If you've read my article "Basic On-Page Search Engine Optimization" article, you know all about the on-page factors that make a webpage rank highly, but what about the off-page factors?
The Importance Of Off-Page Factors:
The off-page factors for making a website rank well in the search engines are equally, if not even more important than the on-page factors.
This is because the off-page factors are a representative opinion of the rest of the websites on the internet.
So if loads of websites recommend yours as a good site, google will think, "hmm, quite a few websites recommend this site, so it deserves a boost in rankings".
The Links Effect:
If a website links to yours, normally it means that they like you. It's not necessarily you that they like, but your content.
However this could be quite the opposite, loads of people might hate something on your website, but still link to it to show other people the part they don't like and encourage them to also hate it.
Luckily Google doesn't care either way. A link is a link and you score points for it, whether its saying "xyz.com sucks click here to see" or "This is the best site on the planet, click here to see it".
Another thing that will give you points, is if the site linking to yours, uses your keywords in the link text. This will lead google to believe that your site is more relevant to your keywords, as another site is basically telling google that "xyz.com is related to the search term 'blue widgets'", if the link text is "blue widgets".
Here's an example website promotion. If that link was on another site, it would be like saying "MakeAGreatSite.com is related to website promotion".
Yes there is such a thing as a bad link. This is more of an on-page search engine optimization issue, but it's still worth a mention.
If you go around spamming websites, posting your link and spamming blog comments, you're pretty much wasting your time. This is because the blogs and websites that you're spamming are likely to be completely unrelated to yours. Therefore, that link will probably not hold much value at all. You could argue that every little helps, which is true, but if you spend 2 minutes a time, spamming 1000 blogs you'll have 1000 links, which is great, however how long do you think it will take the annoyed blog and website owners to delete your links. I'll tell you, it'll be seconds after they see it. You would have wasted all that time, gotten nothing back from it, you would have tarnished your name and credibility and you would have annoyed a lot of people on the way.
So it's not exactly the best method of getting links in the world.
Okay, so that is inbound (i.e. links going to your website), what about websites that you link to? This is where you have to be selective. Don't just link to any old websites, if you link to a "bad neighborhoods" google penalizes you. If you link to a site that has shady search engine optimization practices, like hidden text and such, google will think you have similar practices, as when you link to a site, you're saying you support it.
Submit your website to as many relevant directories as you can. This will provide high quality, relevant links to your website. This will not only score you points for good links, but it will also get search engines to crawl your pages more often. This means that the changes you make to your site will be reflected in the search engines much quicker, meaning you can tweak your content to get better rankings much more frequently.
I plan to make a whole page of directories for you to submit to.
If you run a blog, start an RSS feed, if you don't know how to do this I'll be writing a separate article about it soon. It's very easy to start and update an RSS feed. Don't be fooled into thinking you have to buy some software to make one. You can, but it's not necessary. My RSS feeds are made by my own hand and they work just fine. Once you've created an RSS feed you need to submit it to feed directories (I'll make a list of these in a separate article). Now you just need to update your RSS feed whenever you add a new article.
Now you need to use the most powerful way of getting high quality links to your site. Writing and submitting articles to article directories. You wouldn't believe how great this is for your search engine rankings. I wont go into too much detail here as there's a lot to cover, so I'll go into depth on that topic in another article. But you have to do it. If you write a high quality and informative article, without sounding salesey, and you submit it to an article directory, it's very likely that a good few websites will take that article and permanently stick it on their website. This gives you one more avenue for the search engines to find and spider your website. This means more visitors to your website and hopefully more sales/advertising revenue or newsletter subscribers.
Right that's the basics to help you hit the ground running, I'll delve deeper into each point in separate articles to make them easier to read.
By: Stephen Warren