Trending December 2023 # Swimming Pools Are Full Of Poop, But They Probably Won’t Make You Sick # Suggested January 2024 # Top 12 Popular

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Let’s start with the gross stuff: up to ten grams of poop can wash off a little kid’s butt in a pool. Ten grams is a pretty small amount, but multiply that by the number of children in your average public pool over the course of a hot summer day. Think about how much poop that is. And now think about the last time you got an infection from swimming in a pool.

Was it last summer? The summer before that? To be fair, young kids are far more likely to get sick because they end up swallowing the water, so think back to when you were little. Anything? Probably not. Even if you spent most of your childhood in public pools, odds are you never got seriously ill from the bacteria and parasites in there.

To be clear: it’s not because pools are clean. Pools are awful. They’re full of poop and pee and probably some blood to round it all out, and lots of them don’t have the proper concentration of disinfecting agents. 17 percent of people say they’ve peed in a public pool before (and let’s be honest, if 17 percent are willing to admit it, there have to be way more pool-peeing people who aren’t).

Which isn’t to say that no one gets sick from pool water. The Centers for Disease Control just put out a report noting that Cryptosporidium outbreaks have risen an average of 13 percent each year from 2009 to 2023. Pools and other swimming spots (like water parks) accounted for 35 percent of those outbreaks, while the rest were mainly from cattle or from a childcare facility.

We chlorinate pools because, when dissolved in water, chlorine breaks down into two chemicals that destroy microorganisms’ protective walls: hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ions. But crypto has a thick coating on it that doesn’t allow chlorine to break through, so it persists even if pools are properly treated. All it takes is some little kid to go swimming too soon after having an infection to spread crypto to the whole pool. As the CDC notes, “one diarrheal incident” can deposit 10 to 100 million Cryptosporidium oocytes, which other small children are likely to ingest (let’s face it, everyone swallows pool water when they’re little).

Some nice little crpto oocytes, as they’re called, which were found in human poop. CDC/Wikimedia Commons

And if the pool doesn’t have the right balance of disinfecting chemicals, crypto isn’t all you have to worry about. You can catch pus-filled rashes from Pseudomonas, a fever and cough from Legionella, diarrhea from Shigella, diarrhea from Giardia, diarrhea from Norovirus, or diarrhea from E. coli. Some of these bacteria are chlorine-resistant, some aren’t. The point is that public pools are full of microorganisms just dying to give you the runs.

About 8 in every 10 pool inspections find serious health code violations. Of those eight, one will be so serious that the pool has to shut down immediately. Lots of these violations have nothing to do with the actual detection of bacteria or viruses. They’re more to do with whether there are enough disinfecting agents in the pool. But that’s exactly how you end up with outbreaks—failing to disinfect properly. The CDC estimates that half of all spas are in violation of the health code and that one in nine should be closed immediately. That’s gross. Communal water is gross.

But consider this: there are over 300 million pool visits every year in the United States, yet only around 1,400 people get infections from the revolting water they swim in. That’s a pretty tiny number of infections considering how filthy those pools were, statistically speaking. Way more people have to go to the emergency room for injuries from pool disinfectants—roughly 4,500 people annually—than get sick from the bacteria those disinfectants protect us from. Kids who accidentally eat the chemicals or people who inhale more fumes than they realize can end up hospitalized.

And here’s an even more crucial statistic: about 3,300 people drown accidentally every year, half of whom die in swimming pools. One in five accidental drownings are children, and for every kid who dies there are five more who require hospitalization.

Pools may be gross, but your body is pretty great at warding off infections. You’re exposed to all sorts of bacteria on a daily basis, the vast majority of which don’t make you ill. Pool water probably won’t be the thing that gets you. Young children are the ones most susceptible to Cryptosporidium infection anyway, so as an adult you have little to fear. There isn’t even a solid upward trend in infections caught from pools, only for those caught from child care centers and cattle, and the CDC itself noted that it’s unclear whether the overall upward movement is simply due to better testing. It’s probably also true that the CDC’s numbers are an underestimate—plenty of kiddos get sick without needing to visit a doctor, and thus won’t get tested in the first place. But even so, there are many more dangerous things about swimming pools than the many bacteria living inside them.

