text or public relations. Matt Cutts, Google's Franco-spam engineer, also said there was no advantage in SEO in a nofollow link. He might have said that in order to slow users of spam sites / pages containing nofollow links, he might have been completely truthful. We can not really say, so I'll let you be the judge.

So we care or not if a backlink is nofollow? Here's a logical way to decide which links are worth your time:

When you comment on a blog, if you come across a blog and all comments are "not followed", ask yourself the following question: will I receive traffic on this link? If the answer is yes, then post a comment, otherwise you may just want to move on. Remember: the goal of SEO is to get targeted traffic. Why then refuse targeted traffic simply because a link is no longer followed? I will always leave comments on blogs that use nofollow on comment links, but only if there are any signs of blog traffic.

Index our links

The last thing you need to know about backlinks is that they must be indexed. Search engines will not give you credit for a link they do not know about. You must get one of their spiders / bots on the page with your link back so they explore your link and find out it leads to your site. There are two simple (and FREE) ways to get your links indexed.

1) Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking sites are constantly crawled by search engines. When you bookmark one of them, your link will probably be explored in a few hours. It's that simple. Of course, you can never guarantee anything that Google or other search engines will do, but your link / page is more than likely to be indexed over a relatively short period of time with just a bookmark or two.

2) Ping

The ping process is not important to us. In simple terms, the ping command informs search engines that you have new content and, in response, they analyze this new content. This is another quick and effective way to index your backlinks. There are a number of good free ping services like:

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