Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s ‘natural’ or unpaid (i.e. organic /algorithmic) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page) and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. Search Engine Optimization may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry specific search (vertical search) engines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of the search engines. Promoting a site to increase the no of back-links, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.
Back-links and SEO
Back-links have become some of the main building blocks to good SEO.
Back-links are links that are directed towards your website. They are also known as Inbound links (IBLs). Number of back-links is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Some search engines like Google give more credit to websites having more number of quality back-links and consider them more relevant than others in their results page for a search query.
A search engine considers the content of the sites to determine the Quality of a link. When IBLs to your site come from other sites, and those sites have content related to your site, these IBLs are considered more relevant to your site. If found on sites with unrelated content, they are considered less relevant. The higher the relevance of IBLs, the greater their quality.
Search Engines want websites to have a level playing field, and look for natural links built slowly over time. While it is fairly easy to manipulate links on a web page to try to achieve a higher ranking, it is a lot harder to influence a search engine with external back-links from other websites.
This is also a reason why back-links factor is so highly in a search engine’s algorithm. Lately, the search engine’s criteria for quality IBLs has gotten even tougher. But then there are unscrupulous webmasters trying to achieve these IBLs by deceptive or sneaky techniques (such as with hidden links/automatically generated pages whose sole purpose is to provide IBLs to websites). These pages are called link farms and they are not only disregarded by search engines, but linking to a link farm could get your site banned entirely.
Another reason to achieve quality back-links is to entice visitors to come to your website. To make people visit your website, you’ll have to tell them. One way to get the word out used to be through reciprocal linking.
A reciprocal link is a mutual link between two objects, commonly between two websites to ensure mutual traffic: (A and B have two websites. A’s site is linked to B and B’s site to A. This is reciprocal linking.)
In the last Google update, reciprocal links were one of the targets of the search engine’s latest filter. There is a Google patent in the works that will deal with not only the popularity of the sites being linked to but also how trustworthy a site is that you link to from your own website. This will mean that you could get into trouble with search engine just for linking to a bad apple. Don’t link with following sites:
I. that have tons of outbound links on a page
II. that practice black-hat SEO techniques
One must not put a large amount of back-links on one page (if more than seven from the same IP, the search engine may categorize you as fishy). Too many links to sites with same IP address is referred to as back-link bombing and it too makes you look fishy.
Another way to gain quality back-links to your site in addition to related site themes is anchor text. Quality anchor text is a link incorporating a keyword into the text of the hyperlink. Instead of ‘click here’, use full sentences as hyperlinks.