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Blogs, Links, and SEO

Blogs and links are the perfect couple. Of course, everyone knows that. You don’t have to be a hopeless romantic or some SEO techie type to figure that one out.

Talk about stating the obvious.

As we all know, almost everyone talks about how powerful blogs and their linking power are for search engine optimization (SEO). The reasons for the strength of blog links in achieving high search engine rankings are discussed much less frequently. It’s time to change all of that.

Let’s talk blogs and links and SEO.

Blog links have search engine power for several reasons. One of which is the different types of linking featured on blogs. All blog links are not the same, and that is part of their secret search engine rankings power. Different types of links provide different rankings boosts, in several different ways. In the end, the links add up to your blog being placed highly, for your most important keywords, in Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search.

Links appear on a blog’s home page as links to other blogs. Other blogs link to your blog from home page link lists and blogrolls as well. As the most powerful page on your blog, the home page passes along quite a bit of search engine power. The problem is that home page mojo is divided among many different blogs. The piece of the pie for each one is not that large.

On the other hand, the age and permanence of that link has some real value. The links also get value from arriving from other blogs sharing similar themes and topics. Interlinked blogs on cooking help one another more than a cooking blog and a welding blog. All links have some value, but theme related ones provide even more.

Links also appear in posts. Those are expecially valuable links. When someone links to one of your posts, they often double link to the home page as well. Because of the strong and obvious theme relevance of the post, the search engines give in post links some real power. As such, writing interesting posts that attract natural inbound links, and trigger discussions on other blogs are especially important. Note the value of providing great information to your readers.

Trackbacks provide a bit of link power, but not as much as some bloggers believe. Being open to spamming has reduced their link strength. Links in comments have little if any link power these days as a result of abuse. Trackback links provide their power more indirectly, in attracting discussion links and finding new potential linkers to your blog.

There is some evidence that linking out to other blogs helps gain search rankings for the generous blogger. Instead of being a drain, linking out can result in a net SEO gain. Now beat that for great karma!

Keep in mind that your goal should not be to game or trick the search engines. On the contrary, those sorts of tactics are counterproductive and fail to provide the desired results.

Instead, think of the needs of your readership first. Provide them with good useful and interesting blog posts. Links will arrive naturally, and as a result of your generous linking habits, your blog can rise to the top of the search engine rankings.

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Comments

  1. Thanks Wayne. Useful information.

  2. IO ERROR says:

    Don’t underestimate outbound links! Despite a PR of 5 for my home page, I have some searches (for news I cover) on which I rank higher in Google than more “mainstream” sources like MSNBC! (And that was a sight to behold, me the third web site listed for a particular keyword search, right up there with big boys CNN, etc!) I provide a lot of outbound links to more information, and not only does that seem to increase my ranking in search engines, it also adds value for my readers and keeps them coming back.

  3. Jason Davis says:

    Very good post. I think the biggest value the writer of a blog can bring is like you say, understand your audience and provide good content. The links certainly help

    Jason

  4. Smart Money says:

    Good Story. I am curious about the issue of whether or not to open outbound links into a new browser window:

    -is there a difference SEO-wise?
    -is one method or the other considered more courteous to your readers?

    Thanks

  5. Um, I don’t see how search engines would place any less importance on comment or trackback links, unless those links have the rel=”nofollow” attribute set. A link is a link, right? How would a search engine know that a link was from a comment or not?

    Smart Money -
    Many people get annoyed when a link opens in a new browser, though I would say there are one or two instances where it might be ok (like in web applications, simulating a dialog-box in a small popup window; or in a web-mail client). I certainly find it annoying, though what’s worst is when a site resizes my browser without even asking!

    I think opening a link in a new window shouldn’t affect SEO, so long as your href points to a real URL (don’t use href=”javascript:…” links, because search engines can’t deal with those).

  6. MisterACE says:

    This is my main thing right now – how to get my Blog noticed by anyone. I provide good content and it is very applicable to the topic that I present. I always read articles on how to be better noticed and SEOs. Sometimes I even link back to them. And since a blog is a web log or journal of some sort I write on the outcomes that I see from doing some Blog marketing.

  7. Heat says:

    I share the same feeling as MisterACE, i think i am working hard, i am working hard on my blogging style and content, but the issue is, how can i be appreciated (enough) for this work? how can i get more traffic? links, links, and more links.

    Heat

  8. Cary says:

    Heat…I’ve got a link to you right on my main page, brother : )

  9. Heat says:

    Hehe, Cary, i have noticed that, in fact, iv’e got some nice traffic from your blog (comparing from what i get from blogs), i do appreciate it alot :)

    Heat

  10. Smart Money says:

    Heat & misterACE,

    Traffic just takes a consistent effor over time. It is an organic process. It took me 2 months to get to more than a handfull of readers, but then it starts to jump in bigger steps. It took forever to get to 20 visits a day, but then over-night I was at fifty, then a jump to over 100. I’ve been posting on my site since mid-February and I’m hoping the trend will continue.

