How to get backlinks is one of the most challenging tasks facing internet marketers.
Below is a list of Backlink Sources, each with a link to a more detailed page. Before exploring these pages, I would like to talk about Linking Patterns.
Spokes Link PatternIn the early days of SEO, the pattern of links associated with a website were something like the Spokes image on the right (click for larger image). All backlinks pointed to the main website and very often to the home page. This is not very effective because, as I explained on the Creating Search Engine Friendly Pages page, search engines are page-oriented rather than site oriented. You need to build the ranking of your pages not your site. So links should be:
DEEP to pages within your site
anchored with keywords
The other problem with the Spokes pattern is that it is a bit obvious! If you create hubpages and lenses that all point to your main site, then Google will recognise that these have probably been created by you and reduce the value of the links. Furthermore, you will probably eventually hit problems with HubPages if all the links from your hubs are going to the same site.
Link Wheel PatternSo a Wheel Pattern (click image to enlarge) is definitely a step in the right direction. Here the support sites that you create actually link to each other in a ring with a few pointing to the main site. In this way, to use a little jargon, the link juice is passed around the ring. There are fewer links to the center, but they are of higher quality.
But there is still more that we can do. We need to promote the supporting sites in the same way that we promote the main site so that the links are of a higher quality and there is less chance of the linking being devalued through being identified as self-promotion. The HappyAtom Link Network (click to enlarge) seeks to create a pattern that might occur if many dispersed humans had been involved in linking sites.
The HappyAtom Link Network shows a more random networking pattern with substantial social bookmarking (diamonds), commenting (yellow ovals) and the use of RSS feeds. Please note: this is simply an example pattern to illustrate the approach. It doesn't have to look precisely like this!
The IFM Internet Marketing Program provides the structure and systems to make this sophisticated approach a reality.
Vary the Anchor Text
Anchor text (the lining text that the viewer sees on the browser page) should be varied. If all the links pointing into your site have exactly the same anchor text then it would be a reasonable assumption for a search engine that most of those links had been placed by you - and search engines value dispersed human linking much more highly.
You should still use your keywords in the majority of links but don't worry too much if they are mussing from a few links.
nofollow and dofollow
Inserting rel="nofollow" into a link tag means that the linked page receives none of the weight from the linking page (see How to Increase Page Rank for more on this). A search engine spider may still follow the link, it just won't add the link to the calculation of the linked page's PageRank. You will see that most of the external links on this site are "nofollow" - "dofollow" links would mean that PageRank juice is being shared outside of the site.
Ideally therefore, you would like your links to be "dofollow". However, don't forget that a human has no interest in whether the link is "nofollow" - if the link looks interesting, they will click it. Links are not only about PageRank.
The following links take you to pages explaining the different types of backlinks - and how to get backlinks from these sites.
Add Comment Links
Social Bookmarking Sites
Business Network Marketing
And finally, a very clever way to get your own back on content thieves
Getting backlinks by Protecting Website Content!