Link Building Basics
In the increasingly competitive online market, Search Engine Optimization is one of the main methods used for increasing traffic and thus increasing income. Search Engines are very sophisticated these days and no one understands exactly how they work but one thing that we know for sure is that links from other sites pointing to your webpage will increase its chances of being listed high in the search engines.
This is because each link that points towards your webpage is like having a vote saying that your webpage is good. In the same way that everyone who filled out a ballot paper voted for Obama people linking to your webpage are filling out a ballot paper voting for you to be on the top of the search engines. However, not all links are created equal. Some links are worth more votes than others.
Firstly, links that do not have the ‘nofollow’ attribute are the ones that are valuable when it comes to link building for search engine optimization. Nofollow is an attribute that is applied to some links which tells search engines not to bother following the link. You want to get links without this in most of the cases.. Generally advertising and often commenting on blogs have nofollow attributes however almost all posts within blogs and pages on websites do not have this so their link vote is worth more. Google is pretty much against “dofollow” links and they consider these as being paid links even if in many cases people link naturally. I’d say to concentrate on getting both “dofollow” and “nofollow” links in order to balance your link building campaign.
Secondly, pages with a higher importance is the world wide web count for more if you have their vote. It is similar to if The Pope said you were a good person and if some random bum on the street said you were a good person. The Pope is seen as an important figure and therefore his verdict is worth more that the bum on the street. You want to get links from pages which already have a lot of links going to them, from related and autoritative websites.
Thirdly, links which contain the ‘keyword phrase’ people are searching for are considered to be a more specific vote and will cause you to be ranked higher in the search engines for that specific term. For example say I wanted to be ranked high in the search engines for the term ‘dog washing’ I would have the links to my website saying ‘dog washing’ as this would help me for that keyword phrase. You don’t have to use the same anchor text over and over again…this is bad. Try finding a few other keywords to rank for and alternate the anchor text.
Now you know the basics of why link building is it important let me show you a few simple techniques to build these links:
1. Trade Links
You can obtain a link easily by trading with someone else. You place a link to their website on your page and they place a link to your website on their page. Make sure their website is in a similar niche to yours though as this is most effective for search engine optimisation. Google might be against this but they have a very short memory – link exchange is one of the oldest link building techniques on the internet, since Brin and Page were playing the ball wearing short pants. There are two popular ways to do it. Two way link exchange (described above) and three way link exchange which is quite better.
2. Write Guest Posts/Articles
Guest posts guarantee you at least one backlink and sometimes more. Write a good article and get it posted on a big blog/website and you could get lots of exposure and why not some well deserved backlinks.
3. Buy Links
Generally this is not effective as most advertising links are ‘no follow’ but if you find one which is do follow you can pay to get a link. Obviously Google will say this is a big “No-No” and your website might get penalised, but I want to see a webmaster or SEO guy who never bought at least a link in his own life. I bet that even Google bought links when they were no one working from that famous garage. The world is full of idiots, preachers and arse lickers (just have a look at the comments on Cutts blog), they’ll tell you not to do it but they are worst than the average Joe the Webmaster. However if you plan to buy a couple, make sure these are highly relevant for your niche…don’t overdo it…better build the links on a natural way but I reckon a few good, strong links would always be a nice addition to your website.
Though many comments are also ‘no follow’ many blogs have a ‘Top Commentator Widget’ on their sidebar which appears on their homepage which does not have this ‘no follow’ attribute. By commenting often on their blogs you can appear in this widget and get a high ranking link for free. Be warned, this widget is generally renewed every month so it is an ongoing process to stay there as a Top Commentator. This kind of links are usually low quality and they won’t pass much juice, but still…a link is a link…
5. Directory Submissions
Most of the free web directories out there are just crappy link farms so I wouldn’t recommend to submit just about to any directory. Have a look at the quality of sites already listed before you place your link in there. Paid Directories are pretty much better due to the fact that not any shitty website is allowed. Most of the paid directories have a sort of editorial integrity and they charge a review fee. Basically you don’t pay for the link itself but for the time the editor spend in reviewing your website and approve it (or not). If you have a bit of budget I would recommend to consider submitting to a few strong directories out there.
6. Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking sites are traffic magnets (at least the top ones) , with visitors ready to read the latest news, informations and top stories. Not only you’ll get a backlink from there (dofollow or not, depending on the site) but you can also attract quite a few visitors to your site. These links are usually pretty fast indexed.
7. Forum Posting
Forum posting and signatures are another easy way to get some links. Try visiting forums related to your niche, post questions and answer to other people’s questions. It might be easy to become a popular member and apart from the backlink itself, people would click on your signature and you’ll get some additional traffic.
8. Link Baiting
Link baiting is one of the most creative parts of a link building campaign. You’ll have to come up with such an interesting articles, with some cool links so people will quote your article and link to it.
When you start a link building campaign, try getting as many relevant links as you can from as many websites as possible. Don’t use a single technique, just alternate them and your website will grow up nice and steady. Any questions you have…just ask and I’ll try to reply.