Building quality backlinks has been said to be one of the major backbones of search engine optimization and this has been proven to be true. Although optimizing your site for search engines does not fully depend on the number of backlinks you have, it depends on other factors such as the quality of those backlinks, how effective your on-page SEO is, domain age among other things.
Most bloggers believe that it all depends on building backlinks and some even go as far as buying low quality links (which I’m guilty of) but over the years, I’ve come to realize that the most effective backlinks are those your earn, not those low quality ones you build.
Does commenting really work?
Well, yeah… to say the least but if you ask me, I’ll tell you I’m not a believer. A great number of those blogs you comment on already told search engines not to follow your links and your links on those comments probably have no SEO value. I can say that 80% of blogs apply nofollow attribute to comment links and search engines most likely won’t follow those links.
What about buying backlinks?
Been there, done that, got hammered by google and lost my precious PR5. You effing heard me right! This blog was once a PR5 site and for a moment, I enjoyed it. It was a good feeling ranking higher than other blogs in your niche… come on, PR5 ain’t no joke but you know what? I lost it and backslided to 3, lost quite a lot of traffic and each PageRank update still got me sitting at PR3.
That is where buying huge, low quality backlinks can get you. I was lucky to bounce back by stopping all link building activity and focusing just on on-page optimization. Of course, I’m not disputing the fact that there are SEO companies who can help you build your backlinks the right way but an average blogger who isn’t earning yet might not be able to afford such services.
So, what is the right way to build links?
Sometimes, hiring a reputable SEO company may be the easiest way out but then, some of these so called SEO companies will only build low quality links for you using some automated tool or something. Some… not all, so don’t get me wrong.
Also, posting in forums (if they won’t ban you) can be a good place to start with. Another often neglected source of quality backlinks is social bookmarking and feed readers. I won’t be going into those fully right now but rather going to focus on earning backlinks.
How to earn quality backlinks
Now, what works for me as a tech blogger might not work for you if you’re in a different niche, I think we need to get that straight. For quite a while, I’ve been earning lots of natural backlinks and I can boldly say that most of these have great SEO values. However, I still believe you should be able to pick a point or two from my rantings.
1. Write concise, high quality useful posts: You’ve probably heard this a zillion times before but it can’t be overemphasized. These types of posts often earn you backlinks from other blogs who would deem it fit to just link to you in an article as a reference.
2. Write tutorials that actually solve problems: I know this may not apply to everyone but I’ve gotten loads of backlinks using this strategy. I keep getting referrals from web forums I don’t even know where someone would ask a question and one of my links would be dropped as an answer.
3. Be grammatically fluent, eliminate typos: Not all bloggers are fluent with the use of English but you must command the language with ease if you actually want your posts to earn high quality links. Sharpening your writing skills may be a long journey you have to take before getting there.
4. Write honest reviews and testimonials: There was a day I was tracking my backlinks from Google Webmaster Tools and I saw one from Avast.com. Wondering how I got it? It was a review of their antivirus solution for Android written by a guest author, Edi Ifediri of Editiweaks.com, that got me listed on their website. Also, testimonials such as the one I wrote on my domain registrar’s site got me a backlink. See what I mean?
5. Create useful tools and widgets: I’ve already told you that some of these strategies may not apply to you if you’re not a tech blogger. Creating useful tools and widgets with your web programming knowledge can earn you loads of backlinks. Enough said.
Of course, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there are more ways to earn those high quality links I did forget to mention or not even using at the moment. Again, if I’m going to be honest with you, you must build backlinks before you start earning them. Your on-page SEO must be tight. Doing these alone won’t get you there, it’s only gonna help along the way.