If you’re still grossed out (as you should be), remember to not go swimming for a few days after you have diarrhea. And if you have kids, keep them out of the water if they’ve got a GI bug. Also, for so many reasons, don’t drink pool water.

By the way: That whole “don’t swim for an hour after you eat” thing? Totally bogus. Have your popsicle and eat it too. Just don’t eat it in the pool, or any bad poops you have afterward are your own fault.

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Refurbished Phones: What Are They And Where Can You Buy Them?


A refurbished phone is a lightly used phone that has been returned by a customer, inspected and repaired by the manufacturer/retailer, and labeled as “refurbished” or “renewed” to be sold at a discount compared to the retail price of a new phone. You can buy refurbished and renewed phones from Swappa, Amazon, Samsung, Apple, carriers, and other retailers.


What are refurbished phones?

Here’s what to keep in mind when shopping for refurbished phones

The best refurbished phones stores

What are refurbished phones?

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Refurbished phones come with some stigma around them. Lower prices may imply there’s something wrong with the phone. You may also have seen them presented as “pre-owned,” “renewed,” or “reconditioned.” There are also “open box” phones. These are all interchangeable terms that describe the same thing most of the time.

These terms mean that someone previously purchased the phone and returned it to the manufacturer, wireless carrier, or retailer. There was often nothing wrong with these phones even before they were “repaired”; the customer may have decided they didn’t like it and returned it within the return window. The refurbished phone may have had some hardware problem or manufacturing defect in other cases. Regardless, the phone can be fixed and sold again as a “refurbished” item.

But what does “manufacturer refurbished” mean? The difference with a manufacturer-refurbished phone is that the repairs needed to get it up to “like-new” condition were done by the original manufacturer instead of a third party. Consumers typically prefer this. However, third-party refurbished phones can still be a good deal. Just shop carefully.

Refurbished phones are basically like new, but you get them at a discount.

John Callaham

When it comes to refurbished phones compared to new phones, there’s really no other difference beyond the fact it was lightly used before getting to you (if used at all). A refurbished phone should work just like new. It’s not technically a “new” product anymore, so the term “refurbished” signals that distinction. That’s why such phones can be such a great deal — they’re basically like new, but you get them at a steep discount.

Check for a warranty — If the phone you want truly has no issues, the smartphone maker or retailer will include a warranty with the purchase. This indicates confidence from the retailer’s end about the condition of the device, as well as gives you some added peace of mind just in case something does go wrong. When it doesn’t come with a warranty, there’s a bigger chance something will be wrong with it out of the box.

Try to buy one from the company that originally made the phone — Many times, a phone manufacturer will have some handsets that are perfectly fine. The original owner returned them for some unknown reason. They’ll often try to resell them as refurbished phones on their official website. This is probably the easiest way for you to save some money.

Always read the fine print — You should do this anyway with any large purchase, but it’s imperative when you’re buying a phone. A typical red flag is a phone marked “as is.” Reading the fine print might reveal that you can’t return the phone or get a refund if anything isn’t working. It may also indicate if any box accessories are missing.

What’s the best place to buy these phones? There are plenty of places where you can purchase them. They include well-known retailers, wireless carriers, smartphone makers, and companies that exclusively sell refurbished phones.

The best refurbished phones stores:


Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

This online second-hand shop originally only sold tablets and phones, making it a great place to find quality products. The service has improved by adding gaming, laptops, cameras, and VR to the mix. It’s sort of like eBay, in that there’s a mix of dedicated businesses and individual private sellers you can negotiate with to find that perfect deal. The big difference is that the seller sets a price, and you can pay it or request that they lower the cost. Overall, this is an excellent and trustworthy place to buy from.


