SEO Backlinks: The Importance Of Link Building
Anybody who owns a website has no doubt been told that in order to have that site rated well by the search engines it has to have links to it from other sites. This is one important aspect of an overall search engine optimization strategy, and as such it is useful to discuss what backlinks are, why they are beneficial, and how to get them.
Put very simply, a backlink is a piece of text or a banner on a website which when clicked will send the user to a different website. A website can be easier found by surfers when its link is displayed on many other sites. By using backlinks it does not have to rely solely on the search engines to get visitors.
This would suggest that the best strategy then would be to have a link displayed in as many different places on the web as possible. Whilst it is certainly true that more links will result in more visitors, care has to be taken to ensure that the links created are not of a very poor quality.
This relates to the quality of the sites on which the links are placed, and the relevance of those sites to the original website. The search engines use very complex algorithms to determine the importance of websites, and from there to rate them. Google, the most widely used search engine, rates websites based on their Google Page Rank system.
The higher a website is ranked in this system the better, and therefore a link is valued much more highly when it comes from a site with a page rank of eight than from one with a rank of two. Whenever possible links should come from sites with a high page rank, however this is not always possible as they are often very selective regarding the sites they will link to.
This raises the question of how exactly to get backlinks to a website. There are actually several methods, some of which are more effective than others. A website owner could use centralized link exchanges, where their link is displayed in return for viewing links to other sites. Similarly, an arrangement could be made between individual website owners to display each other's links on their sites. This is particularly useful when the content of each site is related.
Perhaps the most effective way to generate backlinks is to create useful content with embedded links. For example, pages can be created for free on sites such as Squidoo or Hubpages. Pages could be created containing useful information relating to the original website, as well as links back to it. Similarly, articles containing links could be written and submitted to a variety of different article directories. The essential factor is that the content is unique and relevant, as this is viewed vary favorably by the search engines.
Links can also be posted on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Using social bookmarking sites such as Digg to post content can also result in a lot of traffic to a website. In addition, many forums allow posters to include links in their signatures, although once again the content of the posts must be both relevant and useful. If a popular blogger is impressed by a site and can be convinced to blog about it it can also be extremely beneficial.
The result of this work will be links being displayed on a variety of websites throughout the web. However, search engine optimization should be a long term strategy in website promotion. Website owners must be prepared for links to take a while to effectively boost their rankings. With a little effort, however, it is possible through proper backlinking to gradually drive a lot of traffic to a website.
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