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How to Get Readers for Your Hubs

Updated on March 20, 2017
Marisa Wright profile image

Kate Swanson wrote her first novel at 15, created her first blog in 2006 and has been writing for profit, and creating websites ever since.

If you're trying to make money online with your Hubs, one of the first things you'll read about is the importance of backlinks. Backlinks are simply links TO your Hub FROM other places on the internet.

Backlinks are essential for two reasons. One is that real people may click on them and arrive at your Hub. Bingo! You've gained a reader. However the more significant reason is that Google judges your Hub's value by the number of backlinks it has. Get enough backlinks and Google will place your Hub on page 1 of the search results - and bingo! you've gained not one, but thousands of readers!

So you need backlinks. And it won't take you much Googling to find all kinds of helpful people, eager to offer advice on how to get them, or even to arrange them for you (usually for a price...). But before you plunge in, there's something you need to know:

Google has declared war on "unnatural" backlinks

The result is that many of the backlinking advice and services currently available are outdated. They're not only ineffective, they can actually do you harm!

The practice of creating your own backlinks is now so widespread, most people think it's normal - but Google has always seen it as "rigging the election".

Why Does Google Hate Unnatural Backlinks?

Google's attitude is understandable really. The best way to explain it is with a simple analogy.

Say you're a candidate in an election. On election day, the people vote for the candidate they think is best for the job. The guy with the most votes wins.

Now say you're a crooked candidate. You pay lots of people to vote for you, and you vote several times yourself using fake ID's. The guy with the most votes - you - wins. But this time, it's not because the people thought you were the best. It's because you rigged the election.

Google sees backlinks as "votes", and the sites with the most votes win the "election" - i.e. get to the top of the search results. So naturally, they want the election to be free and fair. But webmasters discovered, long ago, that Google couldn't tell the difference between genuine votes and fake votes. So began a huge industry in ways to "rig the Google election" - by creating your own votes (backlinks).

The History of Backlinks - Directories and Social Bookmarking

The first way to create backlinks was in directories. These were just lists of websites, arranged in categories. Their original purpose was to help readers find blogs on subjects that interested them - but as search engines got better, few people used them. They became link farms - long lists of websites, submitted by webmasters to get a backlink. Eventually, Google realized that fact, and either de-indexed the directories (removed them from search results) or devalued the links. Directories went out of fashion as a backlinking source.

The "next big thing" was social bookmarking sites. The original purpose of these sites was as a place for readers to save and share links to outstanding web pages. The idea was that members wouldn't have to trawl through the search engines - they could find the cream of the internet on their social bookmarking site.

Before long, most of these sites were over-run with webmasters, bookmarking their own sites. The result today is that social bookmarking sites are no longer places to find "the cream of the internet" - few people join bookmarking sites today just for fun. And Google is well aware social bookmarking sites are primarily a place to self-promote these days, so they have now devalued the links. They're not totally worthless - but they're probably not worth the time it takes to create them.

Blog Networks and Social Networks

With social bookmarking losing its value, webmasters searched for another place to backlink. Google now placed more value on "contextual links" which are links in the middle of text, using a keyword. So for instance, using a link like Belly Dance Australia had more value than just using the website URL. So came the rise of the blog networks.

You would join the network (usually for a monthly fee) and then you could submit guest posts to all or any of the blogs on the network, and include a backlink to your website. That sounds like a fair and reasonable thing to do - like a press release, right? Not quite. For one thing, most of the blogs weren't real blogs - they were created purely to take promotional articles. As for the members, writing hundreds of articles was hard work - so they would either outsource to cheap writers, use software to create them, or steal them from other sites. Blog networks became stuffed with "splogs" (spam blogs). They contained nothing of interest to real readers, existing just to serve backlinks to please Google.

Social Networks

Alongside the blog networks came the rise of social networks. Google realized people weren't sharing links on bookmarking sites any more - they were sharing on Facebook and Twitter. So Google started giving more value to links on those sites (and launched their own Google+). In no time, people were offering to sell or trade Facebook Likes or +1's.

No, not that kind of Penguin!
No, not that kind of Penguin! | Source

The Google Empire Strikes Back

Unfortunately, Google has to rely on robots to check web pages, and they can't read. So even though these 'splogs' were full of garbage, the robots couldn't tell, and the backlinks worked for a long time.

