To link or Not? My answer is Google loves outbound links that offer value to users. It’s Google’s way of understanding what users think of the other sites.
Link out to relevant and good quality content. Readers always love authorities who refer the right resources. They like to read more about a subject they are currently browsing. Seo4google.org’s Outlink Tip: Linking is like a respected professor recommending some books to his students. Obviously, the professor won’t risk his reputation by recommending the irrelevant, low quality or unethical books.
Outlinks should be part of your strategy to develop authority on the subject. Links are a vote for the content, relevancy and quality of the other site. You can build your credibility by letting users know that you read the latest on the subject and are interested in keeping them updated by recommending relevant and good articles to browse.
Another advantage of linking to quality sites is that by sending visitors to other sites and blogs, webmasters who track traffic to their sites will find out and probably recommend your site in return. A mutually beneficial strategy in the long run.
Don’t link out to spammy sites
Spammy sites are those that are illegal. Sites that use black hat search engine optimization techniques to draw visitors are also spam sites. They sell links to all and sundry including porn and illegal sites. Sites that obtain data about users and share them with other sites, without user permission are also spamming. Excessive exchange of links is also considered spam. They may be downloading a virus or malware when you visit the site.
Selling outbound links affect Page Rank?
It’s not wrong to sell links. But if outbound links on a page are there because you have taken a payment, users must be informed. Remember, how Google shows paid ads as “Sponsored Links”.
Passing page rank to the outbound link page is not ethical. Kindly use rel=”nofollow” when you sell links. This way you inform search engines that you are not passing page rank.
Many webmasters and bloggers fear that outlinks will drive away visitors from their site or blog. That’s not true. Users will check out the other site, if it’s good they’ll respect your judgement. They’ll come back to your site for more. Wikipedia is the best example of relevant, quality outbound linking that helps create authority on the subject. Which is why users love Wikipedia, and Google shows Wikipedia pages for many search terms.
Links to your site from relevant and quality sites with high page rank are sure to increase your site’s Google ranking.
What do external links mean?
A link to your site from another site, blog or directory is called an inbound link. These mean that someone has liked your content and is willing to recommend it to his users. That’s why Google, as a search engine, which loves to give users good content likes this recommendation system. When it’s an editorial choice and voluntarily done, it’s a vote for your site or blog.
But when the vote is from a site whose content is relevant to your audience, then it’s viewed more positively. And the quality of the vote is best when the site linking to you has a high Page Rank. It should be from an authoritative site, relevant to your content.
Example: If you ran a site that sells toys, then a link from a childrens site (or parenting site) which recommends your toy store is more relevant than a link from a site selling cameras for wild life photography.
It’s easy for quality sites with unique content to draw a lot of inbound links from good sites. I mean, people naturally link to sites that offer useful or niche content since the site’s content is likely to be useful to their readers.
That’s how people link to sites normally, right.
How to get inbound links to your site?
The fundamentals are very simple. Find a niche. Write refreshing content. Make it useful to your users. Give readers the best on a subject. Tell them the latest in your domain. Interview those doing good work in your area of interest. Write compelling content. Make readers come back to your site by offering relevant and highly readable content.
Build your expertise in the chosen area. Write to news sites, magazines that cater to your site’s main theme. Participate in forums. Enter your site or blog in niche directories that are ranked well in Google. Offer useful downloads to users. Make videos, slides, audios and let visitors choose the mediums they like.
If you sell a product or service; or offer educative content to users, there’s no need to worry about seo. The inbound links, page rank and traffic will come naturally.
Links from other sites also mean more traffic to your site. And if it’s from a related site then the traffic is more qualified. And such users are likely to like your content and revisit. And perhaps make purchases on your site.
Host good content and inform Google, which allows you to submit your site or blog for indexing.
Google crawls all over the net and will sooner or later find your site. But to index quicker in the search engine, go to http://www.google.com/addurl/ and add your website url.
Although this does not guarantee that it’ll crawl your site or show it in the results, it’s better than not submitting.
