Link Building

Link Building
Link building is important. If you want people to continually visit your site and link to your site, you need to constantly create and improve your content and be everywhere on the net with your posts linking back to your site.

There was a brief moment in SEO history where you could assemble a great many spam connection and watch your site move to the highest point of the first page. Those days are a distant memory. Black hat SEO systems can still work today, but they're not as viable as they used to be. Today, search engines emphasize quality, not quantity, so, ticket to success is well organized SEO with incorporated link building campaigns, as a very important element of whole SEO strategy.

SEO game changed drastically in the past few years, especially since Google’s introduction of Panda in February 2011, then Penguin in April 2012 and EMD in September 2012. Just those three updates put many companies out of business or crippled business of many because those companies depended on Google’s search engine traffic. To avoid danger from any other future updates we should focus on quality links, but also on other means of generating traffic.

Since Google is moving from quantity-based algorithms to quality-based algorithms, the number of links coming to your website from websites with relevant theme to your website’s theme, it become more important in link’s ranking. Here we are talking about external links, which are more important for page rank than internal links.

There are many ways to bring traffic to your site, but here we are discussing SEO and back-linking.

 

Contextual Links

As noted, when talking about link relevancy, the most valuable links that coming to your site today are those who have site’s theme relevant to your site’s theme. If links are coming from totally unrelated sites to your theme, it could be a Penguin risk factor.

In a past, most valuable links come from a high PR (Page Rank) pages regardless of theme, but today, with Google’s new updates, most valuable links come from closely related sites. We can be sure that this issue will be part of future Google’s updates, so keep this in your mind as important fact.

Also important thing to understand – do not point all the links to your homepage, it looks unnatural. Point your links to internal pages which have content that directly relate to your anchor text.

Make your link distribution site wide, not homepage ‘heavy’. Google’s perception on back-links is not clear yet, but it’s known that numbers of referring domains are more important than the number of links.

Search engines value more the number of domains linking to your page, than the number of links from one domain. They rank it as higher authority over the total number of links.

NOTE - Do not over use anchor text, because that could be the spam signal to trigger the Penguin filter. If you have a lot of back-links, check your anchor text distribution with link analytics tool ().

When planning strategy, never rely on just one type, always think of link diversity.

 

Web 2.0 Link Building Techniques

This is one of link building strategies that achieve great SEO results. Web 2.0 are platforms that allow you to place your content, whether in the form of text, graphics, video, audio or a combination of those. These platforms also allow you to place your URL in the content to link that content to your website or blog.

Web 2.0 platforms are of great value to you because they are of high DA (Domain Authority) and they pass trust and authority to your internal pages (see section bellowOn-Page SEO). They can build authority of your blog or website very quickly.

The first thing that you have to do on those platforms is to register and set up your account. My suggestion is that you use an official email address of your website (e.g. info@yourwebsite.com or yourname@yourwebsite.com) and use that same address on all platforms. This looks more professional and, besides that it helps you in establishing your brand. Your audience can easily recognize you and follow you.

Some of Web 2.0 platforms are -

Social Networks - (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.)

Article Directories – (Ezine Articles, HubPages, Buzzle, Article Factory, etc.)

Video Sharing - (YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc.)

Podcast Hosting - (SoundCloud, Podomatic, PodBean, etc.)

Directories - (Directory World, AllTheWebsites, R-TT Directory, etc.)

Bookmarking Sites – (Reddit, StumpleUpon, Delicious, etc.)


For more information you can also visit the sections Generating Traffic and Building Your Audience with Social Networks.

NOTE - Web 2.0 links are your Tier 1 links and they MUST BE of high quality and relevant to content of your internal page where they are directed. If you want your website or blog to gain authority use topical relevance to help your ranking.

As mentioned, content that you post on web 2.0 is very important and have to be of high quality and unique. To create content like that is time consuming but necessary if you want to succeed. If you don’t have much time, you can consider outsourcing – hire others to do that for you (write articles, create video or audio etc.). On Resource page is listed virtual assistant company from the Philippines that I use when outsourcing.

When writing articles for Web 2.0 platforms, if you are considering using spinning software to produce different variations of your article so you can place them on different article directories I will recommend you NOT TO DO THAT. That would be a very bad move if you are hoping to build long-term website or blog. Web 2.0 is your Tier 1 link directed to your blog or website so content that you place there must be unique and of high quality.

For content that you place on Tier 2 you can use spinner, but make sure that you choose advanced spinner tools ().

Link Building Web-2.0-Tier-1

When writing content for Web 2.0, make sure that your articles are at least 500+ words in length. By the way, articles 1500+ words are ranked higher.

