Links play an important role in search engine rankings which is why webmasters go to great extents to obtain them. Most people think that if you want millions of backward links you have to have a large brand such as [Amazon](http://www.amazon.com), but there are small companies who actually have more back links according to Google, then even Google.com.
The two screenshots show the number web pages that link to statcounter.com and google.com. So how did a small company gain more backward links then the Internet giant Google?
Everyone loves the word “free”
[StatCounter](http://www.statcounter.com) provides a free web statistics service, they were also one of the first to do so. Because of this, thousands of sites naturally linked to statcounter.com in support of the free service. Plus at that time people saw it as the best free solution because other free solutions such as [Google Analytics](http://www.google.com/analytics/) did not exist yet.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch
To use StatCounter you have to place a snippet of code on each of your web pages that you want to track. Here is what the code looks like:
<!– Start of StatCounter Code –>
alt=”free html hit counter” border=”0″></a></noscript>
<!– End of StatCounter Code –>
If you look closely at the code there is a keyword rich link that links back to statcounter.com which allows them to rank well on the [search engines](http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=hit+counter&btnG=Google+Search). With over 1,300,000 websites using this tracking code on every page of their site, it makes sense why they have a over 2,700,000 backward links according to Google.
So if you thought you have to be a big brand to gain millions of links, think again. By providing a free service or by getting creative you can get thousands of links as well. Just look at some of the sites you use on a regular basis such as [Flickr](http://www.flickr.com), where millions of websites link to it through [widgets](http://blog.donncha.net/flickr-widget/). You will be amazed on how such small things can be very effective at increasing links to your website. So put on your thinking cap and you too can figure out how to get thousands, if not millions of backward links into your website.
Can you think of other creative ways people have gotten links into their website?