|Dear Internet visitor,
My intention is
to help you own a profitable Internet
Internet Home Business course that will help and guide
you to start off your Home Business on the Internet.
In our last lesson, we
discussed Reciprocal Links, the new dangers associated
with using them, and the availability of the new Miles
Linking Service to employ a safer, more effective
reciprocal linking strategy. In this lesson we will
discuss other methods you can use to obtain in-bound
links to your site.
The purpose of linking on
the World Wide Web should be to promote the flow of
content. Ideally, any link on a Web page will arise from
some logical nexus between the subject matter of the
source page and the subject matter of the target page.
Ideally, at least in the
minds of Internet purists (and the Search Engines), the
World Wide Web should be one seamless whole of
information, flowing logically from link to link. The
Yahoo! Search Engine now has a project to evaluate
blocks of information rather than entire Web pages.
These blocks of information are separately evaluated,
based on how they fit into and promote the flow of
information on the subject matter under consideration.
For your Websites to be favorably ranked in the future,
they will need to promote this flow of information
through both inbound and outbound links. This means that
your Webpage must have content, the links to your
Webpage must be in context to this content, and your
outbound links must logically flow to other similar
content. As the search engines will be more and more
focusing upon content connection in the future, you will
need to do these things to obtain a lasting favorable
evaluation by the search engines.
Sometimes you may
encounter a legitimate link which derives from some
connection other than the subject matter of the pages.
For example, John Smith may have a site about
motorcycles, while his sister, Jane Smith, may have a
site about fashion design. It is understandable that
John may have a link on his site to his sister's site
simply because she is his sister. The connection is
between the people, not between the subject matter of
their sites. Unless the visitors to John's site are more
interested in him and his family than they are in the
subject matter of his site, however, they will likely
not benefit from this link. People interested in
motorcycles are not likely interested in fashion design.
Hopefully, though, the search engines realize the
possibility of these types of offline connections and
will provide a certain margin of error for this in their
evaluation of your Webpages.
The point to remember in
any linking strategy that you employ is that links
should promote the free flow of content. You should
think of links as from content to (similar) content,
rather than from Website to Website. With this in mind,
we will now discuss some of the other link building
The most effective way to
obtain links to your Website is to write useful
articles, allowing other Webmasters to host your
articles on their sites. This is a win-win situation.
The host site gets to add useful content to their site
and you get to have an in-context link back to your
site. Most importantly, this is a link that you can
control. You can ensure that the link relates to the
subject matter of your site. You can control the anchor
tag and the exact placement of the link within the
content. Because you create the link within the article
(or within a footer attached to the article), you
maintain complete control over the link!
Once you have some
well-written, informative articles to offer, you can
find sites from which you would want to have links and
offer the articles through personal communication with
the Webmasters. There are also some services which allow
you to post your articles as available to other
Webmasters for use on their sites. Examples of such
article banks, at the time of their writing, are
http://www.alumbo.com/submitcontent.html. There several
others as well, which you can find through the search
This, of course, will not
work for you unless you can write well. If writing
articles is not an option for you, you may want to
consider offering other type of content.
Photographs can be
offered as content to other Websites in exchange for a
link to your site. With the new technologies, including
autofocus digital cameras, almost anyone can create a
good photograph now. Look for Websites from which you
would want a link and determine what photos would add
value to their site. After making the photographs,
contact the Webmaster with a personal communication,
explaining that their site might be enhanced by a photo
that you have available. Explain that you would give
them license to use the photograph on their site without
charge; and, if they accept, politely ask for a "photo
courtesy of yourWebsite.com" link underneath the photo
in small font. Voila, you have a link to your site!
As we discussed in an
earlier lesson, awards are also another means of
obtaining links to your site. Find a Website
complimentary to your own and create an award for that
Website. Create a "trophy graphic" signifying the award
which links back to your site. Present the Webmaster
with the award graphic with instructions on how to place
it on his site. Because the award will give the
appearance of adding value to the site, your offer will
most likely be accepted.
Another similar approach
is to write testimonials. Write testimonials for
Websites that you can offer to the Webmaster for
publication on their site. Most Webmasters are actively
seeking testimonials and will be happy to accommodate
you. Of course, include a link back to your site in the
signature line of your testimonial and require that the
link be included on their page along with the
Use your imagination.
Think of other things of value (such as contests,
original humor, reviews, whatever) that could be used to
acquire links for you.
The best links of all,
however, are the ones that you do not have to request.
Webmasters find your site, determine it is helpful, and
link to it.
If you design your
Website to be helpful, you will more likely attract
these links. As stated in an earlier lesson on Website
design, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with
complementary sites as well as competitive sites in your
subject area before you even design your site. Design
your site to be complementary to other highly ranked
sites out there. Provide the information that they do
not provide. Pick up where they leave off. This way,
they will find it helpful to their visitors to have a
link to your site from theirs.
Another observation is
that controversy is quite effective in attracting links.
If you have a bold opinion on your subject matter with
which some may take issue, don't be shy. Disagreement
leads to discussion. A controversial position will find
its way to many discussion boards and blogs quite
rapidly at times. People will link to you in the process
of arguing that you are wrong. But, hey, a link is a
I don't suggest that you
artificially create controversy. But, if you have a
controversial position, don't hesitate to discuss it on
your Website. This may attract more attention than your
non-controversial, helpful material. People like a
little controversy. It gets them fired up.
The World Wide Web is a
network. Links represent connections between and among
Web pages. Discussion Boards and Blogs help to network
people together as well. Participate helpfully in
discussion boards and blogs and meet and make new
friends who are interested in the subject matter of your
site. Unless it is the standard on a particular
discussion board or blog, do not include a link to your
site. But, by getting to know the people participating,
they will eventually link to your site to point out
helpful information that you have included on your site.
It's easier to attract links from people that you know.
Get to know the Webmasters of popular sites dealing with
the same subject matter as your site. Be as helpful as
possible on the discussion boards. Earn the respect and
trust of your community and your Website will benefit as
The Search Engines judge
Websites in part by the number of in-bound links to the
site. Not all links are helpful, however. What you want
is quality links from quality sites that are on-subject
with the subject matter of your site. You want these
links to be in-context so that the flow of information
from the source site to your site is smooth and logical.
There are many ways to obtain such links. You can offer
articles, photos, awards, testimonials, or other similar
content to quality sites in exchange for a link back.
You can attract links simply by designing and
maintaining your site to be helpful and valuable to
others with quality sites on the same subject matter.
When appropriate, you can add a little controversy to
fire up some interest in your site. Of equal importance,
you should establish a presence on discussion boards and
blogs dealing with the subject matter of your site. Earn
the respect and trust of the Webmasters of quality sites
through such networking and links to your site should
Stay tuned to upcoming
lessons in the Internet Income Course for detailed
discussions of timely and important topics in Internet
by George Little
Copyright (year) Panhandle On-Line, Inc.
License granted to Carson Services, Inc. for
distribution to SFI affiliates. No part of this work may
be republished, redistributed, or sold without written
permission of the author.
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Course and other works and courses by George Little, see
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