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    Link Building 101


    I've been fighting to post this for the past few months but the company I work for dished-out plenty of resistance. But since I've seen so many new posts about linking strategies and link baiting recently I've decided to go behind their back and publish it.

    It's not the 'end-all' but it is a good reference for new to mid level up-and-coming SEO's to dive into and possibly get a few new ideas.

    I wrote it a couple months ago to semi-train a couple uni team members that we brought on for link building.

    Link Building 101
    Link building is the single most important element to obtaining high rankings in all of the major search engines. It is vital that continual efforts be made and long-term plans be laid out to insure a web sites continued success in organic search results, and reduced costs in paid placement (PPC).
    Google created the most successful information retrieval device of all time based on sending spiders to follow each and every link they can find on each and every web document they come across. Yahoo, MSN, Ask, and all the other search databases have acquired the vast amounts of information they contain in similar fashion. Links play important roles in the ranking formulas of all search engines, especially Google, by providing numerous pieces of data for their algorithms to chew through.
    The best links a web site can have are natural, one-way inbound links. These are links that are posted by other web sites, forums or blogs. These show a natural interest in something the linked web site offers such as valuable information, news, a tool or some other resource.
    The more one-way links a web site has, the more reliable the search engine algorithms consider it to be. Google has gone as far as to rank a web site in terms of PR, or page rank. This is a sliding scale of 0-10. The more important Google considers a web site, the higher the PR that it awards it. (PR also includes visitors as well).

    Place your pointer over this in the toolbar and it will show PageRank.

    You can check the number of back links to a web site in many different ways. The Firefox browser has an installable extension that allows users to “right-click” and scan down to “back links” to see the number of back links a site has. There are several toolbars that you can install (Google, Yahoo, etc.) that allow you to see this, and there are various web sites that offer tools to do this.



    (Google is unique in its approach to back links as it will only show a percentage of the actual back links, whilst Yahoo and MSN show all. Google also will delay showing back links in order to attempt to weed out purchased back links or schemes to affectively fool the algorithms into awarding a higher PR, and thus a higher position in the SERP’s – Search Engine Ranking Positions.)

    These will check the number of back links that a page has: http://www.iwebtool.com/backlink_checker
    http://www.searchenginegenie.com/backlink-checker.html
    This will check the number of back links that the top 10 sites have based on your selected keyword (this will help you find relevant sites);
    http://www.webuildpages.com/seo-tools/whoischeck-bykeys.pl
    Types of Link Strategies
    Natural Link Building – Adding quality content or something that benefits the end user that they would want to link to
    Affiliate Linking – Some companies such as airlines, debt management companies, or other businesses that have vendors that supply a service or product to them, can be contacted and asked to provide a link to the site you are promoting. These are usually especially strong, and easily obtained one-way backlinks because normally they don’t have a bunch of other links diminishing the value of your backlink.
    One-Way Linking (Purchase) – Buying one-way inbound links to your web site
    Reciprocal Linking – Exchanging links with another web site
    Three-Way Linking – Site A links to Site B, Site B links to Site C, and Site C links to site A (www.three-way-links.com/)
    Link Farms – Companies like linkmarket.net (but not directories, FFA’s, or obvious abusers of linking)
    Forums and Blogs – Links from forums an blogs
    News Articles (PR Web) – Typically created by web site owners to promote their site. These are effective after 2-4 weeks when Google has crawled them and indexed them within their search results. Never put more than 1 link to any one page per article.
    One of the tools mentioned above, linkmarket.net is a good tool, that has spawned many other linking tools that do similar things.
    Here’s how it works; You search through their categories for relevant categories. Once you drill it down to the category and click on it, a list of other members will come up as well as their Google PR. You add their link to your website and send them a request. This request will also provide a link for them to insert into their web site. The downfall is that you need to check that the link remains there, or even that its placed in the first place. This is where the work begins.
    You need to track all of the links to verify they aren’t taken down. There are tools (Web CEO for one), that will do this for you, but you will still need to record the link page URL so that you can enter it into the tool so it can do the check.

    There are many ways to gain back links from a web site. You can offer valuable information on something that an end-user finds useful, such as a map to, or of a destination, a tool such as a mortgage calculator, or even a coupon or shopping tips. This is the way the search engines want you back links to occur…as this is the Natural Link Building process; An end-user finds something on a web site that they feel is useful and they create a link to it.
    Another method is purchasing One-Way Links. You must be very careful when attempting this strategy as many things can go awry, and the search engines (especially Google), are looking very hard at how to avoid awarding web sites higher SERP’s based on link building efforts attempting to obtain a more favourable position in their search engine.


