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In SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started, author Jill Whalen explains the importance of site rankings and why search engine optimization is necessary for increasing web site traffic. The course covers choosing the best keywords, performing keyword research, augmenting keywords with search-friendly site architecture, creating social media networking strategies, and measuring the success of an SEO campaign.
In the 15 years I've been doing SEO there have been a variety of methods people have tried in order to gain links to their web sites. Some work for a while, some never did. Since many of the old ways are still discussed online in many articles, forums, and blog posts, I wanted to explain why they're not worth your time and effort. First, you need to remember why you want links in the first place. Long before Google was a search engine, and it was Google that first popularized link popularity, web masters marketed their website by trying to get links.
But they did it because of the targeted traffic those links could bring. This is still the reason today why you should be trying to get them. While exchanging links with other sites isn't bad in and of itself and won't cause the search engines to penalize your website or anything, it can cause people to make bad decisions with which sites they end up linking to. I have seen websites that are so desperate for links they will link to any web site which agrees to link to theirs in exchange. This is not the way to get links and more so not the way to give links.
The search engines do look at what sites you're linking to and if you link to ones that they know are bad or spammy, those links will only hurt your site. But more than that, why would you want to point your website visitors to web sites you don't truly recommend? As links became more difficult to obtain, web masters have resorted to paying for links. The problem with this is that search engines dislike them, because if you pay for a link, it's not really a vote now, is it? So if the search engine can a spot a link as paid, they will disregard it and not count it towards your link popularity score.
In fact, they even request that you label paid links as sponsored by marking them with what's called a nofollow link attribute. This helps them filter them out of their algorithm. While you can certainly buy ads, which provide a link to you site if you would like, just remember that they may or may not count towards your link popularity score. If you decide to buy links, be sure they are ones that will bring targeted visitors to your site who are interested in what you sell. In general your best bet is to always avoid any sort of link building tricks and schemes.
While you can submit your site to websites that will accept any link, it's doubtful it will count for much with the search engines, dince they understand it's not a vote. Stay far away from anything that could be considered a link farm, which is just a ring of sites that are agreed to link to each other in order to increase their link popularity. You should also put the idea of buying a whole slew of sites just so you can link them altogether and increase your link popularity right out of your head. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book, which eventually get caught.
That said if you own a few sites and it make sense to link between them, you don't have to be afraid of doing so. Just be sure that the links makes sense within the context of the web site and you'll be fine. There are no shortcuts when it comes to link building. If something seems too good to be true, it's likely that it is. As with everything you're learning about SEO, it's going to come back to having something worth linking to.
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