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Backlinks Definition - How to Define & Achieve a Back Link to Your Website

Updated on October 25, 2010

Backlinks Overview

This Hub will briefly discuss the following topics related to backlinks:

  • Definition of a backlink
  • Synonyms of backlinks
  • Background information (web site/pages, domain name and hosting)
  • Inbound versus outbound links;
  • Types of back links
  • Examples of backlinks
  • Anchor text and its importance
  • Backlink strategies
  • How to obtain a back link to your website

Backlinks? Before one can discuss the concepts of a backlink, it is imperative that one cover the basic fundamentals to search engine optimization and website developement. Before a webmaster can create a back link to his or her website or blog, there must be a website already in place. That means there is a valid registered domain name properly configured (DNS pointing domain to webhost), webpages and uploaded files to a server that has been indexed by one of the four major search engines.

For example, John Doe has a passion for Manufacturing Widgets because he has expertise and great knowledge from working as a Heavy-Duty Widget Mechanic for the past several years. One day, our friend John Doe decided to create a website with a blog (good call but should have tried Hubpages first... it would have been easier).

Consequently, John went through the basic steps of creating a website. First he researched his top tier keywords and various longtail keyword phrases using some highly recommended free online resources like Overture's Inventory Keyword suggestion tool or a more expensive software tools like Wordtracker or KeywordElite/SEOElite. Secondly, he registered a domain name called AcmeWidgets.com with a reputable domain name registrar (I recommend GoDaddy.com). He then opened an account with a reputable website hosting company like HostGator.com or shared hosting, selecting the shared hosting plan that offered the right selection of website hosting features like PHP, MySQL databases, blogs, forums, etc..

Fourthly, he was smart and hired a website designer and programmer who developed a top notch mini-site titled, "Acme Manufacturing Widgets". This website was top-notch and highly optimized for the search engines, consisting of both on-page optimization factors (i.e. keyword density, keyword proximity and placement and use of keyword prominence), as well as use of meta tags and of course offpage search engine optimization strategies such as backlinking strategies. His website developer uploaded his website pages to his host server via a File Transfer Program or "ftp" for short.

Outbound link: Website A (John) links to Website B (Jane)
Outbound link: Website A (John) links to Website B (Jane)

Inbound Links Versus Outbound Links

Discussing backlinks would be incomplete without also discussing outbound links in relation to inbound links. The outbound link is defined as "a link that points away from your website". The phrase outbound links is the antonym for the inbound link however this phrase is not very popular because a link pointing away from one's site is generally referred to as a hypertext link or just a link. In this example, Website A (i.e. John's http://www.AcmeWidgets.com site) puts a link to Website B (Jane's site, http://www.SewingWidgetsManufacturing.com).

In this generic example, Website A has a outbound link, whereas Website B has a backlink. This is what it would look like from the perspective of each website:

Website A: outbound link (url)

Website B: inbound link

Since Website B does not have a link back to Website A, Website B's baclink to Website A is considered a one-way backlink.

Backlink Definition

Backlinks are loosely defined as hypertext links pointing towards a particular domain name. According to Björneborn and Ingwersen, backlinks may also be described (in more 'geeky' terms) as any link that is received from one web node from another web node. A web node may be a top level domain name, website, directory or web page.

There are many synonyms of 'backlinks' as well; they are often referred to as follows:

  • incoming links;
  • inbound links;
  • inlinks; and,
  • inward links.

Website B (Jane) links back to Website A (John)
Website B (Jane) links back to Website A (John)

Example of a SEO Backlink

Okay, now that you have a website AcmeWidgets.com it is time to generate your first back link. Now after several weeks of being indexed on the world wide web, John's website is discovered by an associate in his industry - let's us call her Jane. Now Jane owns and operates a similar, but non-competing website, in the same widget industry. Jane operates in a more specialized niche than John in the sewing manufacturing widget sector. The URL to Jane's website is SewingManufacturingWidgets.com.

Jane is really impressed with John's manufacturing widget website and not only places the URL to his website, http://www.AcmeWidgets.com but she writes a brief description that uses many of John's main top tier keywords and long-tail keyword phrases. Jane also places a hyperlink text in an anchor tag with the keyword "manufacturing widgets" the very top tier keyword John's website has been optimised to rank well (i.e. listed in first three pages in search engine results page or "serp") for the search engines. Jane's backlink to John's website would look like this:

<A HREF=http://www.AcmeWidgets.com>manufacturing widgets</A>

This would produce a hyperlink on Jane's website that would look like this:Manufacturing Widgets

This would be an example of an organic SEO backlink. Jane placed this backlink to John's Acme Manufacturing website because she valued the content and usefulness of John's website, as it added value to her website and provided benefit to her readers and end-users. John did not have to request or bargain with Jane in order to achieve this backlink to his website; therein lies the value of organic, one-way backlinks.

