Experts claim that links are the foundation of the Internet. The fact is that backlinks are one of the most important factors for determining search engine ranking. It is a brave statement I know but in this article let us examine the different types of links, how links are acquired, how links are regarded by the various search engines and the function of these links in determining a sites search engine ranking.
One type of link is the free editorially given link from one site to another. This is where you may be working on one site and realize that the reader will be able to benefit from visiting a more valuable freely given resource on another site. The reason may be that the information may be available in more detail but whatever the reason this action creates a link to another site. Another type of link may include affiliate banners to other merchants but these are more commercial links. The best links to receive are other editorially freely given links. There is software available which allows you to leave a quality comment on another sites blog post. Make sure the comment is a valuable contribution to the conversation and leave your website address behind. This creates a valuable editorial free link.
Links are important because they determine the reputation of your site. This occurs more so in Google than with Yahoo and MSN. Yahoo and MSN are more simplistic and count the number of links to a site. Google, on the other hand, will look at a site and the link to that site and decide how good or important that link is depending on its page rank or PR rating. Page Rank (PR), by the way, is a numeric value that represents how important Google considers a page on the web. When the link title matches the on-site topic content then it is considered a helpful link and an asset in search engine rankings.
The most important feature is that links can end up generating traffic for you. Traffic is the life blood of the internet. The linking process comes into its own when people click through to your site from links. Google asks if it is a weedy link or a strong powerful link. If the links are on topic and from valuable resources, the power of the combined number of links to your site and what they say about you will help boost rankings in the search engines.
That is the power of the link. Google ends up harvesting the power of the linking structure to rank which sites are more important and which sites are less important. The greater the number of links plus the more important the links are, the greater the value of your site in the search engines. The question now is where can I get these quality links? One way is to pay for them. You can buy listings in trusted sites or other paid for directories. However, Google has cracked down on direct link sellers and have lowered their page rank. Another way is through submitting press releases. You can send out expensive press releases. However, there is a barrier to entry because of the costs involved.
People are mostly interested in where they can get free back links. There are a number of ways you can do this. These are just some suggestions. My favorite is to write and distribute articles, like this one for example, manually to article directories such as Ezine Articles, Go Articles, Article Dashboard, A1 Articles to name a few. You can create a Squidoo lens and a Hub page. You can write and distribute free press releases. As mentioned earlier, you can create valuable blog comments. You can also link exchange with other webmasters who have sites on subjects similar to your own. You can start your own affiliate program if you were selling something. Finally you can create Web 2.0 social web links.
Some of the social Web 2.0 sites are spidered hourly or daily depending on the links. You may therefore begin to see results within hours or days but more likely weeks. Once spidered, your site benefits through better search engine rankings. It is a good idea to look for the Web 2.0 sites with high PR and enter quality content which will provide on topic links to your site. The idea is that the more links you have on topic, the better. Acquire links back to your site that do not have the ‘nofollow’ attribute. Any link with this attribute indicates to the search engine robots which spider these sites that the landing page may not be approved by the web site listing this link. The link will not contribute to the link popularity or the search engine ranking of your site. The link is not completely worthless. You can still manage traffic through this link.
Remember that search engines often use the number of backlinks that a website has as one of the most mportant factors for determining that website’s search engine ranking. However unless you can maintain the traffic and continually bring in the visitors to your site, link popularity and search engine ranking ‘really it ain’t worth a damn’.