Until early 2012. Google finally worked out a way to find the blogs on the big blog networks and de-index them. Overnight, webmasters lost hundreds of backlinks as the blogs disappeared, which meant their websites lost their position on the search engine results. It's a manual process, and Google is still working to identify more blog networks and take them down. Any network that advertises for members is a target - if you can find them, Google can find them. Only the few private networks, which recruit only by networking, run real blogs (not splogs) and set high content standards, are likely to survive.

You'll see many paid backlinking services still advertising - but to get value from a backlink, it needs to be there for the long haul. Why would you pay money to get backlinks that may last only a few months, until Google catches up with them?

But worse was to come: the Penguin update. Google had also worked out a way to identify if a website was creating "unnatural" (self-created) backlinks. The Penguin update removed the value of those links (which naturally reduced the ranking of the website they linked to). On top of that, sites which used such links heavily, were given a penalty.

Social Networking

So far, it appears that Facebook, Google+ and Twitter links aren't affected. Presumably Google hasn't yet worked out how to tell the difference between real and manufactured links. However, the practice is so blatantly advertised around the internet that Google must be aware of it - so how long will it be before they do find a way to differentiate?

Links created by other people are called "natural" or "organic" links.
Google calls links created by yourself, "manufactured" links. To identify and penalize those, Google looks for patterns of linking which could be "unnatural'.

What Are Unnatural Links?

The following have been classified as "unnatural" by Google:

Links on unrelated pages

If a real blogger is going to recommend your Hub, or use it as a reference, it's going to be on a page about the same topic. You wouldn't expect someone writing about dog washing to refer to a Hub about feather dusters, for instance. So if Google finds a link on a page that has no relevance to yours, it suspects the link was arranged artificially.

Contextual Links (anchor text)

Conventional SEO wisdom says that when you write a Hub, you should work out what keywords you're targeting and make sure you use them in headings, sub-headings etc. Then when you write articles, comments, Tweet etc to promote it, you use the same keywords.

Google has realized that if real people are recommending your Hub, there's no way every single person would use exactly the same word or phrase to describe it. In fact, they're more likely to say, "To read more about this aspect of ballet, click here."

So if Google find lots of links to your Hub, all using nicely chosen "anchor text" - and especially if it's the same every time - they'll suspect you made them.

So far, it appears that Google won't penalize you for having a few unnatural links. There's an interesting analysis in this article by Microsite Masters, showing that you're only likely to be in trouble if more than half your links fall into these categories.

So How Do I Get Effective Backlinks?

The lesson from the history of backlinking is that an excess of anything never works. Inevitably, someone will spy a loophole in Google's new algorithms and that will become "the next big thing". History tells us that "the next big thing" is the next thing Google will target, so it won't last long. You could try riding the wave while it lasts - but with Google not just devaluing links but actively penalizing websites which have used them, that may backfire.

Unfortunately, if you don't create some backlinks yourself, your Hubs risk sinking into oblivion. And there are still some opportunities, they just take more work.

Two simple and effective options are Pinterest, forums and other blogs on your topic.


When I talk about Pinterest, I don't mean pinning your own photos on Pinterest. If you have a specialist topic and can create a fascinating Pinterest board full of photos from your own Hub plus heaps of photos from elsewhere, then you can create a following - but it's a lot of effort, and if you don't have a specialist subject, the return is definitely not worth the time.

What you can do is create Made for Pinterest images for your Hubs - which will make it more likely that other people will pin your images.


Again, this strategy is effective only if you have a specialist subject. Joining lots of different forums and building enough of a reputation simply takes too long to be worth doing for just a few Hubs.

When you join a forum, get to know people and participate helpfully before you start sharing your Hubs. You may be able to add a link to your Hub or website in a forum signature, which is ideal - it means that every time you post, you get an automatic backlink. And there may be times when you can refer to a Hub in a forum post, if it's genuinely relevant (just don't overdo it and certainly don't do it until you're a well-known community member).

Forum links may sometimes be "no follow", which means they won't count with Google - but you're getting your link in front of readers who are interested in your topic, so they're likely to visit your Hub or blog. And if you've written good quality content, they may Facebook Like it, Tweet it or Pin it - all natural links which Google will like.

Other Blogs


Search for other blogs on your topic and leave comments. Don't try to leave a link IN your comment - it will just get deleted as spam. Instead, look for blogs where you're asked to fill in your name and website when you comment - your name will become a link to your site when the comment appears. Again, these may be no follow, but you're getting into a discussion with people who are interested in your subject.

