Sunday, January 20, 2008


How to Get Useful Backlinks ::::

What do you and spammers have in common? You both want BACK-LINKS - that's what. The difference between you and them is that you play by the rules and they don't. The other difference is that they probably have more backlinks than you and this is because they, more than you, understand the importance of backlinks. If you knew you'd probably be spamming too.

Backlinks drive the Google machine - the search engine. Backlinks create PR and PR (pagerank) determines (among other factors) the position of pages listed in Google's index. The search engine results pages (SERP's) provide a means to make money online. Top ranking on any highly searched term can mean a lot of free traffic to your site. Traffic can be converted to money - the more traffic the more money made. Where there is money to be made there is incentive to do whatever it takes to get it. People kill for money so it's hardly surprising that good honest people will cheat to get their hands on it.

With the advent of Adsense Google made available a means for people the world over to make money online - is there an easier way to make money online? Nope.

Traffic and Adsense may not be the most lucrative way to earn a living on the internet but it is the easiest and it can be profitable.

I hate talking about Backlinks. Every successful marketer online has a system for obtaining backlinks - they may be different systems - but one thing they all have in common is that they don't like talking about backlinks. There are two reasons for this;

This is the piece of the money making puzzle you need most of all in order to succeed and telling others how you do it may endanger your own livelihood. As much as I like helping people I don't want to do it at my own expense. Human nature I think. If everyone does what I do it may not work anymore.

The other reason is that the wrong eyes may see the post and report your activities to the wrong people (G) and poof - it's all gone.

When you make a good buck online you don't want it all wiped out in an instant - think of the irony, you were trying to help others and end up with nothing.

In that light I am not going to tell you what I do - I'm going to tell you what my friend "Kodiak" does.

First a quick primer about backlinks.

There are crappy backlinks, better backlinks and then there are perfect backlinks.

(Note; Even crappy backlinks are better than no backlinks - at worst Google ignores them and at best you get a little juice.)

You can rate a backlink as follows;

Can everyone get the same link? - think do-follow - think crappy.

Is the link coming from a high PR site but not relevant to your site - better but not great.

Is the link coming from a relevant site with low PR - better still even kinda great but not really great.

Is the link coming from a relevant High PR site contained in the content of an article relevant to the page on your site that it is linked to - OK this is better than great - this is the perfect backlink.

My friend Vic on Blogger Unleashed has mentioned a fondness for ranking well for the term (keyword) "make money online". Over the last few posts I have included a few links to Vic's blog. In one link I used the term "make money online", in another link I used the term "making money online" and today I will use the term "How to make money online with Adsense" and I am linking to his post dealing with Adsense - not his home page which isn't relevant to Adsense. If you haven't caught on I am giving Vic the perfect links for his site. I have a PR5. I have huge keyword authority for all the make money online terms and when a site like mine votes for another site using the terms I have authority for I pass on a great deal of link juice.

While I am at it I want to send a link out to RT on "Untwisted Vortex" who has been busy trying out a few experiments with certain keywords like How to Get Screaming Traffic. He has a great sense of humor and I would love to give him a hand in the serp rankings - maybe I just did.

When I started this blog I didn't have a friend with a high PR relevant site to help me so I had to do it the hard way. Before I begin, you can all help each other out immensly by using appropriate anchor text when you link to each other. Stop using the person's name in the link - stop using the blog name - start using the keyword that best describes the post you are linking to. Don't just link to their homepage - give them links to their inner pages, this is known as deep linking. This will get all of their pages PR - not just the home page. It would help of course if every blogger had a little blurb on their page somewhere that listed the top 5 terms they would like to be ranked for as some sites are just hard to figure out. Hmmm maybe we can start something like that...

PR vs Keyword Authority

Having high pagerank doesn't mean you have a lot of keyword authority. This confuses a lot of people.

If 5 PR8 sites link to your blog about "Dogs" then you will likely gain a PR6 from these links. This doesn't mean you have keyword authority for "Dogs". If the sites linked to you using your name for instance and not the term "dogs" then you will have a PR6 blog with keyword authority for your name. If they linked to you using the term "Dogs" then you will have authority for Dogs. This is assuming that the PR8 sites are dog related and have authority for the term. If they aren't related then you still don't have authority for the term. A lot of Bloggers ask me why they aren't ranking well for their keywords even though they have a PR3 or PR4 blog. This is why - you have PR but no authority for any relevant terms to your site.

This is sooooooooooooooooo important when collecting backlinks.

Most people waste so much time getting tons of backlinks from do-follow, articles, forum signatures etc and don't use their keywords in the anchor text. You use your name or blog name in 90% of the links - don't you - fess up. Congrats. You have a ton of authority for your name and none for your niche keywords. A lot of work for nothing friends.

