In SEO, there is more to ranking a site than just the on-page optimization. Although on-page and keyword placement is the most important, you aren’t going to be able to get the search engines attention with that alone. Think about how many really great blogs are out there about any given topic. There are only ten spots on the first page of Google. If you think that someone is going to go through all of those links and move on to the second page, you’re wrong. In the SEO community, they say that the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google. But, why is this?

SEO Getting BacklinksYou have to look at search engine optimization and the ranking factors from Google’s perspective. They are a business. The purpose of their business is to return the BEST possible results to the search queries typed in by its users. If it fails to deliver, it will go the way of Excite, HotBot, and Lycos. People will start to use other viable alternatives like Bing or Yahoo.

To keep their customers happy, they have to look at several different factors in order to differentiate a great website and a poor one. Although the game of SEO changes from week to week due to the search engine’s algorithm updates which help filter out spam sites, the basics will still be the same. Just like how McDonalds tries out new things, they will always have the Big Mac. They will always have fries. Only the details will change over time. The same goes with SEO.

Your on-page optimization tells the search engines and your readers what your page is about, that’s for sure, but unless it is a GREAT website or blog, it won’t be on the first page. How does it know if a website is great? It has links from other sites that reference its content. Not only does it have links, but those links are coming from sites that have authority and “vouch” for it.

Getting Backlinks for SEO

So, here’s the catch 22 of all SEO professionals. How can the webmaster of an authority site even know your blog or website exists without being seen on Google in the first place?

This is where manual outreach and content syndication comes in.

Manual outreach is when you come up with a blog post or an article on your website that is so well-thought-out that you think it is just the bee’s knees. You then email the webmasters of other sites that might find value in the article or blog post and ask if they would like to post it on their site. If they like the content and want to post it on their site, then all you have to do is ask them to link back to your website in return. It’s that simple. Webmasters understand the SEO value in this and will generally oblige. I do this a little bit with my SEO efforts of the Force Boost website itself.

Content syndication comes in a lot of different forms. The easiest way to syndicate your content and get it in front of people is social media. Remember in the last post about how I said that social signals have to come before your backlinks? This is the reason for it. If you have devised a way to get backlinks without any content syndication or social signals, the search engines pick up on that. If Google were a person, he or she would say, “Well it looks like this site has a lot of friends, but how did they meet? There must be something shady going on here. It looks like they are intentionally doing SEO. So, let’s just not pay attention to those links (or votes of confidence).” Get it? Without the precursor to backlinks, your efforts might be being wasted. So, get your content out there. I’ve found that by doing just that, I get a few backlinks here and there from relevant sites. All I did was put the post on Google Plus and Twitter the appropriate hashtags. A few people searched for those terms on those sites and BINGO! I got a few links from it. These types of links are going to be a much higher quality with a lot of relevancy that you can’t create on your own with any method you devise.

Quality over Quantity for ‘LEGIT’ SEO Status

Although the number of backlinks does play a small factor in determining search engine rank, the main metric of proper SEO is the authority and relevance of the linking site. If you want to rank for a term like “Seattle auto repair,” then a link from a site like ‘myfavoritebunnies.blogspot.com” isn’t going to do much good. However, a link from a site like ‘cars.com’ or ‘seattle.com’ would be perfect. Just a couple of links from highly authoritative sites like that could get you first page rankings, depending on your competition. To see the big picture of all of this, there’s a pretty good infographic on search engine optimization ranking factors over at searchengineland.com.

If all you are trying to do is reputation management and rank sites for your company’s name, instead of the mainstream uses of SEO, here are the steps to take in gaining backlinks.

  1. Control what you can control.
    • Link your website to the sites you want to rank for your name. The most authoritative site for your company’s name is your website. Don’t try to get too fancy with interlinking schemes as the search engines can pick up this pretty easily.
  2. Write original articles on your web properties and blogs.
    • In SEO terms, this is known as duplicate content and no one hates duplicate content more than Google. If you add your sources, there could be some value, but most people just copy and paste. Although you might feel inclined to copy other people’s blog posts that your read on Forbes or Entrepreneur.com, no one is going to link to YOUR website when they read that post. They will link to the original. Write what you know about and add something unique that people will find interesting enough to link to.
  3. Syndicate your content.
    • After you have written a post or article, send it out on ALL of your social media channels. If your write a topic about search engine optimization on your blog, then naturally, your hashtag would be #SEO. If you write about marketing, your hashtag would be….you guessed it #marketing.

SEO Backlinks

So there you have it. In SEO, content and on-page optimization are important for your readers and the search engines, but just like in High School, popular people have a lot of friends. Go get some internet friends and let the search engines see that your SEO’d article/website/blog is legit.

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