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Link building for search engine optimisation
So you have altered all of your pages to target certain keywords… this means that the search engines will know what your pages are about. Now for the difficult bit, trying to convince the search engines that your pages are worth looking at.
Anyone can alter their pages to suit the target keywords as described so far. For this reason, search engines use another tool in their arsenal for deciding which pages are better than other ones- links. Remember we described how the search engine spiders crawled the web and followed all of the new links that they found? Well they use this information as a sort of recommendation for the page they are pointing at. It makes sense that if a lot of sites point to a page then it is probably worth reading.
In addition to this, if a link has some text such as website hosting, the spider can rightfully deduce that the page it is pointing to will be about . If many links have the same or similar anchor text then this makes that phrase more strongly related to that page. Nobody knows the exact algorithms and weighting search engines use for such parameters apart from the people on the inside working for the search engine companies but we do know that certain things work and one of the big ones is good links.
Now notice we say good links here… all links are not created equal! Links from a junk, low quality site will be junk links; links from a high quality site will be very valuable. Again this makes sense- if a site is deemed to be good quality then they will only link to good quality sites. Also the context that the link is coming from is important. For instance in our camp site example, if Millets link to the site it will be seen as a good link (from a major retailer) and it is in context (both sites talk about camping) that link will carry much more importance than one from a low quality site with unrelated material on it. Many companies, software and groups offer ways to get thousands of links to your site. In our opinion don’t bother with them, your time and effort is far better spent getting proper links that are made for people, not just the search engines.
Who should you try to get links from? Taking this on board, the best place to start trying to build links to your site is by asking your suppliers, your customers, any associations that you belong to, interest groups around the subject of your site etc. These will all be sites that have at least some relevance to what your site is about and that is exactly the kind of link that you want. Ask them for a simple text link (the best kind) to the relevant page on your site, not necessarily your home page. So for example, if you approach Millets and ask them for a link, you would ask for a link to “things to take camping” help page, not your home page. This keeps the context strong and also creates deep links (links directly into your site rather than the home page) which search engines particularly like. You can also gain some good links from directories covered in the next section. Although it may be tempting, do not join a link farm, buy links or any other scheme that seems like a good idea. These schemes are created to deceive the search engines and if they catch you they may ban your site from their listings. These are covered in our last section black hat techniques that you should not do. The great thing about white hat techniques is that search engines actually encourage them and once you have built a web presence based on these techniques, you needn’t worry about being banned from the listings overnight which wastes all you hard work in promoting your site.
Next section: Getting links from directories – SEO tutorial
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