Backlinks are still the major indicator Google uses to determine the authority of a blog. The better your backlinks, the better you’ll rank in search results. But they sure aren’t easy to get.
Building backlinks is a tricky business because many of the “easy” ways go against Google’s terms of service.
What’s more, if you build them in a way that even looks artificial you run the risk of getting a penalty that can be hard to undo.
Today we’re going to take a quick look at the good old backlink – the good and the bad – and talk about a few ways you can start to get more.
Hope it helps!
What is a backlink?
Let’s start with the basics in case any newer bloggers are a little bit unsure.
I’d recommend you go back and read this post on the basics of SEO so that you feel up to speed. But we can quite simply define a backlink as this:
A backlink is when another website links to your blog.
For example, that link above to the article about blogging SEO counts as a backlink for that article. In that case, the anchor text is “the basics of SEO” as those are the words you click to visit the article.
What do backlinks do?
It’s also important to remember that backlinks have several purposes and lead to quite a few different results, each of them different depending on whether you are the one linking out or being linked to.
Some of the main ones include:
They send traffic to your site When you get a backlink from another blog you will get traffic from that blog as people click through to read the article. This is important even without the SEO benefits.
They make your blog seem authoritative A backlink is a lot like an endorsement from a blog which is good for your branding as you appear more authoritative if you get backlinks from other quality sites.
They provide new resources for readers When you link out to other blogs it gives your readers new information. Don’t be afraid to link out a lot as it shows that your posts are well researched and valuable sources of new information.
They get your noticed by the owners When you link to another blog and someone clicks through that click shows up as a site visitor in statistics programs. This is a good way to get other blogs to notice your blog and should form a valuable part of your blogging strategy.
They help you rank better on Google Of course, Google uses hundreds of factors to determine how well your blog ranks (site age, freshness, location, points of difference, load time, etc.) but backlinks are still a major one. If you have lots of quality links from relevant, naturally earned sources then you will rank better.
For the purposes of this post we’re just going to focus on how to earn backlinks instead of really going in to details about the different types and the effect that they have on your blog. This post should hopefully be a starting point for more research.
How to get more backlinks
Okay, so let’s jump in to the tofu and potatoes of the post and start looking at the different ways you can get more backlinks to your blog.
Remember, you always want to earn your links in a natural way. I really don’t advocate anything that is cheating or goes against Google’s terms of service. We’ll talk more about that at the end of the article.