Use new ideas in link-building strategy for your SEO effort

The natural search rank of your Web site is determined largely by link popularity — defined as how many well-ranked Web sites link to yours. Link analysis has been gaining more importance to the search engines, not less. Search engines look at the quality and relevance of links that point to your Web site rather than the number of inbound links. A high-quality  link comes from a page that already has a high rank.

But the days of link farms and random link exchanges are over. The major search engines warn webmasters against link schemes, and Web sites are penalized for links devoid of contextual relevance. New link generation strategies surround content as search engines look to provide their customers with the most relevant content. Links from ranked pages with relevant content are what build rank, build a brand name and send targeted traffic to your Web site.

Creating inbound links to a Web site can be difficult. The value of creating unique content can’t be overstated. But chances to place your content and links on external Web sites abound.

Develop feeder sites with encyclopedia-quality content linking to your site. Feeder sites will also send you real customers.

Submit articles and press releases to free syndication Web sites that can use your article for newsletters — or get targeted news feeds. They offer links back to your Web site in return for the free use of your articles. This type of publicity brings one-way links, helps build your brand and increases traffic.

Participate in industry-related forums, or blog on sites related to your industry. Put a link to your Web site in your signature. Social network sites give out lots of links. The types of well-regarded content that usually generates viral links on social networking sites, like Facebook, include useful, relevant and unique information; controversial topics; the bashing of the government, brand names, organizations or politicians; and anything funny, gross, disgusting or bizarre.

Use an automated system for domain management, submission tracking, keyword ranking and referral traffic to focus your time on content creation. A solid, ongoing link-building strategy will keep your Web site ranked high in natural search, build your brand identity, reduce dependence on cost-per-click advertising and increase your sales.

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