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Link Building

Building Non-Reciprocal Quality Inbound Links for Effective SEO

(Hardly the Trendiest part of SEO)

(But it HAS to be done...)


In the early days of search engine optimisation all you had to do was put keywords in the right places on your web pages and sit back, safe in the knowledge that your page or site would appear high up in the search engines and that thousands of visitors were sure to follow. The keywords had to appear in the title tag, the H1 tag and H2 tag, the description tag, and also had to be scattered liberally throughout the body text. Then there were various html techniques like the table trick to satisfy people who wanted a menu down the left side but also satisfied the search engines which preferred the text near the top of the file. There were other simple procedures that most people knew about. The on-page optimisation was the easy bit.

Those good old days ended around late 2004 or early 2005, depending on whose account of things you read in the webmaster forums.

Ever since then the search engines, notably Google, have tried to figure out how relevance can be evaluated more accurately, and with a greater emphasis on putting those websites that appear to have more authority nearer the top of the search engine results pages. The battle for off-page optimisation had begun.

The general wisdom that grew up was that the importance of a site could be measured by how many other sites which were similarly themed had links pointing at it. Further, the relevance of a site - in terms of its theme - could be assessed by the anchor text that comprised the link itself. If a website was about buying red widgets then the more links with "buying red widgets" pointing to that site would raise it in the esteem of the search engines. A more natural combination of "red widgets", "buying widgets" and "buy red widgets" in the general mix would further enhance it, because it would not seem to have been artificially optimised (which it probably was anyway).

Whether or not, or how, this yardstick can be improved on will have to be something that the search engines should address, because the present model is far from perfect. (Google thinks that the place which is most about the important term "click here" is the Adobe Acrobat Reader download page, for the linking methodology reasons described above.) But for the moment it looks as if getting lots of good, relevant, non-reciprocal links from as diverse a range of IP addresses as possible, with the absolute avoidance of link farms, web-linking schemes and reciprocal links (which are now all but useless) with relevant keywords in the anchor text, and with a mix of different variations on the keywords, will be the best way of getting high rankings for several years to come. To summarise:

Lots of relevant links
Non-reciprocal links
Links from lots of different "C block" IP addresses indicating no "link farm" approach
Relevant keywords in the anchor text
Natural mix of keywords in the anchor text

But getting such links is not an easy matter. The best way to achieve such links in a short space of time is by writing laser-targeted articles and press releases which are well written and have something highly pertinent to say, propagated to the right media sources, followed up over a measured period of time with more articles and press releases to further enhance the link popularity and to keep the website high up in the search engine results pages.

There are also other methods that can be used such as posting on high-ranking sites using the various new social networking (or Web 2.0) methods.

Links back to the web site will come from the article's resource box, or from text within the article body itself where html is enabled.

Articles and press releases have a two-fold enhancing effect on a website. Firstly, the people who read the articles will already have pre-qualified themselves to the theme of the website by searching out the article in the first place, and they will form the first wave of "natural" web traffic that comes from the article to the website. Secondly, the inbound links that come from the sites the article has been published on will enhance the standing of the website in the eyes of the search engines, and this will place the website higher up in the rankings of the search engine results pages. Perhaps even to the first position on page one. This will increase the number of website visitors dramatically.

My service involves finding the right keywords, evaluating the competition, writing the articles/press releases with the keyword(s) in the right place(s), submitting to the appropriate media, measuring effectiveness and evaluating how the next link campaign can be improved (because link campaigns can always be improved).

All this takes long hours and is labour intensive. I do use various software resources to assist me at different stages, but in the end it comes down to sustained, concentrated human effort, and the gaining of experience that shows that the present campaign should be more successful than the last. The results can be highly impressive, even amazing. The following are real life and real-time case studies.

I should stress that “article marketing”, which is what the following is, is only one of the many methods I use to get quality one-way backlinks to my web sites and to those of my clients. But I’ve been asked for hard figures, and article marketing affords the quantitative feedback that I can use to illustrate the dynamics of the process, and how gathering backlink works, in real time.


