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another Nashville search engine optimization (SEO) article:

SEO Linking Strategies.

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SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can mean the difference between an invisible web site and a hugely popular web site. There are plenty of methods, positive and negative, that are used in an attempt to influence the search engine algorigthms. The various search engines respond to particular strategies in differing ways. To document all of these search engine nuances would require volumes to describe and eons of research to uncover, and therefore goes beyond the scope of this web page.

There are a several basic strategies, however, that will work for most of the major search engines. As this article is being written, there are three (3) search engines that really make a difference: Google, Yahoo and MSN. In recent months, according to the statistics, these three search engines have been responsible for over 90% of all web searches performed on the internet.

This page about what you can do as a web site owner or programmer that will influence the search engines in a positive way using commonly accepted practices of linking to other web sites (outbound links) and getting other web sites to link to yours (inbound links). There are four (4) primary strategies that can be utilized to increase the value of one's web site in the all-important opinion of the search engine. These four strategies are reciprocal linking, one-way linking, multi-site linking, and directory linking. No one strategy is the right answer; a good SEO effort must encompass three or four of these methods.

Each of the four linking strategies has specific descriptions that can be summed up as:

  1. Reciprocal Linking: Site A links to Site B, Site B links back to Site A
  2. One-Way Linking: Site B links to Site A
  3. Multi-Site Linking: Site A links to Site B, Site B links to Site C, Site C links to Site D, and Site D links back to Site A. Could be 3..N number of sites involved
  4. Directory Linking: Site Directory A links to Site A

To say the least, it takes significant time and effort to perform all four of the linking strategies listed above. Most web site owners aren't willing to spend the money or the time necessary to make headway across the board. Nashville search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) need to be at or near the top of the web site priority list. Traffic producing strategies that require payment - such as PPC, or pay-per-click advertising - must be employed if a site does not have the benefit of a decent chunk of free traffic from the search engines.

Implementing all four strategies above would be ideal, but it becomes more difficult since it must be done in a way that doesn't trigger the search engines to penalize your web site. No one except the search engine engineers and programmers know all of these penalties, but we can make a few educated guesses.

The Rate at Which Links are Created.

The first is the rate at which links are created. There is a certain threshold for creating links that is too fast. It's possible that the threshold is a sliding scale and is related to the age of the web site according to the engine. For example, a young low-traffic web site should not normally be getting 500 links a month whereas an older web site that gets a lot of traffic could be obtaining 1,000 links a month, reasonably. As you progress in your linking strategies make sure you keep this in mind, particularly if you are thinking about purchasing links.

All Links Being Reciprocal Links.

Having a link to every web site that links to your web site will probably reduce the value of these links. Put another way, if all you ever receive are reciprocal links, you will likely move up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), but your site will not reach its full potential. As I stated before, employing a blend of all four linking strategies will appear more natural to the engines and thus give you better rankings on the SERPs.

All Inbound Links From Link Pages.

When all inbound links to your site are coming from link-type pages, it will make those links less valuable than having natural links on contextually relative pages. The higher you can drive this context percentage, the better ranking your web site will achieve. Because these types of links require more time and effort for both web sites, they often prove to be the more difficult links to obtain. This is accomplished by having truly unique and valuable content on your site that makes others want to link to you.

All Inbound Links from Low PageRank Sites.

The fourth is to have links inbound from all different ranking sites. If all you have linking to you is page rank 6 and 7 sites then you are likely to be sending the message that you purchased your links and that is not natural to the engines. Some would argue that purchasing links for driving traffic is just fine and it is. However, you should not expect the search engines to give those inbound links very much weight when calculating your SERP positions. It is significantly more natural for you to have a large number of rank 1 and 2 inbound links and a decreasing number of inbound links as you move up the page rank scale (0 - 10).

All Inbound Linking Text Identical.

You certainly want the text of your inbound links to be varied. It isn't natural for every web site that links to you to have the same text linked. The natural tendency would be to have a certain percent be the sites name, but after that it should be a wide variety of textual descriptions. Your link text description is a key factor for how your site or page will rank, so make sure to keep that in mind as you specify your preferred link text description on your web site.