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“:

How to backlink

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!

How to Backlink on a Blog

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:How to BacklinkThe 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!

How to backlinkAbove 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:

DoFollow vs NoFollow

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:

Dofollow vs Nofollow

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.

    There are 246 responses to this post! Join in...

  1. Maria Haun says:

    Great info! I will be using this and letting others know! Thanks

  2. Robin says:

    Great article and excellent advice on backlinking!

  3. Dotie says:

    This is fabulous! You answered the question so simply and now I understand what I should do for a back link. Its been driving me nuts. Thanks

  4. Steven Ligon says:

    I have to admit, I had no idea what you meant by “backlinking”, but now it makes perfect sense! Always looking for a way to move up in the search engines :)

  5. Great information. I always leave comments, but never put my website link. Thats going to change.
    Thanks so much!

  6. Garreth wilcock says:

    It’s amazing how many peeps don’t read all of a post. Of those that do, how many read all the comments and join the conversation, rather than just add there own URL to the bottom. ? One of my sites is dofollow. I have to admit that I didn’t check your source code to see if yours is. Still trying to figure out this pesky iPad…

  7. Walt Grande says:

    I really did not have a good understanding of backlinking. Your explanation was great and using the examples helped as well.

  8. Mary Gomez says:

    I am working on Search Engine Optimization for my Website and really appreciate this article! Thank You!

  9. Thank you for taking the time to explain how this works.

  10. Mark Schill says:

    Thanks for the education! I have not heard of backlinking until I read this article. The Interent, and all of its useful tricks to be the leader in your market amaze me.

  11. We have always tried to leave relevant comments on posts that we felt were interesting and helpful. It would also be interesting to have a better understanding of which search engines view blog backlinks as more relevant.

  12. Thank you for the quick education on backlinking…very useful.

  13. Carol Sawdey says:

    Thanks, again, for going the extra mile to really explain how something works… It’s all about not wasting time in a busy day and you get that!

  14. Kyle Talbott says:

    I have been trying to improve my search engine rankings and I will give your great advice a try! Thanks!

  15. Thank you so much for all your info. I’ve been working on seo for years and I’m embarrassed to say I have not heard of backlinking. Now I know-you are never to old to learn a new trick! http://www.chesser21.com

  16. Joshua Woehl says:

    Thanks for the info. I did not know about dofollow or nofollow until I read this. Definately worth re-reading

  17. Thanks for the info I been trying to learn more about search engine optimization recently and this article definately clears some questions I had about the topic up!

  18. It’s amazing to see so many people interested in this kind of stuff these days. Most agents I know don’t find the value in learning this stuff and in due time it will have an impact as the online stuff becomes more and more important. Great article, thanks for sharing such valuable information.

  19. Jean Richer says:

    This is amazing stuff. It is a great way to add links to your own web site and make it count. Our time is money. It’s great to read all of this content and comment but you also want to make it count. Thank you!

  20. Ian Gray says:

    Thanks for helping me understand the value of social networking.

  21. [...] further their business. Some of the hot topics covered were: – Google Instant – Google Alerts and Backlinking – Google Voice and how to add “Click To Call” on your website(s) – Google Analytics – [...]

  22. I love your articles and am always learning something I didn’t know before. Why doesn’t everyone read what you are saying? And…keep posting information about phones on Android.

  23. Wow. This is a great article. I have been working on my SEO skills and have managed a first page placement on Google. This will really help me and I intend to share the article with all me Realtor Partners in Dallas.

  24. Julie Pogue says:

    Found your Web site yesterday and was very impressed. Signed up to receive your blog posts. So glad I did. I’ve already learned 4 new things from one day’s post. Will definitely be reading often.

  25. Chris says:

    Thanks Julie glad to have you!

  26. Excellent explanation about back linking. You explained it in a way so it finally makes sense to me. Thank you so much.

