Back links ... ever heard of them?
They are a method of getting other sites to put your website link on their site, the question is are they relevant? or even dangerous to the SEO credibility of your site.
You've probably received emails in the past from 'SEO Companies' that express an interest in getting you to pay for them to create links to your site (I have noticed, these are not as prevalent as before). The simple answer is that no credible SEO company would offer to generate unqualified links to your site.
Google's Page Rank
Some back story ..
Google invented the term 'Page Rank' and it's the defining method that made Google so important and become the #1 search engine. At the time, all search engines just listed the sites that mentioned the word or term you were searching for, there was no measure as to how relevant the site was, so the boys at Google invented a method to determine which page was probably the best to show at the top, so 'Page Rank' was developed.
It took into account a lot of variables including, how many separate pages linked to the page where the term you wanted was included on. This algorithm was relatively crude in the old days, and once people got wind of it, they manipulated the intention of it, by building links to your site that were not 'natural links', and this technique has continued on in various forms since.
Still, there are many blog sites out there that specialise in generating back links to your site. In the past, as I mentioned, it was one way for Google to determine how important your site was, the more back links to your site, the more credible your site was. Of course. Back links have always been a very grey area in ranking methods, and certainly in the old days (pre 2005) they did work to an extent.
Google considers back links to be 'black-hat' or at least 'grey-hat' and are starting to de-index back link sites such as buildmyrank.com, meaning sites linked to this have been penalised as a result. Be very careful if anyone offers to build links to your site as a method of gaining rankings.
Of course links to your site are important and a great way of building credibility, both with clients and Google (I used Google loosely .. meaning all Search Engines) .. however, Google now really looks for the type of site that is linking to your site. For example, if you're a hairdresser and you have a link to your site from a Real Estate agent, then the link is virtually useless for any ranking purposes (it might be fine for your clients to find you), and visa-versa. So don't water down the value of your site by exchanging links with other sites outside your industry.
Google does give special important to certain key sites, such as major news companies, like The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, New York Times .. etc .. and if you can ever get a mention, let alone an actual link from that site, you will probably see an instant increase in rankings, if everything else in your site is in order.
Which finally, brings me to my point. Make sure everything in your site is SEO compliant, because you never know what might happen in the big wide Internet, and if your site is not ready to take advantage, you may loose that opportunity.
Google Bombs or Google Washing
OK .. it's a little off subject, but back link technologies have also been used for political and satirical purposes in the past, for example, by using back link farms and pseudo-sites, activists were able to get the term 'miserable failure' to link to George Bush's Wikipedia page, however, by 2007 Google had changed their algorithm, so now it links to the Google Bomb page on Wikipedia.
If you would like us to verify the readiness of your site and give a full report on where it can be improved, please Contact Us and discuss what we can do for your online business.