Internet MarketingScrew your visibility to the internet world with our whole nine yards Link Building strategies

 

Link building today – existing and old trends

 

With time link building has proved a major off page search engine optimization factor but search engine Google ranking algorithm has been modified due to pranksters’ activities on the web to misguide search engines. Here is the complete story of SEO link building strategies, activities and trends in past, current and expected future.

 


Introduction: Websites extend global footprint with link acquisition. How to build links for a website to remain at the forefront of SERPs??? The benefits go far beyond better search engine ranking. To enhance website backdrop for a consistent growth a big push comes from this link building campaigns and good link building strategy. Link popularity significance in search engine optimization cannot be neglected. Links play key role for taking your site to global reach; for ranking in SERPs links to your site are important.

 

Link building is a search engine off page optimization factor and an important metrics for your website’s ranking. Links in a layman term is a bond between two that joins one with another; a vote that one site gives to another. Links are basic connectors on the web using HTTP protocol. Either you get links from traffic or through your SEO practices, links are valuable resources.

 

What are Links?? Link is a common bond between two websites and help in boosting websites ranking. If your site’s visitor, blog reader finds your site information and content relevant, the visitor/reader would recommend your website to ones’ friends by linking to your site or would place your site’s link in blogroll. Also, if another website finds your website theme relevant and related would place a link to your site from its site and request a link in return, this way you get a link and eventually popularity as well. The focus should be on quality not on quantity of links. Links add quality factor into page rank equation also: PR(A) = (1-d) + d(PR(T1)/C(T1) + …. + PR(Tn)/C(Tn));


 

D is damping factor; C(n) are outbound links and T(n) are links from same domain.

Link back to websites, inbound links are very important and Google gives good weight to this factor, still some websites with quality, themed related reciprocal and one-way links do not rank well. Well, we will discuss this later. Links from other sites that focus on same key phrase that the one you are focusing and targeting for your website are more important and link from relevant categories from directories and other link source are very important as search engines pay more attention to these links. Free-For-All (FFA) links just build of quantity not quality; remember they do not boost ranking and may act as a website inhibitor.

 

Link Building Once your website starts getting links from other sites, gradually links are build. Anchor text of the linking website and also your anchor text for your link exchange campaign matters a lot. Link Building is an integral part of search engine optimization; it is a process by which a website builds inbound links for its website. Links act as search engine ranking activator and stimulates websites popularity globally.

 

Why

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Link Building?? Link building constitute good share of search engine ranking algorithm. A website should seek out links from other websites that are theme related and are authority, trusted. Building links i.e. connecting a bond, a relationship of trust between two entities, here for websites. Link farms, FFA, link exchange programs have become obsolete as search engines devalue artificial links; sites links have been subjected to spam using these linking tactic. Search engines like Google have modified their algorithms to differentiate natural and valid links from artificial and paid links. So, I would say link building is a fruitful strategy but requires lots of patience to harvest as it requires manual submission, a long procedure to follow.

 

 


Keep a check on natural inbound link profile of your competitor’s website. Remember, when a search engine finds a link to your website it interprets link to your site as a vote, i.e. some other site has picked your website because of the valuable resource, information you offer and thus rating your website useful. Vote to your site makes you win the web dominating race.

Are all links equal?? All links do not hold equal weightage – Link importance varies with type; talking about worthy links to your site that is you must try to increase number of links coming to your site from other related domains. Incoming links help build communication network again for this you need to rank well for your most competitive keywords. Search engine give more vote and hold much more value for links from trusted source.

 

What factors make your link valuable?? Factors affecting your link value are:

 

Domain / Website Age: If a link from an older website (or old domain) points to your website and a similar link from another new website with new domain (domain age is less) points to your website than the older website link value is more compared to new domain website in search engine eyes.

 

Page Rank: Page rank is a site strength determining factor, so if a page with higher page rank (PR) links to your website that it is more significant compared to link from a site of lower page rank as Google assigns higher page rank to more relevant sites.

 


Relevance: Site relevancy is most important factor in link building, site relevancy is determined by search engines. Here we mean by relevant that the site is related to your website theme. If your website is web development than link back from a web development website is more worthy compared to link from real estate website. Also, site relevancy holds more importance compared to page rank factor.

 

A link from a relevant site of less PR holds more value compared to higher PR irrelevant website for search engines.

 

Link Position: Link position is key valuation factor for determining link value. A link placed at the top holds more significance compared to link placed in footer. Also, links embedded in the content holds more value. Number of links on a web page effects link value from that page. Number of outbound links effects a link value, link back from a web page with less out bound links are more valuable compared to web page with more number of out bound links.

 

Anchor Text: How important is anchor text, i.e. the text used for linking to your site by other sites. Anchor text should contain your main keywords, your most competitive keywords that you are targeting for your website. Have variation of anchor text containing your business targeted key phrase so you build a neat link campaign with anchor text pertaining to relevant websites.