Actual Screenshots of Article Propagation over Time

These screenshots are from the Article Analyzer component of the software suite Article Announcer, which is the world's leading article submission software. You can see how it tracks the acquisition of articles by the main search engines through time. For example, in the first screenshot, immediately below, the chart shows that, on January 31 2006 , there were 735 appearances of the article on Google, 1120 from Yahoo and 1958 from MSN.

No article, press release or website will have a fixed number of search results. The number will vary over time according to the changing algorithms of the search engines and to other factors. A typical link campaign will see a sudden increase in backlinks which then will slowly lessen in number as the search engines filter out duplicate entries. Each of the following screenshots tells its own story.


Screenshot 1.

Article Title "The 7 Points of Do-It-Yourself SEO" (also known as "The 7 Points of DIY SEO") to get highly targeted and non-reciprocal backlinks to my site (various clients). The difference between Google's uptake of the article can be compared to that of Yahoo and MSN. Google's more conservative approach is very apparent here. This screenshot is from the tail end of a relatively old campaign; all the sudden surges which occur at the start of a campaign have been ironed out, and the figures are relatively stable. They will remain that way for several months, flattening out slowly. The actual backlinks from each search engine will be a subset of these figures.


Screenshot 2.

Article Title "The 9 Ways to Emigrate to Australia" to get links back to my site (client: the Australia Visa Bureau). Again, Google's more conservative approach can be seen, as can MSN's tendency to fluctuate wildly by comparison. This campaign was run entirely on one article submission process, and without submission to the various fee-based PR agency programs (some of these are far better than others, while some are an almost complete waste of time and money) and this is evidenced by the relatively low figures compared with the other two examples on this page.


Screenshot 3.

Article Title "0 APR Credit Cards are Not Just for Christmas" to get links back to my sites and (clients: CardOffers, Smart-Quotes, various banks). This relatively new campaign shows how quickly a good article or press release can burst out into the online media when it is written well, has something pertinent and timely to say, and is propagated to the right sources (relevant article directories, ezines and email newsletters, article announcement lists, special interest groups, webmasters and blogmasters whose web pages have high Alexa© ranking, and online PR agencies both free and paid-for). This campaign was started on 26 January 2006 and the article appeared in over 20,000 online locations within six days.

These very high numbers are the result of the article's rapid proliferation through the newswires and online PR channels during the early stages of take-up. In keeping with previous experience, these very high numbers in Google and MSN will reduce back steadily over a month or so, due to the "duplication dampening" factor, and to the newswires dropping of material which is not absolutely current. In a couple of months or so another article or press release will be deployed to take care of my clients' interests, and boost this particular website once again.

(For any of these examples, to get an update on the total presence of an article or press release just type the title of the article - with quotation marks surrounding it - into the relevant search engine and see how many entries are produced on that particular search engine's results pages. Bear in mind that some publishers will not apply live hyperlinks to the articles that they reproduce, so the backlinks will just not be there to start with. Also, other people will sometimes unscrupulously plagiarise article content as their own, in order to generate traffic to their own websites.)

But despite the shrinking figures the end result will be what we want, and what the search engines recognise as hallmarks of a high value website.

The services I offer are built to last; they do not rely on any fads, gimmicks, black-hat techniques, coding cheats or the latest five-minute wonders.

So, now I’ve shown you how to do it, you’ll be able to do it yourself! Well, not quite. Because in order to do it, you actually have to do it. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years with consistently good results. And it all takes quite a lot of effort and hours spent, and these days needs quite a few specialised pieces of software and optimisation kit to get the best results.

Why not take advantage of my introductory offer for new clients. See for details.

Thank you for taking the time to let me show you this.

For further information on how Gordon Goodfellow can increase the effectiveness of your website send an email to Gordon in complete confidence.