Link Building Guide

The Internet is a really strange environment. No other business model has ever been so contradictory, so hypocritical, so confused. Here’s the problem. For a website to rank well in any search engine and especially Google it must have links. Although there are many ranking factors at play, links are still key to getting organic traffic. However, the best links according to Google are natural links, that is, when another website chooses to link to your website or their own accord because they like your business. This is considered a “vote” in Google’s PageRank system. But, if your site is new there is no way for anyone today to find out about it in the search engines. In the past people used to find new websites by searching web directories. Today everyone goes to Google (or one of the other SEs) first. So if you are not in the search index how do you get discovered to then win some natural links? It really is a catch 22 situation. And although Google loves natural links, to get anywhere in the Google you have to build your own links. Link building is almost considered to be spam. It can be argued that every single link that you personally create with the sole purpose of boosting your site in the search engines is a form of spam. Even if you are contributing to a blog by joining the discussion or writing a guest post, deep down inside you know that you are there to get your links. Is this wrong? Many people think so. Is there an alternative? There are some,...

Checking a Webpage for SEO Quality (According to Google)

My colleague, Will Paoletto, wrote an excellent post about using logic to prove that directory submission was still a valid SEO tactic, despite what you may have heard from other SEO companies. I thought I would take this a bit further and help you decide if the directory submission is really worthwhile by showing you how to judge the quality of the placement page your site would be listed on in the directory. We’ll start out with idea that you  have an accounting site and you are looking for quality directory submissions. While a directory may have a decent PR ranking (3-5) you also want to check to make sure the page your listing will be placed on is a quality page. You can use this method for any potential page you are requesting a link for, but this is especially helpful when deciding whether a page within a directory is worth your money. Here is an example: The URLZ Web Directory (http://www.urlz.net/) has a home page PR value of 3, which is respectable if not great. If you are considering purchasing a link from this directory your next step should be to identify the exact page your link will live on. After searching the categories you would find that this is the most likely category for your accounting site: http://www.urlz.net/Business_And_Shopping/B2B_Services/ After finding this page we want to evaluate the importance of it to the search engines, particularly Google. To do this we want to check and see if it has any PageRank value of its own. If you have installed the Google Toolbar you can see the toolbar...

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Link to Other Sites

We’ve all met that person (or, maybe, we’re secretly guilty of being this person). You know the person — the one who won’t share. Yup, there, I said it, I’m on to all of you people. Didn’t you learn anything in kindergarten? Seriously, share and share alike. How do you expect to make friends when you never share anything? By this point, you’re probably wondering, “That’s fine and all, but what does this have to do with linking out to other people’s websites?” Let me put it very simply — do it. Don’t be afraid to share, put that link out there. Linking Out Excuse 1: If I Link Out, People Won’t Stay on My Site Here’s the thing about the Internet, it’s designed (on purpose, mind you) as a way of sharing knowledge. If you’re writing about something and happen to know a reputable resource on the subject, link to it! This will have various added benefits for you. Your users will think, “Wow, this person is providing a great resource, I’ll come back to them in the future because they’ve really helped me out.” Honestly, do you remember the Boston Tea Party because of the book you read it in, or do you remember it because of your 7th grade teacher who pointed you to the book? Linking out also tells Google the neighborhood where your site lives. When you’re connected to a bunch of authority sites on fishing through outbound links, and you’re a fishing site, it’ll make sense for Google to rank you higher for fishing. Why? Easy, you’re all in the same neighborhood of...