 

Link Source: A link pointing to your website from .com, .net, .in websites hold less value and get less votes compared to links from .org, .gov, .edu sites as search engines view these links as authority and trusted ones. But, it is very difficult to gain links from .org, .gov websites.

 

Ways to build Links

 

Authority Links

 

1. Authority Links are a great resource of secure, high-traffic quality links from “authorities” in respective fields. It helps to get links directly from sources that would be considered trusted seed sites. We can start our search from trusted, related resources. Best is to start with major search engines. Innovate and inculcate all the related industry links from social sites, you can find a new hub of related authority links.

 

2. Link from authority sites link your site with other good quality sites there by increasing authority points for your site and building your site page rank and you can build your own industry standards with a few links from authority sites.

 

3. Authority links are absolute links for your sites to build most trusted ranks. There are few authoritative directories with industry standards.

 

Directories

 

1. Directories links are good source of inbound links and so have more weightage. As it is not needed to monitor it regularly it is easiest to maintain.

2. Submit your site to directories that give free listing as well as to paid directories for guaranteed review, keep in view that quality matters. You may submit to open directories that look for volunteer editors.

3. There are many topical business directories, these are secondary directories that can provide valuable listings for your sites.

4. Tag related sites on Del.icio.us. With time your site if worthy for others will be traced back. If you create any useful content of great quality ask your friends to Tag so that once your site gets on popular list it will be linked by other sites.

5. Look at the meme trackers to find spreading ideas, read and inculcate on that and come up with your own rich content and you may be added in the list of meme trackers.

 

Directory submission is another pain staking link building practice, which requires manual submission. I would se ‘Treasure Hunt’ for making list of industry specific directories relevant to your business, free directories, reciprocal directories, paid, high PR directories, niche directories for submitting inner pages, deep linking directories. They pay slowly but are more worthy. Do submit your website to biggest directory Dmoz.org (open directory) as search engines give higher vote to websites getting link from dmoz. Other most popular directories are yahoo directory, jayde, submit express, and many more.

 


One Way Links

 

1. One-Way links can be obtained through Link Baiting. Link Baiting is a white hat optimization technique where your website content target link friendly audience. One-way link is of high relevancy as it does not reciprocate to the linking site. You must be smart enough to play and place your cards, i.e. you publish a new content rich page on the web and wait and watch patiently for the visitors to go through it. If your content is worthy, visitors pick up on the content and may link back to your site for the content (bait). Use various other approaches: can target offline media, pre-launch public relations, track to right terms, subscribe to RSS feeds, etc.

2. Link baiting combined with viral search is a great success as the goal of viral marketing is exposure and branding apart from quality links.

3. The outcome of this long term strategy is we move ahead with lots of visitors bringing large amount of traffic to our sites. As well the quality links from blogs etc. that we receive help us in organic SEO, citation and bookmarking all together increases visibility of your site as a whole.

 

 

 

Meme Trackers & Social Bookmarking Links

 

Meme tracker is all about writing a lot about widely spreading ideas and linking them to widely spread ideas. Coming to social book marking sites:

 

With web 2.0 technology social communities and social networks emerged as an integrating component for discrete and scattered people globally. Writing an article and submitting it to Digg, Sphinn with good summary description, ask your friends to vote your article, comment on it so that your article becomes popular and gains visibility. The title and summary should be enticing to draw attention of readers so that they link your post, and the linking chain grows spontaneously. Different social media sites have different audience, you need to understand this. Make groups, your own communities, customize, and add friends to expand reach of your network.

 

Tagging also serves to generate link if done in an organized way, Your tags should be relevant and sites tagged should be interesting and people looking for the same will tag (trackback) your site, few websites most popular for tagging are Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon.com, many will see your tag, lists and link to it. Joining social communities on orkut, facebook, making your own communities will also generate links to your website.

 

Xing, Linkedin, siliconvalley are another social networks for business professionals which add votes to your site.

 

Reciprocal Links

 

1. A reciprocal link is a mutual link(text or banner link) between two websites to ensure mutual traffic. Quality and quantity are two different metrics for link building. Good quality, relevant links boost your SERP.

2. Linking sites are critical components in link building as search engines always look for new database so keep adding relevant quality links to your sites.

3. “demographic audience sets” must be the target while swapping links to so that your partner sends you traffic. Relevance is major factor to boost up your page rank. Ethical linking strategy is must and link with good content are weighted more as the content of the reciprocating site is important.

