Of all the strategies I’ve outlined recently for improving your Google page rank, the most challenging is inbound links. I base that conclusion on how much my clients groan or resist when I suggest this strategy. If an excellent Google page rank is your goal then do not ignore this strategy; however, do implement the easier strategies in my previous “Top of Google” posts first.
First, what and why inbound links?
Inbound links are links from other websites to your website. Also, known as “back links” or just “links.” Google counts the # and quality of inbound links to your website as one of the ways that it measures the value of your website. It is one of the pieces of data Google collects to try and gauge how others esteem your website.
Almost all inbound links are valuable.
The most valuable inbound links are from busy and relevant websites. So authoritative websites in your field that have lots of traffic, have been around a while and relate to your site in subject matter are the best sites to ask for links. For me that means, links from other web companies, other B2B services, from Facebook and Linked In etc. You can also get links from non-relevant websites without much traffic. For example, your sister’s ski condo website might link to your site. Might not help much, but these kinds of inbound links won’t hurt you either.
Are there any bad inbound links?
The inbound links you want to stay away from are those hosted at “link farms.” What’s that you say? You know those services that promise you 100 links for $100 or whatever. Those services have dummy websites that they populate with links just to easily sell inbound links. Here’s an example–some of them look just like websites but just contain links and no real content.
Perhaps you remember when J.C. Penny got in trouble on their online marketing earlier this year. Their internet marketing company had bought them or set up lots of links from link farms. When it was discovered Google took away J.C. Penny’s page rank and relegated them to the backwater or Google Search results.
How to get inbound links?
One way is by making intelligent comments on other blogs and including your website address. You want to make sure your comments add to the conversation and don’t look like spam so that the moderator approves your comments. You can also exchange links with other businesses and put the links of other vendors or colleagues on a links page. If you do this, just be sure to check that other people link back to you and remind them if they forget.
The fact you have to ask for inbound link and rely on others to put them up makes getting inbound links a challenging strategy. Keep in mind that if you build a valuable site with awesome resources it will be easier to garner links as people will just link to you of their own accord.
Karen Nierlich and Almost Everything Communications (AEC) is an internet marketing firm in Albany, CA. AEC helps companies throughout the Bay Area including Marin, Albany, Berkeley and Oakland improve their traffic and leads generated by their online presence.