Just to muddy the waters even more let me mention why do-follow is crap. Even if you stick a comment on a do-follow blog that has high PR and the blog and post is directly related to you and you have proper anchor text the link is just one of 50 or 100 links being handed out - it is diluted so bad as to be mostly worthless. For the mathematically endowed you can Google "pagerank" and read how the formula works. For those of you who are mathematically challenged like me I will put it in layman's terms. The less links a site gives out the more juice each link contains. The more links a site gives out the less juice each link contains. (This is a contentious issue but my own findings seem to bare this out.) I have reduced the number of site wide links on my blog in order to increase my juice. I removed my blogroll for this reason and not because I don't want to link to other sites. I think I can provide better juice to my friends by linking to them in my posts every so often rather than using a static link in the sidebar. Rather than just using their blog name I can use relevant anchor text instead. (I'm not suggesting you drop your blogrolls too but there are better ways to link to your friends.)

Ideally you want a link from a relevant high PR site that doesn't give out many links. Better yet you want the link contained in a relevant article using keyword relevant anchor text. Best of all you want the link pointing to a relevant page on your site and this doesn't always mean the homepage. Think of my link to Vic above.

I have probably confused you with all this but I had too in order to explain how my "friend" Kodiak goes about collecting links.

When he started out he used articles. He wrote a whole bunch under different names and included proper anchor text pointing back to his site. An article dealing with dog collars would have the link pointing to his page on dog collars - not his homepage which deals with dogs in general. He would post on a topic and then spin the article so that it was sufficiently different and then submit it to article submission sites. He did this for every page on his blog. Every article had a different keyword. Every page in his blog focused on a different keyword but all related to his main keyword. This was slow going but eventually enough of his articles got posted on other sites and a few backlinks trickled in. Few though they were at least they came from relevant sites and they contained keyword rich anchor text. None of the sites had good PR. (Note: High PR sites don't post articles from article directories)

Nevertheless he gained a PR2 for his efforts which really wasn't very good. It wasn't very good because he had a site that was a PR3 and it didn't have a single backlink to it. The PR3 site was not monetized, had 118 pages and was three years old. It didn't have any outgoing links on it either. This told Kodiak something important. You will get a PR3 just for having enough content and /or it's age and/or whether or not it's monetized and/or whether it links out. In time he came to realize that monetization had an effect on a site's serp ranking more than it had an effect on it's PR. Two sites with the same PR and keyword authority will be ranked in accordance with monetization - the un-monetized will rank higher in most instances.

In time he also learned that PR wasn't effected by how many links your site had on it. It did have an effect on the strength of the juice you possessed though. As he built up more and more sites he experimented. He used his PR3 sites to send link juice to new sites. One PR3 site gave out tons of links to several sites. The other PR3 site gave out only a handful of links. The sites linked to from the second PR3 site had an instant jump in the serp pages for their keywords. The sites linked to by the first PR3 site didn't move much at all.

In the end Kodiak came to realize that age and content were enough to get a PR3 on their own - no backlinks needed.

Having wasted a great deal of time getting a lousy PR2 he wondered just how many crappy links it would take to get a high PR which made him wonder just how many good links it would take to get a high PR. To find out he went out and bought them.


There are any number of sites set up to facilitate the purchase of pagerank - Google it as I won't be linking to any of them here. There is certainly a well known forum with the initials DP. Much later it became a joke when bloggers agreed to write "advertising reviews" on their high PR blogs for money. The bloggers thought they were getting paid for advertising and never questioned why they weren't allowed to put a no-follow on the links. Spammers just about had a coronary as this was just too easy. Not only could you get a high PR relevant site to use your link but you could have the proper anchor text used as well. In the end the spam sites thrived and the bloggers lost all their pagerank. The irony is that they blamed Google for their loss and not the site that conned them all into selling their PR. BTW the spam sites lost their PR too when the sites linking to them lost theirs - they didn't lose their keyword authority though and that was what they were after in the first place. They still rank well for their keywords without any PR. I digress...

It turns out that you can get a PR5 with relatively few backlinks. In fact a handful of PR6 - PR8 links will do it. The trouble is that a new blog that suddenly develops several high PR links right out of the gate is a bit suspicious looking and a smart operator will gather up lots of crappy links first and then add the good ones slowly one at a time.

Kodiak has approached other site owners and offered money for an optimized link to his sites. In some niches this is easy as the other owners haven't a clue and think he is advertising. Some niches are on the ball and won't sell you a link for the same keywords they are chasing and why would they. In these cases he sought out related sites who would give him a link. His dog site got high PR links from "Pet" sites and "dog grooming" sites and "dog food" sites and you get the picture. They weren't perfect links but they were good enough to get him a PR5 pretty damn quick. His keyword authority didn't rise as fast as his PR but it still moved him up the serps. Eventually to the top spot in a very competitive niche and he did it with less than 30 really good links. It cost him about $2000 but he makes that back on a good day now.

Who should consider doing this?

Only, and I repeat, only those of you who know how to sell and have both a product and a niche with sufficient people searching for what you are selling. If you spend this kind of money just to get your personal blog to the top of the serps for a lousy niche then you will be sorry. I will talk about finding niches in an upcoming post.

