Back links to your site are important for two reasons: One – they drive traffic to your website and two – they get you ranked higher in the search engines.

The second is by far the most important one.

Getting ranked in the search engines is the MAIN goal of back links. On-page optimization will only get you so far.

Why are back links so important?

Because Google sees each one as a “vote” for your site and obviously the more incoming links you have, the higher perceived value of your site. But don’t just get as many as possible, quality always beats quantity of links.

What are the best quality links?

One way links – reciprocal and 3 way linking are no longer very effective. Reciprocal linking used to be all the rage, but Google has cracked down on it and it’s no longer effective.

Think about it, the best votes are from people who just link to you because of your great content not because you are linking back to them. Saying “I’ll vote for you if you’ll vote for me” is not going to get you far.

But not all one way links are created equal.

Which links are the best? Links from websites that just link to you because of your great content.

So how do you get people to link to you? First you have to get people talking and for this you must have interesting content. Saying the same things as everyone else obviously won’t get people talking.

Be controversial. That’s the best way to generation attention. It’s not easy to stand out, but if you put the time and effort into it, you will be very happy with your results in generating a massive amount of quality links.

But let’s face it at some point you will have to do a link building campaign yourself. You can’t just rely on other sites linking to you.

What are the best “self promotion” methods?

There are plenty that work. Some are press releases, article marketing, blog commenting, forum posting, directory submissions, and paid links.

Which method is the best?

Article marketing. This is because it’s one of the few link building strategies that actually generates a significant amount of traffic along with the SEO benefits. Blog comments, forum postings, directory submissions or paid links will not usually bring many visitors to your site.

And don’t forget, other sites will pick up your article and post it on their site. This won’t happen with blog comments and forum posts so you efforts are compounded.