You can add the home page url and also put in a few sentences about the content of your site. Or you could submit the keywords of your blog or site.
406google.comg’s Tip: To index faster in Google, write an article in a site that gets crawled frequently (news sites etc). Get your author’s bio at the bottom with your url and when Google search engine visits that page, it will also visit your site from there.
Another way to get Google to visit your site is to request bloggers or webmasters (friends or otherwise) to review your site. So that search engines can crawl through your website url from that blog.
Social media is another option to get your site indexed faster in Google. Submit good quality pages to Digg, Reddit or propeller. Since these sites are visited many times in a day by search engine bots, chances of indexing are higher.
The secret to optimizing titles and tags is to write copy naturally with relevant keywords that visitors use, for humans and not search engine bots.
Don’t be obsessed with keywords. Write titles and tags as a user would search on Google. For this you can use Google trends and Google keyword tools. Try keeping them in the order of words that visitors might type, although search engines do take into consideration variations in the order of keywords.
The H1 tags you create in your post (which means your headings and sub headings) to indicate to users the important or key content in that section, must be written naturally. The keywords here must reflect the core of the content in that section. You should never try to use keywords that are meant to cheat search engines into believing that the content is different. Write titles and tags that reflect the content following them. Be ETHICAL.
Example: If you are doing a post on the new drug testing for skin cancer, then the correct H1 tag is: New drug for Skin Cancer being tested
And not: Treatment for Skin Cancer Found
You shouldn’t use the second tag just because you know people are searching for “treatment for skin cancer.” Search engines’ algorithms are very intelligent and will easily find out that the content is different from the title given. And will not give you benefits. Rather, you could be penalized if it finds that you do this once too often.
Seo4google.org’s Tip: Write titles and tags naturally as users would use them. Don’t overdo or use non relevant keywords to optimize. Search engines are smarter than you think they are.
Remember that the job of search engines like Google is to serve useful and relevant content to searchers. So they’ll find your content anyway if it’s good enough. Focus on writing good content, use ethical SEO techniques and the traffic will come.
Try not to stuff keywords into the title, tags or body. This will result in a negative experience for users and Google will penalize your ranking for those pages or keywords.
Always attempt to give rich information to visitors. Use keywords that are relevant. Place them in the order that user would use while searching for your information. And you are on your way to a better page rank, user satisfaction and loads of traffic.
Good navigation on your blog helps users to quickly find information they want. That’s a fundamental search engine optimization principle.
The blog title should reflect the theme of your blog clearly. This title is visible to users on the reverse bar of the browser. Users quickly connect to the theme or navigate away from your blog. So write a clear title with four or five words that reflect the content of your blog.
406google.com’s Tip: Search engines drop most visitors on your home page, so get your categories, most popular and archives or the tag cloud up there.
Categorize your posts clearly
Many bloggers don’t know how to lead their users to the rich content they have published on their blog. Visitors are most certainly searching for something when they land up on your site. Categories are what point to the stuff you have for them. They also enable users to go through additional information on the subject of interest. While categorizing use words that are instantly recognizable.
Example: If you run a gifts blog, your categories would probably be: Anniversary, Wedding, Valentines, Christmas, Men, Women, Birthday etc.
This categorization enables users to quickly open the one they are looking for and read the content. It also tells searchers about the other relevant content you have on your blog.
The “About Me”, RSS feeds, subscription to newsletter, social bookmarks and search bar must be available at a visible location on the blog home.
Text links on your home page
Use clear text links since users and search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN understand them well. Flash and fancy images don’t convey your content very well to the crawlers.
Use simple layouts
The blog design also determines how people see your content. Keep it simple and easily navigable. Let visitors get the information they seek in 5 seconds. Throwing complex designs, dark colours, falsh or images that don’t mean much is sheer waste of your prime real estate.
Navigation bars for showcasing content
Use the right or left navigation bar that blogging platforms like typepad, blogger, wordpress, etc provide. This bar can have all your categories in the order of importance for the visitor – categories, tag clouds, recent posts, popular posts, archives, about me etc.