May 21st, 2010 → 4:03 am @ // No Comments
If you have just started a blog, or created a wonderful website, you may be skimming through page after page of forums, blogs, and articles, looking for ways to make your creation better. It is good to want to make your website aesthetically pleasing or amazingly easy to navigate, these two aspects of e-business are a must for long term success. However, there is something that may be even more important than what is on your page when you first start out, and that something is backlinks.
Backlinks are links that are found on another website leading to yours; they are the clickable text that allows you to move from one website to another. Search engines consider the number of backlinks a site has to be a very good indicator of its quality and popularity. The number of backlinks, and their quality, are one of the many factors that search engine algorithms use to rank your page in the search engine results pages(SERPS). Many SEO consultants claim that backlinks account for about 80% of a page’s placement in the search engines, the other 20% being related to your content and the websites format. So, you see, if you want your page to get traffic when people type one of you keywords into a search engine, you need to acquire backlinks, and usually, tons of them.
How should you start a link building journey?
Step one in any link building campaign should be a competitive analysis. Competition on the Internet is fierce in many niches, and in most larger markets, established websites have thousands of backlinks. Don’t be discouraged, the rewards will be well worth the effort if you stay focused and don’t quit early. Link building is a longer term process in search engine optimization, it is usually something that takes several months or even years to come to fruition.
To examine your competition you need to first determine which keywords you want to rank for in the search engines. Say, for example, that you have a site about high heels. Well, you would want to rank well for the search term high heels. Ideally, you eventually want to rank in the top 3 of the first page of the search engine result pages. However, to get your foot in the door, pun intended, you may want to also attempt to rank for some less popular keywords , such as red stiletto heels. This is because ranking high in the search engines for your main keyword may take several months, depending on the level of competition. So, if you search red stiletto heels, a website will come up that holds the number one spot for this keyword. This is where the analysis begins. Take whatever website that comes up in your search for the number one spot, and put the site name in the following directive (an instruction to a search engine) at Yahoo!. Type link domain: [http://www.examplesitehere.com] – site: [http://www.examplesitehere.com]. What this is asking the search engine is the following, give me the links to this domain, that is the (linkdomain:www.examplesitehere.com) part, and then exclude the links that are coming from the site itself, that is the (site:www.examplesitehere.com) part.
What you are going to get is a list (it might be rather large if you are in a major market) that is going to give you websites that have links to this industry leading site. This is very useful information, because it shows what sites are holding the links, and you are going to want to insert your site link on most of these sites to raise your site to page 1 of the search engine rankings.
Now that you have the list, you want to select which sites will give you the most backlink weight. Generally speaking, you want to find a site to link to that is highly related to your website. Once you do that you want to see how this site is viewed by the major search engines. Simply put, you want to check its authority status, and to do that, you need to check its PR(Page Rank). This is what Google uses to convey how they feel about a particular page.
So you can check a sites page rank to see if you would want a link from them. This is a broad way to check the link value a certain site has. It is very important that you make sure the content on the page where the link comes from is related to your site. You don’t want to necessarily get links from mini skirt sites if you have the high heel site as mentioned above. You want to get links from sites that rank high for your keyword. If the site is a direct competitor, then it may be very difficult to get a link from them if they don’t have a directory. Consequently, you need to concentrate on getting some links from further down the SERPS to get yourself started. When you are navigating other websites, looking for a place to put your link, ideally, you want a one way link. A one way link means that you get a link from the site to your page, but you do not give that site a link on your page. When you are first starting out, you want to attempt to only acquire one way links until you learn a bit more. The reason being that putting other people’s links on your page, or reciprocal links as they are called, can drain your page’s search engine ranking. To research why this happens I suggest reading about no follow links, page rank, and “link juice”.
Other methods for acquiring backlinks are submitting your site to directories and posting to forums. Let’s first examine directory submission. A directory is just a website on the Internet that has categories of links leading to particular websites. Some directories are easier to get into than others and there is healthy debate regarding the link weight that a particular directory can give you. When you are just starting out, especially in less competitive niches, backlinks are very important to climb the search engine, so you want to submit to any relevant directories you can find. To be very particular about your directory submissions would perhaps be a better strategy, but time is money, and the faster your site can climb the rankings, the better. So, generally, as long as the directory is just not a massive unrelated mess, you want to submit your site to it. Using our high heel site as an example again, start with the smallest niche your site fits into first, and then move out to larger categories. For example, if the high heel site talks about stilettos, then attempt to find a directory related to just stilettos. More than likely, you may just find a directory related to shoes or women’s shoes, and you want to submit to those, but if you can find more specific directories, they will be more powerful for you.
Submitting to directories takes time, especially if you are in a huge general market like fashion. From the time you request a directory inclusion(you sometimes actually write to a contact e-mail or fill in fields on a submission page) to the time a link will appear that leads to your site, could be several weeks or months, depending on your market. Smaller niches are great for fast Serps rises, because as a general rule they will have smaller directories, which results in faster submission review, and ultimately link inclusion. If you go too small, then finding directories will be difficult, and you may just end up submitting to large directories that will take forever to include you, and this may not help your Serps ranking much in the long run. For micro niches there are better methods for acquiring backlinks, and one of these methods is forum posting with links in your signature(links to your site in your forum posts, below the actual text you type).
Signature posting in forums is said by some not be an effective form of backlink acquisition,because the forum may prevent the guests of the forum(who are not registered members), and search engine bots(mathematically driven drones that look for backlinks), from seeing the links, thus negating their weight. This is true to some extent, however, in forums where not many people have links in their signature area, backlinks can hold more weight, because bots are only seeing a few links with all this related content(forum banter) surrounding your link.
In summation, forum signature links can give you some link juice(seo jargon for something that helps you rise in serps), and they are very effective in other ways. When you place links to your site in your signature, people can simply click on them to be directed to your website and become a member of your site if it is membership driven. Additionally, visitors can also arrive on your page and hopefully click on an ad or affiliate link. You build a reputation through your posts, and cultivate a readership and/or membership to your site. It is one of the best ways to grow a new niche site, and all it costs is your time.
There are some other ways, besides using yahoo linkdomain and yahoo site explorer, that can help you find places to submit your site’s link. Below are some link commands that you can use in Google. These commands work well to locate pages on websites that let you submit a link to your site. The keywords are just examples, and you would replace them with your keywords.
Intitle: add+url “keyword”
purses “submit url”
fashion “add link”
fashion “submit your blog”
fashion “submit your site”
There are also some commands to find blogs and forums that would be relevant posting areas. Some of these commands:
“add comment” keyword or “leave a comment” keyword, generally used to find some blogs as blog platforms use add comment or leave comment
“new topic” keyword or “new thread” keyword , “post reply” keyword, this is great for finding forums to talk with people who share similar interests as most forum software uses new topic or one of the other phrases just shown.
Another good idea to get in on conversation immediately is to do searches in Google, such as, posted December 12, 2007 Gucci. This is used by blogs or forums to indicate a message was left on this day. So if you have a relevant site, then writing some relevant comments and submitting your site link will bring you traffic and relevant backlinks.
Successful backlink acquisition is essential to building a site that will rank on the first page of the search engines. If you are serious about making money on the Internet, you must learn as much as you can about backlinks, and the aforementioned information should give you a good start.
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