a link to your site is a vote for the relevance of your site. So, if you’re linking out to other sites, then
you’re voting for them. And internal links ensure that a search engine crawler can find the various
pages in your site. A dangling link is a link that leads into a page that has no links leading out of it.
Each of these different types of links affects site ranking differently for engines that take linking
architectures into consideration. For example, a dangling link could be ignored entirely by a search
engine, or the page to which the link points could score lower on the linking metrics because all the
links are coming into the page, but there are none going out. And that’s what makes linking such a
fine science. You need to know how the links on your site will affect the amount of traffic the site
has. You also need to know how to have links without going overboard, so that the crawler labels
your site as a link farm.
Snagging inbound links
Nearly every web site has links that lead out to other web sites. It’s rare to find a site that doesn’t link
to another site somewhere on the Web. That’s how communities are built around specific industries
and topics. And the links that leave your site are important, but they’re not nearly as important as
those links that lead to your site. These inbound links, as you’ve already discovered, are seen by search
engines as votes for your site within a particular community of sites.
Anytime you’re being voted for, you want to have as many votes as possible. Inbound links are no
different. You want to have a large number of links that lead to your site. You can achieve those links
in a variety of ways, some more effective than others:
The oldest method of gaining inbound links is to request them. This
requires that you study your market to find out who the players involved in the market
are. Then, you contact each one of the sites that you discover and ask them to link to your
site. In most cases, the person you contact receives your request, but providing links to
other sites is the least of their worries, so you may not even hear from them. If you do, it
can sometimes be months later. So, you put a lot of time into requesting links from other
sites for a relatively small return on your efforts.
One of the most effective methods of gaining inbound links is to offer
an article for other companies to use as long as they include a paragraph of information at
the bottom that includes credits for you as well as a link back to your site. This method
of gaining inbound links works well, because web sites are always looking for good con-
tent to include on their pages. The catch here is that the article you write should be well-
written, accurate, and useful to other sites in your industry. Once you’ve produced an article
that meets these requirements, you can begin to let others know that you have content
available for them to use for free. Just remember to require a link back to your site in return
for the freedom to use your article on their sites.
Another way to get links back to your site is from bloggers. What started as a strange
phenomenon that was mostly personal has now become a powerful business tool, and many
businesses rely on links back to their sites from the various industry bloggers out there. In
most cases, though, bloggers aren’t just going to stumble onto your web site. I t’s far better for
you to contact the blogger with information about your organization, some product
13 1 8:57 198