The easiest way of improving your ranking in the search engines is to let them know that your site is important. How do you do that? Well, the best way is through the process of link building. Link building is the practice of encouraging other websites to link to your own website. If other websites are linking to your website, your "link popularity" will increase, search engines will deem your website important, and in turn, you should receive more traffic. Link building is a time consuming task, and it is for this reason that most all websites rank so poorly in the search engines. Many website owners are unaware that link popularity can have such an effect on their search engine rankings. This is good new for you. Start building your links now and establish your "web cred".
Importance of Page Rank
Google, the Internet's most popular search engine, measures a website's link popularity through the use of Page Rank. To view a website's Page Rank, just download the Google Toolbar. The toolbar will display the Page Rank of every website you visit, measured as a little green bar. A website's Page Rank can vary from a low of zero to a high of 10. Don't worry if your website has a low, or no Page Rank. Many websites only have a Page Rank of 1 or 2, but the Internet's most popular websites possess a Page Rank of 8 or 9.
Search engines are not just looking for the number of links that point to a website. The most important aspect of the process is obtaining quality links. Quality links are links from website that possess a high Page Rank. Obtaining a link from a website with a high Page Rank is best, although any site with 1 or above is beneficial. Search engines also consider the theme of a website which links to you. It is best to get links from websites that are associated with the industry in which you do business. For example, my trade is website design; therefore, I work to obtain the majority of my links from other web design related websites.
One of the best ways to advance your link popularity is to offer quality and informative content to your visitors and hope for natural links. If they find the information interesting enough, they will naturally link their website to your own.
Directory submissions are probably the fastest and easiest way to obtain some inbound links. But, because Internet directories link to thousands of other websites, the value that they can add to your Page Rank gets diluted by all the other links. The one must-submit-to directory is The Open Project Directory (http://www.dmoz.org). After this, it is best to search for smaller niche or local directories. Submitting your website to Canadian, Ontario, and even Windsor web directories will help let the search engines know which region(s) you are servicing. Then, you should submit to industry related directories to indicate to the search engines your line of business. A Google search can help you find these types of directories.
If you feel that you have a knack for writing, a good way to generate inbound links to your website is to write articles. These articles can then be submitted to article syndication websites, where other webmasters are free to use your article on their website. But, there's a catch - they must provide a link back to your website in return for using the article. If you don't have the time or drive to write an article, but you participate in an industry related discussion forum, you're in luck. Just remember to include a link to your website in your signature.
The last way to generate quality inbound links is through reciprocal linking. This type of strategy involves contacting other webmasters and proposing a link exchange. Find some non-competitive, but related websites and simply e-mail them to see if they are interested. It's best to already have their link on a page in your website before the proposition.
Linking Text Is Important
When employing any of the above linking approaches, it is imperative that you try to use targeted key words as part your link. The search engines read this text to determine what your website is all about. If your website involves "Red Widgets", try to use this as part of your link text.
Link popularity is very important when attempting to rank well in the search engines. Link analysis is only going to get more important to search engines, not less.
This type of strategy is resistant to manipulation and justifiable way to measure a website's importance. Therefore, the link building process must be given high priority in your Internet marketing efforts, and since it takes time, the sooner you begin the better.