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The Geek Speaks...

...another Geeky article by Cenay Nailor

SEO: Inbound Links Without Asking Or Spamming

You have started your Search Engine Optimization education and have learned that inbound links count as *votes* for your site when Google ranks you website. Come on, everyone knows this right?

So, how do you get those coveted inbound links?

You can surf for blogs in your niche that have a page rank, and contact them. You can then beg, borrow or wheedle a link from them. Good luck with that if you haven’t already established a relationship with them.

You can comment on their blog, on the posts that are most similar to the content you are posting. A good idea, but somewhat time consuming since it’s important when you comment, to add value to the conversation.

Or, you can use a built in feature of WordPress (you are on WordPress, right?) and have those inbound links automatically added to your blog every time you post something.

Which would you prefer?

Okay, then, let’s look at exactly how to do this.

First, a visual representation of the Trackback process. Take a minute to really understand what this image is showing you. The red lines are from YOUR blog, and the blue lines are from other blogs posting similar content. (Ideally, these are authority sites or sites with a lot of traffic)

Okay, clear as mud? Let me clarify it in plain English.

When you post content on your blog, AND you include a Trackback URL to a blog post on someone elses blog, their blog software will automatically include a link back to your blog.

Simple, right?

Be a little selective on which blogs you trackback to, and get into the habit of doing this everytime you post and pretty soon, you will have dozens of inbound links directly related to your content from authority sites all across the web.

The Mechanics

The process is simple and requires just a little prep work before you post. You are already researching your articles for your blog and making sure you are using the right keywords, so this step is just an extension of that.

During your research phase, as you come across blogs that are posting similar content, grab the Trackback URL (copy using right click and select Copy Link Location) and paste it into your document. Since you can Trackback more than one link at a time, place them all together, separated by space’s if you have more than one.

When you are editing a post, you have an option below the post area that looks like the image shown:

Just paste the Trackback URL into this field and save your post as normal. Your blog will ping their blog and notify them of the Trackback. Their blog will then automatically display your Trackback link and some of what you said around the link in their comment list. Instant inbound link.

To be fair, I have to tell you that not all blogs offer the Trackback service. While it’s on by default with a new WordPress blog (and many other blogging services), some bloggers intentionally turn it off. If that is the case and there is a blog post out there you really want an inbound link from, just comment on their post. Remember to add to the conversation with value. (No spam!)

As the SEO expert for your small business, if you aren’t using Trackbacks, you should start immediately. It’s a simple, automated way to build inbound links from authority sites to your small business blog.

50 Responses

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  2. WOW, what a great bit of information about getting inbound links to your blog. That is going to be a great help to me. I appreciate all your on going teaching on how to effectively market online and all your tech tips and videos. Thanks so much.


  3. Hey Cenay,
    Just saw your new post and I’m so impressed. This will help us a bunch. Your sites are just loaded with tips for people trying to make success online. Appreciate ya.


  4. Thanks for posting! I’m just starting to delve into SEO and this has been very informative. If I may ask, do you know if Blogger has a Trackback function?

  5. This is a great concept in theory and you have done a great job explaining about trackbacks, but there is a major downfall to this as I see it. Most blogs are “no follow” within their comments section and unless the wordpress owner or blog owner has turned that off, having your link on their site is worthless. It’s important to make sure that the site you are posting on allows “follow” links.


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  6. @Jodie – Well, you are 100% correct, from a strictly SEO standpoint, but it might also get you eyeballs (as mentioned previously).

    And, knowing which blogs do allow the follows helps a lot, so I made a tool available to help you find those blogs, by keyword. I generally only give it out to my coaching students, but perhaps I can make an exception and the boss won’t catch me. Oh wait, I am my OWN boss, right….

    So, here ya go. Find Page Rank Passing Blogs

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  18. I actually found this article the first time on The Friday Traffic Report with Jack Humphrey (http://su.pr/1Lyzzz) from 2006. The idea is great to improve crawl rate, but is skewed by the fact that the diagram shows the source webpage as linking to the target domain, when in fact it’s really linking back to the page that created the trackback.

    Those of us who are passionate about SEO know that this means we are essentially creating a reciprocal link, and one without significant link juice. Furthermore, most blogs are adding an attribute to all outbound links called “nofollow” which basically prevents Google from passing a vote from one site to the other.

    But improving search engine crawl rate and getting some reader visibility can’t hurt. Trackback away friends!

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  25. As you told about the “Trackback URL into this field and save your post as normal. Your blog will ping their blog and notify them of the Trackback. Their blog will then automatically display your Trackback link and some of what you said around the link in their comment list. Instant inbound link” thats really great from now i also follow the same.
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  36. Great post, Cenay. I see that in your diagram all of the trackbacks are shown as directing their backlink juice toward our homepage. I thought that they worked more or less as a reciprocal link, which would obviously reduce their SEO effectiveness. If all that wonderful link juice is flowing toward our homepage, though, then I can see how incredibly valuable they can be.


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