Backlinks for Results
Backlinks for Web Site SERP
Backlinks to a website are one of the more important things a website owner can do to get their website into search results. Backlinks help Search Engines to consider your site content in a more favourable light.
Good quality backlinks to both the main website (front page) and to apge considerred important pages will improve the pages position in search engine results.Some backlinks however should be avoided.
What Are Backlinks?
Backlinks are links from pages on another website to pages (content) on your site).
There are basically two kinds of backlinks. One way and reciprocal.
One way backlinks are links from another site to your site, but no link back to that site from yours exist. These are the most valuable, and also the hardest to get.
Another 'backlink' seldom considered is the indirect backlink. Although not considered in SEO terms as a backlink, a "noindexed" link from a page (e.g. some forums and blogs exclude search engines from indexing outgoing links on COMMENTS.) have the benefit of sending visitors to your site - publicity!
Reciprocal backlinks are links from site to site, in each direction. Banner exchanges are a typical example of reciprocal backlinks
Good Quality Backlinks
Good quality strong backlinks are those from quality web sites with content relevant to your website and your industry. Backlinks originating from respected websites within your industry are of more value than those from unrated sites, even if the content of these sites is relevant. As an example, let us assume you are a company selling motor vehicles of a particular brand e.g. Volvo. Links from other web sites involved in the motor industry are good. A link to your site from the official Volvo web site is excellent, as it is seen as an endorsement of your business and your site.
Links from irrelevant websites, e.g. those involved in totally unrelated industries are of much less value. That is not to say they are totally worthless. A satisfied customer might write a blog article recommending your business, on a blog that is mainly about growing vegetables. The link originates from a page (article in this case) describing your business, so has a degree of value. If that same link was placed on a page describing how soil should be prepared prior to planting, the link would have much less, if any, value at all.
Generally speaking, most backlinks add to the overall benefit, with some notable exceptions.
How Many Backilinks are Needed.
Some SEO specialists may tell you that you need as many as possible. While this is not strictly speaking incorrect, it is misleading. 1 backlink to a product or article page from a highly regarded quality and 'AUTHORITIVE' web site is worth much more than 10, 20 or 30 from irrelevant low quality sites. Always choose quality over quantity.
Some backlinks are definitely not wanted. They have no benefit, and can even get your site downgraded or blacklisted (removed from indexing) by Search Engines.
Backlinks from what are known as link farms are bad news, and can harm your pages and site. Link Farms are sites containing little if any content, dedicated mainly to providing lists of links. Many of these have been set up as money generators hoping to cash in on the desire for every web owner to have their site do well in Search Engines Results Pages (SERP). Links Farms should be considered SCAMS.
Content Farms are websites devoted to creating large amount of content. Many employ (mostly low paid) writers to create this content. Content Farms are another device created to take money from a web site owner who is looking to improve their SERP. Content Farms were seen as away to satisfy the requirement of Google for new, fresh and unique content. What really happens are these content farms end up with masses of content, most of which is of poor quality, and inevitably a lot of duplication of content.
Google recently changed their algorithm to downgrade Content Farms, or even to discredit any backlinks to your content from them.
Attempting to provide backlinks by including these on blog, forum and website comment forms is a growing industry among black hat SEO operators. Many of these are done by automated robots known as spambots or botnets.
Web Site owners are strongly advised to steer clear of any SEO specialist offering to provide hundreds or even thousands of backlinks for what may at first appear a cheap fee. This practice is considered part of BLACK HAT SEO, and can get your site downgraded or even BLACKLISTED by search engines. Similarly stay away from any SEO specialist offering to provide hundreds of backlinks on comment forms and similar devices.
Do Not Buy Bulk Backlink Offers
Another source of backlinks you really do not want. The internet abounds with advertisements for services and software that will get you hundreds or thousands of backlinks to your website. These are totally worthless. Backlinks obtained through these services or software will invariably be to link farms o at the best from totally worthless web sites. These software applications and services are more than likely SCAMS. Stay away!
So how can I get good backlinks?
One way to get really good backlinks is to approach any industry organisation that represents your business sector, and enquire about having links to your site included on their website.
If your industry has reputable online news magazines or even printed magazines with supporting websites, these are also a good option. In both these instances you would more than likely have to pay for the links. However, if you can get an online editorial published about your company or product, then this more than likely will include a backlink or 2 to your site.
Online Directories are another way of getting good backlinks. Often however these will be a round about way of linking, as a search leading to the directory listing will more often than not open the directory listing page. The visitor will then have to follow the link to your site.
Create (write) your own onsite articles, describing in more detail the products and services you provide (and of course provide a link to the product or service page). Concentrate on the benefits, the unique advantages your product has. Visitors to your site who find your articles of value may write their own articles on their blogs or web sites, and provide a backlink to reference your article, which than leads to the product.
Write your own blog – and link back to your website content! Blogging is a very good way to publicise your company and products. Using one of the free blogging services, e.g. blogspot.com or wordpress.com exposes your articles to a wide audience who are interested in tour industry. They may once again refer to your blog, which leads back to your web site.
How can I find out if an online directory or magazine is worth spending money on?
This is quite easy. Do a Google search for a product or service, but be specific – for example if you are looking for “motor car vinyl cover supplier in Cape Town”, include the locality, so use the term “motor car vinyl cover supplier in Cape Town”
Assuming that there are any of these companies in the region, and they have included a listing in the directory you are considering, the search result will include a link to the ad they placed with the directory.
If the result is reasonably high up in the SERP (within the first 3 or 4 SER pages) then the directory may be worth using. If several searches for different products result in this directory being returned in SERP, you have a good indication including your site could be worthwhile. In South Africa, Vottle, Hotfrog and BizCommunity.com are considered worthwhile directories, and have both free and paid for advertising options.
Spending your money wisely on backlinks
If you decide to subscribe to a PAID advert with an on-line directory, be sure that the directory is popular. If it only gets one or two visitors a month (an Alexa traffic rank in the millions), it is useless. In South Africa there are industry specific publications providing online listings, sometimes including a printed directory as well. Some of these sites get virtually no traffic, but an advert in the printed contact directory version may have some benefit. However if the price includes a listing on an one of these useless web directories, try to negotiate a price that excludes this listing, and if this is not possible, question the value of the printed item as well; distribution and circulation claims may also prove to be misleading