In this article, we discuss search engine optimisation backlink building strategies that you can implement. Perhaps you have read an article or two by search engine optimisation (“SEO”) experts stressing the value of link-building to the visibility of your web site on the major search engines. If, for example, you happen to navigate the Google online documentation to the “Webmaster Help Center” you will see the Google response to the question “How can I improve my site’s ranking?” The Google response includes the statement ” In general” webmasters can increase the rank of the sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.2″
“Link building” then, is the method of developing “inbound” links in your website pages so that you can drive traffic towards your site and enhance your online search engine ranking. Sounds simple, but there are plenty of different complex online backlink building programs and techniques it’s mind boggling! And, some techniques, even legitimate techniques implemented incorrectly, may actually render backlinks completely useless.
I began this post aiming to cover the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where and why. But, at the potential risk of detracting from the clever title, I felt the necessity to add “How?” to make it more useful. So this article is designed to provide understanding of these questions:
It really is thought that links from “authoritative” websites and “related” industry sites carry the most weight. An “authoritative” site may be an academic organization (.edu), a publication, a government agency (.gov), a known subject material expert or even an organization/association in yours or perhaps a related industry.
As for “related” sites, partners, vendors, although not competitors are good “reciprocal linking” (discussed later) opportunities. Their sites ought to be related to the products and services you provide.
Ensure that you set your standards high! Analyze the backlinks to the page where you would want to see your link. Will they be actually authoritative and relevant sites? How will you research inbound links in your potential linking partner?
Note that many SEO experts believe that you need to steer clear of an online page that already has way too many links. How many is too many? In accordance with a post in Website Magazine, “… it is advisable to avoid any pages using more than 20 outbound links.3”
In the event you consider PageRank while determining whether to inquire about a link on a page? One contributor to the internet article “Over 125 (Legitimate) Backlink Building Strategies”, Dixon Jones, shows that the PageRank from the web page where you would like your hyperlink to reside needs to be between 3 and 10.4 In his article “The Nitty Gritty of Link Requests”, Chris Boggs shows that PageRank is not as useful as it used to be but “PageRank remains an excellent guide.5”
Many Internet marketing professionals carry on and claim that you submit your website to the appropriate category in the major directories in addition to vertical engines and industry directories. Examples of popular general directories include Yahoo!, Open Directory (dmoz.org), GoGuides, Gigablast, JoeAnt, Gimpsy and BlueFind. Many allow you to submit your website URL at no cost. Some may require you to put in a reciprocal connect to their directory.
In his article, “SEO: Weaving a Web of Links”, Stephan Spencer cautions against seeking links from “free for those” links pages which can be packed filled with links.6. Again, focus on PageRank and topic relevance. Watch out for automated submission programs that submit to irrelevant search engine listings and directories.
What If the Link Entail? What In The Event You Wear Your Link Page? When you have targeted an inbound link opportunity, you will want to suggest the web link location and also the exact link language you intend to appear on their internet site. Allow it to be very easy to implement your link – place HTML on your own site that your particular partner’s webmaster can cut and paste onto their website.
The question “What should you put on your link page” presumes that this linking relationship is “reciprocal”. Not every links will likely be reciprocal – we’ll talk more about link building strategies which involve the creation of useful online content encouraging “natural” link growth without reciprocal arrangements. However, your arrangements with partners, alliances and some directories could well be “reciprocal”. Put simply, “I’ll indicate you should you point to me.”
Before you approach a partner to get a reciprocal link, you may decide to design your connect to their site ahead of time demonstrating the strategies described in this post. “One good turn deserves another” – include a couple of carefully drafted paragraphs of descriptive information for each link.
When Do I Need To Put in a Link to my Site? But for my need to have a catchy title, this section is much better named “How many times should I add backlinks?” Experts nowadays are writing about “natural expansion of backlinks” and “organic link gaining” and “Emulating Natural Growth in Backlink Building”, as seo authority Chris Boggs recently wrote in Website Magazine.7 Sounds downright “earthy”, doesn’t it?
It’s clear that link building is really a slow and steady grass roots process and a few experts maintain that link growth should follow a natural, free range, pesticide-free progression (OK, I added the italics for fun). Boggs writes that efforts to rapidly gain links “are occasionally easier for search engines like google to discern…, specifically if the links are in a known network of sites that exchange links.8 ” Suddenly adding 100 new links to some site that for 6 six years has already established 5 inbound links might cause a search engine to penalize you for the participation in a “link-farm.” But, adding several relevant links every so often does seem to be consistent with natural growth.
Where Should the Link Appear? Ideally, your link ought to be placed within the content of a page rich with topical information related to the main objective from the target website. This might be asking a bit much – your link partner may have a “links” or “resources” page designed solely for this function. However, make certain your prefab HTML link includes descriptive information that goes above and beyond an easy link and ensure you offer to reciprocate using a high-quality descriptive link.
Check to make certain the agreed-upon location is a page that has been indexed through the major search engines like google. In particular, it should not be a page that only authenticated users (login & password) can view.
Post in a Relevant Blog? You’ve heard the buzz on blogging. Your website URL may be included in blog contributions but be cautious here. Search engines are increasingly more understanding of “Blog Spamming.9 Chris Genge, a contributing SEO author within the article “Over 125 (Legitimate) Backlink Building Strategies”, writes “Despite the fact that blogging is all the rage these days, I think it rzezpa go the way of link farms within the not-too-distant future, especially if/if the SE’s determine that it is just another case of spamming. We have been keeping away from it….”10
Publish within an “e-zine” Probably the most popular sites highly relevant to your company might not have a hyperlink program. Offer instead to contribute an exclusive topic with their monthly e-zine (email newsletter). Include your bio and a web page link.
Write a testimonial or review to get a trusted product/service Many businesses are keen to publish testimonials on the site. Ask to add a web link returning to your relevant web page.
Finally, ensure that you track your link-building progress. Create a spreadsheet for this purpose. You may undoubtedly have to followup on the link requests. Capture details including the information you entered as well as the date you submitted your request. Politely remind link partners of the persistence for connect to your site and point them to the inbound link from the site to theirs. Run your chosen link popularity and page rank tools to observe your progress.