One of the most important aspects of SEO is link building. There are two main reasons why. First,they offer passages for a web user to find your web site, and second, search engines use links within their ranking algorithm. Nowadays there are many different types of links and values associated with a link. I am going to be focusing on the types of links and their importance to search engines in this post.
- Authority Links
This type of link is essential in any competitive industry and very beneficial in less competitive niche markets. Authority links are an absolute must for improving your trust score these days in the major search engines. This is a must for a new site, and should be where you start your efforts, and always be dedicating some time. If your site is new and there is no trusted site linking to you, then you most likely will not be crawled or indexed well. Find the monster sites in your niche and ask for links. Be prepared for financial compensation and or future favours for the links though.
One method of finding the authorities is to search Google for your goal key phrases and derivatives and browse through the top 10 to find the informative sites offering links out. Another technique is to find your industry category at the Google Directory and DMOZ and start asking the sites listed there. Another type of authoritative link is a .edu or .gov link. Search engines may place more value on these types of links as they are less likely to be manipulated.
- Directory Links
The key to getting links from directories is … drum roll please …. CASH! Most trusted directories charge a fee for linkage, so be ready to pay some moderators. Don’t forget though, you can still find some great free directories to receive a link from. I’d start link developing with highly trusted directories like Yahoo, and then add some niche directories over time. Only add a few directories a month or else you may trip a filter in the search ranking algorithms.
This type of link development is to increase links at an incredibly fast pace. Linkbaiting usually involves some inside information on the topic, very important news, or leveraging the new social mediums out their, such as digg and del.icio.us. In most cases writing good controversial content causes others to want to link to you.
- News Sources Links
A link from news sources such as a radio station, newspaper, or magazine has great value directly from the link as well as a high possibility of creating buzz about your website and further linking to it. A great technique to achieve these links is to find a local journalist looking to write a story or even do some traditional advertising and negotiate for links.
- Purchased Links
Websites out on the web (usually high PageRank sites) sell text links. These text links can be purchased to increase your web site’s search engine placements. These can usually be seen under a ‘sponsored links’ heading in a sidebar. Contact the webmaster and try to negotiate a good price for a text link with great anchor text.
- Author/Comment Links
Find industry authorities that accept content submissions by guest writers, and either write an article or get a free lance writer to do it. Therefore you may get a link from an authority without having to pay the full price of buying a text link.
Another technique is to attach your website URL to your forum posting signature. However, make sure that the moderator has approved linkage in signatures. You can also comment on other related websites within your industry and either include your website in the website field or reference it in your comment where appropriate.
- Press Release Links
Find a list of press release submission services (both free and pay) and submit your news article to them. When writing your news article make sure to include content that people in your niche want to read about. Feel free to use a press release writer or service to create your news.
- RSS/Blog Links
Start a blog! By writing interesting content relevant to your industry you will have everyone in your industry linking to you…well not everyone. Then you can submit your blog feed to RSS and blog directories, commonplace to the social netizens that are always looking for intriguing articles to link to.
- Reciprocal Links
The value of reciprocal links have been debated over the last year or so because many link farms were based on this type of link. However, I feel that reciprocal links can be useful only if the link is from a relevant and complementary site to yours. So remember, reciprocal links are not dead, they are part of the ranking formula, but do not rely on them. Also, beware of the mass emailers that fill your inbox with link requests, there most likely is a needle in that haystack worth exchanging links with, but beware of the rest.