Now, as an aspiring SEO Professional, John visits a well-respected search engine like Google and searches on the web using a search phrase "sewing manufacturing widgets" and comes across Jane's website on the search engine results page ("SERP"). He visits her site and immediately sees that Jane's website meets his criteria for a link partner as well as a complimentary site for his readers. John searches Janes website for the "Contact Us" page and sends Jane an endearing email stating how he loves her website and requests politely if Jane would link to his website. Jane, being an industry associate agrees to John's request and places his website. Johns' actions could be classified as a 'link request', or an example of a non-organic, SEO link request. Fortunately, most search engines would not be able in this situation to decipher the difference between the two actions and would ultimately be still considered a one-way back link.

Now, after some debate and consideration, Jane becomes a bit indignant and feels that John should have politely reciprocated the backlink back to her webiste. Thus, after some deliberation and consideration, both parties agree to link to each other. When two websites link to each other, this is considered a 'reciprocal link'.

Herein, lies the question, which of the two backlink situations is best or more optimal from a search engine optimization stand-point, the organic oneway back link or the reciprocal link? The aforementioned story is inextricable related to the concepts of link popularity and linking strategies.

WordTracker: Keyword Analysis

Free Online Keyword Analysis &amp; SEO Research Tool
Free Online Keyword Analysis & SEO Research Tool

SEO Link Building - Example of a Backlinking Strategy

Three-way Backlinks
Three-way Backlinks

SEO Link Building - Example of a Backlinking Strategy

Four-way Linking Strategy
Four-way Linking Strategy

Backlink Video Tutorial

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    • profile image

      very nice 5 years ago

      enjoying seeing

      http://www.google.com

    • profile image

      vikrant 6 years ago

      thanks i was totally new in websites,but ur post is so simpke to understand....thaks a lot

    • profile image

      piano lessons online 6 years ago

      nice post and very decent also thank you a lot for share

    • profile image

      haare selber schneiden 6 years ago

      This is the nice one keep up the good work

    • profile image

      Tyre Labels 6 years ago

      only some people have the ability to write like this and you are one of them thanks for a impressive post

    • profile image

      lakewood locksmiths 6 years ago

      Pretty good post.I found this site very informative.Ready to hear more in the future.thank you for share.

    • profile image

      remote control sensor 6 years ago

      i must say that this blog contains all the relevant information i want

    • profile image

      dwarka property rates 6 years ago

      appreciated work perhaps you did very hard work for this

    • profile image

      SEO Consultants 6 years ago

      Hi jual

      Look tools is not give you valuable backlinks that you can achieve manually by posting articles, PR, directories, Link Exchange, Social Bookmarkings, Blog Commenting etc..

      Yes of course it gives you backlink if you post any comment. It's count in yahoo backlinks.

      Thanks and take care.

    • profile image

      pearson airport taxi 6 years ago

      your post such i like the way you have written keep up the good work buddy

    • profile image

      compost bins 6 years ago

      i have never found such kind of information before it is such amazing hats off for your work

    • profile image

      halong tours 6 years ago

      good and very appreciated work

    • profile image

      dinosaurs 6 years ago

      a very good post by a great author only some people have the ability to write like this way

    • profile image

      business center 6 years ago

      You brought some nice points there. i did a search and found that mostly people gave u compliments.

    • profile image

      jual ultimate game card 6 years ago

      hello seo consultans

      why if you use any tools for generate backlinks is not good approach?

      and

      if I post like this, can this post give me back link?

      thanks

    • profile image

      SEO Consultants 6 years ago

      Hi Sudarshan.. In my opinion using any tool for generate backlinks is not good approach. It can't give you long time benefit and quality backlinks. You should make backlinks manually and remember not to make it very fast, It will be dangerous to your website.

    • profile image

      SEO Consultants 6 years ago

      Hi nice post. I see that we create many links on web directories, article, PR, social networking sites and on many more sites. But the all links never count in backlinks. For example we create 100 links on diffrent-2 websites and they all are alive but backlink checker tools shows 50 or 60 backlinks. Can you or anyone tell me the reason please? I want to know about how to get a proper backlink.

    • jsimms38 profile image

      jsimms38 6 years ago

      Very informative information I will put it to good use!

    • danieltetreault profile image
      Author

      danieltetreault 7 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia Canada

      Thanks Guys n Gals regarding all the great comments on backlinks.

      Happy LinkBuilding.

      Daniel T.

    • profile image

      Kerala Tour Packages 7 years ago

      i was searching about..back links..post really helped me.do u have any idea about no follow links..thanks

    • profile image

      sam 7 years ago

      Really good post..thanks for all information..

