By John Eberhard

Link building is a vital activity to do when engaged in any kind of website marketing. Google says that the number of links coming to your site is the main criteria that determines your search ranking for any given keyword.

When doing link building, it is a good idea, not only to check how many links you have coming to your site on a regular basis, but also to look at what types of links you are getting and how high they are ranking. In other words, there are categories of types of links you can get, and looking at which ones are ranking the highest will tell you which link building activities to work on.

Here are the general categories of links you should be concentrating on:

  1. Online PR sites such as www.pr.com
  2. Blogs
  3. Social media sites and directories
  4. Miscellaneous sites like keywordspy or YouTube

I do not include “reciprocal links,” where you try to get someone to link to your site and you link to theirs, because Google stopped giving much link value to these types of links nearly two years ago, though some consultants still recommend them.

I’m going to show three sites I have been working on for link building, and show how many links they have in each category on page 1 of Google results, page 2, page 3 and so on.

RealWebMarketing.net – 53,800 links

Note that 42% of my links on the first 5 pages of Google come from online PR sites, 20% come from article directories, and 26% come from social media sites.

This shows me that the online PR actions I’m doing, writing optimized press releases and submitting them to online PR sites, are creating the largest number of high ranking links to my site. Social media is giving me the second highest hit at 26%, followed by article marketing at 20%. These are all actions I do for my own site on a regular basis.

Client #1 – 8,900 links

Client #1 has 54% of his links in the first 5 pages of Google results coming from article directories, which makes sense as we have been doing article marketing for him for over two years. 22% of his links come from online PR sites, and 8% from social media. We have done mostly article marketing and press releases for this client, little social media, so the results make sense.

Client #2 – 4,100 links

Client #2, whom we’ve been working with for about four months, has 24% of his links on the first 5 pages of Google coming from online PR sites, 16% from blogs, 16% from social media, and 14% from article directories. The number of links coming from the various categories is more evenly distributed here, which you would expect as we are doing link building for him in each category.

The First Page of Google Links

If we summarize the results for all three web sites for the first page of links from Google, we see that 30% of the links on the first page came from article directories, 20% came from online PR sites, 20% came from social media sites, and 10% came from blogs. These percentages show that each of these actions is effective in building links.