Gone are the days of link farms and PR8 link purchasing to generate some quick, and often temporary boosts in rankings. So what are the main strategies people use today, and what is working?
Passive- this is when other sites link to you, purely because they like your site and content. It is the best way to get links and is the most natural.
Proactive - this requires you to proactively seek relevant sites that might link to you and request a link from their site, along with a good reason or incentive to do so.
The well known link exchange strategy, I'll link to your site if you link to mine. This strategy used to be very successful in the past, but does it still work to the same level these days? We often see many links pages with PR0 now, despite the homepage maybe a PR5. So is any benefit still being passed on from these pages?
Do search engines subtract inbound links from outbound links?
If you practice this strategy then make sure you are still exchanging with a site that your visitors could find relevant and related to yours. For example an LA rental car company is relevant enough for an LA hotel to exchange with, as it is possible the visitors require both services.
This strategy is used to exchange links, with a bypass of an exchange of the actual sites. i.e. site A links to site B, and site B links to site C. Some webmasters consider it a safer alternative to direct link exchange. On the other hand, it does also mean you are going farther out of your way to deceive search engines.
Purchasing links from other sites and paying usually a monthly fee. This way you can obtain links easily, from good PR pages, with similar site themes, and often on an homepage. The purchasers do not seem to be punished for this strategy, but the vendor can sometimes receive a penalty to their site that will stop all PR from being passed on.
With little experience in this area I find it hard to comment on results, but as I am sure most you also get contacted on a regular basis from people asking to buy links from your site, then I can only presume that it must have some benefit, and it seems to be big business.
I think that there must be a time delay with the link affecting rankings, for this reason. i.e. if you buy a link you will not see any massive jump in rankings. It may even just come in gradually a little bit each month for over a certain time period. Thus making it very hard to work out what links are working, and what are not.
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