Web Promotion Tips for Dynamic Business...

"Making Web Promotion Easier..."
 Issue: November 2005
In this issue of Dynamic NetMarketer »

Featured Article: 15 Essential Strategies for Building & Structuring Inbound Links »

15 Essential Strategies for Building & Structuring Inbound Links — By Stephen Mahaney

One of the trickiest aspects of search engine optimization is the process of building high quality incoming links. And, as you've undoubtedly heard, it's also the single most important thing you can do to improve your rankings. The more inbound links a page has, the more popular it is – and search engines like popular pages.

The challenge for most sites is to accumulate enough incoming links to appear relevant to the engines without tripping any one of the many spam filters and penalties that are applied to sites that cheat. So, the secret to getting it right is to...

 take the search engine's point of view
when building your incoming link structure.

The key point to remember is that search engines like natural link structure—they hate artificial link structure. That's why it's our first strategy...

Natural vs. Artificial Link Structure
natural link structure
  • inbound anchor text varies
  • inbound link count increases gradually
  • site links-out to only reputable pages
  • links are rarely reciprocal
  • artificial link structure
  • inbound anchor text identical
  • inbound link count increases suddenly
  • site links-out to link farms or web rings
  • high percentage of links are reciprocal
  • 1. Natural vs. Artificial Links

    Natural links vary in anchor text while artificial links tend to be identical. Natural links increase gradually as referral sites add links one by one over time; artificial links can sprout in great numbers all of a sudden.

    Sites designed around natural links don't usually swap links, so their outgoing links tend to point to pages that are known by the engine to be in good standing. Oftentimes these pages have been indexed for many years and may even be white listed – a term that identifies trusted sites not to be penalized. Sites designed around artificial links will often participate in link swapping and have outgoing links that point to pages that resemble link farms, web rings, or isolated nodes (i.e. page groups linking to each other but lacking inbound links from outside trusted sites).

    Natural links tend not to be reciprocal. Artificial links, however, rely heavily on link exchange tactics, suggesting that the sole purpose of the link is reciprocity – having little or nothing to do with adding value for the site visitor by way of providing worthwhile content.

    Keeping these facts in mind, one should strive to build the most natural-looking incoming-link structure possible. From a search engine's point of view (SEPOV), the best kind of links are unrequested links. The engines are looking to bestow high rankings on only those pages that people voluntarily link to due to great content – not because some webmaster has spent a lot of time swapping links. Read on for tips and tricks on how to build the best incoming-link structure and boost your PageRank dramatically.

    2. Choose Your Links Wisely

    While it's true that almost any link from anyone will add something of value to your page popularity, it's best to get links from authoritative pages. Such pages are considered important and are usually identified as such by Google within their PageRank scoring system. The higher the PageRank, the better the link. Directory examples would include sites like Yahoo and DMOZ. Others like PBS.org, National Geographic, CNN, or ZDnet would be exceptional authoritative site links regardless of topic since each has been assigned a PageRank of 9 or better on Google's ten-point scale.

    3. Get Links from Pages that Match Your Topic

    Your next best option is to acquire links from pages that are trusted. Trusted pages are sites that have been indexed for a while and have already been assigned a Google PageRank – usually PR=5 or better. It helps even more if these pages are on-topic – i.e. they match the topic of your page. Links from on-topic trusted pages can give you a significant boost in rankings. If you do gather links from less than PR=5, then the on-topic factor becomes even more important.

    4. The Number Of Links On The Referring Page Matters

    Another point to remember is the fewer the number of links on the referring page, the better. Ideally, the referring page would have only one link and it would be to your page. Of course, that's rarely practical. But, having your link on a page with 100 other links is almost pointless because the value of your link will be divided by the number of links on the page – a condition we call link dilution.

    While easier said than done, the ideal would be to get your incoming links from popular, on-topic pages that have few outgoing links within trusted sites scoring PR=6 or better. Now, short of the ideal, bear in mind that every link you can get is likely to help you somewhat – and if you can control how those links appear (in terms of incoming URL-format and anchor text), you'll be in even better shape.

    5. Don't Get Involved with Run-of-the-Site Links

    Avoid run-of-the-site links. These are links where every page of a site links to your homepage. When you have, say, 1000 incoming links all originating from subpages within the same site, it appears to Google that your link count is artificially inflated.

    6. Maintain Consistency In The Format Of Your Incoming Link URL's

    Question: Are you aware that...


    ...are all technically SIX different URLs even though each will land the site visitor on the same webpage?

    That's right. And, if those who link to you use six different URL formats to point visitors to your "home" page then your PageRank is being diluted by a factor of six – not good!

