So everyone’s heard of “Page Rank”, which entails getting links from other domains on the web to point back to yours. Of course these links are considered “votes” for your content, as long as those links are not "nofollowed." It’s too bad that so many webmasters and SEO specialists don’t implement this idea properly. Likewise, there are other “internal” linking strategies that can help boost your sites ranking in the major search engines. Here I’m going to discuss some of the proper, as well as improper linking strategies that can be used on web.
Starting with “Page Rank”, as I’ve previously stated, is the process of external links from other domains that are vouching for the content on your website as being credible. In essence, when others link to you in this manner they're essentially telling search engines, "I trust this author, domain, and or content this link leads too." These links are graded depending on both their relevancy to your content, as well as the importance, popularity, and legitimacy of the domains that point to you. Unfortunately, not implementing these links properly can actually have a negative effect on your sites overall ranking.
While you want links to point back to your site, you also want an inbound link profile that's diverse, meaning you have incoming relevant links that aren't just pointing to your home page, but rather multiple resources on your domain. Unfortunately, People tend to link back to their home page over and over again in the belief that this is the best practice, and their sites will soar as a result of all that page rank. Not quite. For starters, you want links not from other domains, but from relative content on other domains to point back to your content, and not just your home page. A link from your profile page on a domain back to your website is virtually worthless, unless that sites overall content is somehow related to your sites content.
Another bad linking strategy is simply trading links with multiple random webmasters in order to raise your page rank, or adding links to your site from “link farms”, which serve no other purpose than to link to other places on the internet without providing any quality content themselves. For instance, if your website is about boats, and a link from a site about vintage cars links back to you, this type of link will actually count against your ranking since the content from both domains is totally irrelevant to each other, and relevance matters a lot more than page rank does! However, if someone were to link from say, an article you wrote about vintage cars on hubpages, to an article about vintage cars on your website, this would be considered a quality link since both articles share relevant information that is directly related to one another. This type of link adds authority to your website, and these are the type of external links you want pointing back to you.
Another good linking strategy is to create internal (sometimes called “Deep Links”) links that point from the content of one page to another, in which both pages content are relevant to each other in some way. I tend to do this myself, since this strategy provides more value for users because you are providing more information to them. For example, I’ve placed links from web design tutorials about “CSS Media Queries” back to other web design tutorials about “mobile web design practices”, and since both are closely related, these links are beneficial to users, and search engines will take note of them, and add overall value to them in search results. This strategy isn’t used enough in the world of web design, and the better you can implement it, the better your search engine traffic rank will be.
We talked about external links, also sometimes known as “back links.” These types of links when implemented properly give authority and validity to your sites content. You can write content on many freely available internet platforms, such as Yahoo voices, Hubpages, wired.com, ezinearticles.com, etc. You then add links back to similar, relevant, or expanding content on your site. If you write 3 articles on other domains and point those articles back to a single article on your domain, it now becomes valuable content, and search engines will rank it higher, as long as its original content from each article. Don’t copy content from other domains and attempt to create articles on your site or others! This will get you in hot water, and in many cases, especially with Google, they severely penalize you, and in some cases ban you from their search engine altogether. Trust me, search engines will catch this! Instead, create original content that you created yourself, this will also add additional value to your website as a whole.
You need links pointing back to your domain in some manner, especially if the site is new. Search engines tend to view links from quality content on high ranking domains as a way to verify your legitimacy. Without them, you may not see your site popping up in search results any time soon. Create good internal “deep links”, and create original content on other sites that points back to your original content on your own site. Remember to avoid the deceptive linking strategies I described, such as the “link farms”, and linking from and too irrelevant content. Building good links to your site, and within your site, takes serious diligence! Its hard work, but is necessary to create a successful website in the end.
One more note:
If you use buttons for links on your site, try and include the “alt” tag, in order to provide a description for that pages content. You can also use a “title” tag as well, which creates a tool tip for users to view when hovering over your links. Don’t get carried away though. Keep your descriptions short and to the point. Also, when filling in your “alt” and “title” tags, don’t focus on keywords, focus on real meaningful descriptions that people and search engines can make sense of.
You can add a “title” tag like this:
<a href=”xml-markup-tutorial.html” target=”_self” title=”learn to build webpage’s with xml”>XML Markup Tutorial</a>
The link isn’t based on keywords, it’s based on a description that isn’t too long, or too short.
Be sure to use an “alt” tag with image links as well:
<a href=”creating-styles-with-css.html” target=”_self”><img src=”css-button.jpg” alt=”creating style sheets with css” /></a>
Also an effective link! When it comes to the internet, the idea is to provide as much information as possible, while providing a quality user experience. Just remember to stick to point at hand, and not make your descriptions extremely long.