How to Get Backlinks To Your Website

Many of you have been asking me how to get backlinks to your website, so instead of answering everyone separately I thought it be better to just write a blog post on it and you all can learn how to do it.

This is going to be the quick and easy version, if you need more advanced strategies you’ll have to wait for the next post, or just ask me 🙂

First of all there’s a saying that not all links are made equal. They may look the same, but for the purpose of SEO, different links can have vastly different value to the search engines.

So when you consider a link always think about the quality of the link, and if the quality good enough to warrant the money or time you are going to spend getting the link.

Here’s what to look for in a high quality link:

  • Make sure it’s a dofollow link. (read more about what is a dofollow link)
  • Make sure the page is indexed by Google (type info:URL in Google)
  • Make sure the page has a PageRank of 1 or better (use Quirk SearchStatus)
  • Make sure the link has the right keywords in the anchor text
  • One way links are better than reciprocal links
  • Don’t buy links from link brokers (quality directories are ok)
  • Get links from pages that have few other links
  • Get links from pages with a lot of content related to your site

That was a long list. A link doesn’t have to have all those properties to be valuable, but as a minimum requirement it should be indexed by Google and not on a junk page (say cheap web directory or autoposted blog networks)

Now where do you get those links?

First, list your site on the major directories: The Yahoo Directory, BOTW,,

If you have a blog you have additional options. Submit your blog to Technorati, the BOTW blog directory and other blog directories. Start commenting on other peoples blogs and make appropriate, non spammy references (=link) to your own blog, link to other relevant blog posts to get trackback links. Use the Commentluv plugin (Update: Commentluv site has been down for some time now, better to not use the plugin while the site is not operational) to get better keyword rich links from your comments.

You will find that some of the services changes a considerable amount of money for their services, but I can assure you that if you run a real business and you want to show up in the Google search results it’s well spent money.

On your website and blog, use a social bookmarking button, like AddThis, to let your visitors share your content with friends. A good place to put the AddThis button is close to a form submit button, or close to often used site navigation links. This is because the AddThis button will pop-up a small dialogue when the mouse moves over it, and if it’s close to another button often clicked people will naturally move the mouse over it, see the dialogue, and get interested. I have used this to increase shares by 2000% on my websites.

Another good way to get links is to write and submit articles that you submit to the big article directories: Ezine Articles, GoArticles, iSnare etc. When you distribute an article for free, you have the privilege of including two or more links in a resource box (about the author) at the bottom of the article. If you have good, interesting articles, people will publish them on their own website, including the links, and you get free links to your website. The better the article, the better the links you get.

If you have a good website you can also approach website owners directly and suggest that they link to your website. This might be a blog, a top 100 websites in your niche website, a info site etc. Only do this if you really think the visitors of the website will find your website useful or you will just be wasting everyones time.

Feel free to comment and ask questions using the comment box below 🙂

(I personally use most of the websites mentioned above and some of them even support this website by sharing part of the sales price with us when you purchase their products)

Do You Recognize a Nofollow Link?

By now you have probably heard that you need to get dofollow links and avoid nofollow links. If not you can read my other post on What is a Nofollow Link.

Anyway it may sound easy to avoid nofollow links but how do you know if a link is nofollow in the first place??

Ok, here’s the standard way of checking a link for nofollow: Use the “view source” function of your web-browser and look at the HTML code for the link to see if it’s nofollow or not. Here’s how to do it:

Right-Click Menu in Firefox
Select View Page Source from the menu

First point your web browser to the page where the link is. Second click the “view source” button on your browser. In Firefox you just right-click on any empty spot on the page and select “View Page Source” from the menu. In Internet Explorer 8 it’s pretty much the same. You right click on any empty spot on the page and select “View Source” from the menu.

You now have a page full of cryptic HTML source code in front of you. To find the link to your page in all this code you search for the url of the link. If your link points to then search for that text in the HTML source code. You open the search dialogue by pressing Ctrl-F, like in most text editors.

Now when you find the link it should look something like this:

<a href=””>Add URL</a>

Or if it’s a nofollow link it should look like this

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Add URL</a>

See how you recognize the nofollow link by the attribute rel=”nofollow” in the link tag!

In the real world there may be a lot more attributes in the link tag so you may need to look carefully to see of the nofollow is there or not.

