Thursday , 13 May 2021
Quality back links mean relevance. Google likes relevance. Keep your back links relevant, earnest and therefore important to Google.

SEO Made Easy: The Importance of Back Links

Note Card Papercut Arrow Mustard Yellow

Note Card Papercut Arrow Mustard Yellow by: AshleyPahl


Article by: Fine Heart

When I started my online shop on Etsy, little did I know that I would also start a little online empire. For years, I owned a website which chugged along happily on a small railroad track in the middle of Siberia. Nevertheless, it got some people where they needed to go.

Then, I learned that in order to own a successful online shop, I would have to promote actively online. Thus my journey began and, I started to develop my little online empire. I joined Facebook, opened a fan page, I flickered, I followed blogs, and I even started my own blog (actually two, but I won’t bore you with the details).

“Why?” you ask. (A question I ask myself every day). Actually the answer is quite simple. I created my online empire so that I could create good links back to my online shop. For those of you out there who think that the only reason you are blogging, facebooking, and twittering is so that you can create followers who will worship you and then buy your wares, I have news for you. That is only part of the reason you are doing what you are doing. The other reason is called back links.


What is a back link? It is a link to your website via a back door, not the front door. If entering your online shop via the front door is by someone typing your “” or “www.” on Google; then, entering your online shop via the back door is by someone clicking on a link from someplace else on the web to get inside your online shop. A back link.

Why do you need back links?

You need them to impress Goggle and get better SEO (search engine optimization for those of you who fell asleep during the first three lectures) for your website. Imagine Google as the new nerdy kid in school. He does not know anyone, and even the geek squad won’t let him sit at their lunch table. He is easily impressed with whom he perceives as the cool and popular kids. He wants to be friends with them. How does he figure out who the cool kids are? They are the kids most talked about. Other kids are texting about them; there is cool graffiti about them; even the school paper have articles about these cool and popular kids.

Back links are like internet chatter to Google. The more Google sees that your website is being mentioned, the more Google thinks your website is popular. If Google thinks you are popular, it decides more people should see you. Then, Google will place your website higher in the search results page.

Lesson 1: Links from other sites which lead back to your website are called back links. More back links mean more mentions about you on the world wide web. Google translates this as you being cool and popular. Being cool and popular means Google will want to be your friend.

Quantity and Quality

So, Google, the nerd, really wants to be friends with the popular kids. He can only rely on hearsay since has no friends. However, Google has to decide which chatter is more important: the graffiti on the wall, the text messages, or the articles on the school paper. He gives more importance to the more reliable source.

Similarly, Google has to decide which back links are more reliable and more important. If you are just starting out many or quantity back links are good. But what you really want, in order to rule your back link universe, are quality back links.

What determines a quality back link?

Relevance (def. “connected with the matter in hand; pertinent” from If your back links are located on a site which have relevant content to your online shop or website, then Google will consider these quality back links.

Lesson 2: Quality back links mean relevance. Google likes relevance. Keep your back links relevant, earnest and therefore important to Google.

How do you get relevant and earnest back links?

Two ways: create them yourself and have others create them for you. Again, very obvious.

Links You Create

Remember the little online empire I built? If no one is linking to your online shop, then, create content on other websites which will “inadvertently” mention your shop name, have a link to your shop or product, and be relevant to your shop.

An example is my Facebook Fan Page.

Back link 1: Here is a new pink heart necklace I made. Look!

Back link 2: My earrings are in a treasury of other cool Etsy stuff.

Back link 3: Vote! Which picture should I use as #1 for my jewelry listing.

These are great earnest back links coming from another website but solely created by me. Google likes the relevance and I love the attention. A win-win.

Links Other People Create

If online sites are not banging down your shop door to link to you, then, start knocking on their doors. Write articles and get them published on websites and blogs. Choose websites which are relevant to your online shop. What determines relevance? Similar content and keywords. For example, if you are selling hand knit baby clothes, you can post a blog on a mom-based website that talks about babies and their clothes. You can also post an article about different yarn types on a knitting website. Their keywords will be close to yours, and their content will be pertinent to your back links.

