By Staff & Robert Renman
A Backlink (or inbound link, IBL) is a link from someone else's website to your
own. Backlinks are one of the most important things to acquire if you want your
website to list high in search engines.
The principle behind a backlink is very simple. The better your website is, the more people want to create a link to it. Over time, your website will likely acquire backlinks from other sites, especially if you have good content.
Search engines use the number and quality of backlinks as one the factors that determine your website's ranking. Backlinks from sites there are related to yours are much more valuable than a link from a website where the content is not related to yours.
There is no simple answer to the question of how many backlinks you need. Some experts mention it is more important to have a few links from highly regarded sites, while some experts say the more backlinks the better. As in many things in life, the truth may be somewhere in between!
If you want to see a large amount of website traffic to your website, then a focused effort on aquiring backlinks is needed. You can contact other websites and ask them to link to you. You can add yourself to appropriate web directories. You can also make it easy for others to link to you, by providing easy access to your website's link code, for example by having a separate page for other webmasters that contain the link code, plus any other information you would like other websites to list.
Google, Yahoo and Windows Live Search all provide ways to check how many backlinks you have. The most reliable of the three seems to be Live search. You can check the number of backlinks our website has by typing in "link:www.vitaleffect.com -site:www.vitaleffect.com" at Windows Live Search. You can do the same search at Yahoo by typing in "linkdomain:www.vitaleffect.com -domain:www.vitaleffect.com" in Yahoo Search. The reason we use the syntax "-site..." and "-domain.." is to exclude links from our own website in the search. That way we get a list of only the "external websites" that link to us. Google is not so useful for checking backlinks. Google only shows a small subset of your backlinks. The syntax is simply "link:www.vitaleffect.com" and as you can see the number of results are much smaller than both Live Search and Yahoo Search.
The simplest solution is to hire a search engine marketing firm that specializes in this type of work. If your budget doesn't allow for this, you can study this topic further by reading SEO blogs, forums and anything else related to this topic. For some starting points, see seomoz.org, SearchEngineWatch, and High Rankings.
Thank you for reading, and good luck!