Personal SEO ~ Website Marketing and Content Writing: What's a Backlink and Why They are So Important - And the Most Important Ones

What's a Backlink and Why They are So Important - And the Most Important Ones

Backlinks in contentMaybe you have heard of backlinks but don't really know what they are and why they are so important? This article will tell you what's a backlink and why they are so important AND how to get them and from where.


A Backlink is basically a link on another website directing search engines and readers to your site or blog. A backlink is technically a "Vote" for your site from another site. It's another site saying, "Hey, this site over here has some great points on this topic, why not check it out too."  vote for your site

This backlink can come from you on another site or from somewhere else but it's important that the link be anchored to a keyword. By someone simply typing "go here for more information" it tells the search engines nothing about what that link is actually about nor does it associate your keywords for your site. By typing in the content on a related topic page something like "Visit this article for more on Buyer's Agents", the keyword "buyer's agent" is now associated with the page it is linked to, making it more of an authority on that subject. So you can see, the more backlinks you have the more important your site becomes ranking you higher on the search engines and to readers.

So many agents think, "well if a backlink is good, I will just sign up for a backlink program though a site and have them do it for me." You may have seen ads stating "1000 backlinks for $9.95" The problem with these is the quality of the backlink. Its a fast way to get the wrong links. Quality backlinks are not bought, they are created. One at a time, little by little, building up your reputation on the Internet.backlink to my website

You can't just go to someone and say, "I'll give you $100 to make my reputation perfect" On the surface it may seem doable. But when you get to the heart of the person, article, content, link, etc... it's fluff and no one is really interested.  Search engines weed this out as well and determine if the backlink is credible or not. You don't want to pay for links if one of those sites listing your site got banned and you were penalized for it as well.

The best backlinks to obtain are usually from .gov sites. This is highly valuable and therefore highly difficult to get. You usually cannot pay someone for this type of backlink but if you have a connection or deep rooted reputaion with that site and it's affiliates try to obtain a high quality government backlinksbacklink from them. Ask or contact them and build up a rapport.

Reciprocal links, meaning you link to me and I will link to you, are in the mid-range of quality. They are valuable to a degree. Having a page with 100 links one right after another is not the perfect idea since there is really no content to sift through. Linking to one another in related content is the best way to do this as in this Bozeman real estate associate.

Backlinks from black hat technique directories and link farms are the worse. If you are unsure, just say no. Didn't your momma teach you that?  When in doubt, walk away - or click away.

Find your backlinks, build them up slowly and create a virtual "web" of keywords linked back to your site from associates, friends, co-workers, government and recreational sites and you will see an increase in your authority on the web.


  • Personal SEO does all this for you for an extremely reasonable fee. Give me a call or email me anytime for more tips, tricks or information on how you can be a force on the web in your area.

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Wondering how long it will take for Google to rank you higher?

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Comment balloon 31 commentsTammy Emineth • November 27 2010 10:06PM



No shortcuts to Easy Street?  Quality is a requirement?  Shucks....

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 9 years ago

Good information in this post. Thanks for sharing and helping us all grow.

Posted by Debra Davis, Realtor - Atlanta, Decatur, Snellville, Loganville (Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners) over 9 years ago

When I first designed my site I spent way too much time worrying about the search engine robots and not enough about the surfing clients. Strangley enough the site I ignored is higher in the searches than the one I did all the SEO work on. lol

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 9 years ago

Randy - I have SO had that happen to. Clients that have stopped service with me after two years are still doing great from the original set up! sheesh. lol Sometimes leaving a site alone after set up can work wonders. I had a client that messed with her site WAY too much. Changing keywords and meta tags every other day instead of just letting it ride and working on side projects. I finally got her to stop fiddling and the site increased! HA..

Debra - Thanks!

Mike - I KNOW! Sheesh!! ;-)

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) over 9 years ago

Wow very educational and informative. . .I appreciate you posting this content.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) over 9 years ago

I can only think of BAD reasons why a Realtor's link would end up on a .Gov site. Like investigation for steering, anti-trust, fair housing. Are there any positive reasons one would end up on a .Gov site?

