New Link Tool from Google Helps, Falls Short

For years Google has underreported the link: results which show how many inbound links a particular website has. [example:] This was done deliberately because Google feared (rightly so) that people would use the link data to influence their results.

That changed this week when Google's Webmaster Central released the new links tool. Just login to your Google Webmaster Tools Account (you've got one, right?) and click the links tab to see all of your inbound links. Cool!

But, I still can't see the inbound links to other sites. I guess I'll stick to Yahoo's Site Explorer for that kind of data.

Read this article: New Link Tool from Google Helps, Falls Short

Link Strategy: Give Something Away

If you want to build links fast, consider giving something away. It doesn't have to be huge, it just has to be interesting to your audience. Make sure the world hears about it by using press releases and community news websites like digg or

Cold Stone Creamery just released a coupon for buy one, get one free ice cream at their stores nationwide. It's not a huge offer, but it sure sounds good when you consider how tasty their ice cream is. It was certainly good enough to get the attention of the community news site It is now one of the top stories on the wildly popular tech site with over 600 people bookmarking the coupon within 24 hours.

Typically, a story that gets into the top 10 in digg will get 10-20k clicks and 100-300 links.

Read this article: Link Strategy: Give Something Away

What is a NoFollow Link?

Linking is the currency of the internet. The more links you have pointing to your site, the more important your site is considered to Google and other search engines. Also, when you link to someone you are passing some of your credibility to them. But what if you won't want to do that? Use the nofollow tag.

If you put define:NOFOLLOW into Google, you'll see this:

NoFollow: An attribute used in a link to instruct search engines not to follow the link. Correct syntax: <a href="" rel=”nofollow”>Text Link</a>

Practically speaking, nofollow tells Google (and others) not to follow a particular link. You would use nofollow when you want to link to someone but you don't want to pass any "search engine goodness" to that person. Say you're writing a post about a notorious spammer and you want to link to him but you don't want the search engines to give him any credit for that link. Or, if you allow people to post comments on your website but you don't want link spammers to take advantage of you, then you could use a nofollow tag.

Two major websites, Wikipedia and Google-owned YouTube, recently started using the nofollow tag extensively; at least in part because many people were using their open content systems for link spam. That is, they were posting to the site for no other reason than to increase the number of incoming links to their own sites. That's not good SEO!

When you build links, be sure that you're doing it in a fair, accepted way. Don't just put a link to your site because you can, do it because it actually provides good value to the site you're posting to. Ask yourself, "If someone was doing this to my site, would I like it?" or my favorite "morals tester" of all time, "Would I want I explain what I'm doing to my grandmother?"

Remember, the web is just like the real world. Treat people with respect and you'll get along much better.

Read this article: What is a NoFollow Link?

Link Buying: Don't do it!

Recently, Google employee and Search Engine Spam fighter Matt Cutts wrote an article about buying links. In the article he points out that link buying violates the quality guidelines of Google and other search engines. That means that if you get caught, you'll be penalized by the engines.

If you want to build links, you've got to do it the hard way. Find relevant sites and request that they link to you. Don't ever, ever buy links or let your SEO buy links for you!

(By the way, link buying means that you paid someone to link to you. Even if it is through a "broker", chances are you'll get caught!)

Read this article: Link Buying: Don't do it!


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