In SEO (Search Engine Optimization) circles, there is a lot of talk about this thing called backlinks. And if you are new to the world of Internet Marketing (IM) or have just launched your first website, you may not understand exactly what they are or even how crucial they are if you are looking for very high Search Engine rankings on Google.
If your web business will use paid advertising such as AdWords, AdBrite or Yahoo’s paid ads, then backlinks are something that you do not need to worry about. So, let’s assume that you are going to be relying on decent organic rankings in Google (they are the free ones) and you need to get your site high up on Page 1 of Google – preferably #1 – but you don’t understand this SEO business or using backlinks and your new web business can’t yet afford someone doing this mysterious art for you.
In brief, a backlink is a hyperlink (a link that can be clicked on) on a site somewhere else on the web that links back to your website. In its simplest crudest form, that is a backlink.
Unlike Bing and Yahoo which are more driven by factors on your site (though together they hold less than 25% of the search engine market), Google uses backlinks (on other sites) to figure out if your new site on, say, Siamese fighting fish, should rank highly on their search engine results or not.
Google will consider the so-called anchor text in the link (the word or phrase that is linked) and the authority of the site that the link is coming from to determine how highly or lowly your site should rank. And when it comes to Google organic search engine results, backlinks are pretty much all you have to influence the ranking success of your site.
Your next question should therefore be, how can I get these backlinks for my new Siamese fighting fish site? Back in the prehistoric age of the Internet, you would approach other webmasters and politely ask for a link on their website and in return you would offer one on your site to theirs.
Today, that’s impractical for many reasons. Firstly, Google hates what it calls reciprocal links where sites link to each other so those links will have virtually no value. Secondly, you now need link volume to get traction in Google as most sites on Page 1 of Google will usually have a hefty volume of links (think in the hundreds and thousands) if the particular keyword or search term is worth ranking for.
There are some other factors to consider such as whether the links are dofollow or nofollow, the PageRank of the site where the backlink comes from and having backlinks from a big variety of sites. Contrary to a lot of SEO advice, I have never found the relevancy of a backlink site’s topics to my site a factor at all in gaining linking power but consistency of linkbuilding is extremely important.