Jan 142011

A Learner’s guide to Backlinks: Everything you need to know to understand the importance of Back Links

When it comes to marketing your blog or website, there is no way to get around the importance of SEO backlinks. The easiest way to think about a back link is that it is like an endorsement for your website. The Google tarantula is a lazy spider. To save itself work, it would be happy to classify your site as “A-Okay” as long as some other people out there in cyberspace think your not a total hack (and link to you!) A quality backlink has several characteristics which this article will define. First we will examine what makes a good back link, talk about high PR backlinks, and look at the importance of anchor text backlinks. In a future post I will talk about how to find and build backlinks to your site. By the way, can anyone clarify if it’s backlink or back link (with a space)?

On a side note, I normally have been starting off each of my posts with a picture, entirely unrelated to the topic of my blog post (I started an image gallery page since many people have said they like the pictures). It’s my blog so if I want a picture I think is cool, I get one! However, it appears Google and the SEO gods might not be happy with my decision as I’ve read there is a lot of importance given to the first paragraph and title. Plus there’s the issue with meta-tagging the image. If I tag it with what it actually is, it will appear irrelevant to the blog post. If I tag it incorrectly big bad Google daddy will be mad. So I’m going to put the picture here!

(this image is taken in Sweden at an “American” Western store. I found this cool fake gun that was for sale and was playing around with it. I’ve got my sight’s set on Backlinks!”)

What makes for a good backlink:

So you may have a friend or fan or whatever who calls you up and says, “I love your site SOOO much, I decided to give you a backlink!” Well let me tell you, if you want to backlink my site, stand in line because I get that kind of call every day haha. Well first off, I would say thank you and accept the link. The reason being: Every back link is a good backlink. When you begin your quest to build backlinks, you have to go for them all – large or small. As long as it’s not some porn spam viagra weightloss crap site, every little thing makes a difference. The more backlinks you get, the more Google will like your site and the better your chances of ranking higher in SEO results.

However, there are some qualities which can make a backlink much better. So let’s look at this from a reverse perspective and try to work our way back to the perfect quality back link.

Links on a Sidebar or Footer:

So your super fan friend says, I gave you a back link in my Sidebar and/or footer. You should be happy, but not that happy. Google gives less importance to links that exist without context. Having a backlink is still good, but it would be better if the link were in a blog post or on an informational page that had something to do with your site/niche. If the context of the link makes sense, Google will be happy. Plus there’s more likelihood of someone following the link and landing on your site and actually being happy with the results if the link is fitted in to a context.

“Click here” backlinks and why Anchor text matters:

If your friend is a little smarter, he will already know this. So he’ll find a page on his site, and find the perfect place to put it. It will be a totally natural place to put the link within the context of a blog entry or something. You will be able to offer a valuable service to his readers that he himself cannot provide. However, what if he says in his post “to check out my main man Nick over at eiconnectlink.com he’s a ridiculous marketing genius: “CLICK HERE!” (where click here is the back link to my site)? That will be better than in case one, but it is still not so great in Google’s arachnoid eyes.

Google prefers the link to have an anchor text. Preferable an anchor text that flows seamlessly with the wording of the paragraph and one that not only explains what the name of the site is, but also contains some rich keywords about what kind of site it is. So a back link to http://www.eiconnectlink.com would be great, but it would be better if it said “go visit Nick for: “a How-to guide for Social Media Marketing, blog marketing, SEO, Web 2.0, back link and backlink tips, and article marketing!” Having a detailed anchor link with information about what kind of site that link will actually lead to will make Google a happy camper.

High PR backlinks – back links from an authority site:

Now let’s suppose this screaming beatles-esque fan happens to also have a high PR (Page Rank) authority site. Lets say it’s Paul Mccartney and he just loves Eiconnectlink. He thinks my information is just the best thing out there since Brad and J-Lo split (or whatever celebrity nonsense passes for entertainment these days) and he can’t get enough of reading my blog posts. A quick tangent, PaulMccartney.com is only PR 6 (wtf? some SEO people are asleep there). Let’s just pretend it was a PR 10 (the highest level). If he puts a great anchored text backlink to my site that would be wonderful.

However, lets consider a few things. The PR may be 10 on the main site, however Google is actually looking at the PR of the actual PAGE (page rank remember!) the link is on. If Sir Paul buries my link in some odd post about why Ringo loved to eat Octopus so much and it’s hidden somewhere in the archives where no one really sees it, the page rank might be significantly less.

Take this into account when you hear about people trying to SELL you backlinks on a PR8 site or some nonsense like that. Many scams start this way because the site itself may be PR8 on the front page but have significantly lower PR on internal pages. What if it’s Google? What if it’s Facebook? What if it’s the number one site on the internet they are promising to get you a backlink from? In the end, all the scam backlink seller will probably do is make a profile and throw up a link in the info section and call it a day. This link might as well be coming from a PR 0 or PR N/A site. This is NOT the same thing as being linked to from a high authority site.

**Remember, it’s the Page Rank of the ACTUAL PAGE the back link is on that matters, NOT the PR of the front page of that site.**

Now, even if Sir Paul gives you a big huge bolded anchor text link on his Front page in the context of an article about your niche, full of great keywords highly targeted to what you specialize in, it still won’t be the perfect link. Why not?

Relevance of the Authority Site:

Google would certainly give you a bump for having a high quality anchor text authority back link, however, as great as Paul Mccartney is (if you ask me I like John and George better but still) at writing songs, last I checked not too many were about Social Media Marketing (to use my own site as the example for now). I could be wrong, I mean maybe these days everybody wants a piece of the Facebook pie and Paul’s billion pounds or so might be hurting after his recent divorce, so he might decide to write a jingle or two about how great it is to network with all the people from your elementary school that you didn’t like then, haven’t talked to in years, and are generally annoyed at looking at their constant updates with pictures of their stupid ugly kids and their not as cute as lolcat pets…just to make some money – but I digress.

Paul is not an authority in your niche and Google knows it. They may be happy to see you have a link from a strong site like his, but it won’t be completely relevant. A site with a high PR in your Niche would be best.

So what’s better? A site with a 10 PR linking to you that has nothing to do with your industry, or a site with an 8 PR that is a perfect match? The answer is who the hell knows? Both are phenomenal and you would be lucky if your crappy little social media marketing site or make money online or whatever stupid niche you’re in got a back link that good.

However, a perfect link would be this:

  • A link from a perfect 10 PR authority site relevant to your niche
  • A keyword rich detailed anchor backlink
  • An anchored backlink in the context of a relevant related article

So shoot for the starts and try for the highest quality backlinks you can get. If you come up short for the perfect backlink, hopefully you’ll get a few stragglers who’d love to buy your products and look at your ads. You never know!


Next time, Next time, Next time! We’ll talk about some strategies to build quality back links, get free backlinks, getting backlinks, finding backlinks, find back links, building good backlinks, high pr backlinks, and any other keyword term with back link or backlink that Google might appreciate. Crazy how Google has transformed journalism into a game of who can feed it enough of it’s special happy candy keywords (see Google News these days and all the money making scams that exist to get yourself featured). Gotta keep the monster happy or else risk being ignored.

Thanks for reading! If you made it through this ginormous article, why not like me on facebook! Or share or tweet or comment – I’ll take whatever you got! :) Nick

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