Buried Link Treasure: The Acquisition of Quality Backlinks

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As we all know, link building has become a bit more difficult these days. Google has recently come out with a new campaign to filter out paid links, or links that are purchased solely for the purposes of gaining additional link popularity. This has been going on for several years, but lately they have been much more aggressive in their approach. One of the first signs of this crack down was the filtering of approximately 50 paid web directories.

Google has also attacked many large text link brokers and text link rental companies. These actions have caused concern with anyone and everyone that competes in the natural search results by buying links and doing everything they can to increase their link popularity.

Ground Rules:

First off, link building is here to stay. However, all website owners need to take Google’s position on link building into consideration before negotiating new links, new partnerships, or even buying links in certain capacities. It is essential to operate in a manner that is in-line with Google’s webmaster guidelines. At the end of the day, Google does not want businesses artificially inflating their backlinks or their link popularity. That being said, it is important that businesses compete and do what they can to get better rankings in the search results.

Tactics:

Uncovering buried link treasure is an effective (and Google compliant) strategy in increasing a website’s backlinks. This excavation involves analyzing the backlinks of competitive, high ranking websites for different key terms.

Yahoo’s site explorer can be used to begin this process. A backlink check can simply be run by typing: link:domain (more specific instructions). The results will show all the websites that link to that domain. Yahoo also does a decent job organizing these links based on popularity which is determined by its value and contribution to the high ranking websites. While this program isolates quality links it is only the beginning of the treasure hunt.

Finesse:

Now obviously doing this manually can be quite a task. What most often results from a backlink check is what industry insiders call “sitewide links.” Sitewide links occur when a domain has more than one page that links to the site being analyzed. Often this one domain’s internal pages might represent hundreds of those 1,000 viewable backlinks. Removed And Quite often you will find multiple websites with sitewide links. This makes the process of finding unique backlinks pointing to your competitor’s website much more difficult. Fortunately, there are several products on the market that can assist in sifting through the results. SEO Elite and Back Link Analyzer are helpful tools. There are also some web based products and software programs available. These products will sort through Yahoo’s top 1,000 results and provide the user with a list of unique backlinks.

Application:

To apply this tactic, take the top 10 best ranking websites in an industry and use one of the tools, like SEO Elite, to identify the unique websites that link to these well-ranking businesses. Categorize the links once they have been identified. For example, there are resource websites, vertical directories (free and paid) and vertical resources. These tend to be very good finds. A few paid links may also turn up in the results. Oftentimes the paid links are within a website’s content. This makes it difficult for search engines to identify them which in turn make them more valuable treasures. Address everything on a case by case basis and use good judgment. Some links that appear to be suitable for a proper paid linking campaign may be tainted. Typically, you want to stay away from websites that sell irrelevant links to sites or sell links from big link boxes. This will flag search engines so be careful with all paid linking activities.

Once the links are properly categorized, determine the proper contact method to begin acquisition. Sometimes potential partnerships or business development relationships can be forged which makes it better to communicate via phone. There are also times when email is the preferred contact method. In these instances, a flat rate offer may be best. Determine the pricing based on quality level of the websites. A link may be worth $50 a month or maybe another link, placed in content, may be worth $250 a year. Again, it is important to use good judgment when forging these relationships. Mining takes time, finesse and patience, but when executed properly yields good results.

Conclusion:

In this day and age it behooves businesses to focus on backlink analyzing to compete in the search engine results. Identifying a competitor’s backlinks is one of the best ways to create a custom link building campaign. We know tenure, trust and link popularity help websites rank high. Businesses will benefit by acquiring links from others linking to these websites. This process has been well established by Submitawebsite and its competitors. It is less risky than other methods and tends to generate very good results. Implementing these practices will be essential as the process of link building continues to become more complicated.

Joe Griffin is a Vice President at Website Pros, and is the current acting President of Submitawebsite.com, a company he co-founded in 1997.

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