    Whilst Google Page Rank doesn’t directly affect your SERP’s, the back links from trusted sources do. The way this works is that Google looks at the PR of the referring web site and passes on PR. The influence of this “bleeding” affect is determined by:
    • The PR of the referring site
    • The number of outbound links on the page containing your back link
    • The “trust” rating of the referring web site, according to Google, which is based on the registration date and consistent content, as well as the web sites own back links and these same parameters

    This, put in basic terms, means that spending the time that it takes to obtain a back link from a site that has no PR is meaningless.
    Here is an example of Google’s “weightedness” (a made up word by Gary);
    Site 1 with a PR5 has 50 links (the max you want on 1 page) = bleeds .0012 PR
    Site 2 with a PR5 has 10 links = bleeds .430 PR
    Site 3 with a PR5 has 2 links = bleeds .776 PR
    Additionally, Google seemingly awards back links from .org’s slightly higher, and back links from .edu’s and ‘gov’s significantly higher. This opens many vertical possibilities when taken into consideration whilst planning your long-term back link strategy. Ask me about these if you’re willing to do a lot of hard work.
    The following is the same example above, but is based off a back link from a .edu and a .gov
    .gov/.edu Site 1 with a PR5 has 50 links (the max you want on 1 page) = bleeds .4352 PR
    .gov/.edu Site 2 with a PR5 has 10 links = bleeds .88721 PR
    .gov/.edu Site 3 with a PR5 has 2 links = bleeds 1.176 PR
    So this means that it is important to get back links from high PR sites, as well as sites that have related content.

    The Link

    Just as important as the back links, the actual content of the back link is as important.
    Because of the overwhelming problem the SE’s are experiencing with Spammers and Black-Hatters overtaking their results and therefore skewing the quality of the overall purpose of their primary intended function, which is search and providing relevant results, each of the main three search engines have introduced, or are soon to introduce an entirely new algorithm that, in purpose, is meant to eliminate the bad, and provide genuine, relevant results, which is what the end-user is looking for.
    So Google tweaked their algorithm to place an increased weight on not only back links, but the actual content of the back link.
    What this means is that if I were optimising a web site and one of its keyword phrases were “debt consolidation”, I would create a back link that used “debt consolidation” (actually I would use “Get Debt Consolidation” because you need a ‘buffer’ word before your keywords in ANY circumstance when doing optimization to avoid obvious SEO red flags), and the link description would also include that phrase. So, a good example of this is here:

    Expert Debt Consolidation – Get Cheap Debt Consolidation Now.

    This is a basic example. Every web site and back link offer/tool will have different parameters stating how many characters you can use, the length, content, number of caps, number of expletives like “best”, “cheapest”, or “lowest” type. The point I am making here is that you need to take full advantage of the link. You do this with carefully selected anchor text and descriptions. These links need to be carefully created and linked back to SE optimized landing pages that mirror your anchor text and description. These elements are EXACTLY what ALL search engines, especially Google, use to weight or grade the link.
    This, coupled with quality content and the correct keyword density and other SEO elements, are core in the future of obtaining high rankings with all SE’s organically, and PPC at a cost well under what the competition is paying.

    Link Tools

    Alexa, WebCEO, Arelis and many other tools are available that work in an efficient way, and can be very effective if utilized in the correct fashion. These tools will take your selected keyword and based on the parameters that you set up, crawl the search engines and the top ranking web sites that come up for that particular query. They then pull any available emails from the site, if available, or if there isn’t one available, it will default to whatever you select (i.e. webmaster@ or info@).
    So lets say you are searching for back links from sites that are related to women’s under garments for Bravissimo. I would enter “women’s clothing” into the search box and these tools come back with the number of sites that you request. The tools give you the amount of back links a site already has, the PR strength, a relevancy grade and so on.
    These tools have other optional settings to help in your link building schemes.
    • Find web sites with link suggestion forms that can be setup to be completed automatically and submitted;(Not recommended)
    • Find web sites that link to your competitors
    • Find web sites that already link to you (to possibly change the anchor text or add additional deep links)
    • Find web sites by doing a keyword search
    Investigate the many tools available to find the one that suits your needs the best. Stay away from the cookie cutter approach if possible as link building has been going on for years and most web site owners have received thousands of “canned” requests over the years.




