Requesting Links

Not every link you request requires giving a link back. Sometimes it is cheaper and more efficient to just to go target higher quality links. Sometimes you can just request a link and get it by being personal and empathetic. Other times links may require payment.

Be Personal
The best way to go about acquiring links is to be as personal about it as you can. Look around their web site and try to find personal information. The more you find, the better you are.

When e-mailing them, try to submit it to the person who runs the site, not a general info submission. If you can state where your link should go on their site and how it would improve their user experience, you stand a good chance of getting a link.

Off-topic, somewhat personal statements showing you share similar interests may make you seem more human and more connected with them and will make it easier to get links. For instance, if you found out that I like peanut butter, somehow mentioning that or joking about it in the e-mail will make me far more likely to link to your site.

Exchanging Links

Opportunity Cost

Over the last year, Google has gotten much better at detecting link exchanges and giving them no weight or negative weight. Typically for most savvy webmasters, the time wasted on a lavish link exchange program would be better spent creating useful, original, link-worthy content.

Trading links with a couple exceptionally relevant related resources might be a good idea, but don’t waste your time trading dozens or hundreds of links.

Does it Work?

Not as well as it once did. Many people who created SEO software, or information products that sold themselves as experts, found that their Google rankings tanked hard core because link exchanges are not all they were once cracked up to be. (more…)

Text in Incoming Links

What Link Text is Good to Use?
If you link to, a link with the words Search Engine Optimization or SEO Blog are more valuable than a link that says other site. Evaluating the text in the links, along with who links where, is how the major ways search engines get feedback from external sources.

Search engines can look for noun-verb patterns in text, but machines can be taught to crank out text. There is limited cost to content creation, so search engines must look offsite to understand what a document is about.

Currently link analysis is the most effective way to determine document quality.

How Powerful is Link Text?
Many bloggers are politically outspoken and view George Bush in a less-than favorable light. Hundreds of people have linked to his biography page using the phrase miserable failure as the link text. Searching on the phrase miserable failure in Google, at the time of this writing, ranks the biography page of George W. Bush at the web site as the #1 result in Google. It is a good example of just how powerful link text can be. (more…)