One day one of my good friends saw me spending much of my time gathering, sorting and analyzing data about my competitors and he said that he could write software that will do all of that in minutes and from this was created the first version of iBacklinkPRO.
I started using this new tool and for next 3 month I was scanning my competitors’ websites with iBacklinkPRO in the search of quality backlinks, again quality backlinks in my definition are those that had a PR of at least 4 and Alexa Rank of no higher than 200k, especially if their internal pages had high PR.
In the early part of the fourth month, I woke up to a pleasant surprise, my website suddenly showed up in Google’s top ranking again. My ranks in Google were back to approximately what they were before, with some slight variation.
During that period of time one of my friends asked me to do SEO for one of his keywords that he created a specific page for on his 2 years old domain. The popularity of that keyword was 8,100 global monthly searches based on Google’s data. I thought to myself that would be a good testing experience to see how soon the keyword will start ranking at the top of Google’s ranks without any URL blasts but by just getting backlinks from what I identified as quality backlinks.
I started tracking that website's rank for the targeted keyword and was building backlinks for only about two weeks before his website suddenly jumped to the top rankings in the Google’s search results for that keyword:
Backlinking Strategy: Quantity vs. Quality
From my experience of URL blasting I would say that if you want your site to be a long term money making website then blasting your website's URL to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of websites is not going to help you. Most people do URL blasting because they think that they will get to the top rankings of Google’s search results faster and its also much easier to just blast the URL of your website than to spend hours every day building high quality backlinks.
About four years ago, or even before that, the URL blasting strategy worked well, especially for people who were creating and advertizing a specific website that talked about one new technology product, which after 1 year was not going to be popular anymore. They would have to build a brand new website with new keyword in its domain, so they wanted to get to the top of search engines’ rankings as soon as possible and then later dump the website once the product is no longer popular. Since then, Google started blocking new websites from ranking well to avoid showing short term website in its top results (also call the Google Sandbox). For example the first 6 months, no matter what you do and how much you will do it, it is highly unlikely to rank well for any competitive keyword in Google at all. In fact, the reality is that it takes about 4 years for Google to fully trust your website.
Therefore if you want a long term well ranking website then I would recommend to build a mixture of high quality (domain PR of at least 4 and Alexa no higher 200k) and medium quality backlinks (domain PR no lower than 2 and Alexa Rank no higher than 1,000,000). At the same time generate unique and quality content (such as blog posts) as much and as often as possible. Even though it may take a few years of hard work, before you know it, you will be able to see significant results and all of that hard work will get paid back down the road.
To further expand on the definition of a quality backlink, using the domain's PR and Alexa Rank in order to determine the quality of a backlink is very simplified. I would also recommend that you look at not only the domain but examine the page where you will be placing your backlink closely. If that page had many outgoing links (more than 80), or if you can determine that the whole domain has many pages with outgoing spammy links, then even though a domain might have high PR and good Alexa Rank it may not benefit your website at all and perhaps even negatively impact the rankings of you website for your keywords in Google. Therefore it may be better to avoid posting a backlink to your site at all on this type of domain, link directories are a good example of high PR and Alexa Rank but with many spammy outgoing links. There are very few directories that are actually worth spending the time getting a backlink from.
What About Paid Backlinks?
I would highly recommend to stay away from paid backlinks and here is why. A few months ago I was asked to analyze the competition and do SEO for specific keywords in a specific niche. I pulled up iBacklinkPRO and started analyzing the competitors’ backlinks and extracting the high quality backlinks that they have. I started applying them to help me determine the competition level for my client’s website. As I was analyzing his top ranking competition I found a website that was ranking #2 in Google’s Search results for keyword that has 250k global monthly searches based on Google’s data. I thought to myself that the website is too new to rank so well for these kinds of keywords, it must have some very high quality backlinks. I started researching where the backlinks were coming from for that website and I found that the majority of his backlinks were coming from only 3 high PR blogs. That website had a backlink from almost every single page of those blogs and since those blogs had several thousand pages each, there were over ten thousand backlinks coming from just three domains. Those blogs had his do-follow backlink on the side bar of the each blog’s page in the paid advertisement section. I had learned enough about Google's algorithm to know that Google severely dislikes bought links and knew that it was only a matter of time before Google would notice. Sure enough, two weeks later, in one day that website dropped to page 3 for its most competitive keyword and continues dropping in the Google’s search results rankings for all of their keywords daily.
Once you will get to the top of search engine results for highly competitive keywords your competition will most likely start researching every single piece of your website, believe me you don’t want them to find that your website does not comply with Google’s quality guidelines, because it is too easy to report a website for using unethical techniques and even if no one ever reports your site, based on Google's history, it is almost certain that Google will eventually find even your unethical practices, then all of your effort that went into designing and marketing your site are for nothing, it is most certainly to choose the slower but sure path then try taking a shortcut and end up falling off the edge of a cliff.