Guest Posts

The most valuable backlinks are links in articles you contribute to other people's blogs (called guest posting).

Finding guest posting opportunities can be tough, but the backlinks are so valuable, it's worth the effort. Look for good quality blogs on your topic, write to the blog owner and offer to contribute a post. Suggest one or two intriguing titles to whet their appetite, and give some information on your credentials. Explain that all you want in return is a link to your own Hub or blog, either in the text of the guest post or in an author bio section.

Google used to value guest blogging links very highly. They don't now - but what you are doing is exposing your name to a new group of readers interested in your topic, and that's worthwhile.

If you notice someone has linked to your Hub or blog from an article on their website, write and thank them. You never know what other opportunities you may discover by networking with related sites.

Blogroll/Link Swapping

Sometimes you'll hear from a blogger who'd like to "swap links". If you accept, your link will be placed on their sidebar or on a Links page. Google recognizes these links as webmasters promoting each other, and doesn't give them much value. Any blogger who is link swapping may be following other strategies Google doesn't like - so on balance, I would politely decline.

Other Opportunities

There's absolutely nothing wrong with sharing your Hubs or blogs on social bookmarking or social networking sites. It doesn't really matter which one you choose, so long as you join to genuinely use the service, and not just to self-promote (which might look unnatural).

For those who are ready to get a bit more sophisticated, I recommend this article.


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    • JanisaChatte profile image


      19 months ago from Earth

      Thanks for the tips

    • Reginald Thomas profile image

      Reginald Thomas 

      21 months ago from Connecticut

      Great information in your article. Thank you. I will use it help my articles.

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      2 years ago from Sydney

      Jean, that's exactly why I don't suggest it in this article.

    • profile image

      Jean Harris 

      2 years ago

      A note about sharing your stuff on other social sites. There may be an immediate benefit as the mentions on other sites are very fresh but as those mentions fade and become unreachable their value diminishes.

      When you share something on social media you would ideally like what you share to be re-shared as much as possible but the lasting benefit comes when the page being shared is also discussed, linked to or otherwise made important on others site off the social network.

      You can't make this happen if you automate the sharing process to a social media profile that has no real viewers or has zero chance of being relayed off that social network.

      Great article Marisa!

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      2 years ago from Sydney

      I think that could very well be successful, Ken

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Marisa,

      (Hope that you are tucked in safely from Irma).

      I had one question:

      I am thinking seriously about writing a few "do it yourself" things in hub form such as "Easy Ways to Build Birdhouses," etc.

      I need your honest opinion as to would this type of hub help me generate money and help people with this hobby?

      Thanks in advance, Marisa.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      2 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thank you for the info. Will try to implement it.

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 

      2 years ago

      Wow, thank you; I just learned a lot!

    • Noa Keshet profile image

      Noa Keshet 

      2 years ago from Israel

      Thank you for a very helpful hub! It finally helped me make sense of the concept of Backlinks.

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      3 years ago from Sydney

      I think posting your Hubs on facebook would be a very bad idea, frankly. You can certainly share links to your Hubs on Facebook.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I am here refreshing myself on your great tips on getting readers for hubs and I wondered what you think about my decision to start

      posting my hubs on Facebook as well as HP.

      Is this a plus or a negative move?

      Thanks in advance.


    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      3 years ago from Sydney

      I'm definitely not a self-promoter either, which is the main reason I gave up on the idea of making a living online! I find that articles on the niche sites get fairly good traffic without much promotion so that's the main thing to aim for.

    • Frances Metcalfe profile image

      Frances Metcalfe 

      3 years ago from The Limousin, France

      Another useful hub Marisa! Looking at forums now to join. I must say I find the marketing rather exhausting, I'm not a natural at self promotion. I'd like to earn a little if I can - we'll see....

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      3 years ago from Sydney

      Thanks Ken, I hope it helped.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Very organized; To-the-point; No wasted phrases and no flowery words which were my editor's touchy points.

      Great information. Well-written.

      And the lay-out was superb. Nothing to confuse my viewing of the text.

      These are honest comments.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      3 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for the info Marisa. Will start some backlinks.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 

      4 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Gilbert AZ

      Marisa, thank you, great hub and helpful information. I'm just getting started on Hubpages, and this type of advice is helping me to be a better hubber. This is one article I'll be back to and refer to periodically. I will definitely read your related articles on this topic! Thanks a million. Bobby

    • Dianemae profile image


      4 years ago

      Great info now I need to figure out how to use it.

