How Backlinks Work With Google Rankings

Its no secret that Google values links. Even with the hundreds of updates they do on a yearly basis, the one thing that always remains the same is how much they emphasize backlinks.

What Is a Backlink and How Does It Impact Search Engine Optimization

A backlink is a link that has been placed on one website and points back to another website. If a visitor should click on the backlink they will be redirected to the website that is being linked to.

While links are most commonly attached to words and phrases, they can also be attached to images or simply left “naked”.

When it comes to search engine optimization, to get the best results you should have a thorough link building strategy in place. If you just start spamming your links everywhere you will end up doing more harm than good.

Keep in mind the Google algorithm never stops working. It is constantly crawling websites looking for signals it can use to determine where a site should rank in the search engine.

Websites that have a high number of links from trusted sources will almost always rank higher than a similar website that doesn’t have a good backlink profile.

How To Build Links That Google Will Love

While links are important to Google, not all links are created equal in their eyes. That’s why its so important you focus on quality instead of quantity.

One of the most effective ways to build quality links is by publishing amazing content on your website. If visitors find your content valuable they will be more likely to share it. And the more people that share it, the higher your rankings will go.

Always remember to use relevant title tags in every piece of content you publish to your website. Doing so can help push your website up the rankings even faster.

How Google Uses Backlinks To Help Determine Ratings

One of Google’s most influential ranking systems is backlinks. The algorithms are updated roughly 500 to 600 times each year, and backlinks are emphasized. A backlink is classified as an inbound hyperlink between websites. When the link is clicked by the user, they are redirected to the URL that was linked. A link can be attached to a phrase, word, image, anchor text or left to show the URL it directs to.

Successful SEO or search engine optimization needs a thorough strategy for link-building. Google looks for ranking signals, and a website with links from trusted, authoritative sources will receive a higher ranking. To achieve a higher Google ranking, high-quality site links are required. A backlink checker is a tool to make the process easier. This tool will show competitor links and the sites linked to the business. The focus when building links should be on quality not quantity. The Penguin algorithm update announced by Google in 2012 affects approximately three percent of search queries. Websites with links created using automated software, purchased links, and excessive link exchanges watched their ratings fall. This remains one of Google’s fundamentals in their ranking algorithms. High-quality links must be built naturally.

One of the most effective and safest ways to generate links is posting blogs and publishing articles to the site. Some webmasters will find the information very helpful, and respond by linking it to their website. Since Google uses links as a ranking factor, this will help improve the search ranking of the site. The pages should be given relevant and unique title tags. Google uses more than links to determine ratings. The search ranking of the site incorporates hundreds of additional factors. This includes meta descriptions, the speed of the website, domain age, page titles and mobile compatibility.

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Quick Publish Partners Earn More

About a year ago we added a new feature (Quick Publish) that gives Partners the option of letting LinkWorth approve new requests. The feature is not only a favorite of those currently using it, but it’s proving to increase sales for those that are participating. Advertisers want their ads published ASAP, so their searching for ‘quick publish’ partners first. Why not turn this feature on for your sites?

This is nothing automated, so there are no worries about LinkAds being published on your site that you wouldn’t approve. You get to clarify what you do not want on your site and this is reviewed when you have a new request by one of our support staff. You can also tell us to remove anything that shows up you aren’t happy with, even though it doesn’t fall into your exclude list.

To illustrate how Advertisers find your site, there is an option to toggle when searching our inventory:

and when this is selected, the results will only show the Partner websites that have opted into the quick publish service. It’s a great (and free) way to get your site(s) more exposure. If you need any help, contact our support department.

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The Importance of Unique Content

Hey there to everyone in the LinkWorth family.  I just wanted to take a moment to discuss the latest Google Algorithm update and how we can all make sure to stay on the light side of the force with this change; that way we can all keep our rankings high and the traffic flowing in.  To summarize what is widely understood as the main concern of this new update, Google is putting forth more effort than ever before to fight content farming; essentially duplicate and/or stolen content. 

What does this mean for you? Well, it means that if your site has duplicate content on it then there is a chance it could be devalued and drop in the rankings.  Fortunately the solution is simple, just make sure your site is composed of unique and compelling content.  Granted, this is “the Internet” and content is regularly swapped and shared (that’s the very definition of something going viral) however I would urge Webmasters out there to consider the many benefits of original content beyond simply staying on the good side of Google.  For E-Commerce sites, original content and copy help to differentiate your store from that of your competitors, and for blogs and most other types of websites unique and original content is what will keep your visitors coming back again and again, as well as attracting new visitors. The ultimate aim here is to provide the best value and experience for the end users of our websites.  For those that may need a little help, might I remind everyone that LinkWorth has a team of writers standing by to create original content for whatever your need may be.  If we keep these things in mind and create great content, being found online is a piece of cake.

