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Building a Linking Campaign

Introduction to Linking

Developing a linking campaign is quite possible the most crafty part of search engine optimization. Google is primarily driven by text link analysis. All other major search engines use link data in their algorithms.

How Linking Works

In a sense this form of web organization is a very democratic process and by linking to another site, you are casting a vote for that site. The value of each outgoing link is a function of current pages link popularity / total number of outgoing links. If a powerful page links to you it helps your rank out considerably. This is why listing on a related web site as one of a few links is more important than listing deep within some large dynamically driven script.

Abusive Linking Programs

The problem with any democratic system is that people try to take advantage of it. Many search engines have protection installed to help prevent this. Do not join automated linking programs. Linking to many of the link partners in some of these programs can cause your site to be banned, and many of these same sites are designed such that incoming links all come to them and they then link out to you (a million links from the same site do not usually help as much as 100 different sites linking to you.)

Link Rental

Renting links can be an extremely effective form of advertising. But it is generally less risky if you have a diverse set of inbound links into your site Most people new to the web should not heavily engage in link rentals until have a broad base of links from a wide range of IP addresses. Two highly recommended link building resources are Debra Mataler and Link Building.nl.

Directory Links

One of the best ways to start building a linking campaign is by submitting your site to directories. Since directories are human edited (hence the name) and used by many sites, their links are rather valuable. Also I listed a few tips on how to find web directories.

PageRank & Link Popularity

While PageRank is important, it is only one factor of link reputation. The location of the inbound links as well as the words in the link are far more important in establishing authority in the eyes of search engines.

Links and the Google Toolbar

If you download the Google Toolbar with the advanced features installed, it will give you PageRank for each page as well as it's backwards links. The Google backlink function has been broken for a great deal of time. Using the link: function will only show a portion of the backlinks Google knows of. Yahoo!'s link function shows a more complete listing of backlinks.

View Competitors Backlinks

You may be able to receive links from the same people who link to your best competitors. Search for the terms you want to list high in. If you are not sure what terms you want to list under view our keywords page.

After you have done this, perform a backwards link check and see who links to them. These same people may help build your linking campaign. If the backward link function is not enabled on your Google Toolbar just do a Google search for link:www.competitorswebsite.com to find out who is linking to them.


If you see a site which looks like you may be able to get a link from them you can ask them. How do I request a link?

You may also want to check backlinks in Yahoo!. Yahoo! advanced search page.

Creating a Link Directory

If you are deeply interested in your topic and there are no great vertical indexes you may want to create your own web directory. Quality web directories tend to natuarally pick up some links.

Author Links

Another good idea is to become an author at sites like buzzle and link to your sites in your posts. You could also try to become an editor for some of the directories, if you list it, you know it is there!

Affiliate Links

If you have a product or service you may want to set up an affiliate program using one of the major affiliate program providers such as BeFree, Comission Junction, or Linkshare. The program I have heard the most positive comments about is the MyAffiliateProgram team.

You can also use an affiliate program to help you get inbound links. While these links rarely count toward link popularity (their associated link tracking pages are filtered out as duplicate pages), they still spread your name around a good bit, which helps build user trust. You also have to be careful when setting the terms and conditions for your web site. View our affiliate programs page for more information.

Link to Us

Ensure you have a link to us page installed to make it easy for users of your site to link to you. Be aggressive yet patient. Building a linking campaign takes long hours and a large quantity of effort. You may want to have your own small industry related directory. For example, view our directory.

Linking Software

Remember that this is a long process and does not happen overnight. I do not recommend many SEO software programs, but creating a linking campaign is exceptionally time consuming. I recommend the following

  • Back Link Analyzer - does in depth link analysis like Optilink & SEO Elite, but free.
  • Espion - another cool free application. Similar to backlink analyzer but faster and with a few less features.
  • Link Harvester - another way to visualize linkage data
  • Hub Finder - makes it easy to find resources that link to similar and competing pages

External Link Resources

Want Free Keyword Research Software? if yes click here

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Today is 07/15/24 . This file was last modified on 05/11/13