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The Art And Science Of Checking For Backlinks

Oct 31, 2007
How do you know if your site is gaining back links? You have to check, of course. But, to the new webmaster, this can often seem a daunting task especially with the constantly changing search engine rules.

When you're effectively implementing a linking strategy for your website, essentially what you're doing is creating link relationships between your content and your keyword search terms.

An important aspect of a linking strategy is being able to check for back links and to know how well your site is performing in the search indexes.

Below, I've outlined how you can effectively search for back links using your article titles and keyword phrases.

Effectively Searching for Backlinks

The only software that I ever recommend using in your link building campaigns is SEO Elite and/or Keyword Elite. While they are a bit pricey, if you're going to engage in a long-term linking campaign, these tools are priceless. They allow you to search out effective keyword phrases, research competition, and help you define your linking strategies.

However, don't worry if you don't have these two pieces of software. I want to first note, that the "link:" command in Google doesn't work. Google has even said that it doesn't work correctly. Why? Because they don't want anyone to crack their search algo. So, you can certainly use the link: command, but it's not accurate and it changes constantly. You'll be frustrated if you rely on this only.

The easiest way to check for backlinks is to search on the titles of any articles you've submitted. If you've submitted your articles to high PageRank sites, your articles should get indexed fairly quickly. Once they're indexed, you will be able to search on the article title and see where you've been picked up. Believe it or not, there are many people who constantly grab new content that shows up in article directories.

Another technique for finding back links is to do a search on your website name. So, you would search "yourdomain" or whatever page you're linking to in your articles and links submissions.

The last technique you can use to search for back links is a combination of your keyword phrases and domain name. Keep in mind that if you want a keyword phrase to actually show up as the phrase, you'll have to put quotes ("keyword") around it. Otherwise, you get too many results and it will confuse or make you think you have more links and you really do.

One thing to keep in mind is that there's a difference between getting indexed and getting credit for a link in the search engines. You may find that after a few days your articles are starting to get indexed. This is a good thing but it also can be misleading.

It may take up to 30 days for your website to get credit for the link. A lot of people get excited when they see that they're starting to get some traffic from the articles they placed or links they submitted. Then they panic when the traffic drops off or ebbs from an influx of traffic. At this point, most website owners think these techniques simply don't work and quit.

However, if you understand that linking is an ongoing process, you'll understand that that a loss of traffic is part of the process. You'll understand that it's the cumulative effect of your efforts that will continue to drive your search results higher, thus increasing your traffic.

While I highly recommend using the "Elite" software products to find backlinks for your website, you can still use the techniques I've outlined above to search for your links and to ensure that your linking strategy is working like it should be.
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