Monday, April 13, 2009

"The Art & Science of Obtaining Inbound Website Links"

Ever wonder how to build incoming links to your website? In the "old days" you would simply 002_13 find a site related to yours and ask for a link. In today's "what's in it for me?" society, it's not that easy anymore.

Link popularity, as it's often referred to, is important to ranking well with the search engines. Most search engines use it as a factor when determining your page rank. Basically, it's an indicator of how many other sites are linking to yours. If you have a lot of incoming links, the search engines think to themselves that your site must be pretty good and will give you a boost. Here's a handy tool for checking on incoming links to your website...

So how does an honest website owner get those incoming links? I thought you'd never ask. If you look at it with a creative mind, there are many ways to get those links without directly asking for them.

Here are a few of my favorites:

1) Articles: There's been a lot of talk about writing short articles and having others post them on their websites lately, and for very good reason. Since articles all contain a short signature line that leads back to your website, it's a great way to get incoming links.

The other sites get content and you get an incoming link. It's a win-win situation for everyone
involved. You should also submit your writing to the various online article websites that exist for this purpose. This is where many people go when looking for an article to post on their sites or  to run in their ezines.

2) Blogs: Blogs are big and everyone and their brother has one. Many blogs will allow you to post commentsin response to the postings. Make sure to include your url with your name. Of course, you should never post to any blog or sp-am a blog in order to get an incoming link. This is wrong. Don't do it. If you have something to add, then and only then should you post.

Due to some people abusing blogs for the sole purpose of linking, many have instituted the use of the "no follow" tags. What this does is tell the search engines not to follow posted links. For more information see:

Of course if you publish your own blog you can include all the links you like. If you have numerous websites that need incoming links, this is an easy way to get them. Free Blogger accounts can be set up at

3) Discussion Boards: Believe it or not, most posts to discussion boards do get indexed by the search engines. Again, use a good signature line in your postings. I'm still surprised to this day when I do a search at Google and find a comment I posted to a board months earlier.

4) Press Releases: Writing and submitting press releases online is often overlooked when it comes to linking. If you submit your releases to places like they'll be archived for the world to see for a very long time. If you do a search for "free press releases"
you'll find plenty of other similar sites that accept press release submissions. For more information on using press releases to help with your search engine optimization, see:

5) Ezine Archives: If you publish an ezine, you should  be posting your back issues online. Since your ezine should always contain links back to your website, this insures an additional stream of incoming links.

If you buy ezine ads in newsletters, make sure they post their back issues online so you can benefit from an indefinite link.

6) Natural Linking: Let's face it, the goal of most websites is to provide quality content. Do that and you'll find other sites naturally linking to yours due to the good information that you provide. You won't have to ask for a link, they'll just do it on their own. Here's a great article on this:

No man is an island, and on the Web you don't want to be. You want to be "popular" and by getting your link out there in Cyberland the search engines will look at your website in a more favorable light. And as  Martha Stewart likes to say, "It's a Good Thing."


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