All of the best SEOs and SEO organizations go to great lengths to state how important link building is. Very few take the time to tell you what a good link is and what a bad link is. As a result link building is seen as mysterious, vague and even a bit underhanded.

Link building is not dishonest unless the link itself is dishonest. You will be rewarded for great link building practices handsomely.

Search engines are built on the academic model of citing sources to validate information presented. If you don’t offer validation you are saying that you are the unique thinker and author.  If you are offering a unique work, that’s fine. Use author – rel codes to get better relevance for your work if that’s the case. Even the greatest thinkers in academia rely on sources and citations, though. You need to state where you got your information from, what the steps in your logic are, and why your presentation of it is unique and yours. Insuring your links are quality will insure that your site is viewed as a quality site by the search engines you seek to attract.

This is the best way to earn you primary SERP placement.

This concise list of “Do’s and Don’ts” will demystify the process of building healthy links within your websites:

  • You need to have more external links than internal links. This is exactly what it sounds like. Links to pages that are not within your domain are more valuable. you should have a 75 to 25 percent ratio or better.
  • The best links are external hyperlinked text links. Search engines get to check to see whether these are appropriate, based on keywords in the body of copy they come from.
  • The best of the best links are followed external hyperlinks. That means that a page in the domain your hyperlink leads to also has a hyperlink in a page within it’s domain with a link back to you.
  • To further improve the value, the domains linked ought to be a domain with non matching C values in their IP addresses. Just a quick explanation…. IP addresses have four values in them (192.123.456.xx for example).  The C chains or third value in that address are server addresses. In the example above it’s the 456 number. This is a quick easy way that search engines use to “check references” you give. Having non matching server addresses insures you are not in the same physical location. They really like that and reward accordingly. Remember that unless you are hosting your own site on your own servers, you never know where the computer is physically that does so. Make no assumptions.
  • Do not link to a site with broken links or 404 errors. When a search engine hits a broken link it’s crawler effectively dies unable to pass the information back to it’s home search engine. You get no value if the crawl can’t phone home with the info.
  • While many industry specialists believe that Search engines don’t follow linked title texts, people may.
  • Remember that graphics and script are not readable by search engines. Adding alt text tags to images with clickable links is seen as text by search engines. Not giving images these values makes them “for Human Eyes Only”. If your linked image address and text does not match the metadata of the actual image you will hurt your domain rank, not help it.
  • Always consider the “popularity” and “value” of whatever you are linking out to, be it text, image, page or domain. Popularity refers to the amount of other sites that link to the target that you are linking to. Quality refers to matching keyword copy content of the pages and their overall domain rank.
  • Links are your site’s online resume checkers. You need to think of them as such. If a site with a poor reputation has linked to you, your site traffic and search engine credibility will suffer. This includes spammer sites and porn sites, but is not limited to those categories.
  • Delete all spam from your site spam buffer daily. Search engines may see them and degrade your domain rank. Some people resist this. It makes no sense. If spam was not readable, the spammers would not use it.
  • Use one or two links per hundred words of copy. Any more will be seen as a link building scheme.
  • Try to limit your links per page. There is a debate going on as to how many links per page are allowed and tolerated by Penguin 2.0. The old rule of thumb was one hundred per page. Some seem to think that it’s expanded a bit more. I have not read any convincing articles for either school of thought. I tend to believe that this more exotic algorithm is relying on a ratio, instead of an exact count. If you are cautious keep it to one hundred or less per page until a good argument is made to the contrary.

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BJC Branding
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Jake Burns