The Importance of Link Authority

by Mike on May 26, 2009
in Link Building

In a recent post Christopher Ross wrote…

When a person creates a link from one website to another, it’s voting for the second site and telling Google that site A believes site B to be of equal or greater value to the web.

I think that’s an excellent way of explaining how the search engines view links and its absolutely vital that you understand this concept if you want to build a successful site. 

For example, say there are 2 blogs on the same topic.  We’ll call them ABC and XYZ. Both have top-notch content and everything about them is equal…except XYZ gets lots of link love from all over the web.  XYZ has tons of links pointed toward it while ABC has comparatively few.

All things being equal XYZ should easily outrank ABC. 

But why??  ABC has killer content…maybe even better content than XYZ.  What’s missing?

Link authority. 

The search engines look at all of the links pointing to XYZ from various sources and say, “XYZ must be really valuable for all of these other sites to be linking to it.”

Since XYZ is now considered an authority site, it receives an extra push in the rankings.  Whenever a page from XYZ is compared to a competitor’s page, XYZ receives the benefit of the doubt.  The SEs basically say  ”These pages are pretty close in terms of content, but since XYZ has more link authority its probably better.” 

And so XYZ wins the top ranking slot. 

Thus the importance of a well thought out link building campaign.  From the minute you launch your first site or post your first blog entry you should be considering ways to build your link authority. 

Your entire business depends on it.

Running A Contest To Build Links

by Mike on February 27, 2009
in Link Building

This post is a part of my ongoing series on link-building.  It’s going to seem awfully short but with good reason. 

I have a lot of ideas on how to run a successful contest and I even wrote up a pretty detailed post outlining my thoughts.  But since I’ve never actually run a contest as a blogger its all just theory. 

So I decided to ditch the post I had written for now so I can actually test my theories in the real world.  Then I can write up an even better post and discuss my case-study in detail.  :)

Yes that means I’ll soon be announcing my own contest here at  I’m thinking it’ll run through the month of April (or May?)…depends on how much time I have to work out the details. 

In the meantime, if you have anything you’d like to donate as a prize (a product, service, review on your blog, etc.) you can contact me here.  Anyone who supplies a prize will get a backlink and some free promotion here.

Building Links And Driving Web Traffic Through Directories

by Mike on February 16, 2009
in Link Building

The other day I was reading an epic post on getting backlinks that matter and it really got my brain cells going.  I decided to do my own little mini-series of posts discussing the many link-building methods used by internet marketers.  But rather than writing one long post I’m going to break it up into a whole series so I can go more in depth on each method.

By the way, if you’re looking for some more ideas on how to get links to your site check out my post on 50 Link Building Tips That Work.

In this post I’m going to discuss web site directories.  I believe there’s a lot of misconceptions about directories and I think most marketers and bloggers go about using them in all the wrong ways.

What is a Web Site Directory?

A web site directory is really nothing more than a list of links sorted by categories.  Imagine an online version of the Yellow Pages but instead of telephone numbers it lists websites.

Up until just a few years ago search engine algorithms were not particularly effective and you’d have to sift through a lot of irrelevant results to find what you were looking for.

I remember sitting at work in 2001 going over a list of songs my fiance sent me that she wanted the DJ to play at our wedding.  One of the songs was My Girl, and it had an question mark next to it because my wife couldn’t remember who sang it.  Since I couldn’t remember either I jumped on the web and ran a simple search for “my girl singer”.

The top ranked site for that term back then was called “Spice Girls Ate My Balls”.  Needless to say that wasn’t what I was looking for! In fact there weren’t any relevant results in the top ten and I had to go to the second page to find out My Girl was sung by The Temptations.

Since search engine results were often unreliable many people used directories to find what they needed.  They’d simply go to the most relevant category and drill down until they found what they were looking for.

For example, if I was looking for info on former New Jersey Devils center Sergei Brylin my directory search would look something like this…

Sports -> Hockey -> NHL -> Teams -> Devils -> Players -> Sergei Brylin

Certainly not the fastest way to search…so as search engines became more and more accurate most people abandoned site directories altogether.

Using Site Directories Effectively

I’m going to tell you something right off the bat…do not expect to see a flood of traffic coming from site directories.  In fact if you submitted your site to 1000 different directories I’d be shocked if you got ANY visitors.

So if you’ll never see any traffic from site directories why the hell should you bother? 


Yes, site directories are an easy way to build links back to your site or blog.  More links means more authority with the search engines which can eventually mean more traffic! 

Now its important to keep in mind that individual directory links are pretty much worthless.  Even if the directory’s homepage is a PR 6 the page your link is placed will likely be very low.  And it will be on a page full of links so your’s will only get a tiny amount of authority passed to it. 

Its hardly worth the trouble really, but if you get enough links like this they can actually start to add up to something.  But understand it takes a good deal of volume before you’ll see any return.

Dos and Don’ts

Do submit your site to the Open Directory Project.  Its a long, painful, and frustrating process and you’ll probably never get in anyway…but if you do you’ll hit the jackpot.  DMOZ links pass a lot of authority, plus many other sites syndicate their listings so you’ll get links from all over the place.

Don’t waste a lot of time submitting.  Individual links have little value so you should limit the amount of time you spend getting them.

Do outsource the submission process.  Since the process is simple you can have just about anyone do it for you for a very small price.

Don’t use the same keywords in every directory.  You want the links to look natural so use your main keyword often but mix it up with secondary keywords and semantic phrases.

Do build slowly.  Suddenly getting 1200 new backlinks won’t look very natural to the search engines and it will probably get your site sandboxed for awhile.

What are your thoughts on site directories?  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think and what kind of results you’ve seen.

