Link building strategies

In today’s online marketplace, simply adding meta-tags and upgrading your website’s page titles isn’t enough to boost your websites search engine rankings in competitive keyword markets. If you even hope to compete in a market where there are hardened competitors clawing their way to the top of the SERPS (search engine results pages) with a tenacity equal to the ferociousness of a starved mountain lion devouring its prey; you need to seriously consider using any number of proven link building strategies that can work to catapult your website to the top of the SERPS.

There are many link building strategies available, and if you want your website to reach the greatest audience possible, it’s recommended that you employ more than one linking strategy for your website; don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

Buying links

Buying links to increase your website’s visibility is a now common practice for website owners. The reasoning behind this is obvious; if you have some money to spare you can obtain instant links to your website from a high Page Rank website, hopefully one that has an active user base as well. Undoubtedly one of the easier link building strategies, it is also becoming an increasingly dangerous strategy.

Not too long ago, Matt Cutts of Google announced that Google would be taking action against websites that, in essence, sold Page Rank through selling one way links to other websites. While it would be nearly impossible for Google to identify every website that sold links for the benefit of increasing Page Rank, it’s probably a good idea to use caution when buying links from this day forward as the links might be rendered to no effect by Google.

Asking for links

Sometimes, in order to get a link back to your website, all you need to do is ask. This method can be employed in many forms:

If you provide useful information or a useful service on your website, offer your website visitors a page where they can grab HTML code to link back to your website if they like what your website has to offer. Provide banners and various text links with varying anchor text so you can get some keyword targeting out of it. You’ll find that if you regularly provide useful content or you provide a nice service to your website users, they’ll naturally link to you anyway; adding the code to your website can help you obtain a few more links in the process because some website owners wouldn’t know how to make a link unless you show them how to.

Reciprocal links – link exchange

Another one of the link building strategies that is pretty popular is offering to exchange links with related websites, which is also referred to as 2way linking or reciprocal linking. This generally falls under the category of asking for links, and obtaining a reciprocal link can really be as simple as sending an email to a website owner who runs a website that is topically related to yours and ask them to swap links with your website. There are also websites that run link exchange programs, having databases of websites that are willing to swap links with related websites, and this can be a consideration if you are looking for a reciprocal link exchange.

For best results when using the reciprocal linking strategy, you should only exchange links with website that are topically related, where your website visitors would benefit from the other website that you are linking to and vice versa. Exchanging links with non-topically related websites is not recommended.

Dangers of reciprocal linking

Something that should be noted is that there are dangers when using reciprocal links as one of your link building strategies; if you link to a “bad neighborhood”, you might end up with a search engine penalty.

The term “bad neighborhood” can represent a few different types of websites, but what they are, in a nutshell, are websites that have been banned, or penalized by Google. These websites could be what are called “link farms” that hold a significant number of outbound links to unrelated websites that have no user value, or they could be a website that has employed unethical or illegal optimization tactics and has been caught in the act; whatever the case may be – if you link to a “bad neighborhood”, you will likely receive some form of penalty from Google or even the most extreme penalty of all, getting de-indexed and banned from the search engine altogether. When exchanging links with a website, you must continually check to be sure that the website is still in Google’s good graces.

Other link building strategies

There are a number of other link building strategies that you can employ to boost the visibility and rankings of your website; strategies like directory submissions, forum postings and article marketing are all viable solutions to increasing your website’s overall link popularity.

Directory submissions and Article Marketing

Directory submissions are performed by submitting your website to free online directories. The directories that are beneficial for this link building method are free directories that provide static, one-way links back to your website. It’s a simple, but time consuming process that often times can be outsourced affordably if you don’t have the time or the know-how to perform them yourself.

Article marketing, a.k.a. article directory submission, is another free link building method that can be considered a viral link building strategy. Sometimes this link building method provides better results than directory submissions simply because you have the possibility of obtaining multiple backlinks to your website from one single submission.

Forum Posting

Forum posting is yet another link building strategy, one that is generally better for fast indexing of your website than a long-term rankings boost. The backlinks are obtained from the “Signature” link of your forum member account, and because of the nature of forums, it is highly likely that these links will get crawled fairly often by search engine robots; giving your website significant exposure to search engines.

There are many link building strategies available to help you build link popularity and increase the visibility of your website in today’s online marketplace. Because of the ever changing field of search engine marketing, it is recommended that you employ a number of different linking strategies for your website because just because something is effective today does not mean that it will be as effective tomorrow.

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