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Building Links At PubCon

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WebProNews’ Mike McDonald overcomes his arachnophobia long enough to send along some notes from WebmasterWorld’s PubCon Boston from the Link Building Clinic.

Building Links At PubCon
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The anchor tag is not enough; site publishers need to take some extra care in crafting the links they make to best please the search engines and the scurrying spiders they send forth. Mike noted a few quick-hits that should be of interest to our readers.

Attendees of the Link Building session were invited to make their URLs available to the speaker panel for review of their linking structure. Byron White, president and founder of Lifetips.com, immediately took aim at popups, the scourge of Internet users and cause for immediate banning from Google’s AdSense program.

Eric Ward, a link building strategy expert, warned against the allure of linking schemes and services that could easily backfire on a site publisher.

“Algorithmically, it’s so easy for the engines to spot any tactic for unnatural linking patterns,” said Ward. “The overwhelming majority of people participating in linking schemes are doing it in such a way that it makes it very easy to detect.”

Dixon Jones, managing director of Receptional, also addressed the problem of too many backlinks, saying, “Huge numbers of backlinks are not necessarily going to result in traffic.

“It is easy to see when you have these extremely high link counts; it really makes it easy for the engines to find the manufactured link schemes.”

So what to do to build good links? Rae Hoffman of Sugarrae Internet Consulting said it is important to find a way to make your anchor text correspond, but not duplicate, your title tags for pages by focusing on the same subject, keywords, etc.

Hoffman also thinks site publishers shouldn’t fret too much about the PageRank display in the Google Toolbar: “I’m not saying page rank has no value, but I do think that Toolbar PageRank isn’t good for much.”

White summarized how site publishers need to think about their prospective visitors when building those links:

“I think we need to move away from referring to our traffic as “users” or “clients. I prefer to think of them as readers. If you start to cater towards the end user not so much as a buyer or a prospect, but as a someone looking for answers to questions and quality information then you’re moving in a good direction.”


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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  • http://www.openeyemarketing.co.uk PPC expert

    This piece makes the crucial point about ‘natural’ linking patterns being so important. I believe strongly that Google is massively clever at spotting which sites have paid $100 for 1000 ‘guaranteed link’s and other linking shortcuts schemes.

  • http://www.ikroh.com Ikroh SEO

    I really agree that we should try to design and optimise our sites to make them more ‘reader’-friendly. That way the people who find you are more likely to be pleased with what they find & convert!

  • http://www.mungodesign.com Google Advertising Expert

    I agree that this piece makes the crucial point about ‘natural’ linking patterns being so important. I also agree that Google is massively clever at spotting which sites have paid $100 for 1000 ‘guaranteed link’s and other linking shortcuts schemes.