As the internet becomes ever more competitive it has never been more vital to brush up your skills in the art of Link Building. Whether you just need to recheck your notes or under go a course of SEO Lessons, you need to do whatever it takes to hit the big time. But is it really the be all and end all of online success?

In order to have any chance of being successful you need to be noticed and you need to have a site which people want to visit, want to use and will come back to time and time again. The more inward links your site has, the more the likes of Google will take notice of you, and hopefully the higher you will rise up the search engine ranking tree. It is the search engine ranking system which will always bring in the most traffic, and ensure that you are at your most visible to the outside world.

So how do you build links?

Link building is an art in itself but it is an art which can prove priceless in both the short, medium and longer term success of your business. The ability to give your readers information which they want to see will ensure that your inward links grow naturally, but you also need to get your content noticed and mentioned in as many places as possible.

Many people choose to advertise their sites on forums, social networks and by advertising, all of which have the potential to bring in very good traffic. However, if you are able to produce, present and promote your posts and information in a way which appeals to the masses this is when your site can go “viral”. Viral marketing is the holy grail of link building, a technique which can result in hundreds if not thousands of inward links to your site and boost your search engine rankings.

If you are serious about being successful on the internet you need to check out link building and see what it can do for you!

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While there is a long running saga about whether your should link your own sites together, whether you will be penalised and what damage it may do, there is still traffic to be used. Why have a network of say 10 sites, with a few which get massive traffic figures, and not be able to “circulate” readers around the rest of the network?

As any business person will know, the main skill to being successful is squeezing the last drop of income out of your customers, but doing it in a subtle way. The hard sell, and blatant abuse of your customer does not go down well, but is there anything wrong with encouraging your customers to look at other sites in your network, other sites which they may find of interest?

As long as you are not taking your customers for granted, not using under hand techniques to get them to look at your other sites and showing them sites which they should find useful, then you should be alright. Now there is the problem of protecting your sites from any potential penalty points from Google and other search engines. In the current web hosting environment this is not too difficult……

A number of web hosting companies now offer a relatively cheap dedicated servers service which allows you to hold your individual sites on different IP addresses, within the same web hosting account. Not only does this help to keep all of your sites in one place, but it also allows you to inter-link each and every site in your network, where you should benefit from inward Page Rank links and hopefully boost the Page Rank for many of your sites.

While there are rumours that Google are now able to compare who actually owns each site, and penalise same ownership site links, this is highly unlikely because of the process involved. If it were this simple, why do Google constantly threaten to penalise you, rather than just doing it?
Plus the fact is that Google have constant problems having enough hardware to deal with all their data processing. Brought to you by our cheap web hosting specialists.

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While to the honest business person, the idea of linking all of your sites together in one network seems to make sense. You spend money on advertising and the whole of your network should really benefit, but what do Google think about this?

The likes of Google are known to take a dim view of linking sites which are owned by the same third party, and while people are finding ways around it, Google are adamant that if they find this happening they will disadvantage your websites when the Page Rank reviews come around. The simplest mistake which site owners make is to link sites which are hosted on the same IP address. Why are Google so sensitive about this and can they really check who owns which site, and why they are linked?

Google are against “structured” site linking because it can give a boost to some or all of the websites involved, and they are also trying to kill the link exchange and link selling markets. They have ways and means of checking to see which sites are inter linked, using the information which their “spiders” collect on their never ending journey around cyberspace.

There are also rumours that Google are putting together an operation which will actually check the public records to see who owns particular sites, to see if they are using different IP addresses to get around the situation. All in all Google are doing their best to outlaw link exchanges / building as much as possible, but they will never truly control the market – there are ways and means.

If you are thinking of linking your sites, be very careful because what you gain on the traffic, you may well lose on the next Page Rank exercise!

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While we have this constant battle between webmasters and the search engine giants such as Google, there is one party who are stuck in the middle of it all, and not sure what to do – the Search Engine Optimization industry. While their business models are built around a number of elements from keyword placement to link building, each and every element has a part to play – if you take one away what will happen?

There is a major debate ongoing as to whether link building is actually detrimental to the development of the internet. When searching for popular keywords, do you really want to see sites which have very little to offer, except they have a few keywords in the right place? Would you not feel more comfortable dealing with a business that was willing to spend money, a site which looks as though it has had time spent on developing it? Surely the internet is all about quality not quantity?

