Anchored Backlinks - A Simple Guide
Anchored backlinks are said to be key to any good SEO strategy. In fact, in some circles, anchored backlinks are said to be the be-all and end-all in SEO. Once you have done your on site optimization, it has been said that all you need to do is to build as many anchored backlinks as possible. Keep doing that, and the top spot in Google is a matter of time.
I would categorize the multiple ways you can get anchored backlinks into 3 areas:
Linking to Your Own Sites
Many people have been known to set up websites, blogs and other types of online real estate just so they can get guaranteed backlinks to their main site. Others will interlink between all their sites and pages.
An example of such a strategy will be to have one main site about your product, say doors. You can have a hub here on HubPages about the different type of doors available, and a squidoo lens talking about how to find a good door supplier, and blog that talks about all things doors. All of them will have anchored backlinks leading to your main site.
Of course it doesn't have to be just one hub, or one lens, or one blog, and you don't have to confine yourself to just these three types of resources. Do a search and you will find more resources than you will have time for.
But if you have an intention of building massive amounts of backlinks between your sites, you might want to spare a thought about giving Google a blueprint to which sites you own. For example, if you are monetizing using Adsense, you might want to consider a different monetization model for some of your sites. Or if you have many blogs, don't use blogger for all of them.
I won't get paraniod about it, but my point is just not to make it too obvious. Looking at it from Google's point of view. Which site would you rank higher? A site with a hundred webmaster-owned backlinks, or another site with a hundred backlinks from multiple sources?
Post Your Own Backlink
There are lots of places on the web that will allow you to put your own backlink on their site. Think about forums, blogs and web directories.
One thing you must consider when placing a link for SEO purposes is whether the link is "do follow". When blogs became popular some years back, many webmasters went around posting spammy comments in the blogs. Those comments had no real content and the only intention was an anchored backlink to the webmaster's site. It got so bad that Google announced that it will recognize a new attribute, called a nofollow attribute. When this attribute is attached to a link, that link will not count towards improving the destination site's search engine rankings.
To combat spam, many blogs and forums have adopted the use of this tag. So if you are posting for SEO purposes, do check first.
Getting Other People To Post Your Backlink
This is by far the most difficult and time consuming way to get anchored backlinks. But when done right, it offers the potential of easily getting hundreds of links with a single action.
I list below a few standard ways of how you can go about doing this, but bear in mind that the techniques are many and varied and you are really only limited by your imagination.
- Link Exchange. Find or form groups of webmasters interested in exchanging links. Normally, links exchanged will be on the home pages or between link directories. I would encourage looking into more innovative ways of exchanging links. You could consider asking the webmaster to change a small part of his content to include an backlink to you. Or, if the webmaster is running a blog, you could ask the webmaster to dedicate a blog post to your site.
- Link Bait. Generate content so good that the webmaster just have to link to you. Content that is humorous, controversial or downright weird would work well. And if you are out of ideas, just come out with great content.
- Offer Free Stuff. I remembered a web hosting company offering to give away a piece of software that they are selling in return for a link to their site. I don't know how much they lost in terms of sales, but I would think that a lot of the webmasters providing links might not have bought anyway.
- Give Away Something. But don't just give away something. If you are giving away web templates, make sure you have your site info at the bottom. Or if you are giving away an ebook, make sure your site is referenced somewhere in the ebook. You get the idea.
If anything, it is actually much easier to get anchored backlinks than in the past. In today's Internet, we are all so much more connected thanks to the social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. If you have something worthy of backlinks, it can be a simple matter of asking for one. You can reach a lot more people today with such a request than you can in the past, and good content should be rewarded with linkbacks.
Anchor Text - The anchor text is the text used to link to another webpage. For example, when linking to my hub about the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image, the anchor text is "Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image".
Anchored Backlink - This is simply a link from another webpage. This type of link will contain the keywords of the webpage in the anchor text. It might be more properly called a keyword anchored backlink. See the "anchor text" definition for an example of an anchored backlink to another webpage. Note that "Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image" is a keyword for that page.
Backlink - It is simply a link from another webpage.
Keyword - When optimizing for the search engines, you will first do some keyword research to see what words people use to search for information or products that your site has. These words are called keywords. Do note that keywords are exact phrases or words.
For example, backlink and backlinks are 2 different keywords. And anchored, backlink and anchored backlink are 3 separate keywords.
SEO - It stands for search engine optimization. It is the techniques used for getting a better ranking in the search engine results. Although usually not mentioned, Google seems to be the only search engine that this is carried out for. But they are THE search engine and when you get ranked on Google, the other engines will pick you up as well.
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