Achieving Organic Search Engine Ranking - Link Building
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By now, we all know there's a lot that goes into achieving high organic
search engine rankings. In case you're unfamiliar with the concept of "SEO," it
refers to the art of modifying a web site's properties in order for that site to
appear in the top search engine results on Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN, for
Think of the
engine optimization (SEO) process as a puzzle made up of three distinct
types of pieces: code, content, and last but definitely not least, incoming
links. You need to put all the pieces together to see results; if you
focus too much on one single aspect of SEO, you'll have a third of the
visibility and you'll still be missing the rest of the pieces.
In this article, I'm going to talk specifically about link building, and how
this tactic is a critical component to successful search engine optimization.
For those unfamiliar with this tactic, link building is the process by which you
get incoming links to a website. Link Building is initiated to get incoming
links to a website from other websites. The whole purpose behind link building
is to improve the link popularity of a website, or to improve the number of
incoming links to a website.
The reason link building is so important to high organic positioning is that all
the major search engines use link related variables in their ranking algorithms,
the complex equations that evaluate a site on a myriad of factors and then use
this data to determine which sites appear where on the results pages.
So what incoming link related variables do the search engine algorithms
- Number of Links
- Quality/Origin of Links
- Relevance of Links
- Anchor Text Within Links
- Links Must Present Value to Users
Confused? Let me explain. Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask all consider the number,
quality, and relevance of incoming links to your site when determining its rank.
(Incoming links are those links that point to your web site). Google has a
system called PageRank, and the other engines operate within similar frameworks.
Google has stated, "PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web
by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value.
In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A,
for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a
page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by
pages that are themselves 'important' weigh more heavily and help to make other
Thus, the sites with the most links, or votes, must naturally be the best pages
for the information being searched for. Think of it as a digital form of
never-ending natural selection; the sites with the best content are linked to
more often, boosting their search engine positioning, which in turn, makes them
more visible to searchers who will continue linking to them more often.
So, two sites that are both about web design are differentiated by the number of
incoming links they've obtained. If site A has 135 incoming links, and site B
only has three, site A will dominate site B in the search engine results. Yet
not every link helps.
Click here to read about link building strategies to avoid.
As you've read, links are an important aspect of SEO. But not just any links. In
fact, the wrong links can hurt you, badly. At this point, I'll now turn
my attention to the quality and relevance of these links, in the process
explaining why not every link is a good one, and how some can do far more harm
As mentioned earlier, your links need to be from quality sites that share some
degree of relevancy with yours. The major engines are all conscious of the
origin of these links, and lately, they've been known to penalize sites that
build massive networks of irrelevant links. This penalization stems from
something known as link farms, which were created in the late 1990s for SEO
purposes. Link farms would sell links to sites, but none of these links
presented any real value to users. Now the major engines evaluate a site not
only the number of links, but the quality, relevance and origin of these links.
For example, a site supporting content about garages would be a great linking
opportunity for a auto parts site, while a cat food site would most likely incur
Lastly, the anchor text of your incoming links needs to be optimized in order
for the search engines to know what kind of site this link directs a user to.
Anchor text is the colored or underlined text that indicates the existence of a
For example, if you own a Japanese sushi restaurant in Denver, you don't want
links that point to your site to say something vague like "Denver restaurant."
While this is true, it won't help you get ranked for the keyphrase you want to
be ranked for.
Instead, have your links' anchor text say "Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Restaurant
in Denver." Not only is this more specific and better for users, it allows the
search engines to better determine the relationship between the content of your
site and the links that point to it. After all, the strength of this
relationship is surely one of the most important factors in achieving high
For a more detailed explanation of link building and anchor text within links,
So now that you know what kind of links you need to acquire to achieve high
organic search positioning, where do you start? Unfortunately, that's a topic
for another blog, but if you
click here you can see how to acquire the links that will make a
On a final note, remember to follow the philosophy of utility when conducting
any link building campaign: Present users with links that connect them to
useful, relevant information, and the search engines will reward you with high
About the Author
Nick Yorchak is an SEO expert and Search Engine Marketing Specialist at
Fusionbox, a full-service Denver
Internet marketing, web design, and web development company. He can be
reached at his Fusionbox email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at (303)952-7490.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-12-10 20:15:15 in Computer Articles