Where to Get Links
Now that we’ve discussed what makes for a better link how and where should we get links? Any page that will link back to one of your pages is a link. Most will help to some degree, but given the above discussion of link quality some links are going to help more.
Low Quality Links
These are usually easy to get. Forums, directories, blog comments are a few examples. These links are links and they should pass on raw link juice and value. However, because these links are generally low quality you probably don’t want to spend too much time trying to get them without having other reasons for getting those links.
High Quality Links
They are harder to get and will ultimately give you more benefit. It makes more sense to actively work to get these links. Trusted, authority sites probably aren’t going to link to you just because you ask. You’re generally going to need to give them a reason to link to you.
That starts with your own content. The better your content the more likely someone will want to link to it. It’s always going to be easier to get people to link to quality than garbage.
Give to get. You want me to link to you? Why not link to me first? When you help others it makes them want to help you back. Think about how you can help the site you’re hoping will link back to you. One way you can do this is by guest blogging.
Many design and development blogs are actively seeking guest posts. You should get back a short bio which can include a link or two. Also if you have content that further explains some things you’re writing about you can add a link in the text
Remember first and foremost the goal is to write the best post you can for that other site.
Build relationships. Network with other content developers. We’re all more likely to help friends than we are to help strangers. We’re also more likely to be familiar with the content of people and sites we know making it easier to link to that content.
In the end the best way to generate quality links is to have content worth linking to. Instead of spending all your time chasing after links with dubious benefit spend more time creating content others will find useful. You still need to give your content a push. If you build it they will come only works in the movies.
Link Building and Online Promotion
Links more than anything will determine where your pages rank. If you build a search friendly site and generate incoming links to your pages you’re going to get search traffic. The two main questions with links are where do you get them and which are the best links to get.
Which are the best links to get?
Google popularized the idea of links as a ranking factor. Links are at the heart of Google’s PageRank algorithm. At it’s core the idea was that a link counts as a vote or recommendation by one page for another. Over time this has evolved quite a bit, but I think it’s still useful to think about links as votes or recommendations.
You are looking for acknowledged subject matter experts
Some sites and pages have a lot of general authority. Think cnn.com, whitehouse.gov. wikipedia.org. A link from these sites likely carries a lot of general authority. People trust these sites and more importantly search engines trust these sites. What do they specifically know about web design though?
How about sites like smashingmagazine.com? This site has topical authority around web design and web development. You would probably trust advice from them on the topic of design and development over the whitehouse.gov site.
Which links have more value for your site? If you don’t know the answer to that, do some research and look for ways to develop a linking strategy that with help increase the status of your site.
The most important aspect of building a search friendly site is to make sure search engines can find, crawl, and index your pages. You want to eliminate as many potential barriers as possible. Every time you do something to make it harder for search engines to find and understand your content, you put up a roadblock. Place enough roadblocks on all the avenues leading to your business and even if people want, they won’t be able to get there.
You can also develop sites in ways that reinforce your keyword themes and help search engines understand what topics the site considers most important and should rank for. It doesn’t hurt that these things also help your visitors understand the site better too. A usable and accessible site is usually a search friendly site.
Again there’s a lot more that can be said about SEO and site development. Here are a few checklists with additional tips: