by John Eberhard
Link building is a vital part of getting your site to rank well with search engines. Google says that the number of links on other sites pointing to your site is the primary criteria for their determining how high they will rank your site for any given keyword.
Internet marketers used to do something called “reciprocal link building,” where they would contact other webmasters for other sites and offer to put up a link to that webmaster’s site if he would link to them on his site. I believe it has been two years since Google totally devalued these types of links, making them of no value any more. But I still get emails from other webmasters asking to do reciprocal linking. And incredibly I still see articles where the author promotes doing it. Get with it guys!
I have found that three actions are the most successful ones for developing links to a web site today.
For some odd reason in the SEO community, many of the writers look down their noses at article directories, don’t use them or even talk about them. I once posted something on a forum on a major SEO site about article directories and the moderator removed it!
So I don’t know what these SEO types have against article directories, but I have been taking articles about my clients (and my own company) and posting them on article directories, for about four years, and have built up thousands and thousands of links for clients. My own site as of today has 34,300 links to it. I have taken client web sites with practically no links and built them up to thousands in just a few months.
The article should be 400 words (some sites have a minimum), and should be written about some topic of interest in your industry, but should not directly pitch your company. Then you create a “Bio box” which contains a short blurb about the author, his company web site address (actually you can have up to three web addresses) and can contain a phone number.
We have software which partially automates the article submission process, and we will submit to usually 50 to 100 sites per month for our clients. Some of the top article directories includes http://www.goarticles.com, http://www.isnare.com/ and http://www.dime-co.com/.
I write press releases about the client company and something they are doing, then submit them to several online PR sites that contain lots of press releases. I have selected PR sites that, if they accept your press release, it will automatically also go onto Google News.
Getting these press releases onto the PR sites creates high quality links. When you check your links for your web site, these PR sites will come up high, on the first couple pages. Some of the online PR sites include www.pr.com, www.24-7pressrelease.com, and www.prlog.org.
So posting articles on article directories creates high volume links, and press releases on the online PR sites creates high quality links.
Another great way to create links to your main web site is to write blog articles, post them to your blog, and link certain words in your article back to pages on your main web site. I think this has the most value if your blog has a different address from your main web site.
You should write your article so that it contains keywords that you are trying to rank well for, and then link up to three of those keywords back to appropriate pages on your main web site. Most blogs today are made using either WordPress or Typepad.
I go one step further on blogging, which is to set up blogs on all the free blogging sites; www.wordpress.com, www.blogger.com, www.posterous.com, www.livejournal.com, and www.blog.com. I used to use www.tumblr.com, but they recently contacted me and told me it is against their policy to allow blog posts with links in them (!?!), so I no longer use them.
I then put my blog article on all these free blogs too, with links pointing back to my main web site or client web site. So if the client has a WordPress blog, and then I have set up five free blogs for him, that is six blogs. So one article, with three links in it to his main site, will, by this action, create 18 links.
I also use a feature on www.Posterous.com where you can hook up all your blogs to it. Then you send out your article on Posterous and it automatically goes out to all your blogs.
So if I am doing an article and press release for a client each month, I will submit the article to the article directories and the press release to the online PR sites, but I will also post both the article and press release to the client’s blogs.
I have found, over several years and with much trial and error, that a three-pronged approach to link building, as described above, is the most effective, gets tons of links, and moves a web site up in the search engine rankings.