Many Search Engine Optimizers will agree that link popularity is one of the key SEO elements that can either make or break a site when it comes to search engine visibility. Therefore, you cannot but wonder; what is link building, how does it work and how can it increase search engine rankings?
Links are text or graphics which will guide Internet user to another web page location when clicked on. Therefore, link building is the process of intentionally creating or increasing links to gain link popularity or top PageRank of a site. This can be accomplished by requesting links from webmasters of other sites.
Link popularity can be defined as the number and quality of inbound links (or backlinks) pointing to a particular web page and can play a significant role in the visibility of that website. Link popularity is similar to human popularity contests. The more visible you are, the more people will know about you, the better chances you have to beat the competition. The difference between real life and the virtual world is that on the Internet, the judging is done by search engines and the prize is not a car or cruise, but excellent search engine rankings.
Although each search engine has its own algorithms, they all factor in ‘link popularity’ in the technology they use to calculate query results. While Google is more interested in the quality of the links, Yahoo pays more attention to the total number of links to a site.
To gain link popularity consider the following:
• PageRank is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. Google applies this tool to measure site quality. To see your PageRank results you can either install the Google Toolbar or use a browser add-on. The higher your result on the 0-10 scale, the more impressed Google is with your site.
• On-site SEO includes PageRank from one page to another within the same website and is considered as important as the overall quality of your site.
• Internal Linking Structure is vital for balancing an entire website. This means linking stronger pages to the weaker ones on the site.
• Nofollow Tags are HTML attributes used to tell search engines that certain hyperlinks should not influence the ranking of the link target in the search engine’s index. This action improves the quality of search engine results and prevents spamdexing or ‘overstuffing”.
Link building can also be enhanced by proper keyword, keyword phrases and off-page factors, which include basics such as:
• Directory Submissions are viewed as powerful and safe link building strategies. They are great tools as long as you use quality directories that can be beneficial to your website. Some directories are free and can be a great resource for locating other directories, which are more category or region specific.
• Blogging is an action search engines love. Just remember to post blogs regularly, as both users and search engines, like fresh content!
• Articles and Press Releases show your authority and expertise on the topics you focus on. You can publish quality articles on your own pages, or post them, with relevant links back to your site, on popular Ezine sites. Some of these publishing sites are even free.
• Social media posts on top bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, or Reddit will help those with similar interests find you.
• Video Clips are a fun and enjoyable way to ‘spread the word!’ Just think of all the submissions to YouTube and the amount of people whose visual posting, in which they were able to add links back to their website, have made them famous.
• Network Emails can help to expose your profile drastically. Indeed, adding links to your site every time you send out a personal or business email will attract attention and increase your visibility. To save time, you can even program your email settings to include a signature automatically.
Link building campaigns can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Start small, do the research and work your way up as you learn. Before you know it you will be on top of the search engine ranking lists and make profits beyond your wildest dreams.