Welcome to part three of our series of articles on search engine optimization. In the third and final part of our series of articles on search engine optimization we cover the topic of links, the types of links and what makes them so important.
Links Links, links, links. Everybody wants people to link to their websites. Why? The truth is that high quality links to your website are important as regards search engine popularity. The question everbody asks though is "... yeah that's great but how do I get people to link to my site?"
Well firstly there are three different types of links:
Reciprocal - A reciprocal link is when you find a site that you want to get a link from. You place a link to this website on your resources page. You then email the webmaster of the other site and ask for a link in return. The webmaster can then either accept or decline your request.
This is a very hit-and-miss process. If you make 100 reciprocal link requests you may only get 5 links. It's also very time consuming but can be worthwhile if you get a few strong links from it. These links can "lead" the search engines directly to your site and get you indexed faster.
One note is to never name your links page "links". Call it resources. Call it related sites but never call the page "links". Some search engines frown on this. Also try to avoid the automated reciprocal linking software packages - personally I delete any request received from users of these packages without even reading it. Most other website owners will
Non-Reciprocal - A non-reciprocal link is where you ask another website to link to yours but you don't offer to link to them in return. Unless you have a truly massive and popular website this is not a request you can make very often. Don't expect website owners to fall over themselves offering free links to your brand new site. Very few people can ask for a non-reciprocal link and make it happen. One possible way of getting this type of link is to
offer some kind of freebie in return. A free ebook or some other
incentive might just work.
Organic - An organic link is a non-reciprocal link that you never ask for. Organic links happen when webmasters link to your site simply because it's a great resource and it offers value to their visitors too. This all ties in with the point made earlier of writing useful content. Give people a reason to come back to your site and they will. Not only will they come back but they'll link to your site for free without being asked. These are the best possible kind of links because you don't need to go looking for them.
Having other sites linking to yours proves the importance of your site to the search engines. If the content on your site is so valuable that other site owners want to link to it then it must be important. That's the foundation of Googles approach to website popularity and let's face facts Google know what they're doing.
There are other methods to get links to your site but that again goes beyond the scope of this article.
Well I hope you enjoyed what you've read in Parts 1, 2 and 3. These articles will provide you with the basic knowledge you need but there's lots more to learn if you want to be truly successful in the search engines.