Archives for category: SEO

Let’s Talk About Links, Shall We?

Well if you’re reading this, chances are you know just used one, either knowingly or unknowingly. Links are the heart of the internet, the glue that holds it together, the gas that makes the engine run. Without links, we’d have no internet. We need links in order for internet users to find your website either directly by clicking them, or as a result of search engines placing your website higher in their results. You need links, I need links, we all need links!

What’s the big deal about all of these links?

Well many things about links make them a ‘kind of a big deal’ as some of my favorite tshirts proclaim. Let’s take a look at some of the key points:

  • Users need them to click in order to visit your website.
  • When search engines calculate rank, they follow your links to complete this process.
  • In addition to calculating rank, search engines are able to learn about your site and it’s niche.
  • The anchor text is also evaluated by the search engines to help determine what keywords will drive traffic to your site.

If there were no links, no one would find your site and visit it.

Ok let’s get millions of links!

Slow down there partner, we need to first consider the fact that you need relevant links, not just random links. Search engines will value links from sites that are similar to yours since they would be in the same niche. These types of links are powerful. If your website is about gardening, links from a monster truck website may not be all that great for you. On the other hand, links from similar types of websites will benefit your site greatly due to their relevance. These types of links are given very high precedence from the search engines, so you should strive to get them!

The value of anchor text

Anchor text is the text that comes between the a tag in html. This is the text that becomes ‘clickable’ if you will. One of the most popular methods for anchor text is to your keywords related to your website as the clickable text. What’s great is that the search engines have the intelligence to determine and value these keywords in relation to your site. If you are lucky enough to get keyword anchor text links from sites related to your own, well friend, you are now cooking with gasoline and on your way to internet dominance!

What about all these different types of links I see?

Well to be sure there are many types of links as in, reciprocal links, natural links, one way links, paid links, and so on. They all have their value but it is true that organic and natural one way links from niche sites related to yours are best. How do I get them? Well the best links are of course the hardest to get. You can’t pay for this type of link, you can only have 100% grade A excellent content and service on your site. This is what will attract these types of links. What this means is that you should be putting as much or more effort into your own website as you do in trying to get links for the website. In the long run, your site will benefit from this.

Just tell me how to get links to my site!

Well the possibilities are endless. There are as many ways to get links to my site as there are links on the internet, and friends, that number is big with a B. Let’s hit some of the most popular ones.

Social Bookmarks

A favorite among many search engine specialists is the time tested social bookmark. A social bookmark is a link from a so called web 2.0 property that allows relevant anchor text and niche categorizing, two important factors in link building. While not as powerful as the highly desirable organic niche one way link, they are the type of links that provide a lot of bang for the buck if you will.

Directory Submissions

One of the oldest links in the book is directory submissions. Internet directories are websites that place links into categories and are human edited to ensure high quality. Think of internet directories as the precursor to web 2.0 type sites. They are a less advanced version in many ways of social bookmarking sites. Still, many of these sites are old and have good pagerank, so they can benefit your site especially if they offer custom anchor text.

Article Marketing

A hot way to get links if there ever was one is article marketing. The great benefit of article marketing is it is not just the links that are so valuable. It is the fact that your links are provided within the context of a story which if written well, will capture the readers attention and imagination. Should they decide to visit your site via the provided links, there is much greater chance that they will be what is considered a ‘targeted visitor’. Targeted visitors are what you want more than anything else on the internet. These are users that have an explicit desire in the content, product, or service that your website provides.

These are the best types of links in my opinion yet there are so many more ways to go about it. I encourage you to read up on and learn about forum links, blog comment links, twitter and facebook links, profile links, website statistics links, classified ad links, youtube links, and many many more!

Do People Care if you have Backlinks?

Many people won’t really care, but the search engines will! The truth is, people don’t care if you have backlinks or not, but in reality, you need many incoming links that point to your site to get visitors and customers. There are several signals that the search engines will use to value your links including quantity, quality, page rank, html attributes, and more. The challenge in obtaining these links is just that, it’s challenging. No Pain, No Gain as it’s said. With that said, it’s in creating a page of superb quality that is the first step in getting others to link to it. People are not going to link to junk, they are going to link to awesome sites. This is the first step in beginning the process of getting links.

What do the popular sites do to get links?

When you browse around the web and wonder, how did ebay, amazon, myspace, twitter, facebook, and others become so popular and get the tens of thousands of links that point to their site? You’d be surprised that they don’t do a whole lot. The reason for this is that they provide a service or function that is worth linking to with no need to ask for links. If you’re like most folks, you’re most likely imagining how you could get links in this way. Without making it sound too easy, all you need to do is create value for your visitors. Create a resource and go-to destination for expert information in a given niche and the traffic will come.

I Need Help Getting Started

Sometimes, even once you’ve created your awesome service or website, you may not be finding the links and traffic coming in as quickly as you’d like. It’s difficult to set something into motion, it’s not as hard to keep it in motion. What is a rest, tends to stay at rest, and what’s moving, tends to stay moving. Ok, but what does that have to do with links and visitors to my site?! Well sometimes early on, you may need help in getting your link building campaign “into motion” and you wonder where to get links. How can you do this? Find other like minded people that will exchange links with you, or consider a social bookmarking campaign at a micro job portal. Once you can get the initial traffic moving, you’ll find it comes a lot easier as time goes by.

