It's crucial that you have already read the page SEO and Link Earning because on today's web you are not going to be able to build links unless you have content good enough to earn them.
You might also realise that links are the last part of this SEO guide. That's because if your content is not clear to search engines then links are going to have limited affect. Remember your page or site needs to:
It used to be a case that the more links the better - lots of links meant people liked your website so it must be good and it should rank higher in the search results. Now this is not necessarily so as webmasters have learnt how to game the system through various link building programmes and concepts. Search engines know it and so they've binned this approach when deciding who should rank for what.
They have evolved and now when they see a page on your site has a link they consider:
We'll cover these in more detail in a moment.
The list above defines how much "link juice" should pass from the page with the link to your page and this in turn gives search engines a measure of how much Authority your page and site has for that topic.
So thousands of links from directories are worth almost nothing because:
As Google's Penguin 2.0 rolled out in early 2013 it sounded the final death bell of most spammy link concepts from pushing articles onto services such as Ezines and other content farms to the few pointless directories that had escaped Penguin 1.0.
These were websites with very little Link Juice to offer but there was still some worth chasing. No longer.
So how to get those all important quality, topic related links:
Before going through the list its important to bear in mind the impact of some link building activities. The easier it is to do, the more likely everyone as done it. So sure, submit your site to Yellow Pages but don't expect it to be the silver bullet. Everyone else has probably done the same. On the flip side getting a link to stick in Wikipedia is tough - achieve it and you will stand out.
So here are a few ways you can create targeted links:
Now if you think about it all these ways to link build and get links that count are going to take alot of time. You can guest blog on twenty sites that accepts rubbish and will link to anything but links there will count for next to nothing and chances are those twenty sites will eventually get penalized by the search engines for having unnatural outbound links and then the links will dissappear.
While those sites are going up in smoke the search engines will also spot the links to you and you might end up with a penalty of your own for unnatural inbound links.
So the long and short of it is link build very, very selectively if you need to in order to get you started. After that spend your time on new content or making the old content even better by analysing your user behabviour.
The second type of links you can go for are ones that won't change the Authority of your website in the eyes of search engines but will bring you visitors. If your content is top notch grade some of these visitors will create links to it that will count. Its widely known as 'indirect SEO'.
Long, long gone are the days where you would hire a company to make you 1,000 links, 400 blog comments, 400 forum posts, 25 articles, etc. Such activity is a red cloth to a bull and literally asking for your website to be banned from the major search engines.
Modern (and clean) link builders may spend a week to create one link and cost anything from a thousand dollars up but if that one link is, for example, on or close to a seed site (a website Google sees as whiter than white - Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, etc.) it will work wonders for your rankings.
Really professional link builders are more like PR companies these days. They're just trying to say to the major online players "Hey, did you know about this content over here" and hope the reply they get is "No we didn't, its great, we'll reference it in something we write about" or "Crikey, that's much better than something we're currently linking to, we'll change the link".
Their true value is often in their network of contacts.
I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimisation and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.
If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.