This is one of the best-known places to buy refurbished phones. You can also return any phone you buy on Gazelle within 30 days of purchase and get your money back. The company also offers device protection plans, so you can get another layer of reassurance. If you want an all-in-one solution for selling your phone, too, you can easily trade it in through Gazelle. The company also works with ecoATM to buy used devices, so you might not even need to ship your old phone in before purchasing another device.


The folks at Decluttr want you to sell your old phone and possibly buy a device from them. They offer a 12-month limited warranty on all the phones they sell. Also, these devices undergo a 70-point inspection before they go on sale on its site.


Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

It’s not a shock to learn that Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is also a great place to shop for refurbished phones under the Amazon Renewed program. These come with at least a 90-day supplier warranty for renewed products. But Amazon also offers Renewed Premium devices for some devices (including iPhones), which come with a full year warranty.

Best Buy

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Best Buy also offers a trade-in program for consumers to turn in older phones. The retailer also sells refurbished phones on its website, along with what it calls “pre-owned” phones.

If a phone on Best Buy has that label, it means it is “fully functional with some cosmetic blemishes” and comes with a non-original package with a charger and a data cable, along with a 90-day warranty. Best Buy devices have been “repaired and restored to a like-new state” and also come with their accessories, along with a warranty.

Mobile carriers

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Several US wireless carriers (including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) sell refurbished phones, although their selection is pretty small compared to Gazelle, Amazon, and Best Buy. However, they are all certified to work like new phones, even if some of them might have some cosmetic blemishes. These won’t affect their functionality.


Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you are willing to do a little more research and take a risk on merchants you may not be familiar with, eBay is a great place to check out a ton of offers. Again, our rules for buying such phones really matter when you dive into the murky waters of eBay. Make sure the phone you buy has some kind of warranty, and check out any fine print before spending your hard-earned cash.

That said, eBay itself refurbished and sells phones. These come with an impressive two-year warranty, a money-back guarantee, and full refunds if returned before 30 days. Going with official eBay refurbished phones is arguably as safe as any other competitor on this list.


Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Walmart is one of the largest retail chain stores; chances are you have a store nearby. They also offer refurbished phones at great prices if you trust the brand. Their selection is pretty wide too. You get a 90-day minimum warranty on these products and accessories, so you can shop in peace.

Samsung refurbished phones

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If you are a Samsung phone fan, you might like to hear the company has its own refurbished phones. At a significant discount too.

The good news is that Samsung’s technicians have fixed these older phones. The company offers a one-year warranty. It also helps that all parts are genuine; every user gets a new battery, Samsung changes the IMEI and SIM card, and you get a brand new box. If you can wait a few months after a new Samsung flagship launch, you can even pick a returned unit at an impressively low price.

Apple refurbished phones

Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Hate it or love it, Apple has fantastic customer service, making them one of the best refurbished phone sellers. That is one thing no one can bash them about, so when shopping for certified phones, this is one brand you can’t ignore. Especially if you are an iPhone fan.

All Apple refurbished products come with a standard one-year limited warranty. Even better, Apple takes things a step further and provides a whole new outer shell, so your phone will look brand new. It’ll also include a new box with all the included accessories, and, of course, all repairs will include genuine Apple parts.

If you’re not convinced by the idea of buying a refurbished device, you might also consider getting a used phone. Doing this has its set of dangers, though. Check out our guide to get the best chances at a pleasant used phone purchase.


Yes. Refurbished phones are functionally identical to new phones.

A refurbished phone will last just as long as a new phone will.

What Are Solid State Batteries And Why Are They Important?

However, batteries could always be better! 

Table of Contents

What Does “Solid State” Mean?

Whether it’s a lead acid car battery, alkaline disposables, or lithium polymer batteries in a phone, they all use a liquid electrolyte. The electrolyte is a conductive substance that connects the two internal terminals of the battery. Electrons flow through the electrolyte, allowing the battery to either build up an electrical charge or to discharge it.

