Welcome to part eight in this search engine positioning series. Last week we discussed website submissions. In part eight we will be covering importance of link building and developing inbound links to your website.
This is arguably on of most important aspect of SEO process and can mean difference between first page rankings and 100th. It has to be done right and it has to be done on an ongoing basis.
Over this series we will cover ten key aspects to a solid search engine positioning campaign.
The Ten Steps We Will Go Through Are:
1. Keyword Selection (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/search-engine-positioning/keywords.htm) 2. Content Creation (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/search-engine-positioning/content.htm) 3. Site Structure (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/search-engine-positioning/structure.htm) 4. Optimization (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/search-engine-positioning/optimization.htm) 5. Internal Linking (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/search-engine-positioning/internal-linking.htm) 6. Human Testing (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/search-engine-positioning/human-testing.htm) 7. Submissions (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/search-engine-positioning/submissions.htm) 8. Link Building 9. Monitoring 10. The Extras
Step Eight – Link Building
Link building: it’s pretty much understood that this is a critical component when you’re trying to attain top search engine positioning however confusion enters when it’s time to decide exactly what you should do.
From talk about reciprocal link building one might come to believe that this is golden egg of SEO. While reciprocal link building can definitely be beneficial to your rankings it is far from only or even best method. In this article we will cover following link-building tactics:
· Reciprocal link building · Directory listings · Non-reciprocal link building tactics
· Tools to maximize your efforts
And so, without further ado …
Reciprocal Link Building
Reciprocal link building is trading of links between two websites. Essentially it an “I’ll post yours if you’ll post mine” sort of arrangement. There are many sites out there that will essentially link to any-and-all sites willing to link to them. This is not a good practice.
While purely speculation at this point, there is significant debate in SEO community regarding how search engines might be altering their algorithms to take into account a Webmaster or SEO’s ability to manipulate their rankings with reciprocal links. Whether or not these speculations are true currently, they are most certainly being integrated if they have not be already.
Essentially, search engines need to protect themselves and provide relevant results to their users. While inbound links as part of search engine algorithms is certainly here to stay, way these links are calculated changes constantly and in reaction to current environment and also in prediction of future developments, way we build them too must evolve.
There are some basic rules to follow when exchanging links:
· Relevancy is more important than PageRank · Check and make sure recips aren’t being blocked · Link pages with more than 50 links aren’t worth exchanging with · Prepare for future
Many Webmasters focus only on PageRank of a website when deciding whether to exchange links with it. Without a doubt PageRank is important however more important is whether or not that website’s content is related to yours. There are two reasons for this:
1. The algorithms are changing to take into consideration relevancy of links. A link from a relevant PageRank 3 page will be considered more valuable than a PageRank 5 link from a totally unrelated site. Some predict that unrelated links will soon be given little or no weight whatsoever. 2. Believe it or not, Google is not only search engine. PageRank is Google’s ranking of value of a site. What Google gives a 3 out of 10 Yahoo may give more weight to.
Basically, after a series of tests we have determined that links to related sites will never hinder your rankings. With this in mind feel free to link to any site you think your visitors would naturally be interested in if they are at your site.
Unethical website owners (or their SEOs) will sometimes block links backs from search engine spiders. Be this in an effort to attain what appear to be one-way links as opposed to reciprocal or simple to make their website appear to have fewer outbound links this is not ethical and it certainly won’t help you.
When you’re looking at a potential link exchange page check source code for robots tag. If it’s set to “noindex,nofollow” then page is being blocked and link won’t help at all.
Some wiser webmasters will user robots.txt file to block search engine spiders. If you look for robots.txt at root of domain (i.e. at http://www.domainin question.com/robots.txt) you will see files/folders that are being blocked. Look for links pages and/or directory these pages or in, in this list. If you find it, then don’t exchange links with them.
A new one I’ve recently found along this tangent is to draw links from a script and to block script and database folders from search engines. The files won’t show up in excluded list but links won’t be counted. To detect this easiest thing to do is to view cache of page. If page is cached but none of links appear and script directory is listed in robots.txt file then this tactic is being used. Again, don’t bother exchanging links.
If you find Webmasters employing any of these tactics they are unethical. Unethical Webmasters shouldn’t be rewarded with high PageRanks or good results. If you have time and inclination you may want to email those websites listed on page (heck, they may be good recip link partners anyways) and let them know what’s going on. You’ll be doing them a favor and they’ll probably be happy to exchange links with you as well.
Link Pages With More than 50 Links
Webmasters who are trying to actually do their link partners a favor will limit their links pages to 50 links (the lower better). The reason for this is that every page gets one vote. A link to another website counts as a vote for that site. This is why it can help improve rankings. As each page only gets one vote a link from a page with 10 links counts at 0.1 of a vote, whereas a link from a page with 100 links counts as 0.01 of a vote. Anything past about 100 links is not counted at all.
Additionally, this higher up on a page your link appears more weight it is given. If page lists sites alphabetically try to insure that your title begins with a number or a letter early in alphabet (which work well for companies like “Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning”).