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 

      4 years ago from Inverbervie, Scotland

      It all sounds like a bit of a backlink minefield to me, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Great Hub, voted up.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I try to create as many backlinks as possible whether it be on forums or social networking websites I try to get the most.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      5 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Complete and easy to understand even if it is a bit disheartening. I have a blog and I will write a post on that blog on the same topic as my hub and then link to the hub (or vice versa). Is that a valid backlink? Does google automatically discount if the owner of the domains is the same?

      There is so much to learn. Thank you for helping.

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great tips, i get my readers from tsu, and other social medias that i shared with. In addition, I leave comments in other articles which get back more viewers

    • Elaine Davenport profile image

      Elaine Davenport 

      5 years ago from USA

      Marisa, thank-you for this helpful information. I'm just getting started on Hubpages, and this type of advice will certainly come in handy. A good article to go back and refer to periodically. I will definitely read your related articles on this topic!

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great hub. I never expect that backlinks were essential until i started to use them. Yeah, it did bring traffic, just a handful but better than never

    • toknowinfo profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for a well done hub and for validating some of the things I am doing. This was well put together and is full of great info.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 

      5 years ago from Australia

      Thank you - I am slowly getting my head around this, but know I will refer back to this and other of your hubs as I try to establish myself. Thank you for the much needed help!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Another excellent hub. Backlinks have always been a puzzle to me but you've made it very clear now. What Google wants is what will satisfy its customers, the ones who searches. I want to see articles that are worth reading and not those that just went up because they got a game going. I noticed before that my pages in my site got better ranked when I removed all the links to Squidoo so now I am cleaning up affiliate links as well to limit the number in each page. Is 2 to a page fine?

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      5 years ago from Sydney

      I can see why they don't. As I point out in the article, creating your own links is artificial - Google really wants genuine backlinks.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      5 years ago

      Your hub cleared up some confusion about back linking.I don't understand why Hubpages and other places don't make it easier. Just a click of button and it's done. It's almost like they don't want you to succeed.Have a great day.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      Very interesting information about backlinks and its history, what not to do and what you can do. Thank you very much! This is the clearest information about backlinks that I have ever read so far.

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      5 years ago from Sydney

      Bubblews is not a scam - there have been payment difficulties but not everyone has had trouble. I wouldn't recommend it as a long term strategy, but what it IS good for as a way to earn money from articles which won't get Google traffic (such as your opinion pieces), because it doesn't rely on Google. I'll PM you with an explanation of how you could make it work for you.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Hmmmm..interesting. Although, most of my miscellaneous blog is more opinion essays, not snippets--like 'how to fix the government,' and are too long for what I understand about Bubblews... about which, by the way, I've heard very mixed reviews, and a charge by one author here on HP that it's an outright scam, accusing that you only get paid the first time, and that they then find a myriad of excuses to deny/delay further payments. **shrug**

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      5 years ago from Sydney

      Sorry MsLizzy, I thought you were using the HubPages widget. Yes, if it's showing only animals it should be OK. As for your miscellaneous blog - your "neglect" has NOTHING to do with its lack of traffic! A miscellaneous blog will never do well and isn't even worth the effort to write. If you have small snippets which you feel driven to share, put them on Bubblews - it won't earn much but it will do better than on your blog.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      The utility on Blogspot that allows the sidebar also lets you select the type/category of post, so on my Cat's blog, I've selected for any of my articles about animals to be shown, and not others.

      That should be okay, right?

      (And you're right--my miscellaneous blog attracts very little attention, partly because it's been rather neglected in favor of putting my efforts here. Everyone says "diversify," but I can't spread myself that thin. I have too much else on my plate with hubby's health issues.)

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      5 years ago from Sydney

      MsLizzy, it's not a good idea on your Cats blog because you're showing links to unrelated Hubs, which Google won't like. On your miscellaneous blog, it won't hurt - but I'm guessing your miscellaneous blog doesn't get many visitors anyway, because they generally do very badly, so it hardly matters. Your Tweetburner is fine, you're definitely not being spamacious (I like it!)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Interesting--and a bit convoluted and perplexing of a process, I must say!

      So, is this to say that on my miscellaneous blog and on my "cat's" blog, I should NOT have a sidebar promoting my latest HP articles (It's auto-feed, and the blogs are on Google's Blogspot...)

