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Link Building for Google
Published 3 March 2009
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Link Building for Google

Published by Paul Forest on 3 March 2009
E-mail this to a friend Printer Version Search Engine Optimisation

Building a good link network is critical for your success on Google. Your link network contributes to your PageRank and will help Google to determine your relevancy to searches that are made. You need to create as many strong links from other websites as possible. These links should also relate to the content of your site. For most sites, if you can establish 5 or more strong links, you should experience good results.

There are 3 standard choices for building links; 1-Way, 2-Way or 3-Way.

1-Way Links
1-Way links are the ultimate links to acquire. This is where another site has linked to your site and you are not linking back to them. 1-Way links can occur when someone feels that you have something valuable to offer their website visitors. With this in mind, putting effort into the content on your website is very beneficial. The more good content you create, the more likely you are to attract 1-Way links. If you happen to acquire a link from an authority site, like .edu or .gov domains, Google will reward you greatly.

A good source of 1-Way links is from directories. Examples of directories include DMOZ, Yahoo and Web Wombat. Directories can also be industry-specific (i.e. thecardirectory.com.au) or location specific (i.e. visitaustralia.com.au), which is great for your Google rankings, especially if they have a good PageRank. The most important directory is the DMOZ directory. This directory feeds 1,000’s of directories around the world, including the Google directory.

Directories that will place your link on a page with a good PageRank are a fantastic way to build up 1-Way links to your site. The good directories will charge you for this service. Do your research here. The prices can vary wildly and it is good to build up a list of options before you commit to anything. This list should include the directory URL, the PageRank and the estimated number of outgoing links on that page.

Another source of 1-Way links is paying to have a text link placed on a non-directory site. You need to be careful when paying for links on other websites. While this seems like an easy way to build up a network of links, it compromises Google’s terms and conditions. Google requires advertising links to use ‘no follow’ tags, so if you are able to find advertising that doesn’t do this, it may be risky. Google will penalize sites that are offering paid linking. This penalty may also not be apparent as the website can still maintain its PageRank. In summary, we do not recommend paying for links to your site.

2-Way Links
2-Way links or Reciprocal links are where you link to someone else’s website and they in return, link to yours. These types of links are often the easiest and most affordable way to build up your link network. Although they do not have the punch of 1-Way links, Google will still reward you for establishing this kind of link network. The downside to these links is that it is usually very hard to acquire good links for your site. The upside is that they are free!

3-Way Links
3-Way or Triangular links work where Site A links to Site B, Site B links to Site C and then Site C links back to Site A. This process is an offshoot from 2-Way linking. There is no benefit to this type of linking and many experts believe that it will only result in penalties for your site.

Determining Link Strength
PageRank is a score that Google has assigned to a web page. This information is hidden from the public, so we’ll just make a score up for this example. Say we are getting a link from a PR4 page which Google has given 100 points to. On this page there are 10 links. So, roughly each link will carry a score of 10 which it then provides to the page it is linking to. The scores allocated to links on a page will vary based on their visibility on the page. A link that is bolded in large font at the top of the page will have a lot more weighting than a link in small text at the bottom of the web page.

Building Inbound Links - Making Contact
It is wise to spend time in contacting other websites. With the Internet, website owners are now flooded with requests for link exchange. You need to put some effort in to stand out from the crowd. A personlised email, specifically drawing attention to the website you are contacting goes a long way. It’s also a good idea not to request a link with the 1st email. Make an enquiry first, so that a relationship can be built. Phone call follow ups are also a great way to build a relationship with a prospective link partner. In short, work with a group of say 30 websites that you have found to be strong links. Focus on these sites in developing a relationship which may end up leading to the acquisition of 5-10 links. Once you feel that you have exhausted your communication with these sites, move onto another group of 30.

Avoid Trying to Trick Google!
Black Hat techniques can inflate search results very quickly. These techniques are geared at tricking search engines, like Google, into believing that they are seeing something that is not actually visible to people who are visiting the site. In a nutshell, tricking search engines, like Google, can be incredibly detrimental to your business. While you may be able to temporarily inflate your rankings, once Google discovers what you are up to, your website will be banned and your sales will come tumbling down. Working with Google will ensure more stable long-term results.

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