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  • Linking: Why Some Links Don’t Count

    We have looked at a lot of ways to improve your links to your website, and different tactics you can use. A few hints have been dropped as to links that will not help your site, and practices that might actually hurt your rankings with the major search engines.

    Let’s take a closer look at ‘bad’ links; where they come from, why there are considered ‘bad’ and how they can negatively impact your site.

    Many web entrepreneurs leap on the link band wagon with a loud hurrah, and immediately start contacting all their friends, family members and co-workers to ask them to link to their site. Then they move up the ladder to contacting other websites in the same field and requesting them to do so as well.

    These links may add up fast, but there is one tiny problem. Most of these sources are going to expect you to return the favor by linking back to them from your site. Search engines are wise to the ‘friends’ network, and discount the value of these reciprocal links when judging the worth of your site.

    Another concern is that the quality of these sites might not be up to par, and that will reflect on you as well. The assumption is that your site is probably only as good as the sites that link to you, and if they have a low page rank you will not be viewed as very valuable either.

    An idea you may be tempted to try to obtain links for your site is inclusion in an automated link management system. These basically consist of pages of web addresses all hyperlinked to each other, and often the sites will not even have any relevance to your field.

    The search engines will generally discount these as they really are just more reciprocal links. Having your site included in one of these will not really help you and could possibly be viewed as a spam attempt.

    In the same vein, excessive outbound links from your website to a friend’s may not be a good idea if the other site is completely unrelated to yours. Save the buddy linking for your blog, and keep your website business oriented for the best results.

    Paid links are the topic of much bitter controversy. If you pay for links, or are paid by someone to post their links on your site, be cautious. There are a lot of scams out there that promise to increase your links and page rank, or even guarantee a top ten spot in search results, but they may not deliver and they could use banned practices that will reflect back on you. Other scammers may offer to pay you to write reviews or testimonials for their products; you will want to be sure you actually endorse the product before attaching your name to it.

    If you think you need help with linking and other web building techniques, you will be much better off hiring a reputable ‘white hat’ SEO to guide you down the right path. Make sure they tell you exactly what they plan to do, and how they plan to do it. If the answers are vague, you might want to keep looking.

    SEO is not bad; it’s the cornerstone of good website performance! You just need to be sure that you always use appropriate linking tactics to build trust in your site and your product.



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