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Link Building in Online Marketing: Tougher Than It Sounds

You probably don't need to read the latest advice from the online marketing consultants to figure out the basic idea behind link building. Without links, your site won't develop authority. Without authority, it won't move up on the search engines. But even the most savvy online marketing consultant would have to admit that doing that is just not as easy as it sounds.

More Is Not Better In Link Building

Just going out and getting a bunch of links won't necessarily help your site. You need quality links to get higher search rankings. But sometimes figuring out what makes one link better than another is tough. This is where you do need to keep up with what the online marketing consultants are recommending or you may just be wasting your time.

Targeted Anchor Text Is A Must

When you start pursuing links on sites, you need targeted anchor text. However, you don't want to use the same text everywhere. Google will notice that in a bad way. You want to use two or three different phrases and the proper name of your website. If you can't get anything but an image link, make sure the site owner puts your anchor text or the name of your site in the ALT tag of the image.

Pay Attention To Links In And Out

Google looks at the site where your link appears and decides how much benefit your site gets back. A site with a lot of inbound links passes more authority to your site. At the same time, being linked on a site full of low-quality, outbound links probably won't help you much.

PageRank Isn't Everything

Don't be one of those site owners who sees nothing but PageRank. A site with high PageRank can still have low link value. This is especially true of sites that sell links. Steer clear of sites that use phrases like "sponsored by" or "paid for by." Google may not let that site pass PageRank at all. Move on. They're not worth your time.

Concentrate On Site Relevance

Let's say your site is about red widgets. You get a link on a site about purple doohickeys. That link isn't worth as much as one on a site about red widget management. Make sure you're pursuing links in relevant places and look at how those places are optimized. If a site owner gives you a choice of having a link on a page titled "About Us" or one with the title "About Red Widgets," which one do you choose? The link on the optimized page, "About Red Widgets," has more value.

An Online Marketing Consultant Checks What's Not Obvious

Take your cue from the pros and check sites in ways that aren�t obvious. For instance, in any search engine, you can type in "cache:" followed by a site url and find out if the site has been indexed and when it was last crawled. But what do those dates mean?

Chances are good that if the site hasn't been crawled in 30-45 days, it's not a good place for a link. But some domains have more value than others. For example, links from .edu domains are better than from a .com, but .info is worth less. All these factors should be weighed in judging a site�s worth in your link building efforts.

Does Social Networking Matter?

We've all seen the little link bars under blog posts and in forums asking people to Digg or Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or StumbleUpon. Do you need to try to get links in places where social networking can happen? Yes. Alone those links may not have a lot of value, but Google is increasingly looking at the "active Web" in determining site authority.

It�s time consuming, but participating in forums and social sites and getting blog owners to run your articles with your linked anchor text included can be worth your time. But remember, relevance is a basic rule in online marketing consulting.

Are You Getting Clean Links?

When you get a link on a site, do you go look at the page's source code? Is there anything extra in the "href" tag on the link? Is the site using redirect code? Is there a "nofollow" in the site's meta data? If there is, the link is useless to you. It won't pass any authority to your site because that code tells the search engines not to follow the link. Make sure you�re getting clean links.

When you're on a tight budget and trying to develop your site and get higher search rankings, it can be a tough decision to work online marketing consulting into your thinking. The Web used to be pretty much a do-it-yourself place. That all started to change in 2004 when people began talking about "Web 2.0."

It's harder than ever to judge quality link building in the new world of Web applications and social networking. You can do it, but try to stay up to speed on what the online marketing consultants are recommending as good strategies. The Web is changing all the time. Good link building takes time and effort; you don't want to waste those any more than you want to waste money during hard times.

Marketing online since 2004, Paul Marshall can help you market on a realistic budget. You can learn about his professional Internet Marketing Coaching and Consulting Services on his home page: strategicwebmarketing.net/

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