Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lesson Four: Link Building Basics

What is a backlink?

This is when a third-party website links to your website. For example, if you write and submit an article to an article directory, then you’ll have an incoming link – a backlink -- from the directory.

The search engines prefer one-way incoming backlinks from high-quality, relevant websites.

What is anchor text?

When you create a link, the anchor text is the clickbable part of the link. For example, in the phrase, “go to Google,” Google is the anchor text.

The reason this is important is because you want to use your keywords as your anchor text on incoming links. So if you’re trying to rank for “gardening secrets,” then those two words should make up the anchor text for several of your backlinks.

What is a do-follow/no-follow link?

There are two types of “nofollow” attribute. The robots meta tag version –

<meta name="robots" content="nofollow" />

Which tells (well behaved) bots/crawlers/spiders not to follow links on the page

And the link attribute

<a href=”http://www.google.com” rel=”nofollow”>

Which tells search engines not to count the link in terms of ranking pages.

In theory these links are worthless for boosting your search engine rankings. In practice you’ll often see some benefit, especially when mixed in with a load of dofollow links.

Links are automatically “dofollow” in the absence of the rel=”nofollow” attribute. There is no rel=”dofollow” attribute.

Can paid links harm my ranking?

Google’s official stance is that buying links is an attempt to manipulate rankings – and Google frowns on this practice.

In reality, however, it’s very hard for Google to penalize you for buying links (and they wouldn’t be able to tell for sure anyway). Indeed, if there was a penalty, then you could destroy a competitor simply by purchasing links to their site and then reporting them to Google. Poof, competition gone.

Of course it doesn’t work that way. As such, if there’s any “penalty,” it may just be that Google doesn’t “count” links from paid sources.

TIP: Google does penalize the sites that are selling these backlinks – so if you buy backlinks, be sure that the backlinks aren’t coming directly from the penalized sites.

Are reciprocal links bad?

They’re not bad, per se, especially if they’re coming from relevant, high quality websites. However, one-way incoming links tend to be more valuable in terms of SEO.

What is a one-way link?

This is a non-reciprocal link. That means that Site A links to Site B, but Site B does NOT link back to Site A.

The search engines prefer to see one-way links from relevant, quality sites.

What is three-way linking?

Three-way linking is a way for two webmasters to exchange links so that each person’s website gets a one-way link (rather than a reciprocal link).

In order to make this work, at least one of the webmasters has to have a second site in the same niche. Here’s how it works:

Webmaster 1 links his Site A to Webmaster 2’s Site B. Then Webmaster 2 links his Site C to Webmaster 1’s Site A.

Thus Sites A, B and C all have one-way incoming links, like this:

Site A -> Site B -> Site C -> Site A

What is a site wide link?

These are links that are found on every page of a website. For example, many people have a link to their “home” page (the index page) on every other page of their web site. That’s a site wide link.

What is pinging?

Pinging is informing web-crawling bots (such as search engines or directories) that you’ve updated the content on your web page. The goal is to get these bots to crawl and index your new content immediately.

For example, if you post a new article on your blog, you can use pingomatic.com or pingler.com to inform multiple bots about this change.


  1. have any intitute to learn more about this stuff?

  2. Wow this blog is pure gold!
    Im following this!

  3. Thanks for the info no the pinging, ive been looking for good sites like pingomatic.com Cheers!

  4. You should market this information and sell it as an e-book on Kindle. Seriously. Just organize it into informative chapters and post pictures and whatnot.

  5. Oh my god.. very very informative blog!! Good work man

  6. Wow im finding alo of interesting information on this forum, I have yet to read alot :)
    Thanks man! following you

  7. thanks for the ping site info. never done it before, gonna have to start doing it!

  8. Thank you for the information.

  9. i need to bookmark this, thanks

  10. Thanks for this, I've been meaning to check out what link building means for a while. You give a great overview.

  11. Thanks for the tips, backlinking is precious !

  12. Good tips.
    Enjoyed reading! :)

  13. good info. thanks for the tips.

  14. reading again, really dig the info

  15. Hmmmm, thank you for the information. Many things I didnot know yet... nice!

  16. I've alway enjoyed watching videos of three way linking but your description doesn't match my experience at all.

  17. i just pinged my sites!
    good blog. :)

  18. Wow I had no idea about the whole web bots thing, thanks for the info


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