Find Sites Like Yours, Then Link to Them!

One way links are more highly valued than reciprocal links, but what some don’t know is that the ranking of the site you link to can have an effect on your page rank. Linking to other site in your niche that truly add value to your visitors experience may help your own site rank more highly!

Forum Links

Posting in forums that participate in your given niche are a great way to share and collaborate, as well as gain backlinks and traffic to your site. If you have experience with this, you realize that in addition to providing helpful and useful information via your postings, you can also find the answers to some of your most difficult questions that you may not find otherwise. Forums are where experts come together to collaborate and help each other. You can learn a lot by reading and contributing at this type of site. The great thing is that as you become a valued member of the community, many will check out your profile and if you have a link back to your site, you will get nice traffic.

With regard to forums, make sure to follow the rules.

  • Don’t spam the forum!
  • Use an avatar if possible.
  • Don’t get to crazy with your signature, it will come across as spammy.
  • Treat others the way you expect to be treated in the forums.
  • Add value, be respectful.
  • Respond frequently for best results!

Get Backlinks creating value adding comments at Blogs you enjoy

You may enjoy visiting your favorite blogs and reading up on the latest trends for your niche. Did you also know that you can get great targeted traffic from these blogs as well? You can, and it works by leaving thoughtful and valuable comments on blog posts that you enjoy. Many blogs will allow users to include a links back to their site when posting comments. This is a way to offer some value to the visitor in exchange for adding value by contributing useful comments. Great comments add value to a blog. Spam comments do not, so if you don’t have anything useful to add, don’t leave a comment!

Article Marketing Rocks

Article marketing is great! You gain many advantages with article marketing when in the hunt for obtaining links. The reason for this is that this adds them and context to your links, as well as the ability to tell a story and provide further resources via links. It can be a powerful method to get truly targeted traffic to your site. A random link out in the wild is not going to be as valuable as a links that is clicked as a result of reading a useful article, and having the desire to learn more about the topic discussed. Great articles increase your traffic if you write about topics that would interest your readers. So with article marketing you get a double whammy of power, the traffic that will naturally come from the article itself, as well as the link juice the article will give to the links in the search engines.

Directories Are a Good Source Of Links

An online web directory is an great location to add your website and gain a fast backlink. A directory is not a search engine but rather a collection of links that are organized by humans, into a useful structure of links within hierarchical categories. While not the number one way to build links, Web Directories are a great way to round out your link building.

Social Networking and Bookmarking

The popular social websites like Facebook and Twitter have really taken off in the past few years. Digg and Stumbleupon are also know to bring in huge amounts of traffic when used properly. You can utilize these sites in many ways. Creating and updating your own profiles with links to your site is a great way to be a part of the social media phenomenon. Outsourcing this task to others is also a great way to increase links and traffic back to your site.

Develop Search Engine Independence Over Time

In the beginning of your online business or website, you are going to need the search engines to help drive traffic to your site. Over time, your goal should be to build up enough targeting links and word of mouth that drive traffic to your site, without the dependency of traffic from the search engines. Search engines are a finicky, every changing phenomenon. By relying only on search engine traffic, you are putting all of your eggs into one basket, and what do we know about doing that type of thing?! Search engine traffic is great, but getting your own targeted traffic is better, and more valuable.

When you get permanent links on blogs, forums, web directories, article directories, and social bookmark sites, you can have good source of targeted traffic to your site that is more likely to visit consistently. Consider buying text links and marketing packages that will help you in this goal.

Microsoft Says Decaffeinated Bing Tastes as Good as Google | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com.

Is Bing as good as Google?

According to Harry Shum who has spent eleven years with Microsoft on Research and Development in search technology, Bing is now on par with Google.  Wired’s article is an interesting read and after using Bing on and off for the past six months or so, I would say it’s getting close.

The strength of Google is in it’s amazingly fast indexing capabilities:

In 2010, Google gave its search engine a jolt, moving the web’s de facto gateway onto a new software platform dubbed “Caffeine.” Designed by Google itself, Caffeine was a way for the company to more rapidly add new links to its massive index of websites, including news stories and blog posts and chatter from web forums. According to the company, it provided “50 percent fresher” search results than its previous indexing system, which was based on a seminal Google creation called MapReduce.

Google’s search engine came to dominate the web in part because the company built software that could quickly index links using tens of thousands of ordinary servers. MapReduce was so successful, it spawned an open source copycat — Hadoop — that now underpins everything from Facebook and Twitter to eBay and LinkedIn, and Caffeine was the next step, an effort to accommodate the world’s insatiable appetite for immediate web updates.

Social Integration

One area where Bing does appear to have an edge for the time being is in social integration. Bing has been tightly integrated with both Faceboook and Twitter, the undisputed titans of social media, for some time now. There is no love lost between these companies and Google. Google figures they can just build a product and do social media better, a la Google+, but that is a whole different discussion. Bing on the other hand is trying to create synergy between search and social media to further it’s position in the marketplace. Will it work?

The Jury is still out

I would guess most internet users are not quite ready to jump on the Bing is as good as Google bandwagon just yet. It is nice that Bing is around. It provides competition, and competition is good for the consumer. It gives users a choice, and it keeps the internet giants on their toes. Technology never stops moving and in the search space, this competition will be worth keeping an eye on.