      I also use the automatic "Tweetburner" which auto-posts all my new articles to both FB and Twitter, searching, I believe, at 1-hour intervals...But since I don't write new articles daily, there's unlikely to be a "spamacious" amount... (how do you like my new word??) LOL

    • Diana Grant profile image

      Diana Grant 

      5 years ago from London

      This is the first time I've read an article about backlinks which I have actually understood - you have written a very clear explanation, thanks.

    • Chinaimport profile image

      Kamal Mohta 

      5 years ago from Guangzhou

      Great article on backlinks. Your hub is still relevant even after 2 years, which is like a lifetime in the internet world.

      So much has changed as google diminished the value of anchor text, guest posts, blog post, forum comments and other methods for gaining backlinks. In my opinion, SEO has reduced to producing useful content and making website that is easy for robots to crawl and index.

      Once again, thanks for compiling, writing and sharing this hub which would serve as a guide for those who seek to learn about promoting their articles.

    • Pico Triano profile image


      5 years ago from New Brunswick, Canada

      Helpful information. I've bookmarked this temporarily so I can make use of your advice.

    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 

      5 years ago from India

      Voted up!! Really very interesting and helpful as I am still looking for how to get real backlinks...

    • snerfu profile image

      Vivian Sudhir 

      5 years ago from Madurai, India

      Great work Marisa, this article really tells a lot about backlinking. I am now clearer about this subject.

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      5 years ago from Sydney

      Yes I know! If you want to make a living by writing online, it's about 10% writing and 90% "other stuff", unfortunately.

    • sassypiehole profile image

      Lisa RenĂ© LeClair 

      5 years ago from the ATL

      I have so much to learn... *Sigh* I wish it could be as simple as writing & running! Between HubPages, Bubblews, my website and social media, it just seems like there's not enough time in the day ––probably because there isn't! ;-)

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Marisa this was a very helpful & informative hub. There was a lot I was still unaware of. I was using stumble upon but stopped. Voted up on your hub.

    • Shar-0n17 profile image


      5 years ago from Perth

      Thanks for a great helpful hub, They sure have made it harder now without the old backlinks

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      6 years ago from Sydney

      Yes, Stumbleupon is basically an artificial link site. It can generate traffic spikes but those visitors rarely click on ads and don't stay long, which can make your bounce rate look bad.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      6 years ago from Green Bay, Wisconsin...for now

      Marisa, thanks for this helpful information. I'd be interested to know how StumbleUpon fits into this picture. It's beginning to sound like one of the artificial back link sites. Great hub. Thanks for the help.

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Reed 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this and helping me down the path I'm on.

    • Martin VK profile image

      Martin VK 

      6 years ago from Copenhagen, Denmark

      Thanks for this great advice. You're explaining some complicated stuff in a simple way. Keep it up!

    • Earl Noah Bernsby profile image

      Earl Noah Bernsby 

      6 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      This certainly clarifies a lot, Marisa Wright! It's interesting to read up on the eternal struggle between webmasters and Google programmers!

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      6 years ago from Sydney

      Yes you did, Jess, and I'm sure that Hubber will be most grateful!

    • JessBraz profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      Holy Moly! This was so informational and helpful! Well done! I honestly had no idea there was sooo much to how Google chooses to place people I their search engine results.. It's kind of mind boggling when you really stop and think about it.

      It's funny because I actually 'back linked' another hubber just today, without even realizing that's what I was doing. lol. Someone made a comment on one of my hubs, which naturally lead me to check out their profile and found that they had posted a few really great hubs on a subject relevant to a hub I just posted.. I left him a comment and asked if he wouldn't mind if I referenced his profile/hubs.. I thought it would be a great way to give my readers a chance to get more information about a particular topic (first aid)... I guess that means I provided a back link for another Hubber? ... A natural back link? lol... I'm still trying to grasp the Google lingo.

      Very very helpful hub! Fantastic job!


    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      6 years ago from Sydney

      @Suzanne, I don't write much these days so I don't backlink much either. However, people who do this for a living tell me that backlinks can still make a huge difference (unfortunately), so if you have an article that's doing well without links, it would be doing even better with them!