50 Ways To Get Links To Your Site

by Mike on December 10, 2008
in Link Building

I originally wrote this for another blog of mine but I’ve decided to repost it here…

Whether you’ve just launched a new site or already have an established blog with hundreds of posts, you should always be on the lookout for new links. Backlinks increase your Google PageRank, bring new visitors to your site, and (hopefully) increase your revenue.

But link building can be a frustrating experience for even the most seasoned marketer. It takes a lot of time and hard work, which is why so many bloggers and website owners do a half-ass job and never see the benefits of a well-constructed link building campaign.

My goal in this post is to create a definitive list of [TAG-TEC]link building[/TAG-TEC] strategies. I’ll come back to update it from time to time so make sure to bookmark it so you can use it as a reference.

Note – In this article I’m not concerned about PageRank or Nofollow tags. People obsess too much over this stuff. Nofollow links can still bring paying customers to your site…remember that.

50 Link Building Strategies

1. Give your readers unique, top quality content that they’ll find useful and you’ll get plenty of links without having to do a thing.

2. Be controversial. Take a stand on an issue and you’ll get links from those who agree AND disagree with you.

3. Be the first to comment on hot topics. Keep an eye on news channels and you can scoop other bloggers. The first to post on a topic is often linked to by other bloggers.

4. Include cool tools on your site (like a loan calculator) that people can use and link to.

5. Give away freebies. Create free Special Reports on your niche and let readers download it. Let bloggers in your niche know about the freebie so they can let their readers know.

6. Allow others to reprint your site’s content as long as they provide a backlink.

7. Trade content with another blogger. He writes an article for you and you write one for him.

8. Become a “guest blogger” and provide content for another blog in exchange for links back to your site.

9. Simply ask visitors to link back to you. You’d be surprised how often that works.

10. Make it easy for others to link to you by creating a “Link to Us” page. Give them the html code so all they have to do is paste it to their site.

11. Issue a press release using a service like PRWeb.

12. Exchange links with related sites. Reciprocal linking is still useful.

13. Create a simple program (such as a quote generator) and submit it to various directories like Tucows and

14. If you have coding skills, design a wordpress theme with your link at the bottom. Everyone who uses your theme will be linking back to you.

15. Not a coder? You can sponsor a theme and still get a link back. You can work either directly with a coder or bid on a theme at the DigitalPoint Forums. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $100 to be a sponsor. The nicer themes go for more but usually result in more links.

16. You can buy other links at DigitalPoint too. Blogroll links, text links, blog posts, etc. Keep in mind that Google is not a fan of sites that sell links. It would be a shame if you bought an expensive PR6 link only to have it drop to PR0 with the next PR update.

17. Classified ads on Craigslist, USFreeads, etc.

18. Take out a solo ad in a popular ezine. Many ezines archive their newsletters and you’ll receive a permanent link.

19. Use Social Networking and Bookmarking Sites…add your site to services like Digg, Furl, Fark, Reddit, Stumbleupon, and

20. Make it easy for other to do the same. Include bookmarklets at the end of each post to encourage readers to pass your link along.

21. Directory submissions are not as powerful as they once were, but they still influence PR and will give you a trickle of visitors too.

22. If you have more than one site, give yourself a free link.

23. Start a free Blogger blog and link back to your main site.

24. Do the same with Squidoo lenses. Use them to drive traffic to your site.

25. Add your link to your signature file in forums you visit.

26. Post useful comments or questions on other’s blog posts. Don’t spam!

27. Be generous linking to other blogs, they may notice and give you a free plug. Also, your post may appear as a trackback in their blog comments where their readers will see it.

28. Provide useful answers to questions posted on Yahoo Answers. You can leave a link to your site as a reference, but don’t spam.  Download Answers Domination to learn everything you need to know about using Yahoo Answers for driving traffic.

29. Join or start a Google group focused on your niche.

30. If your site isn’t overly commercial, you can post a link on Wikipedia. There’s a good chance it will be quickly deleted though.

31. Look for companies that have an “In the news” page on their site. If you post an article about them and let them know, there’s a good chance they’ll add your article as a news item.

32. Submit testimonials for products you find useful in exchange for a backlink.

33. Sponsor a contest.

34. Review products on Amazon and include a link back to your site. This works especially well if you write a short, well-written review on Amazon and then mention that you have a more in-depth review posted on your own site.

35. Write a short ebook to give away and post it on various “free ebook” sites.

36. Take out an ad in your online yellow pages.

37. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and get a free link on their website.

38. Do the same with your local Better Business Bureau chapter.

39. Join other local business communities and organizations and you can get a link in their directories too.

40. Ask businesses and contacts that you work with offline to give you a link on their site.

41. Donate money to a local school and you’ll often get a link on a page listing donations. These EDU links can be very powerful.

42. Pay a professional link builder (very expensive).

43. Buy older sites that are indexed with traffic and pagerank and link back to your site.

44. Purchase expired domains and link to your main site.

45. Buy misspelled domains and domains with and without dashes. If your site is, you should also register and and point them back to your site.

46. Find old sites that aren’t updated but are still indexed and sign their guestbooks.

47. Automate link building with a service like 3waylinks. I do have some doubts about their long term effectiveness as search engine algorithms change, but in the short term their effects are often amazing.

48. Start an affiliate program. You can quickly have hundreds of affiliates sending thousands of visitors your way.

49. Add your link to your eBay profile page. Whenever someone views your profile they’ll see your link.

50. Last, but certainly not least, article marketing is still one of the most powerful methods for building both traffic and links. Submissions to article directories can be republished time and time again. Each time one of your articles is published you get another link.

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