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What You Need to Know About SEO (Off Page SEO – Part 2 of 3) Fueled Friday

In last week’s Fueled Friday, I discussed the first of three critical factors in SEO; content, which is “king”. Today, I want to discuss the queen that turns the kings neck; off page SEO – otherwise knows as link building.

The content on your website lets the search engines know what your website is about. Left to itself, there is no way for the search engines to know what content is better than the next, so the search engines decided that a great way to determine which site is more valuable, is to measure the number of inbound links to a site.

The process of link building can be time consuming, especially for more competitive markets where your goal is to outrank well known brands. I will share some simple strategies for building links to your website. I will tell you in advance that in the cases of very competitive markets, you may require the services of a professional to get more powerful links to your site, but whatever you do on your own will be a step in the right directions.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the purpose of acquiring links is twofold. You do want to have solid inbound links for the purposes of improving your rankings, but you also want to have links for the purpose of sending qualified traffic to your website.

Before I share with you the several ways of acquiring links, I want to address a few related topics; PageRank, no-follow, and outbound links. If PageRank and no-follow don’t mean anything to you at this point, don’t worry – literally don’t worry about even finding out what they mean.

PageRank
PageRank is the measurement of a websites inbound link strength as determined by Google. I won’t get into the technical details, but I will say this. Don’t be overly impressed with or consumed by PageRank, but rather focus on solid metrics such as the number of website visitors you have and the keywords they use to find you.

No-Follow
This is a technical designation given to links as to whether or not they contribute to a websites PageRank. Again, do not worry about this, just worry about acquiring links. Why? Because good links bring visitors, whether or not they contribute to your websites PageRank and you never know which visitor will end up being a customer.

Outbound Links
Some people get confused in the link building process and start placing links on their sites to other more powerful websites thinking that these sites will then link to them automatically. The truth is that most sites won’t even know that your site links to them unless you send them lots of traffic. Having links to other sites helps those sites, but does nothing to help you build links. In fact, it dilutes your link value.

So where are some good places to acquire links? Here are some thoughts to help you get started:

1. Search Engine Directories. In general if you have to pay to be listed in a directory, the value of that link will be decent. Stay clear of free directories that also list sites in the “pills, porn, and poker” categories and you can actually lose credibility with the search engines by being associated with them.

2. Blog Comments. One of the simplest ways to get a link to your website, is to comment on other blogs. I wrote a blog post on getting links from blogs some time ago.

3. Guest Blogging. Another great way to get inbound links is by blogging on other blogs. This not only provides you with inbound links, but it also gets you in front of a new audience.

4. Plain Old Blogging. If you are a blogger, you can often leverage lots of links to your blog/website through Social Media channels such as Facebook, StumbleUpon, and Twitter.

5. Press Links. If you can get coverage in an online story with a link, that is a good thing. If you have trouble getting coverage, you can always issue an online press release which will have a similar effect.

6. Social Media Profiles. If you create Social Media profiles, most of them have a place for you to add your URL. The top 3 I recommend are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

7. Article Writing & Syndication. Aside from creating blog and web content, you can write articles and submit them to Article Sites such as EzineArticles.com where they will link to you and others can syndicate them as well which produced more inbound links.

8. Association Memberships. Many associations and trade groups have directories where they list their members along with contact information including their website.

I did not get to discuss how to find out how many links you have and track your progress, so stay tuned and I will cover that next week (before Friday).

If you have any questions or need professional help with link building, feel free to contact me.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Valentine’s Day.

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8 Responses to “What You Need to Know About SEO (Off Page SEO – Part 2 of 3) Fueled Friday”

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  • Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by oldschoolseo: What you need to know about Link Building – http://su.pr/2UWNmZ

  • There are two kinds of outgoing links that I like very much.

    One is to authority sites, within the context of my post. Done right, this can encourage others to link to my post, because it makes it obvious that I’ve done my homework plus provided a resource.

    The other is links to individual blog posts on good blogs in my blog’s niche. Bloggers who moderate comments will look at the source of your trackback before deciding to publish it or put it in the spam bin. Being linked to in a good post is a compliment, and may get the attention of a new follower who may subscribe and return the favor. Done graciously & combined with Anthony’s strategy #2 (Commenting on other blogs) this is a great way to introduce yourself to heroes and prospective peers with whom you’d like to build name recognition and awareness of your link-worthy content.

    If a blogger is comfortable throwing a little bread on the waters, some linking out can become a good inlink builder.

  • Today I know that, only the exchange of links is not enough to get better on the rankings. you should know how to generate good baclinks rather than accepting the quantity of other links.

  • Anthony,

    I like the way you gave your suggestions point by point. They are very clear, and I have done some of these things successfully.

    This week I checked my page rank, and it has suddenly gone to zero. I am not sure why. If possible in your next blog can you address what to do when your page rank falls?

  • oldschool:

    @ Elizabeth – You make some great points there abot getting links by giving them. And yes, blogs in general can be a great source of links. I guess my thinking was based on a recent call I had with a prospect who was focused on sending links away rather than acquiring them, so I did not want people to focus on the wrong thing with regard to linking.

    @Alok – This is true that link exchanges and link farms have been pretty much devalued by the search engines and not only don’t value or hgelp with rankings, but are detrimental in some cases.

    @Calvin – I will certainly address this. My question for you is “did the PageRank alone drop or have you seen a subsequent drop in traffic from Google? Generally, PageRank is an evidence on the inbound links to your site. If the quality of the sites linking to you have been devalued, then that would cause your PageRank to drop as well. I hope that helps, and look forward to this post next week.

  • Here’s some more info on the low page rank. Last week it was PR2 this week it is PR0. I went to SEO Centro and checked the backlinks. Here’s what I got:

    Google 1
    Yahoo 22
    Bing 64
    All the Web 21
    Alta Vista 21

    After checking with several backlink checkers, I think the actual number should be about 22.

    There are two possible explanations that I can think of. First, my host had lots of problems on Monday. From what I can tell my site was down for several hours. Perhaps Google crawled it then. Second, on a different site I own I got spammed big time this week with hundreds of long posts with text links all over the place. Maybe Google crawled that one. Google would know that I own both because I have them in the same Google Analytics account. But I don’t know if one site would affect the other.

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