Backlinks and website popularity 101
There are a number of things one must do in order to ensure that a website has best leveraged its code and design to enhance its SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Having great SEO is the same as running a high street store - as opposed to one in a dark backalley where no customers venture. With a well designed platform this is not hard to do (you have a well designed web presence, right?), and you can safely tick off the SEO checkboxes barring two - good content and quality backlinks...
In fact, Google places very high emphasis on quality backlinks and you will have a higher pagerank if you can obtain a goodly amount of these. That's not to say that quality content is not important. Often, quality content can lead to more backlinks, and its one of the tricks we will look at in due course. First, let's look at what I mean by quality backlink:
Government websites, non-profit organizations and academic organizations are highly valued as these tend to have relatively high integrity. By this I mean it is less likely that these website would engage in link sharing for profit. This brings me neatly to my next point:
Most often paid schemes promise to add links to your website on thousands of pages, and so they do. The problem is that the sites they add your links to are often worse than completely useless, because Google rightly associates your site with these low quality link farms - you're therefore scuppered by association.
Why do people continue to use these schemes? Because it's difficult to get links by approaching people manually - but don't worry, we're going to look at a few ways to make life easier in the follow up article.
How do you know if a website is going to enhance or hinder your reputation beforehand? There's two things you can do to quickly test out their popularity:
Remember that there could be a number of reasons why websites would perform badly in either or both of these tests. The most obvious reason is that a site is brand new and hasn't had time to make any headway. So use these as a guide, not gospel.
Remember to compare your website's performance to that of a potential partner. Super cool websites are aware of their super coolness and will make it difficult for you to share links on equal terms. In other words, why should they link to your site with, say, a PageRank of 3 if theirs has a PageRank of 8?
So now you're aware of some of the pitfalls of finding links to enhance your web visibility. In the next blog on linking we'll look at how best to obtain quality links by using your imagination and providing value for other webmasters and content providers.
If you get it just right you can end up generating far more backlinks than you ever hoped for... if you get it just right.
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