    Things to Avoid
    • Stay away from link farms (http://www.jimprice.com/jim-lnk.htm#people)
    • The site has no possible connection to your subject matter whatsoever. The page they put your link on isn't linked to FROM any page, meaning it's floating out there in never-never land and is a ploy to get you to link to their site.
    • The page where they put your link is on a URL a mile long and several directories deep so engines will never find it.
    • The page looks like a farmer's field with nicely arranged rows of links to hundreds of sites which aren't necessarily organized in any logical manner, but that doesn't matter because someone told them the link is all that counts.
    • It's a link and a link only. No description. No proof the person ever actually reviewed the site.
    • Signs they'll accept anything that shows evidence of being a "live" link. A true Directory has criteria, frets about the quality of sites it links to and doesn't have people out begging for links. Instead the reverse is true, with people begging to be let in.
    • Watch for scams such as sub-domain one-way traffic feeders where the page your site is linked to isn't part of the main website. Study the URLS carefully before you decide to accept a link request.
    • Stay away from FFA sites (Free For All)
    • Avoid being on a web site that has pages and pages of links. This is viewed as a Link Farm.
    • Stay away from sex oriented, gambling, RX and other unsavoury sites.
    • Be aware of the possibility of bad neighbours. If you are on a shared server, do a blacklist check to be sure you’re not on a proxy server with a spammer or banned site.
    • Don’t waste your time getting a link from a non-ranking page within a site. The page needs to hold a rank of a minimum PR value of 1 below your landing page, particularly if there are going to be other outbound links to other web sites. If there are not going to be other outbound links, or just a few, then a PR of 2 and above will still boost your ranking and benefit your SERP’s as well as your own PR.
    • Stay away from link pages called “Link Partners”, “Links” or the like, especially if the term “link” or “links” is part of the URL
    • Stay away from pages that have more than 50 outbound links
    If you are looking to build long-term rankings, it takes more work and creativity than just sending out automated emails or joining a linking program. Create a daily “hit list” outlining exactly what you will do.

    Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. This is the best way to get and keep a link. You can usually find this information at Network Solutions or the web sites “About Us” page.

    Lastly, keep at it! Link building is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve been given what is probably the most important job that influences search engine results. The work you do today, will put a web site a the top of the rankings tomorrow, and keep them there.


    Link on dudes and dudettes! (Dazzlin Donna - she rocks! Okay Vanessa...u do 2, and your pretty cute - )

    Your friend/mate/fellow SEO ScubaGuy

    GaryTheScubaGuy

    Comments on this post

    • SEO_AM agrees : Great info for one and all.
    • NavyCS agrees : The detail you use to describe points is amazing - thank you!
    • Visio agrees : Awesome article! Definitely something for everybody in there... Your time and effort is appreciated!
    • fathom agrees
    • gazzahk agrees : Thanks gary this is excellent
    • lovekills_s agrees : Gary Gary Gary.. Gary all the way.. :mrgreen:
    • vardium agrees
    • subzero27 agrees : Go and write a book "link building 101".....ul be a millionare,i gaurantee
    • pro_seo agrees : Magnificio...as usual ! Gary you rock !
    • twhite agrees : awesome!
    • SportsPicks agrees : Amazing! Thank you very much.
    • pws1970 agrees : Excellent post - first class!
    • ABS agrees : Great ! Great ! Great !
    • adil_j1 agrees : Great information, thanks
    • Dansk agrees : Good Effort
    • FatMedia agrees
    • europa agrees : Hot stuff!
    • devilboy_1989 agrees : Hello GaryTheScubaGuy You Are Reall A SEO Genius. And Very Very Thnx For This Information
    • Prof.stan agrees : very nice
    • bkseo agrees : This is by far the best Link Building Post I have Evere Read. Well done mate.
    • faisalkaleem agrees
    • kashifmahmood agrees : Excellent post . Keep up the good work !
    • FHM agrees
    • Oscar1 agrees
    • joelo4387 agrees : Great post!
    • adiian agrees : great post
    • macktress agrees
    • siggiboy81 agrees
    • JohnnyM agrees : Very useful!
    • Missmbt agrees : Great information!
    • joe@biznet agrees : Excellent post thansk for the help
    • jsuggs agrees
    • mikerobinson agrees
    • NuArtisan agrees : awesome thank you!
    • michaelj72 agrees
    • LazyBum agrees
    • Lingua21 agrees : Invaluable - many thanks
    • Pat-wal agrees : Undoubtedly great article - the last 50 points are the same as http://www.seobook.com/archives/001792.shtml though
    • digitaltrader agrees : A good read. Lots of useful info packed in to this.
    • mgtarheels agrees
    • Domeno agrees : Awesome! Thanks!
    • Dr.Marie agrees : Wow! excellent info!
    • PhilipSEO : ALL THIS IS PLAGIARIZED COPY AND PASTE
    • WhiteHatSEOMktg agrees
    Last edited by GaryTheScubaGuy; Jul 10th, 2010 at 11:52 PM.
  2. #2
  3. B afraid.. B very afraid!
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    Gary... this is one of the best and most informative posts ever made on SEO Chat. You are to be commended for taking the time and effort to put it together. Kudos!
    ...Never mistake activity for achievement...

