Over the years, Google has been fighting against spammers and their spam sites. It was almost like a game, but it was a high-stakes game: Google’s top priority was to only serve relevant, legitimate results to its users. Spammers had a different idea: their goal was to get their low-quality sites to the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs), even if for a short time, slap Adsense ads on those sites and earn nice amounts of money from all the traffic that would click on the ads to exit the disappointing site.

Determined to win this war, Google has tweaked its famous search algorithm, adding more and more tools and parameters that would make it nearly impossible for a spammy site to climb to the top of the SERPs. Google has pretty much won this war – and a big part of that is the insistence that sites have backlinks from other sites before they can get higher rankings (and in many cases, before they can be indexed at all).

What are Backlinks?

Backlinks are links that other sites are sending to your site, and they are essentially an indication of  your website’s reputation on the Web. A site that has no backliks is suspicious and won’t have good search engine rankings, because if other sites do not acknowledge its existence, then it could be a spam site, or it could simply be a low-quality site. Google doesn’t want to see either at the top of the SERPs.

You Need Quality Backlinks

But it’s not enough to get backlinks. They need to be quality backlinks.  When Google first added the backlinks parameter, spammers were quick to create “link farms” – sites whose sole purpose was to send links to other sites. Since this process can be automated, spammers were able to send tons of links to new sites. As soon as the folks at Google figured out this was going on, they tweaked their algorithm yet again, de-indexed link farms, and they also added the requirement that at least some of the links that a new site receives need to be quality links, from reputable sites.

How Does One Get Backlinks?

So How do you get those coveted backlinks? The best way is to create a truly interesting, high-quality agent site; write an interesting blog; and connect with others in your space using social media tools. When you write your blog posts, link to other blogs (make sure they are reputable), and leave comments on those blogs. Sooner or later, one or more of the people whose blogs you frequent and the people you interact with using social media, is likely to link back to your own blog or site. If you get links from reputable sites or blogs, all you need is a handful of those links to convince Google that you are for real.

High Quality is Key

Another way to get backlinks is to submit real estate articles to article directories such as EzineArticles, including a link back to your site in those articles (follow each directory’s linking rules). But whatever you do to get backlinks, remember that gaming the system is pretty much impossible these days. Your material, whether submitted to a directory or published on your own blog or site, absolutely must be of high quality.

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Top Shelf Synthetics
July 5, 2011 9:06 pm

Thanks for this article. I’m finding it difficult to understand how to achieve higher rankings. Seems far more difficult than it was 10 years ago.