Wednesday, March 19, 2008

SEO for Bloggers Part 2 of 6: LinkBuilding and Link Popularity by Vipin Singh

We have been stuck at #13 for the keyword B2b now for about 2-3 weeks. This is after steadily growing down from over 100 to 91 to 51 and so on. Every week we expect to inch closer, to be specific we have been inching closer. What makes us stuck at #13, actually feels like an eternity, but it’s only been a few weeks. When you are competing for major keywords such as B2b, the thing that separates you from the top is the number of top quality links versus your competitors.

Therefore after most SEO basics such as site structure, content, and many other non-trivial things for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), what you need to rank #1 is lots of Links and LinkBuilding is the key. Even when you have top links, some one else may have more than you, as is the case with our b2b SEO rankings. We also found this to be the case with being stuck at #4 for the keyword Barter. Though we have found this to be imperative, content is still key to get smart and powerful links from blogs and news sites. B2b or Barter we expected the keyword SEO to be tougher, and we found out that it is, but we did crack #10 for it:-(. I am only saying that SEO rankings for very competitive keywords can be very, very tough, and it changes all the time. Here is the great article from our previous blogging coach, part 2 in our series.

SEO For Bloggers: Link Building and Link Popularity (Part 2 of 6)

Search engine optimization is not all about keywords and optimized site design, although those are certainly essential. However, the number of incoming links your site has also matters. I’ve touched on the matter of incoming links before, but I didn’t mention how important they were to your blog’s rank.

Link Building and Link Popularity

Link Popularity is a score based on the number of incoming links pointed at your blog. Clearly, the more incoming links you have the better, but link reputation and page importance play a role as well.

You’re nobody until somebody links to you - link building is the single most important part of achieving a high ranking website in modern search algorithms. I repeat, link building is the single most important part of achieving a high ranking website in modern search algorithms.

So how do you get other bloggers and webmasters to link to your blog? First of all, create compelling content that others will be interesting in linking to - content is still king. Secondly, participate in the blogging community. Be active in relevant discussions, leave substantive comments on other blogs, post on related forums (as always, be sure to place a link to your blog in your signature), and trade links with topical hubs and related sites.

Third, link to other blogs in your niche - you can trade links, or just reward other bloggers with links and it’s likely they’ll return the favor. Fourth, write glowing testimonials and reviews of services and products related to your blogging topics - chances are they will link back to you when they post them on their own sites.

The Role of Keywords in Link Building

Think of each post and page on your blog as a building block - each is its own unit and has it’s own ranking potential and relevant keywords. Use some of your keywords in each post’s title (search engines index posts by title) and resist the urge to write cutesy or attention grabbing headlines that have little to do with the actual content. You may be successful at gaining some traffic, but it might not be the valuable kind that’s targeted to your blog.

Writing keyword rich titles and headings that are also crisp and concise can do wonders for your blog’s rankings. Not only will descriptive titles let search engine readers know they’re in the right place - they’ve found what they’ve been searching for - it will also help you out when others link to your site, even if they use the whole URL to cite your blog. Basically, you want people to know what they are clicking on, so you want your keywords to be part of the links that point at your blog.

The next post in my SEO For Bloggers series will cover link baiting and how to use your content as bait to lure in the linkers and readers.



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