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A Perfect Link
A Perfect Link
By Sharon Housley
Webmasters are given the advice that they
must attract links, but the key is not just to attract
links... they need to attract good links. But
what is the perfect link? The search for the perfect
link need not be a quest in vain. Consider the following
when attempting to attract links...
The best links should come from related
websites which contain similar and related content,
but not the same type of material or content. For example:
A link for baby clothing would benefit from a link that
discusses baby care.
The anchor text (the text that is used
in the link) should include keywords that relate to
the topic covered on the web page that is being linked
to. Anchor text should be varied; links that all have
the same anchor text will appear manipulated and contrived
to the search engines. Therefore, the text links should
contain a variety of related words.
3. Deep Link
The links should direct visitors to a
related page within the website. Do not make the mistake
of directing all of the web links to a website's home
page. Deep linking, and directing visitors to material
that corresponds to content that is closely related
to the text link is key. Deep linking appears more natural
to search engines, whereas links directing all visitors
to a single page or the home page seem unnatural, and
could be interpreted as an effort to manipulate search
4. Domain And Page Authority
Search engines trust some websites more
than others. Links from authority websites have more
weight than links from lesser-known websites. Google
is said to use PageRank as an indicator of authority.
Keep in mind that PageRank is not the only factor used
to determine a website's authority. Authority websites
should still relate to the website it is pointing to.
5. Nix NoFollow
Links should not contain the NoFollow
command. The NoFollow command directs search engines
to not follow the link. If a link contains NoFollow
there is no search engine benefit from the link; the
only benefit to having the link is any organic traffic
that results if the link is clicked. As a result, NoFollow
links are nearly worthless.
6. Mix It Up
Links should come from a variety of sources.
Fewer links from a larger number of websites will generally
weigh more than a large number of links from a small
number of websites.
7. Surrounding Text
Some search experts claim that the text
surrounding a link can influence ranking. Whether this
is true or not is difficult to determine. It is more
likely that links containing surrounding text are more
likely to be relevant, and as a result those links tend
to be worth more.
8. Link Position
The location of the link on the page
can also influence the value of the link. Some search
experts claim that footer links carry less value than
links which are integrated into the actual web page
9. Type of Link
There does not appear to be a difference
between a text link's value and an image link's
value, if the image link contains ALT text. The search
engines use the image ALT text in the same way they
use the anchor text of a text link.
10. Number Of Outbound Links
A page with fewer links is better than
a page with a large number of links. This is because
a webpage passes along what is referred to as link
juice. The more link juice passed along, the more
valuable the link is. The link juice is divided up over
all the links on a webpage, so popular websites with
few outgoing links are more valuable than those with
a large number of links.
11. Link Age
Search engine critics cannot seem to agree
as to whether older links or newer links carry more
value. When information is vague, it is best to garner
both aged links and new links to websites.
12. Vintage Domain
The age of the domain is said to influence
link power. More than likely the age of the domain simply
contributes to the trustworthiness of the website, and
links from trusted websites tend to have more value.
13. One Way Links
Links that are not reciprocal carry more
weight than those which are simply link-for-link exchanges.
14. Page Content
A web page that is mostly just a list
of links has less value than a web page that contains
a mixture of links and content.
15. Updated Pages
Web pages that are updated frequently
will typically be spidered by search engines on a more
frequent basis. The update will not influence the power
of the link, but it will mean that the link will be
picked up more quickly by the search engines.
16. Link Surges
Webmasters should be encouraged to gradually
build links over time, rather than all at once. The
gradual increase is more natural and will have a stronger
impact on organic search rankings.
The quest for the perfect link can be
frustrating and elusive, but the fact is: the perfect
link is logical, appears natural, and grows over time.
Best of luck in your attempt to find the perfect link.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
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