Ten Steps To A Well Optimized Website - Step Eight: Link Building

Written by Dave Davies

Welcome to part eight in this search engine positioning series. Last week we discussed website submissions. In part eight we will be coveringrepparttar importance of link building and developing inbound links to your website.

This is arguably on ofrepparttar 128086 most important aspect ofrepparttar 128087 SEO process and can meanrepparttar 128088 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 coverrepparttar 128089 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 howeverrepparttar 128090 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 isrepparttar 128091 golden egg of SEO. While reciprocal link building can definitely be beneficial to your rankings it is far fromrepparttar 128092 only or evenrepparttar 128093 best method. In this article we will coverrepparttar 128094 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 isrepparttar 128095 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 inrepparttar 128096 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,repparttar 128097 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,repparttar 128098 way these links are calculated changes constantly and in reaction torepparttar 128099 current environment and also in prediction of future developments,repparttar 128100 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 surerepparttar 128101 recips aren’t being blocked · Link pages with more than 50 links aren’t worth exchanging with · Prepare forrepparttar 128102 future


Many Webmasters focus only onrepparttar 128103 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 considerationrepparttar 128104 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 notrepparttar 128105 only search engine. PageRank is Google’s ranking ofrepparttar 128106 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.

Blocked Recips

Unethical website owners (or their SEOs) will sometimes blockrepparttar 128107 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 checkrepparttar 128108 source code forrepparttar 128109 robots tag. If it’s set to “noindex,nofollow” thenrepparttar 128110 page is being blocked andrepparttar 128111 link won’t help at all.

Some wiser webmasters will userrepparttar 128112 robots.txt file to block search engine spiders. If you look for robots.txt atrepparttar 128113 root ofrepparttar 128114 domain (i.e. at http://www.domainin question.com/robots.txt) you will seerepparttar 128115 files/folders that are being blocked. Look forrepparttar 128116 links pages and/orrepparttar 128117 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 drawrepparttar 128118 links from a script and to blockrepparttar 128119 script and database folders fromrepparttar 128120 search engines. The files won’t show up inrepparttar 128121 excluded list butrepparttar 128122 links won’t be counted. To detect thisrepparttar 128123 easiest thing to do is to viewrepparttar 128124 cache ofrepparttar 128125 page. Ifrepparttar 128126 page is cached but none ofrepparttar 128127 links appear andrepparttar 128128 script directory is listed inrepparttar 128129 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 haverepparttar 128130 time and inclination you may want to email those websites listed onrepparttar 128131 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 lowerrepparttar 128132 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 appearsrepparttar 128133 more weight it is given. Ifrepparttar 128134 page lists sites alphabetically try to insure that your title begins with a number or a letter early inrepparttar 128135 alphabet (which work well for companies like “Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning”).

Ten Steps To A Well Optimized Website - Step 9: Monitoring

Written by Dave Davies

Welcome to part nine in this search engine positioning series. Last week we discussedrepparttar important topic of link building. In part nine we will be coveringrepparttar 128085 monitoring andrepparttar 128086 various areas you should consider and tools you may want to use.

While this area isn't directly related to attaining higher rankings it is definitely equally important. Once you've got good rankings your competitors are going to work to beat you out. You have to keep on top of it to insure you maintain your top positions.

Over this series we will coverrepparttar 128087 ten key aspects to a solid search engine positioning campaign.

The Ten Steps We Will Go Through Are:

  1. Keyword Selection
  2. Content Creation
  3. Site Structure
  4. Optimization
  5. Internal Linking
  6. Human Testing
  7. Submissions
  8. Link Building
  9. Monitoring
  10. The Extras

Step Nine - Monitoring

After days, weeks, or perhaps even months of researching, optimizing, proofing and link building you've got your website intorepparttar 128088 top positions. First thing's first: congratulations! It's no easy task to get your site where you got it and you deserve a break. Take a week off and don't look at your site, atrepparttar 128089 very least this'll let you come back at it again with fresher eyes - at best it'll give you time to spend with those who missed you during your obsession with your site and rankings. But don't take too long ... your competition is right on your heals.

