If your content is good, people will link to it from their websites. The more links to your site (‘I Like’ from Facebook remember) the higher will Google rank your site in its search results. Google is utilising this social aspect of the web, and have done so long before the term Social Media was crafted and used to display the social media web sites. The general rule here is the more links to your site from other web sites the higher will your site rank. Now that is probably the largest oversimplification made in this document, and there are quite some done already. In fact every statement above is really simplified. The reason for this is that Google says themselves (Matt) that they use over 200 parameters when deciding what site to rank higher or lower. In a document that is less than a paperback book size we cannot touch all of them. So simplifications like this with links are necessary. The way Google themselves describe the value of the links that served for years as a tool for assigning a Google Page Rank to the pages (a value from 0 to 10 on each page, not site, but page on the Internet). Because of the amount of manipulation of the linking (Liking?) and the growth of the whole industry of link selling that effectively worked against Google’s main goal to find relevant content for a visitor, Google added a list of the ‘Quality’ aspects of every link. Google is today still using all the links between any two sites on the web, but it uses them much smarter as time goes by. That effort results in higher quality search results and less sites ta simply paid a lot of sites to link to them and would in the previous year’s simply get to the tops of searches.
So links are good! Links that look ‘Natural’ a better!
What makes a link from one web site to another make a natural link? Or the opposite question would be what makes a link from a site look like an unnatural therefore a paid link? Well if you imagine Google as a person, since behind all this programs and computers, there was an idea created by a person that materialised in a line of code and a chip in a server, try to imagine what link would seem natural to a person. Google ‘Thinks’ the same way. Unless they have extra-terrestrials sitting in Googleplex. I have visited a few Google offices myself, and trust me, they look just normal. Like you and me. So it is you and me that are the judge what link is natural and what one is paid. It is you and me that have to decide what link are we therefore assign high value to, since it is from a site that you and I like, and the topic and content is relevant to the site it is linking for more info. On the other hand it is us again that will need to decide that a link from a site that says on the home page ‘Directory Listing – only €9.99 to list your site with a link to your website’ is not natural, but paid by the site owners, hence we will attach the low value to it. A link from a techie guru blogger from his blog post where he is slagging some new gizmo, to a site of a producer of that gizmo is quite likely a natural link (this created a whole industry of Ghost Bloggers BTW!).
How do I get those backlinks?
Backlinks as the links to your site from other sites are called can be gained in number of ways. The first step and it is the foundation for all other activities is to create a nice site, and have content on it that you think people will like. Ask friends what do they think. If they are positive, ask your visitors via the feedback form. If you are not hearing negative comments there is something wrong. There has to be a difference of the opinions at least. When you have a nice site with a content that is interesting (sticky site!) submit it to Google, and get (oops did I say buy?!) a few links to it. You can always get a ask (oops did I say ‘Hire’?) a few bloggers to review it and link to you.
A few links and submissions will get you listed. The quality of your content will create will determine if people will like your site and hence start putting links to your site from theirs. U can sure those lovely Like buttons Facebook will gladly supply your with and get links from Facebook web site. There is a long list of the social networking and even more social bookmarking web sites you can get back links from (remember Digg).
LinkBait – back-linking on steroids
If you are bored waiting for people to find your site, and waiting for them to link back to you themselves, you can start creating strategies for publishing link baits. Link ait is a piece of content on your site that you publish that has a high potential to get a link back to your web site. Humour is one way of doing it. Pictures will do far more than words in that space. Video will bring it to the completely new level.
With the increase of the usage of social media sites, the best link baits today is where you actually get your own visitors to create this link bait content themselves. What you do is just to provide them with the platform to publish on your own site. Blog comments are the perfect example.
The step further is to get your visitors to vote for each other and elect the best contributor to their piece of content they published on your site. Flickr is the nice platform sample. People upload their own photographs, and then invite their own friends and family to Vote for their photos to get some monthly prize. Does the word Viral ring the bell? Calling it Viral Marketing or even Guerrilla Marketing or anything else does not really change it from what you have originally started building, a link bait to get your backlinks.
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