ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Search Engine Optimization: Backlinks & How to Create Them

Updated on October 31, 2016
Backlinks to a site increase trust and visibility in search
Backlinks to a site increase trust and visibility in search | Source

Introduction

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-changing discipline, and the art and science of getting a website onto the first page of search results is something that every SEO expert wants to achieve.

Although the details of how Google and other search engines rank a website are closely guarded secrets, everyone involved in SEO agrees that backlinks are a very important factor in ranking.

Backlinks are one of the most powerful ways that search engines find out about quality content. Having good backlinks to your website will increase your rank in search results and ultimately attract more visitors.

This article explores what backlinks are and provides practical advice on how to create backlinks and increase your website's visibility. We'll explore:

  • What is a backlink?
  • What is it that makes backlinks important and valuable for SEO?
  • Are backlinks good for human visitors too?
  • What is the best way to get backlinks?
  • What are some other methods that can be used to get backlinks?
  • Posting links to your articles on link submissions sites
  • Sharing on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and more
  • Commenting on blogs and forum posts
  • Guest blogging and posting
  • Sharing your expertise
  • Other areas

What is a backlink?

A backlink is simply a link to your website or other online content that comes from another website. An example of how a backlink is created would be:

  • You write an article about, for example, simple website navigation and publish it on your website.
  • Someone else puts together a guide to creating the perfect website and whilst researching they come across your article, read it and enjoy it and believe it would be a good resource for their readers.
  • In their guide, they include a sentence like: 'If you want to find out more about simple website navigation, check out this article' <includes link to your website>.

That link, from their website to yours, is a backlink.

The more high-quality backlinks that there are to a website, the higher it is likely to rank in search results as each backlink is a positive signal for that content
The more high-quality backlinks that there are to a website, the higher it is likely to rank in search results as each backlink is a positive signal for that content | Source

What is it that makes backlinks important and valuable for SEO?

Among other things, search engines use backlinks as a measure of a website's popularity and quality. Google and their competitors use the number and quality of backlinks to help them judge and rank the relevance and value of the content of a website and specific pages on that site.

More backlinks from reputable sources means that the search engines will regard your content as important and worthwhile, meaning that they are more likely to show it in their search results.

Are backlinks good for human visitors too?

Yes, backlinks are a great way for readers to find relevant, related information without having to look too far. Anything that improves a reader's experience on a website is worth considering.

When you write content, it's always a good idea to include backlinks to other content on your own site and around the web. This will enhance the information that you provide to your audience.

The best backlinks come about naturally
The best backlinks come about naturally | Source

What is the best way to get backlinks?

The very best way to get backlinks is to write excellent content. Articles that are worthwhile to readers are more likely to be shared and referenced by them, both on social media and from other websites.

This means that great content will naturally gather backlinks over time, increasing its value in the search engine rankings. Although this is the best way to get backlinks, it isn't the easiest or the quickest and there are other methods.

What are some other methods that can be used to get backlinks?

Other methods of gaining backlinks vary in ease of use and how effective they are. You should use these methods sparingly and not become overly reliant on just one or two techniques.

Posting links to your articles on link submissions sites

Sites such as StumbleUpon, Reddit, SheToldMe, Red Gage, Delicious, BizSugar and more allow users to submit links to articles that other site users can discover.

Because anyone can post links to these services, the backlinks from them are not considered especially valuable. You should also review the terms of each of these sites to find out about their link submission guidelines.

Sharing on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and more

If you have a following on social media that's interested in your content, it's worth sharing your links and articles there.

If the information is relevant to your audience, they may share your posts onwards, further increasing the reach and visibility of your website.

If you're going to post links on social network sites, ensure that you do so responsibly
If you're going to post links on social network sites, ensure that you do so responsibly | Source

Commenting on blogs and forum posts

If you find content related to your website on a blog or forum, and you believe that readers would be interested, you can leave a comment together with a link back to your site.

Be careful when using this technique and make sure that any links you post are relevant and valuable to other readers.

Guest blogging and posting

Although guest blogging is being devalued by Google, there can be some advantages to writing guest posts.

