So how does this work?
Here’s how Google looks at it: if your site is a very popular one and many people are linking to it, then chances are your site will have a high Google PageRank (PR). The PageRank system grades anywhere from 0 to 10. 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, sites like YouTube for example, have a PageRank of 9, Facebook gets 10 out of 10 and Twitter has a PageRank of 9.
A good way to look at the internet is to picture it as a giant spider web. If you’re just starting out, your site is probably spinning the initial inner threads but it’s not connecting with threads from other sites. As you build up links to your website from other sites, those inner threads begin to fan out. But the question to ask here is: what is the best strategy for linking to increase the power of your website, and size and strength of your ‘spider web.’
Here are a few important elements to know:
1. Inbound linking helps the most:
Inbound linking is when other sites link to your site, but your site is not linked to theirs. Every time another website links to your site, your ‘spider web’ strengthens and grows. However, an important point to note is that sites linking to your site with a higher page rank build your ‘spider web’ more effectively than those that have a lower page rank. A general rule is that all inbound links are looked favourably upon by the search engines, but not all links carry the same weight that will affect your site’s rankings.
For example, if another website links to your site and has a PageRank of 2 and your PageRank is 5, it will positively affect your site and help grow your ‘spider web.’ However, if the inbound link was coming from a site with a PageRank of 7, the positive effect on your site would be greater.
The other point to mention here is that PR isn’t everything. Relevancy of the inbound links you are receiving is important as well. If the links are coming from websites with similar content this will positively affect your rankings.
Search engines also like to see inbound links coming from:
Educational sites (.edu’s)
Government sites (.gov’s)
Traditional media sites
Sites close to your geographical location
General Rule: try to commission inbound links that are relevant to your content and from sites that have a higher PR than you if possible. Quality, not quantity is the name of the game.
2. Include your keyword in the anchor text of any inbound link:
Including keywords in the anchor text of an inbound link is desirable; we can’t stress enough how important it is to do this. This tells the search engines that the link is relevant to the page it is linking to. This strategy combined with correctly optimizing the on-page factors of your webpage’s will help incredibly to boost the power of you website as well as start moving it up the search engine ranks.
3. Reciprocal linking doesn’t really help:
Trading links with other sites isn’t going to help your site in the eyes of the search engines. It won’t hurt your site, but it’s not really going to help. The only scenario where it might provide a small boost is if your site exchanges links with highly relevant sites (very similar to your content).
4. The number of pages on your site:
Another factor that affects the ‘power’ of your website is tied directly to the number of pages on your site. The more pages on your site, the larger your spider web is, the more the search engines will look favourably upon it.
Now that you have an understanding of how inbound linking works, you’re probably wondering "how do I get inbound links to my website?"
There are many strategies to do this and today we will cover the ones you absolutely need to know, but before we jump in we highly recommend using a software called SEO Elite to make executing all the processes involved with on and off page factors much, much easier. Click the link below to find out more:
1. Directory submissions:
This may not be the most ‘flashy’ method to implement, but it is a fantastic way to develop inbound links from sites that have a much higher PR. This method is time consuming, but well worth it, and if done well your site can gain over 100 inbound links from high PR sites which is priceless. A few of the top directories include DMOZ and Yahoo! Directory (not to be confused with the search engine, as they are not the same entity).
2. Approaching sites that are linking to your competitors:
Another way to increase your inbound links is to simply do a Google search for the top keyword(s) that you would like to rank for. Then, take note of the top 10 search results that are returned. At this point, it is very useful to have SEO Elite to analyze the exact links that are linking to your competitors. This software will also provide extremely useful info such as the keyword densities of your competitor’s pages, and the exact anchor text used.
After you have identified the backlinks of your competition, you can approach these sites to enquire about linking to your site. The best way to do this is to give something of value in exchange for a link.
3. Writing and submitting articles:
This method requires a bit of investment in terms time and energy. However it can pay off big time as there are outstanding sites like Ezinearticles.com and Articledashboard.com that have a high PageRank and will give your site high quality backlinks when you post articles. Don’t forget to work your keyword(s) into the anchor text of the links.
4. Press releases:
If you have a bit more of a budget you can carefully tailor press releases to include the right keywords and links to blast out to the media. The general rule here is the more you pay usually the better the distribution. Which begs the question:
Should you do press releases through traditional media channels as opposed to only online sources?
The answer to this again depends on your budget. If your PR is picked up by traditional media in a large spotlight, this can be of great value to your business. However, the cost may be higher to do this and there is a chance that your press release will not be picked up. Again it reverts back to how much you are willing to spend.
5. Attracting links by being the authority:
Maybe the most indirect, but the most powerful way in the long term to generate high quality inbound links is to have amazing content and be the authority site in your industry group. This obviously takes the most time and investment, but if executed properly your site will attract high quality inbound links simply because the content is of the upmost quality. Sometimes this is referred to as ‘link baiting.’
6. Blogs and Social Media:
Another way to get high value backlinks is from blogging. You can include links in your messages that you post on other blogs. However, some blogs do attach no follow tags to links left in posts. The best way to utilise blogging is by developing your own blog and creating high quality content so other sites link to yours.
In terms of social media, a lot of SM sites place no follow tags on your links just as in blogs, but search engines do like to see social media activity. High social media activity makes you more of an authority figure in your particular niche.
Ok, that sums up the essential off-page factors segment. Of course we could go on and on about linking for days, but this will give you the basic framework necessary to get started.