Links from other sites to yours – also called backlinks

The below was sent to me by Kristina Weis from AboutUs.com

Hello Anthony,

Links from other sites to yours – also called backlinks – continue to be the most important ranking factor that search engines look at when deciding where to rank a web page in search results. Also, links to a web page are the one and only factor contributing to the page’s PageRank (not to be confused with your web page’s rank in Google).

Backlinks are the most valuable – and perhaps least easy – way to improve your SEO. But seriously, they’re worth it.

You don’t have direct control over over your backlinks the way you do over your title tags or other website content. So how can you get these magical backlinks to help your SEO?

* First, create great content on your site that people would want to link to.
* Ask. Contact site owners personally – don’t use an automated system or send the same email to everyone. Give people a good reason to link to you, like a blog post you think would help their visitors.
* Keep an eye out for sites that mention you without a link, or use not-so-valuable anchor text (like “click here” or your website name). Then ask them nicely.
* Include your keywords and links in press releases, and submit them to press release sites. They’ll be republished, complete with the links to your site.
* Tip: Make sure links you get are DoFollow (not NoFollow) and anchor text.
* If you haven’t already, build a nice page for your site on AboutUs.org and ask us to make its links to your site DoFollow.

For more details on getting valuable inbound links, check out these articles:

35 Local Link Opportunities

Get Good Backlinks

Keep Track of Inbound Links

Build Links with Press Releases

Things to avoid:

* Paying for links or getting links from “iffy” sites. You could be penalized by Google.
* Focusing on quantity over quality. A few good links from popular, relevant sites will help your SEO more than many links from random sites.
* Link exchanges, link wheels, or other link schemes. These provide marginal value, and could hurt you.
* Leaving generic or spammy comments on blogs. Links in blog comments are usually NoFollow anyway, so they won’t help your SEO. However, leaving meaningful comments is a good way to build your brand and get direct visitors.
* Common website issues that can dilute or throw away your “link juice.

Anthony,
Your Internet website marketing partner at ProNetUSA.com