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What are Backlinks?

Question

Backlinks are simply links from other Web sites to your own. They can come in various forms, including one-way links and reciprocal links. Obtaining these links from other Web sites helps to improve the PageRank of your Web site, an important factor in search engine rankings.

Search engines place a much greater emphasis on one-way links than on reciprocal links, so getting one way links to your Web site is one of the most effective ways of boosting your search engine rankings and practicing effective search engine optimization.

Experienced webmaster Mike Herchel states that accumulating backlinks is the absolute best method to improve search engine optimization and help your Web site rank highly. Having the anchor text keyword targeted is also hugely important, and this will be discussed in greater length on our Anchor Text page.

One-way Links

One-way links are links from another Web site to your own, while your Web site does not provide a link back to the linking Web site. Webmasters often trade links to improve the search engine rankings of both sites. ArrowWhile this is an effective method (called reciprocal links), it is not nearly as effective as receiving one-way links from other Web sites.

Having great content is one way to receive one-way links, as other Web sites will refer to your Web site as an authority, or perhaps as an original source for a breaking story. However, it is often harder to secure these links by directly asking a fellow webmaster, since they receive no benefit for providing a one-way link to your Web site.

Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal links refer to the process of obtaining a link from another WebArrows site to your site in exchange for a link from your Web site to that Web site. Often referred to as a "link exchange," webmasters frequently contact each other to obtain reciprocal links to boost both Web sites' search engine rankings.

Reciprocal links are one of the best ways to improve search engine rankings, however, they do not carry quite as much weight with search engines as one-way links. The tradeoff is that reciprocal links are much easier to obtain, as they are mutually beneficial for both Web sites.