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Prepare For The Future
Just because a rule applies today does not mean that it will tomorrow. This is true in on-site SEO as well as link building. If generic recip links work today consider whether you believe it’s in best interest of your targeted engine to keep it this way. As answer will undoubtedly be “no” it’s in your best interest to insure that you take extra time to build links that will still be valuable months and even a year from now to save yourself a drop in rankings and additional work later.
Having your website listed in quality directories is perhaps one of most valuable things you can do for it in regards to inbound links. Directories link DMOZ (http://www.dmoz.org/) and Yahoo (http://dir.yahoo.com/) hold significant weight. Google draws it’s directory results from DMOZ and Yahoo draws it’s directory results from, well, Yahoo. These links are given a lot of weight.
Make sure that you submit your website to both of these directories and if they’re not listed a couple months down road, try again (and you may want to try a slightly different category if a relevant one exists as you may have hit one of many overworked editors who’s getting behind).
Aside from these two there are literally thousand of other directories our there. Look for others and submit your site. Some may charge a fee. If this is case take a look at page your site would be listed on, take a look at PageRank, number of outbound links on page and determine whether it’s worth price. I’ve seen directories charging $10 for a permanent PageRank 5 link on a page with 3 other outbound links (though this number is certain to grow over time). Well worth $10 investment.
You can find may great directories using search engines and, of course, major directories. For example, were I looking for topical directories a great place to start would be http://directory.google.com/Top/Reference/Directories/ in Google directory.
Non-Reciprocal Link Building Tactics
There are a number of other tactics for building non-reciprocal links. Here we will outline three of most popular:
1. Articles 2. Press Releases 3. Paid Links
Writing articles is a great way of getting inbound links and generating quality traffic. Articles give you opportunity to control content on linking page meaning that you can guarantee that it is totally relevant, it’s a one-way link, and it’s a link that you’ll actually get traffic from.
Let’s assume that you run a small computer shop. Why not write an article about how to troubleshoot a common Windows problem (no no, it’s true … Windows can be a bit buggy every now and then). The next step is to simple find places to submit your article to and do just that. From experience I would highly recommend keeping a list in your favorites of sites you submit to. If you decide to publish another article you probably don’t want to have to find them all from scratch again.
If you were looking for places to submit to you would run searches on major search engines for “my topic articles” (in this case a search for “windows errors articles” and “computer troubleshooting articles” would be great places to start). If you find a lot of results only post their own articles you may want to add word “submit” to string.
Press releases are another great way to attain one-way inbound links. If you have news that you feel worth telling, submit a press release about it. While you’ll probably want to manually submit your site to key online publishers, services such as PRWeb (http://www.prweb.com/) exist to submit your press release to a large audience at a very reasonable price.
Like articles, if news is good you’re likely to get quality traffic from a press realease and on top of that, you are likely to get some good, related links to your website.
Paid links are links from other websites purchased solely for value of link rather than for direct clicks. Paid links have become so popular that auction sites have sprouted up for just this purpose and they can even be bought on eBay now.
There is no particular problem with paid links per-se however I would recommend applying same criteria that you would to reciprocal links. If you are going to purchase links, only purchase them from related sites and try to make sure link is not buried down at bottom of page.
Run-of-site links (links that appear on every page) are not significantly more valuable than single links on homepage other than for traffic. If you’ve purchased a link in a good location and on a good site you’re likely to get some good traffic from it. In fact, this is general rule I go into any paid link arrangement with – purchase link for traffic. If link increases my PageRank it’s a great bonus but if I’ve bought link for traffic and I’m getting it, then link becomes secondary.
Link Building Tools
Because link building has become so important to improve search engine positioning a number of great tools have been developed to help in process. While I couldn’t possible list them all here there have been two developments by a company named TopNet Solutions than have truly impressed me and which are only tools that I use in every link building campaign.
PR Prowler (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/resources/recommended/pr-prowler.htm) PR Prowler from TopNet Solutions searches web based on your specific criteria providing results with a minimum PageRank that you determine. A very handy tool for your link-building efforts.
Total Optimizer Pro (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/resources/recommended/top.htm) When we first purchased PR Prowler we thought we've found ultimate link building tool. That was, until we found Total Optimizer Pro. Made by same folks who put out PR Prowler this tool rips apart and tells you everything there is to know about your competitor's backlinks, anchor text used to link to them, PageRank distribution of their incoming links and much more.
If you have any questions about these tools or how they are used feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m happy to answer any questions that you might have.
Next week in part nine of our "Ten Steps To an Optimized Website" series we will be covering importance of monitoring. This isn’t simply checking rankings of your primary phrase every now and then but a scheduled check of all key components on your optimization and search engine positioning efforts.
Dave Davies and Beanstalk offer guaranteed search engine positioning. Dave is available to answer any questions that you may have about your website and how to get it into the top positions on the major search engines. Read Dave's other search engine positioning articles.