Search engines – particularly Google – place a huge importance on quality inbound / outbound links associated with your web site. Links pointing to your web site, especially from reputable sources, are viewed by Google as a vote of confidence for your web content, and the more quality votes your content gets, the higher your rank. In fact, Google’s entire algorithm was originally based on this system of reputation.
Some aspects of link building include studying the marketplace for potential opportunities to build a valuable asset into your web site, building this asset, and then “seeding” the marketplace with your link to let others know about it. Sometimes called “link bait”, this approach is the safest and follow Google’s recommended guidelines very closely.
Other link building tactics include:
Improving an Existing Link – your site likely already has some links pointing to it that merely need improvement, and getting this link improved cab be a huge benefit because it’s “low hanging fruit.” Broken links, poorly formatted link text or URL listings without the actual hyperlink are good examples of reclamation that can give the site an early boost. Getting these links improved often simply means contacting the site administrator and making them aware that the link is broken or poorly formatted. Most site owners will quickly fix the link – and thank you for pointing out the problem.
Standard Directories – there are several standard directories – both free and paid – that every web site should be listed in.
Vertical or Industry Directories – every industry has several important directory listings of sites specific to your markets and categories. Researching these is pretty straightforward – try searching on one of your target keywords in Google, for example, along with the phrase “Add Site” next to it. For example, to research some vertical directories for the keyword SEO Cleveland, we might search Google on “seo cleveland” AND “add site”, which produces some potential paid and nonpaid sites that might accept your link.
Online Press Optimization – press releases distributed online can create fast linking opportunities. While many of these links will only have a short shelf life, others may get distributed to archived web sites where the link will continue to provide value, and clicks, for a long time to come.
Blog Syndication – as you develop or acquire valuable article content, shop these articles around to other bloggers who might find the information important enough to share with their audience. Make sure that along with the blog posting you negotiate a link as part of the deal. This form of “guest blogging” can lead to quite a few links over time.