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.
Tips for Building Smart Links
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
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.