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Linking, Inbound & Outbound Links

A. Inbound Links

In general the more links you have coming into your site from outside websites, the better. That being said, you could spend at eternity getting a million incoming links that only counted .000001% towards your site's ranking. Links from pages that a) already have a lot of links and/or b) are completely irrelevant to your site's content do not count very much towards your site's ranking in search engines.

The best quality link is from a page that

a) is highly related to your content
b) has few outbound links
c) has high Google PageRank (you can view Google PageRank by downloading the Google toolbar at
d) is from an authority, quality site in your industry.

HOWEVER pages that have a high number of outbound links but are still highly related to your content, such as directories can still have a very good effect on your link popularity.

Therefore, you will want to spend your time acquiring quality inbound links. There are several ways to do this:

  • Create a great site with great content and other sites will naturally link to you.
  • Request links from other related sites. You can do this through email or telephone, but half the time you'll get a telemarketer's response. And who wants endless rejection?
  • Establish actual relationships with other people in your industry (your supplier, your industry certification source, your wholesale retailers, your contract laborers, etc.) and ask for links back from their sites. Actively participating in forums is a good way to meet more people and make more friends in the industry that can later become link friends.
  • Make news. Write industry-related articles that you allow other people to put on their site in return for a back-link or write press releases and distribute them to free or paid press release services that will distribute your news and links across the web.
  • Get into directories (see Step 7).

B. Outbound Links.

Your outbound links should link to quality, authoritative sites. Link outward when appropriate and choose wisely using keywords in your anchor text. Search engines care who you link to, and they do assume "birds of a feather flock together." So don't link to just anyone, and don't swap links with just anyone who asks.

C. On Site Links

If you have great content, it should be easy to link well within your site. If you have a page about dog insurance prices, and another on the dog insurance policies and another on the dog insurance pros and cons, and another on dog insurance resources link between them within your content using your keywords in your anchor text.This not only helps your visitors, but helps search engines to see a "quality grouping" of related content.

D. Check Search Engine Friendliness of Links.

  • Keep links as simple hypertext links whenever possible. Image links are OK, but they should not be dynamically generated, hidden in JavaScript, Flash files or image maps. If you use any of these techniques, make sure there is a regular text link to that page for search engines to follow somewhere on your site.

  • It is generally preferable for your text links to use your chosen keywords and phrases as anchor text. Hence search engine optimization guide is a better link than click here for our optimization guide. Plus, it looks better from a usability standpoint too.

E. Use a Site Map.

Search engines do look for these. A good site map will help the search engine spider to find all of your web pages. If the site does not yet have a site map, create one.

F. Links, Focus Keywords and Site Structure.

Your main site themes should appear on your top level pages (and throughout the site), with minis-site themes evolving among sub-pages and well cross-linked.

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