Back Links: A Popularity Contest Online

One of the most important criteria that Google measures when it ranks sites in search results is back links. A back link is when a website adds a link to your site on one of its pages. Back links are, in effect, how Google measures how popular your site is.

In some of Google’s latest search ranking algorithm updates, quality has started counting more than quantity. The quality of the site that includes your link matters to Google.

Can you influence back links? Absolutely; there are entire companies built around offering this service of creating back links. Back linking should happen naturally; it shouldn’t be forced. It’s considered an off-page activity, as opposed to on-the-page SEO, which is what we provide.

What can you do if you want to build your back links?

First evaluate your current back links. Do you know who is linking to your site now? A handy way is to use Google search and enter to find out who is linking to you now.

Once you have the results, look for any sites that look spammy. You want to “disavow” any links that arise from spammy-looking sites, and you can do this in Google Webmaster Tools, a free app available in your Google account. We’ll be happy to help you with this if you have this situation since it negatively affects the SEO we do for you.

Next, think about sites that you’d like to have your link included on. You do need to “earn” the link, by writing an article, getting interviewed, becoming a faculty member, speaking, being a member, or otherwise contributing to the page.

You can also write an epic or unique article, create a video, design an infographic, or develop something that people will want to share. Once you do, let people know about it via an organized campaign of emails, social media posts, and/or even paid ads so people will link to it.

If you write a blog, you can look for other people writing for a similar audience and ask if they accept guest posts. Look also for lists of blogs, such as accounting blogs or small business blogs, and write the author to see if you can get your blog on the list.

Last, you can write for some of the news media sites in your industry or locally, which would be a great backlink to earn.

Back links are probably one of the most difficult areas in SEO to earn; they take time to build, requiring great content, research, and patience. That’s why they’re so important in search.