SEO is a pretty taboo subject for most people. Understandably, I typically find that business owners are usually completely oblivious of the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) or have a misconception that SEO professionals can be hired that have this magical ability get websites to outrank their competitors and get millions of people visiting their website.Unfortunately this is not reality. SEO takes time, effort that of course that means money.
Part of an SEO strategy should be building quality backlinks. This has always been one of the most important ranking factors however if poorly done can have the opposite effect on your website. At one point it seemed that companies in India created an entire industry out of link building since it was essentially data entry that didn’t require strong language skills as they spammed away on forums, blogs and directories. I had even used these services for simple 1 page websites which would climb the search engines only to eventually become penalized. By the time they got penalized I had already profited off them.
Today it’s important to follow the rules so that you can climb the search results and hold your place in the long run. One way to do this is to not focus on gaining a large quantity of backlinks but instead focus on quality. One way to find quality backlinks is to see who’s linking to your competitors and see if you can get a link back from the same resource. Of the many tools available to research backlinks I would rank majestic, ahrefs and open site explorer as some of the best, however they require a monthly fee.
One tool I’ve recently come across is Backlink Checker by ranksignals.com. This tools works in conjunction with is chrome extension that provides basic site data such as Google PageRank (which is about to disappear), Alexa Rank (which is a pretty useless metric), Whois (this can come in handy) and above all a backlink checker. Installing the extension takes seconds however once installed you are required to also create an account at ranksignals.com. Once your user account is created, you can now use the tool.
Simply visit a website and click on the Backlink Checker icon on the top right of your browser to view a snapshot of the website’s information. Click on unique backlinks to get a list of all the links that are pointing to that website along with the page rank and number of links associated with the referring website. With this data you can find out what are quality websites and try and get a link on those websites.
This is a great way to spy on your competitors to see where they are getting their backlinks from and best of all it’s FREE. Download this Backlink Checker Tool.
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