What Kinds Of Links Do You Have? - Blogger help, tips and hacks

What Kinds Of Links Do You Have?

Link building is without doubt one of the major aspects of search engine optimization.

With all these new techniques, such as social media optimization, coming up, manual link building stands as a proud old-school method of ranking top in SERPs (Search Engine Result Page).

Link building can be summarized as the process of setting up hyperlinks that will point to a particular site for which the link building strategy is being carried out.

The link building strategy comprises of 3 major departments
One way Linking
Reciprocal Linking
3-way Linking

Out of the above three, the most used is reciprocal linking and the most sought-after is one-way linking.

3-way linking is not that much used and is detected as “egregious linking activity” by search engines, especially Google, if the sites that are carrying out the process have enough trust and authority.

One-way Linking:

The link building strategy is carried out to increase the PageRank of a website and to increase its prominence in the SERPs. All of the above mentioned link building strategies work. But which one is the most efficient or which one is the best?

The answer to that would obviously be one-way linking. SEO experts have been screaming at the top of their voices to prove that one-way links are the most useful way to build links. It is because one-way linking is the most natural link building strategy.

Then the question arises that if this is the case, then why do people mostly use reciprocal linking? That is because reciprocal linking is the easiest way to increase the volume of links pointing to a particular website. A website without quality content and relevant one-way links may still rank well in SERPs due to the sheer amount of links pointing to it.

The catch here is that excessive reciprocal linking may lead to decrease in trust and may be detected as spam by the search engines. Hence, one-way linking is undoubtedly the best way to promote a site. One-way linking can be of two types:

Free one-way links
Paid one-way links

Free one-way links:
Free one-way links are the major targets of search engine optimizers because these links are free, provide more weight and add more value to link popularity.

These links can be acquired by putting up links in top directories such as Google, Yahoo, DMOZ (otherwise known as the ODP- Open Directory Project), Business.com, etc.

They can be also acquired by enlisting the list in the first and second tier directories and niche directories. If proper submission guidelines and a combination of anchor text and targeted keywords with a suitable description is used, then these links will boost the link popularity of the site for sure.

It will also provide the site with value and weight, hence increasing the trust and authority of that site. Free one-way links can also be obtained through content, tools, articles, blogs and forums. All these techniques are natural, hence, there is no chance of being marked or be identified as spam.

Good, quality content draws tons of links which are of course free and one-way. It is because the way the human psychology works. If the information is useful and valuable to a customer, he/she would obviously link to it. Here enters the social networking sites which can be used to promote a site. The promotional strategy must be discrete as the editors of these sites are extremely biased against promoting a site through these sites.

Any hint of a marketing strategy would mark your site and may result in undesired consequences. Blogs also provide to be an important source for one-way links because if a link builder posts a relevant comment in a blog which has similar content to that of his site with a link to his site, then that link would be also counted.

The similar case is with the forums, except that the link builder should use the link to his site as the signature and the link builder should be an active member of that forum. As for the tools, it is similar to the content – if a person finds the tools useful, then he/she would obviously link to it and also spread the word about it.

The advantages of these types of links are that they provide more value and weight to the site and hence, boost link popularity of that site. They also increase the PageRank of the site. Free one-way linking is a completely solid white-hat SEO technique; hence, there is no chance of getting banned. And last but not the least, they are FREE! On the other hand, there are disadvantages – these links are hard to come by.

There are plenty of directories, but when it comes to relevant quality sites, there seems to be a huge scarcity. Link builders experience eye and back strains by staring at the SERPs for long hours in order to find relevant sites that would provide a free one-way link to their site. And even if a relevant website is found, it will not provide the link so easily.

The website has to go through strict editorial supervision to be approved. This is also the case for certain top directories where the editors prove to be extremely cynical, sarcastic and vengeful. Another disadvantage is that it takes time – a free one-way link submission at a second tier directory takes 2-4 weeks at the minimum to be approved or rejected. During this time, the competitors of the site may have a boost by their reciprocal linking strategy. And also, free one-way linking is a stressful manual job which takes long hours of hard work.

Paid One-way Links:

Paid one-way links are the other form of one-way links. Quality links can be bought or rented at authoritative websites with high PageRanks. In top directories, links can also be bought so that the site gets a higher placement in both the directory and the SERPs.

The advantage of buying one-way links is that the site gets better preferences in the directories. If the directories are totally paid directories, then the site is even more benefited because paid directories tend to have less number of sites in each category, hence there is a little bit of chance that the PageRank would be diluted.

Of course, increases in PageRank, authority, weight and value and link popularity are obviously there. Paid links can also be used to improve rankings in SERPs. With all these advantages, paid links are no more major targets for search engine optimizers. This is because of the recent declaration by Google that paid links should be reported.

Since Google controls 56% of the internet marketing and searches today, the declaration has become a biblical statement. Hence paid links are looked upon as taboos by the white-hat optimizers. Google spokesmen Adam Lasnik and Matt Cutts, in this case, have stated that buying links from high PR sites to draw link juice is being considered as spam and hence spamming should be banned. Although few types of paid links are still clean, most of them have been identified as spam.

Hence, paid links have lost their value as a weapon in search wars. Paid links can also prove to be a burden on the marketing budget of a company. Prices vary from directory to directory and that merged with the cost of a PPC campaign can turn out to be a financial burden. As for example, Yahoo! charges $299 for review before inclusion and there is a chance that a site might get rejected.

Thus, even if paid links were an important part of an online marketing strategy before, now they have been devaluated especially after the declaration by Google

Even with all its disadvantages, one-way linking still remains a stronghold for search engine optimizers. It is only because of the one-way links that provide PageRank,

higher rankings in SERPs, authority, value and weight to a site. This old-school tactic will survive the rapid nascent of social networking as a promotional strategy as it is irreplaceable.
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