A solid state battery uses a solid electrolyte, instead of the traditional liquid electrolyte. That’s the only fundamental difference between the two battery technologies. It sounds simple enough, but engineers and scientists have been struggling for decades to come up with a solid material that can act as an electrolyte.

What’s Hard About Solid State Batteries?

Various materials, such as ceramics and lithium metals, offer potential as solid state electrolytes. The problem is that the ceramic approach has resulted in poor battery performance. Lithium metals are promising, but have a fatal flaw. As the battery is charged and discharged, metal “dendrites” grow through the electrolyte. The battery can short-circuit and turn into a hazard.

Finding practical and economically viable solutions to these issues has been the mission of several companies and research teams over the past few years. Now that work is about to pay off. 

Why go through all this trouble? Let’s look at the benefits that solid state batteries promise over traditional ones.


Batteries store large amounts of energy and there’s always a danger that this energy can be released in an uncontrolled way. When that happens, it can mean fire, explosions and other unwanted outcomes. Solid state batteries, assuming the dendrite issue is resolved, promise to be safer and more stable. For one thing, they aren’t flammable, so battery fires should be a thing of the past.

This is not only important for electric vehicles such as cars and drones, but also for personal electronics such as smartphones and laptops. Many people are injured every year by battery fires in their electronic gadgets. Entire houses have been burned to the ground as a result!

Recharge Speed

Modern lithium batteries can charge at impressive speeds, but they still take a long time to fill up. There’s a limit to how much energy you can pour into a traditional lithium ion battery before it all goes sideways. Solid state batteries promise to charge as much as six times faster than the batteries we currently use. That means charging up your phone from empty to full in five minutes or charging an electric car to 80% in 15.

Energy Capacity and Size

Lithium ion batteries currently have the highest energy density of any battery type sold to the public. Yet it’s still many times less dense than gasoline. While solid state batteries don’t bring batteries up to par with gas, it does promise to more than double the energy density per volume. 

In other words, if you changed the battery in your phone using a solid state model, it could theoretically run twice as long without increasing in size. This is yet another big selling point for electric vehicles, which aren’t as popular as they could be, thanks to range anxiety.

Lifespan and Durability

Most current lithium ion batteries start to degrade after about 500 full charge-discharge cycles. After that point the battery begins to lose its capacity until it can barely hold a charge at all. In smartphones, which now tend to have sealed batteries, this puts a hard limit on device lifespan. Solid state batteries promise to greatly increase that limit. As much as five times. 

So, where a typical daily-use phone battery might start to degrade after two to three years, a solid state battery would remain at its rated capacity for up to fifteen years. In electric cars, where the replacement of batteries is extremely costly, that could have a dramatic effect on the cost of ownership for this class of vehicles. 

Solid State Battery Weaknesses

If this all sounds too good to be true, there are a few caveats to the technology. Some of these still need to be solved before widespread adoption of solid state battery technology is achieved.

Cost is perhaps the greatest foe. Research teams and startup companies are working hard on making the production process for these batteries cheaper and scalable. Some companies claim to be close, but we won’t know how successful they’ve been until we see the actual prices on products with these batteries.

These batteries also struggle at low temperatures. Therefore, solutions that involve insulating them or keeping them at a good operational temperature are part of the challenge.

When Can You Buy Solid State Batteries?

Solid state batteries by Solid Power

There are a few companies like Solid Power and QuantumScape, which claim to be at the cusp of commercial solid state battery applications. 

Toyota plans to have solid state battery electric vehicles for sale as early as 2023. Both Solid Power and QuantumScape are aiming for a rollout of batteries for vehicles in 2023 and 2024 respectively.  This means that in the next couple of years we could be right at the start of a battery revolution. 

