Like most people, I need to practice more and preach less. For example, I need to verify that I’ve done all I can when I create internal and external links and spend more timing chasing inbound links to my sites. It’s hard for me to find the time. I have to visit my rich aunt every day at the nursing home to make sure she signs the will I drew up. She likes to talk a lot.
Google reminded me not long ago that I should pay more attention to my links. The Big G ran on its Official Goggle Webmaster Central Blog a four-part discussion about linking best practices.
There’s not much to part one other than their saying, “Hey, it’s links week.” Part 2 covers internal links. Part 3 covers external links and Part 4 covers inbound links.
It’s pretty obvious that the judicious use of internal, external and inbound links builds traffic and feeds the GoogleBot when it comes crawling. If you already have a site, think of Google’s four-parter as a refresher course. If you’re new to the game, you’ll find it helpful–even the common sense parts.
1. Keep important pages within a few clicks from the homepage: Make sure your important pages are clickable from the homepage and easy for GoogleBot to find.
2. Use descriptive anchor text: Writing clear and meaningful anchor text helps search engines and users to better understand your content.
3. Verify GoogleBot finds your internal links: Use the Pages with internal links feature provided by Google at Webmaster Tools to verify GoogleBot finds most of your links.
1. Make sure outbound links are relevant: Provide readers with in-depth and relevant information and offer them a unique perspective about that information.
2. Use thoughtful outbound links to boost your credibility: Do your research, show off your expertise and build relationships with other experts.
3. Monitor your outbound links: User-generated links and undisclosed paid advertising links can harm your credibility if you’re not vigilant.
In Part 4, the OG covers inbound links–links to your site from external sites. Why do inbound links matter? Relevant links are a key factor in the way Google ranks sites and can kick up your PageRank.
Here’s the quick and dirty from Google’s blog on inbound link building:
1. Start a blog, make videos, do original research, and post interesting stuff on a regular basis. If you’re passionate about your site’s topic, there are lots of great avenues to engage more users.
2. Teach readers new things, uncover new news, be entertaining or insightful, show your expertise, interview different personalities in your industry and highlight their interesting side. Make your site worthwhile.
3. Participate thoughtfully in blogs and user reviews related to your topic of interest. Offer your knowledgeable perspective to the community.
4. Provide a useful product or service. If visitors to your site get value from what you provide, they’re more likely to link to you.