We’ve all seen those ads or received emails trying to sell you hundreds if not thousands or millions of backlinks to your site all in a matter of minutes. Well just like the emails that promise you millions of dollars if you’ll just put up a few thousand, it’s too good to be true. Link building like every other aspect of an effective search engine optimization campaign requires research, time and patience.
It’s no secret that one part of the three main search engine algorithms (Google, Yahoo & MSN) is link popularity, or who is linking to you and how relevant is that link and how much weight will it be given. So to think that by simply buying links to your site is the magic bullet is a big mis-calculation. Let’s look at what should go into an effective link building strategy.
- Anchor Text – Yes, it’s critical that you “say” the right thing in the links that point to your page. Although this is not always under your control for those links that you can generate that do allow you to determine your anchor text it’s essential that you use your keywords in the text. So just as you’ve done when optimizing your meta tags or body content, consult your keyword list and develop short, keyword rich anchor text options to use when soliciting links.
- Research – Find sites that are relevant to your site, identify a page within their site to ask for a link to your site and then contact the site owner as ask them. Ok, you’re probably going to be rejected more times than not but if you’re site offers complimentary content, if the content is original and of value, you’ll be surprised how many site owners would be willing to offer you a link as a value to their visitors. Keep in mind, sites that are more popular will have a greater impact on the value of your link than sites of less popularity.
- Offer something – A simple link from a site may not be enough for a site owner so you might offer an article that is content rich which will be of value to his site and also allow you to gain that link via a signature box or if the site owner is generous maybe even links throughout the article.
- Time – It’s going to take time to not only identify sites that fit your theme but also to communicate and gain those links. If you go the article route you’ll also need to write those articles so your timeframe has increased even more.
- Patience – Once links are obtained you’ve got to now wait for them to be recognized by the engines. MSN is fairly quick at identifying backlinks, Yahoo is usually not too far behind and Google usually takes much longer.
So the next time you pull the credit card out to buy those 1,000,000,000 backlinks, think again, the chance of those having any major effect at all is minimal and even if they do, it won’t be long before one of the engines realizes what’s up and suddenly you’re left with no backlinks.