Seems like every industry has it. Online marketing is no exception. Even the concept of online marketing has a variety of ways to be expressed.
- PPC (Pay Per Click)
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Social Media Marketing
These are just 3 of a wide pluthra of activities when talking about marketing online.
Backlinks are typically an intricate ingredient of SEO though they certainly do have a social component and can be used within PPC also. We will be dealing with them from a position of SEO though they typcially aren’t referred to as backlinks by industry experts.
The concept is called off-page optimization and refers to doing whatever you can off the actual web page to promote the page being targeted. Many people take this to mean that it is therefore everything outside of a Website but that is certainly not the case.
For example, let’s say I’m working with a Facebook fan page. The fan page is thus the on-page and everything I do outside of the fan page to promote that property would be off-page.
So what are backlinks?
When reading content on the Web there are times when you find clickable text within articles that you are reading. Typically these are blue and underlined but that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. Those links are called backlinks in that they send you back to a different source when they are clicked. Simply put, anything that leads you to a different location on the Web when clicked would be a backlink.
These could be different points within the exact same Website. If this is the case then the are called internal backlinks.
These could be properties outside of what is being promoted which leads to an entirely different web entity. These would be external backlinks.
While textual backlinks are very common they are certainly not the only form of a backlink on the Web. Another good example would be clickable graphics that when clicked send you elsewhere on the Internet.
As it relates to SEO, there are strategic things you can do with backlinks including keyword targeting the anchor text. This concept is material for an entirely other blog post but as it relates to the question of “what are backlinks”, I believe you now should have a clearer picture than before.
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