Today, one of the most important components of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is backlinks. You should be spending about 95% of your SEO focus on building quality inbound links.
But once you’ve built them, how do you track them?
There are tools in Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools that let you track the domains linking to your site. Both of these tools are free and give you a great deal of information that you can use to maximize your site’s presence on the web.
This post isn’t about how to use those tools, but about ANOTHER free tool that you can use to track the pages linking to your site.
Backlink Watch! is free. Simply enter your URL and wait a few minutes for the list to populate. If you have a lot of links pointing to your site, you may want to go get a cup of coffee and come back.
When I used Backlink Watch! to check the links on my site, it did a fabulous job. Most of the other free tools I’ve found on the web missed many of the linking domains that I was aware of. Backlink Watch! found all of them, including the links that I created the day before.
One of the things that I like best about this tool is that it gives you the direct link to the page that contains the link to your site. This makes it easy to double check the content that is appearing around your link in the event that you discover links though the Backlink Watch! that you don’t recognize.
Here are some things to keep in mind when building backlinks:
Focus on quality ahead of quantity. One link from a reputable, high-ranking website is worth more to your SEO efforts than hundreds of links to questionable websites (and linking to those questionable sites could actually hurt you).
Add some variety. Alexa, in particular, pays close attention to the number of unique domains that are pointing to your site, so don’t just comment on the same sites all the time. Find new places to create links.
Spread it out. Make a habit of building links regularly; don’t go on a campaign to build 100 links in a day and then not build another link for a year. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to link building. Do a little bit of link building regularly to make it look completely natural to the Search Engines.
Nofollow AND Dofollow. Include both Nofollow and Dofollow links in your link building campaign. Dofollow links directly benefit your SEO, but having both looks more natural to the Search Engines. Plus, you might find you get web visitors clicking on the Nofollow links to visit your website.
If you have a favorite tool for creating or tracking backlinks, let me know in the comments.