Lesson 3: Create your own web content to create earnest back links.

Playing With The Big Boys

There is no argument that the coolness factor of having your back links on Martha Stewart’s blog or the Good Morning America website is off the charts super cool. Like as cool as climbing Mount Everest or flying solo over the Pacific. But guess what? The coolness factor does not stop there. Google likes back links which are on high ranking websites. Since we can pretty much assume that these sites are ranked number one in their respective categories, then having your back links on these sites will garner you some major coolness points with Google. Basically, Google sees you hanging with the big boys and Google will assume you are cool too.

Okay, dream over. So, you know that you don’t need to wait for GMA or Martha Stewart to actually call you. You can guest write on any website or blog that are ranked higher than your website. You will still get coolness points from Google. Getting published on a blog ranked well on Google and creating back links inside your article are great ways to improve your SEO which will lead to getting your website or online shop found.

Lesson 4: Google is easily impressed by highly ranked websites, so get your back links placed on sites which rank high on Google. This will increase your coolness factor for Google.

The Importance of Words

Believe it or not, the words that you use to create your back links are also extremely important to Google. This is commonly referred to as “anchor text”. What is it again? The anchor text is the actual word or phrase which you click to access the link.

Example: this is my online shop Fine Heart.

The words “Fine Heart” is the anchor text. If you click on that text, it will bring you to my Etsy jewelry shop. However, a better anchor text to use for my back link is handcrafted fine jewelry.

Did you see what I did there? I used a keyword phrase as the anchor text to my back link. Why? Because as usual, Google likes relevance and being obvious. If you are linking to a jewelry shop and Google sees the word “jewelry” in the anchor text for your back link, then it will know that the back link is highly relevant and pertinent, and therefore earnest and important.

Lesson 5: Use anchor text which is closely related to your website’s keyword phrase in order to tell Google that your back link is relevant to the web address you are linking to.

In Conclusion.

Back links are just links back to your website. Quantity back links are good, but quality back links are better. A quality back link means having links placed on websites which are relevant to where you are linking to. High-ranking websites are like the cool kids to Google, the nerd. Hang with the cool kids and your coolness factor will increase. Increased coolness factor means improved SEO. Improved SEO means your online shop will be found.

Find more articles by Fine Heart HERE.

More Etsy SEO articles from the Handmadeology Team. 

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  1. Super helpful as always – especially back linking on key descriptive words of my shop instead of my shop name – learned something new this Sunday morning :) Thanks!

  2. These are great tips. I have already noticed an improvement in my rankings.

  3. Fabulous article, Fine Heart! Thanks for sharing your insight.

  4. Great article because it is user-friendly and easy to understand. Thank you! I have been reading up on Google SEO and it really does make a difference!

  5. Thank you for your lesson in SEO. This is the first time I’ve heard about the Anchor Text. I need to get busy with these great tips you’ve given us.

  6. Thanks so much for the information. Can’t wait to try it out.

  7. Great article and outstanding advice. Thanks!

  8. Great article! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

  9. Thanks for the feedback, guys. I am learning all new things as well. I hope we all get to hang with the cool kids. :)

  10. Thanks for this easy to understand info:0)

  11. I will definitely link this into our Recyclers Team page as it is so helpful and easy to understand!

  12. Oustanding article! Seems like I learning something new about this cyber world every day. If I had it to do over again, I’d have picked a different shop name…
    as AudreyGardenLady doesn’t really say handmade jewelry to anyone who doesn’t know me.

    Thanks again…

  13. Thank you for the great tips!

  14. Thank you much for the tips

  15. Thank you,this is excellent information.

  16. Great article! I really like the way you write :) Very friendly, thanks.

  17. Thanks for the info! I am learning so much from these articles–a little overwhelming, but hey–little by little helps out a lot!


  18. Great article! Thank you so much.

  19. Thanks for all the interesting and informative Handmadeology SEO articles AND the easy to understand language!

  20. Thank you so much for the informative article. It was very interesting and very helpful. Especially to those of us still finding our way out there…

  21. Thanks for the tutorial. Now I need to learn how to make the “anchor text” links. I’m sure somewhere online there is a tutorial for that, too.

