Who you hang out with and where you hang out at reflects on you. You might be a perfectly nice person, but if you live in a high crime area and have hoodlums for friends you might get tarred with the same brush.
Making sure all back links to your site come from reputable sites is more important than you might realize. Search engines tend to discount certain links, and even penalize for excessive linking that comes from dubious sources.
A short recap might be in order here, so following is a list of links that are of less value to your site in the eyes of the search engines.
* Reciprocal (A to B + B to A), or two-way links
* Multi-step (A to B to C to A), or three way links
* Links from pages that have no connection to the content of your site
* Links from dubious sources
* Links from sites with unnaturally high numbers of outbound links
The best kind of back links you can have come from older, well established sites with good Page Rank and strong ties to your field. These links will boost your own ranking by virtue of association. These usually come when your content is so good that other site will link without being asked.
Next are one way links into your site from your own posting of articles and other information on the web. If you have good, original content out there with links to you, and those links are generating traffic, you are on the right track. You can get these links by showing how valuable your content is, and try to avoid having to reciprocate.
Also take advantage of putting links in signatures on blog or forum postings you do. If you make yourself friendly and accessible, and post on boards that have a subject directly related to your site, you can chime in and offer helpful advice. This will encourage people to click on those links and see what other information you might have.
Links from sites with government or university addresses will also benefit you; they are considered very good company indeed. By choosing your ‘friends’ carefully, you can hang on their coat-tails a little and let them help pull you up. You will have to have top notch content to warrant a link from one of these sites, however.
If you build your house in a good neighborhood and cultivate the right kind of friends, your neighbors (and the search engines) will look on you favorably, and you will see far reaching benefits to your website and your business.
Next Week: More Linking Tips!