If Google were to make any more major changes then we may see a backlash from developers and website owners – could this open the door for MSN or Yahoo! to step in and make a play for the big time?

The truth is that even Google do not know how the internet will develop in the future, because no matter how hard they push in one direction they cannot afford to upset their customers. They may have ventured away from the Search Engine industry with the acquisition of sites such as YouTube, but the search engine business is still their main area of expertise – but are they willing to take the chance that they know their customers better than they know themselves?

It would take a brave business to push against their customers for too long, although we will see how this progresses.

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The latest trend in the internet hosting industry appears to involve using different IP addresses for each of your sites, with the same host. What is it supposed to do, and does it actually work?

This is one of those Search Engine Optimisation questions which nobody really knows the answer to, although many will freely offer their views and opinions. The reason for the different IP addresses for sites with the same host, is simply to link them together without being penalised by Google.

At the moment Google will filter out any links from sites hosted from the same IP address with the same host, because in the eyes of Google they are from the same network. While there are also rumours that Google will look at each individual site’s “WhoIs” to see who owns the site, these reports are unconfirmed. However it does seem to be accepted that different IPs for sites in the same network should assist in bumping up Page Rankings.

Why are different IPs required?

Ever since the idea of Page Ranking was rolled out by Google, Black Hat and White Hat search engine optimisation experts have tried to find short cuts around the systems, effectively quick ways of boosting any site’s Page Rank. The networking of all sites owned by one person was one of the early ideas, although this was quickly recognised and filters put in place by Google.

If the rumours about Google using the “WhoIs” data to check who actually owns a site are true, then the IP idea is effectively dead in the water.

So what is at stake?

Apart from the fact that a good Page Rank can be priceless, those who try to take short cuts may well be putting the future of their networks in jeopardy. While Google has been known to filter out suspicious links, there are concerns that not only are Google filtering links, but they are also penalising sites where these instances occur.

As with any of the Google filters or ideas for the future, we never really hear any official confirmation, but you can be sure that they are working on ways to ensure only natural links are counted when the Page Rank data is added up.

There have also been some recent rumours about big changes in the Page Rank system, but we will let you have more news as and when it is available.

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Authority sites are valuable to other websites because inbound links from authority websites add credibility to other websites. Gaining links from authority sites should be part of your strategy for increasing traffic to your website and raising your page ranking.

What do They Got that You haven’t Got?

Authority will develop for a website when a well-structured inbound linking system is present on the site and authority can be built over time and with careful management. The endorsements from other websites are a popularity cue to the search engines because having many authority inbound links add a website’s credibility and provide proof of relevancy as well.

How to Find Authority Sites

Established web sites are considered an authority site and you can find these sites by searching for them in one tricky way. To find authority sites that are directly related to your website and its content, do a search on a popular search engine. Use words that a potential visitor to your website would use to find you. You can also find authority links from using keywords matched with different url extensions such as ecommerce.org or ecommerce.net. Identify and list the important websites that have a higher ranking than your website in your search results for your website and go to those websites and try to create inbound links from these more popular sites. If you can create even twenty inbound links from authority sites directly related to your content, you will gain valuable traffic.

Look at your Material from a Different Angle

You should include other authority websites that deal with your website content from a different angle or are organizations related to the theme of your website. Alert the local Chamber of Commerce office of your presence as a business in the area and on the Internet. Look through the links that authority sites gather in their links pages as you consider your results from your search for authority links

Examples of authority established sites that provide regular and updated medical information or the latest news are considered authority sites. Many authority sites cover niche subjects and will have outbound links to sites that are relevant to its topics including other authority links.

Nice Things about Authority Sites

Authority sites are known for their user friendly interface for visitors to the website and you can see why web design is so important to website visitors. Authority websites can provide to visitors a great deal of information that is made accessible through their usually excellent page design. By studying authority websites, you can develop a model for your particular content type.

In order to be attractive as a target for inbound links from other websites, your site must be valuable as a source of information and it must be professionally designed with quality content. Your site should also have similar levels of credibility, information, and tone as the sites from which you are creating inbound links.

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