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WordPress SEO Basics – Part 7

Link Building

WordPress SEO Basics – Part 7

If you think of the web as a giant metropolis, websites are connected by roads. The bigger roads carry more traffic to more populated areas. Using sophisticated link analysis, search engines can discover how pages are related an in what ways.

Since the ’90s, link structures have been the key to search engine effectiveness. The thinking being that if a site truly has good content, then the site should be popular and have lots of links to it. So links are a sort of popularity contest.

Of course links aren’t everything these days, as search engines use complex algorithms to evaluate the information on a site and how it relates to the link structure, among other things. However, search engine professionals still attribute a large portion of SEO to general link structures.

Link Signals

All search engines assign value to links. This value assignment and it’s various incoming and outgoing links help search engines rank a site in its results. Although one cannot figure out the exact methods that search engines use to rank links, experience, testing and other tools are used to maximize this potential.

Popularity

The more popular a site, the more valuable its outgoing links. If a site is extremely popular and has many links to it, it can be assumed that the site is valuable. If this is the case, then links from it to another site are considered more valuable than from a less popular site. This is why it is important to have link partners.

Topic-Specific Popularity

The subject of sites matters a great deal. Links back to a site are more valuable if the link is from a site with a similar topic. For example, if you had a website about greenhouses, then a link from another site about “Best Greenhouses” would be much more valuable than a link from a site about puppies.

Anchor Text

You should never list a link as “click here.” This does not maximize the potential for assigning value to a link. For instance, it is best to use the text “cat videos” for linking to cat videos rather than “click here” for linking to cat videos. This is because the anchor text serves as a guide to the link itself and therefore assigns some value to the link.

Trust Rank

The majority of websites on the internet are spam sites. This probably isn’t surprising, but necessary to understand if you want a high Trust Rank. Universities, government sites, and non-profit organizations tend to have higher Trust Rankings.

Link Neighborhood

Sites that link to spam are often spam themselves. So be aware of your link neighbors. Choose sites that closely align with your website’s topic and theme.

Freshness

Sites that are old tend to have old content. So if you don’t regularly update your site, then don’t expect your search ranking to be high either.

Social Sharing

You may not like it, but social media is a huge part of life for many people now. It is necessary to have a social media presence that points back to your website it today’s world.

Link Building Basics

Link building is more of an art than a science and is often the most challenging part of an SEO’s job. Link building is an absolute necessity, but requires a thorough knowledge of both the website’s content and its personality.

Editorial Links

These links are sometimes known as “natural links.” These links are given by sites and pages that want to link to your site. All you have to do to have Editorial Links is have great content and the ability to create awareness about it.

Manual Link Building

Also known as “outreach link building.” These kinds of links are created through the SEO emailing other sites, submitting sites to directories, or paying for listings.

Self-Created Links

These types of links have a pretty low value, but can nonetheless create some value for your site. Self-Created Links come from blog comments, forum signatures, user profiles, etc.

Link Building Strategies

Link building requires quite a bit of trial and error to get right. Using PR firms, friends, companies in the same industry, and the like can help create a powerful link structure that will add value to your SEO. A good SEO will understand these needs and address them in the order that is most important.

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