Many people know that link building plays a vital part in high search engine rankings. But it must be done right. Otherwise, sites with fewer links will rank higher than yours! How is that possible? Let me explain.

Google made links important a couple of years ago. They started to virtually ignore on-page factors (keyword density, title, etc.) and focused almost exclusively on Links.

Google counts the number of links to a web page (link popularity) and what those links say about a page (link reputation).

* Link Popularity and Link Reputation

So there’s a common first mistake. Many people don’t know the difference between link popularity and link reputation. They think any link’s good. Did you know that 20 links, with the hyperlink text containing your keyphrase, can outrank 50+ links without a keyphrase?

Ever wondered why only your home page gets traffic? People get links to their home page only, and don’t even know they’re making a mistake! Google, in particular, sees a web site as a collection of individual pages, with each one ranking individually.

So, for example, if your home page gives info on ’email marketing’, then you want lots of links saying, ’email marketing’. If one of your sub-pages gives info on ’email software’ then that page needs its own set of links saying, ’email software’. Most people think any high ranking for their home page will automatically mean a high ranking for other pages on the same web site. It doesn’t. Each page ranks individually.

* Internal Link Structure

Link Building isn’t just about external links. You need the right link structure within your own site. Many people make the mistake of using graphic navigation bars. Search Engines often can’t even follow these links, so your subpages don’t even get indexed. It’s beyond the scope of this article to get into detail on the important internal linking structure, but you can make a good start by using text links instead of, or in addition to, graphical navigation links. Then the search engines can follow your links.

* On-Page Factors

Finally, not all search engines treat Links with the same importance as Google. Yahoo, MSN, Inktomi make much more use of on-page factors. And guess what? You control on-page factors, so there’s no excuse for getting this wrong. Be sure to get your keyphrase into title, description, headings, and body text. Don’t overdo it and try to spam the search engines with excessive use of key phrases, but be sure they know what your page is about.

With the right link building strategy, your search engine rankings will soar, and you’ll start getting all those visitors that will electrify your web business.

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