By now, most people understand that if you want your website to rank in Google, you need other websites to link to you. The best way to achieve this, of course, is to create compelling content so that others will do the link building work for you simply because they like your content. It’s no secret, however, that most people looking to optimize their site for search go out and do their own link building, whether it be white hat (in accordance with Google’s guidelines), or black hat (violating Google’s guidelines). The ethics of these differing strategies is another conversation altogether.
If you have a Tumblr, and you are looking to build links to it to increase your PageRank, Tumblr’s system of “likes” makes this very easy. Here are the steps to do so:
1) Log into your Tumblr account
2) Browse your dashboard or tags to find a post on someone else’s Tumblr relevant to the keywords you would like to optimize for
3) Click on the heart icon at the top right corner of the window. It should turn red:
4) Refresh the page. You should see a link back to your Tumblr in the “Notes” section at the bottom of the post. Example:
Notice that if you hover over the link, the title tag of the link is the same as the title of your Tumblr. Thus, you are going to want the title of your Tumblr to contain the keywords you would like to rank for. If we take a look at the source code, we can see that it is in fact a “followed” HTML link, which means Google will count it as positive link juice. You will also notice the title tag from the screenshot above:
Again, you can talk about the ethics of this strategy, but that’s a conversation for another time. Most other blogging platforms will “nofollow” their trackbacks (i.e. WordPress), and it’s probably just a matter of time till Tumblr does as well to prevent people exploiting their system using the method above. Also, if you “like” a post (such as this one), and then someone reblogs that post, your “like” backlink will also appear on the Tumblr of the person who reblogged it. We will see if Tumblr ever stops this. In the meantime, go ahead and “like” or reblog this post to claim your free backlink!
UPDATE: It seems that Tumblr has added the “nofollow” tag to the back links created when a user likes a post.