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Where do you start?
There's lots of ways to get more links. All the good ones involve work, but stick at it and it can be done:
Then one day, others will be saying how it's no fair you're at the top just because you've been around a while. They won't understand it was hard work, and they won't think it's fair they don't rank at the top just because they had the clever idea of creating a new site.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 12:53 pm (utc) on May 16, 2006]
Link text (the blue underlined words you click on) are given a lot of credit by search engines in determining what the target page is about. So you'd rather have link text like: discount blue widgets than something like: Fred's Website.
When you ask someone for a link, no matter what you say, they often use whatever link text they feel like. Well, it's their website, so that's OK. But you'd really rather they kept it close to good keywords or phrases.
When you are writing a post on a forum, or setting up your signature on a forum, you get to choose the link text used. That's what I meant. Choose wisely.
Google automaticly detects Forums and rank those pages at PR0
STOP! Just stop! Break the vicious cycle of thinking links = PR = ranking =
There was a time when a link was a vote of website quality/character. Wouldn't it be something to go back in link-time before a link was a magic charm for manipulating PR?
Try getting your head aligned with this model:
Links = traffic = opportunity to create awareness that your website presents real value to the visitor = visitor appreciation = visitor generated buzz/word-of-mouth/email referrals = media pick-up = more visitors/traffic and more natural links = more traffic = the happy, productive exponential growth of links cycle
IF the manner in which you initially, proactively generate/spread links isn't an offense and is handled in a manner that invites the perception that the link is a bona fide vote (not spam, not pure self-promotion) then the early links just might do their job.
The hell with PR. Operate like search engines don't exist. Operate like what matters is people. Then, it may just be possible that as a result of people liking your website the search engines will also like your website. At least that's the way I thought it was supposed to work. Pity the poor search engine that can't configure its algorithm to rank websites that people actually value.
How can they? As soon as anyone and everyone figures out what SEs are looking for they all manipulate for it. People going crazy over Header tags, people selling, buying, developing links and image text replacement (whoever heard of a negative 2000 left margin/). It goes on and on.
It's all OK when "we" do it, but not when "they" do it.
Many small businesses are desperate to be found on the internet, and perplexed as to why they don't turn up. Not even for their formal name, or for widget repair in East Overshoe, South Dakota. Even a widget repairer with unusually clever web skills might wait a long time to get many links. They need a few good links, and they'll turn up well enough if they're not in too cutthroat an area.
I often get asked by people like this why Yahoo/Google/etc doesn't list them. They think their site is broken or useless, or the SEs are. Some spend a lot of money going to seminars and hiring web designers without ever being given the basic truth: Get some links and your website will be findable. The more the better, but even a few can get it started.
If you want to make the kind of good living off the web that some hint about in these forums, pay close attention to Webwork's suggestion, and note that the above list has many ideas that will accomplish this. The original question I was responding to was how to get started on getting links.
A few statistics that show the relative value of different kinds of content for one of my sites:
For a cool interactive linkbait feature:
So what type of content gets you the most repeat traffic, and isn't prone to the whims of the search engines? Clearly good, original useful content. It does draw links. Note the higher referral numbers.
But that doesn't mean lots of sites can't benefit by going and asking for links from a variety of sources.
note: Direct traffic is bookmarked or typed in, Referral is from clicking on a link at another website, and Search Engine is from searching.
Google automaticly detects Forums and rank those pages at PR0
Believe this if you want. It may even be true of some forums, or certain forum software, I don't know. What I do know is that clear jumps in traffic follow certain posts for specific keywords on a number of forums. In a good forum some of it is referrals from the forum. Most of it shows up from the search engines though. As I said, they're not the best links, but they do help.
A referral in the real business world is likely close to the model you want to emulate in your web based business.
What distinguishes referrals in the real live business world? All the talk about "authority sites" and related topics is likely more akin to what happens in the day-to-day business world than many of you appreciate.
All those tangential, remote, off theme, outlier links that you garner may add weight that sinks your website instead of causing your website to rise up.
All is suffering.
OTOH . .
"Live as if search engines did not exist" is a koan [google.com]. One must detach oneself from Pagerank if one is ever to find One-ness with the SERPs . . .
But that's crazy, right?
"I want to be a happy idiot and struggle for the legal tender" . . . . Now THAT's enlightenment.
The hell with PR.
Yeah, the hell with ever getting visited by Googlebot!
Saying the hell with PR and getting the bot to visit are NOT mutually exclusive.
Links placed with a foucus on generating traffic are also likely to end up on pages that get bot visits often enough to take care of showing the bot the way to your site. Bots are traffic too ya know. :)
As far as how to get back links, things like offering tools (robots.txt checkers), information (newsletters, blogs), services, or interesting hooks (e.g. seobuzzbox doing interviews) can really jumpstart links.
Building up a reputation with a community helps (doing forums on your own site or participating in other forums can help).
As far as hooks, I’d study things like digg, slashdot, reddit, techmeme, tailrank to get an idea of what captures people’s attention. For example, contests and controversy attract links, but can be overused. That would be my quick take.
He's with Google, not Yahoo, but the ideas should be solid anywhere.
Anyway, I feel stupid when I have to send 30-40 emails by hand asking for the link. It needs 2-3 hours and I got 2-3 links. Somehow I feel a bit stupid doing that. But when I see that some people like my site and they respond sincerely I feel better.
But anyway, those "chaise for links campains" are stupid to me. But there is no other way. If your main page is indexed in search engine it means nobody knows about your site.