“If you don’t get a backlink, its not worth doing” – unknown
Linkbuilding is considered the best way to gain search rank. That’s because getting good backlinks is one of the hardest things to do in the field of SEO. Its hard to game backlinks. You can spam, but you can’t fake it. Therefore search engines pay a lot of attention to who links to your site and which pages are getting links.
Linkbuilding may seem simple on the surface, but its not. Like any craft, as soon as you roll up your sleeves, complexity strikes. Because link building is a huge investment in time, you ask yourself “Where do I get the best backlinks?”, “How do I link to my site to get the best search rank results?” “Which page should I link to?”
Where do I go for the best backlinks?
The best backlinks come from very established or authority sites. Think .gov sites, or .edu sites. Wikipedia is a good example of an authority site and one that is “accessible” to you. Obviously these are hard to get links from, but if you do, you have really scored.
After “authoritative” sites, the best backlinks come from sites within your business theme. Theme is a search term that describes a business segment. For example if you are in the mortgage business, your best backlinks will come from websites that search engines recognize are related to your business (theme), in this case .gov sites. Since much of the online mortgage information is found on .gov sites, you can expect to work very hard indeed to get backlinks on those sites.
How about the other mortgage sites? Competition! I don’t think they are going to be too helpful. So now you can see why the process of linkbuilding is hard, handcrafted work; it can’t be automated and it can’t really be outsourced. And if you do outsource, you need to monitor who and where your contractor is linking your site to. Failing to get links from highly relevant sites, a contrator may have no choice but to get a bunch of low-quality backlinks. Or worse, get links from a linkfarm.
It was once considered an SEO best practice to get into all the directories (Internet Yellow Pages) for backlinks, and it worked. But SEs (Google especially) have since dropped the relevance of IYPs; because they can be gamed, they can be (or can become) linkfarms. Also IYPs are directories that compete with search engines. Having said that, there are a few directories that you MUST be in, such as DMOZ.
If you are a local business, you are in luck. Linkbuilding for local SEO is at least accessible (but still not easy to execute). You should look for links from local organizations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce. What about schools, churches, clubs, or other local businesses?
How To Build a Backlink?
That depends on the site. Some allow you to insert your own hyperlink which gives you a great deal of control. Others only allow you to insert your URL and from that, they build the link. The best backlinks will have your keyword in the anchor text and title.
The anatomy of a Search Engine Optimized Backlink
or How to build a good backlink: A backlink is a hyperlink back to your site from another site. A hyperlink is also called an “A” TAG because it starts with the letter A as you can see here in our example.
<a title="PLACE YOUR KEYWORDS IN THE TITLE" href="THIS IS THE URL OF YOUR LANDING PAGE">THIS IS ANCHOR TEXT WHICH SHOULD CONTAIN A KEYWORD</a>
Which web pages on my site should I get links for?
Without going into web site architecture and how to build pages and your site navigation; the page level and navigation has a lot to do with good linkbuilding technique. The best backlinks are not to your home page. Its inevitable that you will get a backlink to your home page and its inevitable that the SEs “see” your home page. It harder to get the SEs to look more deeply into your site. Its far better to get a backlink to a “deep page” in your website. Having said that, don’t create pages 7 levels deep just to get a deep link. The best websites keep content organized no deeper than 4 levels. And the best links (meaning productive links that will be followed by real visitors) to landing pages will be in the top level of your site. That means pages that are likely in your navigation. Shy away from linking to orphaned pages.
The more relevant YOUR landing page is the source page the better. The more commonality in content of both linked pages, the better for search engines to “understand” when to serve up this page of yours in search results (SERPs). Make sense right?
TRY NOT TO
Get backlinks that have “CLICK HERE” or “VISIT WEBSITE” as the anchor text. Its just not as valuable as backlinks that use a keyword as the anchor text.
Link to very deep pages.
Link to orphaned pages on your site. Orphaned pages are pages that are not in your navigation.
Get backlinks from PR 0 sites or sites that have thousands of links to other sites. Don’t get links from linkfarms. How to identify a linkfarm?
Outsource your linkbuilding without explicit agreement with the contractor as to where your links will come from – both theme and minimum page rank.
Yes, do try it yourself. Then you will understand why people get paid to do certain jobs. Its not that you can’t do it yourself, its that its really hard work. You won’t like building links any more than you’ll like mopping floors.