 

 

Reciprocal Link points to consider: The most important issue with reciprocal link building is link management that needs to be done on regular basis. Compared to other link building practices building reciprocal links is easy compared to one-way links but then maintenance of these links are not that easy. Link managers, webmasters have to face problems when some websites removes link after some time, or at times we find that sites expiring or getting penalties due to their bad tactics. So before moving for reciprocal link trading choose proper link partners, make a list, very selective one and the process should not be very fast so that your link trading is able to really generates some good traffic for your website. Do not trade with link trading networks link free links providers, link machine, swapware and other related websites. Reciprocal linking with your website’s home page and also link trading with other inner pages so that there are good number of back links to you site (need to focus for promoting your business – main products and services).


 

Be very clear and crafty in your reciprocal linking request that you will send to potential sites, be sure that you do not miss out any important information for link exchange campaign. Make sure that for carrying our reciprocal link exchange, your linking partner has a resource page, and it will be good if you place a link back to the linking website before requesting for a link. Keep rotating anchor text for link exchange. Your linkage resource should be divided into categories which pertain to your business and you should create a separate resource page enlisting these categories, having unique link page for all the separate categories and do not forget to link these link resources with each other, do have links for moving to previous page, next page, category listing of resource page, and very obvious site map link will work best for this.

 

For good result do not add more than 50 links on one page, best would be if you have approximately 30 links per link page.

 

3-way Links

 

1. Sometimes three different websites will attempt to “outsmart” the search engines by linking to each other in such a way that none of them “reciprocate” the link that they receive.

 

2. If a webmaster has more then one site then they can start building there one way links much more effectively instead of doing reciprocals. It is often considered as artificial means of boosting your site popularity.

 

Article Bio Links

 

1. Article links are most time consuming yet best of all that brings great source of targeted traffic. It is a reward for our link popularity and SERPs.

2. We provide services to our webmaster by providing rich, good content that will bring link to our site in return.

3. Article syndication has not really improved large sites rankings dramatically but works pretty well for lower competitive keywords.

4. Sites of value from visitor’s point are linked by other sites because of there content, services, products.

 

Can bring your experiences, words on paper and share with us?? Is your site really useful for visitors, is the site information serving its readers, customers??? If answers to these questions are YES then link will pour into your website from other websites. Search engines do not consider over optimization of a web page by keyword stuffing.

 

First think of a topic so that you can get most out of it, content may be general or viral. A viral article may downpour number of links to your website. Write an article; do not forget to add author bio-resource to it. Syndicate the article by submitting it to various article directories. Once the article is successfully submitted and published in top article directories (ezinearticles, articlesbase.com, etc.) your article will get good ranking and your website added in resource will get good traffic from these referring websites.

 

.Edu and .Gov Links

 

1. Links from .edu and .gov domain have varying foci as all may not be significant to same degree yet lot to add to IBL(inbound links).

2. Top level domains like .edu., gov., org have longer longevity on net in comparison to .com. Good links can be collected from educational libraries, student’s web space and linking back to them.

 

 

 


RSS/Blog syndicated links

 

1. Web Logs or Blogs are web contents published on web regularly in reverse chronological order. RSS is a group of XML based web-content distribution and republication. From traffic to inbound links and branding, syndication is of great value and evergreen topic.

 

2. Start a blog and put some quality content up and most importantly offer RSS, Atom or XML so your readers can syndicate your feed.

 

3. Post your content rich blogs regularly to get links. A well thought out response and comments on other blogs; also linking to other sites and blogs is online link building strategy to be noticed by search engine and other sites.

 

4. New blogs can be featured by tagging on Technorati.

 

5. RSS feed keep your audience updated without letting them go the website as it pops into their reader.

 

Adding useful links to your blogs i.e. outbound links on your blogroll, commenting on others blog post, pinging your blog posts and RSS feed, submitting blog posting and permalinks to blog directories like bloglines.com, blogflux.com help to get vote for your blog.

 

Social Media and Press Release Links

 

1. Press Release (PR) is a good outlet to publicize your site as it helps spread the news about your company rapidly. With Link building as centre for link popularity and circumference not defined, it is spreading in the websphere. There are several valuable social media sites with good ranking, unique benefits to participate (that have to do with people with common goal) to gain visibility on net.

 

2. Press releases are great means of inbound links. PR written by SEO firm play around keywords phrases placed, title used and the links, these all together make your content relevant for the concerned industry.

 

3. SMPR provides a new push communications channel for companies to broadcast to bloggers.

 

4. Entering into real world relationships, conference, interviews will help you gather latest information and extend onto web.

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SiteWide Links

 

1. Site Wide links are links that are present on all pages throughout the website (recommended not to add more than one external link coming from this).

 

2. Site wide linking helps in improving the PR and web presence of your website. Do enough R&D before buying links from text link brokers as most of them are fraud. Though risky but still purchasing it can be useful if related, and crawled having PR. Beware of link farms(black hat technique) that offer bad and irrelevant links by just stuffing your website with hundreds of irrelevant links.

