Thursday, April 26, 2007

A balanced approach to link building?

Link building is important in SEO/SEM, though the quality of links is even more important if you are attempting to generate inbound links to help with ranking.

I believe I offer a well balanced approach to link building... some link builders seem to chase down blogs or forums exclusively which I feel is wrong - especially if Google is examing the quality of the links pointing to a site.

When I use backlink tools to see who links to who I find that a lot of the sites with thousands of links are NOT in number 1 spot on Google... you would expect to find them there but increasingly I see sites in first place with say only hundreds or even tens of links rather than thousands upon thousands.

Its about time then that a balanced approach to linkbuilding is considered - especially important if you are wanting to have your linkbuilding appear "organic" and not flag up on Google's radar as overdoing it.

So what is a balanced approach to link building? Well it goes something like this but not in any particular order (and this is my own opinion, everyone else is entitled to theirs):

Free directories - probably the most popular way to build links if on a budget but they are after one thing - YOUR email! So use a throw away email such as Hotmail, though some directories are getting wise to this and refusing to link if the submitter tries using a hotmail account....

Paid directories - some great ones around including Peter Da Vanzo's - Google holds the paid directories in higher regard mostly than the free directories.

DMOZ - hate to say it but submit to DMOZ and then move on and forget about. Look back in 6 to 12 months to see if its been added, DMOZ has had a bad rep recently for taking too long to have websites entered into its directory, though thats not surprising as I understand they faced unprecedented demand for site owners wanting to be listed.

Yahoo - pay their annual fee its a worthwhile investment.

Forums - again another easy one to game if you find an un-managed or inactive forum thats been left out in the wild but far better to use a suitably active forum as any other member and introduce links to your target website gradually and over time, build up trust in other members and link to competitors occasionally to show you're not biased.

Blogs - either by commenting professionally (not just link dropping) or even better offer the blog owner to do some guest blogging (who knows they might be tired of blogging and looking for fresh content).

Article Marketing - 2 ways here. Write GREAT content on your website - this can generate inbound links to your website naturally though in my experience it takes time to create content AND for others to find it. Sooo take that article, rewrite it but give the overall same message and benefits if any and submit as a news release to sites like - again this can quickly gain the attention of surfers.

Social Media - Digg and Reddit are all popular though you might want to spend some time looking at the popular posts in your field before submitting your post - too may posts are similar so yours is going to have to be very good (use a decent headline to get others attention). I still think its an American phenomenon - if I ask any of my IT Admin friends over here none of them have heard of these types of sites. It is still a field I am researching and at the moment I have my reservations.

Link Text Brokers - I would highly recommend using the services of Text Link Brokers who can place hihgly targeted links to your website from other high ranking websites. Some may feel the fees are expensive but I would recommend that its certainly an option you consider if you wish to see great ratings.

Synergy Links - look for those you can work with and ensure you get inbound links from their sites to yours. If you have to reciprocate then fine, don't worry about it too much, I think reciprocal links are still important if there is an obvious connection between your two sites i.e. web design site > web marketing site

Business Networking Sites - Ecademy has worked very well for keyword rankings for my own site though again take care to ensure your posts and ads are of the highest quality.

I have found that a balanced mix of links from different sources allows me to position sites with decent search engines rankings without having to chase down or manipulate 1000's of links to game a search engine....


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