Posts Tagged ‘backlinks’

Implementing Effective Link Building

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Link building can be a long, arduous process. Given the scope of most link building projects, it’s vital that you allocate your resources and time efficiently. Awareness of the major link building misconceptions that persist, plus a bit of creativity, can go a long way toward effective link building.

Overemphasizing Google PageRank and Relevance

When deciding whether or not to pursue a link on a given page, the cues used to understand the value of the page are often Google Page Rank and the site’s relevance. Both are important, but neither should be over-emphasized at the expense of missing link building opportunities.

Google’s PageRank (PR) is the level of authority that the search engine assigns each web page that it crawls. To the extent that PR serves as a general guide for a site’s influence and reach, it can be useful. But to draw any major distinction between links from a PR 3 and a PR 4 page is just splitting hairs, and it’s certainly not a productive approach to link building. Furthermore, PR is not an accurate representation of Google’s own weighting system; links on PR 0 page can prove quite valuable, especially in the right context (such as on an authority domain like a .gov or .edu link).

The standard logic has long been that the most valuable links are those placed on relevant, similar-themed sites. While this is true, interpreting it at face value can lead to lost opportunities. The best links are always on relevant sites (preferably those of the same niche or industry) or those with similar themes, even links on entirely unrelated sites aren’t harmful, and can often help. Use common sense, but never reject a link building opportunity outright just because it isn’t in the same industry as your site.

Relying on Outdated Strategies in a Rapid Industry

There is a wealth of strategies that link builders have at their disposal, but the best ones are not used nearly enough. An excess of emphasis on the more mechanical aspects of link building – directory submission, for example – is a trap many fall into.

You can get much more for your time and money by testing under-utilized but tried and true methods, as well as some creative new ones:

Go back to the basics. The classic form of link building has always been the personalized note or phone call to the webmaster to the site on which you’d like a link. This has fallen out of favor in some circles because it takes time to personalize for each site and to make the case for your inclusion, but it remains one of the most consistently effective techniques.

Make your link building campaign Web 2.0-friendly. Every link builder’s goal is to have other people handle the tedious aspects of link building for them, and a well-planned viral media campaign can have that effect. Use “link bait,” articles written with the intention of gathering links. Write about sensational, reader-friendly topics and use catchy headlines. Create video content that’s attractive to link to.

Don’t let conventional wisdom constrict your attempts to run an effective link building campaign: avoid the myths, be creative, and let your link building take off.