Dig this scenario: You have a healthy amount of unique content indexed. Your site architecture and server-side issues have been resolved. You have implemented on-page search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. You even achieved top rankings. However, you are starting to slip, as your organic traffic dashboard begins to look like an EKG flat line. Sound familiar? STAT… You need link donors!
Links are the lifeblood of every successful SEO campaign. While on-page edits play an important role in establishing a foundation for SEO, you can only tweak the page titles, tags and text to a certain extent. At some point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in. More importantly, on-page factors only account for part of the ranking algorithm.
The search engines want a second opinion about your website's theme and popularity. After being burned by black hat techniques like cloaking and keyword stuffing in the past, the engines have learned to utilize the web itself to validate the credibility of a given website as a trusted resource on a particular topic.
Links matter!Essentially, the search engines are looking at the number of inbound links to your site, what those links say about your site (the anchor text used), and who is saying it (relevancy and strength of the sites linking out to you). Consequently, if you want to be successful in your SEO efforts, you must develop a large number of topic-relevant inbound links in order to influence your link profile and increase your rankings.
This is where link donors come into play. Just as a blood donor might offer type-specific blood without reciprocal expectations, a link donor is willing to provide a relevant one-way inbound link. But how do you find the best link donors?
Link value factorsBefore learning about the strategies behind successful link building, it is important to understand the elements that make up a strong link:
Push strategyLink research and development (R&D) is a two-phase push strategy in which you identify websites with content relevant to your site's theme and contact them to negotiate a link.
Phase one: link researchIdentifying the best sites to get links from is a tedious but rewarding process.
Phase two: link developmentAcquiring one-way links from quality sites is a tough task. Websites with high page strength know their web page real estate is valuable, so you need to offer something valuable in return for a static link with relevant anchor text.
Revitalized site rankingsCreating sound site architecture, optimizing page construction, and developing quality content are by no means obsolete SEO strategies. But on-page SEO tactics will only get you so far in a competitive market. By identifying link donors and developing business relationships, you can validate your site's credibility in the eyes of search spiders.
Inevitably, the increased trustworthiness and authority will lead to improved rankings. Unlike on-page editing, link R&D can be done ad infinitum for every page on your site, consistently providing value. So if your web presence is suffering from a slow bleed in rankings, revitalize your site with a new transfusion of link donors.
John Faris is search engine optimization (SEO) analyst at Red Door Interactive. Read full bio.
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Thanks John. Thanks makes sense. Appreciate your help!
Don't worry so much about the Toolbar PageRank of a given page. Pay more attention to links inbound to the specific page according to Yahoo! Site Explorer in combination with the overall strength of the domain. As long as the Web site domain is strong, the page is indexed, and there are some quality links coming to the page, then the sub-page will be fine. It would be nice to get a homepage link, but they are typically harder to get.
John, I have a question for you in regards to this article and getting inbound links. The question is about pagerank. Say I get a link from this page which currently has ZERO PR to my website but the homepage for imediaconnection has a PR6. Is it better to have a link from a page that has high PR or does it not matter as long as the website has a good PR and is well established in the search engines?
Thanks for your help in answering this question for me!
A really nice article
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