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Building external links

From: SEO Fundamentals

Video: Building external links

Building quality links to your website will improve its overall popularity in the eyes of the search engines and improve your search engine visibility. But you're probably thinking what most people are thinking at this point. How do I get links pointing back to my site when I don't have control over other websites out there? The good news is that links come in different forms and can be generated from different tactics. First, there are some easy ones. A very common way of generating links is to submit your website or business to different web directories. But keep in mind that you are going to want to be extremely selective about the directories you submit to.

Building external links

Building quality links to your website will improve its overall popularity in the eyes of the search engines and improve your search engine visibility. But you're probably thinking what most people are thinking at this point. How do I get links pointing back to my site when I don't have control over other websites out there? The good news is that links come in different forms and can be generated from different tactics. First, there are some easy ones. A very common way of generating links is to submit your website or business to different web directories. But keep in mind that you are going to want to be extremely selective about the directories you submit to.

What you don't want to do is click on one of those ads that says they'll submit your website to 4 billion search engines and directories for $1.99. There are lots of spamming directories out there, and there are very few that are actually trustworthy. A good guideline to follow is whether or not the directory conducts some form of editorial process that reviews each link, and only accepts relevant and trusted websites themselves. If a directory is willing to publish any link without any review, it's probably not a reliable directory. The Yahoo! Directory is a good place to start, and if you run a local business, you can submit your information to the different search engines' respective local business directories.

If you have industry-specific directories and listing services that are trusted and unique to your market, those are good places to go next. Another way of building links is to entice other websites to link to your content. And the key factor here is that you need to have quality content that people are willing to link to. In a search engine's perfect world, someone reads a piece of content and says, wow, that is so fantastic that I have to link to it. And sometimes great content attracts links naturally as a result of people discovering it and sharing it around.

But there are other times when you may have to do a little outreach to get people to discover your content in the first place. Leveraging your social connections to share the fact that you've posted new content can get the word out. And don't stop there, try to find other websites that you feel have the same audience. For example, there may be a professor at a university that's doing research in your field, and publishes their own blog about topics that are very relevant to yours. Reaching out to that professor and letting them know that you have content that their own readers would find interesting and useful might just earn you a very relevant and very trustworthy link.

And beyond generating links from other websites, these days it's crucial to gain links from social media sharing. People are social beings, and we're very eager to share content we find interesting with our friends, our families, and our colleagues. To search engines, this is a fantastic signal that tells them what content people actually like, and what real people are actually interested in. So use those sharing buttons on your content pages, and use your own social influence on the networks you participate in to get links to your content out there and passed around.

Keep in mind, there are some very bad ways to build links too, and you can be penalized for doing this the wrong way, so be careful. As a general rule, if it feels like you're trying to cheat the system, don't do it. Getting caught is something that will inevitably happen, and when it does, there are some very real consequences that are not easy to undo. Imagine trying to run your business without anyone ever finding you on a search engine. Another rule of thumb is that if it's too easy it's probably going to get you in trouble. Don't fall prey to the companies out there offering to sell you 1000 text links every single month, or post whatever you want them to on their blog for $20.

Don't trade links with perfect strangers that have absolutely no relevance to your business or your content, and don't put yourself on listings or directories that exist solely to get you more links. As with most things, common sense will keep you out of trouble. The web is constantly changing and evolving, and the search engines are too. While a lot has changed with the search engines over the years, the importance of links has remained intact, and that's because quality and insightful content will always attract readers willing to share your content.

As long as your link building tactics keep those key elements in mind, you'll always have an opportunity to build new, quality links.

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This video is part of

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SEO Fundamentals

64 video lessons · 45787 viewers

David Booth
Author

 
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  1. 1m 34s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the Facilitator's Guide
      15s
  2. 11m 46s
    1. What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
      4m 6s
    2. Reading a search engine results page
      2m 17s
    3. How SEO affects your business
      2m 38s
    4. Setting SEO expectations
      2m 45s
  3. 20m 49s
    1. Why you need a keyword research plan
      2m 47s
    2. How to research keywords
      3m 23s
    3. Tools to help you analyze keywords
      4m 43s
    4. Understanding keyword attributes
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding keyword distribution
      3m 50s
    6. Ongoing keyword evaluation
      2m 20s
  4. 26m 8s
    1. Understanding content optimization
      2m 14s
    2. Optimizing for site structure
      3m 41s
    3. Recognizing different types of content
      2m 23s
    4. Optimizing textual page elements
      8m 30s
    5. Optimizing non-text components of a web page
      4m 0s
    6. Analyzing content quality
      2m 39s
    7. Exploring the benefits of user-generated content
      2m 41s
  5. 22m 12s
    1. Interpreting the code behind web pages
      3m 9s
    2. Understanding how search engines index content
      2m 37s
    3. Working with canonical URLs and redirects
      2m 59s
    4. Leveraging microformats
      2m 39s
    5. Working with server-side factors
      3m 18s
    6. Using Google Webmaster Tools
      3m 58s
    7. Using Bing Webmaster Tools
      3m 32s
  6. 30m 53s
    1. Overview of long-term content strategizing
      2m 44s
    2. Planning a successful content strategy and avoiding common mistakes
      3m 46s
    3. Defining your audience, topics, angle, and style
      4m 17s
    4. Understanding different types of content
      4m 25s
    5. Getting ideas for content
      4m 0s
    6. Working with an editorial calendar
      3m 33s
    7. Promoting your content with social media
      3m 52s
    8. Measuring content performance
      4m 16s
  7. 18m 28s
    1. Understanding the importance of links
      4m 49s
    2. Building internal links
      2m 5s
    3. Building external links
      4m 19s
    4. Finding link-building opportunities
      4m 36s
    5. Executing a link-building strategy
      2m 39s
  8. 16m 32s
    1. Measuring SEO performance
      4m 10s
    2. Analyzing keywords
      5m 13s
    3. Analyzing links
      4m 9s
    4. Analyzing the impact of social media
      3m 0s
  9. 18m 45s
    1. Understanding SEO and ecommerce
      2m 36s
    2. Working with semantic HTML
      2m 22s
    3. The technical components of ecommerce
      3m 9s
    4. Exploring ecommerce information architecture
      2m 38s
    5. Producing ecommerce content
      2m 33s
    6. Leveraging link building and social media for ecommerce
      3m 12s
    7. Adapting ecommerce websites for international audiences
      2m 15s
  10. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding local search
      3m 14s
    2. Understanding Google+ Local
      3m 0s
    3. Setting up and optimizing Google+ Local
      4m 46s
    4. Getting more citations
      3m 52s
    5. Getting more reviews for your business
      3m 43s
    6. Optimizing your website for local search
      4m 13s
    7. The future of local search
      2m 50s
  11. 15m 48s
    1. Understanding cultural aspects of international SEO
      2m 30s
    2. Optimizing technical content for international audiences
      2m 57s
    3. Optimizing translated and localized content
      2m 9s
    4. Building links for an international audience
      2m 47s
    5. Analyzing and measuring an international SEO campaign
      2m 17s
    6. Avoiding pitfalls with international SEO
      3m 8s
  12. 1m 10s
    1. Determining your next steps
      1m 10s

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