Friday, December 16, 2011

Link Juice, The most important meal of the day.

The juice behind SEO and an oft missed opportunity (for some).

In a phrase: Inbound links
AKA: Link Love, Link Juice, etc.

What is that you might say?? Well put simply it is when someone links to your website.

Sounds simple enough but of course these days nothing ever is. Here's a little old school info about a method of getting inbound links that has zero value (if not negative value).

Are you a website owner who has gotten an email from saying something like:

Hey if you put link to my website on your website I'll do the same?

Personally I am hoping the answer is no but my hopes have been getting crushed for years so why start being correct now.

Back in the old days a link trade worked as Search Engines would infer your websites value by simply counted the links pointing to your website. This laid rise to the "Link Farm" where a savvy website owner could buy them pesky inbound links.

Well it didn't take long for the Search Engines to figure out the game and since then it's really been about the quality of the inbound link. Now to finish up on the link exchange scenario with a little math:

  1. You have a "valued" website, the exchange requester has a "valued" website: End result = Juice sort of cancels out.
  2. You have a "greater valued" website, the exchange requester has a "less valued" website: end result = Juice sort of flows downhill to them.
  3. You have a "less valued" website, the exchange requester has a "greater valued" website: end result = Juice sort of flows downhill to YOU.

Quiz time: What types of websites do you want to get an inbound link from???

OK, that was so easy i won't even answer the question, but obviously you might be asking what types of websites have the best value?

Well there's generally an accepted list (in quasi order):

  • Education Institutions (i.e. Dot edu)
  • Established news outlets (local news/newspaper websites too!)
  • Established blogs
  • Established Wiki sites (ding!)
  • Established Press Release services
  • Other websites that are influential on your "Topic"
  • Any website that is not a link farm, spam source, adult content, etc.

So how do you get an inbound link from these sites, well that's not such an easy question to answer. But here goes:

You can always contact website owners and request a link, but I think you can see a couple issues here:
  • People are pretty busy and you can imagine this request will go over like the Hindenburg. I mean seriously what's in it for them??
  • You might get somewhere but you'll surely get a reciprocal request (See math above)

Pay for a link:

  • Welcome to my boom stick! Google and company are pretty good at figuring out what these are and it can potentially have a negative impact.

And the best is always saved for last. Create compelling content:

  • This will make others in your industry stand up and take notice. They naturally want to link to you because it's also good for them. But it is a difficult, long road to hoe but reaps the real rewards.

OK, so I'm sure by now you are wondering where is this oft missed opportunity you speak of????

Well it's an opportunity that comes easier to some than others but in my years of experience it is almost always missed by all. If your lucky enough to have an dot edu or established news outlet contact you to do an article on your recent art exhibit, by all means do the interview but press (pun intended) for a link back to your main (or desired) web property. Press hard. Say "It's really important to Adam" if you must.

Dohhhh alert:

Be savvy about the link back you request for. If you are an artist, musician, author, who has multiple internet properties (or a single website with sections) make sure to link back to the correct one. Especially if you are linking back to a single website. Don't just link to your homepage. The ADD web surfer gets easily lost and you want to help them find relevant stuff!

But you want to know something cool! Sure you do. Well the search engines can be thought of as an ADD web surfer (sort of). They categorize your website content by topic (which makes multi topic websites harder to SEO) and these link back might help them know you that much better and hook you up better (i.e. RANK HIGHER) for those juicy search terms that you should be already optimized for.

Schools out. Have a nice vaca kiddies!

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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