    • profile image

      Red Mango Writers 7 years ago

      Hi Daniel,

      I am a web-content writer (similar to Jeanette^^) and although I have worked with many SEO companies over the years, I have remained a bit 'ostriched' to how far websites really have to be manipulated to get the required traffic.

      I'm slowly working my way through building my own websites as automation blogs/posting is pretty much the best way to go...as much as that pains me to say as a writer. I'll still continue chucking unique content at my pages and article sites but your Hub has helped a great deal with my new quest.

      I'll never give up writing though :)

      Red

    • profile image

      imago 7 years ago

      Nice hub! Great job breaking down the topic into easy to understand pieces.

    • profile image

      seo73au 7 years ago

      i think you have great knowledge about back link.

      --------------------------

      http://www.seo73.com/

    • profile image

      buy backlink 8 years ago

      Thanks for the informative and helpful post.This will help me to manage my site.

    • RobertHassey profile image

      RobertHassey 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Reading this is like leafing through a text book on the topic, complete with clear diagrams, except that one is scroll down. :D Nice hub. I work in online marketing and detailed explanations like yours remind me that there's a difference when you learn about topic on the job, and when you read it in a neatly explained way. I learned mine on the job.

    • profile image

      Backlink 8 years ago

      thanks!You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with this article?

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much for the great info!

    • profile image

      Buy Backlink 8 years ago

      thanks!You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. Thanks though, i&rsquo;m glad some people share good stuff like this! It will greatly help me in my SEO activities.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Someone has clearly explained backlinks and you certainly broke it down, I have been trying to understand it for sometime. :)

    • danieltetreault profile image
      Author

      danieltetreault 8 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia Canada

      Andromeda10:Thank you so very much for the comment and the compliment. I also had the opportunity to view your Hubpages profile and I am now your fan too! I love your Hubber profile pic. Very creative. Daniel

    • Andromeda10 profile image

      Andromeda10 8 years ago from Chicago

      Tada, this Hub is joining your "Top 10 Internet Marketing Laws" on my "Money, Blog". My readers are going to be so much more informed now that I have met you. Thanks again Daniel.

    • SEO Press Formula profile image

      SEO Press Formula 8 years ago

      Very good information, detailed and to the point. What would you say is the most amount of backlinks you should send to your mainsite daily?

    • avatarlagi profile image

      avatarlagi 8 years ago

      I don't think google algorithm capable of detecting organic or unorganic backlink ... :)

    • profile image

      Jeanette M 9 years ago

      Daniel, great hub. There is so much information in this article, it's a great resourse. Many of us are web writers and still don't understand all there is to know about links. We sometimes narrow our focus on SEO writing and don't see the larger picture. I've been trying to develop a wep page and domain, and I'm amazed how much there is to learn. Thanks for the excellent pointers.

      J

    • danieltetreault profile image
      Author

      danieltetreault 9 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia Canada

      Hey, miasmarketing.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my Hub and for your generous comments. Stay tuned. I will be providing many more tutorials on this subject. I recently created my own marketing blog, and the day it went 'live' I already had a Google Page Rank of '2'. Not too shabby I thought.

      Sincerely, Daniel Tetreault

    • eugie17 profile image

      eugie17 9 years ago from online (everywhere)

      Hi Daniel,

      Good Job, verry informativeI look forward to read SEO related hubs

    • miasmarketing profile image

      miasmarketing 9 years ago

      Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for sharing this fabulous tutorial on Backlinks.

      You have given us very thorough and complete information.

      Cheers,

      Mia

    • danieltetreault profile image
      Author

      danieltetreault 9 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia Canada

      Denise.Thank you for taking the time to visit my Hub. I have reciprocated and visited your profile too!

      Yes, I truly believe there IS value in reciprocal links. However, backlinks in relation to search engines are evaluated through complex algorithms. Now a oneway back link from one single website that is deemed an "authority site" with a very high page rank of PR=6-8 would likely be considered 'more valuable' in terms of link popularity than would say 50-100 reciprocal links from non-related, low page rank sites PR=0-3.

      Further reciprocal links that utilize anchor texts would also be more valuable than would just hyperlinks. For example, http://www.BackLinkSite.com would be less desirable than would a hyperlink using anchor text such as:

      myKEYWORDhere (pretend this is an active hyperlink)

      Now, combine the above reciprocal backlink strategy from thematically-related authority sites with very high page ranks AND using the anchor text and keyword-rich pages, you've got a powerful linking strategy.

    • profile image

      Denise 9 years ago

      Very informative and I love the way you break everything down. Now is there value in reciprical links for SEO ? Or does the search engines pick up on that?