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Link Building - More FAQs About Off Page and On Page SEO Factors

By John Alexander


Some people say I should focus on reciprocal link building as a strategy. So then others say that you should not exchange links and that reciprocal link building no longer works very well. What is your opinion or advice these days.

Reciprocal linking does not have quite the same value it did years ago. In a way, it is good to link out based on other pages that are related to a similar topic. But if you link to them and they link to you, it somewhat nullifies the value. 
Not always, but sometimes. The other thing to mindful of is that sometimes if you link to a Web site and are not aware that that site is participating or involved with a link farm or doing something else against Googles Webmaster Guidelines, that you could end up being penalized for linking to that site. For example, it could be something that is not readily evident to you, for example suppose you link to a Webmaster who makes a habit of buying high PR links. There have been cases where people are flagged because they are linking to shall we say "bad neighborhoods." 

In my own link building actions, I try to stay focused on links to informative pages or Blogs that I think my readers will benefit from and are at least somewhat related to the topic I'm discussing.


What types of links hold good value? Should I focus on only trying to get links from pages with high Google Page Rank?

Actually, there are some good reasons for not focusing on just high PR related links. If you are not familiar with principles of link diversity, then please read this article dedicated to Understanding the Value of No Follow Links.

What are some other effective things you can tell me about link building?

Sure, let's give you a few things to keep in mind that you may or may not be aware of:

  • Even internal links within your own Web site have some value. But some have a little more benefit than others.
  • Links within your own Web copy tend to have more value than links within your navigation. 
  • Initially, Google use to devalue links in some Social Media sites like keyword rich links coming to you from Facebook, but these days they seem to be carrying more value than they use to. 
  • Remember that a descriptive link within a caption underneath an image, can tend to have a little more value too.
  • Remember that Blogs (with comments enabled) are actually Social Media too. 
  • Remember that if you Blog, that most Bloggers are very generous with links because they just tend to be so focused on writing good content about their topics (or at least in cases where the Blog has a defined purpose) and many will Blog daily. Many Blogger are focused on 2 way dialog and conversation trails about their topic. Blogs can literally become like living breathing entities with entire communities participating.

Can you name a few authoritative Blogs that talk about SEO and/or link building?

Sure, there are loads of great Blogs that are focused on every topic imaginable including SEO, link building, content writing, plus just about anything else you can think of. Here are a few you can check out:

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. Google's Webmaster Guidelines actually contains some pretty good information too.

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 SEO Training 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 because Directories will involve a human editor's review..

When you talk about links from authority Web sites, are you referring to sites that have lots of traffic.

Yes, lots of traffic and lots of links that are relevant to your subject matter or topic. Remember that if you have a Web site devoted to digital cameras you want keyword rich links from Web sites about photography or something that is related. A digital camera Web site will not gain much benefit from links coming in from a used car dealership.

With your link strategy, try to stay focused on links that are related to your subject and keep your readers in mind too.
What would your audience of readers be benefited by reading?

Anther great place to get links from are authoritative and busy Web sites, places like (but you need to write very good content of an engaging, useful nature in order to get them to link to you) and of course there are educational sites that tend to deliver a lot of value in their links too.

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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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