Backlinks and SEO
Backlinks are widely known as a significant part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) however, not all backlinks are created equal. This guide will help you understand how to evaluate the effectiveness of various backlinks and how to get the best backlinks for your time and effort.
What is relevancy? This first thing to keep in mind when looking for backlinks is the relevancy which is closely related is your site and the site your backlink is coming from. In other words; if your website is www.naturalvitamins.com a backlink from a site like www.naturalhealthdirectory.com will be far more relevant and much more valuable than a backlink form something like www.joesgenericdirectory.com. If you would like to learn more about link relevancy (recommended) please check out the guide: Relevance, authorities of information, and linking. (a fantastic guide put together by my friend Shayne Fisher)
So are general directories worth submitting to? Well, yes and no. Some certainly are, others, not so much. To determine which directories are worth while there are a couple things you can look for:
- If a directory promotes links specifically meant to build “SEO Value” they probably have been or will be devalued by Google.
- Does the directory rank for it’s own name? (not joesgenericdirectory.com but “Joe’s generic directory”) if they do not then you can be pretty sure that they are not going to provide any value with a link to your site.
- Remember, a niche specific directory is pretty much always going to be a lot more valuable to your rankings and traffic volume than a general directory.
So how do I get better backlinks?
There are many strategies in building better backlinks and there are few right and wrong answers. Basically any link from a related website is almost certainly going benefit your website. Here are some strategies you can use:
- Blog Comments: People write blogs on just about ever topic known to man and many and search engines usually like blogs because of the frequently updated and fresh content. In addition there are some great tools that can help you find niche related blogs such as Google’s Blog Search and Google’s Search Operators. (be sure to leave meaningful comments or you will just be considered a spammer)
- Forum Comments: A forum is a discussion based site usually dedicated to a specific topic, when you join a forum you need to create a signature which can include a link to your website and anytime you comment a link to your site will be added. (be sure to leave meaningful comments or you will just be considered a spammer)
- Reciprocal Links: While many search engine optimization marketers have said that such links cancel each other out, I have come to the conclusion that that is not entirely the case. If you are able to build several reciprocal links with various niche related sites you become part of a network of related sites which can certainly help your rankings (see Shayne’s Guide mentioned above to learn more.)
- High Quality Directories: Yes some directories are valuable such as DMOZ and the Yahoo Directory.
- Create & Share some Link Bait: if you have something interesting and unique that you can share on your site many website owners will be interested in linking to it. Some examples: Funny Videos, Interesting Articles, Free Graphics, etc.
- Be Creative: These are just a few ways to build links, there are many other ways