There’s a lot of buzz these days about ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ links. We’ve touched on them here, but not really gotten to know what the terms mean. Let’s look at why we need links in the first place, why these types of links are best, and how to get them.
The search engines want to offer the online searcher exactly what they want. If someone is looking for a turtleneck sweater for their Pomeranian so they can take him to Alaska for a week, they need to know where to buy one. (Are you tired of the pet clothing analogy yet?)
If someone types in ‘dog sweater’, they might be in a hurry, because the trip to Alaska is coming up fast. They don’t want to wade through pages of dog breeders and sweater vests. They expect the search engine to pop them up a site that they can go to and buy a dog sweater, preferably in the top few listings.
The search engine’s job is to give them that perfect site at the top of the results page. To do that, there has to be some method of sorting and ranking the results.
There are many factors that engines use to decide who gets the # 1 spot. Your keywords, your content, your Page Rank, your links. Content is King, but links keep the palace running.
When an engine sends a spider to check you out, they look at your links and determine how valuable they are. As a general rule, inbound links are better than outbound links, inbound links are better than internal links, and one-way, inbound links from high ranked sites wins you the jackpot.
All inbound links don’t get the same grade, however. Links in from sites that have no real connection to your field (your sister’s blog about whales) or from brand new pages with no real standing of their own won’t help you much. Also, any links that appear to have been bought, traded or spammed will not only not help you, they might actually hurt.
This is where ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ links come in. These are links that lead to you not because you are buddies or you traded favors. You don’t buy these, and they are worth more then you can imagine. Natural and organic links come to you because of how good your website and your content is.
Suppose the dog enthusiast looks at your site. They are so impressed by your interesting, well written content and professional layout that they email a link to the breeder they buy their Pomeranians from. The breeder in turn links you up on their website, which is highly ranked since they are one of the top dog breeders in the US. Voila!
OK, so maybe that’s a little exaggerated. But it could happen! At least, it could if your website really is friendly and interesting, and has the best content around. These are the natural, organic links of which we speak.
They can be as simple as a link from another pet related site, or as complex as a link from a site about vacationing in Alaska (with your Pomeranian, of course!). The main thing is that they come to you, you don’t really have to chase them – although of course you should still dedicate time to link-building and searching for good linking prospects.
The basic idea behind all successful linking, organic or otherwise, is your website. “If you build it, they will come” applies here as well! Make sure your site is relevant, professional and packed with the best, most informative content you can offer, and the links will find you.