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Where to Get Backlinks to Your Site

Updated on April 15, 2013

Who Cares if you have Backlinks?

Well, no one...except search engines! If you want people to read your page on the web, you need to have plenty of incoming links pointing right at your site. Search engines value the quantity, quality, and relevance of these links. The trouble with getting "backlinks" to your site, as they are called, is it's kind of difficult. The best way to receive high quality links is by creating a quality page or site. It's one of the most important steps in your SEO campaign!

How the Big Sites Build Their Backlinks

Build it...and they will link?

Sites like Amazon, eBay, MySpace and of course, Squidoo, have thousands and thousands of links that hop to their site. They also don't have to do much to get these links!

Why?

Because they have something worth linking to! They don't ask for links, they just get them. Sites like these might also have thousands of affiliate marketers linking to their site.

So you're probably wondering how you can get as many links as these sites have...the answer is simple! Create something that is a valuable resource for people. If you can create something that is the go-to place for information on a certain topic, the traffic will come.

Link Exchanges...Yes or No??

Does Reciprocal Linking Help or Hurt?

Link exchanges can be good, and can be bad. There are a number of services out there that will connect you with other similar websites (or totally random sites) to exchange links with. Some search engines penalize these sites, often referred to as "link farms." There is a fine-line drawn between link farms and link exchanges, so watch out.

You say tomato, I say tomato sauce!

Some webmasters like to exchange links via reciprocal linking. This process is great if the site is relevant to your site. For instance, if your site is about tomatoes and you decide to link to a site about home foreclosures, this wouldn't help you in the search engines. However, if you linked to a site about tomato sauce, now we're talking!

Backlinks are still more heavily valued by search engines than reciprocal links. The ranking of the site you are linking to also plays a factor for your pagerank. Always aim high, and try to get a link on a site with an equal or better rank.

How do you know who's linking to you?

Backlink Checker

Find out who is linking to you!

To find out how many inbound links you have, you can use a Backlink Checker. This one in particular will tell you the number of Google results, Yahoo results, and Alexa rank.

My Personal Favorite Backlink Checker...

is Domain Pop. You can see everyone that is linking to your site. Works much better than Google's Backlink checker. Formerly, my favorite was Yahoo Site Explorer, which was free and accurate, allowing to check internal and external links. Bing offers an alternative in their Webmaster tools. Try Domain Pop instead for a kind of similar experience.

How Search Engines Work

And how they determine the "value" of your site

Search engines are complicated, and have convoluted formulas to determine a website's page rank. To find sites on the web, search engines have "web crawlers" to crawl the web through every link it finds. The search engines then apply their algorithm to the site and determine the page rank. Backlinks (or inward links) are always a part of this equation. To search engines, the number and quality of backlinks are an indicator of the importance and popularity of a site.

There are many other factors search engines consider, like the age of the site, URL name, image or filenames on the site, anchor text, and keywords in the content.

Forum Links

Gain a link and some traffic by posting in forums

If you've ever visited a forum, you know that they are an excellent source of information that you can often not find anywhere else. Some also receive a very high amount of traffic and are a huge opportunity for whatever niche your site may fall into. By making an effective signature link for each your posts, you can see an increase in traffic. This traffic is often highly targeted.

Rules for Forums

  • Don't spam!
  • Upload an avatar if possible so that forum users come to know you by your image that's next to your posts
  • Make a signature that's appropriate but effective, not out of control, large and obnoxious
  • Be courteous to other members in forums
  • Stay on topic and add something relevant to conversations, don't just drop something in to leave your signature
  • Respond often for the best results!

Forum links may not be a heavily weighted link, but it's a link, and it drives traffic.

How many links do you have to your Squidoo lens??

See results

Blogs are another excellent source of traffic to your site. You can receive a nifty, targeted link to your site by leaving a comment to a blog post (if the blog comments are not "no followed". When leaving a comment, it is important to leave the URL of your site. Most blogs will instruct users to leave the URL of their site on the comment (leaving a link back to your site). Try Google's Blog Search to find some relevant blogs about your topic and get posting! Just like forums, you want to avoid spam and offer an honest opinion about the post. Be a worthy contributor and you'll get further.

You can also ask a Blogger to blog about your site. Depending on the Alexa/PageRank of the site, this can be very effective. The downside of this is that the post may become buried under other posts.

article marketing
article marketing

Article Marketing

Drive traffic and gain backlinks with relevant articles

Article marketing isn't anything new. It's one of the oldest SEO strategies there is, and it's still effective to this day. Article marketing works for a few reasons.