    You simply must do everything in your power to standardize your incoming URL-format in order to consolidate your PageRank. Doing so will produce the maximum relevancy-boost possible from your incoming links.

    7. Get Your Keywords Into Your Anchor Text

    It's very important that you get your keywords into the text of the link (anchor text) that other sites are using to point visitors your way. True, this may be difficult with directories unless the name of your company includes your keywords. Regardless, the boost in keyword relevancy is significant enough that it's worthwhile to contact everyone who is linking to you with a specific request regarding the text being used in your link.

    If you happen to be selling model airplanes, then anchor text such as airplane models or model airplanes will be infinitely more valuable to your relevance efforts than anchor text simply saying click here. From an SEPOV, the former states the theme of your page while the later gives the engine no clue whatsoever what your page is about.

    A word of caution: it will look more natural from an SEPOV if the text links that are pointing at your site are not identical. Strive to maintain slight variations as would occur if the anchor text were being generated independently by the sites that are maintaining them. Of course, the nature of your business and the name of your company might dictate the range of options available to you. However, do everything in your power to insure that the text being used to point visitors and engines to your site looks natural from an SEPOV.

    This strategy can make a HUGE difference. Generally speaking, from an SEPOV, it's the anchor text that determines the theme (topic) of your webpage.

    8. Go for Deep Links

    Make sure that some of your links are deep links — i.e., links to sub-pages within your site and other than your homepage.

    9. Beware the nofollow Tag

    See to it that your incoming links from off-site pages do not include the rel="nofollow" attribute within the source code of the link; nofollow renders the link useless to your ranking efforts because Google doesn't credit your page for having that incoming link.

    10. The Best Place To Start Getting Links

    Rather than swapping links (which should always be your very last strategy), consider some of your alternative options for acquiring incoming links. Probably the best place to start is by submitting your site to web directories. Here's a list of links to the most important general-topic web directories:



    Some of them are free and some charge a fee which, when considering the value of your time, might be worth it to get a new site's foot in the link-popularity door. Yahoo, LookSmart, and JoeAnt are popular directory sites that fit this description of directory sites that charge but may very well be worth the fee in exchange for the trusted inbound link.

    To add your site, look around on the main page of each of these directories for a link that says something like Add URL, Suggest URL, Add Your Site, or Suggest a Site. Follow that link to get details about exactly how to add your site to their directory.

    By the way, to avoid unnecessary delays in getting listed, be sure to submit your site to the proper category within each directory. Submitting your site to the wrong category can result in a ridiculously long delay or simply not getting listed at all. Remember that the directory editors receive an enormous number of site submissions. So, save yourself some grief by carefully considering exactly which category your site belongs in before submitting.

    We highly recommend reading the Zeal Style Guidelines, which provides detailed information about submitting your site to directories – http://www.zeal.com/guidelines/style/

    You should also review the DMOZ Submit FAQ at: http://dmoz.org/help/submit.html

    Starting out, it's time and cost effective to focus on getting into the major directories listed above. Each one that links to you substantiates your site in the eyes of the engines. You get an incoming link from a trusted site and another new source of targeted traffic. However, you need to know that after you get into a few of the major directories the relevancy boost from being listed in general directories drops off pretty fast.

    At this point you should start tapping into the power of getting on-topic links. Again, directories are the quickest and easiest way to accomplish this task. For a list of topic-specific directories, go to: http://www.isedb.com/html/Web_Directories/Specialty_Directories/

    By the way, when getting listed in topic-specific directories, be sure they provide a direct, static link to your site. In other words, you do not want a dynamic link – one that is processed or created on-the-fly by some software the directory has running on their server. This is not a concern with the major directories as they all tend to use static links. However, many smaller directories like to create their links dynamically. Although this will add to your traffic count, it does nothing to help your search engine ranking efforts. That's because engines fail to see the connection between the dynamic link and your site's actual URL.

    11. Link Outside The Box

    Figuring out where to get your incoming links from is like solving a puzzle. It takes a little creativity coupled with following formulas and patterns. Ask yourself, who else has a site that might benefit from linking to me?

    Suppliers you do business with or professional organizations you're involved in might be willing to list you on their referrals page. Legal advisors, accountants, or financiers you do business with might also like to list you as a client or maybe showcase your business in their online portfolio. Your employees may have blogs or personal homepages that could link to you, and so forth.

    Here are a few more ideas to help you spark that creativity...

