You have heard that having lots of incoming links to your site benefits your site and you can attain a higher position on the search engines.
However, you can really tweak things if you wanted to and by formatting those back links in a certain way, then you can achieve optimum performance.
So what is a backlink?
A backlink is any link that points back to your web site. This could be a link on a friends web site pointing back to your site, a link in a signature on a forum, a link that appears in a directory listing maybe.
How you get back links is another story but what’s important is to try and make sure that the backlinks pointing back to your web site are optimised to their fullest extent so that your site can benefit. Sometimes you have control over this, other times you don’t.
So what makes up a backlink?
A backlink in general is comprised of 3 main things.
1. The Anchor Text / Link Text
2. The Title Text
3. The Link / Destination page
The anchor text, also known as link text are the words that you see on the screen in the hyperlink. Usually its the text that is in blue and is underlined. (or depending on whatever formatting the web master uses)
The title text is text that’s invisible to the eye but when you mouse over the link and hold the mouse there for a second, you will see some text pop up. Yes, that’s called title text.
Then you have the link itself which is the action to the browser of where to send you to. This is also commonly referred to as a link or hyperlink.
Examples of unoptimised anchor text within a hyperlink
See the Web Site
Examples of optimised anchor text within a hyperlink
Web Design in Spain
Jobs in Marbella
Golf in Spain
Did you notice the difference? In the first set of examples there is no text describing to the user or search engine what the link is about, however the second set of examples contain specific keywords related to the page or site you want the user to go to.
Its important if you are swapping links with someone or having links placed anywhere, that you have relevant anchor text related to the terms that you want to rank for. If you site is about Golf, then the anchor text should be about that, so on and so forth.
When a search engine comes along and can see there is some text describing what the site is about its immediately going to know more or less what the destination page is about, so it will give you some extra weight and possibly increase your rankings.
Lets look now at the title tags because title tags within a hyperlink add extra keywords which the search engines can soak up.
Example of a hyperlink WITH title tags
(if you hover your mouse over the link you will see some relevant text pop up – this is the title text!)
Did you see? Lets look at a hyperlink WITHOUT title tags
Example of a hyperlink WITHOUT title tags
This time you will have noticed there was no pop up text. Although its not entirely essential to have title tags in your back links, its always good practice to include them.