Link building in a nutshell, is the process of getting other web sites and web pages to link to your web site. These links will not only drive direct targeted traffic to your pages; but more importantly will increase your overall search engine visibility and rankings. Building a solid incoming linking structure for your site is one of the most effective techniques used by search engine optimization professionals to improve your search engine rankings and boost the overall amount of traffic any given web page receives. However the process of building incoming links to your site can be a daunting and tedious task when just getting started. The purpose of this essay is to outline the importance of building a strong linking profile for your site as well as offer a handful of key strategies that any webmaster regardless of marketing budget can employ to climb to the top of the search engine ladder.

1.) Purchasing Links & Sponsored Reviews

Paying other web masters to place a link on their site back to yours is probably the easiest and most straight forward way to generate links to your site. However the down-side of purchasing or renting links from other web masters is that it can become a very expensive venture, not to mention you need to pick and choose your potential candidates vary carefully. There are many services out there to help connect you with other web masters that are interested in selling links from their web pages, however you will save yourself a lot of time, and money by working directly with other web masters as apposed to paying a middle man to act as a link broker. Unfortunately there is no set standard on determining what any given link is worth: however you should pay careful attention to a few key factors before cracking open your wallet and spending your hard earned money on a paid link. These things include but are not limited to the number of incoming links the candidate site itself has, it’s overall page rank, the age of the site and finally the search engine saturation (number of pages indexed in the major search engines) of the site. When approaching a web master to purchase links from make your goals as clear as day – and ensure that he or she knows you’re interested in purchasing a link for Search Engine Optimization reasons. You need to ensure the link will not be cloaked (hidden from search engine spiders) or nofollowed (marked to inform search engines not to follow the link with the rel=”nofollow” attribute) as either of these conditions will make the link relatively worthless from an SEO stand point.

2.) Comment and Post on Related Blogs & Message Boards

Even a web novice can find a litany of blogs and message boards for any given niche or market to post comments and feed back . I strongly encourage you to register on message boards related to your topic or subject and include links within the signature of your posts and messages. The same goes for blogs and commenting. There are many blogs that will allow you to include a link back to your site either within the content of your message, or make your user name a clickable link back to your site. However there is a fine line between spamming and offering valid comments, posts and responses to community based web sites and blogs. Making obvious spam posts such as “Cool site, check my site out at …” will likely get your IP address banned from the web site or network, and can negatively impact the reputation of your brand or web site. If you don’t have a valuable view point, or comment to offer other readers of the site you’re posting on, you’re better off not commenting at all.

3.) Write User Testimonials & Product Reviews

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Writing user reviews or testimonials is an under appreciated technique to create a wealth of back links to your site. Most often when you write a review for a product or service you’ve had success with, the web master will include a link back to your site in the signature of the review. This technique is simple and straight forward; if you’ve purchased a product or service write up a short 100 – 300 word review for the product outlining it’s strengths and your positive experiences and include your full name, and web site address in the signature of the review. Nine out of ten times the web master of the site you’ve written the testimonial for will be more than happy to include and activate the link when they post the review onto their website.

4.) Develop a Free Online Service or Software Application

Most people wouldn’t even consider spending their valuable time developing an application or online utility to give away for free. However the benefits of creating and distributing a free online utility or software application can create several 1,000 back links to your site very quickly. A perfect example of this is creating a small, easy to use Mortgage Calculator with javascript and offer the code to embed the Mortgage Calculator onto other web pages. Include a link back to your site within the coding of the Mortgage Calculator perhaps in a copyright statement at the bottom of the application and require the link as a condition for using your free application.

By Haadi