Besides proper keyword research and on-page optimization, link building is still one of the most important factors for getting high page rankings on search engines and boosting traffic to your website.
Few years ago link building was essential for getting rankings. It was the key component for getting traffic to your website too. That is why today there are thousands of directory listings that no one really visits anymore. OK, maybe DMOZ, Alexa, Yahoo and few others.
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and improving and people don’t have to go to directory listings anymore to find your website under some category. They just type their phrases into Google and – find exactly what they are looking for.
Search engines were focused more on number of backlinks to your website back then, but quality content and good on-page optimization can do miracles today. No longer high PR (page rank) defined by Google plays crucial part either. And with combining proper link building with choosing right keywords and clean on-page SEO it is much easier to beat competition.
What is a link?
Link is a piece of code on a website that points to another website or page. It has an anchor text (a text contained within the link)
- Internal link is a link that is specifically pointing from one page on your site to another page on your site
- External link is a link from another website that points to your website or page
When talking about link building – I am referring to external linking mostly.
So, what exactly link building is?
Link building is essentially a voting system. Growing the number of your website or web page links on other websites gives your site some importance by “association”. Meaning – higher ranked websites with some authority will give better references to your site via links. Search engines obviously care a a lot how many people is referring to your web pages, and in what context. Link is actually one of the relevancy factors when determining your site position.
Five main link building techniques:
1. Submitting your website to directory listings
Directory submissions were very important factor for higher ranking, specially placing your link on high PR directory lists. Today this is just a part of your link building business strategy.
It will ad to your authority, and improve the amount of websites pointing back to yours but it will not ad the kind of impact the anchor text that points to one of your pages does.
Directory submissions are almost always pointed to your main domain, so make sure you use your main keywords.
There are 2 types of directory submissions
- High End (usually paid) directory submissions – done only once and never again (like DMOZ, Yahoo, Botw). DMOZ is free – although it takes time to be accepted as it is human edited, sometimes even couple of months – just be persistent. Yahoo and Botw are paid directories that I recommend you try to get listed on. You don’t have to do it as soon as you set up your website, but keep in mind that being listed on those 3 will give an edge on search engine rankings. So, once you start getting some income from your website, go ahead and get listed on paid Yahoo and Botw directories. Smart link building.
- Normal – submitting to normal directories is best done on continual basis. It has to become a part of your natural consisting link building process. Most directories are human edited and it takes time to be accepted, some require e-mail authorization after submission, some accept your link right away.
Best way to get natural link building is to submit to 5-10 directories every day. It will take 5-10 minutes of your time doing it manually. All you need is to type your Title, short Description and URL.
You want 1-way links and never engage in reciprocal link submissions. There are thousands of free directory lists that you can submit your website to. Just type “free directories” in Google and you will find a bunch. I suggests keeping track of directories you submitted to.
Methods for Directory Submissions
- manual – if you can spare 5-10 minutes of your time every day then this might be the best solution for your directory link building. Here is a list of some 20.000 free directory submission websites you can submit to. I repeat – do not overdo yourself with submitting to hundreds of sites at once. You want natural link building process in the eyes of search engines. 5-10 submissions per day is perfect for new websites. Later on when you build your website up, you might want to speed up the process a bit.
- software – directory submission software can speed up your link building process on daily basis. One of the oldest and most powerful suites is SubmitEaze.
Personally, I like this software suite because it offers adding custom directory lists and keeps track of your submissions. It is actually directory and article submission software with lifetime updates. Turbo submitter once set up can submit your website in literally 1 second.
Visit SubmitEaze Official Homepage for more information and download.
- service – there are lots of services that offer natural link building, and natural directory submission process, but I strongly advise you to never engage into “5000 backlinks in a week” stupidities. You can get ignored or banned from Google. I am not going to recommend any of those – as using those services is on the brim of black-hat SEO. Think of it as gray area. You can find nice services and never get banned, your links will count, everybody happy. But it is unnatural link building.
2. Submitting your articles to article directories
This is the best link building path. It is similar to having your articles in newspapers or magazines. It does two things – it ads value to your web pages and builds links at the same time.
There are 2 types of article submissions
- high end – Like EzineArticles. It is high end article site and I strongly suggest that you completely overwrite your article specially for them. It is one of those high PR websites that have huge impact on your website positioning on search engines if you have backlinks there. So, make sure your content is unique, written good and specific.
