So they’ve picked up your site and now what? After frantically looking for your website on the search engines, it’s nowhere to be seen. We’ve all seen this and it’s totally demoralizing when you find your page rank is non existent or is your page rank is much lower than you’d have wanted but have you got your backlinks set up?
Getting a good number of these links from highly ranked websites is utmost importance when trying to get your website ranked yourself. Its like getting a recommendation from someone who has is already established him or herself as a person recognised in their field and the more recommendations you get the better as the search engines will total these up and calculate via their algorithms your own page rank. Not only that, the more important the website that is giving you a backlink, the more valuable your backlink will be to Google when they come to calculate your page rank.
Right, still with me? Now here’s how the backlinks can get even more valuable. If you get your backlink from a site that has few outbound links then that makes your link more valuable. If you get your link from a site that is in the same niche as yours or is relevant to your site, then that is a big tick from Google. If your backlink anchor text uses the same keywords as the most relevant keywords in the content of your website then this makes it even more valuable.
OK now that we have established that backlinks will help us get ranked on on search engines, how do we start to get these links?
The first way I’d recommend is to use the Open Directory project or Dmoz as its known. This is a kind or catalogue of the web so any URL’s that get listed in it get automatically recognised by Google as being a website worthy of a higher page rank, being listed will give you a free high quality backlink. There are other directories like Dmoz but this is favoured as being the best one. Other places for a quality backlink would be relevant forums and article directories. You send them a decent article and you will get a quality backlink in return. Again it costs no money for the link and the more reputable the site your submitting to, the better the backlink you will receive.
Lastly a good way to get to get quality backlinks is, if your selling a product, then offer an affiliate program. If someone sells your product through their site then you would automatically get a backlink from them as they are referring potential customers back to your site. Not only that as the backlink is only one way, it will be a better backlink. The only problem with this though is that its not free and you would have to payout commissions on any sales made from referrals.
Can some backlinking strategies affect your page rank?
Over the years as some webmasters have tried to compete in heavily competitive niches, they’ve used backlinking methods which Google has frowned upon and are labelled as being bad or black hat techniques. This would include doing things like, creating websites with many outbound links to another one of your websites or creating link farms. Also using link exchanges are now considered bad practice as the relevance between content of the sites can differ greatly therefore dropping the value of the link drastically. Remember Google would prefer it that sites link to each other are relevant and have related content.
Careful also of sites which link to you as these sites maybe already have a poor page rank within the search engines therefore dropping the value of your own page rank. Backlinking is an interesting subject and fun as there is an exploratory element to it. You can potentially make very good contacts and friends from the work involved, just beware of some the pitfalls and not get your site banned from Google altogether.