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Link Building Do’s and Dont’s

By Steve Vaughan

Link building is a technique that most webmasters find hard to execute. Years ago it was simple enough, choose your key word for your anchor text and use it for all incoming links. Now, that just doesn’t have the importance it once did and most sites are trying to rank well for more than just one keyword.

First, what is an anchor text? Quite simply it is the text used in your incoming links. So if someone linked to your site using “Big Widgets”, Big Widgets is the anchor text. Now the keywords you use as anchor text contributes to the importance of the page it links too and the search engines will give that page a small boost in the rankings when someone searches for that term. Hopefully, you can see the extreme importance to picking the right anchor text. This is meant to work in conjunction with all the other optimization you do for your site and is an important cog in the wheel of your SEO strategy but not the whole wheel itself.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts on link building especially if you are new to link building and hopefully a few reminders for those that have been doing it a while.

– Do link with sites that may be of interest to your visitors. Often referred to as relevant links, these links are deemed more worthwhile to have than just any link. For example if your site is about cars, a link from a site that sells real estate will do you no good compared to a link from a site that sells car parts.

– Do link with sites that have a clearly labeled link page from their main page. Hidden or hard to find link pages do not help you build traffic. Of course getting a link directly on the home page would be best but if you can not, at least make sure there is a chance someone may find it.

– Do stay organized. Use a spreadsheet, notebook or link exchange software to help you keep track of the link exchanges you have requested and the contact details of the webmasters. This will help you save time by not trying to contact someone who just denied you a link and help you do follow up with those that need to be.

– Don’t confuse quantity with quality. Trust me; the search engine will never confuse them. Good, relevant quality links will win over time. Don’t believe me, check out a popular search term and see how many back links the sites in the top position have. You may be surprised to find that must have less than 500.

– Don’t assume everybody will link with you. Sometimes it may be hard to understand but some sites will not be interested no matter how good the offer to trade links with you. Don’t get discouraged, move to the next site and then the next until you find a site that will, then do it again.

– Don’t use link farms. Link farms are pages we have all seen that have little or no real content and are just covered with link after link. You are unlikely to get extra traffic from them and it may cost you in terms of a search engine penalty.

Link building is imperative to having a good search engine ranking and a good link building strategy is one that is straight forward and never ends. Don’t try short cuts and be very particular whom you link too. It could mean lots of money and ranking if you build links the right way.

Steve Vaughan has been a webmaster since 2002 and has several sites ranking high in search engines. Check his latest SEO blog at Search Engine Optimization

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