That’s before we even get into the possibilities that come from using graphene. This wonder material promises even better batteries, whether they have liquid or solid electrolytes in them. Getting graphene to play ball has eluded scientists and engineers for longer than expected, but you can already buy a hybrid graphene powerbank right now. Truly, the future is here.

Deleted Files From Hard Drive, But It Is Still Full

Some users are experiencing storage problems on their Windows 11/10 devices. According to them, they have deleted files from the hard drive, but it is still full. Among the affected users, most of them have experienced this problem on their C drive. If your hard drive space remains full even after deleting the files, the solutions explained in this article may help you fix the problem.

Deleted files from Hard Drive, but it is still full

According to the feedback of the affected users, the problem is occurring mostly on the C drive. However, you may face such a type of issue on any hard disk partition on your computer. The solutions listed below may help you fix the problem.

Use Command-line version of Disk Cleanup Utility to clean more

Turn off System Restore

Disable Hibernation

Stop Windows Search Indexing

Use free software to identify the files taking up more space on your hard drive

Uninstall Rollback RX software

Perform WinSxS folder cleanup

Let’s see all these solutions in detail.

1] Use Command-line version of Disk Cleanup Utility to clean more

Windows saves a copy of previous Windows versions in the chúng tôi folder after updating to the newer version. With time, the size of chúng tôi folder increases which consumes the free space on your C drive. The chúng tôi folder is useful in case you want to go to the previous version of the Windows operating system. But if you do not want to do that, you can delete the files it contains.

The correct way to delete the files inside chúng tôi folder is to use the Disk Cleanup utility. The steps for the same are written below:

Select the Disk Cleanup app from the search results.

When the Disk Cleanup utility appears, select the C drive from the drop-down.

After that, Windows will take some time to scan the system files.

Apart from this, you can activate some additional cleaning options.

The command-line version of Disk Cleanup Tool or chúng tôi offers more cleaning options if you use sageset and sagerun arguments.

2] Turn off System Restore

System Restore is a feature of Windows 11/10 operating systems that creates a snapshot of your system files and Windows Registry and saves them as restore points. If you turn on System Restore, Windows will create the System Restore Points automatically. This will consume the space on your C drive. When you turn off the System Restore, all the existing System Restore Points will be deleted and new System Restore Points will not be created until you turn on this feature again.

The steps to turn off System Restore are as follows:

Select the Create a restore point option from the search result. This will open the System Properties window.

Make sure that you are under the System Protection tab.

Select Disable system protection.

The above process will free up some space on your C drive. Now, you can turn System Restore back on and define the maximum usage for System Restore Points. After that, Windows will delete the older System Restore Points while creating the new ones. To do this, follow the first four steps written above, then turn on the System Protection. After that adjust the slider to set the maximum space to save System Restore Points.

Read: Hard drive full? How to find the largest files on Windows?

3] Disable Hibernation

The chúng tôi is a hidden file in a Windows operating system. If you turn on Hibernation on your computer, Windows creates this file and stores the data on it when your system enters the Hibernate state. When you turn your computer on, the Hibernation feature helps you resume your work from where you had left the last time. With time, the size of the chúng tôi file increases which consumes the free space on your C drive. Disabling the Hibernation feature can help you free up some space on your C drive.

4] Stop Windows Search Indexing

Windows Search Index requires storage space on your system to keep the indexed files. Because you already have less space left on your C drive, you should disable Windows Search Indexing.

5] Use free software to identify the files taking up more space on your hard drive

TreeSize and WinDirStat are the two free software that analyzes the storage space on all your hard drive partitions and show you the detailed stats for the same. Install any of these software so that you could know what is taking up more space on your hard drives. Now, you can delete the files that are not important to you.

Read: Hard Drive keeps filling up by itself automatically for no reason

6] Uninstall Rollback RX software

Rollback RX software is an alternative to the Windows built-in System Restore feature. It creates snapshots of your system and stores them on your hard drive. These snapshots will help you restore your system if any problem occurs. According to some of the affected users, it does not clear the previous snapshots due to which they were running out of disk space. Uninstalling the Rollback RX software had also deleted the hidden files created by it which also had freed up space on their hard drive.

