Building Backlinks for Search Engine Optimization - Beginners Guide

Information on SEO and Backlinks - Building backlinks that count

SEO or search engine optimization can be divided into two parts:

On-site SEO, which makes up roughly 10 to 15 percent of your SEO campaign, and

Off-site SEO, which can be defined quite simply as Link Building and this is what should make up the other 85 to 90 percent of your SEO campaign.

A little about the importance of backlinks

Links that point to your site are counted by search engines as votes for your site and your sites popularity is mostly based on the amount of votes your site has, but also on the quality of the site that is "voting" for you. The authority of the site linking to you is important, high PR sites carry a little more authority and so on.

Below we will look at the different things you can do to increase the number of backlinks that point to your blog, site or article.

Things You Will Need

For link building you need time and determination, you will also need patience. Building quality links takes time and effort but the results will be well worth it.

Step 1

Backlinks - Quantity or Quality?

Ranking well in search engines means building or increasing links to a well optimized site. You can rank quite well with fewer quality links than you can with many less authoritive links but when it comes down to it, quantity is also important, because Google considers your backlinks as "votes" a large amount of the less high quality links will also improve your search listings. Both types of links count.

How do you know a Quality Link?

Quite simply, quality links are the links that are hardest to get, these are the links from older, established domains, the links from high PR (page rank) sites and from official sites and top ranked sites. Basically these are the links everyone wants but few get, at least at first.

The best approach to link building is to get as many as you can of the quality links and also build on the other types of links too, the lower PR sites or the "easy" links. A mixture of both types of links would be considered normal for any site.

Note - with a new site building backlinks should be made to look natural, a new site should not get 1000 links on the first day it is published, especially of the lower quality variety. You do not want to appear as if you are spamming or buying links.

Step 2

Information about Building Links

Building backlinks for beginners

  • Links from older, established sites are better links, they pass more authority to your site
  • Build links from sites that are closely related in topic to your own, google takes the content surrounding your link into consideration too
  • Use the keyword you want to rank for in the search engines as your links anchor text
  • Links from inside the content of a page also give more authority than links from other areas of a site, for example, a link from a blog post will be considered more important that a link in a blogroll
  • No Follow is sometimes followed by google and yahoo in general tends to ignore the no follow rule, so if you have the chance for a no follow link - take it
  • Pages with less outgoing links pass more authority than, for example, a link from a sites "link page" with hundreds of listed links
  • Anchor text in links is very important, even for links within your own site, use your keyword when linking to your pages instead of words like "read more" or "click here"
A good way to get people to link to you using the anchored text and keywords you want is to simply have a "link to us" page on which you can include and number of pieces of code for your links. Anyone who then wants to link to you simply copies and pastes your code on their site and you will then have the link you want with the keywords you want used.

Step 3

How to get the Easy Links

Here are some ways many people use to build backlinks, many of these methods are quite easy but are also of the lower quality variety

  • Link to your content from your social profiles like Twitter, Facebook, my space, Linked in (note: Linked In allows you to choose the anchor text for your link)etc
  • Submit your content to social bookmarking sites like stumbleupon, sphinn, digg and reddit
  • Comment on blogs, useful comments are less likely to be deleted so don't spam
  • Set up friendfeed, add your friends and your content
  • Exchange links with other related sites, these are in most cases low quality links because you are basically exchanging authority not passing it
  • Submit your blog or site to directories
  • Add your link to your forum signatures

How To get Higher Quality, One Way Links Links

These links are of slightly better authority
  • Submit articles to article directorys with your link in the content
  • Ask your friends with sites to give you a link, even better make a lot of online friends with similar interests who write on similar topics, you may not even have to ask them to link to you once you have built up strong relationships and trust with them
  • Write a press release for your blog or site
  • Write articles for hubpages and Infobarrel and link to your site in your article
  • Guest post on other blogs
  • Run a competition on your blog
  • Offer free, unique content to others in exchange for a link
  • Email a related site that you visit often and request a link (you may get ignored, but it is worth trying, wording your request the right way and offering positive feedback on the site may help)

Step 4

Extra Tips for Link Building

My thoughts on Link building

Personally, link building is my least favourite aspect of search engine optimization, I hate direct link exchanges and rarely participate in them. On my own site and blogs I tend to give links when I feel the content I am linking to is of good quality and closely related to my topic.

I also tend to link to my readers, and the people who leave regular informative comments and feedback and I will often link to others that link to me, if they don't announce it or ask straight out for a link in return.

So for anyone who is hoping to build links, commenting and regularly visiting a site you actually really like will help you to build up a relationship with the author, even if you have never had any other form of communication with them.

One thing about bloggers especially is that they have a habit of checking their stats a lot, with beginners particularly, this can be as often as several times a day, so if you do link to someone's blog or visit often and participate in the comment conversations, they are aware of you, you are showing up in their stats and they will very likely have checked you out. That in itself is a good thing, building a social network is also a way of building your links, people tend to link to people they like and respect.

I hope this article has given you a few ideas to start your link building, just remember, link building is not something you can do for one week or even one month and move on. It should be an ongoing part of your SEO campaign and having a plan for promoting your content is as important as the content itself. Allow your self time in your schedule to activly promote and build links, work it in somehow and while you are at it, work on your networking skills, sometimes its not always what you know but who.

Tips & Warnings