Monitoring Backlinks

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 –

  • To see the calibre of the sites linking back
  • To see how high a PageRank (PR) these sites have
  • And to view which keywords are used to link back

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.

Internet Marketing For Backlinks

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).

Backlinks Are Constantly Changing

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.

Assessing Your Backlinks

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:

  • How good is the content? – Is it original or all reproduced (you can spot reproduced content from the author bylines everywhere).
  • How much activity is going on in terms of new topics for blogs (monthly, weekly, daily, multiple times a day) or new articles for standard websites. Also check out how much community activity is happening in forums and comments made to blogs.
  • Lookup the backlinks of the site that has just linked to you to get an indication of it’s popularity. Make sure you do this in Google, Yahoo and MSN search if you want a good spread of data.
  • If you are really doing deep research, conduct a history search in the Web Archives and see how long the site has been online and how it has changed over the years.

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.

Keyword Monitoring

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.

Backlinks Are Vital

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.

Yaro Starak
#1 in Google for “yaro starak

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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16 Comments

  • Great information Yaro! I’m trying very hard to increase my backlinks for two car related websites (www.autoapproved.com and http://www.carbuyingfun.com). Its very rewarding to see your backlink statistics grow from month to month.

    Anyways, thank you for the concise article and best of luck in your ventures.

    Not #1 in google for “Tyler Eastman” 🙂

  • Pat

    You are lucky to have an unusual name! Both my first and last names are very common, which is frustrating to me. I can’t get a domain name with my name in it (already taken), etc. Use your name to brand yourself!

  • With blogs the links can spread like wild fire. Its more important to get your blog syndicated though. This will give you a lot more space and capture time on potential visitors. As well as crediblidy. Syndication is key in blogging.

    In saying that. Having 10,000 subscribers is better than having a ton of syndicated spots. The repeat visitors are the ones who will pay the adsense profits to you every month:)

    You know its going good when google has to fed-ex and hand deliver your check…

  • It would be interesting to do a study to see if it is the repeat visitors that bring in more AdSense clicks or the once off browsers that stumble in and then stumble out by clicking AdSense…

  • Pat – Change your name if you don’t think you can rank for it. Perhaps you can be the slim shady of the web marketing world…

  • […] Once you do find a good site that meets your criteria start monitoring and researching. Check backlinks, investigate it’s history (try the Wayback Machine) and if the site has a community (forums, chatrooms, comment system, helpdesk, etc) see what goes on there. Check the site design, the structure of the links, headings, titles and keyword density. Check the site statistics if they are available (look for those little webstat icons or try Alexa rankings). […]

  • Oyvind

    Ore use an automated service like http://www.trendmapper.com. It searches Google, MSN and Yahoo every night and displays your number of hits on a page every day (in a graph). It’s free.

  • Oyvind – thanks for the link, I’ve just been looking at it and it seems really useful.

  • ape

    I’ve often thought this, afterall repeat visitors will be used to seeing the adsense adverts on a regular basis – which means they may overlook them (they just become part of the layout). I mean how many people click banners anymore? Not many I imagine, everyone’s too used to them. I think it’s one-off visitors who click through more..

    “It would be interesting to do a study to see if it is the repeat visitors that bring in more AdSense clicks or the once off browsers that stumble in and then stumble out by clicking AdSense…”

  • Hi
    Hi Yaro!

    Fred Giasson has a great free tool for checking backlinks Talk Digger

    Playing around with Google one day, I figured out that if you put a space between the word link and the colon your backlink list gets longer.

    Also in Google if you type related:yourdomain.com you can see what google thinks are the links related to you.
    Liz

  • […] You have to remember that Google treats each webpage as a single page, not as a part of a website, so when it comes to linking to your own pages it’s very important you take great care to optimize your keyword linking methods. The beauty of this technique is that you can control it, it’s an on-page technique that in lets you add backlinks to your own pages (What is a backlink and why should you care? Read this – The Backlink FAQ and this – Monitoring Your Backlinks – How Popular Is Your Website?). […]

  • […] Monitoring Your Backlinks – How Popular Is Your Website? […]

  • […] Erik mostly runs the entire network himself, which is no doubt a lot of work. His launch contest is a great idea, offering a unique prize in exchange for exposure and backlinks. Technorati Tags: blogtown press, Erik Vossman, yaro forumsInternal Tags: blogtown press, Erik Vossman yaro forums Like this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed. […]

  • Thank you for sharing this information. I’m also trying to increase my link popularity but it’s not easy, that’s for sure..

    greetz,

    Karel
    The Netherlands

  • […] counts. If you are not clued in to why you should care about your backlinks start by reading why backlinks are important and my somewhat dated backlink […]

  • While this post is a bit ‘old’, the rules didn’t changed much. Backlinks are still the way to go when you want to rank well.

    I just think that you need a very popular blog if you want to create a few 100 backlinks for a good post. I do believe that it’s more easy to achieve that when you’re blogging in the ENG language. I do blog in Dutch and it’s a hell more harder to get just a few backlinks for a good post.

    Dave

  • Yaro —
    This is an EXCELLENT overview of this vital subject. I would like to reprint it on my site. You have my email addres, so let me know if that would be OK.

  • […] How To Sell A Website-How Much Is Your Website Worth?: Yaro’s number one rule? “Your site is worth as much as someone is willing to give you for it.” http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/265/how-to-sell-a-website-how-much-is-your-website-worth/ […]

  • Though this was written literally years ago, you’re still completely right. All of the internet marketing “new tactics” and blackhat issues are short term games — if you want to go for the long term results, you still need to focus on power, relevancy and /legitimacy/.

    Great article. 🙂

  • I agree…for the past few months since I’ve started blogging for Onesuite, I’ve learned backlinks in one of themost important part of getting traffic and SEO ranking. It’s been 4 years since this article was written but it was still spot on.

  • Nice one Yarro… I have learned a lot from this post.

  • Hi Yaro,

    I’ve just begun building a backlink strategy and this post has been a perfect place for me to get started. Thanks!

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