Link building is important because the more sites link back to you the more authority your site has in the eyes of a search engines. It’s like “it’s better when people tell good things about you, than when you go and talk about yourself”.
Not all links are created equal. These are some of the key things that differentiate links:
- dofollow and nofollow links. In other words, links that transfer
- one way, two way and even three way. You should be interested in one way links.
- links from directories, social bookmarking sites, blog articles, blog comments, etc. The more diverse your links sources are the better.
- links from quality, trusted, authoritative websites. These links you need! Although it may take awhile to get a link from an authority website, but it’s definitely worth it. For example your article gets published in TechCrunch. Or your product is cited in New York Times.
- links from general resources and industry-specific resources
Without getting into too many details, there’s a few things to keep in mind when linkbuilding:
- Pay attention to both quantity and quality, having said that quality of links is always more important. It’s way better to have one link from New York Times and a hundreds thousands of links from questionable directories.
- Make sure links that you are getting are from relevant resources (for the most part).
- Anchor text is super important. Anchor is linked text. A good anchor for an SEO Service company is SEO Service. Also make sure to differentiate your anchors. For example, instead of using just SEO Service use multiple anchors like SEO company, SEO Service, SEO Reports, etc.
- Take a snapshot of your current link profile (sites that link back to you). There’s a section on how to do it in my previous post on taking SEO performance snapshots. Once you have that base number you can track your month-to-month easily.
There are tools available that will help you discover sites to link to, monitor your link building activity and manage your link building process. Below are only a few options for link building tools.
- Backlink watch (Free): helps you monitor who links back to you, what anchor text is used and if it’s a dofollow or nofollow link.
- Link Builder tool from Wordtracker (Paid): I have not used it but for some reason I trust these guys. This is supposed to be a multi-purpose tool to help you run your link building program.
- Linkscape and Open Site Explorer tools by SEOmoz (Free): these two are free link building tools from a reliable vendor.
- List of tools at Search Engine Land (Free and paid): this is a comprehensive list of solid tools by a solid publisher.
This list should be sufficient. You can, of course, search Google to find more link building tools but I recommend you get to work of actually link building and NOT looking for better tools and evaluating alternatives. Believe me, I spent countless hours looking at tools only to find out that the link building work was not happening.