With Google’s focus on links in its search engine algorithm, links have pretty much become the currency of the web. Marketers are willing to pay significant amounts for links in hopes of better search engine results and more traffic. However, Google is fighting back by weeding out “artificial” links and devaluing sites that engage in aggressive link building tactics.
Here are some link building tips and ideas from the SEO experts here at SEO Works…
- Analyse your competition. Determine where they are getting most of their link popularity from and emulate them if you can. Use the Yahoo Site Explorer tool to investigate the incoming links to the top ten sites and approach those sites. Then add more links on top of that to get ahead.
- If you choose to exchange links, choose your partners selectively. Would you link to the site anyway even if there was no link back? Would you link to the site in the same way if it wasn’t reciprocal? If you can answer “yes” to those questions then go right ahead.
- What is the value and theme of the page you will be getting a link from. The home page of the site may be highly valued but the deep page where your link is coming from may be or marginal value and way off theme.
- Always include a link to your own site within the text of your best content. You have no idea how many people will copy and paste it including the link. This is especially true with scraper sites using your RSS feed to grab your content.
- Where a link appears on the page is also key. Pay attention to where links to you are placed on the page; in content links are more valuable than side or footer links.
- Traffic is key! Build links that provide significant referrals and you’ve done half the work. After all, it’s all about visibility, isn’t it?
- Site-wide links can help, but they tend to be considered boilerplate, which will reduce their value. Consider targeting a very specific page on the site you are building links on and go for it – within the actual content, if possible.
- Buying links doesn’t mean you have to pay cash. You can build links in many ways including sponsorships, contributions, translations, donations, affiliations, and press.
- Be careful with theme distribution, widget-bait, quizzes, and any other form of linkbait that is not generated by pure content (text, image, video or other media). It can really hurt you (like it did to Matthew Inman).
- Encourage linking! Provide visible permalinks and add a call-to-action to get people to link.
- Build valuable relationships with your customers, your readers, and your online buddies. Provide value to them on a regular basis and they’ll often be more than happy to thank you with a link.
The keys to successful link building revolve around patience, persistence and being ethical. It takes time to build an effective link profile. And one thing we have learned is that if you push the boundaries of reasonableness in your link building too much, the Search Engines push back!