Link building was once all about just getting a backlink and that was it. It didn’t really matter how or from where, so long as you were getting them, you were golden. That was a long time ago, and as with everything on the internet, things quickly evolved. A few years ago, link farms were very popular, of course they were not called link farms back then. They worked fine, until webmasters found a means to abuse the system and get 1000s of links from them overnight. After that came the web link directories, which unlike link farms were a bit more sophisticated and organized.
Link directories are a great way to have your homepage spidered quickly, maybe even grab a visitor or two if the Directory is of high quality as well as your link is quite attractive. The strength of link directories has dwindled dramatically because of the many automated software systems and sites that’ll submit your connect to thousands of them overnight. It’s just not what SE’s would call an exceptional link…
Just recently, link exchanges or reciprocal link building sites and programs were very popular. Deliver a web link and I’ll give you one right back. Once the SE’s caught to them, they evolved into 3 way link exchanges, I’ll give you a link, you provide them a web link and they’ll give me a hyperlink. Seemed like the perfect solution, and to this day still works quite well to obtain links for your Homepage…
Many of these systems have three inherent problems within the eyes of the major search engines:
1. They make links for your homepage only
2. These are systems easily manipulated by the webmasters
3. They provide almost no value, if any, towards the consumer, within this case visitors
It had been inevitable that, eventually, the Search Engine’s would need to do something about this, they would have to look for a better approach to qualify, justify and rank backlinks. All things considered, links would be the backbone in the internet. The consequence of this, changed the way the Major Search Engines look at the links on your pages and even more importantly, the backlinks pointing in your pages.
They took a 180 degree turn altogether!
As opposed to exploring the way the webmaster had optimized their site or what links were coming and going, the Search Engine’s turned their focus as to what the end users’ behavior was when simply clicking or following those links!
The main indicator of quality, relevancy and validity from the links now lies in the long run users behavior. When considered through the Search Engines’ point of view, this will make perfect sense.
Here’s the logic behind the madness and why the SE’s trust this information much more:)
In the first place, the webmaster has hardly any power over the end users actions, making this very unbiased and raw feedback. Let’s walk by way of a typical scenario.
Visitors is on your own site, maybe the homepage or maybe an inner page, they are curious about the content on your site and they spy a hyperlink which catches their eye they click on the link and it takes these to another page…
The following is where it get’s interesting!
There’s only 2 things they can do:
1. Stay on that site
2. Leave that site
Based upon this behavior, the SE’s can tell instantly if the link was good or bad.
When the visitor immediately closes the new page or backspaces away, search engines like google can make certain assumptions. For instance they might assume the web link was irrelevant towards the page it pointed to, they might believe that the anchor text found in the web link was deceitful. One of many ways or perhaps the other, that particular visitor had not been pleased with that link, so the SE may not give that link any weight.
However, if the visitor chose to stay on the page after after the link, the picture is entirely different. The SE actually starts to analyze why they may have stayed on the page. They are going to look first on the page the hyperlink was on and compare it for the anchor text in the link for relevancy. Then they will look at the page the hyperlink was pointing to – the page an individual is currently on – and compare that to the link anchor text as well as the previous page.
Next they will consider the users behavior while on the new page, how long they stay on the page, when they go back to the previous page, or if they stick to a link in the current page, and when so, could it be an inside link or perhaps an external link…
When all has been said and done, the effect from this extensive research could eventually determining if this link is valid and what weight it ought to be given. The greater weight the hyperlink is given, the larger overall ranking the page will get in the search engine for that terms researched. You may ask, “How can the SE’s possibly get all this data?”
Easy, there’s several tools that Google along with other SE’s use to follow along with you around the web, like Toolbars, certain Browsers and of course, Google Analytics. As of this writing, it really is estimated that almost 60% of all the webmasters are employing Google Analytics to collect user specific data on their sites.
Can this mean you should not use Google Analytics?
Absolutely not! In fact, we strongly recommend that you DO utilize it. It’s a great way to see what your online visitors are going to do on the site:) The valuable data! But concurrently, you need to know how to use this data and tool to your advantage.
The eliminate lesson using this article ought to be:
When building links, always think like your visitor rather than like a webmaster trying to get pagerank. Build high quality, relevant backlinks that point to content on pages that might be helpful to your visitor and can make you look like an authority for providing it. These are called “Deep Links” plus they move from an inner page on the site towards the inner page of any completely yhdlrh but very relevant site. Don’t worry about the tiny amount of visitors which you may lose to these links, if done properly, link-building increases your general traffic by tenfold or maybe more!
In another article, we shall discuss why it really is essential to have links on your pages, rather than the popular belief that in so doing you will leak pagerank, it’s not true…