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  • Link Building

    Good or Bad Link Building Can Help or Kill Your Website

    Virtual Assistant Services: Link Building

    If you are creating a new website or trying to optimize your current site, link building is one of the most important elements in search engine rankings. The sites you are linking to can either make or break your website. It takes a great deal of “grunt” work to successfully build links of value. Farming out your link building to just anyone can be a dangerous proposition.

    Knowing the Right Way to Linkbuild Comes From Experience

    At Virtualassistant.org, we have been link building for websites since 1999. During those many years, we have seen lots of fads come and go. Our vast experience performing the various tasks of link building is what sets us apart from the rest of the virtual assistants offering link building services. The rigorous system we put our VA’s through has a platform of training second to none.

    A major objective of effective link building is to increase the page rank of your site and to finding relevant sites to offer as a resource to visitors to your website. The biggest mistake people make in link building is thinking that the quantity of links is the most important factor. This is absolutely incorrect. It’s the quality of your links that make a difference.

    Our experience has taught us that you should link to sites that are complementary, but not competitive to your website. It is imperative that links to your site should come from a “good neighborhood”. Links from porn and gambling sites, for instance, will harm your site because search engines frown on them. For example, if your website is about golf, you should link to golf topic related sites such as instruction, equipment or golf associations. If you link to Bulgarian car rentals, poker sites and cheap airfare, you are defeating the purpose of linking. Having links from related websites carries much more weight with the search engines when they measure your links. It's much more complicated, but this gives you a general idea.

    Why do search engines measure links? The founders of Google developed link measurement as an indicator of search relevance. This allowed them to have another measuring tool other than keyword relevance. Google’s unique Page Rank system allows them to have an additional tool to determine which pages users considered most valuable. Google then gives these pages more “weight”. A frequently used term in link building is link popularity. This refers to the quantity and quality of incoming links that are pointing at your site.

    The links to your website that will provide the most power are those referred to as trusted or authority links. Government (.gov) and educational (.edu) websites are among the most valuable. If your website is about the problems of asthma, linking to the Center for Disease Control section on asthma would be considered a link to an authority site. Another effective linking strategy is acquiring local business links like the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. Relevant city and state government sites also pass on tremendous power.

    Three characteristics of effective links:

    1. Anchor text – this is the actual text that visitors click on to follow a link
    2. Link location
    3. Link intention

    Web 2.0 Linkbuilding

    Link building has evolved tremendously in the past few years. There are now many new platforms you can incorporate into your website to achieve successful link building. Using social media websites, also referred to as Social Media Optimization (SMO), is very effective. Excellent social media websites include Digg, Blogoria, Facebook, MySpace, del.icio.us and Wikipedia.

    Using social media is a quick and effective way to link build and promote online content. Social network linking can provide a huge “jump start” to your website with an initial spike in traffic and a long-lasting bounce via referral visitors. Gaining links through social networks like blogs and portals is an approach that is very search engine friendly. Social media allows users to:

    • Create accounts/profiles
    • Grow a network of collaborative members
    • Submit, tag and vote on content
    • Comment on content

    Be careful however, it’s easy to become “spam” oriented with linking on social websites.

    Link Analysis

    Another part of the extensive training our VA’s go through is learning how to use tools for competitive and quality analysis. Some web tools our VA’s use help to streamline many of the tedious and repetitive tasks associated with link building. Other ones are great for marketing analysis. A good example of one of these tools is a customer survey. These survey’s contain questions to help you discover where visitors go when they’re not on your website and what motivates them to buy when they visit your site. Another useful strategy is having embedded content in images, videos and pod casts.

    Two other good avenues to increase traffic are directory submissions in directories like DMOZ and Yahoo and news syndication sites such as Topix.net and Yahoo!News. Continuous training keeps our VAs up to date on current directories.

    As a good rule of thumb, one of the best ways to obtain good links is to create good content. At Virtualassistant.org, we have developed innovative content building strategies that are designed specifically to get effective links. Our VA’s have been thoroughly trained to effectively use these proven methods.

    Bad Link Building Services Are More Common than Good Ones

    You should be very careful if you decide to outsource your link building. Frankly, most of the outsourced link building is ineffective at best and harmful at worst. Many link building companies are either using outdated methods, trying to cut corners, dishonest or all of the above. If someone tells you they can procure hundreds of links for your website, you can be certain these are not quality links in good neighborhoods. Also beware of “link farms”. The reason for Google algorithm is to replace human editors with a mechanical process of using “spiders” to index and count millions of websites. Google considers paying link farms for links a violation of their terms and services and they may remove your website from their search index completely!

    Another area of frequent problems is reciprocal linking. Many people violate web protocol by using unethical reciprocal linking methods like cloaking their forwarding URL. Sometimes scammers will say they have added your link to their directory. When you go to inspect, you find your “link” was just a text CSS styled to appear as a hyperlink that incorporated the “On Click” command to redirect to a target website instead of yours. Another scam is to fill out the supposed reciprocal link form, only to later receive an email asking for payment for doing so. Three of the most common frauds are absent back links, hidden links and redirect script for back links. If you notice your websites page rank is declining, check your links for these problems.

    Don’t hire just anyone to do your link building. Proper link building can generate huge rewards; improper link building can get your website banned from search engines. Our team at virtualassistant.org is trained in a wide variety of proven formulas developed from years of hands on experience. Leave your link building to the pros.

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