Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Makes a Great Back Link Great?

by Bradley Knell

With the increased importance of having a good number of back links pointing at your website pages, some of you may wonder what constitutes a great back link - at least in the eyes of Google. If we're going to spend the time to acquire them we better have a set of criteria established to make the effort worth our while right?

Let's walk through this together so you get what to look for.

A great back link is unsolicited. That means someone thinks your web page is really cool and they want to share it with their visitors so they link to it from their site. That's their only motivation . . . no hidden agenda there. These are what we call one-way back links because there's no reciprocation.

A great back link appears on a web page that features similar content to the theme of your page. Related themes help Google establish that you page is a great match to a specific search query and that will boost your position in the search engine listing results.

A great back link is one where the link text is an actual keyword or key phrase that you are trying to optimize your web page for in Google. Not every web master will allow you to use a key phrase in the link text, but asking for it never hurts and you'll never know if you don't ask!

A great back link comes from a web page that gets a fair amount of traffic. Not only do you want the 'boost' Google may give you positioning-wise for having the back link meet all the above-mentioned criteria, but you also want some direct traffic from people who visit the page where your back link is placed right?

Great back links should come from a variety of web pages that are hosted on different IP's or at least different "C" blocks in the IP address. A simple rule to follow is that you only have 1 back link on each different web site. Having a cluster of a hundred back links all on the same IP is a 'red flag' for Google.

A great back link is a text link - not an image link. Image links don't tell Google whether or not the link is relevant to the content on the page of your site being linked to. So there's little value in it.

Great back links appear on a web page where there are few other links out from the page. Too many other links out will dilute the value of your link to Google.

Spending some time looking for websites that may put up a back link for you and meet the criteria we have mentioned takes time, but it will be well-worth the effort you have to put into it. Do a Google search for web pages with your primary keywords and check which ones allow you to post a link on their site. Then contact the webs masters and ask them for a link that based on the criteria we have mentioned here.

Webmasters are bombarded with link requests so personalizing your request by emailing or contacting them by telephone if you are able to, will increase your chances of having them help you.

Try to use this formula to research great places to obtain back links and you'll impress Google every time!

About the Author

Brad is a search engine optimization consultant and author of several articles on this topic. He has helped many small business owners improve their positioning in the search engines using a variety of 'white hat' SEO techniques. Want to learn more about this topic? Visit his website