    » Many online business owners write articles about topics related to their sites. Then they offer to let other sites use them as content in exchange for a link back to the author's site. You're probably an expert in the business you're in and therefore an authority on certain subjects that may lend themselves to interesting reading that becomes worthwhile information for a basket of ancillary products and services.

    » "Swap" links with a partner company that you closely do business with - or whose services compliment your own. Look for business partnerships with other websites that are useful to your own customers and whose customers are useful to you. Look for compatible (but not competing) businesses, then form a partnership where you link to each other actively through mutual promotion. Not only can this bring in new traffic and boost your PageRank, but you may also develop important business relationships this way.

    » Press releases are an excellent way to gain relevant links to your company's site. Again, be creative – chances are that there's a number of reasons (product launches, staff additions, promotions, partnerships, new services, etc.) you can find to release news about your company to the press. Press releases are quickly picked up by the engines and the links contained within them are typically trusted. They also tend to remain on the web for a good long time.

    » Another interesting way to promote your own site is to submit testimonials, along with a link to your site, about products you are really enthusiastic about. If the testimonial is well-written, the company will often post it on their site.

    » One of the more under-utilized "secrets" for gaining incoming links is to participate in forums that allow a text link to your site within your forum signature. Look for subjects in which you are knowledgeable and begin posting – asking and answering questions. Be sure to make legitimate contributions and you'll find that your participation will be a welcomed addition in spite of the plug for your site.

    » One of the most potentially productive tips – Find out who's linking to your competitors and convince them to link to you instead. Go to Yahoo and enter:
    linkdomain:www.your-competitor.com -site:www.your-competitor.com
    in the Yahoo search box and you'll learn who you should contact.

    Bear in mind that whenever you're successful in getting someone to switch, you gain twice. Once for gaining a new link, twice for reducing the incoming link count of your competitor.

    If the link is an especially good one (authoritative site in good standing with great incoming links, few outbound links, and high PageRank), then pay them if you have to. Offer them a better deal than the one they have (if any). Do whatever it takes to get those quality links! Write it off under the cost of advertising.

    By using your imagination and dovetailing the nuances of your own business into the mix, you'll no doubt discover a plethora of opportunities for gaining legitimate incoming links.

    12. The "Problem" With Reciprocal Links

    When all else fails, you may begin considering reciprocal links. We don't like this strategy all that much because search engines are continuously getting more sophisticated about detecting artificial linking patterns. Unfortunately, one of the most artificial linking patterns is reciprocal links, since natural link patterns are not typically reciprocal. If Yahoo lists a site in their directory, that site doesn't routinely link back to Yahoo. Of course there are plenty of exceptions, but, regardless, the engines are looking for pages that rank well due to popularity based on content – and they want to avoid sites where it appears the webmaster has spent a lot of time swapping links.

    So, look at things from the search engine's point of view. If CNN runs an article about how great your company is and your company's site links back to the CNN article, does that look normal from the SEPOV? ...sure it does. Besides, CNN is an authoritative site that is white listed. They can do no wrong in the eyes of the engine and the link exchange looks like a natural link structure from the SEPOV. And, your site's page can expect a substantial boost in ranking.

    On the other hand, if your site (with it's PR=4 or 5) is linked by Joe Blow's homepage with a PR=1, 2, or 3 and you link back to Joe's page, you shouldn't expect much, if any, boost in your rankings. In fact, it's entirely possible the two links are discounting each other based on an assumed link exchange arrangement that looks contrived because neither page is "authoritative" from the SEPOV.

    Now, if you had, say 50 similar link arrangements, and the links were on-topic, and none of the pages involved had tripped the spam filters, then your page should get a reasonable boost in rankings. Still, you'd fair better simply by getting a single killer link from an authoritative site like CNN, Yahoo Directory, DMOZ, ZDNet, and so forth.

    13. Avoid "Link Farms" & the Like

    Focus your efforts on collecting all the links you can from authoritative sites. Most importantly, be very careful about who you link back to because you might just be diminishing any benefit that would otherwise be derived from your incoming link. And, in terms of building page relevancy, there is rarely, if ever, any benefit to linking back to sites that are insignificant, untrusted, or suspected of behaving badly in terms of SE protocol. It can even hurt you.

    14. Be Careful Who You Link Back To!

    Gaining links from off-topic and perhaps not-trusted sites may not be your first choice, but, reportedly, it won't exactly hurt your rankings – they might even help a little. However, beware of getting yourself into a link exchange relationship with these sites and remember that you should not link back to them. Currently, the rule is that incoming links won't hurt you but outgoing links to sites that behave badly, can.

