As we established in our previous post “What are backlinks?”, high quality incoming links are essential to the success of your website. However, getting those links poses a major problem for many site owners and they don’t know where to start. Luckily we are here to help. This week we are going to provide an overview of some of the most effective white hat methods of generating high quality incoming links by presenting five ways to get backlinks. Then, over the next few weeks, we will look at each of these in turn and provide some more detailed reviews of each resource, providing recommendations concerning which sites to use and how to maximize their impact. Make sure you subscribe to our RSS feed in order to keep up to date on our blog postings.
When we talk about natural backlinks we are effectively talking about links that other people post to your site without you specifically requesting that they do so. These are pretty much the best links you can get because they are a good indication that people like your site and because the links will appear more randomly that links that are created using other methods they will look good in the search engine’s eyes. Attracting natural backlinks involves several methods:
- Producing high quality content that people want to share with others. You should give “[customers] what they want (interesting, new stuff) instead of what you need (frequency)”.
- Effective website marketing
- Offering something unique that other sites do not have
- Offering people a motivation to link to your site
Over the next few weeks we will share some specific ideas for attracting natural backlinks.
Submitting your site to directories
One excellent method of producing backlinks and increasing the exposure to your site across the web is through directory submission. Getting listed in directories like DMOZ is an absolute must. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of directory services out there and it will take time and patience to manually submit a link to your site to them. However, don’t be tempted to use a paid directory submission service. They use automated software to submit your site to numerous directories and, while this is more convenient, you have no control over the quality of the directories that your site will appear in and widespread instant posting in directories will be viewed suspiciously by search engines like Google. Unfortunately, when it comes to web search optimization, the difficult, time consuming approach is always the best one to take. We have a number of directories that we prefer for site submission and we will share reviews of these with you in a few days.
One very good method of attracting backlinks is through writing specialist articles about your product and services and posting them in article directories. These sites allow you to post your article online and , although they won’t allow you to promote your own website content directly in the article itself, they do allow you to write a short biographical entry at the end of the article within which you can include a link back to you site. There is an added advantage to these sites. Many of them encourage syndication of articles. This means that they allow people to copy the articles and place them on their own sites. When you post your article you have the option to allow syndication of the article. You should always allow this. If you article is copied by other websites you will gain a further link every single time this happens. In addition to this, you are gaining further exposure throughout the Internet and may attract more traffic. A word of warning though. Never use content from your own site in the articles that you publish. This will create duplicate content on the Internet and search engines don’t like it. If you want to rewrite one of your blogs or news articles by all means do so, but do not copy and paste the same content.
Posting comments in blogs and forums
One very popular method of increasing backlinks is to write comments on blogs and in website forums with a link to your own site included within the comment. These links can be very effective if the blog or forum is a respected one. However, finding these blogs can be extremely time consuming and you can’t always be assured that your link will be published. Many website owners remove comments that contain links and this means that you can waste a great deal of valuable time writing hundreds of comments that will never see the light of day. There are companies that offer to create backlinks through writing comments on your behalf. As usual, this should be avoided. The long and short of it is that generating a high ranking takes time and effort. Any company that claims they can do this for you quickly and easily is undoubtedly using methods that deviate from search engine rules and although you may see short term results, it won’t be long until the engines catch up with you and your site plummets in the rankings or is removed completely.
It is also imperative when posting in blogs and forums that you check whether or not links posted on the site are “DoFollow” or “NoFollow”. DoFollow links are ignored by search engines and therefore will not count towards your backlink count.
Press releases are very similar to article submissions in that you can gain an incoming link by writing a release and publishing it online. Press releases do allow you to sell yourself and your businesses and services but not many of them include “Do follow” links. Obviously in order to publish a press release you need some news and for this reason they are not something you can do as often as publishing articles. We will write some posts on good sites to submit your press releases to in the forthcoming weeks.