backlinksWhat are and why do I need backlinks?

I take it that you’re now trying to make your website popular? It might just be that you’ve managed to build a website get it online, added varoius ‘hit’ counters and are wondering why you’re really (being honest now) not getting very many hits.

The classic ‘business card’ site will never get many hits it’s as simple as that. If you’ve made a real effort and got yourself ranked in Google, Bing and Yahoo – and you’re on the first page – well done – congratulations.

Did you think that being #1 in Google for your keyword/s would suddenly make you a millionaire? Unfortunately many people do, as though being able to say “I’m number one in Google!” would bring you wealth beyond your wildist dreams…

The reality is it just simply doesn’t work that way. The greedy, the selfish, the liars, the salesmen and the profiteers would love you to think that and they’ll do everything they can to maintain this fallacy. Every spam, every scam, every money making ‘tip’, every bandwaggon is all about (and excuse the terminology here – I’m just being direct) is all about “if you buy in to my bull shit” it really does make money.

I’m just guessing now, but I suspect that you might have your homepage, an about us, a contact us and various other items of ‘interest’. You’ve got yourself well placed in Google – maybe you’re even #1 for your keywords (keywords are a word or words – generally less than 5 words that people are likely to search for using a search engine) and you’re still wonderring why you don’t have $millions.

Backlinks.

Are backlinks important? Yes they are. Until your site starts to earn a ‘PageRank’ nothing you post to your site will carry a lot of weight. This is why you need to associate yourself with far larger sites. Read their articles, go to their support forums – make some very valid comments and then post a link to your site. Make sure that the page on your site delivers the results.

When I began developing this website 2 years ago…

I was getting maybe 10 hits a day (after posting a few links to my site from other related sites) As far as I can see (having a Google pagerank of ZERO at the time) didn’t make any difference whatsoever as far as my search rank goes.

At one time a few years ago the only way to increase your search rank in Google was to have a hefty number of backlinks from not only relevant websites to yours but also with a pagerank that is higher than yours.

Google rank their pages from 0-10 (10 being the highest and 0 being of little or no importance at all). Unfortunately for me even though I had spent over a year and a half creating the first incarnation of this website in Flash, with 3d, FREE phone calls over the Internet that would divert to my mobile phone, a daily news feed and a Twitter feed. Google valued my site also as ZERO. (You can have a look at the old version here)

Do not believe for one second that a high quality, great looking, informative and well designed site will get you a high ranking website – IT WON’T.

If you are reasonably competent at SEO you can get a high ranking in the search results and that’s all that really matters. Also do not think even for a second that being #1 in Google will suddenly bring you in a huge number of hits and you’ll become a millionaire over night. It depends (please leave a comment if you have any specific questions).

If like me you’re wanting to increase your pagerank the ONLY way to do so is by having quality (relevant) backlinks to your site.

Hosting my own website as I do – ie from my computer at home using a standard broadband connection with a dynamic IP address – really it’s the bog standard. I’ve managed to increase my Page Rank to 1! I was using a Windows 2003 Server with 1GB RAM. When my server finally gave up the ghost a few months ago I replaced it with a new Windows 2008 Server Quad core with 4GB RAM – Instantly my Page Rank jumped up from 0 to 1!

Then after having a chat with my ISP (SKY) I managed to get my upload rate increades from 512Kb to 960Kb and yet again my Page Rank jumped from  1 to 2!!

So that was a bit of a lesson for me. So far increasing my Page Rank had absolutely nothing to do with the number of backlinks, the number of posts or the amount of traffic I was getting. Something important I realised that now makes perfect sense – There’s very little point in Google sticking your website at #1 for a super important keyword – sending you thousands of visitors per minute if your system and line speed simply can’t handle the traffic is there?

You’ll find that most people will host their website with a web hosting service provider on a ‘shared’ hosting account. Therefore most people have absolutely no idea how fast their web server is, how many connections it can handle, how many other websites/people are on the same server. Therefore all they’re getting are the absolute basics. It’s one of those ‘cloud’ sorts of things where no one bares any responsibility it’s just there – in the ether.

I would say that having relevant links to your site is important to start building traffic to your site, but also remember that it’s important to have quality hosting, fast connections and ideally a dedicated server devoted exclusively to hosting your site.

Having plenty of posts on your site helps a lot, honestly you never know which post is going to be your most popular, sometimes you might write a post thinking it’s going to be a huge hit and another time you might write a ‘joke’ post of just a few lines that brings in the majority of your hits (if this happens go back to your popular posts a tweak them to make them look better and maybe fill them out a bit more.)

I’ve never tried this, but so many other sites mention it that I thought I’d give it a mention the social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us, digg and stumble upon. Once I have actually bothered to use them I’ll report back (if I remember, or you can just drop me a post and ask)

N.B. If you own a .com a .net a .org or a .ca then you might want to have a look at Backlink Directory. Again unfortunately for me with a .co.uk they probably won’t accept my submission I’ll have to wait and see but to be perfectly honest I don’t think it’s made any difference whatsoever.

Happy linking dudes

Simon

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