About Linking for
Well actually, linking isn't fun at all. In
fact, it's quite tedious. Seeking, responding
to requests and adding links takes time and effort.
But, if you're not actively building links the
RIGHT way you are going to be left behind. In
other words, your site will be "Lost in Cyberspace".
The plain fact is Google, and to a lesser extent,
other important search engines, reward sites with
links from relevant and important pages.
If you want your site to deliver lots of targeted
search engine traffic (and who doesn't?) there
are two equally important factors:
1) lots of keyword-rich, search engine friendly
2) lots of relevant, incoming links from the RIGHT
F or real success you need to cover BOTH of
these strategies. Don't concentrate on one and
not the other.
So, how do you go about building your links?
It's not rocket science, but as I said, it does
take time and effort. F rom my own experiences,
here's what you should do:
1) Download and install the Google Toolbar:
This will show you the PageRank of the page
you are viewing. PageRank is a measure, rated
from 1 to 10, of the "importance" that
Google gives to that page. There has been a lot
written about PageRank. You don't need to become
obsessed with it but it IS an important consideration
when determining WHO to link to. A link from a
PR-5 page is worth F AR more than a PR-0 page.
2) Establish a resource or links directory for
your site. This lets potential link partners see
that you are willing to exchange links. You should
make it clear on your links pages what your linking
policy is i.e. under what conditions you will
agree to exchange links.
3) Your aim should be to build a resource directory
that is relevent to your business. Don't try to
build a mini Yahoo with umpteen different categories.
Keep your directory focussed on your site theme.
When you first start out you will be inclined
to link to anybody in exchange for a link F ROM
anybody. This is a mistake. Be patient and choose
your link partners carefully.
4) Before requesting a link from another site,
add that site to your directory. Contact the webmaster
and tell them you added their link because you
believe their site would be of interest to your
visitors (and so it should). Give the url where
your link is located and ask for a return link,
along with instructions on how you would like
your link worded. NEVER demand by saying things
like "if you do not link to us we will remove
5) If you have not received a reply after 2
- 3 weeks send a polite follow up. Again, don't
demand. No one is under any obligation to link
to you. If you do not receive a reply to your
second request it means that the webmaster does
not want to link to you, or they are simply too
busy to respond. In that case, leave it and move
on. I receive dozens of link requests a day. Sometimes
it takes me many weeks to get around to responding.
You'll go mad worrying about links that have not
been reciprocated. Your time is better spent.
6) When you receive a link request visit the
site and check that it meets with your requirements
as set down on your link pages. Is it a quality
site with good content or just a "link farm"?
If it doesn't meet your requirements don't link
The webmaster SHOULD have already linked to
your site but be prepared to overlook that breech
of linking protocol if it's from a good quality,
high PR site.
7) Beware of webmasters who add your site to
their "directory" which turns out to
nothing but a link farm i.e. has no useful content,
just a bunch of links, and asks you to link to
an entirely different site, one that HAS good
content. These webmasters are playing you for
a sucker. The benefit is all theirs.
8) As I said in point #1, links from high PR
pages are worth more than links from low or no
PR pages. Seek out high PR linking partners but
keep in mind it is the PR of the actual page your
link is on that matters, NOT the PR of the home
page. In other words if the home page PR is 5,
but the page your link is on is several layers
deep in the directory, it will probably have a
PR of 0 and be of little benefit to you. Check
the PR of the actual page your link is on, or
is going to be on, before agreeing to exchange
Each page on your links directory should be
no more than one click away from your home page,
and your linking partner's site should be the
same. If your link is placed on a page which looks
something like this - directory/category/subcategory/subcategory
with your link - you will derive NO value from
9) Be prepared to negotiate your links. Savvy
webmasters understand the value of links from
high PR pages. If you add a link to a PR-0 page
on your site don't expect your link partner to
put your link on a PR-6 page, and your link partner
shouldn't expect the same from you. Exchange value
for like value.
When you first start out your site may not have
any PR due to a lack of incoming links. This reduces
your bargaining power. However, you can overcome
this by getting your site listed in as many large
business directories as possible. Some of these
you will have to pay, such as Yahoo and Microsoft's
Business Directory, but many others are free.
You'll find a good list here:
10) Be specific about how you want your link
partner to link to you. It is MOST important that
the link to you contain your targeted keywords
in the anchor (linked) text. When I ask for a
link to my site I don't want the link title to
Steve Pronger Web Business Solutions
Instead, I ask for:
Create Website | Small Business Website Designer
or whichever keywords I am targeting at the
time. A search for those keywords at Google will
illustrate my point!
11) And finally, here is an excellent resource
to help you find quality link partners. It's called
Value Exchange, and will put you in contact with
By Steve Pronger