If you have also installed this software, uninstall it to free up space on your hard drive and use the Windows built-in System Restore feature to create Restore Points.

7] Perform WinSxS folder cleanup

Perform WinSxS folder cleanup to reduce the size of the folder.

Why is my hard drive still full after deleting the files?

Everything that you delete from your Hard Drive goes to the Recycle Bin. Windows offers users another chance to recover the deleted files from recycle Bin. If your Hard Drive does not show the free space after deleting the files, empty your Recycle Bin. After that, your Hard Drive will show free space.

You can also use some free software, like TreeSize, WinDirStat, etc., to see which files are taking up the most space on your hard drive so that you could delete them if they are not important.

Read: How to free up space on Recovery Drive in Windows.

Why is my C drive full with nothing on it?

There are some hidden files on the C drive that consume space. System Restore, Hibernation, and Windows Search Indexer are some of the Windows features that consume space on the C drive. If you have turned on these features, turning them off will free up some space on your C drive. System Restore is an important feature that should be enabled on every Windows device, as it lets Windows users restore their computers if a problem occurs.

Disabling the System Restore will also delete all the restore points created by Windows, hence, it will free up some space on your hard drive. After that, you can re-enable it and set the maximum storage limit to save the restore points. After setting the storage limit Windows will delete the previous restore points while creating the new ones.

Hope this helps.

What Are Smart Washers And How Do They Work?

Without a doubt, everything is become “smarter” now. By adding sensors and Internet connection to a device, it suddenly becomes a “smart device.” Smart washers are among the new class of smart devices that link to your mobile device to have data transmitted about the washer’s operation in real time.

What Is a Smart Washer?

A smart washer is a laundry appliance that adds features with connected appliances through the Internet or a smart home network.

Smart washers operate differently from the usual digital appliances, as they send you notifications to your phone for several purposes. These include alerting you whenever a load is finished and needs to be transferred to the dryer, using smart tumble features, diagnosing issues, and using your voice or phone controls to adjust settings.

Most of the latest washers at your local store will have the usual features such as full-color touchscreens for customizing your wash cycle, but few have the option to add more capabilities by connecting to your Wi-Fi network.

If you struggle with leaving your clothes in the washer long after the cycle completes, you’re probably preoccupied with other things or just tend to forget – a smart washer helps with that.

It keeps your clothes in good form so they don’t take on mildew or get wrinkled, so you don’t have to redo the laundry to get rid of the smell or iron every last garment to remove the wrinkles that come with leaving it in your dryer too long after it’s done.

How Do You Use a Smart Washing Machine?

A smart washer gives you more control alongside convenient extras and notifies you when your laundry load is done.

When you give a command from your smartphone or with your voice, the washer will lightly tumble your clothes every couple of minutes for air to flow through until it detects you’ve come back via the Wi-Fi link in your home.

Many washers and dryers allow you to delay cycles, but smart washers go further and let you even choose the most convenient time you’d like your laundry done.  This will help you multitask more efficiently, especially if you need to do some other urgent things before you fold the clean laundry.

Some smart washers have features that allow you to key in details about the clothes you’re washing – for example: the colors, fabrics, stain details and more. This way, the washer is able to recommend the best cycle for your laundry load.

Another feature available with some smart washers is the monitoring of any problems with the machine and recommending maintenance steps you can take at that time.

Some smart washer manufacturers combine both washer and dryer into the same machine to both wash and dry your laundry. Although an all-in-one smart laundry unit fits snug in a smaller space, it can be expensive, sometimes as costly as buying a washer and dryer separately.

Do You Need a Smart Washer?

Do you really need to put more money down just to get a few added features from a smart washer?

Depending on your lifestyle and budget, a smart washer can be a necessity or a luxury altogether, so it’s a matter of personal preference.

