Backlinking - The Backbone To SEO Success
We're often asked about backlinking, what is it, how it works and how we work with it to maximise your success so we decided to write a small guide on this topic which is broken up into the following six sections:
- What are backlinks and why they’re important ?
- Different sources of backlinks
- Strategy creation and automation
- No footprint
- Closing points
1. What are backlinks and why are backlinks important ?
A backlink is basically a link on a webpage that links to one of your web pages on your website. In simple terms a backlink is like a “vote” and the web page with the most “votes” wins in the search engines.
There are internal backlinks, ie backlinks on your own website pointing to pages on the same site, and external backlinks, ie other websites that point to your site. External backlinks are by far the most powerful but internal links are also important (please see our “please help us to help you” guide that goes into more detail on internal backlinking strategies). When we talk about backlinks for the remainder of this guide, we will be talking about external backlinks.
Now, not all backlinks are the same, some are very powerful, some have little power and some have zero power. It’s a common mistake we see where people try to get as many backlinks as possible with little or no focus on the power of the backlinks, the mix or the strategy. For example, lets say you built up 10,000 backlinks to your webpage, if each of these 10,000 links had the power of 0, the combined power would also be 0. So there needs to be a focus on quality as well as quantity.
There are also different ways in which the backlink can link to your website, for example it could be using an image or a text link – the very best backlink has your keyword in the anchor text in a text link as this tells the search engine what the “vote” is for. For example, an image backlink simply passes “trust” and a little bit of power, but if your keyword is in the anchor text of a text backlink, this adds tremendous power to that link and also helps the search engines know what your web page is about.
2. Different sources of backlinks
You can receive backlinks from all sorts of websites - here’s just a small sample of some of the different types... Blogs Social networking sites eg facebook, twitter etc Social bookmarking sites etc dig Article sites such as ezines Press releases High powered forum profiles Educational and government sites eg .edu .gov
... some of these are more powerful than others and also the way you work with them ie the mix and strategy plays a major role.
3. Strategy creation and automation
So we now know what backlinks are and why they are important to our overall SEO efforts but for maximum results we shouldn’t just rush off and start making as many backlinks as we can. For maximum results and maximum protection, a refined strategy should be constructed and executed. Below is our current strategy for backlinking (this assumes the site has all its “on the page” factors in place, keywords have been picked and target pages allocated)...
- We order a great deal of unique content from our content writers which will be the “food” for most of the backlinks we create. This content is 100% unique, relevant to your business and keywords and also automatically passed through copyscape to ensure it’s 100% unique, as this is extremely important
- We research what the top 20 sites per keyword have been doing with their SEO efforts over the last 3-6 months. From this data we will create a strategy which looks at: what backlinks to create, how many of each backlink to create, the order of the backlink creation, the drip rate of the backlinks (called link velocity), anchor text ratios, and much more.
- Now we have the strategy ready, we put this into our automation systems. We have to really stress that this is not one of those nasty $50 software tools that blasts forum spam around the internet, but it is a very powerful macro system which mimics a human 100% - We’ve basically cloned the actions we would do manually to allow us to scale our operations without effecting results. For example, when we find a new backlink source we program our macro system so it knows how to add information to it so we only have to do this once, but our strategies can use it 1000s of times if needed. This is how it works...
a. The system looks at the first task in our strategy, eg create a hub page with a unique 500 word article and put 1 backlink in it to link to page X with keyword X in the anchor text
b. It will first pick a random IP from over 500 that we rent
c. It will open up internet explorer, head over to a free email service provider and create a free email account (any captchas are solved by decaptcha).
d. It will create a new user account on hub pages and verify the account via the email account it set up at stage c. It will then set up the hub page ie add content, link, check its live on the web etc.
... this type of process happens for each stage of the strategy. The system will alert us if...
a. We have hit our desired goal ie top of the page 1, or
b. There are any problems or anything unexpected that requires a review of the strategy this very moment.
... so as you can see we am leveraging a massive amount of power with these systems we have created.
In addition to all the different types of backlinks we create with the help of our systems, the most powerful backlinks are created on our own network of sites. We have built up 1000s of sites using wordpress in a vast amount of different niches, all sites are on different ip address spread over many hosting providers and we place high quality content on these powerful sites and then link to your site from them. This network gives around 70-80% of the overall backlink power as it’s really a very powerful.
It is also very important that the backlink mix doesn’t look “un-organic” ie doesn’t look unreal to the search engines. For example, lets say your website had 100 links today, and this time next month had 100,000 links from one link source eg all wordpress blogs, and all the anchor text was the same – the search engines would spot this a mile off and at best remove any power these links gave or at worse penalise your website. So, it’s important to really mix things up, which our systems do, for example...
- We use anchor text rotation so not all anchor text is the same
- We use “waste” keywords (these are not included in your keyword limits and are provided free) such as your site name in the anchor text, and keywords such as “click here” in the anchor text etc, so the anchor text mix looks really nice and natural
- Additional free links with waste keywords will go to random pages on your site as well, so that the search engines don’t just see the same pages getting backlinks all the time.
- The strategy we use ensures that every possible type of backlink is created, even if that backlink type provides no power. There are 2 reasons we do this a) because those link types may become powerful in the future and b) we like the search engines to see a wide variety of backlink types and we believe whilst some types of links may not help directly with “power”, having them shows the search engines a more natural link mix which can only be a good thing.
With the backlinks we create some will be powerful at the start, and some will have zero power, so to increase the power we use a 3 layer approach. We never use a strategy called “link wheels”, at the moment these are powerful but leave a footprint that we believe Google will take negative action on at some point in the future, our layering strategy will never have any such risks.
How it works is...
Layer 1 = these are the backlinks we create that point to your website
Layer 2 = these backlinks point to the pages made in layer 1 and passes power (called “link juice”) to those pages making the backlinks to your site even more powerful
Layer 3 = these backlinks point to the pages made in layer 2 and passes even more power down the “chain”.
The above method requires vast amounts of links to be created which just wouldn’t be viable if humans we’re manually making each link, however with the human mimicking systems we have this is strategy is possible and works extremely well.
5. No footprint
We are extremely focused on never leaving a footprint either based on the current workings of the search engines or anything they could do in the future. How we work is, we imagine that the best search engine techs are watching everything that we do and if we wouldn’t want them seeing any task or action, we simply don’t do it. This has resulted in consistent results with our strategies because there is never a footprint left. For example....
1. The systems grab new ip address when they go to make any backlink, they pause a random amount of time before entering information into internet explorer, they act 100% like a human and a set small percentage will even hit the back button to mimic mistakes made by a human.
2. The 3 layer link strategy is very strict ie each backlink property is only ever used once, ie they will never be used again either in your site strategy or any other client, so there’s no theme or footprint.
6. Closing points
Of course backlinks are only part of the puzzle with SEO, there’s competitor research, keyword research and analysis, “on the page” factors etc, but backlinking is the main power house of SEO.
What we're most proud of with our systems is that right now we have the combined “power” of 72 staff that works 24 hours per day, never make any mistakes and work perfectly from the strategy we create each month for our clients, however our clients don’t have to pay the cost for this power as virtual machines are doing this. This means our clients enjoy a very powerful backlink service whilst also enjoying a very cost effective solution as we pass these automation savings directly to our clients.
Also as all our plans are fully managed packages, backlinking is included as standard (as well as all the other factors required for maximum success).
As always, if you have any questions on this, or anything related to SEO / internet marketing then please get in touch – we're here to help.
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