Photography Backlinks ...

Photography Backlinks ...

Posted By Admin: 8/17/2011 6:31:29 PM.   Posted To Photographers / SEO For Photographers

Anyone who's been around GlobalEye-OzImages for any length of time will have heard me go on about 'backlinks'. After your basic on-page SEO it is the most important factor in getting good listings in the various search engines.  So for a photographer with a presence on a photographer portal site such as GlobalEye, where you have limited control over the on-page SEO factors, building backlinks is a simple and effective way  to increase your exposure right across the web.

We spend a lot of time and effort (and money) developing good links back to our websites on your behalf, and currently have about 17,000 backlinks pointing to OzImages and over 6,000 more pointing to the newer GlobalEye website.

Interestingly, Google only recognises about 2/3 of these.

So it's important to remember, your link profile is just as important as the total volume. All the search engines use various mechanisms and algorithms to assess your link profile and decide how much weight to give them when assessing the value of your page. One way links are better than link swaps, a link from a page with hundreds of other links is near worthless, and a link from a known search-engine-spammer will actually do more harm than good.

So the number one rule for building backlinks is simple ...

The absolute very best way to get quality backlinks is simply to publish high quality content that other website owners will want to link to. That way you get the double benefit of quality content on your website, and a mix of quality one-way links pointing to it.

And while that's all good in theory, it takes a long time to see results, so it pays to keep an eye out and add your own links when the opportunity presents. This can be time-consuming, so I'd usually suggest you keep your eye out for 'quality' opportunities and don't get bogged down trying to submit your links to every site out there ... quality rules over quantity every time!

Here's a few suggestions on how to identify quality backlink opportunities. As always, there are exceptions, so be sure to read through to the end!


This is the holy grail ... if a site that has a higher rank than yours links to you, then it's basically passing along some 'link-juice' and telling Google et al that maybe you're a bit more important than your current PageRank suggests. So any webmaster out there is permanently on the look out for links from any website with a good PageRank.

In fact, I wouldn't bother submitting a link to any site that didn't have a PageRank of at least 1. In fact, these days, I'll rarely stop what I'm doing for anything less than a PR 3. I might bookmark the PR1 & PR2 sites to 'get back to', but only if they're relevant. (See below ...)

So how do you check PageRank? Well there's plenty of handy-free websites you can type a URL into and find out, but I prefer to have the info there as the page loads ... so I use a Firefox Add-on called SEO Status PageRank/Alexa Toolbar. It's a free download and near installation, and displays the PR and the Alexa rank on every site I visit.

The added bonus of having the info there is, I'm rarely ever looking for link sites these days but often I'll spot a good PageRank on a website I'm already on and decide to look around and see if a backlink is possible!

Of course the higher the PageRank, the harder it is to get a link, but it can be done if you're persistent. Look for relevant forums to join, comment on blog posts, set up profiles, post content of your own ... just be sure you are adding relevant, valuable content or ideas that you would add, even if there was no backlink option!  (Anything else is spam!)

.Edu & .Gov Domains

As a rule, these tend to be considered authority websites, so any backlinks from .Edu and .Gov websites are particularly useful. Part of the reason they're so valuable is because they're so hard to come by. As a guide, of the thousands of backlinks pointing to our two stock library websites, less than 50 are from Gov or Edu domains!  (And that's not through a lack of trying!)

Again, the best option is to publish content that people at these kinds of organisations might want to link to ...

The other trick is to ask for them. It's not often I'd give away a photo for a publishing credit, but I'd probably consider a serious discount for a publishing credit that includes a permanent link from an Edu or Gov domain. Obviously you should ask for a link from any online use of your photos, but if the buyer is in education or government, consider making it a part of your license conditions ... or be prepared to beg. It will be worth it! 

On that note ... if anyone reading this does have access to add a link to to a Gov or Edu website, it will be great karma and very much appreciated!


So you might have gathered by now that websites in the first two categories aren't all that easy to find, so if you want to build any sort of quantity, you will need to cast the net a little wider. You do that by looking for relevant/related websites.

In short, the website you add a link to should bear some relevance to your website, otherwise it's a waste of time. Google will barely recognise the link and it won't have any major impact on your listings/rankings.

The best guide is to simply ask yourself if the average user on the other site is likely to have any real interest in your site?  If you can't imagine any cross-over, save your time and effort! If you think you might get some direct traffic from the link, then submit.

A good way for photographers to do this is to search Google for phrases like ... "Submit Photography Link" ... "Add Photography URL" and so on ... you'll find there are literally hundreds of 'photography' directories where you can submit links. And because these are relevant to your website, you can afford to relax the PageRank rule a bit as well.

You'll soon spot the tacky directories where someone is out for quick buck ... avoid those and look for the sites where it's clear the operator has a real interest in photography and is serious about developing a useful resource. They are the sites that will eventually establish a good Pagerank and pass some of that link-juice on to you!

Again it comes back to avoiding the spammy approach of blanket-submitting links.

All the search engines are really trying to do is filter out the weak content and give their users a better search experience. As long as you respect that and always keep your focus on improving the user experience, you'll find the search engines will treat you with much greater respect as well.

OK, this has turned out a bit longer than planned, so I'll leave it there.

I was going to add a few good sites to add your links, but I'll put them in the comments instead. Please have a look and feel free to add your own ... especially any high PR or Gov or Edu sites where photographers are welcome to add their links!

The comment function will strip any html, so just write the domain: ie.