Looking from this angle, it would seem backlinks and PageRank complement one another. In other words, the more the backlinks a webpage has, greater will be its PageRank. Available evidence however does not always support this.
Google's rise as a search engine giant and its known emphasis on PageRank led people to build up mammoth quantity of backlinks to webpages. Link farms specializing in 'creating' backlinks in thousands crowded the scene and managed to make fast bucks in no time. To be true, many websites did flourish by exchanging or buying backlinks.
But axe was soon to fall. Today, after several rounds of Google's purging, the concept of reciprocal linking or mutual backlinks has firmly taken a backseat.
So, how the picture looks like? Are backlinks passé? If not, what could you do to increase backlinks to your website so that ultimately your PageRank improves?
Quality of Backlinks
In an interesting study [http://www.prweaver.com/blog/2004/11/15/49-relationship-pagerank-number-of-backlinks] on relationship between PageRank and number of backlinks, Olivier Duffez has this to say:
"... a page can have PR5 with a single backlink whereas another one can have 3,000 backlinks and PR5 too."
What this means is that a few backlinks from high PageRank sites are worth many times more than hundreds of backlinks from low PageRank sites.
Nature of Backlinks
Admittedly, securing backlinks from high PageRank sites is easier said than done. Unless there is some intrinsic value and / or focused convergence of content, there is no reason why high PageRank sites will feel compelled to provide backlinks.
Nonetheless, backlinks from same (or even a notch lower) PR sites, dealing in similar topics as yours, are always a great boon for PageRank.
Focus on Keywords
As far as possible, ensure that anchor texts of backlinks exactly relate to the topics of pages linked to. In addition, if anchor texts of backlinks are also your keyword phrases, it is all the more better.
To give an example, suppose 'fishing in queens harbor' is your keyword phrase and you have a content page titled 'Fishing In Queens Harbor - Pleasure Untold'. Ensure now that the backlinks that point to this content page have your keyword phrase as anchor text - something like below:
"If you are game to weekend adventures, do not forget to try < a href="yourpage.htm" title="Fishing in queens harbor">fishing in queens harbor".
Such specific backlinks notify search engines that your webpage is indeed important for the topic, thus helping in obtaining higher PageRank for that webpage.
This has become a rage among potential PageRank seekers. If you subscribe to newsgroups, you will be flooded with new articles everyday. There is no harm in joining this crowd. In fact this is one area where you can play around with your backlinks.
If you are writing articles, ensure that they are informative, have a distinct style and above all, are able to capture imagination. The truth is if your articles have no takers, there will be no backlinks.
On the flip side, article submissions are a great way not only to get many backlinks (and therefore higher PageRank), but also to boost your profile as a prolific writer. There are thousands of article submission sites out there. Notable among them are GoArticles, IdeaMarketers, iSnare, PromotionWorld, EzineArticles, etc.
Blogs and forums are good places to earn backlinks. Unfortunately, they are being increasingly used for link-spamming. So much so that it will not be uncommon to find that a blog administrator's only job is to delete spurious comments that contribute no value.
Yet, blogs and forums are meant for larger public participation in order to encourage and nourish ideas and discussions. If you are serious about quality backlinks, do participate constructively in related blogs and forums. Once again, they help to grow your stature among fellow participants. And they also help to get top-quality backlinks.
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