Price and repairs are the most common concerns people usually have about smart washers. Depending on the brand and model, the price of a smart washer can be within the range of $800 to $2000 or more.

Repairs of smart devices also aren’t significantly more expensive than the regular traditional washer, at least not until you have to deal with the extra sensors, which raises the total cost of repairs. They also need frequent updates and are vulnerable to network security vulnerabilities.

Thankfully, smart washers and other smart appliances have self-diagnostic features that can alert or notify you about parts that will soon need replacement or repair and recommendations on what to do. This is likely to save you some money in the short and long term.

Smart washers come with a level of convenience over the traditional setup, but most people would be scared off by the price difference alone, along with potential risks and costs of repairs. If you are not interested in smart washers, there are several other robots that are more than a vacuum cleaner.

Elsie Biage

My passion has always been to share every bit of useful information I find on tech, with the ultimate goal of helping people solve a problem.

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Backlinks: What They Are And How To Get Them

Your website needs traffic – the more, the better. And to do that, you need to be ranked highly in search engine results.

How do you do that?

With search engine optimization, of course.

So what happens after you’ve gone through your content, added keywords, and beefed up your technical SEO, and you’re still not ranking how you want?

What do you do then?

There’s one key area you need to focus on: building backlinks.

But how do you do that? And what are backlinks, anyway? Are all backlinks good backlinks?

To find out the answers to these questions and more, read on.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are simply links from one website to another.

Sometimes called “incoming links” or “inbound links,” backlinks are one of the most important parts of search engine optimization.

Useful tools for webpage creators, backlinks make it easy to cite statistics, source claims, add context, or make recommendations, among other things.

There’s also another type of link called internal links, which are links between pages within the same website. These also play a role in SEO, but we won’t go into that here.

If it’s something you’re interested in learning more about, follow this internal link to an excellent Search Engine Journal piece on the best practices for using internal links in SEO. (See what we did there?)

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Now that we’ve covered what exactly a backlink is, it’s time for the $10,000 question: Why do they matter?

The most basic answer to that question is that your site’s backlinks pass PageRank, and search engines then use this in their algorithm (along with many other factors) to help determine the quality of your website and where it should rank in results pages.

They indicate your site’s popularity with users and are a vital part of any SEO strategy.

Backlinks also play an important role in your discoverability, as both users and search engine crawlers will follow links from external sites to your page.

“Great,” you may be saying right now. “Let’s get out there and start generating as many incoming links as possible, so we start rocketing up in search results.”

Slow down. You didn’t really expect that to be all it takes, did you?

If search engine optimization were as easy as all that, there would be a lot of SEO professionals looking for a new line of work.

First, let’s talk about good versus bad links.

What Makes a Good Backlink?

Back in 1998, when Google was just getting started, it implemented an algorithm named PageRank. One of the things this took into account when deciding on how well a webpage matched a user query was backlinks.

But even in those early days, not all backlinks were created equal. And while the quantity of your incoming links is factored into your search ranking, the quality also plays an important role.

Let’s break it down: Quantity-wise, the more sites that link to your webpage, the stronger the signal to Google that your content is valuable and, therefore, worth linking to.

And generally speaking, if your page has more backlinks than a similar page, it will appear higher in organic search results.

This is because each time a site links to your content, it is essentially vouching for its accuracy and veracity.

But don’t for a second think that just any site pointing to your webpage is a good thing. Not only can some links do nothing for you, but some can actually hurt your search ranking. This means you need to be concerned with the quality of your inbound links.

It’s the internet version of judging someone by the company they keep – which makes sense if you think about it.

For example, which site would you trust more: one linked to by a governmental agency, a reputable university, or a well-respected foundation – or the one that’s only linked to by your Uncle Joe’s conspiracy blog?

Obviously, the former is going to carry a lot more weight, not just for visitors but for search engines as well. Thus, it should be no surprise that a page with fewer links from high-quality sites will outrank a competitor with more links from disreputable sources.

