Jan 16, 2011

Linking Makes the Web Go Round

Linking Makes the Web Go 'Round*This is a guest post by Will Harrison but it perfectly describes this blog attitude: LINK OUT GENEROUSLY*

Because this is a guest post, and although I do SEO work similar to Ann Smarty, all I ask is that if you find this article, contact her if you need SEO help. I just landed a job with a major company and I do not need any more clients at this point in time. I have linked to my website to provide information to those who thirst for knowledge, not to compete with Ann.

The beauty of this country is that people are free to believe and think whatever they want. If you don’t like someone’s advice, you have every right to ignore it completely regardless of if it is valuable and helpful. As an American or Canadian, you are allowed to be a free thinker and decide for yourself when you see, read, or hear something that is of value.

For those of you that are here reading this page with an open mind, you will likely learn something valuable and useful and for those of you that have your mind made up already, you can move on to reading some of those useless search engine optimization blogs out there.

You probably have already read countless blogs and articles about search engine optimization and found that one thing that significantly contributes to the direct success of search engine results is linking. Linking is what makes the Internet go ’round. I don’t want to get too in depth into what Google PageRank is all about in this article, but essentially PageRank is Google’s stock value of a website and part of how that value is determined is the quality of the links to that website. Although a website and a blog are completely different in my opinion for the purpose of this article, they are one in the same.

There are two types of linking, internal and external. Both are equally important to the success of a website. If an end user cannot navigate internally around your website easily, they will get frustrated and likely leave. If you direct them to other useful information on other websites, they will likely return to yours to find more helpful information.

How do you build links? What’s the best way to improve PageRank and increase linking to my website?

You have probably read that if you create good content the links will come, that’s partly true and partly untrue. There is tons of websites out there that have excellent content but nobody is linking to it. It is buried under thousands of Google search results and will likely never be found. Part of getting good content recognized is through networking. If you say to a few people, “HEY! LOOK AT THIS!”, and they read it and like it, they will hopefully: PASS IT ON. If you are the kind of person who is constantly screaming, “HEY! LOOK AT THIS!”, then you may likely be ignored like the boy who cried wolf.

Part of getting links to your website is by giving links out to other websites. As you see, I used the anchor text “the boy who cried wolf” to link to the story about the boy who kept crying out to get attention, only to finally be ignored when he actually had something important to say. I have written several hundred articles and pages of information over the last year and think my TOP 10 articles are the only ones I would want to constantly promote or have people link to.

I now have more than five years in the SEO industry and have found that getting quality websites with good PageRank to link to your content can be nearly impossible at times. I have tried to network with webmaster, after webmaster, after webmaster, only to be shot down continuously. It can be extremely discouraging knowing that many people that own websites are link hogs and suffering from PageRank greed. The first rule in life is: NEVER GIVE UP. At some point, someone will grant you an opportunity to network with them, and carpe diem. Networking with competitors and people in your line of work can go much farther than succumbing to PageRank greed and being a link hog.

There is a  faux phenomenon known as “leaking PageRank” is an urban legend. Websites do not leak Page Rank, I don’t care what you have read or where you have read it, it simply is untrue. You do not lose PR because you link to another website. In fact, I have done some experimenting and have found that the opposite is true. If you wrote an article and linked to 5 web pages that each had a Page Rank of 7 of more, you would likely get a small fraction of that Page Rank returned to your page for linking to high quality sites even if you had no incoming links. Linking to pages with Page Ranks of 4 of more can be beneficial to you because you are letting Google know that you are linking to quality websites.

Linking is essential to the success of a website. However, playing fair and following Google’s “Rules of the Road” is more important than the links themselves. Matt Cutts states on his blog, “–the best links are earned and given by choice.” Google’s webmaster guidelines states, “Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank.” It is made clear on how NOT to get links, but very few webmasters are able to find people to link to them, because they fail to network.


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