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One of the most fun activities in web business, right up there with checking your traffic statistics, is monitoring your backlinks to see which sites are linking to you.
I keep a close eye on my backlinks for a few reasons –
It’s also cool when other people make comments about your writing which you can respond to. I’ve made a few connections with other bloggers and web surfers that have left comments about my articles at other sites and consequently they have come through to locate this blog.
A few months ago I started an article marketing campaign to test out this supposedly effective online marketing method. Since I write articles for this blog I thought it wouldn’t be hard to re-post an article now and then at an article repository/distribution site. The idea behind this is that people replicate your article on their own site or newsletter on the condition that they include your author biography with a link back to your site (you create your own author byline). If you write a popular article you can create hundreds of backlinks in a short period of time, not to mention increase your profile, as your article is distributed around the web. I didn’t expect to get hundreds of backlinks from any of my articles but I hope over time by continuing to publish more and more articles I will increase my backlinks and enhance my profile. I’m still in the middle of assessing my article marketing results, which I will report back to you in the near future.
Entrepreneur’s Journey has experienced the quickest backlink accumulation of any site I have ever managed. This is because I’ve worked on writing new content consistently and built backlinks in a variety of ways (I’m presently creating an e-course on establishing free traffic that will explain the techniques I have used to build backlinks for traffic without spending a cent). By analysing my backlinks I can see which methods I have used that are the most effective. So far my results are interesting because they clearly demonstrate that certain methods work better to create high PageRank and high traffic backlinks, while others generally bring in just traffic and some bring in no traffic at all but create a lot of backlinks on low PageRank sites (either new blogs or sites that reproduce other people’s content en masse).
It’s important to remember that whenever you assess your backlinks you are taking a snapshot in time. The Internet is quick, darn quick. You might experience two seconds in the spotlight when a prominent site links to yours, enjoy a traffic spike and gain a few new subscribers and backlinks. This is great when it happens but it’s rare and only the most unique content or the most famous writers will produce this kind of result. More often your backlink campaigning will bring in links on sites that, just like yours, not many people know about. However you shouldn’t be discouraged. If the owners of these sites are, just like you, committed to a long term strategy of producing a great website resource or blog their site will also accumulate backlinks, gain exposure and rise in PageRank, which will in turn benefit your site. In this sense quality sites help each other rise together over time.
In a lot of ways the Internet is also very slow. Information dissemination may occur quickly but by design, search engines will not quickly drive traffic to your site. Steps you take today to improve your site’s search engine performance will not necessarily have an impact until months later. Unique content, celebrity status and good networking can bring you quick traffic but if you are like most people you fall into the majority “working class” online and you will have to earn your rewards over time through hard work.
Google only updates PR every three months at best and during this time millions of new webpages are born that start off without any PR at all. When assessing your backlinks and you come across a page that appears to have a PR0 that has linked to you remember to check the PR of the home page because the subpage may have been created after the last PageRank update and consequently won’t show any numbers on the green PR bar. You can expect once Google updates that the PageRank of the subpage will be one or two points below the main page and in fact once it is indexed by Google, which happens constantly, not every three months, will have SERP results way before it shows any visible PR.
When assessing your new backlinks be sure to browse through each site linking to you and check out the following points:
You can spend hours checking your backlinks so remember to return to productive work and not spend too much time indulging your ego by seeing who has linked to your site. Backlinks play an important part of a search engine optimization strategy providing one of the best metrics for assessing the results of your hard work.
Hopefully before you start your backlink campaign you will have decided which keywords you are chasing. Deciding on the right keywords is an ongoing process which I could write a whole article about but for the sake of brevity I’ll just assume you know what keyword phrases you want people to use to find your site. This is important because each time someone links to your site giving you a backlink vote that vote comes with relevancy that is largely determined by what text they use to link to you.
When I started this blog I didn’t spend enough time deciding on keyword phrases I wanted to promote. Consequently when people link to me I usually get the name of this blog as the text so it would appear like this – Entrepreneur’s Journey. This gives me relevancy for the terms and phrases using the words “entrepreneur’s” and “journey”. I’m okay with entrepreneur as a keyword but I think I could have done a lot better picking a search term that has more traffic for it. Time will tell me how good it is and how targeted the traffic that comes to my site is.
In my article marketing campaign I use another phrase – Internet Business Blog – as the link text which I prefer over entrepreneur because the term “Internet Business” is searched for a lot more. Consequently I face a lot of competition for this term but I hope long term I can make a dent into searches in this area as well.
Checking my backlinks I’ve noticed that many of the most prominent backlinks, those from the highest PR sites, are using my name as the linking text. I have mixed feelings about this. I want to increase my profile online so the exposure this brings is great. From a SEO perspective it does little for me. It will help me rank high for searches conducted for my name, which given that I don’t have the most common name, has seen me quickly rise to the first page of results in most search engines. This has prompted me to instruct people to search for me if they want to find my blog rather than trying to remember the domain name since many people misspell the word “entrepreneur”. However I don’t see my supremacy at the top of the search results for “Yaro Starak” ever being challenged and my ongoing online marketing campaigning will probably see it continue to rise. Although I’d prefer if I had a better set of keywords used to link to me.
This should highlight to you the importance of carefully choosing which keywords you use in your website name and you use for link exchanges and other backlink campaigning. Dane Carlson’s Business Opportunities Weblog located at
www.business-opportunities.biz is a good example of powerful keyword usage. While he stumbled into the success of his sites it’s worth noting his keyword choices were great AND he was early enough to carve his place at the top of search results before things got really competitive. The keywords “business and opportunities” together are one of the most highly searched terms. Dane’s site is usually in the first page of SERPs for phrases using those keywords because he started his site many years ago and has built a website of over 4000 pages. Consequently his “free” traffic from search engines is significant and his revenue from site advertising is substantial.
I can’t stress enough how important backlink campaigning is for your website to be successful. While the whole process of search engine optimizing is multi-faceted, if you don’t get the backlinks then you won’t get the traffic. Monitoring your backlinks is a fun activity for a web business owner and if conducted in the spirit of long term growth through consistent campaigning the rewards are significant.
#1 in Google for “yaro starak“