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What is Backlinking?

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A backlink is every mention your website earns from another relevant website. Each backlink means that someone has tried to tell other people about the information found on your site. Search engines count the number of backlinks a site earns in order to measure its reputation or popularity.
Backlinking is simply the process of acquiring incoming links to your website from other sites across the web. Each backlink you get earns you a “vote” for search engines. When you get enough “votes”, search engines assume that your website is a valuable source of information. Search engines then move your site up in the ranking. Therefore, when done strategically, backlinking will increase site visibility. As a result, it increases web traffic.

There are several ways you can earn a backlink. You can earn them in forums, web directories, blogs and Web 2.0 sites. The easiest way to earn one, however, is to strive to come up with useful and informative content each and every time. This is what you call “natural linking”. Other methods can be done strategically. For instance, there is a feature in forums

called “signature”. By including your website URL to your signature, you earn a backlink for your website every time you post comments on forum threads.

Another ‘common’ method you can use is commenting on relevant blogs whilst providing a link to your website.
Now, you may ask: Are all backlinks treated equally by search engines? The answer is no. This is why you often hear the term “quality backlinks”. There are three things that give weight to a backlink:
  1. Relevance. Does the link appear on a relevant website? If your website is about computers, for example, a backlink that appears on a travel website results in very little or no weight at all.
  2. Ranking. What is the search engine ranking of the website where the backlink is found? It is important to earn links from popular websites with high search engine rankings.
  3. How many similar websites are linked? The more similar websites linked on a page, the less weight the backlink receives.
When backlinking, it is important to also consider the websites where you want your links to appear. For example, you will want to avoid those sites that are considered as “spam sites”. Otherwise, search engines may penalise your site and you may never gain good rankings again.

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