This is how you build relationships with your visitors. And relationships are the ultimate reason
to create a web site at all, part of making sure your web site appears in front of as many people as
possible. As long as relationships are your main priority, all of the other elements of link building
should fall right into place.
When you’re creating your outbound links, you should keep some guidelines in mind to appease
search engine crawlers, because even though the main target for your links should be your site
visitors, search engines will pay attention to your links and your search ranking could be affected
Keep your links relevant.
That doesn’t mean that you can only link to pages that are in
the same industry as your own, but if you do link outside your industry, make sure there
is some logical reason for sending your visitors in that direction.
Don’t overuse links.
There’s nothing more frustrating for site users than to find that every
other word in an article is linked. A good rule of thumb is no more than two or three links
per article or blog post on your site. Other links, like ads for other services, can be added
in addition to these text links, but again, keep them to a minimum.
Use keyword anchor text as often as possible
when creating your links. Using the
phrase “click here” won’t gain you any leverage with a search engine crawler. Using a link
that reads “gourmet ingredients,” when that phrase is one of your key phrases, will help
improve your search engine ranking as long as the link leads to a page that truly is about
Be careful whom you link to.
You may have heard the phrase “Don’t link to bad neigh-
borhoods.” What it means is that you don’t want to link to low-quality sites, because some
search engines will penalize you for that. For example, if you link to a spam site or a link
farm, search engines are not going to look favorably on that link. If, however, you link to
high-ranking sites, you’ll gain even more traction with search engines. Remember, though
you may not be penalized for sites that link to you, the outbound links on your site are
under your control.
Don’t create pages that contain only links.
This common practice from the early days
of the Internet is no longer useful. Search engines see pages that contain nothing but links
and read them as spam pages. If you must use a resources page, be sure to include descrip-
tions of each link that you include on the page. Better yet, avoid this practice altogether if
there’s any way you can.
Monitor links and update broken ones.
A broken link is worse than not having a link
at all. When you link to a page and don’t check back on the links periodically, things
could change — companies go out of business, web sites change and disappear altogether.
Then, when the search engine crawler follows the links on your page and finds a broken
link, this reflects badly on your site. If the broken link is there for a long time, the search
engine could reduce your ranking because it appears that you’re not maintaining your site
Understanding the Role of Links and Linking
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