You likely know the importance of building quality backlinks if you are operating in the online space.
You must have heard that you need to build back links to your website or blog if you want to get better search engine rankings. But should you focus more on the quantity or quality of back links that you are able to generate?
You might get varying responses depending on who you ask. We all have different back link building methodologies that have worked for us in different ways. What I will focus on is what has worked for me.
A back link is exactly what it sounds. It is a link on another website or blog that points to your website or blog. You can build back links in one of several ways. You can leave comments on blogs and forums and leave a link back to your website each time you post.
You can write and submit articles, blog posts and press releases with embedded links that point to your website. Or you can submit your website and its description to online directories for inclusion.
Another method, which is the best in my opinion, is to publish quality content and let other websites and blogs voluntarily link to your content because it’s so cool.
Whichever avenue and method you choose to build back links to your website or blog, ensure that the link building efforts appear as original (normal) as they can.
Back linking is not a one-time “set it and forget it” process. It can be, but best results are often achieved by building quality backlinks steadily over time. DO NOT work to get a thousand back links in two days and then not get one for the next nine months.
Google ignores mass link submissions. In fact, the more frequent, yet spaced out back links you can generate (i.e. a few links daily), the better it will be perceived by search engines.
When building mass links for sheer quantity, realize that most sites and directories that accept mass submissions are often lower quality sites in terms of page rank score and search engine reputation. Moreover, not all material submitted to them is indexed by Google.
This is not that big of a deal because 1) you will be submitting a ton of link inclusions and 2) mass submissions are typically executed using software of some sort, significantly reducing the labor involved in your efforts.
Just remember, search engines like consistency, so spread out your submissions over time rather than bombarding them all overnight.
Getting quality backlinks is a more time consuming process because higher quality sites and directories do not accept mass submissions. They also often have more stringent screening requirements, thereby taking longer to get accepted into.
Building back links through quality sites however gives you a better chance of being indexed quicker by search engines because the source of the back link (the sites you submit for inclusion to) is recognized as a high quality site.
These sites are typically reputable because they provide unique and high value content and are updated frequently. Many of these avenues require you to register with them and confirm your interest to join. They want to make sure you are as serious as they are.
Another important thing to note is that some of the more reputable avenues to submit to online do not guarantee inclusion. But because the benefits are so great, it is worth submitting your request regardless.
Some of the quality avenues are Squidoo, Ezinearticles and HubPages. I know that the latest Google Farmer update impacted some of these, but the fact is that these are some of the better quality resources out there. I believe the Farmer update will find a way to correct itself (if it hasn’t already) and reward sites that deserve better.
Though the answer might be obvious, I will tell you otherwise. There is no doubt that focusing on high quality avenues to build back links is the preferable route, but I have experienced some good results through mass back link building efforts as well.
Because mass submissions are a lot quicker to execute, it makes sense to at least try them. But if faced with a choice due to limited time and resources, definitely go with quality backlinks over quantity.
In conclusion, I’d just like to point out that no single tool online truly gives you an accurate count of how many incoming or back links you have to your website or blog. Check Yahoo, Google and Alexa and you will get three different answers.
Paying attention to stats can be discouraging, as the number is often grossly understated. I have learned from my experience to focus on link building efforts steadily over time without worrying much about what the analytics say. Even if you don’t see an uptick in the count, you will realize several benefits from your link building efforts.
What is your take on building quality backlinks? What strategy/strategies has/have worked best for you?
Well, I still prefer quality rather than quantity, but how nice it would be if its quantity+quality. Isn’t it a complete package?
That’s definitely the ideal position to be in my friend. Now if only everyone understood it and executed it
Sunil, Have you ever paid for the services of an SEO company? Backlinking being one of the main components of course. I’m strongly considering a few companies that could take my site to the next level. Of course, one of the hardest things to do is determine which companies are legit and are really worth the investment. And of course a bad strategy can actually backfire and damage your rankings.
Any recommendations or personal experience with this?
We must have some sort of telepathy going. I was just brainstorming a blueprint for a post just on that topic because as you pointed out it is very difficult to pick the right partner.
To answer your question, yes there is a professional SEO company that I have been working with for years now on various niche websites, especificaly for back linking purposes. Extremely professional, affordable and effective. I’d be happy to make an email intro. Please email me offline.
Hey Sunil, I sent you an email yesterday, just wanted to make sure you got it and it didn’t get stuck in your junk folder (I assure you I’m not junk :)). Thanks!
Got it and responded
Much of what I have been reading supports the use of a backlinking campaign for niche sites, but I am still trying to figure out its role for a regular website. 1) Can you please explain the implications of article marketing for regular blogs? 2) How laborious is it to spin articles so that your original content ranks well? 3) When should you begin to expect results if you submit to the standard directories (everyone says it is a long-term strategy)? 4)Lastly, can you please forward me your SEO person, as I would like to know what’s reasonable should I go that route too? Thanks in advance!!!!
I focus very much on the “quality” links personally and have found these weather the algorithm changes much better than a load of junk links. Having said that I may add some lower quality links later on but initially when I’m building a new site in a reasonably competitive niche I like to use the highest quality links possible – I have to admit that based on my own experiences I don’t even rate HubPages, Squidoo and all the other “usual Web 2.0 suspects” as actually being very high quality links – there are sources of much better links out there in my experience.
