Link Building Tips

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), maintaining “link popularity” can drastically change how search engines find and list your website for the mass of potential visitors who are searching for an exciting site like yours. Simply put, your link popularity is the number and quality of incoming links that point directly to your site. This is a major factor that search engines evaluate when deciding whether your website is worthwhile and relevant to Web visitors.

The quality of your content is extremely essential – it’s not just about the number of SEO keywords or artificial links to increase your online traffic numbers. The search engines require links from authoritative sites, or relevant sites that share the same focus as your blog. Link-building can be complicated. Here are eight simple link-building tips to help your blog legitimately increase link popularity.

1. Join a directory. Congratulations, you’ve already accomplished step one by joining OnTopList.com. By belonging to a directory, you’ve gained a global network, many of whom either write in your niche or are more likely to help you through cross-promotional opportunities.

2. Piggy-back off of high-ranked sites. If you do a search on your SEO keywords, you’ll get a glimpse of the top-ranked sites in your category. Contact the sites that do not directly compete with you, and build a link-exchange relationship where you can piggy-back off of their high rankings.

3. Contact the owners of related sites. Try to be selective when deciding who you want to exchange links with. Send a friendly solicitation e-mail to open communication, and be sure to give them a reason why the relationship would be mutually beneficial.

4. Trade articles or unique postings with interested parties. Is it a subject or news topic that related sites may find interesting? Often, you’ll find that news or commentary sites have sections to “share news or ideas” or “suggest a link.” This is the perfect chance to exchange fascinating stories or news that you have published with related websites.

5. Use social bookmarking sites to your advantage. Do you already have a DIGG or Delicious social bookmarking account? These sites allow you to bookmark and use tag keywords for your favorite Web links. Bookmark related sites in addition to your site’s entries, and the other users in your network may start consulting your links regularly, which could eventually lead them back to your website.

6. Rely on your own network of friends, family, and colleagues. Don’t leave out your existing network of friends, who know and like you already – and are the most likely to read, comment, and promote your site.

7. Write for online article sites. Lastly, there are numerous sites where anyone can be a published author – Helium.com, About.com, AssociatedContent.com, eHow.com, eZineArticles.com. It’s free to join, plus you’ll be able to write related advice and information to your site, and every one of your article includes your profile – which is where you can link users back to your pages. If you write an article related to a past entry, this is the opportunity to promote and link users to the topic at the conclusion of your article.

8. Write reviews and comments on other sites. If it’s applicable to your chosen niche, you can also write other types of online content in other sites. For instance, if you maintain a technology site, you may want to regularly write product reviews on Amazon.com, ePinions.com, and related sites. This will grow your presence as an expert in your niche, and provide another way to link new visitors back to your site.

If you have additional questions about how I can help your generate more links for your website and how important it is to helping your company receive more exposure online, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Dos and Dont’s about Link Building

Bing recently published a document about link building. Although it focuses on how Bing deals with inbound links, it can also help you to get better links for Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. The most important points of Bing’s document can be found in this article.

The importance of link building

The Bing engineers know that link building is important and they describe link building as follows:

“Link building is a very important form of self-promotion on the Web. You contact webmasters of other, related websites and let them know your site exists. If the value that you have worked so hard to instill in your site is evident to them, they will assist their own customers by linking back to your site. That, my friend, is the essence of link building.”

In other words, reciprocal linking is fine. They also remind webmasters that link building is an ongoing process:

“Think of link building as your chance to build your reputation on the Web. As your website is likely one of your business’ most valuable assets, consider link building to be a primary business-building exercise. Just don’t make the mistake of believing it will result in instant gratification. Successful link building efforts require a long-term commitment, not an overnight or turnkey solution. You need to continually invest in link building efforts with creativity and time. Good things come to those who wait (and work smartly!).”

Things that you can do to get good links to your website

Here are the things that Bing recommends:

  • You should develop your website as a brand and brand it consistently. People like to link to high quality websites.
  • You should find relevant bloggers, industry websites and product reviewers and make them aware of your website.
  • You can publish concise and informative press releases online.
  • You can publish expert articles in article directories.
  • You can participate in relevant conversations on blogs and forums and add a link to your website when applicable.
  • You can use social networks to connect to industry influencers. Your profiles should contain links to your website.
  • You can use email newsletters to notify people about new content on your website.
  • You can launch a blog or a forum on your website.
  • You can participate in relevant industry associations and their online forums.
  • You should strive to become a trusted expert voice for your industry while promoting your website.

