Link Value: Are All Incoming Links Equal? Part I
The key factor in achieving top positions in search engines is link popularity. The more sites are pointing to your website, the better. Any link you obtain has some impact on your search engine rankings.
Not all the links you build are equal. In this article I talked about the types of links you should avoid in order not to spoil your search engine rankings.
Now I’d like to speak about quality links to help you clearly understand what you should focus your efforts on.
As it comes to link building the key factor is relevance. The relevance means:
- The relevance of the website (or the specific page) that links back to your site;
- The relevance of the anchor text of the link to your site.
The impact a relevant link will have on your rankings will vary from a little one to the biggest one. The more relevant the website where your link is, and the more relevant the anchor text you use, the bigger the impact of the back link on your rankings.
Based on relevance, let’s divide links into 3 types.
Type 1. These are links from the most relevant websites that rank high in Google for target keywords. These links will have the biggest impact on your search engine rankings. Here you can have:
- an "ideal" link when using the exact keyword phrase the website ranks for as the anchor test for your link;
- a "good" link when using the individual keywords in the anchor text;
- a "neutral" link when using neutral anchor text, or using a pure URL without an anchor text.
Let’s assume you want to rank for the "email marketing software" phrase. The "ideal" link would be a link from the website which is on the top position in Google for the "email marketing software" term with the "email marketing software" as the anchor text.
A "good" link would be a link from top websites with the keywords in the anchor text, for example, "software for email marketing", "email software", "software to send email marketing campaigns" and the like.
A neutral link will have unrelated anchor text, for example, "click here" or "read more" , or the website will simply put your URL as is http://www.yourdomain.com. In this case you can rely only on the theme relevance of the already ranked websites that pass the relevance to your site. You cannot benefit from the additional advantage of having the related anchor text.
The downside is that the type 1 links are the most difficult to get. If you decide to buy a link, these links are the most expensive ones if such an option is available.
Type 2. These links are from "theme relevant pages" and will still have an excellent impact on your search engine rankings when targeting specific terms. Type 2 links are easier to obtain because you are not focusing on the exact keyword phrase anymore.
Generally, all websites related to email marketing fall into this category. These may be the sites that rank for such terms as "how to send email newsletters" , "how to create and send HTML email" , "how to build email list" and so forth. Basically, any website themed around email marketing is OK to obtain the Type 2 links.
The same principals apply to the anchor text here:
- an "ideal" link will have the exact term (email marketing software) in the anchor text;
- a "good" link will have your keywords (not the exact phrase) in the anchor text;
- a "neutral" link will contain unrelated anchor text or show up as a regular link.
Links obtained from blog comments and directory submissions can also be labeled as the Type 2 links. Probably, you already have Fast Blog Finder. If you don't have it yet, you can download it for free here and start searching for relevant blogs where you can submit a comment and get a link back to your site.
The advantage of directory submissions is that they are often easier to build than other Type 2 links. Though these links will have less impact on your site ranking because you submit your site to the relevant category and that only page will hold the relevance to your theme.
There are many directory submission services on the Internet that can do the work for you. But if you want to have a full control under your submissions, directory submission software is exactly what you need.
Fast Directory Submitter is a semi-automatic submission tool. It contains a database of 2000+ free directories. Only for $20 per site you get access to the full directory database. Since web-based submission services charge $100 and more per 1000 directories, you save $80 at the least on each thousand directories with Fast Directory Submitter.
And unlike submission services, with Fast Directory Submitter you’re not limited in the number of titles/descriptions you can have for your links. You can add an unlimited quantity of keywords/descriptions to the site profile in Fast Directory Submitter. The program will take the keywords/description randomly when you pass from directory to directory so your links will look natural.
You have a full control under the site submission process. You can ensure that the program selected the right category for your website. If the category is wrong, you can choose the relevant category yourself. Type the captcha if required and click Submit to go to the next category. Submission to one directory takes just 5 seconds.
You can download Fast Directory Submitter now and start building valuable one way links right away.
Type 3. These are links from totally unrelated websites. However, they can have a positive impact on your site rankings if you use the exact term you want to rank for or your keywords in the anchor text (an "ideal" link and a "good" link).
A link from an unrelated site with an unrelated anchor text will produce no effect and you should not really focus your efforts at getting such links unless you write a description for your link that would add some relevance to it.
But don’t be obsessed with obtaining Type 1 and Type 2 links only. They are harder to obtain and more expensive to purchase. You can achieve the same results with the Type 3 links. The more Type 3 links you get, the bigger impact they have on your search engine rankings.
In the Part II we’ll continue talking about link building and examine other factors that determine link value and PageRank.