One of the most important jobs in SEO is building backlinks. Quality backlinks are essential to a site's SEO success and the question in the minds of many webmasters is how to get backlinks. Unlike keyword optimization, or title tags and descriptions the backlink process is not in the site owner's control. The website owner must rely on someone else to link to their site as opposed to linking themselves. However, there are methods to build backlinks that are acceptable to search engines and controllable for the most part by the website owner.
Organic Backlinks are Great
Perhaps the most effective backlink type at least according to search engines is the organic backlink. That occurs when you have a site of such quality that other sites link to you naturally with no link in return. There is no negotiation or trade involved in organic backlinks, your site generates them by being top quality and providing useful information. Of course, you cannot always control what type of site gives you an organic backlink and usually organic or natural backlinks are insufficient to provide all the incoming links a site will need. That is when other types of backlinks are useful and knowing how to generate those other types of backlinks can help boost SEO efforts.
More Ways to Build Backlinks for Your Website
Incoming links do not necessarily begin and end with organic backlinks. There are other sources of backlinks such as article directories, online press releases or content exchanges, which also can provide backlinks for a website.
- Being listed in directories is an excellent way to generate quality backlinks for a website. Directory site inclusion is usually free but the wait may be as much as several months.
- Article directories are excellent for providing quality inbound links. Backlinks come at a price though, since you provide free articles for the article directory and in return, they provide a quality inbound link for your site. Choose the article directories carefully to maximize your effort. Respected sites with good page ranking will provide excellent backlinks while less reputable sites provide little.
- Content exchange can be as simple as offering your RSS feed on your site to other sites. This provides your site with backlinks at potentially provide the website with visitors who come to read the rest of your article.
- Forum posting may or may not be an excellent way to provide backlinks. True forums are crawled frequently but many of them do not permit links within forum posts and too many inbound links from forums may be considered spam. Some forums put a "no follow tag" on links in the forum. What this means are the search engine robots will not follow the link and it will do your site little good if that is the case.
- Press releases may provide good backlinks for a site but there has to be something newsworthy to write about so it is not used regularly in building backlinks but instead reserved for special occasions when major news or changes occur.
How not to Build Backlinks?
Link exchanges have long been honored as the basis of building backlinks. Unfortunately, link exchanges have become riskier as search engines began penalizing link farms and those sites that specialized in selling links. In that case, exchanging links can prove disastrous and harm far more than it can help.
Link ratios are another factor since the majority of backlinks should not be reciprocated by a link in return. Unbalanced linking can hinder SEO and page rank.
The content on a site, which you link to, is also a source of concern in link exchanges. A site which is spammy or which has been penalized by search engines for using black hat SEO techniques or any other "offense", in other words what they have done that you may not even know about, can affect your site. This is called linking to "bad neighborhoods" and can put your SEO efforts back significantly.