Jan 202011

Check Out these 7 Great ways to get Backlinks, increase your Search Engine Rank, and get traffic!

So you’ve set up a site and you want some traffic. Better yet, you want some FREE traffic. Getting backlinks is the internet marketer’s equivalent to having a squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease-having-a-toddler-type-temper-tantrum so Google pays attention to you. Social Media Marketing involves getting backlinks to rank your website. eMarketing is a war that must be fought on many fronts. Blog marketing strategies, eCommerce marketing strategies, internet marketing strategies, etc. all must be wary of the weight that Google places on backlinks and their importance in affecting your search engine rankings. Backlinks serve as endorsements for your site. To read some more, check-out Backlinks and strategies for building the perfect Back link. Once you have understood that your web presence and social media marketing strategy demand that you build some backlinks, the obvious question that comes to mind is: how to build backlinks? You will soon realize (like me! haha) that your site is probably 10x better than others out there in its niche, but it is no where to be found in search engine results. You know what the perfect backlink is, but you have no hope of getting any of those for free (at least in the early stages of your websites existence) – so where do you start? Start at the beginning and keep reading! This article will teach you some great ways to build FREE quality backlinks to your website.

(This is in Estonia – It’s some ducks hanging out in the snow! Never seen that before…)



Internal backlinks

Internal backlinking seems a lot like getting a job recommendation from your Mom, however a recommendation is still a recommendation. Just because you recommend yourself, doesn’t mean this is completely irrelevant. Think of it as being confident. If you don’t have any faith in your own site, why should others? At least from Google’s standpoint, a website with good internal, anchor text linking, can give the search engines a better clue that your site has good information to offer, and that your overall site content might be also useful. Google can be more confident that if send an information seeker over to your site from the organic search, that user will likely be pleased at all the useful and amazing content on your whole website, not just the page they land on. Internal linking tells Google that you KNOW the entire site will be relevant because you are linking between pages yourself.



Blog Commenting

Blog comments are another way to get your greedy hands on some juicy, low-hanging backlinks. First off, to employ this tactic, you must learn the difference between a “do-follow” link and a “no-follow” link. No-follow links are links that the webmaster of the site you are on has told Google “I don’t know what the hell these links are, don’t assume I’m recommending them.” It turns out, Google will follow them anyways, but “generally” won’t give them too much weight. Keep in mind, no-follow links in a highly relevant niche may have a positive effect.

A do-follow link is really what you are looking for. If you leave a comment on a do-follow blog, this will transfer a little of that website’s PR juice over to you (as it acts as a small endorsement of your site). Keep in mind, if there are a lot of comments, the benefit to you will not be very great as the PR will be spread out amongst all the commentators. With some persistence and hard work, commenting can help your search rankings. It also is a good way to get involved in the community your website deals with – so in some ways blog commenting can accomplish two things at once. You learn, network, interact, and also benefit your search results.

http://followlist.com/ Is a helpful site for finding do-follow blogs to comment on.

Keep in mind, Only getting do-follow links will look un-natural. When building links you want to look as natural as possible and get a variety of links from all types of sources. Blog commenting can be beneficial in many ways, so don’t spend too much time worrying whether the comment section is a do or no follow. Just jump in.

Another idea is to comment on Squidoo lenses and Hubpages Hubs. Posting comments on sites like these can be a great asset to you, as Google tends to give them good page rank, which can transfer to you!

Another thing to consider, is if you’re commenting, the blog writer him/her self will probably click your link. If your site is truly fascinating and interesting, they might actually start following your work, and maybe even link to you directly in the future. So if you participate in commenting you may see greater benefits as time progresses.



Link Directories

Link directories are pretty easy. You can copy in your site and anchor text and get a backlink! If you submit to too many directories, too fast, with the same anchor text, you will run the risk of looking unnatural. Try varying the keywords in your anchor text (maybe targeting some secondary or tertiary keywords) and space out how many you submit each day.

The link juice from directories is not so great either, but a lot of low quality backlinks can add up. They are so easy that over you can definitely gain some easy link juice. Below are some good directories to start with. From what I have researched, the directories below seem to pass some juice on to your site.

Starting Point
Best of The Web
Librarians’ Internet Index



Article Marketing

Article Marketing is a great way to not only improve your backlink portfolio, but also as a way to drive traffic. If you write an article about the niche your website is in, you can put an anchor-text good ole fashioned back link directing readers to your site. Not only might you get some traffic from the readers of the article, but you will also get a strong anchored backlink for your website.

