SEO: How to make sure google recognizes your backlinks
Why just making backlinks isn't enough
If you were anything like me when I first started doing SEO for my website, then you probably made a few dozen links to your site or hubpages and then used a backlink checker religiously, waiting for them to show up. Odds are, many of them never showed up, and those that did took weeks or months to do so. The truth is, just making backlinks isn't enough. You have to make google see them. Read on for important tips on where to make backlinks and free online tools to help them get indexed by google.
All Backlinks Are Not Greated Equal
So you heard that making backlinks is the key to getting ranked in google, so you rushed out and made a bunch of dofollow links on any blog you can find. Mission accomplished right? Wrong.
Google takes its responsibility very seriously, and its objective is to have websites rank as close to their true value as possible. As a result, Google constantly refines its algorithm which determines the ranking of websites for different keywords. Backlinks to your site indicate to google that your site is an "authority site" meaning that it has important or unique information on a subject. But the quality of the links to your site matters much more than the quantity.
Imagine the link profile of unique and high pagerank site like CNN or ESPN. They have tons of backlinks sure, but where are there backlinks from? Authority sites get links from websites of all different pagerank, from 0 to 10. It's much harder to get a dofollow link from a PageRank 5,6,or 7 site then it is from some blog your neighbor writes, so naturally Google gives much greater weight to high quality links. Odds are, the majority of your backlinks are from low pagerank websites, mostly 0-3. Google's engineers are the best and the brightest, and to googles search engine, your link profile looks like what it is: a low visibility, moderate value site with a proactive owner, but very little authority. If you want to change your Google rank, you need to change Google's perception of your site by changing your backlink profile, not your backlink quantity. The real secret of SEO is that 1 backlink from a high PageRank site is worth 100 from a low value site, so you need to focus your energy on making high quality links, not just high volume
Get Google To Index Your Backlinks
It can take months for your backlinks to show up in Googles database, and many of them never show up at all. There are a few reasons for this.
- Though Google and Alexa constantly crawl the internet looking for new pages, they only update their databases once or twice a month
- Search engines crawl more deeply on authoritative websites. If you create most of your backlinks in the comment section of low PR sites, there's a good chance Google's spider will make it that far. The spiders only follow a finite number of links per page, and if you're link is #64 on somegrandmasblog.com, you're probably S.O.L.
So how can I get Google to index my backlinks?
There are a couple steps you can take, to make sure you aren't wasting your link-making efforts. First, if you're getting most of your comments on blogs, try to comment on the newest post for that blog. This has two advantages:
- There will be fewer comments on a brand new post, so you're link will be closer to the top and more likely to be indexed.
- Google does a deeper crawl the first time it indexes a page, so if you beat Google's spider to that page, you've got a great shot at having your link crawled.
But here's the biggest secret of getting Backlinks recognized:
Did you know that you don't have to wait for Google to stumble upon the page where you left your link? You can actually tell Google (and hundreds of other search engines) to recrawl that page directly!
This technique is called pinging. And it basically sends a notification to search engines that a page or site has been updated, and should be recrawled. The best part is that there are free services online that allow you to ping hundreds of pages at a time, and submit them to 100's of search engines. This causes them to be crawled faster, and your link to be indexed faster. This is especially valuable, because the Spiders will keep crawling until they find the new text on the page, and that text happens to be your backlink! My favorite website for this purpose is PingFarm. They give you the option to ping multiple pages at once, so you can either copy and past all the URL's where you left your backlinks and then hit submit to mass ping them, or you can even upload a text file that has the URL's. This service is also useful if you've updated your own website and want to get the new material indexed quickly. Just ping the full URL of the new page, and check the checkbox that says "deepcrawl" and Voila! You'll be in Google in a matter of days instead of months!
How to Check your Backlinks
Obviously you're going to want to keep tabs on your website's link profile. There are a number of free tools online for this purpose. I use backlinkwatch and KPMRS. Both are free, though KPMRS does require you to create an account. Backlink watch isn't the most comprehensive link checker, but it's quick and easy. It's also useful for checking your competitors' link profile, and seeing if you can get backlinks from any of the same pages
Remember: SEO Never Stops
In Google's eyes, your site is never truly optimized, so make sure you're constantly striving to improve your search engine visibility and website quality. Good luck! Now go and make some high quality backlinks!
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