And speaking of disreputable sources, if your site gets backlinks from link farms or other unnatural links, you actually risk being penalized by Google. If you have spammy sites linking to your pages, the best thing you can do is disavow them to avoid being seen as guilty by association. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.

But it’s not just domain reputation that tells Google that inbound link A is more valuable than inbound link B. It also looks at the referring site’s relevance to the topic.

Why Are Backlinks Important?

If your Fantasy Football blog has an inbound link from ESPN and one from chúng tôi Google will make a (logical) judgment call that the first link is more valuable.

We can follow several wormholes about link placement, anchor text, and the impact of nofollow links on your search rankings, but let’s leave that discussion for another day.

For a detailed explanation of determining the value of a backlink, be sure to read this piece.

How Many Backlinks Do I Have?

Now that you know the importance of inbound links and their value, it’s time to start thinking about the ones you already have. How do you know which sites are directing traffic your way?

There are two ways to do this: one that only tells you who’s linking to your site, and one you can use to snoop on the competition’s inbound links.

Checking Your Links With Google Search Console

Google Search Console should be your best friend if you’re a webmaster. It’s packed with all sorts of useful tools and reports to help you track performance and fix issues – and it’s free.

Once you have created an account and verified your site, you can use it to track your backlinks. In the sidebar, there’s an option called “Links.”

Under external links, you can run three reports: top linking pages, top linking sites, and top linking texts. Using these, you can determine who is linking to you and from where.

Checking Links With A Third-Party Tool

The only downside of using Google Search Console’s link tracking is that it only allows you to see details about your site.

But by using third-party backlink checkers like Majestic SEO, Semrush, and Ahrefs, you can see what your competition is doing, as well – and maybe steal some of those links.

Now that we’ve discussed what backlinks are, why they matter, and how to track them, let’s jump into what you’re really here for: building backlinks.

How Do I Get Backlinks?

There are several ways to get other sites linking to yours, but most of them require a bit of effort on your part.

The first and easiest way to get links is to pay for them. But before you pull out your credit card, pay attention to this one important caveat: if Google catches you participating in a paid link-building scheme, you will be penalized.

Buying links has been a matter of some debate for SEO experts for a long time, and some will swear by it, while others insist it’s not worth the risk.

A better way to generate inbound links is by earning them. But, of course, this is a little trickier.

To earn backlinks, you must have useful content that provides value to others.

For example, you may have a webpage that lists your five favorite immersion blenders. This page can provide value not just for blender manufacturers, who will appreciate the shout-out, but also for people shopping for a new blender or kitchen appliance websites.

Statistics content is always a good way to attract quality backlinks. Statistics are a great way to prove a point and overcome objections.

By providing relevant statistics about your niche, you’ll establish your site as one of authority, and generate a lot of inbound links. Or, you can run surveys and publish the results on your blog as news.

Then you can promote your news via social media, where others may find your survey data useful and link to it from their articles.

If your content is good and it speaks to a niche, it will slowly begin to generate backlinks all on its own.

But what if you can’t wait that long? What if you want backlinks right now?

Promote your content via social or paid campaigns to the target audience. Someone may find your article useful and link to it.

Or use one of the third-party tools mentioned in the previous section to find a relevant page with many incoming links. Then create better content than the competition’s, and ask the linking domains to direct their links to you instead.

You can also look for broken links or those that redirect to a 404 page. Once you’ve found one of these on a relevant site, send the webmaster an email notifying them. And don’t forget to suggest they replace the broken link with your page on the same topic.

For more in-depth information on these strategies, plus others you can use, be sure to read this article.

Start Building Those Links

So, there you have it: a crash course on link building. By this point, you should have a good idea about what backlinks are, why they’re important, and how to build them.

Just don’t forget that, like all things SEO, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’re extremely unlikely to see results overnight.

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