    In other words, if you're left with only the option to swap links, be sure you do so carefully because linking to a site that has been penalized for policy infractions (i.e. search engine spam) can cause your site to be penalized as well. To help you avoid such a scenario, here are four cautionary steps you should take before linking to another site:

    1. Search for their domain name on Google and Yahoo. If they're not listed on one or either of the engines, that's a bad sign. Linking to them could get your site penalized and possibly banned. Besides, even if they aren't a so-called "bad" site, linking to a site that the engines don't know about won't help you in the rankings anyway.

      However, if they are listed you can proceed to step two.

    2. Determine who is already linking to them. The more incoming links they have, the better. And, the more important the sites that are linking to them, the better. Their PageRank score is one indicator of how important Google thinks the site is.

    3. Beware of linking to sites or pages with a PR=0 (zero). This could mean that they've been penalized by Google. Granted, this test may not apply to very new sites, but if a site has been around for a while and lacks any PageRank, then you should be wary of linking to it.

    4. Avoid linking to sites with controversial topics. Good examples of such sites would include gambling, adult, pharmacy, or loan/debt sites (unless you happen to be in one of these industries and the topic matches the content of your page).


    • You probably won't be hurt by who links to you.
    • However, you can definitely be hurt by who you link to.

    15. Train Your Eye On The Primary Goal – Profits!

    Of course, our biggest assumption is that you're optimizing your site with profits in mind. That being the case, you'll want to always focus your efforts on strategies and relationships that will generate the most revenue relative to effort. Therefore, look first for link relationships that will produce traffic that fits the profile of your customer market.

    While it's true that incoming links from just about any site provides a slight boost to your page popularity (leading to better search engine ranking), such links all-too-often fail to produce targeted traffic which is what you really should be looking for. This is one of the many reasons a link from a topic-related site is immeasurably better than a link from an off-topic site.


    We've covered a lot of ground so let's review where we've been:

    1. Focus on creating a natural incoming link structure that builds steadily but gradually over time.

    2. Focus on getting links from authoritative sites with high PageRank. If they also happen to be on-topic, then all the better.

    3. It's ok to get links from less important sites but remember: the lower the PageRank of a referring page, the more you'll want it to match your topic.

    4. Strive to get your inbound links placed on pages with few outbound links...the fewer the better.

    5. Avoid run-of-the-site links. These are links where every page of a site links to your homepage. When you have, say, 1000 incoming links all originating from subpages within the same site, it appears to Google that your link count is artificially inflated.

    6. See to it that the URL format of your referring links are consistently identical.

    7. Get your keywords into the anchor text of your incoming links as much as possible. However, avoid identical incoming link anchor text.

    8. Make sure that some of your links are deep links — i.e., links to sub-pages within your site and other than your homepage.

    9. See to it that your incoming links from off-site pages do not include the rel="nofollow" attribute within the source code of the link; nofollow renders the link useless to your ranking efforts because Google doesn't credit your page for having that incoming link.

    10. When starting out, focus on the major directories as a source of important links then shift to the topic-specific directories to solidify the theme relevance of your site.

    11. Work your trade directories, press releases, suppliers, customers, and testimonials as an outside the box approach to building a gradual, solid, lasting, and natural incoming link structure. Think creatively.

    12. Don't waste a lot of time getting reciprocal links. Their value is diminishing in the current SE environment. We see a time coming when the value of reciprocal links between non-authoritative sites will be discounted or entirely cancelled out.

    13. Avoid reciprocal links with pages that are designed solely for exchanging links.

    14. Avoid linking back to sites that are unlisted by Google or Yahoo. Seriously avoid linking to link farms, web rings or any site that exhibits behavior contrary to a search engine's recommended protocol. Avoid linking to controversial sites unless they perfectly match the topic of your page.

    15. Always remember that profits are your goal. More links does not always add more customers. Avoid wasting energy on projects that may increase link counts but add little or nothing to gain customers that generate profits.

    There you have the top 15 essential strategies for building and structuring your inbound links. Of course, building such a natural incoming link structure takes time. That's precisely why the engines tend to highly rank the sites that conform to this pattern. Over time, experience has taught us that overnight success strategies are fickle while the solid content and slow but steady link building approach remains the cornerstone for succeeding long term.

    Follow these guidelines and sooner or later you'll be looking like a top ranking SEO genius.

    High regards,
    Stephen Mahaney - President
    Planet Ocean Communications

    "This article is courtesy of Planet Ocean Communications, the publisher of an award-winning Search Engine Optimization Book, as well as a monthly report on the latest search engine marketing techniques.


