Search Engine Optimization

The Value of Backlinks

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Is much of SEO an alien concept to you? It's hardly surprising; there are so many techniques that can be used, it'd be impossible to know all about each of them. Here we take a look at backlinking and what it can do to boost traffic.

Not surprisingly many of us get a bit weary when we come across the acronym SEO.

It's bandied about so much these days and most of know it stands for Search Engine Optimisation. But, how many of us really understand what SEO is, or what it should comprise.

In truth it would take a War and Peace sized tome to fully describe each of the many techniques that go towards an SEO campaign. Today though, so as not to bog the class down with too much groan-making homework we're going to focus on just one aspect: Backlinks.

Backlinks are inbound links to your site that originate from other sources on the web. There's no question, backlinks certainly help when it comes to generating traffic flow. So how exactly do they work?

Let's use an example:

To set the scene we'll say we have a website that posts reviews of science fiction books. The important thing to remember is that our site doesn't sell science fiction books, it only reviews them. What use is backlinking then? It's very useful if your income from your site comes from revenue generated by advertising. In such a case you want to bring as much traffic as possible. And you would in this case be looking at earning as an affiliate from sales made as a direct result of visits to your site. It might just as easily be called back scratching, as backlinking.

Let's say we include links to Sci Fi writers' web pages on our own. Or links to online Sci Fi bookstores. A backlink on a website that leads a visitor to your own is like a cyber signpost.

Some backlinking takes place naturally when a web site gains popularity by merit. Word of mouth is powerful and the news soon gets around. Before you can say, "May the force be with you," people will be posting links to the new favorite on their own websites.

In other situations we need a little more than leave it in the lap of the gods, and some application is required. A few backlinks aren't likely to impact your site very much. You need to generate enough of them in order to enjoy a noteworthy boost visitor numbers.

Doing it right is important:

Follow lawful and respected ways to create backlinks. Ensure that you are featured in recognised online directories, post comments on good blogs and be active in relevant chat rooms. Approach getting backlinks in as businesslike a way as possible.

One of the main reasons good-quality backlinking has the effect it does is down to the mindset of the prospective visitor. Let's go back and look at our Sci Fi fan. He or she has visited your site, read a few reviews, fair to say he's in the mood for the given subject matter, so he's as warm as he can be.

The backlink is a bit like being known by the company you keep. If you want to retain professional integrity don't be tempted to have links from poor sites. This will damage your reputation and may even result in banning. Yes, it's easy to build up a lot of 'poor' backlinks but quality must over preside over quantity in this case.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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