Backlink or die! 7 ways to optimize your backlinks

By Affilorama Group
Backlink or die! 7 ways to optimize your backlinks


Alright, so the title sounds extreme but this wayward reference to a popular skating game from the 80s illustrates the point that backlinks are a vital part of your overall SEO strategy. Without them no amount of on-page search engine optimization will get your site ranking. In fact, some SEO experts claim that about 80% of your ranking is determined by backlinks to your site, and where those backlinks come from.

A little while back we talked about how authority sites were like well-connected people, and this attracted a higher PageRank status from Google. Essentially this highlights the important role that backlinks play in getting your site ranking.

Ok so you know that already but how exactly should you go about implementing your backlinks? Here are some suggestions to make sure you get the most from your backlinks.

It's true that not all backlinks are created equal. Which is why Nike doesn't have Joe Average doing endorsements for them, instead choosing someone well-known, well-liked and, up until a few weeks ago, well-respected to 'vote' for their products. Backlinks are exactly the same. The more well-known or reputable the site that 'votes' for you or links to your web page, the more that link is worth.

Of course your average golf charity event would find it difficult to get someone like Tiger Woods to personally endorse their tournament, but it has been known to happen. On the rare occasions it happens one of the organizers has got very creative, very lucky or both, to secure a personal nod from the man himself. Likewise your chances of Google, Facebook or Amazon linking to your site with a dofollow link are slim.

Don't let this discourage into conceding defeat. Like our parents told us as we grew up through those awkward teenage years and hated looking in the mirror, we need to make the most of what we've got. This means maximizing your backlink opportunities.

Here are 7 ways to maximize your backlinks

  1. Keyword-optimized anchor text - Looking at your keyword list, choose one main keyword phrase you want to rank for. Have 3 closely-related variations of that phrase to use as anchor text. These will become your primary backlinks. There will be situations where you may choose different anchor text based on the page you're linking from – see point 4.
  2. Use a backlink checker - Use a free SEO tool such as Traffic Travis to spy on your competitors and find out where they're getting backlinks from. Chances are they may be a good first option and 'low hanging fruit' in terms of acquiring new backlinks. You can also use the backlink checker available from the Affilorama website.
  3. Search for dofollow blogs by Googling 'CommentLuv blogs'. These blogs allow you to comment on posts and include a valuable backlink to your site.
  4. Backlink in context – Contextual relevancy is another important aspect of link building. When we relate it back to Tiger Woods endorsing Nike products, it's partly built on relevancy. Which is why they don't use Michael Moore, simply because people wouldn't be able to make the connection. Similarly when you backlink from a page about biting Bichons make sure you use appropriate anchor text that matches not only the page you're linking from, but also the page on your site that you are linking to. This adds weight to the backlink's importance.
  5. Avoid overstuffed pages - Avoid getting backlinks on pages with too many links (a page with more than 100 outbound links is too many)
  6. Aim high - Target websites that have a higher PageRank than yours with a minimum PR of 3. The higher the PR, the more valuable the backlink, indicating that your site is relevant and an authority on the topic.
  7. Go for trusted links - Try to get links from education or government sites as these backlinks are generally trusted more by the search engines. Affilorama have recently released the Trusted Site tool for Affilorama Premium members that will seek out government and education sites that allow you to add backlinks to your site, for any given keyword phrase.

Can backlinks be bad for me?

All this talk of the magical goodness of backlinks might have you thinking they can do no wrong. You might be tempted to go on a backlink blitz, picking up links from anyone and everyone without a care in the world. But whoa there, hold on just one moment. Before you go bananas over backlinks, it must be pointed out that not all backlinks are worth having, in fact there are some that will actually harm your site instead of helping.

We won't go into any detail here but if you want to check out a couple of pointers on what to avoid have a read of the last paragraph in this free SEO lesson on getting backlinks to your website.

So how do you extract maximum value from your backlinks? Have you been enjoying good success with your link building campaigns?

william eckard 13 years ago
Very helpful article Jason. Thanks! Can you just clarify point 1 for me as I am not quite sure. We all talk about anchor text and also do searches for "Allinanchor:" Does the anchor text represent the text on one's site that has the hyperlink inserted (in other words the link to your sales page), or am I missing something?

Troy Todd 13 years ago
Great Article Jason. Thanks.
Mohd Hafiz Kamal 13 years ago
Hi I am still new to link building roughly how many backlink I need to rank in top 10 search for particular keyword.

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Mark Ling 13 years ago
@Williams anchor text is the clickable text on the originating site i.e. the site linking to your site. The power of anchor text is seen in what is known as Google Bombing (look it up on Wikipedia to learn more about this)

@drybox13 theres no specific number of backlinks to get a top ten listing - its just one factor that search engines take into account. Use the SEO analysis feature in Traffic Travis to see other things you can work on to improve your ranking.
adnan abdul rahim 13 years ago
nice and very useful information...
william eckard 13 years ago
Thanks Mark!
Joe Leighton 13 years ago
Thanks, Jason,

Speaking of harmful links, what is your take on Article Marketing Automation?

Have used them for almost a month and gotten 300-400 links (spread over 3 sites) that I think can be attributed to AMA.

Using Yahoo as my indicator, 95% are PR n/a; 4% PR 0 and the remaining 1% PR 1-2.

Each of my articles contain 3 links and AMA claims my articles have been accepted 1,300 times.

3 x 1300 = 3, there are a bunch of links out there that Yahoo has yet to index.

Comments appreciated.

Cheers, Joe

Tate Dwinn 13 years ago
I've actually noticed that the commentluv links use no follow so not as beneficial as they would appear
Robert 13 years ago
I like the Tiger Woods analogy. Tiger Woods is like a PR10 link if you have him among your connections in a golf context.

We should all target Tiger Woods type backlinks over 100s of Joe-the-golfer backlinks in our backlink campaigns.
Rishabh 12 years ago
There are actually million of ways to build up backlinks. I found this guide somehow and implemented it in my blogging, and I did see a lot of improvement in my blog traffic. It is really a must buy -
doryharvey 12 years ago
Im looking at using AMA as a why of automating article submissions. Can anyone offer me advice on this site/product, is it going to improve my backlinking or harm it with poor quality links. Would really appreciate any help in this area.
instinctis 12 years ago
Thanks for lighting up a couple of things here and there on the importance linking. The ones interested in a free SEO report could simply use this firefox plugin which will point out a great deal of key ranking factors:

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john shupe 12 years ago
Get information ! Thanks for the heads up!
Qadir 11 years ago
Thanks for such a nice article
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BMarvelous 11 years ago
These are some great ways to optimize backlinks. Time for me to get to work and start optimizing my backlinks.
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kerry smith 9 years ago
Nice post, backlinks are very important, to the people who is doing seo, a professional backlinks checker is essential, so i find, it is totally free and no limit.
Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.
ChathuUB 3 years ago
How find dofollow backlinks?