SEO - Natural Link Strategies

SEO - Natural Link Strategies

SEO - Natural Link Strategies

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be the difference between a small, barely profitable or visible website and a traffic-attracting website. There are many ways, both good and bad, to influence search engines. Some search engines react to certain strategies better than others. Some even have conflicting strategies that they react to. Documenting all of these things would require a significant amount of pages and research that is beyond the scope of this article.

However, there are a number of things that can be documented that will work for most if not all search engines. And let's be real; In reality, there are only 3 that make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful SEO strategy. They are the big three: Google, Yahoo and MSN. These three search engines in a given month are responsible for more than 90% of all Internet searches.

So what is this article about? It's about what you can do as a website owner that will influence search engines using commonly accepted practices of linking to other websites (outbound) and getting website links (inbound) for you. Basically, there are 4 strategies that a website owner usually employs to increase the value of their website in the eyes of the search engine. They are reciprocal links, one way links, multisite links, and directory links. A website owner should not think that using only one strategy is the correct answer; sure it will help your SEO, but it won't be the best answer. The best answer is to use all 4 techniques and do it naturally.

Each of the four linking strategies has specific descriptions that can be summarized as:

1. Reciprocal Link = Site A links to Site B, Site B links back to Site A

2. One Way Link = Links from Site B to Site A

3. Multiple site linkage = Site A links to site B, site B links to site C, site C links to site D, and site D links to site A. There could be 3 ...N number of sites involved.

4. Directory Linking = Site A directory links to Site A

That sounds simple enough, but it takes time and effort to carry out all 4 strategies and most website owners are either unwilling to spend time or don't have the time to do so. As a website owner, SEO should be one of the highest priority tasks you tackle, right after order processing and fulfillment and customer service. Without free traffic from search engines, other traffic generation strategies that usually require payment must be employed.

Now doing the above 4 strategies is great, but it gets even harder because you have to do it in a way that doesn't cause search engines to apply a penalty to your website. No one except search engine engineers knows all the exact penalties, but we have some good theories for some of them.

The first is the speed at which links are created. There is a certain threshold for creating links that is too fast. The threshold may be a sliding scale and related to the age of the website depending on the engine. For example, a young website with little traffic should typically not get 1,000 links a month, while an older website that gets a lot of traffic might be fine to get 1,000 links a month. As you go about your linking strategies, be sure to keep this in mind, especially if you're thinking of buying links.

The second is that having a link to every site that links to you will likely reduce the value of the links. In other words, if all you get is a reciprocal link, you'll likely go up in the SERPs (search engine results pages), but you won't reach the full potential of your sites. Having a mix of all 4 strategies will seem more natural to the engines.

The third is that having all the incoming links to your site on "links" pages will make those links less valuable than having a natural link on a contextually relative page for a percentage of the incoming links. The higher you can push this percentage of context, the better your website will rank. These types of links are often some of the most difficult for an exchange to generate because they require the most time and effort for both website owners.

The fourth is to have incoming links from all the different ranking sites. If all that links to you are page rank 6 and 7 sites, then you are probably sending the message that you bought your links.and that is not natural for engines. Some would say that buying links to generate traffic is fine, and it is. However, you shouldn't expect search engines to give those inbound links a lot of weight when calculating your SERP positions. It is significantly more natural for you to have a large number of rank 1 and 2 inbound links and a decreasing number of inbound links as you move up the page rank scale (0 - 10).

The fifth is to have the text of your incoming links varied. It is not natural for all websites that link to you to have the same link description text. The natural tendency would be to have a A certain percentage should be the name of the site, but then there should be a wide variety of description. Your link text description is a key factor for your site/page ranking, so be sure to keep that in mind when specifying your preferred link text description on your website.

Finally, it would be better if a good percentage of your incoming links appeared within the text of a page that seems natural to the reader of that site. And for those links not all point to the home page of your website. It is more natural for a good quality link to appear in the text of a page and point internally within your site.

Therefore, when you start or continue with your SEO activities, keep all these things in mind and don't get impatient. Impatience could incur penalties or worse. Your website could end up in the "sandbox". It is rumored and becoming more concrete that Google supposedly uses a sandbox in which questionable sites are placed until they have aged to the point where Google no longer feels they are being manipulated. Many of the search engines use similar protection schemes to weed out spam sites and tampering sites to prevent their SERPs from becoming cluttered.