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Vol. 1 issue #82  Sep 30, 2003

 

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Link Building For Top Search Engine Placement (Part 2)
2003 By  Dave Davies



(Continued from Part 1, published on Sept.23/2003)

Finding The Links
Since you're looking for links to boost your search engine placement, the best place to start is... the search engines. A few searches should produces hundreds of potential links. There are a few tactics that work better than others. The first tactic provides the best links for their relevancy and for their PageRank. The second provides the best results for getting many links quickly and easily.

 

 

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Getting High Quality Links
The easiest way to get high quality links that will be well regarded by Google and the other search engines is to perform a search on the major search engines for your targeted keyword phrases. The supplied results will provide you with a list of those sites that the engine rates as the top sites for that phrase. If the engines believe this to be of value for searches looking for a particular phrase then likewise, they will view it as a valuable link to your site, which obviously deals with the same subject.

You don't have to stick to your main targeted keyword phrase either. In this stage of link building you can run searches on all the keyword phrases that you are targeting and request that they link to your site. You will have to obey the above-noted guidelines (read Part 1) and this will mean that there will be many sites you will have to skip, as they are competitors of yours.

Getting Many Links
Getting many links is not as difficult as getting high-quality links. Some of the same rules apply here. You will want the site to be related to yours, you will want it to be well-regarded by the search engines, and you will want it to be easy to submit to. To accomplish this, the easiest way is to once again turn to the search engines. This time however, the search will be a little bit different.

 

 

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Rather than typing in the keyword phrase you are targeting, you should type in the keyword phrase followed by the words "submit" or "add url". What this will give you is a listing of sites related to your keywords but also with an added bonus; a submission page. Sites that advertise their submissions are traditionally easier to submit to (i.e. they probably have a simple form to fill out rather than you having to email webmasters, etc.). You'll be surprised at how many of these sites will link to you without the need for a reciprocal link. If the form is easy then submit to it. If the form will require significant efforts to fill out (requiring information you don't have on hand for example) or if they require a reciprocal link, you will have to use the above-noted guidelines to determine if the effort is worth your time and/or outbound link.

Build Quality And They Will Link
Why would anyone link to your website without requiring a reciprocal link? What benefit do they possibly get out of this? The answers to these questions depends greatly on the website, it's design, and the content it carries.

The most significant factor that will affect your ability to attain incoming links to your website is the quality of the site itself. If you have a well-designed website that contains a significant amount of useful content it will be much easier to get other webmasters to link to you as your site is a valuable resource. If, however, your site is poorly designed and/or does not contain any useful information then you have provided nothing that the other site would need to link to, and thus, probably won't.


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If you have a website on Tea Tree Oil for example, and in it you provided a great deal of information on the oil, it's benefits, and it's medicinal uses, without cluttering it with a glaring sales-pitch, you stand a very good chance of attaining links from other sites as the content you have provided will be useful to their visitors.

An important thing to remember is this: If you want people to link to you without having to link to them you have to provide valuable information for their visitors and present that information in an attractive format.

Where To Start
The easiest place to start, when building non-reciprocating incoming links, is the directories. There are thousands of directories out there focused on a variety of different fields. Find the directories related to your industry and submit your site to them.

After you have submitted to all the directories related to your website it's time to move on to other sites. Now you will have to apply the rules noted above and determine how much time each link is worth and how to allot your valuable time in attaining them.

 

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Best Practices For Outbound Links
There are a few considerations you will want to make in regards to how you organize the outbound links from your website. The most important thing to do is to create a "Resources Page". You should call it a "Resources Page" or something similar rather than a "Links Page" for both search engine considerations and for your visitors.

Placing the majority of your outbound links on one page will avoid inadvertently affecting the optimization and search engine considerations taken with the rest of your website and gives you a place to place new links as they come in the future.

Each outbound link should look something like the following example linked from an adventure tour web site:

Tea Tree Oil Exposed
Everything you wanted to know about Tea Tree Oil! From its history to its many uses, Tea Tree Oil is a requirement for any home first aid kit.

Each link should have descriptive text within it (not something ambiguous like 'click here') and there should be a quality description of the web site below the link. If you don't know what to include as the description, just ask the site owner, they are often very pleased that you are putting so much care into the reciprocal link.

Something you will also want to do is have the outbound links open in a new window. It's surprising the number of websites that don't do this. If you can keep a visitor in your site, even if your site is now in a browser beneath the one being looked at, you stand a higher chance that the visitor will return, than if they have completely left your site and you're now relying on them to go back.

Conclusion
With these practices put in place, your link-building efforts, while time-consuming, will be well worth the effort. As mentioned above, however, link-building, like META tags, are not the be-all and end-all of attaining top search engine placement. First you will have to build a marketable and optimized web site that provides your visitors valuable content for the search terms they are entering. Link building is the icing. Without the cake it amounts to nothing

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Article by Dave Davies, Marketing Manager, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.

 
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