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SEO 101 - What are backlinks?

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Posted 7th August 2011 at 02:21 AM by rapidscc

SEO Rookie? Overwhelmed with too much info? Don't sweat it kid. We've got plenty of time to get you up to speed. Let's start with Backlinks


What are backlinks?

Technically, backlinks or hyperlinks are incoming references or simply links from one webpage to another.

The original purpose of adding backlinks or hyperlinks from one webpage to another is for easy navigation and referencing. To get you to related materials or written works easier.

For example, I wrote this article using wikipedia as a reference and so, to recognize wikipedia as my source I would normally put in a backlink to the site like this : Backlink - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adding backlinks or hyperlinks will allow readers to get more information and to easily find more materials regarding a topic.

SEO Value of Backinks

Though the original use of backinks or hyperlinks is to send readers to related materials, things changed when Google started using backlinks in their pagerank algorithm.

Initially, Google used hyperlinks to track related materials and present them to users searching for certain keywords. However they also did something else. They considered a hyperlink from one site to another as a vote and indication of significance and popularity. They consider that A backlinking to B is actually A saying yes, B is a good site.

The SEO (search engine optimization) value of this is that sites with more backlinks pointed to its webpages get higher positions in Google for keywords they target.

So backlinking became a very valuable part of SEO for those targeting the top spots in Google's search result pages.

How to Backlink

There are several ways to add backlinks, you'll have to consider the platform you are using. Are you using HTML or any HTML based content management system?

If you are, then you'll have to use the HTML element A HREF

Here's the syntax:

Code:
<A HREF="http://www.Google.com">Google Search</a>
Let's break this down to it's components.

The A HREF is the HTML Hyperlink element tag. The
HTML Code:
http://www.Google.com
is the URL where you want to send visitors who clicks on the link and Google Search is the anchor text.

The anchor text is important because it's a way to tell the search engine that the URL you are sending visitors to is relevant to the anchor text. This is where you actually indicate that you're voting the particular site for the particular keywords (or anchor text).

Let's compare hyperlinks to voting in an election. The URL is the name of the person you're voting for and the Anchor text is the position you're voting that candidate for (i.e. President, VP, Senator, etc.)

One important thing to note is that when you start an A HREF tag, you must enclose it in less than and greater than symbols and whenever you start an <A HREF> tag you must close it with </A> tag

If you are creating backlinks on forums or bulletin boards that support BBCODE you'll have to use:

PHP Code:
[URL=http://www.Google.com]Google Search[/URL] 
In BBCode, the hyperlink tag is the word URL enclosed in brackets.

It's basically the same with the HTML code above though it used a different tag or mark up, which is URL.

There are several more mark-up languages however these two are the most popular and what you'll usually encounter when creating backlinks.

Backlink Checker

If you create a lot of backlinks, you'll want to check your progress in the search engines from time to time.

You'll want to see how many of the backlinks are already indexed by Google or Yahoo. To do this simply use the following search parameters:

Google
Code:
link:giginthe.net
Yahoo
Quote:
linkdomain:giginthe.net
In yahoo, you'll be redirected to yahoo's site explorer where you'll see the links along with more information about the site.

For more advanced readers, you can get a better tool with advanced spying functionality here:



Backlink Generator

Now we'll get to more advanced concepts. Earlier I taught you how to create backlinks. You can use the instructions above to add backlinks to blogs, forums and even the signature line of articles you want to submit to article directories.

However, there are also tools that can automate the backlink process for you. These are called backlink generators or backlink software.

I have to warn you though, don't overdo it otherwise you'll get the red flag from Google and you'll do damage to your site instead of getting a good search engine position for it.

Still, backlinking tools used in moderation can help you create backlinks easier. What would take you several days can be accomplished within hours.

Some basic automation tools to consider would be:

1. Bookmarking tool

There are a lot of bookmarking tools out there but the best two for me are: IMAutomator.com which is free. It comes with 10 submissions per day on 15 bookmark sites without the need to create any accounts.

The other one is bookmark demon. This is one impressive tool, though you'll have to purchase a license it's still worth it.

Bookmark demon allows you to create and submit bookmarks to hundreds of bookmark sites easily.

2. Backlink Indexer, RSS Feed Generator and Domain Indexer

There are a lot of tools free and paid for this one. There's pingdevice.com to send massive pings to your backlinks, while there's the free SEO Fast Indexer from Fellow warrior Stephen Hawkins.

However, if you want an all in one tool that incorporates all these functions then I recommend Gama Seva's Backlink Sniper

3. Content Submitter

There are several content submitter out there as well but nothing beats SeNukeX. It comes with a monthly subscription so if you are not that serious with your SEO campaign you better think twice before getting this.

Having these tools in your tool chest will make backlinking easier and get you ranked faster than doing it manually. A word of caution though, do it in moderation.

Do it massively in a short time and you'll get your site in Google's sandbox and you can forget about earning anything from your site for a long time.

Put your questions and comments below and I'll answer them asap. Do you have any IM topics you want discussed? Place them below and I'll blog about it next time.
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Comments

  1. New Comment
    Great post!
    permalink
    Posted 12th August 2011 at 07:03 PM by BethW1 BethW1 is offline
  2. New Comment
    rapidscc's Avatar
    Thanks! I'll be writing more techniques in the days to come.
    permalink
    Posted 16th August 2011 at 03:07 AM by rapidscc rapidscc is offline
 


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