Its been a while I posted on my SEO Services and Optimization blog. I figured today would be a good time to talk about incoming links, their effect on search engine rankings and how and what one should keep in mind when one goes about looking for incoming links. The end goal here is to rank highly for a keyword or phrase and as a consequence get your website right up to the first page on the search engine rankings.
As far as search engine rankings are concerned, let me make it clear at the outset that incoming links is what really matters. As long as you have sufficient number of high quality keyword/keyterm targeted incoming links to your website, you will be able to outrank anybody for that particular keyword or term. If I could summarize this post in one sentence then I would say your key takeaway from reading this is to understand that incoming links is fundamental to your site rankings. Put your efforts and time (money as well) to get as many links and deep links (both targeted and otherwise) to your website as possible.
I briefly mentioned in my previous post on the characteristics of the perfect link. While a perfect link is most sought after, it should be done in moderation. After all you want your incoming links to be as natural as possible. This means that you should strive to get all types of links back to you, yes even the crappy ones. The following are some points to keep in mind when you are out there buying requesting for incoming links.
- Get links from contextually relevant domains.
- Get links from not so relevant domains.
- Do not get link that only point to your main page. A healthy mix of deep links is very important.
- Get a healthy mix of links that have your keyword / term as the anchor text.
- Vary the anchor text phrase. Try to include your main keyword but vary the text to be different.
- Get a lot of links that don’t have your keyword but have a variety of unrelated keywords as the anchor text such as the domain name, your name and even keywords like “click here”, “here”, “site” and “this”.
- Links that are part of the content will have more juice. Try and get these.
- Site wide links also help a lot. Remember we are building links and natural links. Not every link can be part of the content. So go ahead and try to get a few site wide links. The best natural way would be to build a widget or sponsor a theme.
- Try to get links from different sources. Do not concentrate on one particular source. Work them all. Directories, forums, blog comments, blog roll, social networking all help to build a healthy mix.
A word of caution, buying links is frowned upon by Google and they will negate any link juice from links that are obviously paid for. So far I haven’t heard of any website being banned for buying links. On the other hand selling links is a dangerous practise and must be avoided at all cost. Buying links is a tricky exercise and if done right Google cannot prove otherwise and cannot penalize you. This is the main reason why Google has thus far abstained from slapping those sites that have bought links with a penalty like they did some time back to all those websites selling links.
As a good SEO consultant I must tell you to avoid buying links or at the very least avoid the obvious buying link tactics. Remember folks when you get to that coveted first page of Google, it’s not just potential searchers that will see you there. Your competition will be all over your website trying to decipher how you managed the feat. Infact, you can bet your last dollar that your competition will be analyzing your web pages and incoming links with a microscope. If you have gone about link building in an amateur manner then the quickest way to get your ranking yanked is for your competition to report your website to Google for buying links.
There is so much you can learn from your competition. Let me digress a bit, I’ve been referring to an interesting SEO contest that has been going on for a while now and quite a few websites and blogs are trying their best to reach the top. Everyday I see one website or the other moving up, down or getting sandboxed completely. This contest gives one the perfect opportunity to analyze and better understand how Google and its algorithm works. Since quite a few websites are in contention, each are following different strategies and this gives you a good insight on what is working and what is not working with Google. I’ve been keenly following the rankings and making notes whenever I see a particular site doing well and moving up the rankings. I try and analyze the cause and note that down for my benefit. If you are a budding SEO I would suggest you do the same. The two websites that I initially picked have seemingly dropped out of contention with the bloggers not persisting enough particularly when all the hard work was done, the sites were sandboxed for a while and were making a comeback in the rankings when the respective owners decided to give up. A real pity. One of my current favorites is sandboxed at the moment for the term Asia’h Epperson but so far has done everything I would do from an On Page Optimization perspective. Infact I do not even know if this website is a real fan site or is someone trying to win the contest.
I think I’ve digressed enough. Back to incoming links and link building campaigns. You need to be aware of the consequences of a poorly managed link building campaign especially if you are building a lasting online business. Link building is an art and best left to people who understand it. Dig a little and you will find many many forums littered with people selling links on crappy blogs and link farms. While these at first glance seem really cheap and tempting, you should carefully judge what you are getting into. Simple question to ask yourself is if your links will pass a manual review. Link building is a time consuming affair. You have to do it right and should last the test of time and manual reviews. This is where a good SEO Services firm brings a lot to the table. (Yes I’m shamelessly plugging for myself). I hope you realize that anybody can get links. Simply head over to Digital point and you can easily get a few thousand incoming links for less than $100. Running the perfect link campaign is a different ball game altogether and hopefully you realize that.
Does this mean that you don’t need to care about On Page Optimization? No you do, especially if you are in a highly competitive niche. Why? If you are in a highly competitive niche then the chances are your competitor is spending an equal or more amount of time, effort and money in trying to match and even beat you in the number of incoming links. This is where optimizing your website will help.
On Page optimization is a topic that I plan to talk about another day. So don’t forget to bookmark this blog and come back for more SEO tips.