June 5, 2007
A website thrives and indeed survives on the number of hits it receives from its target audience. This may sound pretty obvious but it is amazing how many new web sites seem to disregard this basic tenet, more often than not to their own detriment.
While the creation and subsequent presence of effective links within your website is a crucial factor in ensuring that your website is well optimized for search engines, it is still only one factor and you should take the time to explore other means by which you can achieve a successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaign.
This article will be focusing primarily on Link development but you would do well to be aware of the other factors of successful SEO such as the Text component, which involves the use of various words and phrases that your target audience will most likely types into search queries and the Popularity component which has to do with the number and quality of links pointing to a Web site.
One of the most important things to keep in mind and one that eludes most first-time web developers is that high-quality link development takes a considerable amount of time. There is simply no way to get around this fact and many web developers who resort to the use of spidering software as opposed to actual human efforts are bound to experience less than satisfactory results.
Link farms have as of recent times already garnered an unsavory reputation but for those who are new at this it bears repeating that you should avoid these at all costs. In almost all cases, a text link that you purchase from a link farm will have absolutely no value and therefore have no use for you. Be wary of sites that feature several links that obviously have nothing to do with each other and are irrelevant to that particular site’s theme and general content. This is not a hard and fast rule however, as there are many reputable sites that host a large number of links. Take your time to determine which ones can actually be of value to you.
Relevance is of course of primary importance and to this end you should make sure that any links that you host on your site are relevant to your content and general theme. You can help ensure this by targeting most of your link purchases to sites that have the same subject matter as yours. This will result in a better link profile that will eventually translate into more publicity for your site and higher visibility in search engine results.
One of the easiest considerations to miss when you are in the midst of a link buying frenzy is whether the domain name that you are buying the link from is actually still operational. Many domains that are in fact expired still show up in Google so you may unwittingly fall for one of them. Check the status of the domains in question yourself and if they are expired it may be best to avoid them and save yourself the money; they probably will not be of any use to you.
Probably? Yes, because in some cases, even if the domain has expired it could still be of some use to you if it has good backlinks. Whether a site is good or not is largely dependent on the quality as well as quantity of its backlinks. Both active and expired domains can have a favorable backlink profile so do not automatically discount a domain just because it has expired.
You should of course always check your links for page ranking and make sure it is the current page ranking and not a fake one. http://www.digpagerank.com/ is a good site to check your current page ranking.
One of the most important factors that can affect the quality of a backlink is the number of outbound links. Generally speaking, a good quality backlink will have as few outbound links as possible. The total number of outbound links on a page will also have an impact on the value of a particular page.
You should also consider the possibility of buying links as a means of increasing traffic to your site as opposed to buying links for the purpose of increasing page ranking. This could potentially provide more direct benefits and even profits for you.
Some other things to keep in mind: contextual links are supposedly seen by Google as being more natural and therefore will prioritize these over other links. .gov or .edu links are not treated as special in any way by Google so consider carefully the benefits of hosting such links. Look for a site that has similar keywords to yours for a better ranking in Google search engine results page. Finally, it would be best to avoid purchasing a site wide text link if all the other outbound links on that site have nothing to do with the site in question.
Author: Mikhail Tuknov is a search engine optimization specialist providing web site search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) management and web analytics services.