 

3. Asking in forums about these sites will be of great help. Beware of site wide text link ads, do not buy or sell as google, yahoo penalize websites selling site wide links

Other Link Resources

 

Forum Posting – Sign up for good forums like – forums.digitalpoint.com, webmasterworld.com, seomoz.org, doshdosh.com, etc. Also there are forums which let you post comments. Not just placing links (if you make good contribution to these threads readers may follow your profile link), but participate in forum threads which are related to your website’s theme, ask questions, comment, fire sales-pitch this is good source of traffic and links if done genuinely as your link will be crawled by search engines. Remember, to check that the forum you are participating do not have no-index, no-follow attribute.

 

Classifieds: Craigslist, Gumtree, Adlandpro, freeclassifieds, hotfrog, etc. are few of the many classfieds sites directories which will help you submit your website to different regions of the world to increase traffic and gain links. Make a clean, short, explanatory, marketing piece of Ad and submit your website’s service related ads to relevant categories. I have found classifieds very useful as it is crawled by search engines very fastly, you improve online visibility and ranking and sometimes fire sales-pitch.

 

Yahoo Answers, Google Groups: Setting up account and then participating to ask questions, answer others question and place your website links in the resource.

 

Googlepage – Can create separate page for your website in Google page, Squidoo page

 

Search Engine Submissions, Local Listings – Submitting your website to major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN), other search engines like Ask, meta crawlers like Teoma will also add links to your website.

 

So that your businesses and services are found by local people in your region, local listing in search engine is a boon, examples: local.yahoo.com, justdail.com, pandia.com. Local listings appear above natural listings.

 

PPC: Through your PPC campaign your brand awareness is improved as paid listing appears above all listing, there are also chances that people may link to your website.

I have discussed about links, link building strategies and ways to get links, I would now like to discuss one of the most important term ‘Link Baiting’.

 

Link Baiting: Content is the hook, that harbor ranking success. Link baiting is a natural way of building link for a website. Very often people mix link baiting with viral marketing I would rather say link baiting is essential for viral marketing.

 


Write a fresh, qualitative, informative, enticing content that will engulf readers’ attention. Start with a captivating Title, well explained summary and then qualitative content that capture readers’ and people talk about it (web word-of-mouth) either by blogging, discussing on forums threads, tagging your post, sharing with friends, emailing links, bookmarking. People will speak about it, content is propeller, ignite and gradually more and more people will come to read your content, know what you have written – number of back links to your post will increase without any black hat techniques.

 

There are slew of ideas for link baiting, few of them are:

 

Falling in controversy, writing an article, sharing valuable resource, be the first to write on something yet not written, prove your points logically and be explanatory, leave no stone unturned.

 

Significance of link building: A proper link building strategy is a rich source of traffic as websites linking to your website improve your link network. It is not number of links that is accountable for voting your website and web pages but quality of the website that points to your website counts. Also, Page Rank of a web page is calculated using your website back links, inbound and out bound links.

Future: Even though link building is loosing its significance but still this practice continues to be a major ranking factor. Google changed its algorithm when webmasters tried to optimize their websites by over doing link exchange with all sort of websites (unrelated, FFA) that were not related to their theme. Some webmasters to bring their website on the top page in SERP for their targeted keyword and services over submitted their websites in directories, used same anchor text at very high frequency to achieve ranking quickly. Such practices lead to quick ranking in search results but Google considered this as a wrong practice and those sites which gained ranking this way were penalized and also were dropped out. Google updated its linking algorithm and many websites lost their ranking others jumped high. ‘Miserable Failure’ was the anchor text for which George W. Bush ranked. Finally, Google defused ‘Miserable failure bomb’ for which President George W. Bush ranked top in search results, after algorithm update in January 2007 George Bush no longer appears in the top result for keyphrase ‘Miserable failure’. This algorithm update stopped pranksters from mass linking for same anchor text in a much stipulated manner. ‘Jagger’; Google algorithm update concentrated on websites with quality inbound links and websites with good link building.

 

Conclusion: There is no hard and fast set of link building strategies to be followed but remember search engines can find out if you follow under skin some wrong ways to get links to your website. We need to create links for our website that to genuinely, do not buy links and go for manual submission and natural linking. Social media communities, social networks are of great help in this direction. It is really tough get going with Google algorithm updates which take place to stop pranksters and other bad practices. These updates have left question mark on webmasters where some replete and some emerge.

 

In a nutshell, link has become a mainstream for sustaining the momentum towards search engine updates. I would say that with low cost of advertising on internet tools like link provides high rate of return on your investment. The above discussed points are deciphered from the experiences of SEO experts and my own personal experience. Things have changed, link source was never a matter of consideration in past now has become an important metrics to be considered. By purchasing Ads or gaining links overnight makes your link less valuable.

 

SOURCE:

Knol.Google.com – Link Building Practices


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