Building incoming links to your site

Link Building Strategy

How to build the right kind of incoming links to your website

Never under-estimate the importance of building incoming links to your website. All of the search engines take the number of links pointing to your site, from other websites, into account when working out the relevance of your web pages for any search term entered into a search box. This blog item has been written to help you evaluate a link request from another site.

Incoming Links as Votes

To look at incoming links in their simplest terms, the search engines consider each link to your website as a vote for your site - and the more votes there are for your site, the more value that the search engine spiders give to the content of your website.

So if I go out and get 500 links pointing at my site, I should jump up the search engines? That was a fairly true statement several years ago, but link analysis now plays as big a part of the search engine algorithms as link popularity. Link analysis is SEO-speak for the quality of the links that are pointing at your site. When analysing an incoming link, the search engines check:

  • The PageRank of the page that the link is coming from
  • The number of links pointing at the page and at the site that the link is coming from
  • The relevancy of the link - i.e. if the site linking to you is on-focus with your site content
  • If there are any bad neighbourhood links pointing at that link (adult, Viagra, gambling etc.)
  • The number of links on the page where the link that is pointing to your site is situated

Reciprocal Links to Accept

To understand a little bit more about PageRank and how it works, have a look at my articles: PageRank Explained and the PageRank Table. These articles go into greater detail than I have time for here, where I simply want to cover the basics of considering the quality of a link.

You will be offered reciprocal links from other webmasters, none of which should be ignored, as you can find some gems in there and it takes only a couple of minutes to check a link.

Checking a link:

  • Ensure the link is at least PR2
  • Ensure that the link is on focus with your product or service. If it is not on focus, yet it is a really good quality link, ensure that it is family friendly and that it is not completely out of place when appearing on your resources page. 
  • The website’s index page has a PR of 4 or above
  • Ensure that the resources page is linked to the site’s index page.
  • There are less than 50 links on the page. (Once your site is established and you are offering PR4 or above links back, on pages of 25 links or less, you can reduce this figure to 25) 
  • There are no undesirable external links on the page
  • There are no nofollow tags on the links
  • There is no robots metatag on the page with the content,”noindex, nofollow”
  • There is no javascript redirect on the link
  • The link is not redirected

If the link has a PR of 0, there are 90 links on the page and the resources page is not linked to the index page, forget it, it’s not worth being linked to that page. Even if you don’t want the link that is being offered, it it still worth replying stating your perameters for accepting a link. If they want you to link to them badly enough and you tell them that you only accept PR3, PR4, PR5 and PR6 links from pages with less than 50 links on them, (or whatever parameter you set for yourself), they will relocate your link to a suitable page.

It stands to reason that this is the same process you should go through when you are locating links as part of your ongoing link campaigns.

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The Big Man's SEO blog is primarily aimed at website owners looking for ethical SEO tips, optimisation advice and who are interested in reading articles and opinions related to search engines, the internet, technology and software.