  22. After reading, I just changed the name I reply here to link my website name to my etsy shop link. Thanks for helping with the little things that make a big difference.
    Sally Anne

  23. Great article! Thanks for all the good tips. You mentioned commenting on relevant blogs…does your clickable name on a comment help with SEO?

  24. I would like to thank you for all the good information. Perhaps I can put it to use right now? I’ll try… because I would like to create back links to our handcrafted fine jewelry store specializing in dichroic fused glass jewelry. I will need to practice using these stores to promote my etsy shop (, and my website ( Have a great day, and I’ll click on your links as an extra thanks~!

  25. Thank-you for the easy SEO tips : )

  26. Great article. Thanks so much for sharing all the helpful info. Also love your humorous writing style. You actually explain the SEO process in a really easy to understand way. Thanks again!

  27. Extremely helpful & informative. Thanks so much for taking the time to educate who is willing to learn :) Great info!
    Smitherine Designs

  28. Thanks for this info! Thought I’d try a link here…

  29. Thanks for explaining this in plain English!
    Great tips……thanks!

  30. Bobbi helms. Fatdogbeads

    Thank you for such an easy to understand and follow guide to back links! Beat i’ve read. I can tell now i’ve got work to do!

  31. Great article. Super easy and to the point info!!

  32. Great informattion here, Thanks !

  33. I love your analogy… google as the new nerdy kid! I understand SEO and backlinks to some degree, but if I’m talking with people it is hard to explain. This is a great refresher lesson for me and will make explanations much easier. Thanks!

  34. I have done some decent reading on SEO and always get confused on backlinks because I can’t find a good article on them. UNTIL NOW!! Thanks!

  35. I am glad that this article is still relevant and useful. Thanks for the encouragement all!

  36. Bravo! Great article that anyone can understand!

  37. Simple talk on backlinks. Bravo!

  38. This was really enlightening for me – thanks! Found you from CraftGawker btw.

  39. As always, thanks for finding ways to explain things in a way we can all understand.

  40. Thanks for the great article. I didn’t know that Google liked back links so much… One question though, how do you get a couple a relevant words to form a back link? I have seen a lot of back links in article I read but I don’t know how to create them. Would appreciate a tutorial. Thanks again.

  41. Nice and easy for me to understand, thanks. I’m going to bookmark for later too.

    Now who wants to feature me on their blog? Happy to do a feature or link exchange. Let me know!

  42. Excellent description of back links. Comparing Google to the nerd kid who wants to be cool is a great analogy!

  43. Clear and helpful – just what I needed! Thanks

  44. I am such a fan now. Gone back and printed out more articles.
    I mean you are the FIRST person who made me UNDERSTAND this.
    Also have to say your jewelry, the way you display and the professionalism clearly exemplified by everything you do online is amazing.

  45. This is a great explanation! It’s making me want to link all over the web and I love the neardy Google analogy. Thanks for the great info!

  46. This is a great article and I learned a lot. I need to get more promotions for my small shop
    Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge.

  47. Thanks for this awesome article. When I first opened my Etsy shop, I was working everyday on getting back links. Lately I’ve really slacked off but I’m now encouraged to get going again with this. Hope it helps! Thanks for the great article and the encouragement. :)

  48. Thanks for the information. Very well written and very descriptive. I finaly know what a proper back link is!

  49. Wow! What a thoughtful article that truly deserves praise! Thank you so much for these very helpful tips. I am definitely making backlinking on top of my to-do list for my handmade jewelry shop on Etsy! :)

    Jocelyn @

  50. Thanks everyone! Glad to help and clear some things up. It’s definitely a challenge to navigate the online selling world! :)

  51. Great article. The information here is very valuable. Very often I look only at high PR links, because they are valuable. But you make it more specific. Related links with quality and high PR are truly valuable links. This is a great guide for everybody!

  52. I am always looking for new ways or better ways to advertise my Design shop.
    Thank you
    Great read,
    Anita Spero

  53. brilliant article. Thank you. The information is clear (no jargon), everybody should read this.

