Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SEO Checklist: Links

Here is a SEO checklist for optimization of links.

Links - internal, inbound, outbound

  1. Anchor text of inbound links
    One of the most important factors for good rankings. It is important to have good inbound links but if it has a keyword in its anchor, even better.
    +3


  2. Origin of inbound links
    The inbound link to your website should come from a reputable site with a high PR.
    +3


  3. Links from similar sites
    The inbound links should come from a website with content similar to yours. This indicates that even your competition is voting for you and you are popular within your topical community.
    +3


  4. Links from .edu and .gov sites
    Since, .edu sites and .gov sites are considered to be reputable, it is good to get a link from these types of websites. Domains with .edu and .gov are consider more reputable than .com. .biz, .info, etc. domains. Also, such links are hard to obtain.
    +3


  5. Number of backlinks
    The more, the better. Also the reputation of the sites that link to you is very important. Try to have the appropriate keywords in the anchor text for optimal results.
    +3


  6. Anchor text of internal links
    Since you have complete control of your links within your website, you have full control over this. Not as important as having the appropriate keywords in inbound links but it still affects you.
    +2


  7. Around-the-anchor text
    The text that is immediately before and after the anchor text also affects SEO because it is a further indication of the relevance of the link – i.e. if the link is artificial or it is content relevant.
    +2


  8. Age of inbound links
    The older the inbound links are, the better. A slow build up of inbound links over time is best. Getting a whole bunch all at once is not as good.
    +2


  9. Links from important directories
    Being listed in DMOZ, Yahoo Directory and similar directories can boost your search engine ranking considerably. It is important to have links from quality directories otherwise your website might be flagged for link spamming.
    +2


  10. Number of outgoing links on the page that links to you
    The fewer, the better because your link looks more important.
    +1


  11. Named anchors
    Named anchors (the target place of internal links) are useful for SEO because it points a finger at a particular page, paragraph or text that is important.
    eg. Jump to the Useful link Section “#links” is the named anchor.
    +1


  12. IP address of inbound link
    MSN and Yahoo! may discard links from the same IPs or IP classes, so if you get inbound links for a website with the same IP, they might not be good. Google denies that they discriminate against links that come from the same IP address, so for Google the IP address can be considered neutral to the weight of inbound links.
    +1


  13. Inbound links from link farms and other suspicious sites
    Stay away from link farms or similar sites. While having an inbound link from a link farm will not affect you negatively, you should not reciprocate the link in any way. You have full control of the website you link to so if you link to Warez or similar websites you will be penalize. If you are just getting an inbound link from such websites, search engines might not like it but they at least won't penalize you for it. The idea is that it is beyond your control to control what the link farm links to.
    0


  14. Too many outgoing links
    If your page has too many links it is almost like a link farm and Google does not like that.
    -1


  15. Excessive linking, link spamming
    It is bad to have too many links to/from the same sites (links to bad neighborhoods eg. Warez) because it suggests link buying or link spamming. In the best case, only some of the links are taken into account for SEO rankings.
    -1


  16. Outbound links to link farms and other suspicious sites
    Outbound links to bad neighbors will kill your ranking.
    -3


  17. Cross-linking
    Cross-linking occurs when site A links to site B, site B links to site C and site C links back to site A. More complex schemes are possible. Cross-linking looks like disguised reciprocal link trading and is penalized.
    -3


  18. Single pixel links
    Single pixel links are an obvious attempt to manipulate search engines because no humans can se the pixel and no one would ever click on it.
    -3


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think purchased links may be discounted or nullified even if they are from a high PR site.

emarketer said...

Interesting article here on purchasing links: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/tell-me-about-your-backlinks

Yes purchasing links is bad for SEO.

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