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There are two sides to search engine optimization (SEO): on-page and off-page optimization. Off-page means getting links from other websites to point back to your site, which strengthens your site's position in search engine results. In this course, author Peter Kent dissects the anatomy of a link, explains how links affect page ranking, and reveals the properties that make an excellent inbound link. The course also evaluates reciprocal linking; link building via press releases, blogs, and articles; and the importance of using quality links that are search-engine friendly.
If you're serious about link building, you may want to get some help in the form of specialized link building software. I'm not talking about reciprocal link building software. As I discussed in an early video, reciprocal linking is not terribly valuable anymore. So be careful when you go looking for link building software that you don't end up with that kind of program. Typically, those programs help you manage the process of contacting other site owners to ask for reciprocal links. Some of these old reciprocal linking programs have evolved away from reciprocal linking though.
Also, watch out for software that employs linking tricks; things like Linked networks and XRumer linking software, the sort of things we'll discuss in the last section of this course. Today, there are a number of programs available that are designed to simplify the process of finding places to get links through a variety of different methods. The essential concept is that the software searches the web for possible candidates based on your keywords, and perhaps also based on links to your competitors, then it provides a report that groups the prospects into categories, such as blogs, social media, job sites, business sites, trusted sites, and so on.
If you're interested in these programs, spend a little time comparing as they provide a range of tools. Ontolo for instance, works in the background constantly checking for new link prospects and emailing you when it finds a hot lead. Wordtracker provides a learning area; the Wordtracker Academy, where they provide ideas on how to approach the different types of link prospects to ask for a link. Ontolo will also gather contact information whenever it finds it, such as email addresses and links to Twitter and Facebook accounts.
In addition, Ontolo provides sophisticated search functions allowing you to search for prospects in many different ways, focusing on particular domain types, .edu domains for instance, and searching for page topics and types. And Raven provides tools to help you manage communications with prospects and to keep an eye on links, even telling you if something changes with a particular link, if the site owner adds a note full of attributes for instance, or if the page value goes up or down. This type of software can be a little pricey, 70 to a hundred bucks a month but if you're serious about link building, especially if you're doing it for multiple sites, it might be worth it to you at least for a while.
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