I've been reading up about SEO that emphasizes the importance of backlinks. It appears that I can find out the backlinks by doing a google search using the syntax
link:www.mysite.com My question is, how is this different from regular links from other websites? I know my site has been linked from hundreds of websites but when I do a
link:www.mysite.com I see only 20 results. Why the discrepency?
Also, how do I improve on getting more backlinks?
There is no clear-cut distinction between "links" and "backlinks"; the two words are often used interchangeably.
To me, "backlink" is a more SEO specific term, and probably implies links from other sites to my site which carry rank (i.e. are not nofollow'ed ).
I was once told that Google searches with the "link:" syntax were not meant to be comprehensive. Maybe that's true or maybe not, but in both cases I recommend that you supplement it with Yahoo! Site Explorer. Use the topmost "Explore" search box, and look for backlinks.
If neither Google search nor Site Explorer finds the sites that should link to you, then the causes are most likely on of the following:
Honestly, I'm not an expert on SEO, but I'm going to offer two possible solutions.
1st, my understanding of backlinks is that they are websites that link to you that you have also linked to via your website. This could be the discrepancy. Could be wrong.
2nd, it's possible that Google just didn't find some of them. I'm not sure how sophisticated Google's link search database is when it comes to end users like us.
In my opinion it's likely the first, but like I said, not an expert. I simply noticed you hadn't been answered yet! :D
I've noticed that different search engines will return different results when searching for links to a site. Also, the results will not include any with rel="nofollow" in the link, which is basically a link that the author does not choose to give SEO credit to the destination.