  1. You will drive traffic to your website by includes your URL at the bottom of the page in the resource box. Articles usually allow 1-2 links to your own website. This can increase your traffic if you write about topics that would interest your readers.
  2. Articles are a great way to increase backlinks to your website. Not only will traffic be headed to your website, but the article will count as another valuable link headed towards your site. Over time, this can raise the authority of your website with search engines.
  3. Last, and most importantly, all articles you publish on sites like EzineArticles have the chance to be republished by thousands of other sites. By posting your article on article websites like Ezine, Buzzle, and ArticlesBase, you are allowing other websites to republish your work, as long as they include a link to your website. This can lead to many inbound links from various websites, potentially hundreds or thousands if the article is valuable enough.

Driving Traffic to your Site - A guide that will help you with your search engine marketing strategies

Getting your site indexed is the most fundamental, yet one of the most challenging, aspects to search engine marketing. Search Engine Marketing Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company's Web Site is a detailed and comprehensive guide through the pitfalls and opportunities of this complicated subject.

Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company's Web Site
Search Engine Marketing, Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company's Web Site

This book has earned a respectable 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon from 37 customer reviews!

Some reviews of this book:

"Using a writing style that's more conversational and readable than I expected from the cover, they go into solid detail about everything related to search engines. This includes how they work, what people are looking for when they search, and how best to understand the types of visitors you'll get in order to turn them into potential customers."

"This includes how to get your site indexed, choosing your target words, and attracting links to your site. This is some of the best, most detailed information that I have seen anywhere on this subject and shows that the authors are up to date in their understanding of how search engines work and how to get top rankings."

 

Web Directories

Pay to receive a targeted link

Directories are another popular place to get links back to your site. These exist almost entirely for getting a highly targeted backlink. Make sure these links are not "nofollow" links! Some directories are very low traffic, so you'll have to do your research on what directories are worth submitting to. You'll have to pay more often than not. It's not expensive, usually around $5, but it can add up quickly. Check the Google Page Rank of the site you are signing up with before submitting your site.

Social Networking & Social Bookmarking

Build up your links with popular social websites

Sites like MySpace and Facebook have been known to drive traffic through targeted comments on user's profiles. The most effective way to get traffic flowing to your page is to have more people to see it.

Social Bookmarking has become a huge thing in the past few years. Sites like Digg and Stumbleupon can bring in huge traffic. Other websites can also divert traffic to your website, as well earn a little bit of Adsense earnings:

Redgage.com

This site shares in the revenue by the impression. The more views you receive, the more you'll earn. You can also earn contest bonuses and feature bonuses if they pick your content to be featured on their home page. I've personally already made pay out from them. I've also had luck using their blog feature, which shows up well in search engines.

SheToldMe.com

An easy to use site that has a Digg style format. Add your link to the website along with a custom description for best results.

Best-Reviewer.com

Create a "top" list of hubs, Squidoo lenses, blog posts, websites, Amazon products, or anything else that you can think of. An easy to use format that creates backlinks, generates traffic, and interest in your website!

Link Baiting

Attracting links to your site by offering a useful page that's naturally linkworthy

Link Baiting sounds like something you want to stay away from, but it can be a good thing, especially when it's done right. Link baiting is when you create a page or resource that's helpful and unique. You'll see people to refer to mortgage interest calculators as a good example of link baiting. People will link to that page of the site to calculate their mortgage, from blogs to other business websites. Almost all websites can create a good "link bait" page. Try to make it relevant to what you're site is about for the best results. Here are some examples:

  • You have an eBay store selling shoes. Make a list of 100 places you can recycle shoes or drop them off for charity. Over time, you'll get a lot of links to your store.
  • Use the mortage calculator example and apply to your own business. What tools can you provide your customers with that will attract links and attention?

Search Engine Independence

Don't depend on search engines to drive traffic to your website!

Being at the whim of a few select companies is no way to run your life or business! A lot of successful businesses have instead placed more value on traffic that comes in from well-placed links. These are permanent, unlike the constantly fluctuating pagerank system. While search engine traffic is always great, link traffic is better.

Declare Independence from Search Engines!

By getting permanent links on blogs, forums, and other websites, you can have a steady stream of dependable traffic coming into your site that is more likely to revisit or make a purchase. Consider buying text links or a well-placed (and well designed) banner.

Be sure to leave your tips for getting backlinks here!

Have a Tip of your Own on Getting a Backlink?

