In earlier articles in the training, we established that backlinks play a large part in the search engine rankings of your webpages, but that not all backlinks are equal. In this article I want to discuss what makes a good backlink, and how best to use the IMAutomator tools so that you get the most out of the backlinks you create with them.
Google employs an algorithm that attempts to rank the value of backlinks based on how likely it is that a *human* visitor would click on them. For example, it deems that certain links such as banner advertisements and privacy policies are not very likely to be followed, and so it automatically lowers the value of those links. It is looking for links that appear relevant to the content that they are placed in, that are prominent and not hidden in any way.
Understanding Anchor Text
Perhaps one of the most important aspects about building backlinks, especially when using a tool such as IMAutomator is understanding what anchor text is, and how to use it effectively. If I put in a link to my training page like that, the phrase 'training page' is the part which actually forms the link - this is the anchor text. What this tells Google is that the page that is pointed to by that link should have something to do with 'training page'. This is where relevance comes in.
If you are promoting a site about toenail clipping (hopefully I'm not exposing somebody's hot niche with this example!), then one of yur primary keywords would probably be 'toenail clipping'. You'd make sure that you'd first done your on-page SEO by ensuring that your keyword is well placed within the content of the page, in the title, tags and so on. Now what you need to do is ensure that the backlinks you create are created with that keyword in your anchor text.
When using IMAutomator bookmarking tool (other tools are likely to be the same, but I'll cover each one in their own training module), it is the Title field of the bookmark which becomes the anchor text for the backlink that gets created. So, if you've written an article called 'Toenail Clipping Perfection in Under 2 Minutes!", that would be an excellent choice for the Title of the bookmark because your keyword appears right at the beginning of your title. I see lots of bookmarks being submitted to IMAutomator which clearly have not been optimized with keywords in mind - this is the number #1 rookie mistake!
Another aspect to keep in mind when it comes to anchor text is that Google will analyze the pattern of links and the anchor text that comes into your pages. If ALL your links have exactly the same anchor text then it can raise a red flag. The Pro version of IMAutomator will soon be getting a spinning tool that will allow titles to be rotated but until then, and for all Light members here is a trick to vary your anchor text within a single bookmark submission: If you select the slower drip-feed options, your bookmark will take at least 15 days to complete. At any time before completion you may edit your bookmark, so login and modify your title a little (and description and tags if you like) which will then be picked up for the remaining submissions.
Relevance of Surrounding Text
This article that you're reading right now is clearly all about backlinks and there are many backlink-related keywords sprinkled all through the article. If I was to link to some other resource that was related to backlinks then it would be clearly relevant to the content of this article. But what if I randomly inserted a link to an article about toenail clipping? Well as I've mentioned it a couple of times now within the article it may actually have some value but what I am getting at is that if I insert some random link to something that has no relevance to the surrounding text then the value of that backlink is lowered.
Using IMAutomator there are a few ways that you can help to ensure your backlinks are relevant to your content. First of all take the time to create a description and ensure that it contains your keywords. Most of the bookmark sites we submit to will take your description and place that near the actual link. Secondly, choose an appropriate category. If you were to put a finance related link in a health category for example, it would clearly look irrelevant amongst all the health links on that page and its value could again be lowered.
Going Beyond IMAutomator
Google's algorithm is extremely advanced and it detects all sorts of linking patterns. One thing that will almost certainly raise a red flag with Google is if ALL of your links come from one source. If the ONLY backlinks you obtain are from the IMAutomator bookmarking tool for example, you may find that they become less effective over time as Google notices the pattern of backlinks coming from the same sources time after time.
Obviously this training is geared towards the IMAutomator tools but it is just one set of tools and it should not be your only one. Future releases of IMAutomator will have more tools and thus a more diverse source of backlinks but even then, I encourage you to work at getting backlinks elsewhere that are not automated. Here are a few places to start:
You'll notice that the above methods are not quick - they take work! This is precisely the reason that they are more powerful! Also, they are likely to generate direct traffic as well as indirect traffic from the backlink. The blog post for example could be very powerful if you can get it onto a blog with thousands of readers. The idea here is to mix up your SEO and link building techniques and not to rely on any one method alone.
Also, don't be afraid to mix things up when it comes to PageRank. Higher PR links have more benefit but what we're trying to do here is to ensure that we're getting a wide variety of links to our site so that the linking pattern looks natural to Google and this goes for PR too. If all your links come from PR4+ sites then that is something else that can raise a red flag. The more powerful higher PR backlinks will fare better when interspersed in amongst all sorts of lower PR links as well.