So, now you have a site and Google has indexed it – what next ?
One of the most important aspects of ranking in phase 2 is a good links strategy. A good, solid links strategy consists of a couple of smaller linking strategies all rolled into one.
Let me first explain some terms :-
- inbound links : – links from another website to your own
- outbound links :- links from your site to another
- reciprocal links :- links between two sites – a link from yours to another and vice versa.
Why links ?
Google keeps on visiting sites every so many days. Everytime it finds a fresh link to another site after its previous visit, it will follow that link and count it. A link from a quality site to your own actually translates into a “referral” from that site to yours. Or even an endorsement by that site of yours. And this is exactly how Google sees it. So, the more endorsements you can get, the better.
1. Links exchange
Obviously, once we have designed or redesigned your website, your site will now also have a links page – such as ours.
How does this links page work then? Keep in mind that this page is for exchanging links – meaning a two way street. On the one hand it is there for visitors to your site wanting to exchange links with you, BUT – it is also your job to surf the internet looking for possible links exchange partners.
What makes a good links exchange partner?
1.1. Someone who has a site in the same genre as yours – meaning if you have a guest house, do not exchange links with someone in the steel industry – these industries are non-related and a link would not mean much, in actual fact, such a link could harm your rankings.
1.2. Someone whose site has a good Google PageRank – for more info on PageRank – click here.
It is important to understand the value of this links page. We do NOT design a website without a links page as we realize the importance of this page. You need to know that this page is an ever expanding page. BUT – you need to know the following :-
You need to qualify who you want on this page. Treat this page as something you don’t want everybody on, but only a selected few. Remember the golden rule – its all about who you associate with.
So before you forward a links exchange request to us, you can decide for yourself if you want to add this site as a links exchange partner or not. Take note of the following points :-
1. Has the person requesting a link’s site been optimized?
HOW – by looking at the title tag (at the VERY TOP of your pc screen) – (see image) – does the title tag actually contain keyphrases or does it just say “Home” or some such? If the answer is no, then no links exchange.
2. Does the page on which your link will appear have a PageRank ?
HOW – (see the image) and read more about PageRank here. If it has a 0 PR, then no links exchange. Although in some cases if the site passes most of the rest of the criteria, we will exchange links with them.
3. How many links are already on the page on which your link will appear?
HOW – just read through the mail sent to you – they will tell you in that mail on which page your link will appear – click on that and see. The rule here, not more than 50 -MAX80 links per page. If you find the page has been stuffed with links, then no links exchange. Also look carefully through the mail sent to you – do they want you to link to site A, but offer a link in return from site B? If so, then no links exchange. This happens very often. They want a good inbound link, but in return offer a crappy link back to your site.
4. What is the page structure of the page on which your link will appear?
HOW – look at the URL – if the URL is something like http://www.o5webdesign.com/Links.html then at least you know the links page is in a flat hierarchy in relation to the rest of the site and this page will be crawled and indexed by search engines.
However – if the page looks something like this http://www.o5webdesign.com/directory/resources/travel/accommodation/Links.html – we start frowning immediately.
5. Try and find the site on the search engines.
HOW – type the main keyword in Google and see if you can find it. If not, no links exchange.
6. Read carefully through the mail sent to you
HOW – by reading the mail ;-). Seriously though, most people don’t read. By reading through the mail you can establish if this mail was sent by a person or not, if this person is trying to “hide” anything from you or not, and more. The best links exchange requests are ones sent by a person and including a short description or overview of what their company / site is about, giving as much detail as possible (even including the PageRank) and full contact details.
If a links exchange request satisfies the above criteria, we will exchange links. See our own links page – http://www.o5webdesign.com/Links.html – and see how few links we have on there for a site that has been going for almost 4 years now.
What to do with these links exchange requests?
First off – you need to try and qualify this yourself. If you are unsure, forward the request to us. If you feel okay with it, and we differ from you, we will inform you of that. Once satisfied, forward the request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it to your site.
Once we have done so and informed you accordingly, you need to ensure that they have added your link on their site – on the pages they promised. So, you need to mail them and let them know their link is up, they can look and must then add a reciprocal link as per their email.
THEN you need to check that they have done this. And while you are at it, you can also check the other sites already on your links page. If they do not have your link, you need to mail them and remind them to add it within 7 days or we remove their links. And then let me know which ones to remove please.
This procedure must be followed with all links exchange requests.