Search Engine Optimization & Link Building

SEO Tips & Link Building

Outbound Links – Are They A Good Thing…?

Many websites that rely on search engine traffic almost exclusively fall into a very common trap when publishing articles, essays, or new pages. This trap is to place links within the text to other sites (often news or reference sites) to either legitimize the content in the article, or to bring some deeper perspective to the text. It is thought that this in some way adds value to the content, and enriches the reader’s experience. From a standpoint of search engine optimization and search engine marketing, this is the worst possible thing to do.

Let us imagine that a site is ranked on the second or third page of a search engine for the keyword ‘cheese sandwiches’ – they produce a number of articles based around this keyword on a regular and predictable schedule. The articles are optimized, and rich in content and relevance. Within the articles about cheese sandwiches they place links to news stories on CNN, BBC, and other news site that have produced content in a similar vein. However – the site never seems to be able to move from its current ranking. The problem is this – If an individual searches for ‘cheese sandwich’ and goes to the second or third page and then clicks on the site in questions articles, and then follows the link to the BBC (or whomever) – what this process is saying to the search engines is, in effect, this; “I (the original site) am not an authority on the subject of cheese sandwiches, but this site (perhaps the BBC) is”. This kind of statement will make it VERY hard for a ranked site to make any improvement in the search engine rankings for desirable keywords – as they are deferring any authority on a subject to the sites they link to.

Reciprocal Links:

When linking to another site, there must be link reciprocation or there is no link. In addition to this, the anchor text is essential for the text link. Reciprocation of links is important, so you can refer your search engine traffic to a friendly site as long as they are doing the same back. This is especially important when operating in the same markets. If we go back to our cheese sandwich site above – if they were to set up a link reciprocation arrangement with a friendly site that is themed around ham sandwiches. The cheese sandwich site would have a link going to the ham sandwich site via the following anchor text ‘Best Ham Sandwiches Online’, and the ham sandwich site would reciprocate with a link going to the cheese sandwich site with the anchor text ‘Best Cheese Sandwiches Online’. This kind of reciprocal arrangement is highly beneficial to both parties for the following reasons;

  • People searching for ham sandwiches might be interested in cheese sandwiches — if they are they can be referred to cheese sandwich website – which increases the validity of that site for the keyword ‘cheese sandwich’.
  • People searching for cheese sandwiches might be interested in ham sandwiches — if they are they can be referred to ham sandwich website – which increases the validity of that site for the keyword ‘ham sandwich’.

The Best Kind of Links….?

The VERY best kind of links are inbound links from high Page ranked sites making reference to your site, your keywords, and you being an authority on the subject – without wanting anything back in return.

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