I’m sure we have all heard that Backlinks are very important if you want to utilize all of your SEO power. Today I wanted to talk about the history of Backlinks and answer the hot topic of today. Are backlinks still important? The short answer is no. But keep reading to figure out why and what changed!
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are just links from across the web that are pointed back to your website. They can be from Forum’s, Social Media, comment’s on other website article’s and much ore.
Where it all began!
From the dawn of the new era of internet and worldwide communication through a 56K modem (who remembers those days?) came a race, somewhat like the space race. Everyone wanted to reach the top. Much like the space race, not everyone wanted to play by the rules.
The internet started well before the 90’s but in 93 was when everything really took off. More and more people had access to it. If you fast forward to today you’ll see that there are over 4 billion people who have access to the internet and not just the 56K internet.
If you don’t know what the 56k modem was you my friend are lucky, and young. You aren’t missing much by not knowing what it is believe me.
So the first search engine to be created was called Archie, yes thats right, it wasn’t Google. Although Google has made quite the name for itself over the years.
Archie was created in 1990, it became a database of web filenames which it would match with the users queries or searches.
What brought on the change?
When more and more website’s came about and folk’s started to understand what Search Engines were and how the worked, people started to game the system.
We all know that search engines pick up on keywords from across the World Wide Web (WWW) so in the beginning people were keyword stuffing. This was a technique that worked wonder’s at first but when the Search Engines caught on, they changed their algorythms.
Keyword stuffing is considered a black hat method of SEO. People would actually change the font color of the text that you see to match the background and use that text to just write in as many keywords as possible.
See, Search Engines don’t go by what the user see’s, they go by whats in the code. The code is where you could change everything to be seen or not be seen by the observer or reader.
As you can see now, there is white space in between my paragraphs, that is where keyword stuffers would stuff their keywords. It was effective at the time, it made people millions of dollars because they were at the top of the search engines and would get all the traffic.
But the search engines did catch on. So they changed the way they ranked the amount of keywords on a page.
Google changed its algorythm back in 2003 to counteract the keyword stuffing techniques.
People were also using backlinks to game the search engines.
They did this by posting links through comments or forums on other high ranking websites. Every possible website that they could, it worked well for a while but just like keyword stuffing, the search engines caught on.
Search engines want to bring their user’s the best available content, not content that is just designed to game the system. So the search engines got smart. They actively sought to improve their system while hurting the black hatters.
So are backlinks good to use?
Yes and no. They do still have some relevancy with the search engines but they do not have the amount of power that they once had. If you are planning on buying backlinks, I wouldn’t waste your money. You can gain backlinks for free by just leaving comments on other people sites.
You don’t want to just leave comment’s, you want to be able to add to the content. Doing this will help you in the long run. You don’t want to just go to random irrelevant sites and start leaving comments. You want to make sure the content is related.
You don’t want to leave you backlink in the comment section. Doing so will likely result in your comment being flagged as spam. Since a lot of sites are going with WordPress and similar design’s, when you go to leave a comment and it asks for your name, email and website, you will want to leave your website link, either your hompage link, or you can use the link to your relevant article, within the website section.
You can also leave backlinks within different forums and social media outlets.
I don’t suggest spending all your time doing this though. Your main focus for SEO should be creating excellent content, and once you have done that, then you can work here and there on gaining backlinks.
Do you have any question’s on what you should or shouldn’t do? If so be sure to leave a comment down below!