Backlinks are a valuable asset when running a website. They are not only a source of traffic, but also an indication to search engines on the relevancy and popularity of your website. The more backlinks from high ranked sites you have, the more search engines value your site in their search results. Search results often make up 70-90% of most websites traffic, and so having good backlinks is vital for your website’s continued growth.
If you search for tips on backlinks however, you’ll most likely find page after page of useless guides on the subject, and scam sites that want to sell you “high quality backlinks”, when in most circumstances by buying those backlinks, you’ll probably damage your sites reputation with search engines, since they know full well about these services. The useless guides on this subject usually follow the same pointless set of points about buying certain links or doing certain things which are out of date methods now.
The real way of creating backlinks isn’t easy at all, it’s hard work, and boring work. There’s so much competition and spam on the internet now, that carving a good position out for yourself is challenging.
The first thing you need to do before attempting the path of backlink acquisition, is to have some research into sites that are related to the topic of your own website. This means finding out who your competitors are, and making a list of topics that are related to your main topic. This could mean that if you are running a gardening blog for example, you should make a list of all the other top gardening blogs/forums, gardening shops in your language, and then write down all the broad topics(and top websites under these topics) you can think of that encompass gardening, such as flowers, growing food, home improvement, hobbies, bird/animal watching etc. Once you have this research and a list of websites, you can start to understand where you own site fits in on the internet.
Essentially these are the current methods for getting backlinks:
Submitting to a Blog Directory –
This in my opinion is the most useless way of getting backlinks nowadays, site directories are out of date websites with no real relevancy today for how people search the internet. I don’t think search engines count these backlinks as very valuable or relevant either. The better directories often require a reciprocal link, and in reality they are getting much more out of the exchange than you are. There are only a few directories worth submitting such as Dmoz or Technorati , don’t bother with the rest.
Commenting on Do-Follow Blogs –
(most blogs are do-follow but you can get plugins for your browser to check if a site is dofollow or not/ also even if the site isn’t do-follow, the name of your website can still contribute to your general popularity and generate direct links from people who see it).
This can be one of the most rewarding ways of getting backlinks, do-follow means that a search engine will follow on the link when it crawls the site and basically give you points for being linked.The problem here is and you will know this if you run a blog, there are people who constantly spam their sites in comments all over the internet. And so the tendency now for blog owners is to delete any links they find in their comments. You need to make a very relevant comment to the article you are commenting on, to gain the trust of the blog owner, it might even be worth sending them a direct message to say you left a comment on their article, and they are free to comment on your articles with their own link, as a sort of comment link exchange.
Direct Link Exchanges –
This is where you and another website agree upon putting each others link in a prominent(or not so prominent) place on your website. This is a technique that gives rewards as well as risks. You don’t want to do this too much. Generally speaking a common rule of thumb around many websites is that you shouldn’t have more than 100 links on a page, even to your own site. I think this is still a fair rule to follow, and so you need to discipline yourself with what link exchanges you do. Ideally you don’t want to do an exchange with a small website, you ideally want to maximize your space for links with the best link exchanges possible. Of course if you are small site yourself, other big sites won’t want to link exchange with you. So this is really an evolving process of finding sites that match yours in topic and popularity, and altering/expanding your links as you gain popularity.
Another point is that if you run a site with hundreds or thousands of pages, it’s probably best to keep all your link exchanges on one page, rather than appear on the template for every page you have. A search engine will notice the large amount of links to one site and possibly start to consider your site as a type of link-farm if you do it too much. Link farms are sites specifically made to just link to other sites, in a way to game search engines, they might have worked in the past, but now with the advancement of search engine companies, these sites get penalized heavily in search results.
Posting on Forums –
This is another method that can be very rewarding. From your research you should have identified at least a few forums on the internet that will relate to your website’s topic. You can then make an account to post on the forums you find.
Don’t just start posting about your website in everything you post on a forum. Instead, join in and contribute to threads properly to create credibility. To start with just place your website address on your profile and possibly in your signature(some websites have different rules for this so check them out).
Only really post a direct conversation about directing people to your website, once you have enough credibility through normal posts, and even then you might need to specifically ask an admin for the ability to do so. People who just join forums and post their links, often get banned and their posts moderated, since just like with blogs, people go around the internet spamming their links everywhere. People don’t like spam, so don’t appear the same as the spammers.
There are a lot of websites on the internet now that offer an easy backlink solution, where you pay a set fee and they get some “quality” backlinks for you. Never trust these websites, they are not worth the money spent. It is always a scam, they basically prey upon users who don’t know much about how backlinks work and are too lazy to work on creating them. There is no easy way to getting a successful site on the internet, it is all hardwork, contacts and luck, just like with any business.
User Profile Linking
This is a reasonable way of getting backlinks, but I’m not sure about the real benefit to it, at the very least it’s worth your time, because it’s one of the easiest ways of getting your link out there. Basically it involves signing up for a profile on any of the big popular websites and placing your link in the profile section of where it asks what your website is, or in the about section.
Some of the obvious ones that you should definitely create profiles for your website are Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google+ . You’ll want these sites to work on your social networking for your website, and they can be a great start for building up a valued repeat visitor userbase.
There are countless other websites that let you have profile links, so basically just check the websites you use every day and use those to spread your link. One other type of website worth posting your link on, in a similar fashion to user profiles, are bookmarking websites/link recommenders. These are becoming more popular and so sites like stumbleupon and delicious can be another good starting place for placing your links without trouble.
So hopefully you’ve got some useful ideas about starting with your gathering of backlinks, and the right avenue to go down. Ultimately the best thing you can do, is keep created detailed content for your website, research and identify sites that relate to yours, network and contact other websites and try to get your link out there to at least 5 decent websites per day when you start out. It’s all about building up your site steadily and not acting like a spammer or an annoyance to other people, afterall you yourself wouldn’t want people spamming your website with unwanted links, so act properly with others, and you will hopefully reap the rewards of success with your own site. Best of luck and thanks for reading.