Now how was that? Easy? Yes easy, but too much work in my oppinion!

Here’s how to do it quickly if you have a lot of links to check:

Download and install the Firefox plugin called Quirk SearchStatus (You’ll need Firefox for this)

Now the plugin will show up as a blue button down to the right in the status bar of your browser. Right click that button and make sure “Highlight Nofollow Links” is checked in the menu. If not click it to make it checked.

Now you have the ultimate nofollow link tool at your disposal. SearchStatus will now highlight all nofollow links with a red background color.

To see what it looks like you can take a look at the Secret Search Engine Labs profile at Webotopia. You’ll see that some of the links in the topmost meny have a light red background and that the “contact us” and “RSS feed” links at the bottom also have  a light red background. This means those links are nofollow.

You can also see that the links pointing back to Secret Search Engine Labs does not have the light red background. This means they are dofollow links and that this is a good place to get links from. Links from this directory passes link juice.

When I work with SEO I always have the SearchStatus plugin running. This means that anytime I’m thinking about getting a link from somewhere, from a blog, from a directory or from a wiki, I will instantly see if links are nofollow so I don’t have to waste more time getting links that have little effect on the search engine rankings.

What is Dofollow and Nofollow Links?

If you have been trying to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for some time chances are you have heard about dofollow and nofollow links. But what are they anyway, and how do you find out if a link is dofollow or nofollow? And how does this affect your sites search engine rankings?

Lets start with the background.

The original idea with nofollow was to reduce comment spam on blogs. In 2005 Google’s Mat Cutts and Blogger’s Jason Shellen proposed a way to address the problem with spam comments and the result was the nofollow attribute that can be added to links in a webpage.

This makes no sense to you if you don’t know what a link looks like in HTML, so lets look at what a simple link looks like in the HTML source code of a webpage.

<a href=””>Simon’s SEO Blog</a>

That’s the link HTML for a simple link pointing to this blog’s homepage with the anchor text “Simon’s SEO Blog”. This is what it will look like in a webpage:

Simon’s SEO Blog

Ok, so what about the nofollow and dofollow stuff you were talking about?

So what about it?

Here’s what the same link will look like when it has the nofollow tag added:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Simon’s SEO Blog</a>

Look at that! I added the text rel=”nofollow” to the link. That’s what a  nofollow link looks like. Learn to recognize and stay away from these kind of links, they are of little value for SEO.

What the nofollow tag does, is it tells Google to disregard the link and to not give any link juice to the target page. Specifically nofollow links does not pass PageRank to the target page! This means you should not pay for links from directories or other sources if they carry the nofollow tag.

So what about dofollow, what’s that? I hear you asking.

Dofollow is the opposite of nofollow. It’s a standard link with no “nofollow” tag added. A link that will pass link juice and that is good for your search engine rankings if it points your way. It’s just easier to call it a “dofollow link” than to say “a link with no nofollow tag”, don’t you agree?

To Hyphen or Not To Hyphen Domain Names for SEO

I got this question recently about whether it is better for SEO to use a domain name with hyphens ( or without hyphens ( when doing SEO.

Let’s say that we are optimizing for the phrase “Internet Hero”.

I know that Google recognizes both and to contain the keyword phrase “internet hero” so you don’t need the hyphens to get ranked.

On the other hand hyphens and especially more than one hyphen looks spammy and most people will remember “internet hero” and type in regardless if your domain actually is or

That’s why I recommend going for a dot com without hyphens. It’s easy to remember, it looks professional and it works as well for SEO as one with hyphens.

But lets say that you’re only goal is to optimize the site for a particular keyword and is already taken. Can you use instead? Will it be as good for SEO?

Apart from the fact that you will lose traffic to and they might sue you for trademark infringement if you’re in the same business here how it works for SEO:

This is an article by Olivier Duffez where he tested the difference between hyphens and underscores.

As you’ll see from the article, you can use hyphens but NOT underscores to build keyphrases in URLs and domain names.

In this article at Guru of Search the author debunks the myth about hyphens being bad for SEO. Do we believe him?

Here’s one quote from a comment by Aron Wall on his SEO Book blog:

“The domain name boost does not count for, but if you have no hyphens it counts. You get a lot of algorithmic reward for exact match one word, decent reward for two, and a bit less for three.”

