A link, also known as a hyperlink, is any clickable text or image in a web page, like our names and shop names and avatars on Etsy. Clicking on these links takes us to a profile page or shop page or other page within Etsy.
Backlink definition summarized from: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backlink
Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node.
Inbound links were originally important (prior to the emergence of search engines) as a primary means of web navigation; today, their significance lies in search engine optimization (SEO). The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page (for example, this is used by Google to determine the PageRank of a webpage).
Search engines often use the number of backlinks that a website has as one of the most important factors for determining that website's search engine ranking, popularity and importance.
There are several factors that determine the value of a backlink. Backlinks from authoritative sites on a given topic are highly valuable. If both sites have content geared toward the keyword topic, the backlink is considered relevant and believed to have strong influence on the search engine rankings of the webpage granted the backlink.
The link I posted in the message above, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backlink, when clicked, takes us to another Web site.
Links are used for navigation within web sites and from one web site to another.
Years ago, Google decided that links had a value beyond navigation, that any Web page that had many other Web pages linking to it, had to have some importance and significance. Any Web page that had very important other web pages (like government pages, educational pages, and trusted authority Web sites such as CNN.com) inking to it had to have even more importance and significance.
The quality and number of inbound links (or backlinks) that any web page or web site has now determines where that web page comes up in the search results.
When you go to www.google.com and enter a keyword phrase, such as, "handmade jewelry", you will see 10 web sites come up on the first page of search results. Etsy is at the very top, after the sponsored ads, followed by nine other web sites selling handmade jewelry including Artfire.
Where these web sites selling handmade jewelry come up in the search results depends on both the keywords that are used on these web pages as well as the number and quality of their backlinks. (The last time I checked, Etsy had over 1.5 million backlinks and seems to have that top spot secured).
Where a web page or web site comes up in the search results is very important for the number of web visitors that web site gets. Most people do not look past the first page of search results. Most people will click on the first web site, then the next, etc. Getting to page one of the search results and especially to the top spot FOR THEIR KEYWORD PHRASES is the goal of many web sites.
There are over 15,000 searches each month on Google for "handmade jewelry" alone. Etsy also comes up for every other "handmade" keyword phrase I have tested. This top spot insures a lot of Internet visitors to etsy.com
Where to build backlinks
Before building backlinks, download the Firefox browser and then install the developer toolbar. The developer toolbar will let you know which web sites and blogs and forums block link value from being passed along to your web page. These blocked links are highlighted in bright pink when you use the developer tool bar.
Here is a screen shot of my Facebook page with links highlighted in pink by the developer tool bar: www.wingsdove.com/screens/FirefoxBlockedLinksFacebook.jpg
(NOTE: there is now a newer developer tool bar for use with the newest Firefox browser and the blocked backlinks might not appear the same way as on the older Firefox browsers. I will be posting an update when I learn more.)
You might not want to waste your time leaving blog and forum comments as those links in your signature have no value to your web page. Find web pages that do not block link value when you leave a link to your Etsy shop web site.
Firefox browser download: www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
Developer Toolbar download: addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/web-developer/
One of the easiest and best ways to start with link building for a web site is by exchanging links with other trusted web sites owned by people that you know. Since you cannot add link pages to your Etsy shop like you can to your own web site, you can work around this by using your blog.
Your own blog is a very good place to start building backlinks to your shop. You can add at least one link to your shop with each blog post.
You can also exchange links with other Etsy bloggers by writing about their Etsy shop and linking to their shop from your blog post. The link exchange would involve the other blogger writing about and linking to your Etsy shop in exchange.
Another way to exchange links with other blogs is by using the "grab my button badges" that sometimes can be found on blogs. You can see what this badge looks like on the left side of my blog, www.seo-web-pro.blogspot.com/ . When someone copies the code that is in the white text area and adds it to their blog, a link is created that links from their blog to your blog.
These link building ideas are a good place for a beginner to start.
SEO and Relevancy Guide Books