Off-page SEO is an important part of any search engine marketing strategy. If you focus on the SEO basics, you need backlinks to get a good ranking in the search engine results. Backlinks are links to your site from other websites. The more backlinks you have, the higher you’ll be in the search results. Most people compare backlinks to “votes.” Getting a backlink is like getting a vote from another website.
When it comes to SEO, all backlinks aren’t created equal. Some are better than others. I don’t think anyone can tell you the precise value of each link and how it affects your overall SERP position. That’s information that only Google has and they don’t like to share that information.
To get the benefit of a backlink, Google needs to be aware of your link. That means you need to make sure that the pages that you’re getting links from are crawled by Google. If not, the backlink won’t help you.
There are two resources that can help you track backlinks. Both are free. First, is Google Webmaster Tools. The tool shows you exactly how many backlinks you have, what pages they link to, what webpages they come from, and the anchor text most commonly used to link to your site.
If you know you have links from a website but they’re not showing up in your Google Webmaster Tools, you need to figure out why. You don’t want to waste your time getting links if Google isn’t finding them.
The second resource is Yahoo Site Explorer. Yahoo site explorer tracks how many links your site has and where they came from. You can also use site explorer to explore other websites. If you want to know where your competitors are getting their links from, run the domain through Yahoo Site Explorer and you can find out.
The link information from Yahoo and Google aren’t 100% accurate. In addition, the results are delayed. It takes time for the search engines to find the links and get them into the system. Your links will change over time also. You’ll gain some links. You’ll lose some links. Don’t obsess over it and keep getting backlinks from the best resources you can.
In addition to the tools mentioned above, you can also check out Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO and SEM Rush. They’re all very good resources for SEO and they will give you a ton of information about your website. Some of the resources are free, some require that you sign up and some are paid.
Be sure you focus on creating high-quality content and the links will follow in good time.