Link Building 101

Posted by admin on January 21, 2012 in Backlinks |

Link Building – The Secrets to Ranking on Page 1

What is Link Building? If you were in the market for an accountant to handle your tax return, which would influence your decision more…an advertisement on TV or a personal recommendation from a good friend? Odds are you would go with your friend’s advice because you know and trust him or her. Google counts on this line of thinking to calculate what the best return is for any given search.

Google looks at what other people (websites) are saying about you by evaluating the number, quality and types of links that are pointing to your site from other sites. Google sees these links as a vote of confidence which means that link building is an essential requirement if you want to rank on page 1 of the search engines.

All links are not created equal. With Google you are known by the company you keep. If your site has backlinks from an authority site or a site that Google deems to be of value then you are golden. The logic behind this thinking is that if a site that is already considered to have quality content links to your site, then your site must offer something of value as well otherwise the other site wouldn’t be referring visitors to you.

However, the reverse holds true as well. If your backlinks are coming from sites that Google thinks offer no value, then no value will be assigned to those links and the net result is you will not receive any benefit in the rankings. Examples of “no value” sites include obscure article directories whose only reason for existence is link building; forums that have minimal to no activity and link exchange sites or “link farms” as they were once called.

Smart Strategies for Link Building

Developing backlinks on quality sites is initially very time consuming, but the rewards you’ll reap are well worth the effort you put in.  It’s really all about building a relationship of trust with other webmasters and their audiences. Here are a few ideas on how to do just that:

  • For starters think in terms of links pointing to a page, not pages. Don’t dilute your link building efforts by having links that point to pages all over your site. If your site is promoting a product or service then you have a sales page and that’s the page that you want as much “Google Juice” for search results as possible. Too many webmasters have links pointing to the home page which is nice, but if you want to monetize the site you want links to the page where visitors actually buy or sign up for an offer.
  • Guest blogging is perhaps one of the strongest link building strategies that you have available to you. Trading great content in exchange for a backlink or two is one of the fastest ways to build ranking. To find blogs that accept guest posts Google “guest blogging terms” and this will bring up Terms and Conditions for bloggers who are looking for guest content.
  • Active forums that allow “do follow” links in your member signature is also a great way to build rank juice and referred traffic as well. Every time you initiate or respond to a thread you link will appear in your signature. Be a good forum member. Always make your comments relevant to the conversation and of value to the other members.
  • Blog responses that allow do follow links in your signature are another means of building links. But again, you have to be a good blog citizen and not respond to blog articles with spammy comments like “very cool thanks” just to get a link up.
  • Don’t forget the power of social media. Make sure your site can be easily favorited by FaceBook, Stumbleupon, DiggIt and Twitter. Google looks at the social media community and takes into account the buzz that a particular page may get.

If you want to track the links you can use Google’s free Webmaster Tools which will tell you who is linked to you, what anchor text is being used and the URL of the page that the link points to. Don’t expect results overnight. But also don’t do a few links and then wait to see what happens. Link building should be an ongoing process. Remember, it’s not so much the number of links you get as it is the quality of those links, so be selective in where you build these relationships.

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