Is Inbound Linking for You? (Part 1)

Link betterPart 1 of 3:

Inbound links are an important an often misunderstood search engine optimization tactic.

But before we get into tactics, let’s begin with a definition. According to Wikipedia: An inbound link is a hyperlink transiting (Is that a word?) domains. Links are inbound from the perspective of the link target, and conversely, outbound from the perspective of the originator. Inbound links were originally important (prior to the emergence of search engines) as a primary means of web navigation; today their significance lies in search engine optimization (SEO).

In addition to rankings by content, many search engines rank pages based on inbound links. Google’s description of their PageRank system, for instance, notes that Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B.[1] Knowledge of this form of search engine rankings has fueled a portion of the SEO industry commonly termed linkspam, where a company attempts to place as many inbound links as possible to their site regardless of the context of the originating site…

Got that?

Maybe this is an easier way to get your head around the concept of inbound links. There are thousands of directories on the web. There are even directories for directories, such as Best of the Web ( or Web Directories (, which boasts 13,000 directories. When these directories list your site’s url and provide a link to your site, that is an Inbound Link.

There are many techniques and methods that produce varied results. In my next four posts you will learn some easy and not so easy ways to build links to your site.

1. Beginner Tactics
First, you must have a solid keyword strategy and optimize each page on your website around a different keyword phrase. Each link you build should help a specific page rank higher on the search engines for your specific keyword.

That said, begin your linking strategy by submitting your page URL to relevant free directories. There are lots of business directories (for example) out there where you can just submit your URL, company name and a description of your business. MacRAES Blue Book ( is one. MacRAES lists US and Canadian suppliers of industrial product.  Some directories require approval, some require an update every 90 -120 days and some require a fee, which means it takes time, effort and maybe even some financial resources if you want to be listed on the appropriate directories for your website or blog.

In addition use social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, the usual suspects, to build links to your site and blog, assuming your target audience visits the site or these sites rank high for your keywords already.

At this point it’s also a good idea to consider hiring someone to perform this work for you. The work is easy to do, albeit time consuming, and as you would expect, delivers a good return on your investment. Just don’t hire a firm that guarantees 10,000 links for $500 dollars. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Besides, I’ve heard more than one “expert” say that Google doesn’t like 10,000 inbound links showing up in a day or two. That signals to them that you’re gaming the system (at an unacceptable level) and can get you punished. A great example is LOL – you really want a backing team that is good to get anywhere in that game. Yikes! It’s just not a good idea to poke an 800 pound (Google) gorilla in the nose.

Finally, start a blog. I’m not going to go into specifics here because I’ve written about blogging dozens of times and there are, literally, thousands of great articles available online to help you get started blogging – Blogger’s Bulletin is obviously one of my favorites. Blog postings keep your site, your inbound links fresh and, as we’ll learn in my next post, are a good relationship building tools.

On Wednesday I’ll introduce you to some Intermediate Level linking tactics.


  2 comments for “Is Inbound Linking for You? (Part 1)

  1. JR
    October 26, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    People definitely want to be careful about making sure each listing they have has a unique description.

    A lot of web directories base their ontology off the DMOZ model and don’t give it a 2nd thought. Aviva Directory has established and continues to establish it’s own cohesive and intuitive model. has gone from an Alexa ranking in the 80 thousands down to the 26 thousands in one year. Obviously, something pretty awesome is taking place there.

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