One of the most important things in today’s search engine world is getting quality links to your site – also known as backlinks.
Each link to your site acts like a “vote” for the quality of your site. For a while, Google and other search engines used backlinks as a way to judge the quality and usefulness of a particular web page. The theory was that people wouldn’t link to junky pages.
Once search engine optimization (SEO) experts figured out the importance of links, people started using various methods to manipulate their rankings by getting hundreds, or thousands of links to their pages. This diluted the effectiveness of backlinks as a way to establish site quality, but search engines still use links as one of many determining factors.
Even though backlinks don’t work quite as well as they once did, it is still vital to get links to your pages. For one thing, links help search engines find your content. For another thing, quality links do still make a difference to your rankings.
There are a few important things to consider regarding backlinks:
- Choose quality over quantity. One backlink from a high quality page in your niche is worth fifty links from junky pages that have nothing to do with your topic.
- Build backlinks over time. Do not attempt to get hundreds of links to a brand new page overnight. This doesn’t look natural. Instead, build only a few the first day, then slowly add more and more each day.
- Always go for quality links that are on-topic. If you have a website about gardening, don’t spam a bunch of sites about golf and horses.
- Never buy links. Google bans people for this!
- Never stop adding links, even if you get to the number one spot for your main keyword. If you do, someone will probably quickly outrank you.
Anchor text is the text used to link to a web page. It is one of the most important components in SEO, because search engines give anchor text considerable weight.
When you create a link on an HTML page, it looks something like this:
In that link, “Anchor Text” is the text used to link to the page. You want to ensure that you use keywords in your anchor text whenever possible.
Think of it this way. If you wanted to link to a page about feeding German Shepherds, what do you think you would name the link? You’d probably name it “Feeding German Shepherds” or something similar, right? Search engines know this.
Of course, anchor text offers a huge opportunity for over-optimization. Not everyone would link to the same page in exactly the same way. Thus, it is important to make your backlinks look at natural as possible by varying the text you use for your anchor text.
Choose about five different phrases that fit well with your page’s theme. Use your main keyword phrase most often, but use the other phrases fairly often in order to keep things as natural as possible.