16-Oct-2010

Building Backlinks

Building backlinks is one of the most important steps in establishing organic search engine traffic. Backlinks are HTML hyperlinks from other sites (domains) linking to pages on my website (my domain). Search engines use backlinks along with other criteria to determine web page relevance to search keywords. Search engines then display the pages in the search results in rank order. The criteria and how they are used is private to the search engines (internal to their algorithms). Google has a criteria known as Google PageRank (PR) on which the SEO industry has placed significant emphasis. Within the past year, Google has stated that PR is not the most significant factor and that people should not place utmost importance on PR.

I use SeoQuake which has a plugin for the Firefox browser. With this tool, I can examine the Google PR in search engine results. I can see that the rank order of search results does not correlate with PR. See this sample Google search results page. Despite Google's PR de-emphasis, I sort the search results according to PR and proceed to post comments at the sites. Where allowed, I post links to my website pages relevant to the comment topic at hand. Over the past few days, I have submitted comments to various sites across a spectrum of subjects including "high-end audio", "stock market" and "seo". One has to write legitimate comments; spamming is not acceptable nor tolerated in moderated sites. I found myself spending considerable time in my posted comments. This is due to the natural interest that I have on various topics.

I use Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer to see the respective search engine indexing results for my site. So far, Yahoo has indexed my pages much more rapidly than Google. Due to my comments posting exercise in the past few days, I went from 0 to 287 backlinks in Yahoo with 22 pages indexed. Google[1] has only indexed 8 pages with 6 backlinks. It is a work-in-progress!

My Google AdSense statistics are showing ad impressions being served with ads being clicked. It is encouraging to see visitors to my site, albeit in low numbers in these early days. It is natural that some ads will be of interest to some people - that is the whole point. In fact, it is of interest for me to observe the ads that are being served. I do this for a couple of reasons:

  1. I want to see how ads are aligning with my content.
  2. I am interested in knowledge and information.

Since I am not allowed to click on ads at my own site, I am precluded from exploring the ads. This is too bad. On the other hand, I am trying to stay off my site as my usage factors into the Google Analytics results. At this stage where I have relatively little traffic, my usage can dominate that of my visitors. It is a good thing that I have a development environment on my local computer where Google Analytics and Google AdSense ad serving are turned off. Otherwise, that activity would factor into my visitor and ad serving statistics. In the fullness of time, if this site when this site is successful with a large number of visitors, my usage will be insignificant contribution to the statistics!

See follow-up link building insights learned and getting blocked blog entries.

See Site Visitor Statistics for Google Analytics results for this site.

[1] Despite the slowness of Google crawling my site to index my pages, I want to say that I am impressed with the Google arsenal of tools which I am using - AdSense, Webmaster Tools, Analytics, Custom Search Engine, YouTube, URL Shortener. The Google empire has enabled me with these invaluable resources. I say this with full disclosure that I do not hold Google stock.

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