In the previous post, I talked about 10 Quick SEO Tips For WordPress. At the end of the article, I said that the tips were all about on-site SEO and the greater part of a successful SEO is off-site SEO.
Now, off-site SEO itself is all about building backlinks and in this article, I will explain what backlinks are, how to build them and why they are very important if you want to improve your search engine rankings.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are connections that link one website or webpage with another. Search engines like Google employ spider programs to hop from one page to another. They do this by crawling along links from one site to another.
If your site has no incoming links from other websites, your site will not be included in search engine indexes. Backlinks, therefore, are a crucial way for you to link your website to the internet and to attract spiders.
Of course, it is no longer as easy as filling your site with backlinks and sitting back as the web searches pour in. Modern search engines have become more clever and you will need to implement a variety of methods.
Not all backlinks are equal. There are some that can help you rank higher and there are many that will hurt your website’s rankings. You want to avoid the low quality backlinks that will hurt you and get the high quality ones.
The best backlinks are those that come naturally as a result of great content. Your website must contain high quality, useful, timely content that people will actually want to link to. This occurs when a user links to your page on their blog, on their social network or on a social bookmarking site.
Such links are considered passive and you cannot control how people react to your content, but you can tailor it to meet demands and to raise interest. These, however, are not the only links you should consider. There are many possible ways to generate links.
High PR backlinks vs. Low PR backlinks
The value of a backlink from an external site to your site depends on the external site’s PR (Page Rank) DA (Domain Authority) and relevancy values.
“To learn more about PR and DA, check out this thread from Moz.com ==> Domain Authority VS Page Rank“
If a site with a PR value of five or above links to your site, then you are doing well. That is also the case if a site with a high DA (more than 40) links to your site.
It is also important to have the backlinks come from relevant sites. For example, if you have a website that talks about parenting, you do not want a porn website links back to you no matter how high its PR or DA is.
Keeping this in mind, it is definite that you would want to focus on having a relevant high PR or a high DA backlink to your site from a premium site.
You cannot get a strong backlink values unless you know what establishes a strong backlink. A strong nacklink is obtainable from PR 6 or 7 or more. Thence, if only your site has a link from a site, that has a PR 6 or 7, then consider yourself having a strong Backlink.
Will Low PR Backlinks hurt your online presence?
The answer is probably not. Low PR Backlinks will certainly not hurt your online presence but it will not do you any good either. You may have several low PR Backlinks yet it will not raise your PR as fast as a high PR Backlink would do.
However, you must keep in mind that having too many high PR Backlinks can make search engines suspicious. Make sure you are not being linked to by spam websites. Your best bet is to keep your site as natural looking as possible, hence have a mix of both high and low PR Backlink to avoid being considered spam.
How to find high PR pages to get a strong Backlink?
There are various sites that have a PR of over 6. In order to find out the PR of a particular site, there are some SEO tools that come handy like this page rank checker.
They are easy to access and provide guaranteed results.
Once you identify high PR, high DA and relevant sites, you can try building backlinks by contacting the owners. Of course you cannot simply come out of the blue asking them to link to your site. You need to provide values and solid reasoning on why they should consider to link to your site. This brings us back to the need of high quality content in your own site. Before you ask for a backlink, ask yourself this:
- Would you link to your own site if you are the owner of the high PR website?
- Do you find your own content has high quality content that it deserves a recommendation from others in the form of backlinks?
Therefore, make sure that your site has enough high quality content for a backlink and you have also set up a solid groundwork for its on-page SEO such as making sure your tags are organized and appropriately chosen.
Another way to get a backlink from a high PR, high DA, relevant sites is to become a contributor. You can ask the owner whether they be interested in publishing your articles in exchange for them to link back to your site. This way, everybody wins. The owner receives high quality content for free while you get a backlink from them. This practice is commonly known as guest blogging.
Do-follow vs. no-follow backlinks
There are two more ways of defining a backlink; these are “Do-follow” links and “No-follow” links.
A “Do-follow” is a hyperlink that is in a position to tell search engines to pass along its page rank authority to an outbound link, while a “No-follow” is exactly the opposite.
How do “Do-follow” and “No-follow” Links Work?
In order to read a webpage and search for content, a Google Spider will visit and read through websites. While doing so, it will regard links with a “do-follow” feature and exclude any links with a “no-follow” attribute. Therefore, your PR will get better with Bing or Yahoo if the spider likes what they see on a “do-follow” site. Moreover, if they come across a “no-follow” link, they will fail to respond to it and thence harm your online presence.
In conclusion, search engines will improve your rank in the search results if you have more backlinks from high PR sites with “do-follow” links. The more the “do-follow” links to your sites, the better and higher you will rank on Google and the other search engines.
Where to Place No-follow or Do-follow Backlinks:
Sites, which are updated frequently, and those that have high traffic is where you should aim at. This will obtain you better search engines status as well as a higher Page Rank.
In conclusion, when adding either no-follow or do-follow backlinks your objective should be to have as many quality and related backlinks to your sites as possible to help improve your search engine rankings and your authority status on search engines.
More Backlinking Strategies
There are more ways you can create effective backlink building strategies for your website. With modern backlinking, it is not just a case of posting a link somewhere and waiting for the results. The majority of backlinks now require a certain amount of content.
The types of content can be divided into professional, social and informational backlinking strategies. Look through these options before deciding on your strategy:
- Professional options include press releases, adverts and directory submissions. The advantage of these options is that it promotes your site, gets you well known and may get people writing about you. Each step is also essential for creating spider web pathways to get search engines locked into your business. The disadvantages include a lack of interaction, a lack of non-advertising content and plain boringness.
- Social options lock into the buzz areas of modern internet activity. These avenues include social networks, bookmarking sites, blog commenting and forum profiles. These are excellent means of connecting with existing and potential fans, but they are less successful in terms of appealing to professionals and for generating news.
- Informational content revolves around the production of articles and blogs. These used to be done on-site, but can now be created on a wide variety of platforms. These not only generate larger numbers of page views, but can earn small amounts of money too. However, they are time consuming and may require professional writers.
As you can see, building backlinks can be a very daunting, time consuming and complex process. Therefore, it is nearly impossible if you are doing it all by yourself. Backlink building requires you to invest in hiring services ranging from writing and posting guest blog posts on high authority sites on your behalf to manual link submissions to social bookmarking sites and so on.
If you try to build backlinks alone simply because you do not want to invest in SEO services, then you will be wasting your time and there is no way you can buy back all the time that you have wasted in the future.
Here are some good backlink building service providers that you can hire if you want to improve your website’s search engine rankings:
- Social Monkee: for a one-time investment of only $7, you can get 750 unique do-follow backlinks to your website or blog.
- Alexandr Krulik’s Magic Submitter: this tool helps you submit and spin your articles, videos and press releases to more than 500 sites. You can try it for only $4.95 for the first month.
- Linkpipe: if you want to have even more SEO leverage, you need to build links that point to the backlinks that point to your website or blog. This is called link building pyramid. This tool helps you to build thousands of links to your backlinks and give your websites even more link juice and authority.
- Backlink Beast: Backlink Beast automates your link diversity by building you thousands of links from social network sites, web 2.0 article sites, social bookmarking sites, PDF sharing sites, web 2.0 profile links, press release submissions, RSS link promotions and many more.
- SEO Link Vine: I personally use this one. This is a blog network service that helps you submit your articles to relevant blogs and thereby getting more backlinks.