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Linking Decisions

What to Look for After You've Clicked on one of the Results and are Now at the Actual Site.

Is their Alexa number over 1 million, if yes, then there must be something else worth investing time there. If its over 2 million, move on to find other sites.

Can you find their link page, the one where you may be listed? It will sometimes say link page, or link partners, references, links partner page, add URL....

If they don't offer any type of link referral they can only be considered as an outgoing link from you. If they're a good reference and not a competitor, list them for later.

If you're a good enough reference, some sites will link to you even if they don't have a link page established.

Do they look like more of a competitor, if yes, move on. But consider what they are doing or offering. Can you learn from them and offer better results. Why should a visitor select them versus you, can you improve what they're offering. Give your visitors no reason to search further and leave your site.

You might consider linking to a competitor if:

  • You agree to do a joint-venture with them.
  • You each offer something unique which won't be in competition.

Once you've documented a site, move onto the next one. When you find a page within a site that looks like it has other sites links on it, in other words, the link exchange page for that site, hold your cursor over a link but don't click on it. Look at the status bar at the bottom left of your screen, is it only pointing to a page deeper in their own site, or to another site, if it's only their site, that's not their link page.

Is your status bar on? In Internet Explorer click 'View' (at the top) then toolbars, and see if the status bar is checked, if not you won't see anything at the bottom when you hover over a link. With it on, you'll save much time.

Sometimes the link to their 'link page' can be found at the bottom of the pages. Learning how difficult it is to find these pages quickly, tells you to make yours easier to find when someone wants to find your link page.

Repeat this research process until you have about three possible incoming link sites from each corner (about 12 total). This total is by far not a final total, but a starter list. Don't get burdened and overwhelmed by having to start with a long, long list. A quality list with good numbers is better than a long list with weak numbers.

Once you've generated a list of about 12 (four corners times three sites each), try to make contact with them to establish a link relation. A link pointing in or out from these sites is a good goal, don't pass on an incoming link if it's good.

You can make two different link pages to help keep things orderly. One for 'Before type sites' and one for the 'After type sites'.

Remember, a link is not a link, unless it's a link. That may sound odd, but when content from another site talks good about you, it benefits you. But unless they provide a link so that when someone clicks on it, and can go to your site, the search engines will never be able to follow that connection, and that doesn't benefit you, so it's not a link.

Some sites may want to do a link exchange with you, so have some prepared text for them that they could use on their site. This should have your main keywords as the link back not just your domain name.

If they will allow that, most site owners don't know the strength it gives a site when the link is one of your keyword phrases, so you can always ask. I've had a site write and say thanks for the SEO training when I asked them to use a keyword as the link, it never hurts to ask, but will always help if they do.

Keep documentation of what sites you contacted and when you did. (Don't be a pest, if they don't respond, try again in a couple of weeks. If after trying twice and they don't respond back move on and document that you tried.)

Find a couple of e-mail addresses from their site in case one didn't work. Find a persons name to use, make the e-mail personal. You may even have better success if you call. Someone receiving a call knows you're not just fishing, and you can explain you're not a competitor, but would like a good complementary link partner.


Place Links on Your Site First Before Asking For One Back.

First put their link on your site, it shows sincerity. Don't just go fishing, nothing turns off a site owner more than someone saying "You put a link to me first then I'll put a link to you." That's fishing, don't do it.

Tell them why you think the two sites compliment each other, this will set you apart from 95% of the fishers.

In placing a link to them, return the favor and include a keyword as a link to them, this can entice them to do you the same favor.

Don't always ask or create a link pointing back to your home page. Links coming in to different pages will give all your pages 'Page Rank' strength.

You want your whole site strong, not just your home page. You can also link from your stronger pages internally to other pages in your site to give them a link strength. Distribute your strength among your own pages.


Things You Don't Want to Forget


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