Link Building Do’s and Don’ts

Michael Buczek - September 6, 2007

In many cases, we as SEO engineers know how to evaluate a potential link or directory to get the maximum benefit for a website. Many of these sites are broken up into very specific sub-categories. Sites such as DMOZ, the Yahoo Directory, Go Guides and many others are called authority sites. They have been on the web for many years, some from as early as 1997. With the age of the site, the search engines have found that these are not fly by night Spammer sites that just want to host Google AdSense to make money. A lot of directories are human edited so not every site will get in on the first attempt. These are the sites that are worth going after in your linking efforts. They are the kinds of sites we recommend people submit their sites to.

At first glance, a directory or link site may not look like much, but if you dig a little deeper, you can probably find a category that will fit every business type. The key to submitting to these types of sites is finding the most relevant category for your company. And, remember, even if there is a category that is similar but not exact, it is worth submitting to.

Link building is hard work and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Try to find some links in your neighborhood. By neighborhood, I mean physically and categorically. If your business is local to an area, get your chamber of commerce to link to you, post on local blogs and give people something enticing on your site, so they will want to link to you without you soliciting them. The other neighborhood I am speaking of is find more sites specifically related to your site. Find professional sites that are related to your field and get them to link to you. Find industry experts, associations, professional organizations, and others.

Link building is something that should also occur naturally. There is a lot of talk in the industry as to what “natural” means when it comes to link building. At the maximum, I would solicit no more than 5 links a week. Search engines would take notice if a site was to purchase a mass quantity of links. If today a site has no links and tomorrow, it has 1,000, the search engines will take notice. Aggressive link building may help in the short term, but in the long run, it will harm your site. We have worked with sites that have come to us after dropping out of the search results because of aggressive link building techniques. As soon as we advised them to “turn off” or stop paying for the links, within a couple of weeks, they climbed back in the search results. So when it comes time to build more links, do some research if you are planning to purchase them from a service. Ask what their timeframe is and what is the quality of links to be solicited. Be careful with your link building to make sure you’re benefiting the site now and in the future.

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