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Visit our booth. Win an iPad.

Come by and see us in person next week at SES San Francisco! We’ll be exhibiting…booth 420, where we’ll have luscious, double-padded carpet to ease the pain in your tradeshow-weary feet. We’ll impart yottabytes of SEO knowledge into your already overloaded brains. We’ll talk links.

But perhaps even more importantly…we’re giving away an iPad!

So, swing by and drop off your business cards and register to win. Steve & Dave will be signing autographs and Ron & I will be getting to know the bartenders. Hope to see you there!

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Alternative Publishing Option for WordPress

Recently had a customer wishing to publish ads on his WordPress blog, however, he did not want to use the plugin. In addition, he wanted to combine LinkWorth ads with other ad networks inside one widget. The reasoning was to limit the number of widgets displaying on the sidebar. Today there is a new customer requesting the exact same thing, so I felt it might be useful to post an alternative option for anyone else looking for the same thing.

The problem with using our PHP File Inclusion inside a text widget is, the text widget does not parse PHP code. You can only put HTML or JavaScript inside these widgets.

If you do not want to use our plugin (which is the easier option since it incorporates almost all of our products), you are able to use our PHP File Inclusion publish option inside a widget, along with other ad network publish codes by following these steps.

  1. Install this PHP Code Widget plugin and activate it.
  2. Go to the widgets section and place the “PHP Code” widget where you want it to appear.
  3. Grab your File Inclusion PHP code from your LinkWorth account and insert it into the widget.
  4. Save the widget information and you’re done!

Here is a screenshot of how the widget will look with the LinkWorth code in, along with how you can publish other ad network code and html:

PHP Code Widget Example

Now if you are going to do this and are publishing a ‘home page only’ ad, you need to tell WordPress it should only be on the home page. You do so by adding this code before the LinkWorth code:

< ?php if(is_front_page()){ ?>

and then you add this code after the LinkWorth code:

< ?php } ?>

Here is a screenshot of how it will appear in the widget:

Home Page Only Example

The last scenario is if you offer both home page ads and all page ads. In this case you’ll need to include both PHP File Inclusion code snippets in the widget. Both can be found in the publish section of your LinkWorth account. Here is a screenshot of both codes working together in the same widget:

Home & All Page Example

Of course, there are also sub page links, but this gets a bit messy. You’ll definitely need to understand the WordPress conditional tags and make sure what you enter on your blog matches what you have setup with LinkWorth. For more info on this, you can read about it over at WordPress.

**Side Note**
The LinkWorth File Inclusion code examples used above should be replaced with the code found in your account. We used example code that does not work.

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Automatic Approval Is Live!

Wouldn’t it be nice if LinkAds just magically appeared on your site and made money for you right away without the hassle of having to log in to the control center, approve the ad & then go through the steps of publishing the ad each time an advertiser wanted to buy from you? We think so, too, which is why we’ve just launched a new feature to do just that!

It’s called “Auto Approve” and its live right now. If you think this option is right for you, simply log in to your LinkWorth Partner account and go to “my sites” >> “publish” >> select LinkAds >> and then select one of your URLs. You’ll see the following section at the bottom:

autoapprove

Be sure to click the “What’s This?” link for exact directions you must follow to be accepted into Auto-Approve program.

By selecting “auto approve” you are allowing LinkWorth to approve or decline any link requests you get from Advertisers and publish them automatically on your website. You will be prompted to select ad categories that you DO NOT want to host on your site in addition to outlining any other criteria you want us to follow prior to making a decision. You don’t want Viagra ads, for example? No problem. Don’t want competitors advertising on your site? Done. Relevant sites only? Piece of cake.

The benefit here is that Advertisers will see that you have this option available and since it’s been requested MANY TIMES over the years, our feeling is that you’ll sell more ads. Advertisers want links and they want them NOW, so this will better serve them while making the whole process easier for you.

This is currently only available for LinkAds, however, we may decide to activate this for other products if the Partner feedback is good.

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PayPal Delay

We have experienced an issue with PayPal this month that has delayed our ability to make our PayPal payouts on time. It is our understanding that PayPal payouts will hit our partner accounts tomorrow instead of today. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work through this matter.

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Little Feature Added to LinkPost

We’ve added a new feature to our LinkPost and LinkPost Jobs that many will find extremely beneficial. It’s called “Pre-Written Content” and in a nutshell, Advertisers create the content for the LinkPost they purchase and Partners use this content to create a new post on their blog.

One of the most complained about items when it comes to LinkPost and LinkPost Jobs, is the actual content produced in the post. While there are many that do a wonderful job at writing original content, there are also many that just don’t quite meet the Advertiser’s standard.

