Backlinks for Beginners

Once upon a time, backlinks were the primary means of navigating the world wide web together, since the internet was little more than a giant tree of documents branching out to other documents.

In today’s age of Search Engines, however, backlinks play quite a different (yet just as important) role in how we move throughout the vast collection of information that is the web we know today.

According to Wikipedia: “Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page.

In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node.”

How Backlinks Impact Search Engine Rankings

Backlinks are one of the most significant factors used to determine a website’s search engine ranking. For example, Google’s Pagerank system counts a backlink from one site to another site as a vote for the linked site, which increases its ranking. Unfortunately, this has resulted in something known as “linkspam,”an abusive practice in which some companies attempt to create huge amounts of inbound links to their site, with no regard for the relevance of the originating page.

Determining the Value of Backlinks

The value of a particular backlink is determined using several factors. The value of backlinks is generally comparable to the credibility of a website, particularly if that site is an authority within its industry or niche. A backlink increases its search engine ranking weight significantly if both sites contain content that centers around the same keywords. This will typically boost the ranking for the site receiving the backlink.
Also important is the anchor text used for the backlink. Anchor text is the active language (or actual words) used to create a hyperlink, as it displays on a webpage.

An example of using anchor text to rank a web page is ‘Best type of anchor text for SEO‘

This link points to

A month or so later I googled the same term. You can see that the result of this anchored link in ranking higher.

Submit Blog to Technorati

Technorati – This is one of older, more established blog directories that is still popular and thriving today. The main purpose of Technorati is to organise blogs by the topics they post about, as well as to assign authority ratings for each of them. Your blog’s authority is rated for each category you post about, but it also has an overall authority which determines your ranking among all the other blogs listed on the site.

In order to submit your blog to Technorati, you must first visit the site and sign up for a free account. They will ask you to provide your blog RSS feed and will require you to include a snippet of text in order to confirm that you are the blog owner. After you have placed the text on your blog and confirmed ownership, their automated system will add you to the directory within a couple of hours.

Submit Blog to AllTop

AllTop – This site is somewhat similar to Technorati, but uses a more interactive approach by allowing users to sign in and create their own RSS feed dashboards by selecting blogs on their favorite topics and displaying them all in one place.

 If you do not create an account, you can simply select tags of interest and you will be taken to a page full of recent posts from top-notch blogs that are considered authorities within their industries.

 If you’d like to submit your blog to AllTop, you can do so by filling out their submission form and including your blog’s details.

 An important note: each submission to AllTop is manually reviewed and you are not guaranteed to be accepted.

Submit Articles to EZineArticles

EZineArticles – This site has been around for quite some time and is a great tool for anyone who uses article marketing to promote their blog or website. If you are not experienced with article marketing, here is what I recommend. The next time you write a blog post, don’t publish it on your blog! Instead, go create a free account with EZineArticles and submit the post as an article instead! 

Just remember that you will want to choose a post that isn’t full of links to other content online, as that is the type of material that is best left for your blog.

 Instead, try to write an informational article that helps your readers understand a specific element of one of your main blog topics. It can also be an introduction to one as well.

 Before you submit your article for review (which can take up to a week to be approved) you will want to pay special attention to the author resource box, since this is where you will be adding a link to your blog!

Posting Blog Comments

Blog Comments – Posting comments on blog posts that discuss the same industry, topic or niche as your own can be a great way to build backlinks to your site. This method works best if you choose only high-quality blogs with high page ranks. 

The best benefit of this strategy is the readers and audience you will be putting your link in front of. Since the readers are already interested in your topic, they will be more likely to check out your blog if you include a link in your comment.

 There are an endless number of both free and paid tools for posting blog comments in order to build backlinks. However, I would discourage the use of tools that generate low-quality comments and post them to sites using automation.

 Instead, use a search tool like HTML Link, which allows users to enter a keyword and then displays a list of recent posts from authority blogs that contain that specific search term. You can then scroll through and select the posts that interest you most, and write a real comment that is worth posting while making sure to include your own blog link too!

Social Media Profiles

Social Media Profiles – As social media sites continue to gain popularity and become more mainstream, so does using them to build backlinks for your site or blog. One of the first things you should do after setting up a new blog is go directly to all the major social sites and register a new user account in order to create a stronger online brand.

Among the most important and influential networks are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. After creating your account on these sites, don’t forget to complete your profile and link to your blog from there before moving on. While these social sites allow a link back to your site, not all social communities do.

Be sure that you invest your time and efforts on social networks that offer you a chance to build backlinks to your blog. I suggest reading this list of social media sites that offer profile links in order to maximise your number of backlinks.

Post in Forums

Forum Posting – Similar to posting blog comments on relevant posts, including a link back to your blog in your forum signature can help to build backlinks when posting to threads related to the topic of and keywords associated with your blog.

 This is more effective when you spend some time looking for forum threads which are unanswered and have been posted by individuals seeking information related to topics on which you are knowledgeable.

Try to provide them with the info they are looking for, while making sure to include your blog link in your signature or post. Also, look for forums where people are asking consumer-related questions and you might just score an opportunity to reach some new leads and market your products or services using a new medium.

Just do your best to follow forum rules and do not resort to pushy tactics or excessive self-promotion.

To learn more, read this article about how to increase your site’s ranking using forums.

Submit Guest Post on Another Blog

Guest Blogging – Although this is by far one of the most effective methods of building valuable backlinks to your site, you will find it to be somewhat challenging if you are just starting out and not established yet. Without much of an online reputation, you are less likely to even be considered for a guest posting opportunity offered on an authority site.

 The owners of these blogs are very selective, since high-quality content is the key to their success, and the reason that they rank so well in search engines. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why their attention so hard to come by for newbies .

However, there are some blog owners who are less concerned with your reputable history as a blogger/writer and place more importance solely on the quality of the content you’d like to submit as a guest post.

 Try searching Google using terms such as “write for us” to find potential sites for pitching your guest post. Alternatively, you can try signing up for a site like BlogSynergy or MyBlogGuest, which both specialise in helping blog owners connect with guest authors.

Distribute a Press Release

Press Releases – If someone tries to convince you that press release marketing is dead, don’t listen to them! It’s alive and well, and you can use it as another supplemental method of building backlinks to your new site or blog.

 Just be sure you know what you’re doing, since press releases require a specific, formal type of voice and there are formatting rules you need to follow as well. If you are new to PR writing, I recommend reading Brad Callen’s eBook “Press Release Fire.”

I suggest using HubSpot’s Press Release Grader to help you optimise your release before you submit it to any distribution sites.

 If you have the money to invest, you should also submit the release to a paid site like PRWeb, which has produced amazing results for me. There are tons of benefits to using PRWeb, such as tracking and analytics to help you measure the reach of your story across the web.

 Don’t forget to include a link to your blog in the appropriate space, and PRWeb even lets you embed your website/blog into your news release page!

Extend Registration of Your Domain

Extend Registration of Your Domain – You may not be aware of this, but the length of time you register your domain plays a factor in your page rank.

 Speaking from my own personal experience, my site’s page rank increased by one point after I renewed my domain registration for the next five years. Prior to doing this, I had only bought one year registration. The price difference is minimal, especially when you consider the value of having your own branded domain name in the future. The difference in page rank was a big leap from one to two!

 The main reason for this is that Google believes sites with longer registration are likely to be more reputable than those only registered for one year, as many spam sites tend to be. To read and learn more about this, I suggest this great article that discusses domain age and how it impacts your pagerank.

 Don’t put too much weight into page rank alone, however. Did you know that Google uses somewhere around 200 additional factors to determine your site’s ranking? There is a lot more to consider, clearly!