Get Google’s view of your site and diagnose problemsSee how Google crawls and indexes your site and learn about specific problems we’re having accessing it.Basically it is the activity of increasing the number of high-quality and on topic inbound links to a document in order to raise it’s visibility in search engine results for targeted phrases. Notice the use of high-quality and on topic words in the above statement. Links can be gotten all over but it is in line with your business that matters.
3 Reasons to Link Build
- Obtain traffic that is highly qualified – suppose your a golf retail store, a nice link from a golf blog would be a nice link that will send traffic that will better than a baby store.
- Improve your search engine ranking for these targeted terms.
- Tells the search engines what your site/page is about and gives signals the needed signals to them that you want them to notice about you.
Getting Started with Link Building
Backlink research or “where are others in my industry getting their links from” is a crucial place to start and something you will always be doing as part of your link building analysis. Really there are three major categories:
- Webmaster related tools that all the major search engines use (Google, MSN & Yahoo) – Not so much to see what your competitors are doing of course but how the search engines “look” at your site.
- Free tools – Some good ones out there like (wordtracker, open site explorer, & Yahoo site explorer). Just remember, you get what your pay for.
- Paid tools – these might be upgraded versions of the free tools mentioned or something totally different. Big thing to remember that a paid tools is only as good as the person (link builder) using it.
Webmaster Related Tools
Any business owner needs to have these tools. They give a glimpse of how the search engines are interacting with your site and give valuable information on you site. So here are the ones you need to have:
Yahoo! Site Explorer is a tool that lets you access the information about a site’s online presence. Use Site Explorer to:
- Find which sites and subpages are indexed.
- Find inlinks or pages that link to any site or any page.
- Submit and track feeds for your sites.
You can get even more detailed information and greater ability to manage a site or its URLs when you authenticate the site. You can:
- Monitor the status of your submitted feeds.
- Delete URLs from the search index.
- Specify content-neutral Dynamic Parameters for your site.
- See the number of Views and Clicks on the Yahoo! Search results for the Top 10 search queries for your site.
- View the “Last Crawled Time” and any problems it reported while crawling your site.
Google Webmaster Tools – provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google.
- See how Google crawls and indexes your site and learn about specific problems we’re having accessing it.
- View, classify, and download comprehensive data about internal and external links to your site with new link reporting tools.
- Find out which Google search queries drive traffic to your site, and see exactly how users arrive there.
- Tell Google about your pages with Sitemaps: which ones are the most important to you and how often they change. You can also let Google know how you would like the URLs we index to appear.
MSN Webmaster Tools - Tools to improve your site’s SEO, submit your sites and XML-based Sitemaps to Bing, get data on which pages of your site have been indexed, backlinks, inbound links and keyword performance.
Free Link Analysis Tools
These tools will give you the ability to research your site and competitors link profile. Take a look at these tools for a good start:
- SEO for Firefox – This is a plugin for your Firefox browser. Displays PageRank, Google Cache Date, Age, Del.Icio.us bookmarks, Compete.com details, and much more.
- Quintura – While viewing the Quintura Cloud, you can visually navigate and easily refine in order to find relevant information faster and more efficiently!
- Hub Finder - Hub Finder is web based software which looks for hub pages. It allows you to find sites which link to common resources that you manually enter, or resources that rank well in Yahoo! for a specific term.
- Quarkbase- Quarkbase provides an easier way to find website information. You can find out how good a site is, get comprehensive website details, discover competitors and analyze them.
Pay To Play Link Analysis Tools
Like the heading says these are tools that you will need a subscription for. I am a big fan of paid link analysis tools as you do get what you pay for and these tools are some of my favorites:
- Advanced Link Manager – Knowing the links to your website is one of the most important factors that can affect your online business. Whether you own a website or you are in the SEO business, Advanced Link Manager is a very efficient tool for measuring your success. It is a great for anchor text link insight, backlink diversity data, as well as pretty charts, among many other features.
- SEOMOZ Linkscape/Open Site Explorer – Linkscape analyzes data drawn from crawling the web and attempts to reverse engineer Google PageRank and Yahoo Trust Rank algorithms. At the pro level, reports can be run on websites to show the quantity and value of inbound links in the form of mozRank, Domain Juice, and the like.
- Raven - Includes Firefox toolbar for help managing links associated with analytics and conversion tracking. Also offers multi-user agency support. Very useful for tracking link targets.
Is Link Building Worth It?
My answer to this is yes. Actually anybody who does not believe in link building as a core component to obtaining high rankings on the search engines is a fool and you as a small business owner should run as fast and as far as you can from them!
The investment in time will depends on what keywords you are trying to get links for. It takes time to create a link building strategy –negotiate with publishers, partners and site owners for links, audit the links, initiate “link bait”campaigns, start a blog, optimize RSS feeds, get into video, start podcasting, etc. Yes, the time investment is worth it when you based your strategy on achieving rankings for highly searched keyword phrases that convert into traffic and sales for you.