Search engine companies are constantly changing their algorithms to keep their results up-to-date. Optimization used to be the primary factor search engines used to determine a website’s ranking. However, it currently makes up only about 10% of their total algorithms. What carries the most weight with search engines now is linking.
Linking is the process of connecting to other sites that are relevant to your target market and that are highly ranked, and of getting them to connect to you. Google has, by far, the largest percentage of the search engine market, and they’re link-driven. The other search engines tend to follow Google’s lead, so the market is moving faster in that direction.
3 Tips for Building Smart LinksM
When choosing which sites you want to link to, keep in mind what the search engines want to see:
• Search engines are looking for organic results. According to Bruce Chapman of http://Linkateer.com, the number one search engine positioning firm on the web, “One of the things we try to do is make sure every single one of our links is pertinent to that particular type of business.” If your website sells makeup, a natural link would be to a site that gives makeup application techniques. An unnatural link would be to an actor’s fan club site. Says Chapman, “If it’s not natural, it’s going to be a problem.”
• Search engines are looking for consistent results. More links aren’t necessarily better. In fact, getting too many links at once, such as by joining a link farm, can actually hurt your rankings. Gaining 20,000 links this month and 13 links next month is going to trip their filters and, for all your work, you’re going to find yourself dropping in the rankings. With links, the search engines are more concerned with quality than quantity.
• Search engines are looking for one-way links. Reciprocal links are often just people exchanging links to mutually increase their link counts. The search engines have grown wise to this practice and adapted their algorithms. Says Chapman, “When one website wants to link to another website, that’s showing that the second website has got something of value… The one-way link is probably worth 20 times as much as a reciprocal link.”
Achieving Natural Results
It takes time to achieve good positioning in the search engines, especially with the more competitive keywords. Any attempts to trick the engines may work for a while; but they’re getting more and more sophisticated, and they’ll eventually catch up with you. Not only will your trick no longer work, but you may get blackballed or be penalized in your rankings. The best way to achieve high rankings is to give the search engines what they’re looking for—good fresh content and relevant links.