The Qualities of a Decent Backlink

Backlinks are a key component of an SEO strategy because they indicate that your website is important enough to be mentioned elsewhere, which can improve its search enging rankins. It’s important to know what a good backlink is, though, so you can get the most of the time and energy that you put into it.

These are some key attributes of a good backlink:

1. The website where the backlink is located should have a high Page Rank. Ideally, you want to try and find sites with Page Rank of 4 or better, but sites with a Page Rank of 2-3 are much more common on the Internet and not bad – they don’t have the same value as higher Page Rank sites, though. It might be tempting to think it’s not worth bothering with PR0 and PR1 sites at all, but in fact part of what Google looks at is your entire backlink profile and whether it appears ‘natural.’ Some amount of low PR backlinks would in fact be quite normal to have.

2. Anchor text is a term which refers to the specific words that, when clicked on, will take the individual to your website. The anchor text traditionally would be your main search phrase, or keyword. You need to be careful, though, not to use the exact same anchor text everywhere, since this can actually hurt you. In some cases you also want just plain text, with no link at all, because sometimes people type it that way.

3. Don’t pick fly by night websites or shady web-posters. You want long-term stable backlinks with a low likelihood of being deleted. Ideally, all backlinks should be built manually using your own profiles. Try to focus on building backlinks that will not be easily removed by blog owners/editors such as those obtained from Web 2.0 sites, article directories, blog networks, guest blogging and profile links. Approach with caution those riskier type of backlinks, such as blog commenting and signature links, since they are more likely to be deleted.

4. You primarily want contextual backlinks, which mean that the link is placed into sentences and paragraphs about the particular topic. For example, if you are creating a backlink to a fishing website, it should be placed in a paragraph (and article) that’s about fishing. This type of backlink has the most power.

5. Avoid questionable websites. Always be sure you know exactly where your backlinks are going, and preferably place them there yourself. Choose high-quality websites with a good reputation, and your links will have higher value.

6. Active websites with high levels of user involvement and a regular stream of fresh new content are the best places for your backlinks, since they will be naturally receiving higher levels of attention from Google and have their content indexed more frequently than an older site that doesn’t get much traffic. An older site might have decent Page Rank, but if it isn’t updated much, you might be waiting longer for your link to be found.

Be responsible in your backlinking activities and create backlinks only as part of a legitimate content marketing campaign as part of your overall SEO, and even then only do so very carefully.  If you focus on creating good original content that helps real people solve real problems and then get involved online, you may just find that you get backlinks the old fashioned way: by earning them.

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