  27. Jim Mitchem says:

    I remember hearing about backlinks but had no idea what they were. Your explanation was clear and to the point. I can now use them correctly.
    Thank you.
    Jim

  28. mark says:

    what a great place to learn about backlinking and about dofollow and nofollow sites

  29. VHT says:

    Great article. And there are additional ways in which ‘Nofollow’ links affect real estate agents. In case anyone has wondered why they don’t get much search engine attention from all their listings all over the Internet, it’s because all the major aggregators like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com put ‘nofollow’ tags on your listings. So even though there is a link back to your site, the search engines never see it. We posted an illustration and some additional information regarding the subject on our blog: http://resnapshot.vht.com/no-follow-tags-getting-in-the-way-of-your-web-traffic/

  30. Bob Tanski says:

    Great Blog Post!
    Finally someone explained in simplistic terms exactly what backlinks are and what value they have.

  31. I had never heard of this before. I recently checked out the ”top” blogs in my niche (or ones that I thought that were) and sent them through the alexa.com test — I stopped following blogs that were below a set amount of traffic and found some others that I had never followed before but had good traffic. Now I know how to choose which blogs to leave the most comments on!!

  32. Raya Sella says:

    Great article! I need to start following your advise. Thanks!

  33. I Follow! Took some time to get around to setting it up but thanks for the side note about the WP Plugin to change from nofollow.

  34. Cy Phillips says:

    Thank you for this clarification. We’re always looking for ways to increase traffic to our site. We would have applied this suggestion incorrectly. Really appreciate techsavvyagent.com. so many great tips making us all better!

  35. 2 More Thoughts:
    1) If you keep up with a blog and consistently stay involved, does each thoughtful comment count as a backlink to your site?
    2) Are there pros and cons (besides potential spammers) to becoming a “DOfollow” site?

  36. Vicki Lloyd says:

    This is another great post for improving our SEO. Thanks!

  37. Deb Jones says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am struggling with so much information overload on all the social media. It is nice to read your posts that are easy for a novice to understand!

  38. thank god for a real explanation of backlinks. I’ve been busting my head trying to figure this out on my own and have just gotten confused.

  39. Wow! Ifo that is free! I do that on my site also.

  40. Once again, tremendous information explained brillantly. Suzanne, I learn something so helpful every time I ready your information. I am very thankful that you and Chris are so unselfish about your expertise and information.

  41. [...] was inspired to create this post because of TechSavvyAgent’s blog posting on Backlinking. I overlooked the fact that there are many real estate agents still looking to understand the [...]

  42. Ken Tharp says:

    This is a better explanation of backlinking than I’ve ever heard before. Thank you!

  43. What an excellent idea, wish I had known about this earlier.

    http://www.keithandjasmine.com

  44. I think this is really great information and wonderful explanation of how to backlink. I love how it ends with an opportunity to practice the new skill.

  45. Neil Ferree says:

    With the Google Caffeine algorithm and the new Google Instant, finding and acquiring quality backlinks and (when avail) an “anchor text coded” backlink is becoming more important than ever.

    I wrote an article and did a YT video edntitled: Google Pagerank is Directly Related to the Quality of Your Backlinks http://bit.ly/9nwQ6G

    Luckily, there are some pretty good tool avail to help do this.

  46. I truly thank you for clarifying what and how backlinks work. I understand it better now, however execution may be a bit harder to accomplish when your an infant to the social media marketing conceptt. Although a bit clearer now, I’m still in need of help to deply our SMM strategy.

  47. I am new to this social networking and I love it. Yhank you for explaining Backlinking. I especially liked the tip about choosing high traffic sites to backlink too when trying to improve one’s own site listing on Google.

  48. Excellent, thanks. I wonder if there’s any evidence that Google’s algorithms discount the value of links found within blog comments.

    What we know is anchor text counts for a lot, so whatever a commenter inserts in the comment name field becomes the anchor text. If that’s the phrase you’re attempting to rank for then the link becomes valuable. But if you wanted to rank for, let’s say, “real estate Perth”, then you’d want to take your back linking efforts to reaching out to other bloggers with the aim of getting a link to your site with that phrase as the anchor text.

What do you think?