Get Backlinks: Growing Your Website Link Profile

Steven6 responsesSEO
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In the eyes of Google, backlinks are almost more important than your content when it comes to determining your site’s ranking. Almost, but not quite. Because without content you would have anything to link to. And, since the best backlinks are natural backlinks, your content has to be top-notch.

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The Best Backlinks Are Natural Backlinks

Backlinks coming from other blogs and website are the most valuable because they signal to Google that those other sites place a high value on your content. High enough that they’re willing to link to you and refer you to their readers. Each of those incoming links carries a little authority with the search engines and the more you have the higher you rank.

If you think about it, these other bloggers are taking a big risk. At any time you could change that page they’re linking to and put up an ad for Viagra or next new diet pill and they’d lose their credibility with their readers. Google understands this and that’s what makes those links so valuable – the fact that those other bloggers are willing to take that chance with your site.

Natural backlinks are also valuable because those other bloggers use all kinds of anchor text when they link out to you. Most are relevant keywords, which help with your SEO, but not all. Regardless, they have a higher click through rate, bringing you more traffic, because they appear naturally within the content of that other blog and that blogger is recommending you to his readers.

Self-Generated Backlinks

You can also generate your own backlinks using off-site properties like Weebly blogs, Squidoo lenses, HubPages and other types of Web 2.0 properties. These links are just as valuable and carry the same link juice but there’s one word of caution: Google watches for unnatural looking links.

If you’re using these other platforms for linkbuilding purposes you have to pay attention and make your links look natural. Don’t have too many coming from the same page and landing on the same page. Vary your anchor text. And instead of building ten Squidoo lenses, spread out over ten different platforms.

The same holds true for other types of self-generated backlinks that you build with article marketing and blog and forum commenting. Vary your anchor text and link deep into your blog instead of always linking to your homepage or squeeze page.

Google understands that bloggers are going to build backlinks but they don’t necessarily approve. They’d prefer that all of your incoming links were natural, as a result of your stellar content. For that reason it’s important that you do everything you can to make all of your incoming links look natural. Avoid paid links, period, and be careful with link exchanges.

If you focus your attention on creating content that other bloggers want to link to, you won’t even have to worry about how to get backlinks to your website. They’ll just come in naturally.

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  1. Allie

    Natural. Ok.

    Sometimes I picture these links in the forest being all natural. Or those Foster Farms chickens- they are all natural. LOL.

    Seriously, there are sites that are in my niche and well respected in which I can pay to have my link on their sidebar. They call it advertising. I think it is ok, is it?


    1. Allie, be careful with paid links… If they are do-follow, this is against Google’s TOS. In case they bust you, you can get your whole site de-indexed. On the other hand, if the links are no-follow, it defeats the purpose of purchasing these links.

  2. Interesting, Steven. I get approached a lot with offers of reciprocal linking, but I have avoided them. I only want to link to relevant content. I don’t want to link to someone just because they link to me.

    1. I usually ignore requests for reciprocal links. It doesn’t bring much in terms of SEO or visitors. Appearing on a list of 20 or 30 blogs in the sidebar of an unknown blog is not going to help…

  3. Sherry

    Well, stellar content! I just restarted my blog and the wordpress note on the dashboard keeps reminding me I have no links yet. Sigh….

    Also, is the term ‘organic’ passe now? Are we going with ‘natural’?

    Cheers! Thanks for all the effort you put into this post.

    1. Hello Sherry, and good luck with your blog reboot :)

      Don’t worry, organic and natural are both used.

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