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Number of backlinks

Overview

When optimising an HTML webpage, factors other than on page and visible changes are also important. Techniques which look to affect search engine optimisation that are not applied to the site itself is known as off page search engine optimisation.

History of backlinks

Off page search engine optimisation with regards to the Google search engine, as well as others, came from the knowledge that copy on the page can be crafted to appear more relevant to search terms and therefore can artificially affect a pages position on search rank.

As Google defined itself as an information engine, its vision was to give people the most relevant website pages for their chosen search term.

And with unscrupulous website owners looking to gain unfair advantage, Google made the decision to include factors (or signals) that couldn’t easily be manipulated.

One of the way Google came up with, was to assume if another webpage linked to you, it was considered a ‘vote’ for your site and with all things being equal, move votes equal a website which is likely to be considered a good source of information.

Over time this idea has been adjusted so that only websites which themselves are trusted get a ‘full vote’, but in essence the more votes you get the better.

Where this has been abused (by people using artificial means to generate votes) Google has looked at this issue and it is possible to adversely affect your own site by getting too many of the ‘wrong’ sorts of votes.

In general if you are a ‘normal’ website you should still think in terms that ‘more is better’.

Google proof your search engine optimisation for backlinks

While it is true that no one outside of Google knows the mechanism for determining rank in its search engine listing, we do know Google likes the top ten pages for a given phrase for a reason, and it is this fact we can use to formulate our strategy.

The reason for looking at the top ten as a whole is that it allows us to remove the ‘freak’ results of any one website.

Optimising backlinks for the phrase Kate Middleton on 6th December 2012 on Google UK

We could look at any phrase but it makes sense to look at a popular term. It’s also important to note that the internet is a fluid place and analysis on one day and with one search engine can be different on another day on another engine.

Looking at the top ten results we can the following backlink data for the two main backlink data figures providers.

The interested thing is on the first data provider, the range of recorded backlinks is from 13,543 to 2,245,413 and on the second 0 to 2,641,703 which gives peak values (combination of the two figures) of 16,068 to 2,641,703.

The data also shows that the top result did not have the most overall backlinks, but we can see that at nearly 2.5 million backlinks it is at the top of Google for the phrase Kate Middleton for a reason.

Interestingly the worse amount of backlinks was provided by by the site ranking 8th, which does point to the idea that quality of link is more important than quantity…

But we also know for a phrase like Kate Middleton, we need to not only have flawless on page search engine optimisation, but this would need to extend to include a serious amount of inbound links or links from websites consider an authority on the subject.

Now when Google changes the algorithm we can rerun the analysis and be happy that our technique will still work.