SEO – Simple Notes about Linking with other Sites

Make no mistake – Google rates your quality score / SERP (search engine results page/position) using the quantity and quality of incoming links (backlinks) to you site.  This is a big subject, critical to your SEO success, and not an easy thing to achieve.

There are a number of websites and services to help evaluate the quality of your potential link partners, and while it is important, and certainly part of our process as hired SEO consultants, you don’t necessarily need to agonize over this  – especially since you have a newish site and are hungry to find links.

When looking at potential sites to exchange links with, the first thing to look into is whether they have a Google Page rank higher than yours. (typically PR goes from 0 to 5 – there are lots of sites that rate higher but aren’t typical).  You normally don’t want to link to someone less than 3 but if you go to the site and it looks like the care about quality content and they are just starting – you can help each other by linking and both will improve.

Google Page Rank is a measure of how many relevant sites link to you – and it comes into play regarding your SERP – search engine results page position (top ten or somewhere in the hundreds or nowadays millions).

If you download the google toolbar for either Internet Explorer or Firefox, the PR ranking of the page you are visiting is displayed when you visit their site.

If you want to really learn about a website there is a great add-on for Firefox — go to the firefox add-on site (search for that)  — then search for add-ons for  wmtips – they will display an addon called ‘info’ – go ahead and add that (download and install)- after it installs etc you will see a little icon in the lower right of your browser screen that says ‘info’ when on a page you’re interested in click that icon – a new tab will open up with all kinds of info about the site, google rank, keywords, when it was created, registered domain owner etc — very useful stuff.

Most important thing about assessing whether a link is suitable or not, is whether it is a ‘relevant’ site to yours.  Fashion and fashion accessories should mean that sunglasses and handbags are related – but Googlebot is a piece of software – it contains advanced algorithms but it is still sort of dumb, it only knows what you tell it.  So if there is some doubt about whether a site is relevant, you need to look at their page title, meta description and keywords.  Googlebot is smart enough to use a little thesaurus knowhow so if the words aren’t exactly the same, it still knows enough if they are related.

It is also critically important to avoid link farms and paid link schemes – a lot of sites have self-destructed doing this.  Don’t.

It’s also important to remember not to submit just but (PLEASE NOTE  the extension at the end… its always a good idea to go the page you want people to link to and copy the link location from your browser – sometimes there are a lot of add on parameter data you don’t want either – so if in doubt contact us, we’ll let you know.

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