A Ten-fold Increase in Traffic

How I Achieved a Ten-fold Increase in Traffic with Quality Backlinks and Contextual Linking.

Having a goodly number of quality backlinks is one of the most important factors in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), helping to position your site towards the first spot in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

But, it is not enough to merely have a high number of (incoming) backlinks. Rather, it is the quantity and quality of backlinks that allows your site to rank better in the search engines than your competition.

Simply, a backlink will be considered a quality, authoritative link if

1. the link points to a page in your website with the anchor text (keywords or key phrases) for which you are trying to attract traffic through a search engine query,

2. the page on that website contains similar subject matter to your site.

There are a few free tools that will help you to determine the quality of existing and potential backlinks to your website (search on ‘free seo backlink tools’).

But, how do you really know that a link can be considered a quality link before agreeing to exchange links with (or, gasp, purchase links from ) a particular web site? After all, the whole point of having a link from another site is to benefit from the ranking and authority of that web site.

It is therefore important, before the link is affected, that you investigate whether a link from another site is to your advantage.

So, here is the thirty (30) second check to pre-qualify a link request.

The first and most important factor to check is if the site is even listed in Google’s index. This can be determined by entering “http://www.sitename.com” in the Google search box. If there is no result displayed for that URL, then stop there and affect no link exchange.

Next, do the same for the URL of the page which the site owner says will display your backlink. As above, no Google search results means that the search engine spiders will probably not find your backlink.

(A cautionary note, a common technique employed by automated link managers, link spammers and unscrupulous webmasters is putting your link on a temporary page just to entice you to make the link exchange, then deleting the page from their site.)

Therefore, be on the look-out, Google may direct you to an entirely different page than the one on which your link would normally be added. This is an indication that the host server is "re-directing" the page address to another page which is completely unacceptable -- your link will never be found. Here is one HTTP viewer, click here then enter the URL of the page on which your link is "said" to be placed. If the program detects a re-direction, then you will be advised with the address of "Location 2".

Another caution, if the site requesting a link swap is offering to exchange links by placing your link on another site than that to which you will be linking, then simply ignore the request altogether.

Then, the second step is to examine these three items:

the linking site’s home page,
the site’s HTML and sitemaps,
the site’s backlink page.

The home page will determine the suitability of the linking site thematically; that is, does the site’s content match (or closely match) that of your own. With the site’s home page displayed in your browser window, using your mouse, right-click and select “View Source”. Observe the site’s "Title" and "Meta" tags. Does the text match your expectations of site relevancy?

Next, open a www.google.com screen in your browser and enter the sitename without the "http://" descriptor, but appending "info": to the front of the URL.

Or, simply scroll down and we'll do it for you. (see Note 1.)

For example, http://www.msn.com would be entered as info:www.msn.com (see Note 1.).

Press enter and Google will present something akin to

MSN's all-in-one Internet portal, the home of Hotmail, MSN Messenger, MSNBC News, Fox Sports, Slate Magazine and more information you care about. www.msn.com/

Google can show you the following information for this URL:

* Show Google's cache of msn.com
* Find web pages that are similar to msn.com
* Find web pages that link to msn.com
* Find web pages from the site msn.com
* Find web pages that contain the term "www.msn.com".

Clicking on the hyperlink in this line

* Show Google's cache of msn.com

will display the Google cache for the site. If there is no cache, stop there, do not affect the link, why link to a site that Google is not visiting?

Clicking on the hyperlink in this line

* Find web pages that are similar to msn.com

will display the Google “related” tag, listing the pages that are similar, the more the better,

Clicking on the hyperlink in this line

* Find web pages that link to msn.com

displays how many backlinks Google report for the site, once again the more the better.

Clicking on the hyperlink in this line

* Find web pages from the site msn.com


* Find web pages that contain the term "msn.com".

displays the actual number of pages within the site and the number of pages that contain the website name, the more the better.

HTML Sitemap

If you are satisfied with the results of steps one and two, it is then instructive to view the site’s HTML sitemap as well as the site’s Google sitemap.

The HTML sitemap is simply another web page in the site but is important as it compiles and displays every page in the sites, making it easy for the search engines to “spider” the site (and find your link).

Google Sitemap

The Google sitemap (usually sitemap.xml) is a specialized form of the above and complies with the Google sitemap specifications shown at What is the Google Sitemaps program?

While many say that the above is unnecessary, this author argues that since Google has gone to much expense to provide and maintain the function, to ignore such is at one’s own peril.

To view the Google sitemap, enter the site’s home page URL, then append “/sitemap.xml” on the end of the address. Caveat, the address may generate a “file not found” error. The site may have a Google sitemap but store it under a different file name than that suggested by Google.

Google Page Rank

Note that I have made no mention of Google Page Rank. It is the opinion of this author that if you have done most or all of the above that you have qualified the potential effectiveness of the link, just as does Google with its Page Rank algorithm.

Note 1. For practice, to verify that a link page has been indexed, work with this URL.


By moving your mouse, place the screen cursor just to the left of the first letter. Then press and hold the left-click button, dragging the mouse to the right until the remainder of the URL is highlighted. Lift the left-click, position the screen cursor over the highlighted portion, right-click, then select "Copy" to save the contents into "clipboard" memory.

Position the screen cursor in the "URL to check:" input box, right-click, Paste, , select "Check that the page is indexed and cached.", then click "Search".

Check that the page is indexed and cached.

Returns all information for the URL.

URL to check:

If the page is indexed and cached, you will see a Google page that clearly displays the URL.

Otherwise, you will see a page that advises that the URL is not found.

For an explanation of all the Google Advance Operators (info, site, link, allinurl, etc.) click here.

A Case Study

Sometime back, the owners of Key West Finest were referred to us by a long-time customer. The two ladies, mother and daughter, had supported themselves by publishing "rack brochures" for many years. Realizing that the Internet had become a major source of destination news, the pair contracted for a (continue)