|SEO Basics: Backlink Quality|
Backlinks – links from other websites which lead to your own website – are among the most valued components of SEO. Their most immediate effect is that they bring additional traffic to your website, but they are significant because of their impact on search rankings.
However, not all backlinks are built the same. It is important to obtain quality backlinks if you wish for search engines to take your website seriously.
Comments and Forums Posts – Easy, but Low Quality
The first step taken by those new to SEO is often a campaign of comments and forum posts. This is an easy, and often recommended, step which requires minimal effort. Unfortunately, this strategy has two problems which also result in minimal quality.
The first is that comments and forums generally frown on blatant plugs. You will therefor be reduced to general promotion, usually using links to your website's main page. However, search engines don't rank sites, they rank pages. While having many backlinks to your main page might have some minor effect, it doesn't help your many pieces of content targeted towards specific keywords.
The second problem is that everyone is doing it. In order to obtain consistently high rankings in search engines you will need to stand out from the crowd. Comments and forum posts, even at their best, won't put you ahead of your competitors.
Guest Posting – Gaining Authority
A much more effective way to build backlinks is by guest posting on websites related to your topic. While you may at first be intimidated – after all these websites are possible competitors – remember that it is a mutually beneficial deal. You will receive a backlink and the website you write for will receive free content.
Guest posting provides you with a backlink from a website with related topic to a page of your choosing. This is great for SEO. It tells search engines that your website is relevant and it allows you to target specific pages on your website for attention.
Guest posting can also improve SEO by sending interested visitors to your website. These visitors have already looked at your guest post and decided it was good enough to visit your website. There is a good chance that they will spend time on your website and click on various links, which positively effects your time on site and bounce rate metrics.
Breaking News and Information – The Best Backlinks
The best possible backlink situation occurs when content on your website becomes news. Once one major website decides to report on your content, chances are good that more websites will also report on it. Better yet, you will usually receive a backlink directly to the relevant page. This tells search engines that the page is important and maked that page more likely to show up as a front page result.
This will sometimes happen at random if you frequently post unique content. However, you can assist the process by being your own advocate. If you have a unique piece of content which you are proud of, send that information to other websites and blogs as a news tips.
Don't Fall in the Downward Spiral
These are just some examples of what are and aren't quality backlinks. Generally, the easier a backlink is to obtain, the less likely it is to be important. While it is easy to decide to take the volume route, higher quality backlinks are always better. They make your website stand out from the crowd as an important, reliable and relevant source.
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