Everybody wants their website to rank as high as possible on search engines result pages (SERPs) for obvious reasons. There are several methods available to make that happen – some free and some paid – but today we’ll concentrate on backlinks.
What is a backlink?
A backlink is an incoming link to your site received from another website. Backlinks help your site rank higher in SERPs because they increase the credibility of your site for a certain topic: surely if people are linking to you and sharing your content it means it must be valuable. For this reason, search engines think that websites with a lot of incoming links share good content and reward you by ranking your site higher.
In more details…
However, things aren’t so simple. Search engines also take into account who links to your site and whether they are quality sites or not. The more influent the website is, the more credibility its backlinks will bring you.
Another thing to take into account is how search engines interpret the link. The text that accompanies the link, known as the anchor text, needs to help understand what the link is about. For example the following link links to our blog’s homepage: Matmon’s blog
In this example “Matmon’s blog” is the anchor text and http://www.matmon.com/resource-blog/ is the actual link. The anchor text needs to give relevant details about the content so that search engines know what search queries will benefit from seeing the link. As a result, try and have the anchor text be a short description such as “Matmon’s website design & marketing blog“.
Sometimes people link to your site by saying something like “Matmon, a web design company in Little Rock, AR has a great blog on website design, it gives interesting tips on online marketing and website development, go read it here.” While a very helpful comment for humans, search engines mainly see the “here” attached to your link.
While anchor text is the most important factor, there are two more things you can do to help the quality of your link.
The anchor title is an html tag that can be included in the link. For Internet users, this is the text in the tooltip you see when you place your cursor on a link. Just like the anchor text, it should explain what the link is about.
Finally, the context of the page where the incoming link is placed also has its importance. A backlink coming from an article on website design would benefit Matmon more than a backlink placed on a recipe site. The text surrounding the link and the title of the page the link is on are how search engines determine the context of the page.
HTML A Tag Title
In reference to one of Matmon’s blog backlinks, to create the yellow drop down “hover box” or “tool tip,” you use the title attribute within your HTML <a>tag syntax as follows.
<a title=”Website Design Company in Little Rock, Arkansas” href=”http://www.matmon.com/resource-blog/” target=”_blank”>Matmon’s website design & marketing blog</a>
Not all search engines give the same importance to these factors, but remember that the quality of a link is more important than it’s quantity. Do not accept incoming link from spam sites as they will greatly reduce your credibility and have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve. If you manage to receive a good number of backlinks from good sources, Google and other search engines should reward you in their rankings.