by Jon Brown

Anyone who has looked into getting their website optimised for search engines will more than likely have come across the term backlink. A backlink is a found on other people’s websites, and are hyperlinks that link back to your website. Search engines look for these backlinks to determine the relevance of a website. The example usually used to highlight the importance of backlinks is the search term “click here”. If you look in google or yahoo for this term you’ll no doubt find Acrobat Reader at No 1. So how can it rank so highly for a keyword term that is of no obviously relevance?

Take a look on the Acrobat Reader site… Serch for the term click here. I don’t think it even appears once on their site, but the reason Google thinks this is the most relevant page for that keyword is because millions of websites all over the world have a backlink to this site with the anchor text of “click here”. Search engines therefore deduce that Acrobat Reader’s site has to be the most relevant for this search term.

What Makes a Good Quality Backlink?

So with the click here example you can see that backlinks are very important ” but Google also checks out other factors. The backlinks that come from important sites (those with a great page rank) are considered a lot more important than those that come from sites with no page rank. If you can get a banklink from Wikipedia for example, this would be considered a very good quality backlink and Google will put more weight behind it.

The number of backlinks is also probably considered, but because no one other than those working at Google know exactly how the ranking system works this cannot be verified.

Another way to improve the backlink is to make sure your backlinks come from pages that are relevant to your own. E.g. if someone owns an estate agent website and points a backlink at a dentist’s website, there is no relevance between the sites so Google will probably not put a lot of weight behind the backlink.

How can you get backlinks?

Backlinks can be generated by blogging and writing articles where you put in the resource box at the end a couple of backlinks. Additionally you can buy backlinks or ask other website owners to post a couple on their website. By ignoring backlinks you will be at a significant disadvantage and will probably not rank well in Google. But by getting a lot of backlinks you can do very well and even end up on Googles first page of results.

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