As discussed in previous posts, backlinks are a very valuable commodity in regards to search engine rankings. Think of a backlink as a vote for your website. The more votes you get, the higher you rank on Google and other popular search engines. Of the various types of backlinks you can acquire, organic backlinks carry the most weight. Organic backlinks are those that appear on the web because someone found your content to be useful, and shared it with their own reader base.

Generating organic backlinks isn’t easy, and requires a significant investment of your time. You have to not only write quality blog posts, but also find a way to get people to read them and then find a way to get those people to link to your blog or website. No matter how awesome your blog posts are, if you don’t put some effort into attracting backlinks, they won’t just happen on their own.

The two easiest ways to generate attention, and hopefully backlinks, for your blog start with spending some time reading other blogs. Find blogs that are similar in nature to your own without being direct competition. Comment on the posts made by the blogger. Make sure that you link to your own blog in the signature line of your comment. With luck, the blogger will click your link, find something interesting and link back to your blog. Alternately, link to other blogs in your own blog posts. Most serious bloggers check their stats often to see who is linking to them. A decent blogger will share the link love and link back to you.

It’s important to consider the popularity of the blog. If it’s a new blog, or a blog that gets very few comments on posts, you likely won’t benefit as much as you would from a site with a fair amount of reader base. Likewise, if you comment only on blogs that get hundreds or thousands of comments to every post, the author of the blog likely won’t click on every link they see. Make sure your comments are insightful, ask a question, or are witty. Posts that simply say “I agree.” or “Visit my blog to read about xyz” will not benefit you the same way a well thought out response will.

Be wary of websites that offer thousands of backlinks for a small fee. These will likely harm your search engine rankings as they toss your link out to less than reputable sites. Instead of spending money on these types of “services”, spend a few hours a week listing your website on directories, commenting on other’s blog posts or invest in a Google Adwords campaign to drive traffic to your site.