Open Site Explorer – How to find your website’s backlinks

Want to know who’s talking about you behind your back? A backlink, or inbound link, is when another website links to your own. This is valuable for a variety of reasons which we mention below. But how do you know who, if anyone, is linking to your website?

There’s no way you are going to scan the billions of webpages out there just to see if your website name is listed in some dusty corner of the internet. Instead, Moz.com has a backlink checking tool that will search the internet for you and display the results in seconds. Say hello to this week’s Friday FreebieOpen Site Explorer.

Simply click through to the site and enter your website’s domain name into the presented search bar. After clicking search, you will be brought to a page that contains a list of sites linking to your own. Simple as pie. Wait … how do you make pie again? Doesn’t matter, just order a takeaway.

The benefits of backlinks

The first and foremost overwhelming benefit to backlinks is their effect on SEO. Google will favour and boost the ranking of websites that have a good range of inbound links as they imply the website is a reputable source of information and has high quality content. However, what’s even more important than quantity is quality, as the saying goes. Having backlinks on websites with high domain authority, such as .gov and .edu sites is like getting a job reference from the president compared to the copy boy. A highly reputable website linking to you is far more valuable than a number of low level websites linking to you. Google is basically giving you a high five for being popular with the right people.

Other benefits include building your brand authority, having long term sources of promotion and traffic – webpages tend to stick around a while, compared to say, tweets. You will potentially continue to reap the benefits of increased traffic for years to come.

How to get more backlinks

Some ways to build your backlink list are

  • to have engaging, high quality content focused on shareability so that people will organically share your content across social media and add you to their websites and blogs as a reference. This is really the crux of the operation. It’s all about engaging and creating a conversation. Content is the king, so make it’s crown shine.
  • to request to be added to online directories or to add yourself on platforms such as Google Plus, Wikipedia, Foursquare, Yelp and anywhere else that will list you.
  • blogger reviews. Get in touch with well known bloggers and ask them to review your product or service. This way when they write about you you will get those backlinks. And from a reputable source too.
  • give testimonials. Who doesn’t want a good testimonial on their site? Offer to give one and in so doing they will link back to your site.

Then there are the not so good ways that will get your site penalised and blacklisted by Google. Methods such spamdexing, spam blogs and link farms involve purposely stuffing websites and pages with links in order to boost the search engine ranking of a particular website. Google successfully moved to reduce schemes such as these back in 2011 with the introduction of the Panda algorithm in an effort to make high quality content more accessible to browsers.

So how do you get high quality content and boost your SEO the right way? Talk to us. Here at 256 Media we are experts in all things content marketing. We use multiple channels to deliver a broad range of bespoke content that engages and drives browsers back to your website. Get in touch with us for a free 1 hour consultation, your website will thank you for it.

About Niall Tuohy

Niall Tuohy is Digital Marketing Executive at 256 Media, Ireland’s first dedicated content marketing agency. He is Hubspot Certified in Inbound Marketing and likes to find the whimsical side of the shiny things he stumbles upon. Find him on Twitter @Niall_Tuohy