      Most of my backlinks are the type which attract real readers - e.g. I'm active on some forums where I'm known as someone who offers good advice, and those people come and read my Hubs and blog posts and recommend them to others. Which I think is what you're talking about, basically.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 

      6 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Hi Marisa, great article and I liked the history of the backlinking issues. I liked someone's idea about writing groups of hubs in a niche area, and to some degree, have been following that and it does seem to help. I have given up on backlinking myself due to too much work for too little return, preferring instead just to write more articles and have fun!

      I do think that choosing a useful topic for readers is the right way to go, and I believe that whatever is trendy for backlinks will be outdated soon enough, so why bother working for nothing? Conversely, some of my "random" articles where I just put some stuff out there without any thought to keywords or backlinks in the past has done pretty well for itself. The key was obviously quality and reader engagement.

      I know if I read an outstanding hub, I'd want to comment and link with it, even if it was the 10th one on Google's search results. But I will never engage with articles that look terrible or are hard to read. Therefore going forward I suggest that it might be wise to rewrite or check anything which doesn't engage readers if you want to improve traffic (over time). It's better to have one convinced and outspoken reader who'll want to make it viral than 10 people who land on the page and leave without looking at it at all. Google will eliminate all these eventually anyway.

      PS - can't wait for the day when Google will fix the copying of hubs by identifying the original owner with either a date stamp or patent gateway for online scribblings...

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Congratulations on winning "Most Helpful Hubber Award." I believe it's hubs like this one that inspired so many to vote for you.

    • lifelovemystery profile image

      Michelle Orelup 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I wish there was a way to 'Favorite' hubs. This would definitely be included! Well done, and thank you for breaking this information into a non-technical format. Voted up!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Marisa, just cruising a few more of your hubs. I have been away for several months, and it doesn't take long to miss out on valuable information, or simply forget how things need to be done. I do need to get that domain name too, now that I am back on blogger -in reference to a response you made to my earlier comment on your other hub. Thanks for the prompt.

      Say g'day to good old Sydney for me, I spent so much time there as a child and have fond memories.

      Take care,


    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      6 years ago from Sydney

      Good to hear from someone who finds interlinking works. I think it's a great opportunity for Hubbers who have unFeatured Hubs to move them to other rev-sharing sites and interlink them.

    • Bobski606 profile image


      6 years ago from U.K

      This is a really useful article and I learned some new aspects of backlinking that I hadn't even thought about before. I love linking my articles together across the different platforms that I use and I have found that it's a great way to get my readers to my other articles where they can get related information. Voted up and thanks again :-)

    • srsddn profile image


      6 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      marisawright, thanks for posting such a valuable information specially for newbies. I agree with you that back linking done in a natural way will be more paying rather than using unfair/outdated means. Voted up.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      6 years ago from USA

      You've got a lot of good advice here. To be honest, I am ready to forget about Google. It brings a lot of traffic, but you can't totally rely on it. I'm going to start working on other avenues, which may help my Google traffic too. Thanks for all of your advice.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Great explanation on back links. Your analogy of "votes" in your explanation is the best I have ever heard! It's nice to know "the rules of the game" that we have to play with Google. I know Google is doing things for the benefit of their readers, but it is confusing to know how to promote our hubs with things changing all the time. I really found this very useful. Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing. Thank you!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      This was good clarification on backlinks, how Google treats them, and why Google de-values some. Also, good information on how to get valuable backlinks.

    • profile image

      Jennifer Suchey 

      6 years ago

      Great article with in depth insight and advice. I wouldn't expect anything less from you. In regard to back links with "real articles", I actually like that a writer has to "write quality content" to back link and promote their sites. After all, we are "writers" right?! ;)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Good info, thanks Marissa. :)

    • jericho911 profile image

      Kenneth Claude 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for the awesome hub. I learned a lot more about backlinks. I actually was tempted to look into the people advertising to give me "likes". I'll do the work myself and natural.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for such an informative hub on backlinking that's easy to understand. You've really explained things well. Backlinking can be such a confusing topic. But you've managed to explain a lot of things about it, including its history and what not to do regarding backlinks.

    • Joseph Muendo profile image

      Joseph Muendo 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks for the informative hub. voted up.

    • ceejay1980 profile image


      6 years ago

      Very informative. I think the best way to get traffic is to write 'naturally', without stuffing keywords left, right, and center! I initially fell for the trap of 'automatic back-linking' through software programs, but I now know better! Thanks for this well-researched article.

