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Backlink Questions-Answered!

April, 10 2009
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Jo Stephens

I recently returned from a conference in Bermuda. The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) asked me to speak on the topic of Search Engine Optimization. Several of the attendees asked me some questions that many of my legal web design clients ask me on a daily basis. Below are some of those questions and my responses.

What is a backlink?

Backlinks are among the largest criteria Google uses to rank a website. A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. The origin of the backlink dates back to the beginning of Google which was then named “Backrub”. It has since been an intricate part of the Google and SEO process.

Larry Page, inventor of Google, had a theory that search engines could run more efficiently if they were given alternative criteria to rank a website site other than what was found on the website alone. Off Page optimization was born. Off page optimization is defined as “…strategies for search engine optimization that are done off the pages of a website…” (click here to see the full explanation.)

A backlink is a reference or vote of one website to another. In order for Google to give any kind of credibility to the backlink it must meet the following criteria:

  • The site giving the reference or backlink must be ranked higher than the site giving the reference to
  • The anchor and title tags need to be consistent with the content of the site
  • The amount of outgoing backlinks cannot exceed reasonable standards

How does a law firm obtain good backlinks?

That is where Charitable Blogging comes in as one way to get backlinks. To get your website reliable and relative backlinks you need to put content on your website that is both useful and relevant. For example, you just won a decision in a case regarding eminent domain which was ground breaking and creative. You share on your blog the steps you took that were creative and unique to help you win the case. The details should be written so another attorney could use the information in their own practice.

You now have information that will help a broad group of law firms and that does not require payment or subscription on their part. It is free information for them to use. Facebook, MySpace and YouTube had a marketing plan to offer free services and they exploded. I am not saying that the same will happen to your law firm but the effect is the same on a relative level.

Your information will get passed around, linked to (which is a backlink) and referenced by industry professionals. It will become a tool others can use to help their business and you will be seen as an expert in the given area as well as foster good relations with your colleagues. This means they will be more likely to add your link to their website.

When you have the philosophy of simply trying to help rather than get gain from the effort the results will return 10 fold. Make sure the content is relevant and useful.

Charitable blogging will return the favor of increased traffic, and credibility to your company and backlinks.

More Information

— If you would like more information on how to optimize your website please contact us at (800) 932-6030 or visit us at . One of our search engine experts can discuss your options at no charge. —

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