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Affordable SEO Pt #5 – Inbound Linking The Right Way

There was a time back in the dark old days of Internet optimization (like 2 years ago), when webmasters simply gathered as many inbound links as possible – and I’m talking about any old links. Link farming was almost the status quo, if you can believe that. Webmasters would gather inbound links by the hundreds every month from web sites that had nothing in common with their own.

It worked very well too – if you could recruit over 1000 inbound links to your site, you could rank very high in the search engines. (especially Google). But that game is all over now, and if you are still doing that kind of linking your site has likely been punted from Google, and perhaps MSN as well. The game has changed dramatically, so I want to update some of the new players who might be reading this.

The kind of linking you need to do is what I call “natural linking” – meaning the procurement of inbound links that makes sense to the search engine algorithms. Try to only add a handful of good links to your site per month. 5-10 inbound links every month will do fine. Below is my definition of a “good link”.

Definition of a good link:

a) An inbound link from a pagerank (PR) of 3 or higher
b) An inbound link from a page that is on topic with your web site or blog

Avoid linking with sites that have nothing to do with yours. This a sure fire way to get Google’s shirt in a knot. They’ll penalize you for that kind of linking, so don’t be tempted to load up on inbound links with some kind of fancy software or script. Just be natural about it.

You must be sure not to add other sites by large numbers per month, or harvest inbound links in droves every month. Google sees that as “unnatural linking” as well.

The best way to get unbound links is slowly, and from other bloggers or webmasters that are pointing out your content to their visitors. This is a very natural process, and the search engines will love your site or blog for it.

4 Responses to “Affordable SEO Pt #5 – Inbound Linking The Right Way”

  1. Slim Jim Says:

    Terry. Do you still approve of using Linkmachine to weed out the bad sites and keep your links somewhat automated? Like making sure that sites you link to don’t drop your link. Thanks.

  2. Glen Says:

    Colin McDougal has an ebook on the market called VEO Report. In it, he shares some insights that he received when he had a conversation with Matt Cutts from Google.

    It is apparent from the conversation that having up to 15% of your links coming from non-related sites is ok. The reasoning is that Google is looking for ‘natural’ links not artificial. They realize that under normal circumstances, you do not control who links to your site.

    Your tip is still very valid, just keep an open mind when sharing ‘link-love’, especially when your site is new.

  3. terryzulit Says:

    I would only use linking software if it created html pages, and I would only link to sites that are on-topic.

    I have some of my linkmachines in auto-mode, but for the sites that are extremely important, I’m reviewing link partners before I approve them.

    Glen, yes 15% is the number I heard as well, so I’m not linking to off topic sites. Even if I except the odd inbound link that is off-topic, and it’s a PR 6 page, it’s not of great value to my site or the linking site.

    If my visitors do not need to link than the SE algos won’t either in the end.

  4. Money Traffic: First Step To Fixing The "Smart Pricing" Problem Says:

    […] This is also speculation of course, but the above worked for me. Focus on more quality content and natural linking, to keep the Google bots loving your site(s) or […]

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