Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building
Inbound links pointing to your site are a huge SEO ranking factor. Inbound links convey trust to the search engines. A website that has many links coming from many sources must have something good to offer. On the other hand, a website that has very little inbound links isn’t viewed as favorably. When it comes to inbound links one of the things that the search engines look at is the diversity of the links. Links should grow naturally over time. To the search engine spiders, diversity = natural. If all of the links are coming from the same places, only linking to the homepage, and using the same keyword anchor text over and over it looks suspect.
In order to avoid a link penalty and to keep an inbound link portfolio as natural as possible, it’s important to do the following throughout a link building campaign:
Vary the anchor text
In the olden days of SEO it was recommended to always link to a page using a keyword because it would tell the search engine spider what that page was about. The practice was quickly abused and Google penalized sites that were guilty of “anchor text spamming” and creating irrelevant links just to get an anchor text link. Anchor text linking is still an OK practice, but in moderation. Create an anchor text list of as many possible keywords for each page and be sure to use a different one each time you create a link. It’s also important to link to the brand name and website name a fair amount since that really is the most natural way to link. Think about it. If an outsider links to your page would they be more likely to link to “XYZ Insurance Company” or “Smalltown USA car insurance agent”?
Link to internal pages
The homepage shouldn’t be the only page that gets link love. Always link to the page of the site that is the most relevant or would be the most helpful. For example, if you write a guest blog post that relates to a particular product or service you provide and are able to include a link in the “author bio” section, link over to the page that is the most relevant.
Look beyond the niche
Niche industry links are very important because they not only help convey to the search engines what your site is about but they can also help generate traffic to a website that is more likely to convert. However, when looking for link opportunities it’s OK to look for links that are in some way related to what you do, even if it’s not an exact match.
Ignore “no follow”
“No follow” tags essentially tell the search engine spiders not to follow a link, which means that there isn’t any “link juice” being passed. However, the search engine spiders still see that the link is there. A good combination of “follow” and “no follow” links tells the search engines that you are building links for users that will generate traffic to your site, not just for purely SEO purposes.