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    • profile image

      line scan ccd image sensor 21 months ago

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    • profile image

      cmos 21 months ago

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    • profile image

      mymndrurrykef 22 months ago

      EmbroideryMIX - we offer big collection of embroidery patterns. We also offer digitizing service. We are adding new free embroidery samples every week.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @MyMedsSavingsCard: Yes, it can't be a good idea to buy Fiverr links. I've seen them for sale and I'd stay far away.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @kejadian26 lm: Nowhere near as important as it used to be. Content is a 20, keywords maybe 5, and backlinks 3, I'm just guessing.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @anonymous: It can take time for backlinks to register in the "eyes" of backlink checkers and Google. I'd check again later. Google (and backlink checkers) do ignore some backlinks, or simply don't know about them. The best strategy is to keep creating great content and linking to your own content, then promoting it socially. Over time, the links will come as long as the content is good, but it will take some promotion to get there.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @anonymous: Link farm = a spammy or low quality site that has a low threshold for content guidelines and is used for mostly backlinking purposes. Directories may have lost their relevance over the years, so this page will be updated with that information.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @anonymous: Link directories have been devalued, though I'm not sure of the significance of Yahoo's Directory any longer. It's likely link directories have lost most of their "link juice" at this point, though DMOZ may have some value still. Emphasis on "may".

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Margot_C: It's boring work that's for sure. Google is, at least, getting smarter and not relying as much on backlinks for the top Google positions, which for the most part is good.

    • profile image

      Margot_C 4 years ago

      I think most people hate backlinking, which is why I've just not been able to bring myself to do much of it. But you give some great tips here. Another of your lenses I've bookmarked for reference! Thanks!

    • profile image

      WSIDigitalWebBelfast 4 years ago

      Some people don't understand the importance of anchor text variety and relevant sources of links to their niche. Great lens with good info!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for simplifying the reasons for implementing backlinks!

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      Quality backlinks will always be important to the Google algorithm, with the emphasis on 'quality.'

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for these tips! And in the spirit of the article:

      www.ramsover.com

    • profile image

      SuzanneCromie 4 years ago

      Some excellent advice here thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for explaining the importance of backlinking to generate traffic. I am still trying to learn marketing on the internet. Thanks.

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      This is such great information. Thanks for posting all of this, it will be a lot of help.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Different options for building backlinks will try them out.

    • ukprowriter profile image

      ukprowriter 4 years ago

      Some great resources. They should keep me busy for a while

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Essential info about backlinks. Forum posting , commenting, quality articles submission make a difference in backlink process and increase the site traffic.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Excellent article. But i do believe that Google penalizes purchased backlinks or even directory backlinks.

      Can someone please confirm if its safe to submit my link to directories.

      As you all know that its very hard to get rid of backlinks (specially backlinks from a malicious site)

    • profile image

      SEOMasters2 4 years ago

      Thank you very much for this tip! This is very helpful to newbies like me.

    • Louise0711 profile image

      Louise0711 4 years ago

      Love this. Some really good and different ideas of backlinks. Thanks.

    • frugalfinance lm profile image

      frugalfinance lm 4 years ago

      Handy hints here, thanks very much. I guess the main key to getting people to link to your site is to write great content. If you say something worth sharing, people will link to you.

    • abarth76 lm profile image

      abarth76 lm 4 years ago

      Building links can be a pain but this lens has given me new info to make it less so.

    • spids1 profile image

      spids1 4 years ago

      Great lens very well written.

    • profile image

      Siena39 4 years ago

      Yes, I totally agree backlinks are essential to improve traffic amount to the site, I've been using almost everything you said here, but I didn't know about so many links checkers you explain here, I am going to try it, thanks for that info :-).

    • HomeDecorKnight profile image

      HomeDecorKnight 4 years ago

      Great thanks to provide useful information about back links, Good lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great post I didn't know anything about backlinks till now looks like I have some work to do

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been relying mostly on forum links. Maybe I'll try a few short articles to create these links. Thanks for the help.

    • profile image

      czczcz 4 years ago

      Enjoyed reading these and getting reminders of ways to develop links for articles.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What are the best link-builder sites?

    • earturo profile image

      earturo 4 years ago

      Thank you for the information, i will keep that in mind when making my lenses

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 4 years ago

      Great information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great post. made me think about no-follow and do-follow links

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Building back links does take sometime on the Web. These are great tips. Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      sickseo 4 years ago

      Great lens with loads of useful info!

    • profile image

      CouponsilverAds 4 years ago

      Well I know it not on the subject, I love New Zealand I've been there during 2008 - 2009. Anyway keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      CouponsilverAds 4 years ago

      Great info thanks.

    • Andrej977 LM profile image

      Andrej977 LM 4 years ago

      Great info. Thanks for sharing, I will try...

