May 15, 2009

Why Natural Links are Better

By: Mercedes Aspland

Once upon a time the most important thing was to get as many links as you could to your website. Then the site with the most links got to the top of the search engines. That is not the case anymore and you need to make sure they are quality links. This article will give you the dos and don’ts of link building.

Google, the leading search engine has got very good at detecting the quality of links and in particular unnatural links. For that reason the below type of links won’t work:

Link Farms

This is where you join a scheme and add a piece of code to your website. Then in no time at all you have a load of links to your website. These systems automatically generate the links and the aim is to artificially boost your rankings.

Some people believe that if you participate in these schemes you could see a penalty from Google in terms of a lower ranking. It is my belief that the only penalty will be that they will discount the links from a link farm and so you are wasting your time.

Paid Links

This is a slightly grey area because Google has started that buying links to increase your search engine ranking is spam. However they have acknowledged the fact that people may buy links for promotion purposes. For example you may pay to go in the Yahoo directory or to go into Yell. This is clearly not spam and should not be considered that way. However you should stay away from buying links just to help your SEO efforts. The chances are these links will be disregarded by Google and you will be wasting your money.

However the question is what is a natural link? Well these are basically links to your website that are from other sites that make sense. The sites linking to you look like they would naturally link to you and these are the links that have the most value. If you are looking to build natural links below are some top tips:

1. Create a Useful Site

If you have virtually no content on your website why would other sites link to you? You need to fill your site with as much useful and interesting content as possible. It will be much easier to get links this way.

2. Contact Related Sites

It is a good idea to contact website and blogs that write on the same topic as you and point them to your content. If what you have written is genuinely interesting then there is a high chance they will link to you.

3. Use Directories

There are literally hundreds of free internet directories out there and it takes next to no time to submit your website. The more you submit it to the better and each one will give you a link to your website which will count to your search engine rankings.

4. Include Bookmarking Icons

Social bookmarking is becoming very important to search engine rankings so make sure you make it very easy for visitors to bookmark your content. This is great because your visitors do the work for you.

5. Vary you Links

Get links to different pages within your website and use different link texts. If the link text is the same from all websites it won’t look natural.

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