200 odd signals are behind Google's algorithm. Earlier to 2012, you can spam Google with 500+ low profile backlinks and get on Google page #1. Post-Penguin and recently the Penguin 4.0 made sure that these spammy techniques are no longer working. But before I show proof that how good backlinks can rank you well and put you on Google Page #1, let's see some basics of SEO.

  • Quality, Unique and Simple to Read Content
  • Keyword Research
  • On-Site Optimization
  • Off-Site Optimization
  • White-Hat Link Building

In 2014, some SEO tips and techniques you learnt in 2013 are still relevant. For example intelligent marketers invested in white-hat link building strategiesÂand auditing them from time to time to remove any un-natural links. Also using spammy link building techniques and creating cheap backlinks are gone. Penguin and HummingBird made sure that quaility content and editorial backlinks are the norms.

Let's take an example from the Google's WebMaster guidelines which is an SEO bible to every new content writer.

Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.

Can you guess the right word for the word in bold according to SEO? Ya, you are right!

It's keyword research. Google is clearly mentioning that you need to include keywords (rather not directly) into your content. So you should be doing something about it, if you are planning to write a good article toÂrank well in Google.

You can use free tools like Google Analytics and Keyword Planner to do it white-hat. Though there are 3rd party tools, I would recommend using the above.

Website structure and Website navigation are still significant rules in 2014. ÂIt's important that your content is unique and useful, as search engines look at words or text rather than design or graphics.

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Long-tail keywords are the ones which have more search volume. They are used by searchers during the migrating cycle of research to buy. You can target upto 5 keywords (different versions of the same) per web-page, if you want your content to be highlighted in the search engines and rank well.

SEO is the art of making changes in different areas of your website from time to time, so that search engines can find and deliver targeted visitors to your site. The following components of a web-page are to be optimized before you start link-building.

  1. Content
  2. Meta Title Tag, Description, Keywords
  3. H1 tag
  4. URL Structure
  5. Image Tags
  6. XML Sitemap
  7. Internal Linking Structure
  8. Page Load TimeÂ
  9. Code Analysis

If you do the above things properly, its nothing but definition of On-Page Optimization.

You can opt for several marketing strategies if you want your SEO campaign to be successful. You can do article marketing, social networking, directory submission, blogging, natural links, video marketing, blog comments, local profiles, industry associations, online publicity etc as part of your off-site optimization techniques in 2014.

The above proficiencies that worked in 2013 still work in 2014. Only be careful, not to over-do it and whatever you do, you build trust with your audience. ÂThe final part of the SEO basics that is going to work for ever (whether there are Pay-Day Loan, Penguin, Panda updates in future) is link building, unless Google totally re-modifiesÂits current alogrithm, which is not going to happen.

Though its tough being an individual blogger and trying to build links on your own, there are strategies and plans that work if you can invest some money.

You need to create good backlinks to build an "authority" website in your domain. Why? This is because if you have observed SEO tools like Moz, SEMRush etc its very easy to see how domain authority is relevant in google search engine ranking.

Good Backlinks Rank you Well in Search Engines (Proof)

To show you proof and as a case-study, I'll take a keyword and see what are the pages currently ranking on Page #1 in Google as of 22nd July, 2014 11.25 AM IST.

The keyword is "Windows 8 transformation Pack" . Why I'm taking this? Because, I have some idea on Windows 8 websites and also from Keyword Planner data, it shows that it has 4,400 average monthly searches and the advertiser competition is low and the suggested bid is $0.7.

[caption id="attachment_2185" align="alignnone" width="600"]Windows 8 Transformation Pack Keyword Data from Keyword Planner for the keyword "Windows 8 Transformation Pack"[/caption]

So this isÂa normal keyword which a small-time and poor blogger like me would like to target and rank well in Google Search Engine rankings.

[caption id="attachment_2187" align="alignnone" width="337"]create good backlinks and rank well in google Google Page #1 results for a keyword which shows proof that backlinks matter in 2014[/caption]

There are 2,990,000 results for this query and they were shown in 0.27 seconds. Recently I found an SEO TOOL called "Backlink Explorer" from CognitiveSEO that checks for trillions of backlinks.

I'm going to use that tool to checkÂthe #1Âwebpage mentioned in the above screenshot and see itsÂbacklink profile.

[caption id="attachment_2188" align="alignnone" width="86"]good_backlinks_webpage Backlinks Profile of a webpage ranking #1 in Google for a keyword[/caption]

If you observe the stats, there are 175 referring domains, 398 links, negligible Page Authority Âand Âaverage domain authority. The do-follow vs no-follow link profile shows that they are 50-50 approximately. Also the 25 links (that is the allowed limit on this tool for FREE) pointing to this web-page are havingÂHIGH-GOOD LINK AUTHORITY and GOOD-AVERAGE DOMAIN AUTHORITY.

Just to compare, I tried checking the back-link profile of the #9 page for the same keyword. These are the results.

[caption id="attachment_2189" align="alignnone" width="600"]CognitiveSEO power Checking backlinks for #9 webpage in Google using CognitiveSEO Backlink Explorer[/caption]

As you can see the number of referring domains has reduced to 8, number of links pointing also reduced to 8, negligible page authority, but, but...... high domain authority. There are also more no-follow links and the link profile authority is average.

What did you observe? The difference in backlinks for a #1 page and #9 page on Google page #1. But the #9 ranked page has more domain-authority than #1 page. So that's why its very difficult to analyze Google why its ranking pages in that order. But one thing is clear, more the quality and number of backlinks (generally) your ranking will be better.

Conclusion

Finally I want to conclude, that you don't get hyped by this case-study and start creating thousands of nonsense backlinks to your website. As you know 1 quality backlink provides more worth than 1000 spammy backlinks. But keep consistent vigilance on your competitors for a particular keyword and devise your own strategies to build up a siimlar back-link profile.

I had to register forÂa free plan to this CognitiveSEO link explorer tool to know the above statistics, as Âthere is a daily limit on the link-analysis usage. So if you like this content, please share on the internet and link to this web-page if you are a blogger.

Do you agree with the SEO BASICS I mentioned above ? Are you finding difficult to build back-links to your website ? What are your strategies in 2014 to build links ? Are you using an SEO to create good links? Please let me know in the comments.