While many factors of search engine optimization change with the times, one constant that will probably always factor in how search engines rank sites is the number of links pointing back to your website. Building high-quality back links should be a key priority for your search engine optimization strategy.
What is Link Popularity?
Link popularity is how search engines calculate the quantity and quality of links to a website. Quantity is simply how many websites link back to your site. Quality is how relevant the website linking to your site is to your subject matter.
It’s not enough just to get a large number of links from various websites. To have the most effect on your search ranking, the best links are from websites in a related industry. For instance, a marketing blogger might link to another marketing blogger or a bankruptcy law firm might link to a credit counseling company. The idea is that the website topics are related somehow. If a lawyer links to a dog grooming site, it won’t carry as much weight because the topics are seemingly unrelated.
When you build links to your site, aim for quality. This needs to be stressed in the modern area of Google’s ongoing Penguin updates that target spammy backlinks.
5 Ways to Build Links Back To Your Site
Getting other people to link to you can be challenging. Link building often is time-consuming and you only see gradual results. Years ago, it was much easier to build links because search engines weren’t as strict about which websites linked to others. Now, search engines have cracked down on spam sites whose sole purpose is to link to other spam sites. Here are a few ways to generate links to your website.
- Guest blogging – Build relationships with prominent bloggers in your industry by leaving useful blog comments or interacting with them on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. As you build rapport, ask if you can submit a guest post to their blog for a back link. For the best links, pick websites that have great content that you’d be happy to be affiliated with and submit one of your unique, high-quality articles.
- Directory links – These used to work pretty well, but Google has now been cracking down on web directory links. If you go this route, stick to the highest quality directories like Yahoo Directory ($299/year) and Best of the Web ($299.95). Also, focused, industry-specific directories can also be worth considering. However, for the most part, most directories (and the fees they charge) are not worth it.
- Produce content – If you regularly publish articles, free reports, podcasts or video, you have a much greater chance of getting people to link back to that content.
- Send testimonials – If you have used a product or service, sometimes you can submit your testimonial and the site owner will give you a link back to your website.
- Conduct interviews – Interview key players in your niche. Often, the interviewee will link to you, as well as some of his or her readers.
- Press releases – Many online press release services give you the option to link back to your website. Google has discounted many of the spammier services but you can still go the paid route with PRWeb.com or sites like it. Choose quality over quantity here.
Though it takes work, if you spend a few minutes each day getting quality back links to your website, your results will pay off long-term.