Not All Links Are Created Equal

Every wise webmaster knows the more links you have to your

site, the more traffic you'll get - so increasing the number

of links to his site, really is a webmaster's number one

promotional priority. However a lot of webmasters get so

enmeshed in building up the number of links to their sites,

that they forget all links are not created equal - some links

are far more valuable than others.

It is absolutely essential to your success that you not only

build up the number of links to your site, but also be fully

aware of how to evaluate the worth of each link. This lets you

can concentrate your efforts on getting the most effective links

to your site, and guarantees that you are getting a fair deal in

any reciprocal linking arrangements.

Here's a list of factors you should consider when assessing the

value of a particular link:

* Permanent. A permanent link to your site is far more valuable

than one that is removed after a few days (or even hours, in

the case of some automated Free-For-All links pages).

* Placement. A link to your site from the front page (or even one

of the internal pages) from a high traffic site, especially one

of the top few thousand web sites, is far more valuable than a

zillion links from people's personal home pages.

* Relevance. Ideally the link to you should be on a page (or

better yet a whole site) devoted to the same or a closely

related topic to your own. For example, all things being

equal, a link to your golfing store from a golf tips site is

much more likely to produce results than from an auto, finance

or games site.

* Descriptive. A link that explains your site and entices a

person to click, will get far more traffic (and better quality,

more interested visitors) than a non-descriptive link. Compare

for example: "Joe's Golf Store" versus "Joe's Golf Store -

Tour quality golf clubs at discount prices, complete guide to

every golf course in the USA and Canada, and free pro golfing


* Low Competition. A link that is buried among 500 others on the

same page will not get many clicks. A listing on a page which

also lists 10 or 20 direct competitors (example: other golf

stores selling to the same market), is less valuable than being

"exclusive" in your particular category (example: being the

only golf store on a list of resources for pcb assembly golfers).

* Context. Links usually work better if place in some kind of

related context like an article for example. Be prepared to

help out people placing your links in a context that works by

providing free articles, which explain your topic (not the same

as blatant self-promotional!) or simply being prepared to answer


So the next question is how to build up the number of high

quality links to your site - here's a few ideas to get you


* Swap links with others' sites. Every link swap you set up will

eat up a slice of your time - so concentrate on finding sites

where it's clear the link will be valuable to you. Be polite,

add your link to them before you approach them, and don't be

too picky if it's you who is doing the approaching (just don't

ask for a link if you're going to make a bunch of rules).

* Evaluate link requests. If you have a links page (and probably

if you don't) and a reasonable amount of traffic - you will

undoubtedly get link swap requests from other webmasters. Take

a moment to look at their site and their links page before

deciding if it's a good deal for you.

* Add a "link to us page". Create a page on your site, which

includes information on how (detailed instructions), and why,

to link to your site. Make it easy, make it valuable to other

webmasters (by for example giving them free content), and over

time the number of links to you will grow.

* Pay for links. Start your own affiliate program and pay other

sites to link to you. You can pay them a percentage of the

sales they generate for you, or for each visitor they send. The

nice thing about this is if you make your program reasonably

flexible and the commissions in line with your goals, then

affiliates will figure out ways to send you the kind of traffic

you want.

* Create your own free downloadable information product (like

E-Books or software for example). Make sure it ties in with the

main theme of your site - is valuable to users - and then list

it at every shareware and freeware directory you can find

(there are literally hundreds of these). Most will link

directly to the downloadable file - but many will also add a

free permanent link to your home page (or your page about the

product). It's worth knowing that some shareware and freeware

sites like website and

website have quite incredible amounts of


Whichever strategies you use to build up links to your site,

always be sure that the time you put into establishing each link

is in balance with the value of that link. Keep things in

proportion, use your knowledge of "link value" to your advantage,

and get linked for mega traffic!

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