In the previous blog we discussed what keywords we should use to improve our search engine optimization so that we obtain the right customers while still ranking up high in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Keywords and other content related optimization are known as on-page optimization. In this blog I will talk about building a good linking structure which regards off-page optimization. Note that off-page optimization doesn’t just include back-links.
- What are back-links?
Back-links is just a fancy word which refers to links on other sites which link to your site. It is important to know that a link from one site might not carry the same weight as one from another. Why? Because links are rated by search engines depending on the sites which they link and thus we have to learn about the elements which make up a link.
- Site popularity – This is quite a well known fact that if you manage to link your website with websites which have a global reputation such as Wikipedia, rather than with common sites, then that link carries more weight.
- Subject related – If you have a website which displays cars, if you manage to get a link from another site which is car related, then that weighs more than if you say get a link from one which has content related to gambling, animals or anything else.
- Anchor text – Anchor text is that visible word which links to some website or page. Search engines use such text as a keyword to rank that linked site. The more websites that link to that particular website using specific text, the higher it ranks for that anchor text.
- TrustRank – As you may already know, the web is filled with spamming and thus search engines developed a system to rank how trustworthy a site is. Earning links from trusted sites can skyrocket your ranking.
- FreshRank – It is extremely important to keep getting ‘fresh’ new links and not stop, simply because sites which were once popular, might not be anymore. Moreover search engines prefer these new fresh links rather than the old ones.
- Social sharing – Links from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and so on are not treated the same as normal links however they are still noticed nonetheless. Professionals argue about their current importance but it’s is safe bet to say that they definitely help, especially with the current growth of social media.
Okay now that we know what approximately each link carries I will give some tips to get the best from them:) .
- Links higher up in the HTML code are more potent than those at the bottom.
- External links and more valuable than internal links.
- Sites which haven’t been linked before on your site carry more weight than those which are already linked.
- Links inside your main content weigh more than those which are in your footer, navigation section, sidebars etc.
- Links in your HTML text actually are better than linked images with alt attributes.
- Links inside NoScript tags are almost useless because they are not visible to users and hence search engines devalue them.
Now that we have a clear idea of what links to look out for and where it is best to place them to get the best results, we need to start learning how we can actually build such links. There are three main types of how we can obtain these. The first one is known as ‘Natural Links’. As the name suggests, such links are obtained naturally from other sites, and thus all that the search engine optimizer had to do was to create high quality, interesting content, so much so that blogs and other sites decided to link to his page. The second one is ‘Outreach Links’. Yes you guessed it, for such links the SEO has to reach out to bloggers, professors, website admins and so on, and convince them that it would be beneficial for them to link to his site. Unfortunately this is much easier said than done but definitely possible, on the other hand that is where the SEO expertise come in. Last but not least we have ‘Self Created Links’. Such links are the easiest to obtain because you can just do them yourself right now. This consists of going on other website blogs and in the comment section you may insert relevant information and then linking it to your site. It sounds like spamming, and unfortunately sometimes search engines penalize you for such links while for other it is a normal day at the office. Although not suggested, such links are sometimes helpful for small business to get them started.
Now you can start investing time in linking. They are extremely important for a good search engine rank, and although they are quite difficult to obtain, every SEO has his own style and way. In the following post we will discuss how to start your own linking campaign