In an article titled Google’s PageRank Explained and how to make the most of it, writer Phil Craven states that PageRank is based on the number of “votes” or inbound links that a given page has. The more links in to a page, the more value Google places on that page as compared to other similar pages.
But where do these links come from? And what factors influence the value placed on inbound links?
Businesses trying to build links have used article directory submissions as a way to gain links in to their site. However, while in the past each site that contained the links counted toward the total number of links in, Google currently seeks original content on a given site. That means that submitting the same article to hundreds of sites only counts as one original link. It’s more important to create links in from sites that have a high PageRank and solid Alexa ranking, as links from these sites carry more weight.
This is another passe mode for increasing links in to a website. Submitting to hundreds of the junk sites carries little to no value. In fact, considering the fact that many companies will charge upwards of $300 to submit a website to thousands of bogus directory sites, there’s an argument to be made that directory submissions can have a negative impact on the bottom line. Businesses that want to find themselves listed on directories should focus efforts on sites like dmoz.org, Yahoo, business.com and a few niche directories for their industry.
Many websites built their traffic through reciprocal links and link trading. However, this is yet another strategy that has gone the way of the dinosaur. Now considered by Google and other search engine as a “scheme”, sites that participate in this type of activity run the risk of getting penalized for their actions.
Ignore the hype from ‘Improve Your SEO Now” peddlers. High-value incoming links are the result of a measured, long-term strategy to improve a site’s ranking. Coupled with other SEO efforts, including site and page optimization, blog relations, and social media marketing, inbound links are highly valued and warrant a strong effort to obtain. In addition to creating a following through a two-way communication channel, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook provide an excellent forum to post high-value inboound links. Vary posts from the profile and the inbound links go a long way to improving PageRank.
When it comes to a linking in strategy, honesty is the best policy. Google and other search engines have elaborate ways of evaluating links and if something smells phishy, it gets punished. A good SEO strategy is not a “get hits quick” scheme. It’s a plan for building value over time. Take time to get to know the right sites and make posts where they matter. Let the links evolve over time. The results will bear lasting fruit.