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BackLinks – What They Mean to You


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Do you have a new website? Are you new to the whole website
scene? Perhaps you’ve heard talk about backlinks or inbound
links. What are they, and just how important are they?

Well, let me say this: they can be the one most important factor
when it comes to your Google PageRank. If you don’t know what
that is, it is a way that Google has of “grading” your site, for
lack of other words. When your web page gets ranked it is with a
value of PR1 to PR10, with the 10 being the highest.

If you aren’t familiar with the Google PageRank, download the
Google Toolbar from their website. Once that is done, if you
look to the right of the Google search button, you will see a
green bar with the word PageRank above it. You can gage a web
site’s page rank by where the green bar is within that space;
half way would be a PR5, while all the way would be a PR10. You
probably won’t see too many of the latter, but that is exactly
what you want to strive for.

What you want, as a webmaster/webmistress, is to have a high
quantity of high ranked websites linking back to yours. These
are backlinks. Their linking to you is tantamount to their
voting for you. And the higher their PR, the more weight their
“vote” holds. So, what you want is to have a large number of
high ranking websites link to yours. Once this is accomplished,
your site will be seen as having votes from websites that have
already proven their importance. Consequently, this will move
you up in rank. It’s sort of like osmosis. Or being guilty by
association, but in a good way.

Now you can go about the acquisition of these backlinks in a
variety of ways.

Some believe that the best way to accomplish this is to study
your competition. Do a search for websites using your keywords.
Take a good look at the top five results. This is your direct
competition. There are numerous ways and tools to help you look
at the sites that link to your competitors (these are the same
sites that you want to link to you). One easy way is to use your
Google Toolbar. Simply type in: link:(your competition’s URL),
i.e. link:www.theirsite.com. The results will determine who you
will contact regarding linking back to your site.

Once you have the results, what you will do in this scenario, is
to find a contact for each website. If you find none, you can
try to address your correspondence (which we’ll get to in a
moment) to webmaster@(URL), i.e. webmaster@ theirURL.com (I have
put an unneeded space there for editorial purposes). Sometimes
this works and, honestly, sometimes it doesn’t.

Once you have a list of contacts, you want to write a nice
little email asking them if they would be so kind as to link to
your website. The truth is that most will want you to return the
favor. This isn’t as good as a one way link, but better than no
link at all!

When you contact them it is best to be both complimentary and
courteous. Let them know that you have visited their site, why
you like it, and that you would like for them to link to your
website. You will find that quite a few of the sites you visit
will have a page or two already dedicated to link exchanges.
That’s fine, it saves you some time. Keep a record of who you
have contacted. Many webmasters believe that it is looked upon
more kindly if you place their link on your website first. You
can always remove it if they are not interested. Your email
might say something like this:

Dear Webmaster/Webmistress:

My name is (your name), and I am the webmaster/webmistress of
(yoursite.com). I have noticed your website, because it is so
similar to mine. My site is also about {whatever topic
pertains). I was just wondering if you would be interested in
exchanging links (I say this because it is easier to get them to
respond if you are going to return the favor, but you don’t have
to). In the event that you are interested, I have already placed
a link to your website on mine. You will find it at: (exact
location of where you have put their link) i.e. http:// www.
yoursite/links.htm, or whatever the location ends up being (note
that again I have placed a couple of unnecessary spaces).

At this point you can either ask them to get back to you or you
can provide them with the information that they will need, in
the event they take you up on your offer. You will need to
supply them with the title of your website , a description, your
URL and perhaps the html code you would like them to use. Make
sure to ask them for a response.

Again, you need to keep track of all of this, and the sooner you
do it the more likely you will be to make it a habit. If you
fall behind, you may be forever catching up

Now, the next thing that you want to do is to take every site
that accepts your invitation and submit said site to Google. By
doing this, you get Google to crawl that site and see their link
to you. Brilliant! Does this sound like a lot of work? You bet
it is! But it doesn’t cost you a thing (except, of course your
time, which can be very valuable). I haven’t mentioned yet that,
depending on the subject matter, your competitor could have
thousands of links, and so far you’ve only tackled the first
site on your list. Whew! I’m getting tired just telling you
about it .

If this sounds too time consuming for you, there are tools that
automate the process. True, they will cost you, but they sure
will speed up the process.

You can also purchase links. Sometimes this is the only way to
get a link from a website with a high PageRank. This can be
quite expensive. But regardless of your time or your budget,
this whole backlink thing can, in fact, be accomplished. How
long it will take is the question.

Some believe that it is better to accrue these backlinks slowly;
that achieving too many backlinks quickly will be frowned upon
by the search engines. Others believe that the only that matters
is getting the most links in the least amount of time. I think
it is something that you must decide for yourself. Quickly or
slowly, no cost or high cost; these are the questions you need
to ask yourself. Once you’ve decided on a game plan, you simply
have to implement it. Don’t be afraid. The worst that can happen
is that your invitation gets rejected. So, you move on to the
next one. It can, in fact, be a never ending process, but what a
learning experience!!

Good Luck!

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  • Posted On May 25, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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