    Buy Dynamic Submission, WebRanking and Link Promoter before November 30, 2005 and save 50%

    Yes, I want versions supporting up to 10 domains for $150 (worth $320)

    Yes, I want versions supporting unlimited domains for $350 (worth $660)

    Internet Marketing News »

    October 30, 2005 - Google wants to dominate Madison Avenue, too.

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--In many ways, Larry Page and Sergey Brin seem an unlikely pair to lead an advertising revolution.
    As Stanford graduate students sketching out the idea that became Google, the two software engineers sniffed in an academic paper that "advertising-funded search engines will inherently be biased toward the advertisers and away from the needs of consumers." .

    Full Story 

    October 30, 2005 - Check SEO stats while you surf

    A new Firefox extension called SEO Links extension lets you check SEO stats while you surf. The SEO Links extension gives you Yahoo, MSN, and Google link popularity and ranking data for any URL and anchor text pair: When pointing your mouse to any link in Firefox, a little box pops up, showing the statistics ...

    Full Story 

    October 28, 2005 - Looksmart Relaunces as Vertical Search Engine

    After a few years of languishing in near obscurity, Looksmart announced today that they would be relaunching themselves as "the largest vertical search site launch in the history of the Web." The new Looksmart features 11 new vertical categories and over 161 new sites ...

    Full Story 

    Dynamic Lab's Reporting »

    Dynamic Bid Maximizer

    » Overture version users:

    Overture has changed the "GetListing" (or "Load Keywords") command, all users of Bid Maximizer Overture are requested to download the new updated version 3.1.27 from http://www.apexpacific.com/upgrade.html.

    » Advance (Google) version users:

    We suggest you to register a Google Adwords API Token and use Google Adwords API feed for BidMaximizer. By using Google API feed, you will get more reliable performance.

    Once you receive your Google Adwords API Token ID, open BidMaximizer, click the "File/Configuration" menu item then "Options" tab, and enter your Google Token ID. Please NOTE: Google API has a quota limit base on your monthly spending. If you exceed your monthly quota limit, your API feed will be disabled for the month but will be re-set the next month.

    Not registered user yet? Why not to download the free trial version and see how it can easily manage keywords and bids of your PPC campaigns?

    Resource Center »
    Internet Marketing Tools

    Complete Internet Marketing Solution for all your web site promotion needs

    » Dynamic Submission
    All in One Search Engine Submission and SEO search engine optimization software

    » Dynamic Mail Communicator
    All In One bulk email marketing software, mailing list management software

    » Dynamic Bid Maximizer
    Automated PPC Pay Per Click Bid management software, PPC Pay Per Click Bid optimization software

    » Dynamic Web Ranking
    Search engine ranking, web ranking, web position monitoring software

    » Dynamic Link Promoter
    Reciprocal link exchange management tool that will boost your Link Popularity and Google Page Rank

    » Dynamic Email Validator
    Email Validation Software that will clean up your Mailing List from Bounce Back emails

    » Dynamic Site Stats
    Real time web site traffic monitoring service

    Earn 40% as a Dealer
    Apex Pacific is looking for Software Dealer or Business Partners for its well-established Dynamic Software™.

    If you have a little extra time, become a Dynamic Software™ Dealer and make some real money.

    You can earn 40% of sales resulting from your website. On top of this you can even sign up another dealers under you and make more money out of their sales

    More Information 

    Dynamic NetMarketer Newsletter
    Browse our online archive of Dynamic NetMarketer, it contains all Web site Promotion & Internet Marketing tips required to explode your business on the internet.

    Dynamic NetMarketer
    Newsletter Archive

    Alternatively if you have not subscribe to our Dynamic NetMarketer Newsletter, you may do so and receive this newsletter monthly.


    About Dynamic NetMarketer

    Dynamic NetMarketer is published once a month by eDynamicSoft, a division of Apex Pacific Pty Ltd, developer of Dynamic Submission - award winning web promotion software. Each issue covers the latest information and trends in internet marketing and web promotion.

    Let us know your thoughts!

    We'd love to hear what you think of the Dynamic NetMarketer. And of course, if you have any interesting tips, tricks, or comments on marketing promotion issues you would like to share with us and others please just send them to editor.

    Interested in Advertising with us?

    If you are interested in advertising in our newsletter please send your request to our marketing department.

    Dynamic NetMarketer is powered by Dynamic Mail Communicator™ - the choice of professional email marketing software that allows you to send "personalized" bulk email messages to your customers and subscribers. For a FREE demo version please visit: http://www.mailcommunicator.com

    Copyright (c) 1997-2005 eDynamicSoft, a division of Apex Pacific Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.