- normal – unlike high end article sites, normal article sites don’t require 100% unique articles. Mostly they require some 400 words and you can have your backlink in few days as soon as it is approved. Just like directory submission, you want consistent article submission, 5-10 per day.
Methods for article submissions
- manual – It can take significant amount of time, but with carefully choosing where you are submitting your articles based on authority it will eventually pay off. Here is free Article Directory List with around 3.000 article directories that you can start submitting your articles to.
- article submittersoftware – Now, there are some nice software suites specialized for article submissions only. Like Brad Callen Article Submitter. If you are writing lots of articles on your website and want to speed up the process of link building then this might be the perfect solution for you. Unlimited number of articles submitted to unlimited number of websites, with lifetime software updates – and free for trial. Try it out.
- service – My favorite link building technique is paying some service to do the boring job of article submissions. I must admit, this is the 1th thing I did when I started serious backlinks building when I saw how much time it takes. It is a bit costly process, but it pays out. And once submitted you don’t have to ever pay attention to your articles .Your backlinks are automatically built. Once I found out about site networks, I completely switched over. (article subission link building methods)
3. Link building through site networks
Now this is one of the best ways of link building. But you have to be very careful to choose a good site network. They are all paid unfortunately, and are considered one of the best investments into online business by most marketers.
What they do is basically bring together those that have sites and want content and those that have content and want links. Good networks will not over-distribute your articles and they build links naturally over time.
I will just pinpoint two of my favorite site networks that you can read detailed review if interested. Rapid Free Traffic and Article Marketing Automation. The reason those two are recommended is their huge network base of some 30.000 sites and they allow 3 backlinks in your articles. Link building process is completely under your control, and you can see the results in few days. They both have article spinning tool implemented for automatic creation of unique texts. And both have 60 days money back guarantee.
4. Leaving your links on Blogs
Or blog commenting in other words – works perfect as long as those blogs are do-follow sites. Now, blog commenting is not comment spamming. You do not want to piss off the blog owners and community with silly “Hi, just wanted to tell that your site looks great!” comments with your website keyword as your name. Do not ruin your reputation for the sole purpose of link building.
Those comments will most likely get deleted at some point. If you want to engage in blog commenting I suggest that you actually read the content of the blog and write your opinion.
The best way for link building on blogs from personal experience is finding related but noncompetitive blogs and contacting the blog owners, asking them nicely if they would include your pages links in some of their posts (this only works if your content fulfills or extends the content of their blog)
There are actually software suites that do the job of blog commenting (spamming) and I hate those, so I’m not even going to name them. I don’t recommentd them for real link building.
5. Leaving your links on forums
Similar to blog commenting link building process, but with higher authority. I do not recommend engaging into forum commenting as it requires too much valuable time to build up your forum reputation, and you can easily get banned for even posting 1 wrong comment.
Other interesting techniques for getting backlinks.
I will not go in depth as there are really numerous ways for quality link building. Specific links give more importance to the search engines equation.
I will just name several very easy ways for getting quality links back to your website:
- Start your own blog – There are many blog services on Internet. It takes only few minutes to set up a blog on Squidoo for example. my favorite link building technique when I have some spare time.
- Get people automatically link to your pages – This is done with creating unique useful content. Make lists of useful things that require some research, offer free surveys to noncompetitive websites related to yours – fulfilling their content, offer people to sign up your newsletter, establish business relationship with related but noncompetitive high authority website… be creative with link building.
- Comment on Yahoo Answers, Google Groups, and other high authority websites but don’t spam. Write a review on Amazon for related product, swap links with few high authority websites (do not engage in extensive reciprocal link building)…
Link Building summary
Don’ts of Link Building
- Don’t use your website URL as the anchor text – unless really necessary
- Don’t involve your sites with reciprocal linking – it is OK to some extent
- Don’t involve your sites with 3 way linking – it confuses search engines
- Don’t involve yourself with anything related to Black Hat link building (cloaking etc.)
- Don’t use words “click here” for your anchor text – it is dumb
- Don’t get caught up in the “latest craze” of link building – those things come and go – your links too
- Don’t interlink your own sites – unless where relevant
- Don’t do “link bombs” – creating thousands of links per day – very bad way of link building
Do’s of link building
- Do use correct anchor text
- Do point every link to the correct page
- Do be consistent with your link building
- Do build your links naturally over time
Enjoy your link building and automate the process as much as possible. And remember – Consistence in link building will pay off eventually.