Web Development 201 – Requesting Links

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My previous two posts covered techniques that could essentially be done independent of other people: on-page SEO factors, creating a link to your site from your social networking account, and adding links to social bookmarking sites. However, there is only so much you can do on your own. Unless you are content to have your site remain obscure--and with very little traffic--you really have no choice but to involve other people: you are going to have to make link requests of people.

The first and easiest step that you can make in this regard is simply to ask your immediate network of contacts: family, friends, classmates, co-workers, colleagues you may know from a club or sports team, etc. If you know anybody with a web site, a blog, or an account on a social media site (like Facebook), simply ask them if they could add a link from one of their pages to yours.

The next step is to expand your link requests beyond your immediate network of contacts. In your web surfing, you may have come across several sites similar to yours. If not, they are easy to find by doing a search. In any case, investigate those sites and see if they have a resources section relevant to your web page. Then contact the administrator of those sites and ask if they could put a link to one of your pages on that resources page.

You should also investigate websites that can be considered competitors of your own web page. For example, if your web site is about webhosting, do a Google search for “webhosting” and find out what sites come up for the search term “webhosting”. Let’s say one of the top websites on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is the website for “XYZ Web Hosting”:

www.xyzwebhosting.com

(Note: this company name is fictional. I just made it up for the sake of this post. I don’t know whether or not a company by this name really exists)

Now investigate why this site ranks so highly in the SERPs by doing a link search; after all, pages rank high in Google because other pages are linking to them. You can do this by entering the following in a Google search:

link: xyzwebhosting.com

Google will then list pages that link to xyzwebhosting.com.
(Of course, in your case, you’d enter the URL of the page you are investigating, not xyzwebhosting.com).

Go through the list of pages linking to xyzwebhosting.com and see what kinds of pages they are. Many of them might be web pages of individuals, for example, students, teachers, hobbyists, etc. In many cases, the link to xyzwebhosting.com may be on the page of a hobbyist who has no loyalty to “XYZ Web Hosting“, but simply included a link to xyzwebhosting.com in a generic “Favorite Links” section of their website. If you contact the webmaster, and make a request, he or she might be willing to add a link to your site too. Always be honest, polite, and professional when you make the request. They will either say yes or no; it is pretty cut and dry.

You should repeat this process for all the keywords for which you want your site to rank highly. The more links to your site, the higher your site will rank in search listings, the more traffic it will get. This work of cultivating links to your site is the core of Search Engine Optimization (SEO); the next several posts will continue this exploration of techniques for building links to your site--all part of the overall objective of SEO.

Cheers,

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