What are backlinks and how can I get them?

This is the description given by Wikipedia for back links:

“Backlinks are incoming links to a website or web page. Backlinks enable you to keep track of other pages on the web that link to your posts. The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node (Björneborn and Ingwersen, 2004). Backlinks are also called incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links.”

In simple terms, a backlink is a link from another website to your website. It does a number of things for your website. Firstly it increases your traffic. The website that has a link to yours will no doubt get some traffic and some of those visitors will no doubt click on the link and land on your site.

What most people don’t know is that backlinks are also votes for your site. Google and other search engines will see your website as important because some other website has linked to yours. What this does, is contribute to your PR (Page Ranking). PR is a formulae used by Google to determine how ‘important’ your site is. The PR will be used by the search engine to determine your position within the search listings when people search for your keywords.

So does this mean I can go off and create lots of sites and link to my website and get a good PR which means a top listing right? Not quite! The PR of the sites linking to you also come into the equation and it is not that easy to build up your PR, it takes a lot of time and work. If you have backlinks in PR5 websites, you will need less backlinks compared to if you were concentrating on creating backlinks on PR0 or PR1 websites.

But all is not lost! There are many PR5+ directories out there. This is a good way of getting nice decent backlinks. Some are paid directories, some recriporal and others completely free. It is quite a task to find these directories and submit to them. I personally use the services of a freelance manual submitters like DirectoryVault but you can do it yourself if you are willing to spend the time. Simply search in google for “PR5 directories” and start working!

Writing articles and submitting to article repositories is another good way of getting backlinks. There are a lot of people who run article repositories and quite a few of them copy from each other. This can be a good thing, it just means you have more backlinks coming to you without work done from you. Once again you can submit to article repositories yourself, but if your like me and find it time consuming, look for a freelance article submitter. Once again I use the services of DirectoryVault for this.

If you run a blog, then use it effectively to market your website and create a backlink. Blogs get indexed by search engines frequently because by nature they contain frequently updated content which search engines love.

If you are a programmer, then making mods for open source scripts or writing some free scripts with links in the footer is another good way of creating backlinks. I do something similar with my SEO mod for Cube Cart. If your mod or script is good and in demand, you will have backlinks from thousands of sites.

Do you frequent forums? Then add a link to your website in your forum signature. Each time you post in the forums, you will create a backlink. Do not post for the sake of creating a backlink. Make sure there is a good reason for posting, otherwise you will be spamming and that will violate the forum rules.

Don’t forget to exhaust the simple traditional ways of creating backlinks. That is contacting all your friends that run websites and asking if they can link to you or exchange links with you. Another traditional way is to search in google for all the top websites for your keywords and then email the webmasters asking if they would like to exchange links with you. There is a good chance that your email will go straight to the recycle bin, but there is also a good chance that someone will link to your website! Do not also forget the obvious! If you run other websites then use them effectively to market your new website with backlinks.

I am sure there are plenty of other ways of creating backlinks, if you have any good ideas or tips please post a comment and share it with us.

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