Richard, can you share some of those high quality links or point us in the right direction if you don’t mind? I agree with your approach.
I usually try to get more quality backlinks, I know these are time consuming but provide you best result as well. I usually focus on niche forum discussion with targeted keyword signatures which is very relevant way to get quality backlinks. Article submissions are great ways as well.
Aaron – any tips on finding relevant dofollow forums that web property owners can leverage for marketing? any specific tips in how you conduct article marketing that has worked best for you?
Good post Sunil. I prefer quality over quantity. Better yet, a high quantity of high quality back links. I’ll start with a comment on this fine post on your fine blog!
good one Matt. how does one achieve a high quantify of high quality back links without doing it 24/7 all the time? what’s worked best for you?
If I had that answer Sunil, I probably wouldn’t be reading your blog for advice ;o). I think it’s about building relationships with other sites, commenting when you can, and developing good content that people want to link to. All these take time and effort though.
Funny Matt. Relationships in the blogosphere are great and often underestimated. This helps tremendously if another blogger links back to you with a dofollow link. Otherwise, it helps for increased subscribership, but not so much from a link building perspective (but like I said sometimes it’s both).
While quality commenting can bring some human visitors over, many times the link is a nofollow and thus you get no credit for commenting. And ofcourse killer content will hopefully generate links on its own over time.
Many bypass all of these by deliberately building links through article marketing and mass submissions. Those too work, and only time will tell which method prevails over the rest as we do not control what the search engine Gods do.
Very nice article, Sunil! I agree with Matt that both are necessary…quantity AND quality. Of course, it isn’t always so easy to do with the many responsibilities of life. One tip I’d like to share is putting that empty time to good use. I write about stress management and one thing alot of people find stressful is “waiting”, whether it’s on line at the bank or in an office for the dentist, so I put that empty time to good use by getting on my iphone&leaving comments. I’d also be interested in Richard’s suggestion, so I hope he logs in again.
Good idea Kim – the pre tax deduction investment of $600 in that cool looking smart phone certainly pays off doesn’t it 😉 I do that when my wife drags me to the mall and shops.
Thanks for the info! I was considering a backlink service that spreads out backlinks over time. However, I found out that they use software that generates general comments to websites that aren’t in my niche. However, these websites do have high PR.
My question, is it bad to get links from websites that aren’t in your niche? Also, do you recommend for me to stay away from these types of services that use automated software?
Whether it is bad depends on Google’s mood. There is nothing documented out there. However, there is documentation / test evidence that link relevancy plays a big factor in link building. So while I can’t certainly say it hurts, it certainly won’t help you as much as linking from relevant sites would.
Most software out there in my experience is too aggressive/border line black hat and will get you in trouble. However there are some real good programs that help expedite the link building process while maintaining the quality and integrity of the process. I use UAW which has been the best I’ve tested in terms of experience and results. If you’d like to try it out, you can find a link on the top left under the Helpful Resources. It is the white square on the lower left that says “Authors….”. Note that I do get a commission when someone decides to purchase through my ad.
On a side note – you’ve got a real interesting niche going on there
Awesome, thanks for the tips! This was always a problem for me to decipher what was good and bad, I read so many conflicting things on the Internet. Glad I found your blog 🙂
I’ll check out the UAW link.
I too think quality is more important. I have a competitor which according to sites like alexa.com and backlinks.com “he” has way less back links than my website. Though his website is ranking better than mine in Google. In other words, his backlinks are certainly better than mine.
In Alexa if you click on the link under the backlinks number/figure, it will show you which sites are linking to the website under review. Yahoo Site Central does a good job of detailing all the links to a site as well.
Thanks so much, Sunil. I’m pretty new to all this still, so I don’t have a preference yet for quality over quantity of vice versa. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing the information. I had a blog I closed that was getting decent page views (it was with Blogger and I moved to my own domain with word press) and I haven’t been able to figure out why I haven’t gotten the same kinds of views with my new site. Now I’m pretty sure its because of back linking. I had the old blog registered with several directories and the articles were pinged into an e-zine. Thanks again.
Welcome to the blog Amy. Blog platforms like Blogger have their network of blogs, and yours shows up on others therefore enticing clicks. This is superficial however. Great decision on branching out on your own. I have several articles that explain why that is a must, as well as articles on internet marketing that will help you way surpass the old traffic numbers you are used to. I hope you find them helpful in your journey. Please stay in touch and keep me posted on your success. Just visited your “silly” blog 🙂
our philosophy has always been to focus on quantity. we helped one client get only two PR 5 links and as a result the client’s website is already a PR 3 website in less than 6 months.
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welcome to the blog Henry
Quality is very important than the quantity…That will make the page rank higher..
I think quantity is ok as long as you spread it over time and you can get some social proof for those links. But overall, quality is often the best.
agreed, and this is especially true today with recent SE algorithm changes
I think quantity and quality backlinks both are important for blog/ web. We need to combined and balancing them. But quality a step higher than quantity.