Saturday, February 12, 2011

What Is Link Building, And Do I Really Need To Do It?

Did you know that there are spiders crawling the Internet? Web spiders, also known asantsbots, and web crawlers, browse Internet sites in an orderly way. As they crawl, they notice things like words and links, and build up a gigantic table of contents for the Internet.
Search engines employ web spiders to find out what’s out there. Web spiders will have an easier time finding your site—and telling Google®, Yahoo!®, Bing®, and other search engines that your site exists—if your site contains relevant, well-regarded links.  Incorporating a lot of high-quality links helps web spiders find and identify your site, and therefore helps your site achieve higher rankings in search-engine results.

5 Suggestions to Improve Your Link-building:

1. Outbound Links: Valuable Info for Visitors

Outbound links are links on your site that go to other sites. Let your outbound links build-up naturally.Outbound Links The important thing is to keep them relevant: provide links that are useful to site visitors who are trying to learn more about the topics and keywords covered by your site.

Why use outbound links?

  • To enlighten your visitors
  • Prove that you are a subject-matter expert
  • Create relationships with other sites similar to yours
Let’s say you maintain a photography site. Search engines are intelligent enough to know that an outbound link from your site to a photography magazine is more relevant to someone seeking photography tips than an outbound link to a cupcake shop, for example. If your site boasts relevant links, web spiders and search engines will give your site more prominence.

2. Inbound Links: the Popularity Contest

Inbound links are also known as backlinks because they are the links on other people’s sites that link back to—and therefore direct people to—your site. Backlinks prove to web spiders that your site is well-liked by other sites in your industry. However, this only works if the backlinks come from reputable sites that are relevant to the topic you cover.

How to drum-up inbound links for a new site?

  • Writing and posting educational articles on your site
  • Submitting articles with your contact information on popular ezine sites
  • Promoting your articles on social networks
  • Writing a guest blog post is another great way to get inbound links
All these venues make-up great opportunities for getting your name, and your website link, out. People often link to these types of “authority documents.”

3. Internal Links: What? They Matter, Too?

Indeed they do. If you want your site to be indexed by search engines, you should pay attention to how you handle the links that take people from one page to another on your site. Because web spiders don’t often use search boxes, make sure that all of your important pages can be reached via navigation bar links.Anchor Text
Google recommends using text links for internal links, as text links are easily found by search engines.

Need more help streamlining your links?Discover how to improve your website navigation and usability.

4. Anchor Text: The Blue Words

Anchor text is an odd term that describes the words that turn blue when you hyperlink them (clicking on them sends the click-er to a certain site). In other words, anchor text is the text portion of your link.
Anchor text is an important part of both outbound, inbound, and internal links because descriptive anchor text helps web spiders gain an accurate understanding of the your site’s content. Try to give your outbound and internal links keyword-richdescriptive anchor text. Rather than writing “click here,” write “Feel free to browse my articles on nature photography.”

5. Things to Avoid when working on link building

Discovering the importance of link-building can be tempting to find quick and easy way to amass links. But beware, following poor practices may get your site penalized, blacklisted. Aim to develop an organic link profile, and avoid these artificial techniques:
  • Having too many links on one page
  • Purchasing inbound links
  • Making link exchange agreements with link-trading networks or hubs
  • Creating outbound links to Web spammers or spammy sites
  • Having way more outbound links than inbound links, or vice versa (try to keep the ratio even)
Link building can be a slow, time-consuming process, but it really pays off, both in terms of search-engine visibility and driving traffic to your site.
Happy linking!

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