Link building is a waiting game. Many clients have asked me why they do not see changes in traffic or ranking before a month goes by. It takes time for the search engine robots to find those new links and index the pages they are linked to.

The Process Of Indexing Links

Links are what make the World Wide Web go round.

Links are how we travel through the web pages of the World Wide Web. The indexing, or spidering, of links on a web page is like the indexing of pages that you submit directly to the search engines. In order for your link to provide link popularity back to your website, the page the link is on must appear in the search engine databases. The search engine robots must index the web page to be included into the search engine databases. If the web page is already in the search engine database, it is a matter of indexing the updated information on the web page and having that link show as a backlink in the search engine results.

Why Do I Have To Wait So Long For Results?

When it comes to link building, it is quite simply a slow process. Even if you pay for a link, the page the link is on still must be indexed by the search engine robots in order to be included in the database, thus showing up in the search engine results.

What's A Backlink?

A backlink is a spiderable link (typically a text hyperlink) that points from another web page to your designated web page. The preferable type of backlink is one that is topical in nature. If your web page and keywords focus on gardening books, you would want to have backlinks from other gardening websites, especially gardening book sites.

Finding Backlink Results

The search engines vary in how they show your backlinks. Google has limitations on what links show up in their backlinks; generally you will not see all of your backlinks in the Google listing. Yahoo! generally shows most of your backlinks, it picks up most pages that link to you.

To find your backlinks, you will typically use a search like
or "link:".

This should show the links you have pointing back to your web page. If this search does not work in the search engine you are using, try using the advanced search feature of the search engine to find the correct syntax.

For an overall report view of your backlinks, visit and click on the Link Popularity Check link in the Free Search Engine Marketing Tools section. Once you run the report you will be able to see how many backlinks show for the search engines listed. As with any software tool, use it as a guide, not as absolute factual information. You can also enter your top competitors' websites in this query and see their backlink results along side of your own results.

Is The Linked Page In The Database?

You can check to see if the page your new link is on is in the search engine database by performing a search like
or "".

Or use the advanced search features offered at each search engine.

Of course, to find out if you are listed in a directory, you must click through the categories to the category you submitted your information to. To speed up your search, look for the directory link results that usually accompany regular search results at directories. If you are listed in the directory, the next step is to wait until the link is indexed by the search engine robots and shows up in the search engine results and your backlink results.

Waiting For Results

Link building is time consuming and you must wait to see the full results. Work on your content as well for natural linking from other websites. Use search engine optimization in combination with link building for optimum results. Think of link building not as an immediate payoff but as a long-term goal to better your overall ranking in the search engine results.

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March 21, 2005

Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation, a Search Engine Promotion company serving small businesses. Besides running her own company, Daria is an associate of, an Internet web marketing strategies company. She has specialized in search engine optimization since 1998, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly & Associates, a technical book publishing company.

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