No Website Is An Island - Back Linking is Essential for SuccessCreating back links to your website is one of the best ways to gain a higher ranking in the search engines. Almost any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert will agree with this point. The SEO experts will also tell you that your placement in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) can make or break your website.
It is commonly thought by many that if your website does not rank on one of the first two pages of the SERPs that your website will rarely be seen by visitors. For most people searching the web, this means that you must be in the top 20 search results. Think about it, when you do a search and you cannot find what you are looking for after a couple of pages, what do you do? I know what I do, I type in a different keyword or a variation of what I was looking for in hopes of getting better results.
Google and Yahoo love to see a website that has back links leading to it. You can check this for yourself, take a look at a popular keyword phrase that everyone is trying to get ranked for. Most likely you will see that the top few sites have a large number of back links leading to that site. Conduct your own case study and look at your #1 competitor; does that site have more back links than you do? You can determine the number of back links that a site has by entering the following into the search engine of your choosing: link:http://www.yourdomainurl.com
Of course back links are just one part of the equation, but they are a big part of the equation in getting good SERP results. So, if creating back links is such a good idea, why isn't everyone doing it? Well, not everyone is doing it, because it can be a real pain to create back links.
Let's look at some of the more common methods of building back links:
* Email A Fellow Webmaster - It is recommended that the back links that you get to your site be from a site that is relevant to the topic of your own website. Having a website about cars linked to a site about fishing does not help you in the SERPs, as much as having a site about cars linking to a site about tires.
The problem here is that you can literally spend hours upon hours emailing various webmasters and asking them to give you a back link. In addition, it is common practice that you offer a reciprocal link to their website. This is fine for some people, but others do not want to clutter their pages with links that take visitors away from their website.
Additionally, you will want to look and see if the site that you are trying to get a link from has a good Google page rank (PR). Google says that a back link from a related site with good PR counts as a strong "vote" for your site; the more votes that you get, the higher your SERP and the higher your PR will be at the next update.
Once you create a sales pitch to a Webmaster for a link exchange, you have to hurry up and wait. You can email 100 webmasters and get a varied response, that is, if you get a response at all. It has been cited that reciprocal linking campaigns have about a 2-5% acceptance rate. In other words, out of those 100 people you took the time to research and to email, only 2-5 of them will give you the back link that you are looking for. Of course, a few more may be willing to do it for a fee.
* Directories - Directories are another "tried and true" method of generating back links to websites. Again this is a process that will take hours of work. The two most popular directories are DMOZ.com and the Yahoo directory.
DMOZ is human edited; this is good, because they work hard at only approving quality sites. The downside is that they often lack the actual human beings to approve or disapprove all of these sites that are submitted. There simply are not enough people volunteering for DMOZ to stay on top of all the submissions.
Yahoo will allow for directory submissions for free if your website is not deemed to be a business website. If your website is deemed to be a business website, plan on shelling out about $300 to be "considered" for a listing in their directory. They do not guarantee that your website will be listed in their directory. Yahoo only guarantees that they will consider your website for inclusion in their directory.
You will find that many webmasters operate their own directories. You can find a list of many directories on message boards like the one at DigitalPoint.com (forums.digitalpoint.com/). Many of these directories provide free listings, or they wish for a reciprocal link in exchange for placing your link. At many of these directories, you can also pay for a sponsored link.
The problem here? These directories are usually operated by software and are not human edited. This means that your site could end up in the wrong category or that your site is simply listed and forgotten about. These link directories often boast of having decent PR on their homepage, but the actual page that your site will be listed on usually has a 0 PR. These small directories also have numerous requirements, and you need to read the fine print. One mistake and the 15 minutes you spent constructing your submission could be wasted, when your submission is rejected.
* Reprint Articles For Back Links - This is an option to create back links that many webmasters overlook. Probably the primary reason that webmasters do not take full advantage of this is because they do not feel comfortable with writing articles. Another reason is that the Webmaster may not have the time to write a quality article.
Consider this, one well-written article can be submitted to literally thousands of publishers of ezines and newsletters, niche webmasters, and free reprint article sites and can result in dozens, hundreds or thousands of back links. Now, not every publisher will pick up your article, but for the ones that do use your article, you will get a back link from their website. The back link is achieved in the "about the author" box that is required to stay in place with your article.
The more informative people find your article, the more linking results you can expect to achieve from your reprint article.
A webmaster that says he or she doesn't have the time to spend an hour or two writing an article needs to take a look at how many hours have been spent submitting to directories or writing to other webmasters asking for back links.
Don't feel comfortable writing your own article? Then hire a ghostwriter.
Once the article is written, then you should consider paying a distribution service to distribute your article for you. Again, this is a relatively small price to pay in order to get those all-important back links.
Some recommended article distribution services in alphabetical order include:
In the end, you can save yourself time, money, and a lot of headaches by using articles to create back links to your site. You may be surprised by how many websites are starving for content and are more than happy to place your free reprint article on their website. Odds are that if they are placing your article on their website, then they are in your same niche market --- which only adds to the value that the search engines will place on that back link. Don't forget that people actually read these articles, and you can gain a boost in traffic as a bonus to all of your new back links.
I know, you don't want to shell out the money to use reprint articles as a linking method, but how much money have you spent on being listed as a "sponsored" website in directories?
How much time have you wasted in trying to drum up new back links through other methods? After all, your time is your money. You can spend your time or your money to do the tasks that you need to do to be successful. And literally, sometimes it makes a whole lot of sense to outsource specialized tasks to experts in their fields.
No website is an island. You cannot just build your website and expect people to be knocking down your door to buy your products or services. You have to advertise. People have got to have a way to find your website.
If you take the time and expend the effort to build your website in such a way as to attract the search engines and to provide what the search engines consider to be a good website, then you will find that the search engine companies can be your business' best friend. And whether you like it or not, one of the ways that the search engines companies deem a website to be a good website, is by the number of back links pointing to the website.
You can have the best website on the internet, selling the best products and services at the best prices, but if people cannot find you, then your website is pointless. If you desire to be successful, then you need to do whatever is necessary to build links to your website. Give the search engines what they want (back links to your website), and the search engines will give you what you want (targeted traffic).