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August 31, 2007

Why Should Link Building Look Organic?

Google hasn’t gotten to the top of the very lucrative and competitive web search industry by being complacent. Their engineers are constantly thwarting the hordes of webmasters attempting to illegitimately boost their site rankings in the search results. For starters, the incredibly advanced search and ranking algorithms are as top secret as the recipe for Coca-Cola. And they are constantly modified to offset the numerous search engine spam tactics.

Webmasters that attempt to artificially bolster their site rankings by creating link farms and doorway pages or by purchasing links are penalized by demotion in the search results or by having their sites blacklisted entirely. Internet spammers who use automatic content creators or site copiers are facing similar penalties. The ranking algorithm used by Google can easily detect duplicate content and other anomalies by comparing them against the norm. The unfortunate downside is that legitimate website owners are sometimes penalized for no apparent reason.

How can you improve your position in the search results while decreasing your chances of being penalized? One way is to build links to your site organically.

The number of backlinks to a new website buildup over time as the website builds its loyal base and establishes its presence. So it is natural for links to increase steadily with some minor fluctuations. It is unnatural for a new website to suddenly increase backlinks thousands at a time. This smacks of paid links, over-seo, or seach engine spamming. Google picks up on this quickly and may “sandbox” a site, penalize its ranking in the search results or ban the domain altogether.

Instead of increasing your backlinks in huge spurts using one or two link-building methods, you can mix things up so that you increase links steadily using multiple promotional methods. You can increase backlinks by participating in forums and using a signature file with active links to your site. You can buy some links in quality web directories and submit articles to free article directories. You can also leave comments on blogs and bookmark some of your site pages on Digg and Technorati.

Don’t use the same anchor text every time either. Use a few targeted keyword phrases to link to your site. You should also link to other pages besides your home page. If links to your site have really been built up organically, then it seems logical that they would be to other pages within your site in addition to the home page. You can submit “deep links” to deep link directories and within your article resource box when submitting to article directories. A good rule of thumb is to have a bare minimum of 20% of your backlinks be deep links.

It may seem like a lot at first glance, but organic link-building becomes routine over time. Most of these link-building methods are free, and don’t cost anything but your time. No one other than the Google engineers knows exactly how and why they penalize some sites and not others. But it is always better to promote your site in accordance with their webmaster guidelines and optimize your site in a way that appears completely natural. Organic link building has become a critical component of any website promotional strategy.

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