  54. Thanks for making this so even I can understand! Love your analogy.

    Maker of Amazing Homemade Soaps!

  55. Back links and anchor text were two SEO terms that slightly confused me. I guess I did know what back links are, but did not know all the detail you presented here. Glad to know what anchor text is.

    Thank you for sharing this information with all of us.

  56. Thanks so much! Still feel so new to all this online marketing…. Was sure I could just sit & knit and the masses would come to me. HA, was I wrong. (not the first time)

    Will get busy!

    Thanks again,

  57. WOW sums it up for my reply. BUT just have to say this is about the most understood article for me. Going to check out your other articles also. I consider this a blessing.

    Have a great day,Doris

  58. NOW for my second reply and how this article helped me:-)
    I couldn’t figure out why my allready established (I thought) Avatar wasn’t showing up next to my reply. SO I clicked on the avatar space and it sent me to register it so it WILL show up when I do replys! Fantastic learned one more thing to help in my business.

    Have a great Day, Doris

  59. Great analogy. The info about the anchor text was news to me. Thanks for sharing.

  60. I just checked my page rank today, and my Etsy it has been tossed down the rabbit hole of Google Hell’s supplimental page pool for the second time in 4 years!!!!! This couldn’t have come at a worse time with the holdiays just weeks away!!! I blog–not as often as I should, but do the best I can, I am VERY active on FB and Twitter, Pinterest, have many backlinks in highly relevant sites, have been featured and/or mentioned in blogs, have many photo libraries on majors sites, work those keyword/tags properly, and regularly comment an post on many sites. What else can I do?? WHY is this happening????? My shop has lost its’ pulse!!! Can it be regenerated in time for the holidays?? Tim, I implore your help again!!!

  61. Loved your article! Thank U! :)

  62. Great article, Lots to think about. I’ll take all the help I can get.

  63. Thanks for the great tips and easy explanation of the importance of building backlinks.

  64. Creations By Anya

    Thank you so much for your lessons I’m off now to put them into practice

  65. This is great information. Thanks for explaining it so clearly. I’m off to create anchor text for my sewing patterns.

  66. Thank you for the great tips!

  67. Thank you. I have 2 shop that sell oop and vintage sewing patterns. You explained why I needed to be doing the things I have been putting off.

  68. This is the best explanation of back links that I have ever read. Now I understand what I need to do for my shop.

  69. I’m still learning everyday! This article was very helpful in learning how to backlink to my handcrafted jewelry shop. I’ve always had difficulty understanding how this works. Thanks so much for making it so simple. ;)

  70. Thank you very much you explained very clear, nice touch.

  71. I’ve been working on my SEO, so this gives me more good insight into what I need more of. Thanks so much!

  72. Great article! I recently subscribed to handmadeology and this site is all good info!

  73. Great tips, and SO easy to understand (Love the google nerdy kid analogy!).

  74. Thank you so much for the tips! Just when I think I know what I’m doing, as far as online marketing, I learn that there’s a lot more to know.

  75. I have a new shop and there are so many things to learn about an etsy seller. This article is great. for fashion jewelry :)

  76. Thanks for the useful tips!

    One thing I’d like to ask, shortened links also count as back links if they are valid, right?

  77. I found this article by typing “etsy search ads” into Google. Thank you for the great information.


  78. Very helpful information and well explained. Thanks for helping me better understand the ESTY world!

  79. This is a great article! Thanks for sharing!

  80. I found this article very helpful in understanding how search engines are ranking websites and Etsy shops.

    I am now starting my online empire too!


  81. Since I still work full time, my etsy shop is only part time now. Each day I try to read one article or blog. I wasn’t really planning on tackling SEO today but followed a link to this article and WOW it was so informative! It really helps me to understand the importance of SEO, which have now moved up on my “to do list”! Fine Heart did a amazing job with breaking down their importance and helped me to formulate my plan of action!

  82. Thank you very much for your tips, I have learnt much reading them, now to put them in action on my site

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