Many people know that link building plays a vital part in high search engine rankings. But it must be done right. Otherwise, sites with fewer links will rank higher than yours ! How is that possible ? Let me explain.
Google made links important a couple years ago. They started to virtually ignore on-page factors (keyword density, title etc.) and focused almost exclusively on Links.
Google counts number of links to a web page (link popularity) and what those links say about a page (link reputation).
* Link Popularity and Link Reputation
So there's a common first mistake. Many people don't know difference between link popularity and link reputation. They think any link's good. Did you know that 20 links, with hyperlink text containing your keyphrase, can outrank 50+ links without a keyphrase ?
note: keyphrase means words you want your page to rank high for e.g. if someone searches on keyphrase 'email marketing' then you want most of links pointing at your page to say, 'email marketing' in their hypertext link.
Ever wondered why only your home page gets traffic ? People get links to their home page only, and don't even know they're making a mistake ! Google, in particular, sees a web site as a collection of individual pages, with each one ranking individually.
So, for example, if your home page gives info on 'email marketing', then you want lots of links saying, 'email marketing'. If one of your sub-pages gives info on 'email software' then that page needs its own set of links saying, 'email software'. Most people think any high ranking for their home page will automatically mean high ranking for other pages in same web site. It doesn't. Each page ranks individually.
* Internal Link Structure
Link Building isn't just about external links. You need right link structure within your own site. Many people make mistake of using graphic navigation bars. Search Engines often can't even follow these links, so your sub- pages don't even get indexed. It's beyond scope of this article to get into detail on important internal linking structure, but you can make a good start by using text links instead of, or in addition to, graphical navigation links. Then search engines can follow your links.