If Aron is right it means will get an algorithmic boost by Google for the keyword phrease “internet hero” while will not get the boost.

I think I’ll just trust Aaron with this one and make sure I register domain names without hyphen when using keywords in the domain name.

Fix Failed WP Plugin Installation In Safe Mode

When using the new auto plugin installer in WordPress it failed miserably with the following error message:

Downloading install package from…

Warning: touch() [function.touch]: SAFE MODE Restriction in effect. The script whose uid is 587 is not allowed to access /tmp owned by uid 0 in /long-path/wp-admin/includes/file.php on line 199

Download failed. Could not create Temporary file.

What to Do?

After some searching I found a simple solution: Just create a new temporary folder in your web root (often called public_html) folder and point WordPress to this new folder.

How Do I Change the /tmp Folder Then?

That’s Easy!

Just add the following line to your wp-config.php


And make sure to use the name of the folder where WordPress is installed or the root html folder. And also make sure you have created the tmp folder and chmod it to 777 before adding the define to wp-config.php

This is all there is to do, enjoy!

The WordPress 3.0 Upgrade Was a Success

Finally after a couple of hours of work all four of my blogs have been upgraded to WordPress 3.0 and if feels good!

Here’s what you need to watch out for when upgrading:

Automatic Upgrade Glitches

The automatic upgrade feature of WordPress does not work if your web host is running PHP in safe mode, you’ll get this error:

Warning: touch() [function.touch]: SAFE MODE Restriction in effect. The script whose uid is 587 is not allowed to access /tmp owned by uid 0 in /home/sbyholm/domains/  on line 184

Download failed.: Could not create Temporary file

Installation Failed

This issue is easily solved though. The problem is that WordPress can’t write to the /tmp folder because of the safe mode restrictions. The solution is to make a new /tmp folder inside you wp folder and make that writable.

  • Create a new folder /tmp inside you current blog folder
  • Chmod the folder to 777 using either your control panel or FTP
  • Add a line to wp-config.php telling wordpress where the new /tmp is located

After doing this you can run the automatic upgrade inside the WordPress dashboard of your blog

Plugins Not Working

On one of my blogs I had several SEO and other plugins running and this brought some problems when upgrading.

After upgrading WordPress from 2.2.2 to 3.0 and upgrading all plugins using the automatic update after upgrading wordpress… some of the plugins was showing up as both the old version (which was running) and the new version which was disabled.

I had to manually click deactivate, delete on the old plugin versions and then activate the new versions.

Another thing with the plugins was that many of the wasn’t visible after the upgrade but required that I go into the admin panel and drag some widgets onto the blog to see them again.

Theme Troubles

I just had to forget about using the old default theme, it threw errors in the single post view. I switched to the new Twenty Ten which is really nice looking but where I’ll have to adjust the margins to some of the images in my posts. The margins in Twenty Ten is just too narrow.

Strangely the homemade themes I have hacked from the old default theme continue to work with WordPress 3.0 and still looks as ugly as ever 😉

Why You Should Upgrade to WordPress 3.0

I like the look and feel of WordPress 3.0 and it’s probably a good idea to upgrade your blogs as soon as possible. Especially if you use the old default theme the new Twenty Ten is a lot more inviting and readable.

Just remember to backup your database and your site before the upgrade!

And if you didn’t notice this blog is now running WordPress 3.0, I think you have to look at the dashboard to see the difference the theme looks the same to me.

Before I Upgrade to WordPress 3.0

This is me moments before I’m converting this blog to WP 3.0… let’s hope I don’t destroy anything, let’s hope the backups are ok and lets hope my Woo theme still works with after the move to WP3.

I have already moved two older blogs to the new platform, old WP installs with no auto-update function. The first one went fine and even my own super hacked and ugly theme still works and is exactly as ugly after the upgrade as before.

The second upgrade was also on an old 2.2.2 install but this time I had to face some challenges. Install went find but upgrading the plugins gave this error:

Warning: touch() [function.touch]: SAFE MODE Restriction in 
effect. The script whose uid is  is not allowed to access /tmp 
owned by uid 0 in /path_to_wordpress/wp-admin/includes/file.php 
on line 198
Download failed. Could not create temporary file.

With no plugins upgraded… now what?