    • alexandradouglas profile image

      Alexandra Douglas 4 years ago from Florida

      Great info here. It's helping me big time!

    • MayaIxchel profile image

      MayaIxchel 4 years ago

      Great lens! I have so much more to learn and I appreciate all of your tips. Thank you so much for sharing. Greetings from 'the land of eternal spring'!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      all this information about links and backlinks are a little confusing. the more you read the better but there is no proper answer to it. i have done most of these and still don't see any backlinks to my site. maybe im doing it wrong so i keep trying to find a simple answer to tell me how to do this.

    • MatijaB LM profile image

      MatijaB LM 5 years ago

      Thank for this lens and for sharing these information. I will try some of this for my websites.Thank you again.

    • Totus Mundus profile image

      Totus Mundus 5 years ago

      Nice tips, but DomainPop link checker has been out of action for a while, but I'll keep checking, hopefully it will be back soon.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

    • mueedahmad profile image

      mueedahmad 5 years ago

      Thanks for publishing such an awesome lens to help all.

    • kejadian26 lm profile image

      kejadian26 lm 5 years ago

      From scale 1 - 20, how important is backlink for seo? What about keywords and content?

    • southpawg profile image

      southpawg 5 years ago

      I didn't know much about backlinks before I read this, great info!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Great content, especially now when Google is changing so frequently the ranking algorithm. thanks

    • profile image

      efoodshow 5 years ago

      Thank you for providing very useful information. I am now on a mission to increase my backlinks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow! A lot of good tips here. I recently signed on with RedGage (which is a weird sort of site: frustrating to deal with, yet quite easy to do) and like the potential it offers to drive traffic over to my Squidoo articles and other places. I also like Pinterest.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Lady Lorelei: The keywords using when linked are very powerful. I've ranked for keywords that weren't even in my article/lens just based on the inbound link text. It definitely matters!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I call creating back links to my articles Google juice. The more relevant links you acquire then the more powerful the Google juice. The key word on linkage is "relevant". Have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      MyMedsSavingsCard 5 years ago

      Aren't the paid for linking sites like Fiver a bad idea? Doesn't Google frown upon that?

    • profile image

      seanpearse 5 years ago

      Great lens mate. Some useful tips. I hadn't heard of domain pop before.

    • masmasmous lm profile image

      masmasmous lm 5 years ago

      @sandiegohomeinspector: where ?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent tips, I have been working ths for 18 months and its worked wonders

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Backlinks are definitely the way forward after the penguin update.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow these are awesome thanks!

    • CameronPoe profile image

      CameronPoe 5 years ago

      Helpful tips. I like making Web 2.0 blogs and use them to point to my sites.

    • RadaFrancis LM profile image

      RadaFrancis LM 5 years ago

      Great article, I've been working on backlinking for some time and just today I used a backlink checker and guess what.. 0 backlinks. What's that about :(

    • Normyo Yonormyo profile image

      Normyo Yonormyo 5 years ago

      A pity you say that you only want "do follow" backlinks. That would mean you only want backlinks because you want search engine traffic. But a "no follow" link is useful for readers of an article in which your site is mentioned. And if they find your site interesting or important enough to link to you might get a backlink on their site. Also a "no follow" backlink might not add to your pagerank, but that does not mean that the search engine robots do not use the link to index your page.

      As for the rest of your article thanks for the information in a very readable form.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am unclear as to what exactly a link farm is? I assumed that directories are link farms while reading the article but then it comes back to say directories can be useful...? What is an example of a link farm

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I want to read this lens again and again . And here I should stop to search different articles about SEO here and there. This lens is perfect to me ... Thanks

    • WebGenova profile image

      WebGenova 5 years ago

      Nice Lens! I always prfere quality backlinks over "quantity". Google is getting smarter!

    • profile image

      GaryHigham 5 years ago

      Backlinks are important but the word on the street is that people are getting ranked if they have varied and natural links and not mass prouced from article mass submission etc, so organic is best! =)

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 5 years ago from Washington State

      Every time I read this lens I walk away with more good information to use. Thanks.

    • profile image

      timmarlow 5 years ago

      Great article. I think great live content and some well placed quality forum links are the best way to ensure targeted traffic and some good SEO juice

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome, everything about backlinks. Thanks for sharing. This was helpful.

    • jeffersonline profile image

      jeffersonline 5 years ago

      The domain pop tip was worth visiting for. Thanks for all this info - easy to digest and very relevant.

    • rentinlondon lm profile image

      rentinlondon lm 5 years ago

      The link baiting section was really good, some niches naturally lend themselves to that sort of link bait page, others you have to think much harder to get a good idea.

