Non-Reciprocal Link Building For Higher Search Engine Positioning By Dave Davies, Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning, Inc.
It’s no SEO secret that inbound links to your site are an important part of any complete search engine positioning strategy. You’ve undoubtedly received numerous emails touting benefits of exchanging links with other websites. Provided that sites are related, reciprocal linking can definitely help you in your quest for higher rankings however, establishing quality non-reciprocal links to your website will provide added weight and many of tactics used in developing these links have built-in relevancy.
There are two main advantages to non-reciprocal links as opposed to reciprocal links. The first is that these links will hold more weight, as they aren’t reciprocated (the search engines can detect whether links are reciprocal). The second advantage is that they don’t have to be monitored as closely as reciprocal links. With reciprocal links one has to be aware of unethical webmasters who will take links down or use other tactics to insure that search engines don’t see links pages. You have to be aware of these events so that you can remove their links from your site if warranted however with non-reciprocal links you don’t have to be as concerned as you’re not linking to them.
These are far from only benefits of non-reciprocal link building but they are two of most beneficial for your site and for you as its webmaster. But how do you get something for nothing? Why would someone want to link to you in exchange for no links back? Keep in mind acronym TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). In short, you’re not going to get something for nothing but it’s well worth “something” you’ll have to put in.
So non-reciprocal links are beneficial to your search engine positioning campaign … but how do you do it? There are a number of tactics that will work. Here are a few of more successful:
Write Good Content It’s shocking but some people will actually link to your site because it is a valuable resource that their visitors may find interesting or useful. The search engines initially gave incoming links value based on belief that sites with incoming links tended to be sites that others find worth linking to. People actually linked to sites simply because they found content useful. Believe it or not this practice still exists today.
If you have a quality site with great content, preferably updated regularly, others in your industry should naturally link to you. It’s also appropriate to ask other webmasters to link to your site either through direct contact or by posting a page on your site, which provides images and/or link details. If you get even one link out of your efforts it was worth 5 or so minutes it should take to put up page.
Directory Listings Provided that you’re willing to invest a bit of time and money, directory listings are probably easiest way to get non-reciprocal links. Provided that you’re site has some value to it and is not offensive, most directories will list it though usually there is a “review fee” involved.
There are well know directories such as Yahoo! Directory (http://dir.yahoo.com/) however you may find that price tag for a guaranteed review from Yahoo! at $299 to be a bit more than you wanted to spend for a single listing. Another “major player” in directory world is Open Directory Project (or DMOZ) (http://www.dmoz.org/) however you may find that with volunteer editors, your site can take many months to get listed, if at all.
Fortunately there are many “secondary” directories and there are also literally thousands of topic-specific directories that can provide valuable listings. In fact, topic-specific directory listings can in many ways be considered more valuable in that link to your site is entirely relevant and also, you should get some quality targeted traffic from your listing provided that directory itself ranks well.
How much you should pay for a specific listing is debatable depending on industry, value of link, etc. however topical directory listings are usually somewhere around $30-$100/yr in majority of cases. If your link will be placed on a page with a good PageRank and will fewer than 50 or so other sites it is worth considering.