Easy: The _khAttAm_ blog already solved the problem for me, I just skipped the owner part, made a chmod 777 /tmp folder inside the wp folder, updated wp-config.php according to the instructions and that’s it.

Ok now with plugins updated I noticed that some of the plugins had both an old version, that was activated, and a new version that was inactive. I had to manually delete the old versions for 3 plugins and activate the new one… strange.

Next issue (how many are there) is that the old default wordpress theme throws an error with WordPress 3.0.  In single post view, the post is followed by this error:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function the_terms2posts() in /home/sbyholm/domains/ on line 19

I think it might be a plugin for related posts that doesn’t support 3.0… maybe… I’ll use the new Twenty Ten Theme instead… but that one does not support all the plugins I have installed… bad….

Anyway Twenty Ten has a clean and nice look and I’ll stick with that, have to check for new plugins that support 3.0

Now I’ll just have to check that the Woo Themes support 3.0 before updating this blog, I’ll make a new post on the other side.

Jiggling the Web for Nearly Instant Search Engine Rankings

Michael Campbell, publisher of the Internet Marketing Secrets Newsletter and creator of the GooBert 2.0 social media marketing method, has released a controversial website on how to get nearly instant search engine rankings using social media sites and bookmarks. He calls it Jiggling the Web

Regardless if you’re a SEO expert, an anti spam crusader or a regular webmaster in need of more traffic the prospect of getting instant search engine rankings is one that sparks both fear and hope.

Hope that you will get your own site ranked, fear that your competitor will outrank you and for some the fear that the search results will be bloated with useless junk pumped up using the new method.

You can read all about it here, explained by Michael Campbell’s best friend Sammy the Spider, resident of the highly fictional search engine crawlers association:

It’s a lot of reading so I suspect many of you will not make it through everything at first attempt.

Now to the big question: DOES IT WORK? Can you get instant search engine rankings just by jiggling the web?

I believe it does work, not because I saw a unicorn flying out of the page but because I have several people I work with that have described variations of the exact same method and they all say it works.

Follow the method to the letter using a long tail keyword will in most cases give your a top 10 (and often top 3) ranking in as little as 3 hours.

It’s all about using news sites combined with social bookmarks and a final ping to trigger the THIS IS NEWS button in Googles algorithm. The result is instant search engine rankings for mid-long tail search terms and with a little extra work (that he explans) you can also rank for mid competition terms using this strategy.

Jiggling the Web for Instant Search Engine Rankings

Now go read that article if you didn’t already!


P.S. I’m doing a little experiment here, I’m going to release this blog post using the strategy outlined in Jiggling the Web for Instant Search Engine Rankings.

If the strategy works, by the time you read this I should already be on the first page of Google for the term “Instant Search Engine Rankings”, let’s see.

P.P.S There’s some good tips on the Affiliate Best Programs blog on how to get indexed by Google. Going through their checklist after jiggling the web will increase your organic position on the long run.

Having Problems with Ping-O-Matic and Firefox?

I just started using Ping-O-Matic, a service for broadcasting your ping to multiple other ping services at the push of a button.

The problem is there’s something wrong with and Firefox (and IE in some instances). I can successfully submit the first feed, but when submitting the next feed the form breaks and I can only see the first input box for the Blog name.

Not nice…

I found a post at Jaypee Online discussing the Ping O Matic problems at length. The solution they provided, to clear the cookies for Ping-O-Matic, I didn’t like that too much, it’s a hassle clearing the cookies for a specific site only. And I don’t want to clear all cookies having to fill in my details at a million sites again.

My solution:  As I normally use Firefox for my surfing, I now use Internet Explorer for Ping-O-Matic. And even though the version of Internet Explorer I use have the exact same problem, I can now clear ALL cookies. As I don’t use IE for anything else it’s not a problem that the other cookies are wiped as collateral damage.

So when I need to submit a feed, I open IE, hit Tools->Internet Options and Delete… I then hit Delete again and I’m done. I can now go to Ping-O-Matic and submit my next feed.

Back in Firefox my cookies are not changed as I did the delete in Internet Explorer.

TIP: If your version of Internet Explorer does not experience this problem or if you have another browser, like Chrome, you can use that browser for your Ping-O-Matic submissions and use Firefox for everything else.