Insert your primary keyword in first sentence and at the end of article near your URL that link to your blog or website. Make sure that the URL is embedded in the text, not naked. Place your secondary keywords (not more than 2-3 secondary keywords) near primary keyword.

Would be good if you can add in article 1 or 2 relevant images to the content (depend on article size). Make sure that images have keyword relevant names and ALT text.

NOTE - Do not overdo with keywords. 1-1.5% of text should be optimal density.
Also, do not put more than 2 URLs in one article.

 

Guest Posting

Guest posting is a great way to get quality back-links and traffic. When you guest posting (on websites that allow guest posting with links) put one brand anchor text link and one generic anchor text link in the same post. No naked URLs.

Branded anchor text is text tied to your brand terms (like the name of your website, name of your product, etc.). Generic anchor text is ordinary text with embedded URL (like “this website”, “see here”, “check on page”, etc.). Don’t do more than two links per one anchor text, and do it in order explained here.

When you place a link on the guest post, be sure that it links to relevant content on your internal page and be transparent about it, not sneaky.

Well Google is, at the moment, leading SE (Search Engine) and as Google now focuses more on the immediate text surrounding your link (not whole anchor text like before), try to put your target keyword near your anchor text link.

When writing content to other sites, keep in mind –

- Write a good content, unique content
- Keep content relevant to the topic of the blog
- Add graphs, use headings
- Put serious effort into it, provide best value you can
- Include a link back to your site at the end of the article

Those back-links, not just bring you traffic from the site where you made a post, but they also help with search engine traffic. It is a part of of-site optimization.

 

On-Page SEO Aspects

The place where your link is positioned on the page makes a difference for SE (Search Engine). Links embedded in content count more than links from sidebars and other areas around the page, including the bottom of the page.

Links inside content look more natural and relevant to SE, while links in the sidebars or the bottom doesn’t have any relevancy to content in SE eyes.

NOTE - Do not over-optimize your pages. Over-optimized on-page SEO can definitely trigger Penguin algorithm.

Page Rank (PR)

When people think about PR (Page Rank) they mostly think of homepage PR, but it’s wrong. Internal page PR matters, not homepage PR. So, you should focus on building high PR of your internal pages and links externally to them with relevant anchor text. But remember, back-links from low PR pages don’t pass much authority and trust towards your site.

Domain Authority (DA)

Links from higher DA (Domain Authority) sites are valued more than links from lower DA sites. As internal links pass on page authority to other pages on your site, the same way higher DA sites pass trust to your internal pages. As I mention before, external links carry more trust and authority to your page than internal links. Most trusted sites are with (.gov) and (.edu) extensions, and links coming from these sites can boost your authority ranking. Those are top level domains that have age, trust and high DA.

 

Internal Linking

Internal links are also important. Those are the links between pages of your site. In every post include a few links relevant to current post that lead the visitor to another page of your website or blog.

Readers appreciate if they can get all needed information from one place, so make easier for them. Besides, internal linking is also part of SEO, because gives indication to search engines on relevant content. It also indicates to search engines which pages are of higher priority, as well as which pages are thematically related. Internal link structure also helps search engines to add value and meaning to your pages.

Think about how your visitors navigate pages and consider which information next will be valuable to them from their current location. Internal link structure should provide value to visitors and prioritize the most important pages relevant to the current location.

NOTE – Never use naked URLs, only embedded URL in ordinary text.

Link Building - internal-linking-scheme


404 Error Page

At some point in the life of a website, visitor will stumble upon a 404 error page. When that happens, nobody is happy. Whether is your old page missing or some other reason exists for 404 errors, you should handle this one in a beneficial way for both, you and your visitor.

You have to make funnel back to your site, not just because you will lose your visitor to competition, or just because visitor will wander off your site, but because you can’t allow yourself to be reckless webmaster.

Keep your visitors on your site even if he/she hits a page that doesn’t exist. While creating 404 page keep in mind that page –

- Is free from advertising
- Is static HTML
- Funnels your visitor to another page of your site or to your homepage (maybe links to some popular article)
- Contains an apology for the mishap
- Can contain search form, so visitors can look for what he/she come for on your site


Above all, 404 error page needs to include notification with apologies for the mishap.
If a visitor is not much experienced how the web works, will be confused and leave your site immediately. That wouldn’t be the visitor’s fault, it is your fault.

Take time to customize your 404 page. And also, as time pass, check on your broken links periodically. Analyze why that happens. Mostly, that is going to be outgoing links where pages being removed or sites closed. Whatever is, you better compensate. Replace those links with fresh links directly relevant to content they are linking.

When you stumble on the broken link of your partner’s/associate’s page, inform him/her about it, as you would like that somebody inform you about it.

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