What's a Backlink and Why They are So Important - And the Most Important Ones

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

Backlinks in contentMaybe you have heard of backlinks but don't really know what they are and why they are so important? This article will tell you what's a backlink and why they are so important AND how to get them and from where.


A Backlink is basically a link on another website directing search engines and readers to your site or blog. A backlink is technically a "Vote" for your site from another site. It's another site saying, "Hey, this site over here has some great points on this topic, why not check it out too."  vote for your site

This backlink can come from you on another site or from somewhere else but it's important that the link be anchored to a keyword. By someone simply typing "go here for more information" it tells the search engines nothing about what that link is actually about nor does it associate your keywords for your site. By typing in the content on a related topic page something like "Visit this article for more on Buyer's Agents", the keyword "buyer's agent" is now associated with the page it is linked to, making it more of an authority on that subject. So you can see, the more backlinks you have the more important your site becomes ranking you higher on the search engines and to readers.

So many agents think, "well if a backlink is good, I will just sign up for a backlink program though a site and have them do it for me." You may have seen ads stating "1000 backlinks for $9.95" The problem with these is the quality of the backlink. Its a fast way to get the wrong links. Quality backlinks are not bought, they are created. One at a time, little by little, building up your reputation on the Internet.backlink to my website

You can't just go to someone and say, "I'll give you $100 to make my reputation perfect" On the surface it may seem doable. But when you get to the heart of the person, article, content, link, etc... it's fluff and no one is really interested.  Search engines weed this out as well and determine if the backlink is credible or not. You don't want to pay for links if one of those sites listing your site got banned and you were penalized for it as well.

The best backlinks to obtain are usually from .gov sites. This is highly valuable and therefore highly difficult to get. You usually cannot pay someone for this type of backlink but if you have a connection or deep rooted reputaion with that site and it's affiliates try to obtain a high quality government backlinksbacklink from them. Ask or contact them and build up a rapport.

Reciprocal links, meaning you link to me and I will link to you, are in the mid-range of quality. They are valuable to a degree. Having a page with 100 links one right after another is not the perfect idea since there is really no content to sift through. Linking to one another in related content is the best way to do this as in this Bozeman real estate associate.

Backlinks from black hat technique directories and link farms are the worse. If you are unsure, just say no. Didn't your momma teach you that?  When in doubt, walk away - or click away.

Find your backlinks, build them up slowly and create a virtual "web" of keywords linked back to your site from associates, friends, co-workers, government and recreational sites and you will see an increase in your authority on the web.


  • Personal SEO does all this for you for an extremely reasonable fee. Give me a call or email me anytime for more tips, tricks or information on how you can be a force on the web in your area.

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Personal SEO Tim and Tammy Emineth

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Tim and Tammy Emineth have owned Personal SEO since 2004. We focus on SEO first whether it's blogging, images, website design, IDX solutions and calls to action. We operate with a Storybrand philosophy to encourage more traffic to your site, more eyes on your content and more leads to your business. Call us or email us for a free website audit.

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Comments (31)

Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Glen - The .GOV and .EDU backlinks are incredibly hard which is why they are so valuable when obtained. It takes a lot of extra work but one backlink from these sites is like 100 from other real estate sites. Really pays off.

Kate - As always... :)

Maureen - Ditto! :) Thanks for the comments

Nov 28, 2010 12:09 AM
Paul Lesieur
203kloanmn - North Oaks, MN

As you say, good backlinks take time and I believe you earn them.

Nov 28, 2010 12:53 AM
Sam Fischer
Lloyd Pans - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Better Life Through Better Food

Great information Tammy. you really hit the ground running as a RM!

Nov 30, 2010 03:07 AM
Nor Yeretsian
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc. - Toronto, ON
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto

Well now I think I know what a Backlink is, thanks Tammy.


Nor Yeretsian

Dec 12, 2010 03:11 PM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Back links are important, but it takes so much time and effort.

Dec 12, 2010 03:43 PM
Maria Couto
RE/MAX Premier - Berkeley Heights, NJ
Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You'

Good information. I was never quiet sure what backlinks were, but at this day and age it is just assumed that everyone knows. Thank You- I'm off to read your other blogs.

Jan 04, 2011 06:20 AM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Thanks Marcia! It's collecting those backlinks at a steady pace that's the tough part. Good luck and have a productive 2011!

Jan 04, 2011 06:25 AM
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

That's a nicely witten article about what backlinks are. Please keep posting! 

Jan 29, 2011 01:21 PM
Jerry Morse
The Morse Company - Janesville, WI

Got here from your last good blog!  There is still hope for me.

Feb 22, 2011 10:31 AM
Tommy Taylor
Taylor Properties & TexasForSale.net - Kerrville, TX
CNE- Texas Hill Country Realtor

Tammy- I had no idea that there was such a thing as a bad backlink.

Feb 26, 2011 04:21 PM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Tammy, can you give us an example of how we might obtain a .gov or .edu backlink?

Mar 17, 2011 06:24 AM
Juan Bassett
Long & Foster - Germantown, MD

Thanks for the info.. I have been working on backlinks and SEO . Enjoy your day.

Jul 26, 2011 01:20 AM
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

Thank you Tammy,  I'm learning and growing big time today!

Oct 20, 2011 06:15 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Thanks Tammy,  Back links and internal links still scare me a little.

Mar 01, 2012 04:54 AM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Ahhh, don't let them scare you! You need them and they need you! Just don't go crazy with the link exchanges!

Mar 01, 2012 05:31 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Well, this is interesting and once again, some of the information I was not aware of. Thank you!

May 09, 2012 11:45 PM
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

I link from my posts on AR to my website but other than that I'm not getting much in the way of backlinks. I don't really get how I can get other site owners to link back to me.

Jul 07, 2012 03:06 AM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Jenny, you want to comment on other people's blogs with a link back to your site.. use DO FOLLOW blogs - Here is a good list : http://ericbramlett.com/do-follow-real-estate-blogs/#comment-20650 most real estate sites like Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com will have a profile, make sure your links from your AR profile are on here too.

Jul 07, 2012 04:49 AM
Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN
HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578 - La Quinta, CA
I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!

Good info as always. 

Apr 10, 2013 12:53 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I’ve seen it work when it’s not overly dense and cumbersome. I recommend it. Right on! ;)

Feb 20, 2020 07:27 AM