Part of a strong search engine optimization (SEO) program depends on backlinks – links to your website from external sources. Backlinks are links directed back towards your website. Also known as Inbound links (IBL’s), the number of backlinks is an indicator of the popularity of your website. Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.

When search engines calculate the relevance of a site to a keyword, they consider the number of QUALITY inbound links to that site. So we should not be satisfied with merely getting inbound links, it is the quality of the inbound link that matters. This is particularly important when Google Panda was released in February 2011. The algorithm takes into account not just the number of links, but also the quality of the links that are inbound to the website.

A search engine considers the content of the sites to determine the QUALITY of a link. When inbound links to your site come from other sites, and those sites have content related to your site, these inbound links are considered more relevant to your site. If inbound links are found on sites with unrelated content, they are considered less relevant. The higher the relevance of inbound links, the greater their quality.

Here are several tips on how to improve your backlinks.

Work of getting backlinks.

Backlinks do not happen naturally. Just because you have a great article on your website doesn’t mean that people would link to it. You need to work on getting the article published and referred. This can be in the form of Twitter or Facebook or any social media outlet that you choose. More important, any backlink from a major source will help your search engine ranking tremendously.

Work of getting backlinks periodically.

It is much better if you GROW your backlinks. Most people work on search engine optimization sporadically which means that things happen in spurts. You are better off working on the backlines continually week after week. It takes work to maintain and grow your search engine ranking.

Work on getting backlinks periodically correctly.

There are many grey- and black-hats companies out there that would “guarantee” you backlinks to your website if you pay them a fee. Typically this involves them linking back to you using a link-farm that they have already established. This is frown upon by search engines. If discovered, your website may be penalized. So it is better to use “white hat” techniques and create better website reputation in the long run for search engine ranking.

As always, contact us if you have any questions about how to implement search engine marketing best practices.