    • travelingmum profile image


      6 years ago

      Great backlink tips! Thanks!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      7 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Great hub with a lot of informations. Thanks for sharing them to us. It´s a great help for me. Voted up and more.

    • Felipe717 profile image


      7 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Great Hub Marisa! I love how you put examples of backlinks directly in your Hub.

    • Missy Mac profile image

      Missy Mac 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Wonderful! I was wondering about back links and social network connections. Thanks for the great tips! I have learned much about Google changes. I started writing as the changes started.

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      7 years ago from Sydney

      @Chris, I don't think authority is worth worrying about. You can waste a lot of time trying to get high-ranking sites to accept your post. They don't need your help so they're less likely to be responsive.

      It can be easier to get guest posts accepted by sites that are new and not ranking so well. While your posts may not get in front of as many real readers, they still count as backlinks - and as those sites rise in the rankings, their value will improve.

    • Anna Sternfeldt profile image

      Anna Sternfeldt 

      7 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

      Marisa and Everyday Miracles - you are just great!! Thank you so much for sharing all this experienced knowledge. It is so helpful.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great article Marisa. Relevance is the key to creating effective backlinks.

      But I was expecting you to mention not only the relevance, but also the authority of those link sources as well. Do you find that if makes much difference -- whether the links you get are from established sites on page 1 of Google search -- as compared to newer sites that don't rank as well?

      I apologize if you've already addressed that in the comments above. I didn't read them all yet.

      Thanks =)

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      7 years ago from Sydney

      Hi, EverydayMiracles, long time no see! Great comment, can't add a thing to it.

    • greencha profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      That's very interesting .thankyou.

    • Everyday Miracles profile image

      Becki Rizzuti 

      7 years ago from Indiana, USA

      Anna, one thing to think about is the fact that when you're writing, you should be working on building a niche (or niches -- plural) about which you write multiple articles. Obviously there are some people who follow trends, but this is easy enough to do when you're working on creating "evergreen" content. As an example, I have multiple articles about the topics The Hunger Games and The Sims 3, plus I write book reviews and write about reviewing books.

      These are all topics about which it is very easy for me to build an overall niche, writing on Hubpages, Squidoo, Zujava, Wizzley and my own personal blogs (of which there are several). Careful linking from one page to another (on a different platform) guides users through the different pages, where they can buy a product that they're interested in or learn more about the thing I'm writing about.

      As far as I've discovered, this is the single easiest way to create back links. There are other methods, but they are trickier, considering how easy it is for bloggers to delete inappropriate comments (link-dropping) or for forums to delete users who use the forums as a means to spam their links. In this way, you're totally in control of your own link content, and it works not only for the search engines, but also for guiding readers through your content.

      Hubpages is good, and I make more money here than I do on any other site, but by itself it's not enough to do everything that I want to accomplish as a writer (author, and book reviewer).

      Plus I've noticed that some topics do better on one platform than on another. I sell more books through Hubpages than through Squidoo (which is a platform people go to specifically to purchase things!), but find that longer, more interactive pieces do better on Squidoo or Wizzley than on Hubpages and Zujava. If I want feedback and to be conversational with readers, I go to my blog.

      The important thing is to know your audience, know what does well on what platform(s) and then write, cross linking from one page to another without link-loading. For example, Hubpages allows two links per domain. I tend to only use one of them, then spread things out from there. Link a hub to a lens and both back to my blog, which links out to everything, since the blog is my own personal Internet real-estate.

      Not sure if that made any sense, but that's how I do it.

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      7 years ago from Sydney

      Anna, most people don't spread their articles - but they should, for several reasons.

      One is for backlinking - you need backlinks, and although links between articles on the same site is good, they're not backlinks. You will get more Google traffic with articles interlinked on different sites, than from articles interlinked on the same site.

      Two - It's dangerous to put all your eggs in one basket, unless you own the basket. I've seen several writing sites fold, or change for the worst. was sold to people who didn't want the content, only the name, so they closed it down and all members lost their work overnight without notification. Excerptz was a victim of spammers. Factoidz defrauded its writers. There have been others.

      There's no advantage to putting all your work on one revenue-sharing site, because readers visiting sites like HubPages rarely notice who wrote the article. They're far, far more likely to read articles by other members on the same topic, than to visit your profile and read your other work. If you want to build your image as a writer, you need a blog - but remember a generalist blog doesn't work.

