I knew Ileane was going to ask for another guest post. She mentioned so in a reply to my comment I made here. More than that, I could not afford to miss an opportunity of a blog like this. But there was a beetle in my head and I could not decide on the topic yet – anything was not Okay for BBT!
There was an inquiry in my Gmail inbox. I had removed all the direct Ads from PS Exam that were already expired and not paid to extend. Because I was busy for exams, I did not send the payment requests and all those expired Ads remained there for three months for free. While corresponding there, my head triggered – why not to talk about linking? I pulled my Windows Live Writer and pressed the fingers down.
Linking – the most convenient and essential utility for the web to function, has grown to acquire multi-dimension. You would see me typing dreadful IP Numbers, had these links not been devised. Today, people are offering money to place their link on a high ranked websites! Mike wrote a post on FamousBloggers to warn against buying and selling links. Linking shaped a market too? It amuses. The market is mad!
Forums, comments, guest posts, subscriptions, emails, advertising, what and what not the links are acquired, exchanged and purchased! But are all the links valuable?
Good Links and Bad Links
Yes, there are good and bad links. No, no, I’m not talking about dofollow and nofollow links. Both are good and a natural mixture of dofollow and nofollow are the best linking strategy. You can get millions of them that may contribute to only 0.001% towards the ranking of your blog or post. Links coming to you from the pages that already have a number of outbound links; the pages that are completely irrelevant to your blog’s content do not count much. Moreover, if you fall in the bad neighborhood, you may even get penalty from search engines – burying deep down in the search results that nobody can ever discover.
The recent update of Google algorithm and the buzz of Panda is getting louder. It’s been more obvious that just acquiring BIG number of links might prove counterproductive. Panda is watching you.
[box type="important"]So, what makes a link GOOD? Just a few points to consider:[/box]
- Is that link coming to you is from a page that is highly related to your content?
- Does that page has only a few outbound links?
- Is that link from a page that has a high Google PageRank?
- Is that link from an authority and a quality site in your niche?
If the answer is Yes, Yes and Yes, only a handful of links may miracle to boost up your blog in search results.
So, How to get links?
Getting links back to you is not difficult. Even if you just sit idle – without making any effort, you’ll get a number of them provided you have Killer Content. If you want to run faster the track, following are some of the commonly used methods, I’ve noticed:
- Create a terrific site with great content – It’s obvious, isn’t it?
- Request links from other related sites – Just send an email or use their contact form. Most of them are eager if your sites are related and are in somehow equal or better ranking.
- Establish relationships with other people in your niche – Asking with friends is much easier than with strangers. Twitter, Facebook can be really handy to connect with the blog authors and owners. Follow them and poke them!
- Actively participate in forums – Forums used to be really popular and still today there are some great that has higher PageRank; and allow you to use your URL in signature.
- Write eBooks and distribute them freely or through a paid scheme that will distribute your links across the web. I found it most effective for my ICT Trends blog as many people bookmarked the pages where I’ve offered download link.
- Use blog networks like BlogEngage, Bloggers, Blokube and many others. They are popular and some even offer you dofollow links for your submissions.
Be wise on outbound linking
The blogging world is full of spammers – hope I’m not a pessimist to say that. You might be getting a number of comments and trackbacks to your blog posts. Out of generocity, it is probable that you approve them blindly. But beware! You should not allow any outbound links without knowing them properly. Your outbound links should link to quality, authoritative sites only.
Search engines prefer “quality groupings” which means you link to pages that are closely related with each other. For example linking between pages of WordPress Themes, WordPress Plugins and WordPress Tips can be formed quality grouping.
How to analyze links?
Well, there are plentiful free and paid tools at your disposal. I wish to point out some nice free tools here.
Yahoo! Site Explorer
There can be no better tool to analyze incoming links. You can get the number, the status and explore deep down till to the page from where the link came. However, you should register to Yahoo Site Explorer to submit your blog and verify that you are the owner before you can reap off the benefits.
SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer
There are a couple of good things for this tool to be the favorite one. First is, you don’t need to register – Just open the site, enter URL and hit Enter. Second it lets you specify another URL to compare so as to check against the competitors. The third, it let you explore even more if you upgrade to Pro with a small fees!
Google Webmaster Tool
I guess I won’t need to say anything about it. There can be no blogger who is not using. It has an excellent backlink checker and can tell you about the outbound links too. It can tell if you have errors in your sitemap. With these tools, blog optimization and finding quality links is much easier.