    • profile image

      shalamigri 5 years ago

      Great article. One thing that helped me get ranked fast was to simply go to google and type in my sites main keywords I want to target followed by the word blog or blogs. For example, "easy backlinks blog" I then go to alexa and check the sites ranking to make sure it's better than or equal to my own. I managed to build my site to about 150,000 worldwide using this method and I didn't have many backlinks. I just made sure I was posting serious information and not just random spam.

    • profile image

      arninglawns 5 years ago

      Excellent article, I need to refer back to this as I go along. I was wondering how valuable forum links were.

    • profile image

      jibril-ellams 5 years ago

      Thanks for the Info, i still recommend article marketing as one of the best free methods to build back links to your web site or blog.

    • profile image

      sandiegohomeinspector 5 years ago

      FInd someone willing to post your article and backlink on a high PR page (not the site, but the page itself). For $5-20 USD you can get a PR4-5 backlink that is dofollow. Best if the webpage is related to yours, of course.

    • profile image

      sblurton 5 years ago

      a very helpful little site you have here. and it was number 1 in the google search i did, so you know what your talking about.

    • profile image

      anonquid99 5 years ago

      I think forum links and content are the only ways to go.

    • profile image

      acesofseo 5 years ago

      This information is perfect for me what i was looking for.

      This lens is very informative :).

    • profile image

      WebsitesUnderTheHammer 5 years ago

      Backlinks are going to be an important part of site authority for a long time

    • profile image

      ibakir 5 years ago

      haha nice article, i like the Tomato example :)

    • chookyco profile image

      chookyco 5 years ago

      Great Lense! Some interesting ideas on where to get extra backlinsk for our websites

    • Scaredycat63 profile image

      Scaredycat63 5 years ago

      Thanks! Some really good stuff here. I'm new at this. Need all the advice I can get. Bookmarked this page to read more later.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      need more work to bait new trafic for my website :)

    • mary lighthouse15 profile image

      mary lighthouse15 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this info. I found it very helpful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wonderful article and full of details. thanks!

    • BlakeH LM profile image

      BlakeH LM 5 years ago

      Thanks. I have never heard of those 3 social bookmarking sites.

    • profile image

      bartvandee 5 years ago

      Great Post, really helpful.

      Too bad Yahoo stopped with Yahoo Site Explorer. Still looking for a good one.

      Any suggestions?

    • Squidrocket profile image

      Squidrocket 5 years ago

      Very useful - thanks for the article!

    • profile image

      SallyForth 5 years ago

      Thanks for a great lens! FYI, Yahoo Site Explorer no longer exists. It has been merged into Bing Webmaster Tools. Unfortunately, it's not as good as YSE used to be.

    • genuineaid lm profile image

      Vlad 5 years ago from USA

      This is a Fun and Funny squidoo lens :)

      Good job on combining so much helpful info for backlinks.

    • NorDac LM profile image

      NorDac LM 5 years ago

      Link Baiting is one of the best ways to get links to your site and also one of the hardest. Coming up with ideas that people will want to link to can be quite a chore, and when you are done you have to start driving traffic to the page so people know it's there. But if you succeed you will be rewarded with much higher quality links that you get from most other sources.

    • profile image

      JayneAngelWings 5 years ago

      Cheers for the help and advice...loads on here to do so I had better get busy busy busy! Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The Guardian has an option where commenters can leave url clickable links. The url is actually inserted in a special box (you cannot simply paste you code into the comment section there). I tried it, and it works. The Guardian is unique in this sense. Neither Washington Post, nor CNN, nor Los Angeles Times, nor the Times, nor the NY Times provide such an option. Does anyone know other alternatives? Please, make me know about it.

    • satto76 profile image

      satto76 5 years ago

      Lots of useful info on back-linking and SEO. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @AznMichael: No, Facebook adds a no follow property to all the links you post. This means that link from Facebook don't count towards your PageRank or relevancy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      If you post links to other sites on your site, does this help your site at all? I am just starting to learn this concept of backlinking. I have a community site that has links to all the local restaurants, golf courses, etc in the area. Does this help me at all?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice read. The Link-baiting is interesting. They need to come up with a better term for it.. Link baiting sounds more like adding real, quality content. something that should be done anyway.. But the example of a mortgage calculator was great and I will be using that exact example.

    • chromegrrrl profile image

      chromegrrrl 5 years ago

      Here's a super easy one; most ISPs give their customers a free space as storage which is accessible by ftp. You can create a simple page with an index of your online articles, best blog posts and pages, lenses, etc. along with other relevant links and short blurbs, then submit that page to the major search engines for indexing.