Just a note, make sure to vary your anchor text in your article marketing as it will start to look unnatural if every single article Google finds directs people to your site with the exact same text. If you’re confused about this part, read my previous article as it has a great section about The perfect backlink and information about good anchor text.

Also, if you write good articles, it’s possible that a webmaster or publisher will pick up your article. This could give you yet another backlink!



Forum Commenting

Forums are another easy way to grab links, however the problem is quite similar to comment marketing. If you make a comment in a forum that has 100s of other comments, you will get very little, if any at all, link juice. Another issue is that when forum posts fall into the archives, the page ranks drop and your one little comment on a 100 comment forum will be just about worthless.

However, don’t discount the validity of forums as a method to gain social proof. Using number of forum comments to imply authority can be a powerful way to get people to link to your site. Most forums track the number of posts you have made – and if that number is very high, you will appear to be a real expert. If you see someone in a forum with 10000 posts, and you are just joining, you will think they must know a lot. This is not always the case and you can take advantage of this fact.  Staying involved in a forum’s discussion, users will see your number of posts as well as your signature (with link to your site). This can drive traffic and possibly result in some natural backlinks if you’ve established yourself as an authority.

For a good place to find forums having conversations about what is going on in your niche, take a look through Google Groups.

A good side effect to using Google Groups, is that Google ranks the sites based on their perceived authority. You want your comments going up on the highest authority sites in your niche, so start at the top and work your way down.



Guest Posts

This is a great way to get your name out there as an authority in your niche in front of a friendly audience. If people are already following a blog, you will have social proof from the author (who they already respect) and will have a greater chance of actually getting your whole post read through to the end. By the way, if anyone has made it this far through this LOONNNGG blog post, please comment! Guest posting for a respected site is a great way to get your name (and website) recognized, and as a side benefit, you also get a very nice backlink. Because you are doing that blogger a favor by writing an amazing guest post, you are well within your rights to ask for a quality anchor-text backlink!

A guest post can be a great way to introduce yourself to the A-List, authority bloggers in your niche. Getting on their radar will be very beneficial, especially considering if they like your post and choose to share it, you have potential to reach a large number of readers. Not only would these readers probably already be in your niche, they also would see the authority blogger’s recommendation as social proof that you are an authority in your own right. If you are perceived as an authority, you are also perceived as “linkable” and you may end up with some additional natural backlinks.



Social Bookmarking sites

I did a post awhile back about Social Networking sites. Many of these are Social bookmarking sites. A personal favorite of mine is Reddit. If you happen to write a great article that goes viral and makes it to the front page of a site like Reddit, you will inevitably receive lots and lots of backlinks as people share the site. Also, as Google has recently stated that they will take Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter into account when determining search rank, having something you have written get Reddit front page exposure would work wonders for your search engine results.

If nothing else, social bookmarking is an important way to keep your articles and posts indexed by Google – but that is a topic for another blog post.

Google’s take on backlink building

Since in the end, by gaining backlinks you are trying to please Google, you might actually want to listen to what they have to say on the subject. Here’s a video actually made by Google with some ideas for getting backlinks in ways that do not violate Google’s policies.


These are some great FREE ways to build backlinks. There are a whole slew of paid ways that we can talk about in a future post. If you’ve had any success with paid back links, please let me know!

Internal backlinks
Blog Commenting
Link Directories
Article Marketing
Forum Commenting
Guest Posts
Social Bookmarking sites

Make use of all of these outlets and grow your number of visitors and expand your influence.  Once your site has some visitors your plan to monetize it might actually work!  A comprehensive Social Media Marketing strategy must include building backlinks.  Hope this post was helpful!  Please share, comment, whatever :) Nick

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

Jan 102011

So I’ve been reading a lot lately on the state of the internet and SEO marketing. This post will shed some light on what is currently going on. As many of you reading this may know, Niche site marketing is one popular way to make money online. The basic idea is you use keyword research to find a relatively competition-free area of the web (at least the Google web) and create a niche site. You populate the niche site with some affiliate products, then go to work on marketing the hell out of it. This generally means getting a crazy amount of backlinks to your site, which will then move you up in Google’s search rankings. How do you do this? Write an article, spin it a million times, submit to a million article directories, each article complete at the bottom with an anchor link to your niche site. Having more backlinks gives your site more authority in Google’s eyes but this method of gaining them is actually quite detrimental in more ways than one. Most speculation seems to point to the fact that Google with have to address this situation, but the other questions is, does Google really want to?