Due to this reason and suggestions from clients, we have implemented a new feature called “Pre-Written Content”. Think of a LinkBB and a LinkPost combination; the Advertiser creates the content and the Partner publishes it. The Advertiser gets a perfect post they are 100% satisfied with and the Partner gets a guest blogger making a new post on their blog and being paid for it. It’s “VERY” easy money for the Partner.

Advertiser Information
For Advertisers, we’ve added a new radio option as shown below that asks if the new outline will have pre-written content or not. If you select “Yes”, a new pre-written content text field will appear where you will put the content in. <HTML TAGS ARE ALLOWED!> The best recommendation would be to either format your post with some sort of editor that allows you to insert the html tags, then copy the content with tags over to the pre-written content field. You can also submit the content without tags if you choose to not use them. All paragraphs and line breaks will be recognized and carried over.

pwc1

After you have completed the fields for the Outline and submitted, your outline will be saved and queued for review. Once your outline is approved, everything else will operate the same as before.

We definitely recommend making each pre-written LinkPost unique. The most effective practice would be to select the blogs you want to publish your LinkPost on. Learn the blog and how they speak to their audience. Then do your best to make your pre-written LinkPost blend in well with the bloggers other posts. You’ll need to create a new outline for each pre-written post.

Another recommendation is to go ahead and put the links in the content where you want it. This takes all of the work out of the Partner’s hands and you’re 99% certain it will be published exactly how you want it to be published.

Partner Information
LinkPost just became really easy for Partners when pre-written content is provided! The worst part, for most, is thinking of what to say about said site/product or keywords. Quite often, the content falls short of what the Advertisers are hoping to see, so this option helps both sides.

Partners will know when a pending LinkPost or a LinkPost job has pre-written content included. As you can see in the image below, you’ll see the yellow highlighted part that says “Use pre-written content as the blog post”. You’ll also see the content on the right side column.

pwc2


Once you click “Approve”, it will direct you to the next screen that gives the publishing instructions.

pwc3

On the Publish Instructions, you will see all of the usual items, but now if it includes the pre-written content, you’ll see it in the right-side column. All of the pre-written content will be inside the textarea box that will highlight with a single click, and then you can copy to your clipboard with a CTRL C (or right-click and choose Copy). Then go to your new blog post page and paste the content with a CTRL V (or right-click and choose Paste).

Note: when using copy/paste that has html tags in WordPress, you will need to switch your wordpress editor to the HTML version. Otherwise the special formatting will be lost. This is an illustration of the two editors offered.

pwc4

If you would like to go over pre-written content before publishing, click the “Preview” link under the textarea box and it will open a new window showing the page formatted properly.

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Make Money With WordPress MU

Do you have a WordPress MU setup and you’re looking how to make money network wide? The LinkWorth WordPress plugin makes the process super easy. Offer the entire suite of LinkWorth products through your MU network and manage it all from one location.

Our WordPress plugin was recently updated to work for MU installations of WordPress. Running a MU network can get extremely pricey if your number of users grow and why not have a plugin that helps you monetize your network? No one will want to pay for a MU blog, so that leaves you with figuring out how to make money with your free blogs. LinkWorth is the answer!

If you are currently a customer and have used our plugin, it’s the same plugin you would use for MU. The same plugin works for regular installations and MU installations. If your network is really large with thousands of existing users, we can help you get it setup and rolling. Just contact us: admin at linkworth, mention you want to get help setting up the plugin for MU and we’ll take it from there.

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DFWSEM

dfwsemLast week, I was asked to participate in a session on link building at this month’s DFWSEM meeting. We haven’t really been involved with them up to this point, but the group’s president, Tony Wright of WrightIMC, has done a great job of building their membership as there was quite a crowd on hand last night at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson. I was joined on a panel by a few other local SEO consultants in Giovanni Gallucci, Jeff Martin, & Bill Hartzer to talk about all things links.

I think I was most pleased by the level of interest in a simple link building session. We live and breathe links here on a daily basis so it’s nice to get out amongst another group and hear their questions and perceptions about linking and how it plays out in SEO. It reminded me of a session at any one of the industry conferences; a good mix of basic questions and some higher-level stuff, as well. There were even a couple new techniques discussed that I found to be quite interesting.

Giovanni, a social media consultant here in Dallas, had some interesting things to say about the effectiveness of optimizing your Flickr images to get links. Even though they’re no-followed, he’s convinced that those links have gotten him page 1 rankings for a couple keywords; although they aren’t necessarily highly competitive keywords. Very interesting and obviously worth testing out! He also had some interesting things to say about YouTube that we’ll investigate. Good stuff.

Anyway, thanks again to Tony, who’s a major player in Dallas SEO, for reaching out to me. I just signed LinkWorth up as an official member to DFWSEM and I’d encourage anyone local in the industry to do the same. It’s a growing group and we’ll be sending some people there each month from here on out. Perhaps we’ll see you there.

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