Posted by Scott Petersen (Client First, Realtors - Canton, MI) over 9 years ago

Great information. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Posted by CANDY HOLLEY (Middle Tennessee) (KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY) over 9 years ago

Scott - We have a VA Loan client that was a veteran and caters to veterans buying a home. He has some pull with certain VA sites and gets a link to his site from them. It's the anchor text, not a news article talking about the person as in a legal matter. Also, politicians have blogs and commenting on their blogs, creating a rapport with them and so forth can offer you a link back to your site.  Usually the bad publicity with .gov sites are not going to feature your anchor text with your link. .EDU backlinks are just as powerful as from a college, school etc.. but even harder to obtain.

Candy - THANKS!! Happy Holidays to you too!

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) over 9 years ago

Great info Tammy on the back links. Learning a lot with these with blogging. Must be little hard to get the gov sites. Thanks

Posted by Glenn Ritchie, Realtor - The OC. (First Team Real Estate) over 9 years ago

slow and steady is always the best way to go.   You can build a solid backlink strategy through social media sites.  Having a strategy is the key.

Posted by Kate Bourland, Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing (Marketing with Kate) over 9 years ago

Tammy, another informative post.  Apparently hard work and good content is still important.

Posted by Maureen Fukumoto, Maureen (Help-U-Sell Realty Pro) over 9 years ago

Glen - The .GOV and .EDU backlinks are incredibly hard which is why they are so valuable when obtained. It takes a lot of extra work but one backlink from these sites is like 100 from other real estate sites. Really pays off.

Kate - As always... :)

Maureen - Ditto! :) Thanks for the comments

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) over 9 years ago

As you say, good backlinks take time and I believe you earn them.

Posted by Paul Lesieur (203kloanmn) over 9 years ago

Great information Tammy. you really hit the ground running as a RM!

Posted by Sam Fischer over 9 years ago

Well now I think I know what a Backlink is, thanks Tammy.


Nor Yeretsian

Posted by Nor Yeretsian, Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto (Envoy Capitol Realty Inc.) over 9 years ago

Back links are important, but it takes so much time and effort.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 9 years ago

Good information. I was never quiet sure what backlinks were, but at this day and age it is just assumed that everyone knows. Thank You- I'm off to read your other blogs.

Posted by Maria Couto, Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You' (RE/MAX Premier) over 9 years ago

Thanks Marcia! It's collecting those backlinks at a steady pace that's the tough part. Good luck and have a productive 2011!

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) over 9 years ago

That's a nicely witten article about what backlinks are. Please keep posting! 

Posted by Rich Cederberg, eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Got here from your last good blog!  There is still hope for me.

Posted by Jerry Morse, BBA,GRI (The Morse Company) over 9 years ago

Tammy- I had no idea that there was such a thing as a bad backlink.

Posted by Tommy Taylor, CNE- Texas Hill Country Realtor (Taylor Properties & over 9 years ago

Tammy, can you give us an example of how we might obtain a .gov or .edu backlink?

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Thanks for the info.. I have been working on backlinks and SEO . Enjoy your day.

Posted by Juan Bassett, GRI (Long & Foster) almost 9 years ago

Thank you Tammy,  I'm learning and growing big time today!

Posted by Beverly Femia, Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 8 years ago

Thanks Tammy,  Back links and internal links still scare me a little.

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 8 years ago

Ahhh, don't let them scare you! You need them and they need you! Just don't go crazy with the link exchanges!

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) over 8 years ago

Well, this is interesting and once again, some of the information I was not aware of. Thank you!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 8 years ago

I link from my posts on AR to my website but other than that I'm not getting much in the way of backlinks. I don't really get how I can get other site owners to link back to me.

Posted by Jenny Durling, For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758 (L.A. Property Solutions) about 8 years ago

Jenny, you want to comment on other people's blogs with a link back to your site.. use DO FOLLOW blogs - Here is a good list : most real estate sites like Trulia, Zillow, will have a profile, make sure your links from your AR profile are on here too.

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) about 8 years ago

Good info as always. 

Posted by Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN! (HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578) about 7 years ago

I’ve seen it work when it’s not overly dense and cumbersome. I recommend it. Right on! ;)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 5 months ago

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