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Link Building - Questions and Answers About Off Page Factors

By John Alexander

I know that having a continual plan to get new links to my site is very important to help my Web site be found. What is the ideal number of new links I should be trying to achieve on a monthly basis or is there an ideal number?

One of the first things to remember is that the number or quantity of links coming in to you should not be your first consideration. Years ago it was all about the quantity but these days, it is also about the descriptive text in the link that counts along with the authoritative aspect (how busy the site is) as well as getting links from locations that suit your audience. Lot's of times you can benefit with links that are not huge in number, but are from authoritative sites using good descriptive link text in the link.

But are there a maximum number that I should not exceed?

If you are talking about inbound links that are coming into your site, there is not a maximum number, but the one thing to keep in mind is to build your links so they are growing in moderation, in a very natural way. You would not want to have anything to inflate the volume of links coming in by a few thousand over night. That would send up a red flag.

What about building out going links from one of my pages. Is there a maximum number there that I should not exceed?

One thing to remember is that while their are SEO influences realized by different aspects of linking, try and build your outgoing links so that they make sense to your readership. You are not just building links for search engines. 
100 links on a page is a good maximum. Obviously you don't want a page that goes on forever with links. 

I have heard that it can be a bad thing to "buy links." Is that true.

That is true. At least Google has warned about buying links on high PR sites which we have never recommended doing anyways. Basically, you don't want to do anything for the purpose of "manipulating rankings." You can buy advertising from people, but don't buy links. There really is no need to because there are so many other strategies you can use that won't get you in trouble.

Is SEO not all about manipulation of rankings anyways?

I'm sure there are some that may think that way. But we believe that search engine optimization is simply about building high quality content that is truly relevant and useful. Content that merits good visibility because it satisfies the reason why the searcher searched.

You mentioned that there are other easy ways to build linking. It seems to us that it is an awful lot of work these days. Can you share some examples of easy ways to build links?

Absolutely. In our Search Engine Academy Workshops we teach students lots of important ways to build genuine link reputation and link popularity as well as specific strategies in more detail. But let's give you some easy examples that really are pretty basic, but it's amazing how some people don't think about the basic things.

You may want to start by submitting your sites to directories, since directories do not involve search engine robots. Some directories pass more benefit back to you than others, but basically you want to get into a few directories even before the search robots come by. We do not recommend submitting to robots at all, that's another story. But the only way to get into a directory, is to submit to them.

TIP: Here is one stress free way of looking at directories and determining the good ones that pass benefit from the bad ones that pass know benefit. Drop by this Web site where someone has tested all the directories and made plenty of notes for you. Just follow in the footsteps and take the advice of Martin Preece and it can save a lot of time.

Check out this information on the best free directories (as well as the duds)

Here is a list from Martin identifying some of the best paid directories

Another option, for those who want to build links from directories and speed the process up, there is a submitter tool that works because it follows all the rules. The most time spent submitting to directories is when you fill out the forms, but this tool allows you visit a list of over 800 directories and you only need to fill out the form once. So how are you doing with the directories is always a good first question for link building.

Does this directory link submission tool also submit to the search engines too?

No, it does not submit to search engines (and we do not recommend that you submit to search engines using tools.)
There are some very good time saving reasons for submitting to a directory with this tool, but also some excellent reasons for not using tools to submit to search engines especially through their free add URL link.


Do you have any other basic reading or suggestions directly related to link building tips?

We had written an e-book loaded with tips, but the book became a little bit dated so we removed it from service. We reserve our very best SEO skill building strategies for our hands-on SEO Workshop students but you can also find a wealth of material in the Workshop Resource Center Online too. You will find a particularly revealing Webinar that you can watch with Mike Marshall throwing some new light on old myths.

Here are a few more "do's and don'ts from Robin Nobles if you have not read it yet. Please see 
"Do's and Don'ts of Building Your Web sites Link Popularity."

Take a risk-free 7-day trial of Link Builder.

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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John is author of
an e-book called Wordtracker Magic and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John's articles can be read in publications like Search Engine Guide, WEBpro News and many others.  

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