So now you’ve got your site ready to go: you’ve developed META information, created an excellent internal linking web, and written compelling and optimized SEO copy; however, you’re still missing a key component to Search Engine Optimization – External Links.
External links differ from internal links because they originate outside of your site. Search engines view external links as a ‘vote’ for your site, meaning another website trusts yours enough to post a link to your site on theirs. That means a lot to search engines, and the higher ranked the sites that link to you, the more credibility your site will have.
You hear a lot of SEO’s talking about the fabled .edu link, which allegedly performs SEO magic to your site. It’s true that .edu links are highly regarded as link gold because .edu sites are considered the ‘most reliable’ of all sites on the internet, unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to obtain the SEO links, as your site must generally benefit college students in some way, and few do. So don’t spend too many hours searching for that link – chances are, unless you have a relevant site, you won’t find it. .Org links come next in the heirarchy, followed by everything else (.com, .net, etc.).
Essentially, there are two types of external links: one way links and reciprocal links. A one-way link is a link comes from a site you do not link to, a reciprocal link comes from a site you do link to. Reciprocal links are often part of an exchange, in which you promise to post a link in exchange for the posting of your own link on another site.
While building links to your site you want to keep in mind that higher ranked pages are viewed as more credible in the eyes of search engines, and unindexed pages (pages that carry no page rank) are rarely viewed by search engines and carry little or no value.
I’ll discuss the process of obtaining links in the next post.