Link Building  

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Building a powerful link profile is one of the most important aspects of an SEO marketing campaign.  There are numerous types of links as well as an equally broad range of methods to obtain those links. A link profile should be diverse and should not include any methods that search engines deem to be black hat SEO.

Link popularity is a basically the measure of links pointing to your website and is meant to be a measure of the best websites. Theoretically those websites that have the most links pointing to them must be important and thus worth the visit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks out there that have created programs to "boost" your popularity artificially and all they have done is create spam and muddy the picture. The search engines and directories are keeping a close eye on these programs.

It's a well known fact that the more sites that link to your web site; the higher your rankings can be in search engines such as Google - but not all links are created equal.
TIME is the biggest problem when building links and one's link popularity. It takes time to find and get the links and it can take quite a bit of time before the search engines even find those links.

Link Building Introduction

A respectable and reasonable number of links pointing to the pages of your site is essential for search engine promotion. These links show your site to be a worthy addition to the Internet that provides true value to your visitors.

By gaining links, or votes, from other sites you can promote your page so that it appears higher in the search engines, even for terms that you are not specifically targeting. The use of keywords in the anchor text is certainly known to be much more beneficial in Google's eyes than any keyword inclusion in your main text. However, Google is aware that some use the inbound link as a method to quickly and synthetically promote brand new websites. For that reason it is believed that Google imposes a penalty on any sites that are seen to have an unnatural link profile.

A link profile can appear unnatural for a number of reasons, but primarily with a new site you should not focus your attention on building as many links as possible. Too many links too quickly and the search engines, Google in particular, will deem your link profile as unnatural and you will be faced with a penalty.

Because your link profile should appear natural, so should your link building efforts. Try to combine as many kinds of link as possible. It is known that the search engines prefer one-way inbound links, but a natural profile may contain a limited number of reciprocal links.

One-Way Inbound Links

The inbound link, as the most powerful of the links, should be your staple diet when it comes to link building. Because you have not had to offer a link in return this shows the search engines that you must have a value packed website.

Gaining inbound links can be done in several ways. The first, and most natural, is to provide genuinely informative content. Not only should this include high quality content but also, wherever possible, free tools, statistics, data, and other widely used and researched content. Sites that do eventually happen upon this content and your tools will be more likely to want to link to your pages as providing value.

It is possible to purchase inbound links. This is not encouraged by search engines and, on the whole, text link brokers that publish the URL of web pages that display your links should certainly be avoided. This can also prove potentially costly.

Bartering for links can prove effective, especially if you are able to produce something that your linkers can offer on their site. If you can publish good quality web writing then try exchanging some content or articles for a prominent link.

A similar alternative is to use article directories. These allow Webmasters and content writers to produce and offer articles and pages for publication. These articles include an author bio section with one or more links to your page. Other sites, e-zines, and any other online publications can use your article in full (leaving your links in tact). Potentially, one article submitted to ten directories could produce over one hundred high quality links.

Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal links were once the most popular form of link. Resource or Links pages were adopted by the vast majority of sites and Webmasters went looking for the highest PR pages that offered a reciprocal link.

Google has openly admitted that it now places less weight on a reciprocal link than it would on a one-way inbound link. However, that doesn't mean that exchanging links with a genuinely useful site (preferably one with a lot of traffic or a high PR) does not hold its advantages. You should include some reciprocal links to your pages but be very picky over the sites you link out to.

Three-Way Links

A three way link is a development of the reciprocal link. Somebody may request that you link to their new site. In exchange you receive a prominent link on another website with more traffic and a higher PR. This can get around the issue of reciprocal linking not being seen as important as it once was. However, care should be taken that the two sites being used by one Webmaster do not have the same class C IP Address.

Directory Links

Directories are an important part of the Internet structure. Search engines recognize this and regularly use them to help compile their own index. Some directories are used by the major search engines while others have a high PR and command a more than reasonable amount of regular visitors.

Directory links can be overdone, especially for the new site. Free directories can take weeks or even months to include your listing (in some cases, your link will never be approved), however. This makes it reasonable to submit your link manually to fifty or one hundred directories relatively early on.

Authority Links

Some sites are seen as being authoritative to their topic. In particular sites with a .edu or .gov top level domain can prove very useful for a link profile. These can be very difficult to attain, however. You should attempt to include information about job roles, industry specific data, and market related data to try to attain these links.

Signature Links

Another potential inexpensive method to improve your link profile is through signature links. Members of forums and visitors that leave comments on blogs are generally afforded the privilege of including a text link in ther signature.

It is important to remember when using signature links that you should only post useful information or responses. If you get labelled as a link spammer then you will do yourself more harm than good.

Link Building Conclusion

This was only a very broad tutorial on the possible methods of link building. There are also undoubtedly many other ways to generate links. However, by using a sparing number of reciprocal links, a steady stream of directory links, and regular article submission it is possible to gain a good listing for your major keywords.



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