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Overview of site contents. Includes site map, glossary, and quick start checklist.
Contains information about keywords, on page SEO, link building, and social interaction.
Tips on how to buy traffic from search engines.
Learn how to track your success with organic SEO and PPC ads. Includes information about web analytics.
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Link Building

Table of Contents

Types of Links & Link Sources

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Quality Links

Broader List of Link Sources

  • Create content or ideas that important people can identify with and would likely link to.
  • Directories may link to sites you submit.
  • You can exchange links with similar websites. If you can afford to, it is better to create legitimate business partnerships and friendships rather than just to trade links with whoever is willing.
  • Writing articles about your topic and syndicate them to other websites. If you submit articles to other sites and publish that article on your site, you may want to create unique content just for the article submission sites, or have a longer or different version of the article on your site so that you are not fighting against duplicate content issues when others syndicate your articles.
  • Writing press releases can give you inbound links.
  • You can participate in forums that provide signature links. If you participate in communities and leave relevant, useful comments, then eventually people may want to link to you if they start to like you.
  • Buy links or rent advertising space.
  • Donate to charities for links.
  • People interested in your site may eventually link to you without you asking. Generally, this is determined by content quality, brand strength, and market exposure.

Generally, the easier and cheaper the link is to get, the less a search engine will want to trust it. Getting other people to want to talk about you or your business (and link to you) is the golden egg of SEO. Search engines want to count legitimate editorial citations. They would prefer not to count other types of links as votes. Some engines, such as Google, find and discount many artificial links.

Why Links are the Keys to Success

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How Links Affect Rankings

Search engines currently base relevancy primarily on linkage patterns. Who links to you and how they link to you are what determines where your site will rank for competitive search queries.

How Not to Move a Web Site

If I did this with a client site, I’d deserve to be shot. Back in 2004 I changed my DNS and moved one of my sites at about the same time. The DNS change quickly propagated through, but my site took a while to load to the new server. Google happened to spider my URL when there was no site on the new web server:

In spite of the site not being there, my then-blank site (Search-Marketing.info) still ranked at number six for search engine marketing out of 15 million results.

So don’t repeat my error—the proper way to move hosts is to set up the new site, point the DNS at the new location, and then take the old site down after a few days to a week. But seeing how well the site ranked even when it was not there shows how powerful links are.

Why are Links so Powerful?

When we write stuff about ourselves, we have a tendency to lie. It is human nature to boost your own worth. This is why meta tags and page copy are nowhere near as powerful as they once were. They have been used and abused.

Links from other webmasters are viewed by search engines as unbiased (or at least less biased), third party votes. While Yahoo! tends to put more weight on page copy than Google does, links are the #1 ranking criteria for competitive phrases in all major search engines.

Links Represent Relationships

Many people who look for links just think “link,” but often, this is not the most effective way to do link building. If you think of the web as a huge social network and think of links as relationships, you have a huge advantage over your competition.

You can do many manipulative things to make your site appear better than it is, but if you can find more natural ways to build your credibility and embed yourself in the social structure of the web, you will likely become extremely successful without risking getting penalized by search engines for having an artificial link profile.

Outsourcing & Hiring Link Builders

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Outsourcing Linking Building

Many people find link building frustrating and time consuming and want to outsource the entire process, which typically produces poor results (especially in competitive markets). Since link building is associated with social relationships, brand building, and customer relations you can't effectively outsource it in its entirety. The best link consultants will identify strategic links you need to build, and help build some of them, but many of them also teach you how to identify link opportunities yourself. Producing effective results often requires

  • created high quality content people value
  • formatting it in a way that people want to talk about it
  • working with your internal marketing team, public relations teams, and social contacts to help launch and spread the idea

Hiring Link Builders

Rae Hoffman has a great post about interviewing potential link builders. She also created the following presentation about hiring link builders:

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by sugarrae

Additional Information

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Have questions about link building?

Link Building Modules

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  • Anchor Text. Learn why anchor text is important and how you can influence it.
  • Evaluating Link Quality. Understand what types of links search engineers want to count as votes.
  • Web Directories. An easy source of links to help get new sites indexed. Also includes information about DMOZ, Yahoo! Directory, and niche directories.
  • Authoritative Ideas. An easy way to get high authority links is to come up with remarkable ideas that people are easily emotionally attached to.
  • How to Request a Link. Learn how to ask for links, and get people to say yes.
  • Self-Reinforcing Market Positions. Learn why some top ranked sites keep ranking for years and years.
  • Free Links. Article discusses ways to get free links and how to get links as a side effect of your business and brand.
  • Link Buying. Article discusses safe and effective ways to buy links.
  • Deep Links. Learn what deep links are and why deep links are important.
  • Link Analysis Tools. Learn how to evaluate your backlink profile and compare it to competing sites.
  • Affiliate Programs. Learn how affiliates can help you build brand exposure and link authority.
  • Reciprocal Link Exchanges. Learn what link trades make sense.
  • Creating a Publishing Network. Learn when making a network of sites makes sense.

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