How To Backlink and Why Its Done
Throughout a regular week, we’ll post a quick note or ask a question or two with the hope of getting your creative juices flowing and some socialization rotating amongst our fans and fans-to-be.
A couple of days ago was no different, when we gave out a free “Quick Tip“:
Within 21 hours we’ve had 20 “likes” and 34 comments made to this post. While that is awesome and shows that our fans are really interested in our posts, what was really evident was how the “Quick Tip” was misunderstood by most! This led to a conversation between Chris and I, which in turn led to this post being written!
Our tip suggested a way to gain more traffic, better SEO ranking, and more links pointing back to your own website/blog from someone elses. However, in the following hours, we received not two or three people misconstruing this concept, but a good majority of them misunderstanding – made obvious by them leaving their direct link within the Fan Page comment section!
This was an awesome learning experience for us to find out that this was something we needed to dive deeper into, so that you could use the tip to your advantage!
So, without further ado, what exactly is Backlinking and why should you be doing it?
Backlinks, as defined by Wikipedia, are “incoming links to a website or web page (such as a blog, like this one). They go on to say, “Inbound links were originally important (prior to the emergence of search engines) as a primary means of web navigation; today their significance lies in search engine optimization (SEO). The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website” or web page and therefore will bring your page higher up on the search engine rankings.
It is also worthwhile knowing, that the higher the ranking of the page you are backlinking from is on the search engines, the better it will make your website or blog look to those same search engines – makes sense, right?
So for instance, if you were to leave a comment on ActiveRain, which is well ranked on the search engines, it will be seen as more reputable to the search engines than leaving your backlink on a “no-name brand” site. However, with that said, I am all for supporting the less renowned sites out there (I mean, we’ve all got to make it to the top somehow, right?)
Ok, so here’s the important part. How do you backlink correctly?
Oh yes, it’s both political AND scientific! Political because there is a right way and a wrong way of backlinking, and scientific because you want to make sure you’re not leaving your backlink in places that don’t count!
Adding a backlink within a comment should take just a minute or two of your time and more often than not is part of the initial set up as shown in the example below:The political nature of backlinking is all about relevancy. The last thing you want to do is leave a backlink comment such as “Great post!“ That is obviously not participating in the discussion of the article you have just (supposedly) read. Once again, this is about relationship building, getting your name (and product/services) out there, become familiar and seen as a contributor, and NOT a spammer!
Above is how the comment is posted after hitting the Submit button – My name has been linked to the url of our website address I gave in the comment form. This is the most invasive way to add a backlink, however, if it is appropriate, you could add your name and website address within the comment description box.
Now onto the scientific part of it. Two things you must know about are “dofollow” and “nofollow”. If you leave a comment (and a backlink) on another person’s site, it will count as a backlink only if it is a “dofollow” site.
You can find this out simply by clicking on the “View” and then “Page Source” links on the top of your browser menu bar:
Then, on the new window that pops up, you can search for ”nofollow” in the page source by clicking “Edit” and then “Find” and typing “nofollow” into the search bar:
If you find a “nofollow” within the page source code, then you know that that site doesn’t support backlinks and you should move onto one that does.
SIDENOTE: This is important to know about your own blog too. Do you know if your site is a Nofollow or Dofollow? If it is (or you want it to be) a dofollow site, you will have to make sure that you moderate your comments regularly. Why? Because otherwise you may have thousands of spam comments added to your site for moderation within just a few days! There are also several different spam comment filters and plugins that are available – we like Akismet for spam comment filtering.
If you would like to have your site set up as a dofollow blog, you can download the plugin for your wordpress blog here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sem-dofollow/
I hope this was helpful in understanding a) the importance of relevant commenting both for name recognition and seo, and b) how adding backlinks on a blog differs from adding comments on Facebook. Facebook comments are great for name recognition and socialization within your market and niche communities, but when it comes to backlinks, stick to the dofollow blog sites.