Reciprocal Link Requests
In my experience this is the single most important factor to increasing your search engine rankings. Links count as a vote for your site, so the more you have the better your site will rank on all the search engines.
I have listed several methods below which will help you get links to your site and increase your search engine rankings. I have also listed the different types of links available for your site. Check out the links forum if you have any additional questions, I am happy to answer them for you.
But before I get to the linking methods you need to know a few very important linking basics.
Anchor text – Very Important!
Anchor text is the text used to link to your site. This is also the keyword/s or phrases you want to be found under in the search engines. If you have a site about Florida Real Estate and that is your target phrase in 60% of your link requests you would want the terms “Florida Real Estate” used when linking to your site.
Mix up your anchor text!
Remember that the key to building a good link campaign or network of links is to make them seem organic. I cannot stress this enough – organic, Organic, ORGANIC!
This means you need to make your links look to have appeared naturally. You do not want to add links too fast as that looks unnatural. You do not want all your links to say the same thing as this looks unnatural.
Search Engines don’t want to be fooled. They want to rank sites that seem as if users found them to be popular and then linked to them. Think about this logically. Does it seem natural for all the links pointing to your site to say the exact same thing? Does it seem natural for you to get 1000 links in a week? The answer is NO!
You need to vary your anchor text as would occur naturally. So if you have a site about Ferraris then for example have 60% of your links say “Ferraris” 10% say “Red Ferraris” and so on and so on.
It is unnatural for all your backlinks to point to your home page. Do you honestly believe that if 100 people linked to your site that they would ALL point to your home page? I am sure that most will link to your home page but many would link to internal pages. Maybe they linked your Yellow Ferrari page and chose to link to that directly, or your gallery pages – you get the idea.
I like to have 70% of my links pointing to my home page and 30% pointing to internal pages. This is known as deep links. So when requesting links be sure to throw in some deep links. This again makes your entire backlink network seem more natural and will help your rankings in the search engines.
Quality vs Quantity Links:
Quality links are the most important. You want as many relevant links as possible. Remember that search engines are not some scary computer. Yes they are made up of complex algorithms but they are all designed to do one simple thing – provide relevant search engines results.
With this in mind relevant links are much better than non-relevant links. If you have a site about cars then you should have links from other car related sites. It makes less sense to receive a link from a site about cooking than it would be to receive a link from a fellow car site.
Relevant links are given more weight. So yes, the cooking link to your car site will still count, let’s say for arguments sake 2 out of 10. Your relevant car link however will score 10/10. So it will take 5 non-relevant links to equal 1 relevant link. This is not a ratio set in stone but one that has worked very well for me.
In the best case scenario you would receive a link from your competitors ranking at the top of the search engines. These links are seen as “Authority Links” and count more. If you had a site on books and received a link from Amazon.com don’t you think that would be better than receiving a link from Bob’s Book Store? Of course it is better. Remember, get links from authority sites.
This may be difficult initially but once you have established your site by obtaining directory listings and a few reciprocal links it only gets easier. As with any business, it is harder to get it off the ground initially than to maintain it.
How to get links:
There are several ways to get links; here is the course of action I take to get them quickly.
• Paid Directory Listings
• Reciprocal Links
• Purchased Links
• Press Releases
• Build Great Content
• Free Directory Listings
The main question you need to ask yourself when trying to get links is:
What will the search engines think of this link?
If you feel they will see the link to be a good one then by all means get the link. If your link is being thrown on a page with 500 other links I think it is fair to say that it is not of high quality and should be avoided – it is a judgment call on your part.
Paid Directory Listings:
This is the first place I start when looking for links. Why? I can get really great links inexpensively. For most sites just purchasing a few good directory links will get you amazing results in the search engines. You want to get placed in directories with high backlink counts as these are visited by the search engines frequently, which means your site will get picked up quickly and more importantly, indexed.
I prefer the directories that charge a one time fee as opposed to a yearly fee. I make the purchase and then for the rest of my sites life I can be assured of a high quality link. Most good directory sites are hand edited which the search engines also prefer. Think about it, what would be more valuable, an automatic computer generated review or a hand edited view by a human user? The latter of course!
Yahoo is undoubtedly the first place to start. A listing in Yahoo will get your site spidered frequently and is the best way to guarantee inclusion in their index. I have compiled a full list of all the directories I use below, with the cost of each. Reciprocal link requests should you come across any additional ones, drop me an email; I like to keep this list as fresh as possible.
If you have the budget then these are the best places to start – if you don’t have the budget, beg, borrow or steal but get yourself a few directory listings, you will not regret it!
Paid directory links will also give your site PR (Page Rank). PR is not what it used to be but many new webmasters – and some experienced – still place a value on a pages PR. You will need this PR when asking for reciprocal links in at least 50% of the people you deal with. As much as you tell them it is not as important as it used to be, some people only want to do link trades with sites that have a PR value above 3.
Purchase a few directory listings on pages with a decent PR and your sites PR value will go up and you can get cracking on reciprocal link requests.
Reciprocal Link Requests:
This is a tedious task but well worth the effort. I like to set aside 30 minutes per day to shoot off a few reciprocal link requests. Basically you are going to ask a site in the same or similar industry to yours for a link. Now this sounds strange but fear not, any competitor that is ranking in a top position has traded links with competing sites as they know the value in doing this.
For example if you have a site about Ferraris you could trade links with a site that specializes in Porsche, or motor parts, or racing information – you get the idea.
The best way to do reciprocal links is known as a three way link request. To do this you need to have at least 2 sites. You ask a Webmaster to link to your Site A and in return you will link to them from your Site B. So your link structure will look something like this:
You can also link to one of the Webmasters reciprocal link requests other sites if you do not have 2 sites. For example they will link to you from their Site A and you will in turn link to their Site B.
If you do not have 2 sites start of by using the standard reciprocal link where a webmaster links to you and you link to them. I highly recommend building an additional site however as this will increase your “1 Way Links”.
When you have great content your users will link to it Page 2