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Website SEO: Link-Building Myths and Illuminating Facts (Part 1)

SEO Link BuildingLink building can be one of the most difficult, and yet potentially most rewarding, aspects of a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. You’ll find tons of link-building information online, but weeding out the misleading info from the real story can be quite the daunting task if you’re not an SEO expert. Here are a few popular examples:

Myth: Submitting your site to hundreds of general directories will increase your rankings.

Reality: A search engine will examine the neighborhood of websites linking to you. If you operate a pet supplies business, for example, you wouldn’t want your link neighborhood to include car insurance or adult-eyes-only websites, would you? Unless the directory has been established for several years, is comprised of only sites directly related to your industry, and has a good reputation, we suggest staying far away from very general, disreputable directories. Your link will likely be nestled amongst hundreds of unrelated websites, contributing little, if any, link value to your website.

Myth: Leaving your website’s link in blog and forum comments is great for SEO.

Reality: If you’re actively contributing to blogs and forums in your industry, leaving thoughtful comments, and also including your link—go for it! This helps strengthen your credibility as an industry expert, and although that link may not result in a large amount of SEO value, it can send more traffic to your site and make others aware of your website. However, if you’re leaving quick blog and forum comments with the sole purpose to only add your link, your comments are probably going to be deleted quickly, and you’ll develop a reputation as a comment spammer, damaging both you and your website’s reputation—all without much real rankings payoff.

Myth: All paid links are evil.

Reality: Purchasing links through a paid text link broker is a big SEO no-no. A more effective form of link building is to craft quality SEO copy for your website, then pitch your site to websites within your industry. Include different incentives, such as a product to review, to attract a blog or website to link to your site. Another great way to promote your site, if done in moderation, is to purchase an ad, such as a banner, on another website. This is called a “media buy,” and is fine as long as you go directly through the website owner.

On Wednesday, I’ll address whether it’s truly important to link to sites that have a high PageRank™ and if it’s true that having tons of links will really land you on the first search page.

    1. Thanks for the idea about buying the ad . . . looking forward to part 2. Are you doing a part on what people like to link to, in terms of content?

    2. Hi Patrick,
      Thanks for the feedback! Part I and II are all about link-building myths vs. the real facts, but your idea for another post on the type of content that really propels sites to link to you is excellent! Check back soon. :)


    3. Like it – tweeted it. Blog comments can be useful for links if they’re follow links on moderated sites, though not as powerful as in-content links, shame so many people seem to forget it. . . .

    4. Hi Aidan,
      Thanks for your comment! Blog comments are useful for increasing your industry cred, but be careful when it comes to using them for SEO value – you’ll likely be seen as a spammer only posting to leave a link. Posting a thoughtful response and leaving your link is fine, but be sure to do it with the intention of interacting with the other blog readers and community.


    5. Very nice information about link building. However, it’s not as difficult as people would think. Be careful who you link to, because instead of getting your site indexed by search engines, you could get it banned by mistake too.

    6. Great article on link building. Competitive website link building will definitely produce great results.

    7. By posting my published short stories, friends and family, classmates and professors, along with anyone I communicate with in the creative writing world now have easy access to read my creative fiction. The monthly statistics provided by are motivating and rewarding. Thank you for your valuable articles on website SEO. SEO can help increase the value of my website, along with creating a future audience when hopefully my novel An Augured Heart is published.

    8. Hi Sheila,

      Thank you for your feedback! It’s great to hear you’re finding our blog a valuable resource, and we encourage you to leave more comments and tell us your thoughts on our posts. Keep up the great writing, and we wish you only more success in 2010!


    9. Link building is researching the website of choice. With Alexa, compare the market influence the particular link has within the ratings. Look at all the links, look for the keywords. . . .

    10. Hi Robert,
      Research is definitely a big part of a successful link-building campaign. There’s more than just the Alexa ranking, though. Sure, a website or blog may not receive thousands of visits each month, but that website owner or blogger could end up praising you and your website profusely, resulting in not just a link, but a positive write-up about your site and potential traffic and revenue being referred to your site. It’s always of course best to get a link on a site that receives a solid amount of traffic and is a popular site, but it doesn’t hurt to take a chance on a lesser-known site or blogger. :)


    11. Thanks for the info on linking to other sites. I am going to add links as a category on my website. I am in construction, which is very competitive.

    12. Hi Grace,
      I would caution you against adding a “Links” page to your website. You never know if search engine spiders are wise enough to pick up on pages called “Links,” and the goal of link building is to get as many quality “one-way” sites linking to you without you having to link back to them. If you do need to link back to them, I would recommend calling it “Recommended Partners” and ensuring you’re only linking to sites that you really do advocate, are in your industry, and you would 100% recommend them to a client or customer. Always best to give them an incentive to link to you without you having to link to them, though. :)


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