First things first, what are backlinks? Backlinks are a link on an external web page that points back to a page on your site.
Next question, why are these backlinks important? For starters, these links are scattered across the web and connect many relevant sites to each other. This allows users to jump from page to page while they search for the information they are looking for. The second reason backlinks are important is for search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engine providers such as Google constantly crawl the web and index the content on websites, including every link on a webpage. These search engines take note of these links and their destination pages, compiling a list of all links pointing to a specific site. These search engines then use this information to gage the relevance and popularity of a website and determine its rank on search results.
Google’s New Algorithm
A few years ago before Google’s new ranking algorithms, getting as many possible backlinks to your site was the norm in SEO. In recent years, Google’s new algorithms have increased the importance of quality backlinks from sites with high domain authority and discredited numerous low quality backlinks. Low quality backlinks now hurt your site’s ranking.
The Importance of Building a Good Backlink
Building a good backlink profile for your site is very important in the SEO world of today, but it can often be challenging to accomplish. A healthy back linking profile can be obtained by gathering additional backlinks for your site and eliminating any hurtful backlinks. Keep in mind that not all backlinks are created equal. Backlinks from .edu sites and .gov sites weigh much more heavily in algorithms for the better.
Helpful Tips to a Good Backlink
One of the easiest ways to build backlinks is to convert content that is already on your site to a different platform or media type. For example, many websites contain blogs where content is implemented regularly. Here are a few other ways to build good backlinks to your site:
- Another great way to gain backlinks is to take this content and convert it into another form and host this “new content” on another site with a link back to yours.
- It is often best to find particular keywords that you rank for in the top five pages of Google and generate content that will link back to that particular page.
- You can convert your content into an audio file and host in on Sound cloud.
- Make an info graphic explaining a certain concept and host it on flicker, or make a slideshow of your content and host it on Slideshare. Each of these sites will host your content with a link to your site.
To take this strategy a step further, use all this new content you have created to reach out to bloggers and provide them with your content as a guest post. If the blogger accept, they will host your content on their site with a link back to your site.
Getting the Good Stuff!
To gain coveted .edu backlinks, there are also a few other strategies. First you can create a scholarship and host it on your site. It is best to search the web for .edu sites that have scholarship-dedicated pages, and inform these sites about your scholarship. These sites will then explore your scholarship and if they choose to, host it on their site with a link where applicable. Another good strategy is to create a page on your site that will provide resources for college students. Just like the scholarship strategy outreach to these sites, ask for your page to be included in their resource section.
Managing Your Own Content
If you are going to do this yourself, either purchase a tool or look for sites with clustered content and far too many links. Links to your site in comments, sites that are set up for links, links from foreign countries not related to your content, etc. This is usually a dead giveaway of a bad backlink. To get rid of these links, either message the user or perform a link disavow. For more information about disavows visit Google’s step by step instructions here.
More Backlinking Ideas!
Another way to strengthen your backlinking profile would be to purge yourself of the negative backlinks. With Google Webmaster Tools it is easy enough to find out who is linking back to you. It is never a bad idea to download a list of these links and check the linking sites for a high spam score. If the spam score of a site is high, Google will consider this a negative backlink. You can either go through the backlinks yourself or hire SEO experts like ones at Optimum7 to manage the process for you!