Vote for Me: The Essentials of SEO online

When you’re trying to get your site to the top of the rankings, you want to let people know you’re there! Think of it like electioneering; you’re trying to win everyone (visitors and search engines) vote and trust by being as visible as possible. Good quality links are the fastest way to build who you are online; you just have to know what you’re doing. Here we’re going to go over everything you need to know about link building, and how you can do it on your own! You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get quality links, so let’s get started.

How Backlinks Affect Your SEO

When you’re ranked by Google or other search engines, your site is run through a really complex algorithm. They’ll “weight” your incoming links (known as backlinks) from other sites by the relevance of the link and what site it’s coming in from. If the site is low quality and there are a LOT of low quality links coming into your site, you’ll be rated as a lower quality site. If they’re high relevance high quality links coming in, your search engine rank position (SERP) will go up. It all depends on how the links are getting to you and where they’re coming from; you’re also judged on what you’re linking TO; if you’ve built a blog on blogger or WordPress to get better rankings but the site is garbage, then your site will go down in SERPs.

Incoming Links

There are many ways to “cheat” at incoming links, but you’ll want to do it carefully. There are many ways that you can get backlinks, or incoming links; the first thing to start doing is identify what you’re selling. You should know, but if you’re a consulting firm it can be a little abstract and hard to figure out. If you’re selling products, think of writing guides or explaining how to buy the product. If you’re selling services (like SEO for instance!), teach people rudimentary things about SEO. You want to write articles so you can create backlinks that actually work, instead of paying someone in Southeast Asia to create a zillion low quality backlinks that’ll do zilch for your SEO.

Outgoing Links

Outgoing links are just as important to incoming links, so you’ll want to be careful about how you go about it. People used to do link exchanges, but if you’re linking to sites flagged as spam, viruses or just poor Pagerank sites in general it will tank your own PR. Be careful who you link to, how you link to them (nofollow, follow links, etc.) and why you’re linking in the first place. If you’re trying to explain something, use an “authority site”; Wikipedia may or may not be considered an authority, but the New York Times definitely would be.

Understanding how backlinks affect your SEO is the first step on the road to bring up your SERPs. Learn how incoming and outgoing links work in your favor, and avoid the pitfalls of linking out from bad sites that you wouldn’t want to visit.

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