One of the most effective ways of creating and increasing your ranking with Google is through backlinks.
The backlink strategy falls under the SEO (search engine optimization) marketing umbrella and according to Google.About.com, it refers to “hyper-links pointing to a particular Web page. Backlinks are important to SEO, because Google considers the quality and quantity of backlinks to determine Page Rank.” Page Rank is a measure of popularity Google assigns a website.
A backlink, simply put, is one website linking to another. In other words, inbound links to your site. You can liken it to a popularity contest – the more links in (votes) the better.
But, there is one essential element Google requires to effective backlinking – they must be from relevant and authoritative websites.
There are two methods of getting backlinks: the slow (ethical) way or the fast (unethical) way.
Backlinking the Ethical Way
The ethical backlinking strategy is to use organic inbound marketing. You will need to create relevant ‘to your site’ content (blog post) that’s keyword effective, engaging, valuable, and most importantly, shareable.
It’s this regularly updated fresh content that will create an inbound funnel back to your site. Readers will see your articles, find them valuable, and link back to your site.
Another organic inbound strategy is using linkbait.
Linkbait can take the form of any content that will be perceived by someone as having value. It must be valuable enough for the person to click on the link back to your website. This creates an ethical and organic inbound backlink.
Examples of linkbait include:
• Free ebooks that are entertaining or informative
• Free podcasts or videos that are entertaining or informative
• Free helpful online tools
• Articles or blog posts that are entertaining, informative, or controversial
• Games / puzzles
• A resource page on your site
You get the idea. Linkbait must have a perceived value to the person in order to motivate him enough to click on your link.
Backlinking the Unethical Way
As with most business strategies, people always try to find a quicker, cheaper, easier way of doing things, even if it’s unethical.
The fast backlinking strategy is to use automated tools or outsourcing services to increase your backlinks. These options do indeed increase backlinks, but there are no guarantees as to where those links are coming from. This means you will most likely get links from low ranking and spammy sites.
The bad thing about having these types of sites linking back to your website is that Google doesn’t like it at all. In fact, Google will drop your ranking if they catch on to it, and chances are with the regularly updated and revised search engine algorithms specifically created to catch these unethical practices, you will be caught.
So, think twice about succumbing to the quick and easy backlink strategy. Go for the ‘tried and true’ ethical one. Use effective and optimized organic inbound marketing strategies that will make the search-engine-powers-that-be pleased.
Google is paying attention – this means you must be careful.