It is no secret that links are one of the largest keys to achieving a high ranking in the search engines. There is certainly a lot more involved in ranking well in the search engines than just getting links, but links are the largest single factor.
There is a lot of debate about what the best links are, how to get links, what links are not worth the effort and much more. Knowing what to believe and what not to believe can be a bit overwhelming and very confusing. If you want to know for sure, you should test the different link aspects yourself and determine what aspects are the most important. However, that can take a lot of time. A quicker solution is to look at leading seo companies and experts for the best advice. Pay attention to who gets the most links from others in the industry as you study through seo blogs and forums.
There are several factors that influence the value of a link.
1- Is It Internal or External? – It is crucial that your internal link structure is done correctly, but external links are more valuable because they verify what you have already said the page was about by the anchor text you used to link to the different pages.
2- Follow or No Follow? – There is no question that a followed link is more valuable, but that does not mean that a no followed link is not valuable. Remember, not all links are for ranking, but for sales and traffic as well. If a link will not help you in the rankings, but will bring in valuable traffic and possibly lead to a sale, then that link should also be obtained.
3- Quality or Quantity? – This may seem obvious to most, but its quality, right? Well, if that is the case, why do so many SEO experts look at the quantity of links that the competition has? Truth is it is a combination of both. A link is a link and anytime you can get a link to your site you should. How much effort should be expended to get a link will depend on the quality of the link. No one should be spending a lot of time getting low quality links, but many of them take next to no effort.
4- .edu’s & .gov’s or .com’s – This question comes back to quality aspect. Generally speaking, .edu and .gov links are considered higher quality. Anyone who has attempted to get a link on a domain with this extension knows why they are higher quality. They are tougher to get. Because they are much harder to get, the links are trusted more by search engines and human visitors.
5- Anchor Text – Any careful link campaign will utilize the right keywords for the anchor text and link it to the url it is mapped to from the keyword research. However, this is an area where a lot of Internet marketers can get sloppy and lazy. Take the time to make sure (and then double check) that you are using the right keywords and variations of those keywords to link to the appropriate pages. Using variations of the targeted keyword in the link campaign will help those links look a lot more natural to both the search engines and the human visitors.
6- Page Rank (Authority) – There is no question that a single link from a site with a higher page rank (no, we are not getting into the page rank is dead discussion in this post) will help more than a link from 100 sites with no page rank. However, again there is a balance. Balance is natural and all links should be sought after if the price in time to acquire the link is right.
7- Deep Links or Home Page – There are numerous places where you can put a link to your site where they only allow you to link to the home page, so link to the deep pages whenever you can. If linking to a deep page is an option in a particular link strategy, then you should do it – every time! Save the home page links for those areas where you are forced to do so.
8- Link Diversity – This is perhaps the largest area where link building campaigns go wrong. Too many people get stuck in one or two tactics to build links and they do not build out diversity. If you want some good rankings and you want them to stick, then you need to make sure that you are utilizing many different link building strategies and getting links coming from a lot of different sources.
In the long run the best link building strategy is exactly what Google would suggest. That is to build content, resources and tools, such as this large list of chrome extensions that people will want to naturally link to. This takes a lot more time and effort than most all other link building strategies, but in the end, these are some of the best links you can get. While doing this, you will also build credibility with your target audience; you will build your brand as an industry authority; you will receive more links from various blogs and websites; and people will share your blog post and tools with others in social networks.