Anyone that has spent any time studying SEO, researching algorithms or reading internet marketing blogs and forums knows that link building plays a huge role in a website’s marketing campaign. If for some reason you didn’t know that link building was such a big deal, then it’s imperative for me to tell you now. Backlinks (links pointing to your website) are considered web votes in the search engine popularity/ranking formulas. The more websites there are with links that lead to your site, the merrier. However, it does not stop there. Who links to you, why they link to you and what they say about you are arguably more important factors than how many websites “voted” for you.
There are 1,000’s of ways to build links back to your site and for a variety of reasons. Some will build links to increase rankings while others are looking to increase PageRank. Whatever the case may be, it is necessary that you understand the different types of link building.
Building Links to Increase Total Backlinks:
In some industries, depending on the competition link building could entirely just be a popularity contest. For example, you could check the backlinks of your competitors rankings for the terms you are targeting and notice that they have over 100,000 backlinks compared to your 112. Also, for some search engines, having a plethora of links plays a role in your search engine positioning. Furthermore, the more links you have pointing to your site, the more paths you have for bots to find your site and to cache it. Building backlinks to increase your total in-link count in Yahoo or Google is usually done because this is something that can easily be seen by anyone online. Having a site that only has 50 backlinks says a lot. Much can be said about a site with over 40,000 links as well.
A few techniques to increase total backlinks include site-wide link building, blog rolls on blogs with a lot of posts, directory submitting and article distribution.
Building Links to Increase PageRank:
Although you want a lot of sites to point to yours, you also want these sites to have high PageRanks. Google uses PageRank as a measure of importance. PageRank is an algorithm that measures how many sites are pointing to you and how many sites are pointing to those sites pointing to you and so on. Google still makes it clear that PageRank is the heart of their search engine algorithm, so getting links from websites with high Page Rank is a must. When you obtain links from sites with a lot of links pointing to them, it shows Google that a trusted domain has linked to you. Another reason you may want to increase your PageRank is because you want to sell advertising placements or blog reviews and noticed that the higher the PR of your site, the more money you can charge.
This form of link building is a very common technique performed by directories. They buy links from pages with a lot of PR to inflate their PR so webmasters will want to pay for inclusion into their directories.
A few techniques to increase PR fast is to get links from sites with a PR4 or better, sitewide/blogroll links, social bookmarking, mass press releasing, text link buying and link baiting.
Building Links that Increase Search Engine Rankings:
As mentioned before, backlinks counts as votes. However it is not only the number and type of backlinks that matter, what they say about you could make all the difference in the world when it comes to search engine positioning. The anchor texts of your links are labels that help the search engines bots categorize and rank your site according to relevance. Sometimes getting a few links saying the keywords you’re going after can go a lot further than how many links you may have. So if you are looking to build links to increase search engine visibility, find relevant sites to give you links saying the keywords you’re going after for optimal keyword placement.
A few techniques to increase rankings are niche directory submissions, article distribution, link exchanges, blog reviews, links from sites already ranking for terms you’re targeting, and press releases.
Building Links that Generate Traffic:
So we can build links to increase PR and we can build links to improve our rankings. However, isn’t the ultimate goal to generate traffic? It’s easy to build links to indirectly generate traffic via the SERP’s and to forget about generating links that send visitors. While some links may increase your PR or even help your search engine positions, links that send relevant traffic directly to your site from a site related to yours could be a better investment than building links in hopes to get some love from the search engines’ proprietary algorithms.
A few ways to generate traffic via backlinks, is through affiliate marketing, paid links, links on pages with top Alexa rankings, reviews from bloggers with a lot of subscribers, forums in your industry, social networking and press releases.
While all of these techniques are valid, the important thing to remember is that major search engines like websites that generate traffic naturally. So not only do you have to figure out which route you want to take (if not all of them), you should also devised strategies that will give your website a natural link building profile.
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