    ...Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it....
    Benjamin Franklin
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    As a linkbuilding technique this is no longer valid:
    34. If you run a fairly reputable company, create a page about it in the Wikipedia or in topic specific wikis. If it is hard to list your site directly, try to add links to other pages that link to your site.

    Great list Gary! This will be useful, now I can newbies in this direction instead of
    -DON’T BUY Keyword Elite V2 till you read this review- Please Digg!
    -SeoChat SEO FAQ - Read the FAQ. It may answer your question.
    -Ultimate Guide to Link Building - What you always wanted to know!
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    Originally Posted by SEO_AM
    Gary... this is one of the best and most informative posts ever made on SEO Chat. You are to be commended for taking the time and effort to put it together. Kudos!
    Coming from you that means alot.

    Gary

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : This IS one of the best. Nice work!
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    Thanks EGOL...ok, now I'm basking.
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    Originally Posted by Visio
    As a linkbuilding technique this is no longer valid:
    34. If you run a fairly reputable company, create a page about it in the Wikipedia or in topic specific wikis. If it is hard to list your site directly, try to add links to other pages that link to your site.

    Great list Gary! This will be useful, now I can newbies in this direction instead of
    I agree Visio. I made this b4 the nofollow bs. But Google's getting ready to buy them and IMO it will come back.

    Watch closely and see what happens...seriously

    GaryTheScubaGuy
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  13. I Never Finish Anythi
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    Gary....






    You see i am speechless..that post is....u know it..alright.. its awesome..the best and this was actually required..for all the questions asked by newbies, answers are here..

    Regards
    LKS

    Comments on this post

    • RocknRolli agrees : then we should send all those who ask for linkbuilding EVERY day in this forum to this post. PLEASE!!! ;-)
    Link Diary - Build Links Fast & Easy. Similar to Linkmarket, with option of three way link exchange and anchor rotation.

    **"Save SEO Industry - GO VIRAL!! - Tips and Tricks ."**
    **"Live, not just to survive, But to Rule."**
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    Originally Posted by GaryTheScubaGuy
    I agree Visio. I made this b4 the nofollow bs. But Google's getting ready to buy them and IMO it will come back.

    Watch closely and see what happens...seriously

    GaryTheScubaGuy
    I had that thought as well but just thought i'd let you know. I honestly did see where Wikipedia was spammed that much, well I mean the stuff that got in. Wikipedia was always clean and useful when I used it so I never did get why they had to kick us in the face with that nofollow crap.
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    How do you do a blacklist check to be sure you’re not on a proxy server with a spammer or banned site?
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    Gary..that was one of the best, if not THE BEST article I've ever read anywhere on link building.


    You Simply Rock

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    Bad Neighborhood


    Originally Posted by chris p
    How do you do a blacklist check to be sure you’re not on a proxy server with a spammer or banned site?
    Here you go Chris; http://www.bad-neighborhood.com/text-link-tool.htm

    GaryTheScubaGuy
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    Originally Posted by GaryTheScubaGuy

    50 More Ways To Get Links
    1. Build a “101 list”. These get Dugg all the time, and often become “authority documents”. People can’t resist linking to these (hint, hint). Like mine at http://www.ppc-manager.blogspot.com. I did a PPC 101 and PPC 102 lists.
    Everything in your write up was helpful, but I have to admit that I have found some of the most useful information EVER on your link above. Obviously, I am about as green as they come as far as SEO knowledge so it probably isn't the same for most. But I have spent hours looking through each of the services you provide information about on that site.

    Thanks again...awesome, awesome write up!
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    Thanks again guys. Here's another one for you; Microsites and SEO
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    Article publishing


    Originally Posted by GaryTheScubaGuy
    News Articles (PR Web) – Typically created by web site owners to promote their site. These are effective after 2-4 weeks when Google has crawled them and indexed them within their search results. Never put more than 1 link to any one page per article.
    Why not put more than 1 link per article? I publish lots of articles, and I always promote at least 2 pages, the second page being an inner page or an external page which contains my link. I think this way I am exploiting the power of the article page well. Am I harming my efforts by doing this?
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    Links


    Not sure how to do all this. Was looking for a place for introductions, but didn't see it. I'm impressed with all the SEO informaiton here. I don't even know if this post of mine will be seen, but nevertheless scuba guy, I've at least linked up here. Keep up the good work...Rev Rolly
    Last edited by ClickyB; Aug 8th, 2009 at 12:14 PM. Reason: removed quoted post
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