Now, that you understand how a backlink is coded and some of the history behind why the search engine ranking algorithms were changed, you are in a better position to see how your website might be analyzed for quality links. Obviously, you don't want to add your link to websites that are link farms as this will now penalize, rather than enhance your search engine ranking.

And, you know that search engine optimization is interested in the relevance of your site compared to the content of your site. Understanding this makes it easier to understand that when your backlinks are analyzed, they aren't just done so based on their isolated coding, they are done with respect to the environment too. This environment includes, the page rank of the site that is linking to you, your own website's content, and the page environment and content that the backlink springs from.

* PageRank (PR)
The best types of quality links come from sites that have a high page rank in Google's search engine. Page rank ranges on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest page rank. This is a measure of the referral site's reputation and will give the search engine an idea of how reliable this source is about giving out links that are not relevant or within their own content stream. If you don't know a site's PageRank (PR), you can download the Google toolbar and it will tell you what it is. It takes time to develop page rank and you should try to link to sites with a slightly higher page rank than your own, thus building up your own site's reputation.

* Website Content Matching
Ideally, you would want to get a backlink from a site that not only has a higher page rank than you do, but also that has something to do with the content of your site. If your site is about dating, you may want to be included in a site that reviews dating sites. If you just get a backlink from someone who is selling Bibles, it's likely to be ignored as a good quality backlink.

* Page Positioning
A link that shows up near the top of the referrer's page is worth more than one at the bottom. This may seem odd, but you have to remember that paid links are often placed nearer the bottom or out of the way of the relevant content. Paid text links are now not considered good quality links by Google, but how that algorithm is determined, it's anyone's guess. They appear to make page positioning an indicator of whether a text link is paid or not.

* Page Hierarchy
Within any website, there is a directory tree that leads people deeper and deeper into the site. The higher a web page is in the directory structure the more value it has to you as a potential host for your backlink. The home page of a site with good ranking is an excellent place to get a backlink because this is the prime real estate for websites that everyone is sure to visit.

* Anchor Text
The anchor text used by the linking site is becoming more important. If you have a site that sells shoes and the anchor text that backlinks to you is "pretty wear" then it won't be as efficient as one that clearly describes your offerings like "quality top-brand shoes." This effect appears to be evaluated across the board with the more backlinks using quality anchor text, the higher your page ranking in the results pages becomes.

Apply these elements in your backlink campaigns and you'll absolutely gain additional traffic.

 

Backlinks have always had some bearing on how well a site ranked in search engine result pages (SERPs). However, in the past, the algorithms were not designed to take into account people trying to cheat the system by loading up on backlinks from sites that had nothing but links on them, no content of any real relevance. These sites quickly became known as "link farms" and were used by webmasters to increase the ranking of their multiple sites.

In addition to this practice, webmasters often created one web page specifically to house reciprocal links called a links page. It was used by people building reciprocal links to better leverage their site in search engine results but provided no real content. Sometimes, reciprocal links were even exchange between sites that had no direct relevance to each other too. So, in a links page you might find a link to a toy site when the website hosting the link had to do with the elderly. It obviously made no sense to reward this type of behind the scenes ranking manipulations!

Google was one of the first major search engines to start looking at how to reward good quality links that had relevance and added content to a site instead of rewarding savvy, but somewhat unscrupulous practices of cheating the search engine results with backroom deals and black hat tricks. They kept using backlinks as a determinant of reputation, but also strengthened the algorithm to look for specific quality links and penalizing link farms and other black hat maneuvers.

A backlink is really very simple. Anytime another website places a URL link on their site that links directly back to your site, it’s called a backlink.

Why are backlinks important? Because they help bring people to your website, but also because they help boost your site’s search engine standing.

All this from just a simple link to your site? Yes! But only if you know the differences between types of backlinks and understand how to get the best mix of types to get the most traffic to your website.

Beware, though, because there are some pros and cons to each kind of backlink, and if you use them incorrectly or in the wrong combination you could end up actually lowering your search engine ranking by mistake.