You should find a guest blog that covers a niche closely related to your own and write very relevant, focused posts that can include a link back to your content.


Fact about blogging

  • Three quarters of us read a blog every day
  • 70% of us say that blogs influence the things that we buy
  • There are four times as many search pages for businesses that have a blog and a blogging strategy, as those without


Places to find guest blogging opportunities

There are many sites out there that can put good writers and reputable blog sites in contact with each other, to create a high-quality guest blogging experience, for writer, publisher and the reader of the blog; some of the most popular ones are:


Guidelines for guest bloggers

  • Search Google for high quality blogs (i.e. those that are well ranked, with authority and engaged readers)
  • Read the guest posting and quality guidelines for the blog
  • Contact the blog owner or other nominated contact
  • Explain something about yourself, your skills, expertise and experience for writing content
  • Suggest some topics for guest posts that they might want to see
  • When writing your post, ensure that you create useful, worthwhile, valuable content that servers a purpose
  • Don't stuff your content with keywords or over-optimize it; write for people, not Google
  • Include a link to your author bio, Google Plus page or other website in your byline / footer


Things to avoid

If you want to avoid a Google slap for spammy posts, make sure you avoid the following:

  • Getting only 'dofollow' links from the blog
  • Accept money for guest posting (Google doesn't like paid sites)
  • Use 'spun' guest articles
  • Provide low quality content


Things to remember about guest blogging

You, the blog and the reader will get the most value out of your guest posts if:

  • Your content aligns with the overall subject of the blog
  • You provide high-quality, well written, unique content
  • The content is of use to the readers of the blog and engages them
  • The content is not spammy and doers not contain overly optimized keywords or links

Sharing your knowledge is a good way to increase your reputation and that of your website
Sharing your knowledge is a good way to increase your reputation and that of your website | Source

Sharing your expertise

Question and answer and content sites such as Quora, WebAnswers, HubPages and more can be a good place to demonstrate your expertise and experience.

If you answer questions or write articles there, you can often link back to your own content, providing relevant backlinks.

Are there any areas or techniques that should be avoided when creating backlinks?

Google and other search engines are getting smarter about devaluing backlinks from certain areas. You should generally avoid getting backlinks by the following means:

  • Article directories - These have been hit hard by Google updates and links from article directories are generally of very low value.
  • Blanket posting / 'spamming' your links - Seeing lots of links to content appearing over a short period of time is a red flag to the search engines. Artificially posting and sharing your link extensively over a few days will devalue all of the links.
  • Posting to irrelevant sites - You should only share links to your content where the links will be appreciated. This means only posting links into highly relevant communities, blogs, forums or other online destinations. If it's not relevant to the audience, don't post it.

You can use Google Webmaster Tools to understand who is linking to your website and content and if you find undesirable links, you can use the webmaster 'disavow' tool to get Google to ignore them.

Increasing trust in your backlinks

There is an increasing importance and authority that Google is giving to 'Trusted Sites' - These are sites that Google considers to have high-quality, relevant, easy to understand, valuable content. Points to consider include:

  • Whether a website that links to you will provide additional, quality traffic to your site
  • How would you feel if a person went to the site linking to you and found your business listed there?
  • Is it easy to add your site? If it's too easy to add your site, the chances are that it won't help your SERPs ranking
  • Does the site linking to you relate to the business you are doing? Context is very important

How to build backlinks by Matt Cutts (Google Expert)

What's your favorite techniques for building backlinks?

See results

In closing

Naturally occurring backlinks that point to great content are the most effective way to increase your visibility in search results.

Using these techniques can increase your ranking on the search engines and ultimately get more visitors to your website.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      jivansutra 

      22 months ago

      Great article. You have touched every aspect of backlink building.

    • Taranwanderer profile image

      Taranwanderer 

      3 years ago

      Excellent post. I always tell people not to concern themselves with dofollow links exclusively; the truth is, a natural link profile is what matters most to Google's spiders.

      https://hubpages.com/business/Link-Building-for-Se...

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Very informative and interesting. Thank you for the tips. Voted up and shared. Keep on writing. All the best.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)