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Building & Structuring Inbound Links Part 1
12 Essential Strategies
By Stephen Mahaney
Originally Published: December 2004
One of the trickiest aspects of search engine optimization is the process of building high quality incoming links. And, as you've undoubtedly heard, it's also the single most important thing you can do to improve your rankings. The more inbound links a page has, the more
it is - and search engines
The challenge for most sites is to accumulate enough incoming links to appear relevant to the engines without tripping any one of the many spam filters and penalties that are applied to sites that
cheat. So, the secret to getting it right is to...
take the search engine's point of view
when building your incoming link structure.
The key point to remember is that search engines like
link structure - they hate
Natural Link Structure
inbound anchor text varies
inbound link count increases gradually
site links-out to only reputable pages
links are rarely reciprocal
Artificial Link Structure
inbound anchor text identical
inbound link count increases suddenly
site links-out to
high percentage of links are reciprocal
Natural vs. Artificial Links
Natural links vary in anchor text while artificial links tend to be identical. Natural links increase
as referral sites add links one by one over time; artificial links can sprout in great numbers
all of a sudden.
Sites designed around natural links don't usually swap links, so their outgoing links tend to point to pages that are known by the engine to be in good standing. Oftentimes these pages have been indexed for many years and may even be
- a term that identifies trusted sites
to be penalized. Sites designed around artificial links will often participate in link swapping and have outgoing links that point to pages that resemble
web rings, or
(i.e. page groups linking to each other but lacking inbound links from outside
Natural links tend
to be reciprocal. Artificial links, however, rely heavily on link exchange tactics, suggesting that the sole purpose of the link is
- having little or nothing to do with adding value for the site visitor by way of providing worthwhile content.
Keeping these facts in mind, one should strive to build the most natural-looking incoming-link structure possible. From a search engine's point of view (SEPOV), the best kind of links are
links. The engines are looking to bestow high rankings on
those pages that people
link to due to great content - not because some webmaster has spent a lot of time swapping links. Read on for tips and tricks on how to build the best incoming-link structure and boost your PageRank dramatically.
Choose Your Links Wisely
While it's true that almost any link from anyone will add
of value to your page popularity, it's best to get links from
pages. Such pages are considered
and are usually identified as such by Google within their PageRank scoring system. The higher the PageRank, the better the link. Directory examples would include sites like Yahoo and DMOZ. Others like PBS.org, National Geographic, CNN, or ZDnet would be exceptional authoritative site links regardless of topic since each has been assigned a PageRank of 9 or better on Google's ten-point scale.
Your next best option is to acquire links from pages that are
trusted. Trusted pages are sites that have been indexed for a while and have already been assigned a Google PageRank - usually PR=5 or better. It helps even more if these pages are
- i.e. they match the topic of your page. Links from on-topic
pages can give you a significant boost in rankings.
12 Essential Strategies for Building & Structuring Inbound Links Part 2 >>>
This article is copyrighted and has been reprinted with permission from FirstPlace Software.
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