Connect the dots on search link building: SES Chicago

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CHICAGO - Search engines rely on link analysis as a crucial component for ranking Web pages, according to panelists at the Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo here.

Participants on the "Link Building Basics" panel at SES Chicago said that building quality links is a surefire way to increase traffic to a Web site.

"Not all links are equal," said Mike Grehan, founder and CEO of Smart Interactive Ltd., Middlesex, England. "Some are more equal than others and others are infinitely more equal."

Good link building strategies include submission to directories, exchanging links with related sites, submitting articles to be published on authoritative sites and buying links from related sites, he said

Most importantly, "content is king," Mr. Grehan said.

Internal link building is another way to optimize the content on a site.

Eric Ward, CEO of EricWard.com, said there is a complexity when it comes to link building.

"The complexity starts because some types of links also have other effects, purposes and outcomes," Mr. Ward said.

Here are the types of links he identified:

  • A link that helps direct traffic to your site but does not help your search rank.
  • A link that helps your search rank
  • A link that does both
  • One that does neither
  • A link that gets you banned by search engines.

"Links that improve search engine ranking will be those that the engines feel are a trustworthy indicator of quality," Mr. Ward said. "These can and will be different from site to site."

Links that help in other ways are the ones that generate a temporary buzz like Yahoo Picks or Forbes BOTW, links from a social or bookmarking service and tools like Frul, Digg, affiliate or paid links, he said.

"If you base all link-seeking on SEO and ranking factors, you will miss out on a huge number of possible links and publicity since not all links can be found and counted," Mr. Ward said.

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