Inbound links really are, as of right now, the Holy Grail of gaining more favor with Google. The theory goes that if your site and content are so good, that site visitors are going to be compelled to link to you when mentioning you on their site.
Inbound links are harder to get than ever. Back in the day folks didn't hesitate to link to other sites they found interesting, nifty or cool. Getting those links in 2015 is a challenge. Folks don't link out as much as they used to -- some too worried about their own SEO and losing "link juice" or just not wanting to risk sending visitors off their site.
I'm not an SEO -- and don't play one on T.V. -- but what I do know is that if you discover an unexpected link coming into your site -- that's a networking opportunity you just have to take advantage of!
So how do you discover inbound links? There are all kinds of sites and tools -- here's a couple to get you going:
- View the "Referrers" section of your hosting stats (AWSTATS is very common). Go to your cPanel and page down to LOGS to view available statistical tracking offered by your Web host.
- Google Analytics
- SEMrush Search Engine Marketing Tools: Sign up for a free account and check Backlinks.
When I have some time to play with statistics and I discover a site that found enough value in any of my sites to link to me, I always stop by their Website and thank them. If the mention and link are in a Blog post, I'll contribute to the conversation in the comments and again thank them for their support. This little effort on your part can be the beginning of some great partnerships!
Search engines put allot of relevancy on one-way inbound links -- sometimes too much so without enough discrimination. But for the time being that's the way things work and if another site owner "out there" gives you that golden link that search engines rely on to rank you higher, it is well worth your time to thank them!
At your service,
P.S. Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." Read my full Affiliate Disclosure Statement here.