Warning: the following things will get your website in trouble

Just like Google and other major search engines, Bing doesn’t like to be cheated. If they detect unnatural linking patterns, your website might be penalized. The following things can trigger search engine filters:

  • Your website get a lot of additional inbound links a very short time.
  • Many links that point to your website are from unrelated websites or blog comments.
  • Your web pages contain hidden links.
  • You get links from links farms or automated link exchange systems.
  • Paid links point to your website.
  • Known spammers link to your website.
  • Your website links to known spammers.

Here’s what Bing does when they find suspicious data that is related to your website:

“When probable manipulation is detected, a spam rank factor is applied to a site, depending upon the type and severity of the infraction. If the spam rating is high, a site can be penalized with a lowered rank. If the violations are egregious, a site can be temporarily or even permanently purged from the index.”

Getting inbound links requires some work. The Bing engineers are very clear about this fact: “Make no mistake: getting legitimate and highly valuable, inbound links is not a couch-potato task.”

If you have additional questions about getting more links for your website  and how important these links are to helping your company get more exposure online please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Link building

The links that point to your website are one of the most important factors that influence the position of your website in Google’s search results. The better the links to your website, the higher the position of your website in Google’s results.

It is possible to get high rankings with only a few links if you want to be listed for keywords that don’t have much competition. As soon as more than one website competes with you for the same keywords, the website with the best inbound links will outrank the other websites.

If you want to get high rankings for competitive keywords, you have to go out and encourage people to link to your website. It’s not necessary to get as many links as possible. It’s necessary to get better links than your competitors.

The Internet has plenty of websites for every category. The following websites can be good link partners:

1. Websites that are listed for the keywords that you are targeting can be good link partners. If a website has high positions for the keywords that you are targeting and if the website is not a competitor, you should contact the owner of that website.

2. Some websites have content that is related to your keyword. If these websites have no examples or references, they could link to your website.

3. There can be many websites that contain a review or a comment about your company without linking to your site. These websites will often link to your website if you ask.

4. If another website links to your website and only uses your domain name to link to your website, ask the owner of the other website to link to your website with your keyword.

5. Blogs that deal with the topic of your websites are often willing to link to your website.

6. If a website links to one of your competitors, it is likely that they will also link to your website if you offer a similar product or service.

If you have additional questions about link building and how important they are to helping your company get found online please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com for more information to discuss how I can help you or your company with its search engine optimization, online marketing, or copywriting needs.

The Importance of Link Building

People that are relatively new to search engine optimization (SEO) often wonder what link building entails and why it matters for their website. Although there are many ways to accomplish link building, just knowing the basics will help you understand the importance of receiving and how to obtain links back to your website.

Consider a link as a vote towards your website for being relevant or popular on the Internet within a specific industry or niche. The more links you have from other websites, the more your website will benefit on search engines for specific user searches, while the likelihood of more traffic to your site increases.

For example, let’s say Website A and Website B are competing for the same consumers. Website A has a total of 10 links pointing back to their website while Website B has 100. Which website do you think search engines are going to “reward” more for its relevancy within their industry? Which website has the greater chance of having traffic go to their website because of exposure on the Internet?

Another important aspect is using specific keywords while link building, or in other words, utilizing anchor text as the link back to your website. Essentially, anchor text is the keyword/text of the link back to your website. Generally highlighted a different color and/or underlined, anchor text helps Internet users and search engines to understand what your website is relevant for.

Let’s suppose that Website A sold various types of baby blankets. If they wanted to rank highly in search engines for their product cotton baby blankets, it would be most helpful if they used “cotton baby blankets” as their anchor text for links back to their website. Doing this allows Internet searchers (if they stumbled upon that particular link) to have a good idea where that particular link would lead them. Also, the anchor text in this instance would help search engines to know more information about your website.

Of course, it’s always good to vary your anchor text (i.e., from our example, use “baby blankets,“ “100% cotton baby blankets,“ “organic baby blankets,“ “baby blanket store,“ etc.). There is a good chance that search engines may penalize your website if you solely use one phrase of anchor text for all of your links.

The following examples are different ways to receive some inbound links to your website:

• Directories allow you to list your website within a specific industry and/or genre, providing you with a link back to your website.

• Social bookmarking is a way for people to save and share websites of interest, categorizing the websites/links by tags.

• Writing an ezine article is a great way to utilize anchor text (keywords), but remember to write brand new, original content and follow the publisher’s terms of use.

Though link building by itself won’t guarantee top-ranking results (as you have to consider other factors like the age of your website, the website’s on-site content, etc.), creating a number of backlinks to your website will help improve its relevance on search engines and increase its opportunity for more traffic.

If you need help with building links or search engine optimization, please give me a call today at 208.598.0084 or contact me at matt.shifley@yahoo.com for more information to discuss how I can help you or your company with its search engine optimization, online marketing, or copywriting needs.