(view of a winter sunset through the trees – shot from Otaniemi, Finland)

Google’s search results are sometimes completely wrong. Here’s a fun game to try. Do a search for “Search Engine” in Google. You may be surprised to find what shows up first, second, third, fourth, fifth etc. Hint: It’s not Google! Isn’t that strange that if Google is supposed to be providing people with the best information, and clearly Google is the best search engine (at least for now), why would they not rank themselves first? Google’s algorithm gives a lot of weight to older sites, whether or not the result is relevant today (on a side note, many Internet marketers recommend purchasing an old domain name for exactly this reason). You can see some gaping holes in Google’s algorithm when looking at local results. If you do a search for many big US cities in Google for “big city name” locksmith, you will see an interesting result. For example if you search Los Angeles locksmith, the first result will be a site called los-angeles-locksmith, and if you check it out, you will find that this is not actually a local business. They can direct you to a local business, but why should you go through this extra step? In most cities I checked, I found this company lurking around somewhere on the front page. Most of their titles had the city name with hyphens separating the words (a hint that there is some real SEO thought going into this). Now there’s nothing wrong with this company doing what they are, but from Google’s perspective, shouldn’t they be trying to help their customer by directing them to a legitimate local business? If you spend enough time searching for random things and pay attention, you will find that for many search results, there are strange, unexpected sites showing up.

Now, from a marketers standpoint, this might be good. It means you can get your site ranked high on Google even if it’s not necessarily the best result. However many SEO experts are talking about how Google may be forced to change their algorithm as web SPAM becomes more of a problem. Google Webmaster tools has reportedly started to issue warnings regarding a “notice of detected unnatural links” and a separate warning about cloaking. This warning comes with a threat that “In order to preserve the quality of our search engine, pages from (somedomain).com are scheduled to be removed temporarily from our search results for at least 30 days.”

A new rival search service some of you may have heard of is Blekko. Blekko is a new site and most articles I’ve read suggest that it offers a lot to make search engine marketer’s job easier. Blekko has come up with a new idea for search using slashtags. Slashtags are a way that anyone can make a “vertical” search engine around any topic. For those not familiar with the term, a vertical search engine is one that lets you search in a specific area of interest, rather than across the “horizontal” spectrum of all interests (the way Google works).

Take a look at the video below to see how it works:

While right now you can see it’s not necessarily better than Google for many things. In fact it is lacking in some ways. It may have it’s uses especially as Web Spam becomes more and more of a problem with Google. Blekko’s founders are keenly aware of the problems Google is having with web SPAM. So much so, they have created a SPAM clock http://spamclock.com/ You can watch the number of SPAM pages being indexed by Google rising at an alarming rate. Of course the goal of this traffic is not to inform, but to monetize users through a variety of ad networks.

Marksonland.com blog states in regards to the amount of SPAM created daily “Think about that 1 million pages an hour. Wikipedia is 3.5M articles. Every 3.5 hours a new volume of text the size of wikipedia is unleashed on the internet and unsuspecting users. Every 3.5 hours. 7 wikipedia size corpuses being created every day. Ugh.”

The co-founder of Blekko Rich Skrenta states on his blog Skrenta.com “Consider that in 2000 there were about 7 million hosts on the internet offering essentially all the content on the web. In 2010, the number of web hosts has soared to 250 million. How many of these 200 million plus hosts offer legitimate content? A small fraction. The rest is spam.” And he continues… “Which brings me to my larger point. This spam on the web is creating REAL problems that are affecting much more than our ability just to find information. The energy and other costs for crawling, storing and serving this trash is soaring. I saw a recent estimate that 15% of the world’s energy consumption in 10 years could go to support Internet usage. A fair amount of that energy is being burned by the thousands upon thousands of servers at incumbent search engines. Making search greener by weeding out spam could have a significant impact on energy consumption.”

It’s yet to be seen if a service like Blekko can really do anything to impact the way Google behaves, however I think it’s safe to say, with pressure coming in the form of Blekko, Google may very well re-examine the way it currently ranks pages.

So what does this mean to you (and me)? Keeping this in mind, it is time to branch out and start to think about other techniques to market sites. While article spamming may still continue to work for awhile, it’s days may be numbered. Of course, Google still has a vested interest in delivering ad-delivering, profit-for-Google generating content. To be fair Google does a pretty good job, however at the rate the SPAM is increasing, can this be sustained? Keep an eye on Bing as they may have a better algorithm for SPAM detection and it could be an area where they can actually gain some ground on Google.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Please comment with your opinion! I’d appreciate it if you Like me on Facebook! Thanks for reading, Nick.