SEO Tip 8: Get lots of inbound links
Google (and many other search engines) rank the importance of the page by a number of factors, a key one of which is the number of inbound links. Inbound links are simply links from other pages - either links from pages on your site or from pages on other sites. Each link to a page on your site can be thought of as a vote of confidence in your site and this is how it is treated by (most) search engines.
- Not all links have the same value, as both the quality and number of links is a factor here. A link from a
site that already ranks well is worth more than lots of links from low
ranking sites - but in general the more links you can get the better.
There are however two important exceptions to this rule:
- Link Farms.
A link farm is a site which exists for the sole purpose of listing links, sometimes for free but more often for a fee. Avoid link farms where possible, because once a search engine has identified the site or page as a link farm then you will receive no benefit from the link. There is even the possibility that your rankings might be penalised because of it - although this is by no means certain.
- Reciprocal Links (and in particular reciprocal links pages).
A reciprocal link is where a site agrees to link to your site in exchange for a link back from your site - so site "ABC" links to your site provided you link back to site "ABC".
A more recent version of a reciprocal link is the so called "one way link exchange". This is where you agree to adding a link to one site in exchange for a link from another (different) site - so site "XYZ" links to your site in exchange for you linking to site "ABC".
Many of the larger search engines regard reciprocal links (and specifically reciprocal links pages) as a form of spam, and once a reciprocal link (page) has been identified then any benefit will be lost and it may even penalise the ranking of your site. Since the identification of links pages might not be automated, reciprocal links may yield a genuine short term benefit but with longer term risks.
However, there is unlikely to be any problem exchanging links between related sites provided you keep the number of links down and the page on which you place the links does not look like a link exchange page.
- Link Farms.
- Try to include at least two links to each page from elsewhere on the same site – one of which should be from a site map.
- Ask. If there is a relevant page on another website which you would like to be linked from then ask. A polite email sent to a webmaster of another site can sometimes get you the link you want. You might be ignored, or you might be asked for some form of compensation (such as a link exchange), but it costs nothing to ask.
- Consider adding a link to the page from the following “social networking” sites (you will need to join these to add links):
- Consider adding a link to the page from DMOZ (www.dmoz.org), just be sure to find the right category and be aware that if you add to a category without an editor then you may be waiting forever. Many other sites also maintain directories, if you can find relevant directories then contact the owner and ask if your site can be included in the listing.
- Consider adding a link to your site to forum or newsgroup posts that are applicable. These should be in the signature or in the body of your post. Be sure not to post in such a way that you could be accused of spamming.
- Article syndication. If you are able to write an article then there are many websites that will happily publish this for you. The article or author information can then include a link to your site.
- There are companies which specialise in helping you get inbound links to your site (or page). Whilst these will change a fee, they should be able to contact more sites and be more effective at link building than you could be otherwise. These are often known as "Link services", "Link building services" or "Link building programs", and many SEO agencies will be able to provide this as part of their service.
Doing search engine optimization the right way, use only quality SEO companies to handle your website ranking and reputation the correct way.
This tip is part of a series of tips on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The previous tip in the series was Tip 7: Images and alt text and the next tip in the series is Tip 9: Be careful with those outbound links.