As important asrepparttar 128090 first eight steps were to getting yourepparttar 128091 rankings, so to is this step that will help you keep those rankings. There are three basic yet critical steps torepparttar 128092 monitoring process. They are:

  1. Monitoring your rankings
  2. Monitoring links
  3. Monitoring changes inrepparttar 128093 search engine environment

Monitoring Your Rankings

There are a number of ways that you can monitor your rankings. You can runrepparttar 128094 searches manually, you can use software to check your rankings or you can use online services to check your rankings. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Checking Manually

Advantage - You will be able to visually confirmrepparttar 128095 results and also you will remain in full compliance withrepparttar 128096 search engine's rules governing use of their systems includingrepparttar 128097 use of automated rank-checking software.

Disadvantage - This method for checking rankings can be extremely time consuming is checking for multiple phrases across multiple engines. If you are targeting 20 phrases and want to check your rankings acrossrepparttar 128098 top ten engines and know when you're places as far down as position 50 you will have to check up to 1000 different pages for your site.

Rank-checking Software Advantage - This method for checking your rankings is extremely efficient. With software such as WebPosition Gold you simply enterrepparttar 128099 keywords you are targeting,repparttar 128100 engines you want to check for results on, and how deep you want it to go. After that it's a matter of runningrepparttar 128101 program and doing some other work or grab a coffee while you awaitrepparttar 128102 results.

Disadvantage - This software often violatesrepparttar 128103 search engines rules regardingrepparttar 128104 use of their systems by running a large number of searches. If you are going to use this type of software please setrepparttar 128105 software to run courteously (a setting you will find inrepparttar 128106 options) and register for Google's Web API which will allow you to legitimately run 1000 automated queries per day.

Online Services Advantage - It is much faster than checking manually and doesn't haverepparttar 128107 cost associated with it that software does. An example of an online rank checking tool can be found at http://www.mikes-marketing-tools.com/ranking-reports/. Disadvantage - It is still far more time consuming than automated software and over a few months you will have made uprepparttar 128108 money spent onrepparttar 128109 software in time saved by using it. Also, I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to entering detailed info regarding my SEO sites and targeted keywords. I'm not a fan of anything that requires me to give my targeted phrases and URL to another marketing site. But maybe that's just me.

Monitoring Links

Monitoring your links is equally important to attaining them. When you were first starting your SEO and link-building you probably checked to see how many links your main competitors had and built more. So what makes you think they haven't been building more links since then.

It's a good practice to schedule weekly checks of how many backlinks you have detected byrepparttar 128110 major search engines and also check to see how many your main competitors have. If you documentrepparttar 128111 results on an ongoing basis you will be able to note whether theirs are growing or not.

While you should always be generating more inbound links for your site whether you see your competitors doing so or not, knowing when they are and where they are can give you a solid advantage in reacting to this new threat. Remember, as hard as you worked for your positioning, so too with others.

There are software and online services to check for links howeverrepparttar 128112 only one I would recommend has nothing to do with its link number abilities. As noted in previous articles, Top Optimizer Pro isrepparttar 128113 link-building tool I would most highly recommend. On top of giving yourepparttar 128114 number of links your competitors have it will tell you whatrepparttar 128115 anchor text is, whatrepparttar 128116 PageRank is of those links, and more. It will even help you find link partners.

Monitoring Changes In The Search Environment

The last thing you will have to monitor is for changes withrepparttar 128117 search engines themselves. First of all, with changes such as MSN's upcoming shift from providing results based on Inktomi to providing their own results, you will want to know when this happens and what to expect when it does. Additionally, you will want to know when changes are occurring inrepparttar 128118 search engine algorithms, when major ones take place, and what those changes are.

This is why there are full-time SEOs. To monitor all of these things can be very time-consuming however assuming that you haverepparttar 128119 time and inclination here are some resources to help you keep on top if it all:


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