I am respsonsible for about 8 websites and I have been building incoming links for them since I launched my first website in 1998. I can tell you that building a successful website is not as easy now as it was back then when there weren’t many rules about what you could do and what you couldn’t. Link building now takes a lot of patience and many hours of painstaking work. But it doesn’t need to be like that and in fact I don’t spend much time link building anymore. I have come to the conclusion that whilst links to your website are still important it is not worth spending all those hours on it. To prove it, I can tell you that one of my websites has dozens of top 10 rankings and several number one rankings for the best keywords in its niche. If I were to tell you that this website obtained all these rankings with only about 50 incoming links and it was only launched in January 2007, you may be suprised but it is true.
When I built this website I only had about six links to it and even now, 2 years after its launch it only has about 80 links. What does this fact tell you ? Well, it tells you that you need to concentrate on building a good quality website with interesting content and one a bit different to others. The design was simple and user friendly and I added the facility for users to add product reviews as well.
If you want a successful website, and who doesn’t, you have to have patience. Concentrate on building a website that looks good and has lots of pages of useful content. Add interesting articles that you have written yourself or have had written for you, add photographs, add user generated content and add information that you would want to see yourself if you were searching the internet for it. There are no short cuts. Trying to cut corners only leads to your site being banned. I know from experience that getting a site reinstated is not easy. One of my sites was banned for six months by Google so I have learnt the lesson the hard way !
Don’t launch a website with thousands of pages and expect the website to rank straight away. Big sites need far more effort. Its better to launch a site with 200 pages of good content and then build it from there. This will gain trust from the search engines. Try to add a page a day to your website and make sure the page is good quality.
Try to get some good quality Directory links. DMOZ and Best of the Web are good directories and there are plenty of others, but you don’t need many. Most are a waste of time. Look for niche directories in your field and consider what traffic they will bring before paying for a directory link.
Issue Press Releases and write articles about your niche products. Distribute articles with your website link. I have tried buying links for one of my websites, not many, but they don’t work. I tried it to test it but it didn’t have any affect on my rankings so I stopped it.
I have come to the conclusion that all you need to do it build a good website and add regular content. Keep it fresh and keep adding it and the visitors will come. There is no shortcut.
The latest craze with webmasters is to pay for a blog review. One of my competitors must be spending a fortune on this. I set up a Google Alert for his domain name ! ( a good way of keeping tabs on your competitors !) and every other day I get a Google Alert which tells me where he is adding links. All the links he gets are what I call Blog spam. He is creating hundreds of small articles which quite frankly are rubbish and of no benefit to the reader and these articles are filled with his keywords in the anchor text. But, guess what ?…He is number 1 for hundreds of keywords in one of the most highly competitive sectors there is, and he has been number 1 for many months. I have considered doing the same but have decided against it. These blog owners have to put some code on their blogs to say that they write sponsored reviews and I wouldn’t be suprised if Google can trace these sites. It may not be long before these sites lose their PR so the benefit of these links will be lost. His days of success may be numbered but he is certainly making hay whilst the sunshines so maybe its me that has found his secret and I should be doing the same !
So, don’t worry about links. Those of you with a good website that you are genuinly proud of will get links naturally and will prosper with patience. Look for quality links on websites that are related to yours and ask nicely for a link. Spend 80% of your time building good content for your website and your remaining time marketing it and building quality links. Those of you who know that your website is poor and are in it for a quick buck then my advice won’t matter !