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Linking: The Backbone of Search Engine Optimization

by John Gottshall

Maybe you've tried your hand at SEO with little success or maybe you've hired someone that promised you top placement and the results did not last or they were not what you hoped. Well I'm here to tell you that SEO is something everyone can do with a little patience and some basic computer skills.

Let me make it simple and just come right out and say it. Search engine optimization is almost all about getting backlinks to your site and getting a lot of them if you're in a competitive market. That's right; if you want to win the SEO game then you've got to get other websites to link to you. The good news is that there are several ways to get links without paying someone an arm and a leg to do what you can easily do yourself.

Don't get me wrong there are other techniques that you need to focus on like having your keywords sprinkled throughout the text of your page, making use of the h1 tag on your page, having an image on your page that has your keyword in the name of the image and a few others. These techniques are called on-page-optimization and while they are important they are all secondary to getting backlinks commonly referred to as off-page-optimization.

Okay so now that we understand that off-page-optimization is the most important aspect, how do you get these backlinks that I've been speaking of? Well I'm going to tell you right here. There are three main ways to get backlinks and I'll start with my favorite. First and the best I believe is writing articles and submitting them to article directories just like this one. At the end of this article you'll see a link to my website. That's a backlink. What's so cool is that article directories don't cost anything for you to submit your articles to and there are literally hundreds of them out there.

Second you can submit your site to website directories. Yes many website directories charge you to have a link on their directory but there are also hundreds that don't charge. All you have to do is go to the directory and give: a sentence or two about your site, the url, your name and sometimes your email address.

Another common way to get backlinks to your site is to trade links with other webmasters. This technique is called reciprocal linking. It's not quite as effective as it used to be but it wouldn't hurt to have it in your arsenal of linking strategies. Basically what you do is go out and find some sites that relate to yours and put a link to that site somewhere on your site, preferably on a page specifically dedicated to other site links. Then you email that webmaster and basically tell him/her that you've placed his/her website link on your site and would like him/her to return the favor. This is my least favorite because a lot of webmasters just don't respond. I guess because they don't understand the value of getting links to their site.

Okay so now that we've talked about getting links to your site there is a very important aspect of linking that you need to know. When another site places a link to your site you need to specify what the anchor text is going to be. What is anchor text? Good question. The anchor text is the wording that contains the link to your site. For example at the bottom of this article as I mentioned before there's a link to my own site. But instead of seeing the domain you see the name of my site, "Internet Marketing Debunked". The text is blue and underlined. That's called the anchor text. Typically whatever keyword phrase you want to rank for on the search engines is the phrase that you want to use for the anchor text. Make sense?

Okay so I've given you the basics to SEO and 3 easy and free ways to implement this technique. Now go out and get as many links as you can and don't stop.

John Gottshall is the founder and author of Internet Marketing Debunked. It's all about helping people grow their online businesses and actually profit from them without wasting money on the latest fads. John Doesn't sell anythnig related to internet marketing. All the help and resources are free. John Also has a free newsletter, The Profits Vault dedicated to giving all kinds of tips and tricks to help your profits soar.

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