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Building Links The Right Way

Jan 15, 2008
Link building has benefits for webmasters. There are beliefs that this improves your search engine ranking as well as generally gets the word on your site out to a greater audience. As with most options for webmasters, this area offers both potential benefits as well as penalties.

The easy ways are simple. Enlist the power of family, friends and associates who all have web pages or web sites. Get as many as possible to link to your web site. Of course, this is only the start of the links you'll want.

There once was a popular practice online called, "link farming." This was in high demand because it was believed that links had a far greater impact on a web site's popularity. In truth, links do help your web site, but this is only to a point. You can't have a poorly coded web site and expect to jump to the top 100 just by linking.

People who operated link farms didn't focus enough on content and, as a result, web engines began punishing those who maintained pages too similar to link farms. Why was this an unwanted practice?

One of the main reasons this was undesirable was because the pages simply had no real content. Web masters who practiced link farming literally created page after page of links. There was no content, no navigation, nothing of any substance whatsoever. Web surfers were finding themselves trapped on pages that didn't offer anything aside from links.

Search engines grew wise and began avoiding such link-filled pages. Soon after that, those once-popular web sites started declining in popularity and visitation.

There are a far better methods of utilizing the power of links and webmasters can rest assured there will be no rank deductions for practicing them. Remember, the benefits of link exchanges should be two-fold. Not only do you want your rankings improved, you want more traffic.

Link exchanges are a great way to both give and create links to your site. In turn, this will give a good flow of traffic. These are best done on pages where surfers are told to expect links. You can give your page such titles as, "friends," "affiliates," or even, "associates." In order for your page to avoid the "link farm" category, you must consider your visitor.

For every link you offer, give them some information on what the site is about. Link farmers avoided this and didn't give their visitors any information on the site. You can include the site's title, its mission, or just a brief statement on why it is appropriate on your web site.

The best link exchanges will be with sites offering similar information. If you maintain a web site on the fun of homemade crafts, you may not see a great benefit from linking with an online casino company. However, you can link with suppliers, teachers, or hobbyists and see a great influx of traffic.

One practice that you don't want to undertake is the fruitless link. Many webmasters will link up with anyone and everyone, regardless, and expect this aggressive linking to have a positive result. It does little more than annoy many other webmasters and imply your site is a "seedy," one.

Aggressive linking has no merit and there is no reason for it. Certainly, you can't often get direct permission from a site's administration and this doesn't cover legitimate recognition. If you cite a work or post on a message board that another member may benefit from a web site you visit, there's nothing wrong with that. That's a genuine purpose. Just linking for the sake of linking doesn't give you any results.

Many webmasters who link this way spend far too much time attempting to drum up visitors who may or may not be curious when they should also be focusing on code, purpose, organization, and drawing legitimate, steady traffic. Link exchanging is the greatest benefit when it's a cooperative effort. Otherwise it would simply be called, "linking."

Another way of building links is through the paying services. These companies do require a financial investment, but many are highly worthwhile. Be wary in this arena, though, it may get you into trouble with the search engines if you are simply buying links from another site. You can always trade content with associates in your industry. This helps when a "blurb" is left. You may find that just a link in the copyright information of your article or press release can drive a great deal of traffic to you.

These tips are only the start in a topic that has held the attention, and fascination, of webmasters for years. Linking can be beneficial and draw a great deal of traffic to your site; however a few rules must be observed to obtain optimum link efficiency.
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