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Knowing your backlinks is an important part of SEO.

There are three battles that you need to fight when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). You must have high quality content that is posted regularly, make sure you do your optimization on the inside of the website, and you need to get backlinks. Creating the content is the most time consuming, optimizing it internally is the easiest, and getting your backlinks is the most frustrating. What makes it even more frustrating is finding dofollow backlinks, and minimizing the nofollow links.

What Are Backlinks?

The search engines look for two aspects. The first is that you are actively involved with your website, and the second is that people are actively utilizing your website. In order to show that you are an authority on the subject matter, search engines look for how many backlinks your site has. Simply put, how many other websites are linking to your website?

Unfortunately, when backlinks became a part of search engine optimization, a whole bunch of spammers figured out very quickly that they could bring their site to the top of the ranks by flooding the internet with low-quality drivel comments (if you have a website without a good anti-spam captcha you still likely get these comments quite often). To combat this, Google updated their algorithms to include both dofollow and no follow backlinks.

A sampling of spam comments that I get occasionally.

What are Dofollow Backlinks?

A dofollow backlink is one that is indexed by the search engine. What that means is that it is recorded toward your total number of backlinks. Dofollow backlinks are what you want out there, and you can get them in a variety of ways, such as:

Now keep in mind that not all dofollow backlinks are created equal. Those that are organic, meaning imbedded into someone else’s post, are worth a lot more than a comment on a random website. When you are cited as an expert, the algorithm will pick up on that.

What Are Nofollow Backlinks?

A nofollow backlink is just one that does not get indexed by the search engines. This is not to mean that it doesn’t help your website though. What it means is that you aren’t getting as much of a push from it. There are many ways to get these types of links including:

If you notice, there is a distinction between dofollow and nofollow. It boils down to this: if you post the link, it is likely nofollow; if someone else posts it, it is likely dofollow. Obviously there are ways to get around this, but that is the idea between the two links.

Not All Backlinks Are Good

If you need more backlinks, you may be tempted to go and buy them. I have seen advertisements from shady backlink groups that offer 100+ links for just $10. Whatever you do, don’t do this. The latest updates with Google (you can read all about Panda and other updates here) have made these types of links bad for your SEO. They are junk links; nothing that you want your website to be associated with.

Externally Optimizing Your Website

To break it all down: you want a whole lot of dofollow backlinks to show you are an expert. You want a handful of nofollow backlinks to show you are active on the internet. You don’t want junk backlinks that will do nothing but show you’re a spammer and run a bad website. Sound like a ton of work? It can be. That is why you may want to consider hiring me. I’m a writer in Billings, Montana, and a big portion of my work is to help you not only get quality content for your website, but also to help promote your site. Email me or call me at 406.860.4407 to learn more of how I can help you.

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