Linking Strategy For Search Engine Optimization


Links are the most important element after content on the internet! Why? Because this is how the internet world is tied together – through links. 

This guide will explain key factors about links and how to use them in the right way for acquiring good rankings in search engines.

Link campaigns

Every successful web site has to have links pointing to it. That’s the core principle of search engine rankings. So to gain visitors and rankings in search engines a link campaign must be planned and executed.

Where to get links

Links can be gained in several ways – the most popular are explained below.

Directories – are the best way to start working on your link campaign. There are hundreds of directories and many of them are free so it is good to start there. Some might require a backlink before accepting inclusion, some might require 520$ payment but in return will give 4 to 10 links to your website to different pages and with different link texts.

Forums and newsgroups – are another option for gaining links – all it takes is posting into related places and along with posts include also links to website. Links can be integrated in signature or also in part of reply if there is appropriate information.

Blogs – are a great solution to give its owner total control over content and links. As a lot of blogging companies offer blogs for free it just makes sense to create them and use for link creation and building a network of sites around central website, however  these blog sites have to be linked by other external sites.

Articles and press releases – represent a  very powerful strategy for getting one way links as well as an instant stream of extra visitors if the article is republished by some online or offline medium. Places to submit articles:

DMOZ and Yahoo directories – these two are very powerful in eyes of search engines – also called trusted sites. Link from any of these will assure search engines that your site should be high quality. However, it is quite tricky to get in free DMOZ especially if it is a 13 page affiliate site with links and banners everywhere. The same applies to Yahoo as well as 300$ to 600$ nonrefundable fee to review your site for inclusion which won’t guarantee inclusion. 

Link exchange – most popular way for gaining huge numbers of links and improve site rankings. Only disadvantages that reciprocal links are worth less than one way links.

Link networks – stay away from these. Getting 500 links in one day is a sure way to get penalized by search engines.

Link gaining speed

The speed of links appearing in a website is used for several spam prevention filters invented by search engines. For a new website it wouldn’t be advisable to get more than 100 links in the first month. This mean 2-3 links a day as an optimum way for first month. 

Why?  Because site has to grow slowly as it would do naturally.

Next month the number of links can be grown at speed of 3-5 links per day. 

On third month up to 5-10 links a day can be added.

For older sites that already have a good reputation and have PageRank of 4 or more and 500+ links, the speed can be faster – 10-30 links a day.

It is important to add links to internal sections/pages and add new content constantly as the link campaign is being executed.

Anchor text

Anchor text is very important as it is directly responsible to what keywords site will be ranking in search engines. However, they have to be selected wisely.

If most incoming links to your site has anchor text “Zoo” then it is 100% likely that the site won’t rank for “Gardening” keywords as it is optimized for “Zoo”. This means that website owner have to select correct keywords.

Once a niche is selected, it is important to understand that there are heavy keywords and easy (low searched keywords). For example, selecting “weight loss” as the keyword to optimize for would be very unproductive as there are very serious competitors.

It is recommended to select less searched keywords with less competition, in this example, it would be easier to target “weight loss pills”, but even this is competitive. Your real keywords should start like this:

weight loss diet pills  best weight loss pills weight loss pills review herbal weight loss pills

natural weight loss pills  

Although these keywords could receive only couple hundred searches a month, it is quite important to start with them as they represent the very bottom (long tail) and have little competition in search engines.

One important thing to mention is that all these keywords have word “weight loss” in them. So the site will rank for many keywords and as link numbers increase, the site will gradually move up in rankings for all these keywords. In 3 to 6 months site could have established quite strong positions for some moderate searched keywords.

Link relevancy

Nowadays situation relevancy is taking an even higher importance than ever. Engines take a serious look at not only what PageRank and reputation the site has, but also the topic the site is about

For example, if page “Weight loss pills” links to website “Programming”, this will be interpreted as bad and a  low quality link that won’t offer as much benefit as if the link were on the same or a familiar topic. 

The more links from relevant topic pages – the better.

Link proportions

There are lots of rumors about what link proportions a website should have. How many links should be one-way and how many of them can be reciprocal? 

Answer is simple – the more one way links to website the better! 20, 30, 50, 90, 100%!

Why? Simply put – the more one way links the more valuable the site is and the better reputation it has.

If reciprocal linking is used heavily, the engines can minimize the value of them. Another thing is that link partners take away a portion of PageRank. 

Exit links per page

A common mistake many webmasters make is having lots of exit links to partner and affiliate sites. Sometimes it leads to 10 or more exit links per page which is bad from two aspects. Search engines can see this page as some sort of spam, and these many exit links take away valuable PageRank and minimize the possibility to rank well in search engines.

A simple solution is to minimizing the exit links and use them more effective. There is no need to have 25 links in one article whenever the product name is mentioned.

The same applies to link exchanges – there is no need to have on all pages links to partner pages. It is quite enough to create a separate page for this purpose and keep them there. 

Exit links to other sites

The fact is that Google engineers say that it is normal to have one way links to a  website as well as one way exit links to other websites (this means – the site that receives the link doesn’t have to link back). This makes sense since as there can be websites that are related and enhance the visitor experience or as references but once again don’t overdo. Several links are okay but too many again looks bad and can harm your website.

Final word

Add content and add links. Start slowly and as time goes on – increase the speed and keep adding content. Remember to link to the homepage as well as to internal pages or categories as well as getting one way and reciprocal links. Use a large number of keywords in your links and don’t overdo it with exit links, especially affiliate links per page. In no time the site will be driving steady stream of visitors and growing as you keep promoting it.

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