    • Anna Sternfeldt profile image

      Anna Sternfeldt 

      7 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

      I have been pondering on the content here for a while and I have a question that may not be completely relevant for the "link" subject discussed here, but I ask and see what you say. Marisa, you write that we could refer to articles we have on other writing sites, like Zuvaja, Wissley and Infobarre, but as a newbie on Hubpages I wonder if people usually "spread" their articles and why? Well, I can I understand the purpose getting a wider audience, but couldn't it also be a point with having your work in one place, and instead trying to spread your hubs and your profile link to forums and others in the way you describe here? But maybe that depends on how much you write and how many different subjects you cover. Would be glad to hear some short feedback on my wonders on this... You need to ask stupid questions to learn :-)

    • greencha profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      Marisa,, Thankyou,......x

    • Anna Sternfeldt profile image

      Anna Sternfeldt 

      7 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

      Great stuff! I have learned a lot by reading this hub and I am sure it will be of huge help for a lot of people, including me :-)

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      7 years ago from Sydney

      Glad to help Greencha. Not that genius - remember I've been doing this for over 5 years, and there used to be a heap of real geniuses here on HubPages, who taught me everything I know!

      By "mixing up keywords", I mean thinking of all the different words or phrases people might use to find your article, and using them all rather than repeating the same keyword all the time.

    • greencha profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      Marisa, Your a genious ,(non-patronising here). Gosh sound like Google could do with you on their board! Very helpful-- but will have to re-read. Could you kindly clarify what you mean when you mix up the key words? Thanks Ms genious.

    • dwelburn profile image


      7 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      This is the clearest, most useful article on backlinking I have ever read. Thanks for clarifying this whole thing so well. Also good to know I don't need to worry about social bookmarking sites too.

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      marisa-- sorry I didn't get around to reading this earlier- but it has helped me understand a lot more about what works, and what doesn't work these days when it comes to backlinks-- and you are correct getting a reader (a real reader) is hard work!

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      7 years ago from Sydney

      Glad my Hubbing Hubs were helpful - it is a big learning curve when you first start online!

    • Monis Mas profile image


      7 years ago

      I can honestly say this is by far THE BEST article I could find on backlinks! Finally somebody explained it the right way - simple and easy to understand. Thanks a lot!!

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 

      7 years ago

      Excellent article.

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      7 years ago from Sydney

      Shai, unfortunately you're part right and part wrong. Some kinds of "cheating" are still very effective, which is why you see spammy sites at the top of search engine results! However, Google does eventually catch up to the latest scam and close down the loophole, and those site owners have to start all over again. So in the long run, it's a whole lot easier to do the right thing!

    • HoneyBB profile image

      H Lax 

      7 years ago

      Marisa, Thank you for clarifying backlinks for me. It seems that all my hubs automatically get one backlink but I have no clue how to figure out who is linking to them. Other than that I don't get any other backlinks and it's probably because I need to do many of the things you suggested. I will definitely look into what you have said and hopefully I can figure it out. Thanks for sharing. Voted +++

    • shai77 profile image


      7 years ago

      That is complex but it makes sense. Seems it just doesn't pay to find a loophole or "cheat" because it's just going to keep bringing changes. Good advice, thanks! VU & Useful

    • toknowinfo profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for this excellent and clear cut explanation about back links. I learned a lot and appreciate your knowledge on this subject.

    • Gina145 profile image


      7 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks. This has cleared up some things I'd heard of but never really understood.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette Smith 

      7 years ago from Ocala, Florida

      Thank you for this useful hub, Marisa. I'm trying to develop an effective backlinking strategy, and your advice gives me a lot to think about regarding safe and effective backlinks after the Google changes.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      I stop trying to do the back link thing. After Penguin I had to remove all my outgoing links even the amazon capsules and redo them. I just post to FB, Twitter and Google+ nothing more. I don't even trust Redgage and certainly not SocialMonkee anymore. This is very informative, really appreciate the info.

    • ken blair profile image

      ken blair 

      7 years ago

      This is hub really very timely as a lot of us have been affected with Google updates. Thanks for explaining things well here.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      7 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      useful hub, thanks

    • Marisa Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Swanson 

      7 years ago from Sydney

      Sounds like a good book, Rock! Until very recently, the advice was to pick one or two keywords and use them as anchor text all the time - and you will still see that advice on many sites and in many older books. Google is now on the lookout for that pattern, so mixing it up is the new way to go.


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