Link Building 101 – How it Will Help Your Company Sell More on the Web
September 3, 2006What is your company’s plan for garnering the business of customers roaming the Internet? Perhaps you’ve realized that high rankings in the Search Engines tie in closely with increased revenue, but how are those rankings achieved, and who can/should do undertake this project for your organization? This brief rundown on the concept of links and link building, will allow you to make a more informed decision as to what your company’s next step is in achieving the goals for your Internet marketing. The entire structure of the Internet is built on “links,” the method by which one page connects to another. These links may go between pages on a website, or may cross to another website altogether. We call the links between websites, external links. They are of interest us because external links bring traffic to our website which we hope to eventually convert to a sale. External links are also of particular interest to search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Now that we know a bit about links, how do those wily and enigmatic search engines use linksto determine rankings in their results? How can companies affect the results of when our prospective customers use a search engine and type in “anemia” or “movie times summerville, sc?” The Major Search Engines look at external links as a type of “vote” for the website that is the recipient of that link. They then develop rankings partially based on the strength, relevancy, and volume of links that we have pointing at our website from other websites.
- Strong external links come from authoritative websites – CNN, Wikipedia, or whatever authority websites there are in our community. If I am selling a book about beekeeping, how about an external link from the American Beekeeping Federation. Also, a popular forum or blog about beekeeping would bring plenty of potential customers that may be interested in my information.
- Relevant external links – The general rule of thumb is to seek links from websites whose traffic may result in a sale for us. We look for related, but non-competing products and services. What is considered a relevant website can be much broader than we may imagine if our staff member is quite creative in their link building practices.
- Volume of external links – Possibly the most misunderstood part of link building. More votes will generally bring higher rankings, but only if the links have a good mix of authoritative and relevant links. There are products out there that promise to submit to a bajillion free-for-all links pages. Sheer volume of easy-to-get links will not help a website for the long haul. It may even hurt us. There is evidence that search engines like Google (Yahoo and MSN aren’t far behind) are tracking these types of pages, and penalizing sites that appear to have unnatural linking practices.