Option 2

Join a blog network. There are several networks available and again I won't be linking to them in this article but you might find a link if you follow the link in the first paragraph. Long time readers might recognize one of these networks that Kodiak used to get his "make money online" blog a PR5 and huge keyword authority for most of the make money keywords. The network in questioned got hammered in the last pagerank update and Kodiak recommended people not join until new sites were added with high PR. As it happens 20 fresh PR4 and a few PR5 sites were just added and it might be worth looking at now.

What is a blog network? It's a group of blogs that are co-authored by everyone who joins. The network mentioned above has 148 blogs that you can post your own articles on complete with anchor text pointing back to your sites. Most of the blogs were reduced to PR0 - PR2 after the last update but are still effective at passing some juice because you are getting optimized links. Some of the blogs are better than others since some are niche related and others are not - general blogs with posts about everything.

Being smart.

Always look natural. If you were to join such a network you will be tempted to post a bunch of links on the high PR sites and ignore the rest. Is this how a blog would naturally gain links? Nope. A normal site will have lots of low PR links built up over time with a smattering of high PR sites - use the PR 0,1 and 2 sites more than the high PR sites.

Will a natural blog have all it's backlinks pointing just to it's home page and all using the exact same anchor text? Nope. If you were to collect links this way make sure to link to all the pages of your blog and use lots of different long tail keywords as anchor text - variety. This will help you rank for lots of terms instead of just your main term. This will get your secondary pages ranking as well as your home page which means a lot more traffic - a LOT more.

Will a natural blog suddenly get 30 links in one day - especially a new blog. Nope. Take your time - a couple of low PR sites a day - one link to the home page - one to the secondary page. Once or twice a week you use a high PR link - sometimes to the homepage sometimes to a secondary page. Patience - you will see your blog move up the serps as your "real" PR and keyword authority increases - you will know that it is working so don't get greedy - slow and easy.

Will a natural blog get 5 links from one post on another blog? Nope. Each time you use a network blog just use one link in your post. One post - one keyword.

One last thing - don't use duplicate content on the network. Write a real post (it can be short) and make sure it is relevant to the blog you are linking to - this includes using your keywords in the post title and other relevant long tails in the content. You want the link pointing at your real blog to come from a relevant post. PLR articles are fine but spin them first. (Change them around - a little re-writing to make them unique)

Don't put all your eggs in one basket folks. If you join a network use it for a few sites only. If Google slams them (the network sites) you don't want all your money sites affected.

Don't just gather links from the networks. Use do-follow and articles and all the other sites I have talked about previously (Squidoo, Yahoo Answers etc.) to collect links. These may not get you a high pagerank but they are natural links that will lend credibility to your site. You can also use automated trackback and social bookmarking software but remember these are not as effective at getting high PR but they do add up over time. Thousands and thousands of low PR links will give you some PR eventually.

Some Common Sense

I have made a point with this blog to show my readers how anyone can take a "free" blog and make money online without spending a dime. I have not lied - there are plenty of methods to obtain backlinks without buying them. I have talked about these methods on numerous occasions on this blog and they all work. The downside is they are labor intensive and they take a long time to create the results you are looking for. The upside is that they are completely legit and you will never have to fear the mighty G.

I have strayed from the "free" systems in this post for a reason. If you are really serious about making a living online then you need to see the big picture. If you are going to make money you will have to dominate a niche that allows you to make a good living and with few exceptions the money niches are dominated by professionals. While you are busy doing everything the right way they are busy doing things the business way. The real competition online doesn't bugger around with things like backlinks - they cut to the chase. They buy them. I have explained a few of the ways they do this and I will tell you the most effective way of all but the most expensive. I rank number 1 in my most profitable niche, I also rank number 2 and number 3 and now number 4 as well. How? I bought the 3 sites below me. I probably get 90% of all the traffic looking for my keywords and I wouldn't have spent the money if it wasn't worth it.

Am I telling you to do this. No. I am telling you this as a reality check. If you are just dabbling then use common sense - save your money and use legit methods until you find something that does earn you money. As you gain experience then look at the big picture and decide how far you want to go with your online business. If you are making a few hundred a month in position 12 on the serp's then it might be worth it to spend a hundred bucks a month to join a network and get yourself to the top position. If you are making a few thousand a month in 12th spot then it might make sense to spend a few thousand dollars buying high PR links from others. If you are making ten thousand dollars a month in 12th spot then it might make sense to buy out your competitors. Don't get ahead of yourself.

This post may not be of much use to those of you who are just starting out but it is worth knowing how things get done in the broad spectrum of things.

One thing you can all look at doing is buying expired domains that have existing PR.

Buying Domains can be done fairly cheaply and has some immediate benefits. Aged domains aren't usually thrown in the sandbox by Google. (I was going to talk about this today but will save it for next time - the sandbox issue that is.) You can start out with good PR and spend your time gathering keyword authority instead of both. A thousand PR0 links with your keywords in the anchor text will give you authority - think social bookmarking. You might want to use an auto program for this.


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