In these turbulent economic times, every penny saved can help in the sustenance and survival of businesses, especially when it comes to small and medium businesses. The best method to secure a credible online presence is link building.
Links pointing to a web page play an integral role in Search Engine Optimization. Along with giving more importance to the number of links a web page has, search engines also pay close attention to linkage patterns. So it is not only the number of links pointing to your web page that decides your position in the search engine results page, but also the quality of those links. The quality of a link is determined by two factors: authority of the web page linking to you and the link anchor text. What link building does is help you not just in improving your page rank in search engines, but also in generating quality traffic to your web page.
Listed below are five easy ways that you can utilize for building links without spending a penny:
1. CREATE CONTENT WORTH LINKING TO: Nobody wants to link to a web page which has irrelevant or bogus content. Content on your web pages must be useful to your readers or web page visitors. This will generate traffic as well as help your page in ranking well in search engines. It really costs nothing to come up with original and useful content. Once you do this, gaining links from various trusted or authoritative sources will be a lot more easy.
2. GET LINKS FROM DIRECTORIES: Links in the major directories help provide context to search engines. The two major directories are the Yahoo! Directory (dir.yahoo.com) and the Open Directory Project (dmoz.org). Yahoo! Directory is part of the Yahoo! Search system and Open Directory Project feeds results to Google directory. The Open Directory also feeds results to hundreds of other sites thereby helping in further link building.
If you want to submit your website to specialized directories relevant to your business, find these by typing your primary keyword followed by the word ‘directory’ in Google. Make sure you read the submission tips before submitting your website in any of these directories.
Websites that are submitted to directories are subject to human review. Make sure your site has quality (relevant and original) content and follows all guidelines specified. If you manage to do this, you are very likely to secure links from these directories.
3. SOCIAL NETWORKING: One great way to ensure quality link building is social networking. Currently, most search algorithms are driven by link reputation. Eventually, search engines will have enough user feedback data with which they will be able to augment the links with how users tag web pages and their usage data. If a site with exceptionally high link popularity scores rarely gets tagged, search engines may not count the relevancy for that site or flag that site for human review.
Spread the word about your website, business ideas and developments on social networking sites. Build communities and start discussions. Again, ensuring quality and relevant content must be your priority. Use these sites to build links to your web pages as well as to develop your existing network of friends. Some of the popular social networking sites are Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and Orkut.
4. SOCIAL BOOKMARKING: Another way of popularizing your website is social bookmarking. Visitors who like content on your site can bookmark this for their own reference as well as others. Since all social bookmarking sites attract heavy traffic, getting bookmarked can generate a good reader base for your website. What this also means is that you’ll get quality links which will help your website gain credibility. Some of the popular social bookmarking sites are del.icio.us, reddit, Digg, Technorati and StumbleUpon. Google has indexed millions of pages from del.icio.us and Digg.
Indexing links from social networking and social bookmarking sites, along with the links from other websites provides Google with more popularity information. If you track what types of information people are tagging, you can develop good ideas to create free viral link popularity.
5. POST COMMENTS ON BLOGS: Many bloggers allow people who post comments to have a link back to their site. Spot blogs that are relevant to your business or website and post comments. Never post a comment that is solely dedicated to popularizing your site. Make sure you have something constructive to say and if possible, provide a link back to content on your site that supports your comment or the blog post.
Here are some tips for commenting on blogs:
o Don’t put a keyword phrase as your name
o Avoid blog spamming: Leave meaningful comments. Don’t say “Nice post” or “I found this very useful.” Why did you find it useful? What can you add to the conversation?
o Try to be interactive. Even though link building is your priority, don’t make it very apparent. Post a comment that directly deals with the blog post in question and casually add a link back to your website.