  11. Heat says:

    Smart Money (I feel weird to call you like that,lol),

    Thanks for your tips and exprience sharing, this comment really made me more optimistic about my blogs’ future..

    Heat

  12. Tony E says:

    Excellent post Wayne. I agree also with Smart Money, just stay true to yourself and keep writing interesting content and your blog will grow and gain more links and readers. Be consistent, and don’t give up after just a few months like many people do.

  13. Allan Burns says:

    I sounds like the more natural you keep things the better it is. I know this is obvious to us but how the hell do the search engines tell this.

  14. Smart Money says:

    “how the hell do the search engines tell this”
    don’t forget the founders of Google were mathematicians, so they have built a really complex mathematical model [I have heard ~500,000 variables] that tries to match growth and other selection processes to natural organic patterns. A lot of work, but the result is a company worth 80 Billion dollars.

  15. Prabhjot says:

    wow, its really a nice post. i often visit your blog and it provides a useful information for bloggers. Blog links and seo can seriously make a best combination in search engine results.
    i also having blog on Seo and bloging i.e http://www.thewebmarketingblog.com. Please let us know if you are interseted in exchanging links.

    Thanks
    prabhjot

  16. imran says:

    Hi

    I did like your blog postings and comments. I have one question.

    Can any 1 harm our rankings in google or any search engine ?

    Regards

    Imran Hashmi
    http://www.visionstudio.co.uk

  17. onsense says:

    Does anyone know of any blogging tools or plugins (for Movable Type) that notify the blog administrator when an outbound link within a post becomes invalid (dead link)? I have a number of current outbound links within my blog that I know will die within the next 1-2 years, and would like to be notified automatically (versus having to check each link one-by-one myself) before editing the link. Any references to such tool(s) or plugins and advice is highly appreciated. Thank you!

  18. This is an awesome article. I learned a lot of great tips and pointers. Thanks for the information!!

  19. Paige says:

    Greetings,

    I am just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the info that you privide here, as well as what the other posters say. I am new to the whole blogging thing, and have book marked this one. I am quite sure that this will help me learn my way around. Also, do you, or any others posters, have any suggestions for other useful guides for learning blogging? Thanks again.

    Paige

  20. saf says:
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    Search engines extract too much of the Web’s value, leaving too little for the websites that actually create the content. Liberation from search dependency is a strategic imperative for both websites and software vendors.
    mini skirt

  22. shopping says:

    That’s right

  23. Smith says:

    i am totally agree with your every single points out of your mouth about blogging , bloggings are now becoming more popular to get listed permenently and get in touch with three most popular search engine (google , man , yahoo ).thanks
    http://www.onlinemortgagerefinancing.net

  24. mksood says:

    This is really an important factor in getting your site up ranking.

  25. dan zarrella says:

    “Search engines extract too much of the Web’s value, leaving too little for the websites that actually create the content. ”

    that sounds like a line straight from nielson himself, anyways, I wrote an ebook called seo for bloggers:
    http://danzarrella.com/seo-for-bloggers/
    that covers a lot of blog specific link development stuff.
    if anyone wants a review copy, let me know.

  26. Vexx says:

    Ya,links are very importand in any SEO strategy.While having your page fully linked to your own permalinks so the search engine crawlers can scout your site in depth,to having your own site linked on other websites that link to you.It is very important to have incoming links and it guarantees you a higher page rank.We all probably know that having your link on a high rated website is very difficult but like i said,it’s the key to success i say.

    I also heard that Google doesn’t linke exchange links anymore and they think that by paying or exchanging links with other sites may be “cheating”.This may be wrong,it may be possible.
    http://www.filecluster.com

  27. Satya says:

    Content is important, links are important, PR is not; this is the conclusion I have drawn. Search for “perl database scripts” to see about 2.7 million sites in the results. Anf the SURPRISE for PR believers – The top most site is just PR2.

    For links obtained on auto without any effort and with no trace to this link provider site, http://www.toptenserp.com appears the best. Register and you get links even while sleeping. There is a catch, your PR must be minimum 2.

  28. peter says:

    I am still trying to figure out the way search engines work.Although I have read a lot of articles and I am aware of all the principles of their software and the concept of links,I still can’t figure out why my site doesn’t appear at all in the results of any search engine.It’s like it’s non existent.If anyone can help I would appreciate it.I have an invisible ghost site for the search engines that it took me a year to set up and I don’t know what to do to make it a real working site.Shouldn’t google crawl it anyway.It’s supposed to crawl all new pages when they are on the net.The site,if that helps you to decide what’s wrong is: http://www.nitroxchips.com . I hope the link appears active otherwise just type : http://www.nitroxchips.com
    Any suggestions are welcome as I am at a loss.
    I have read the google policy so please don’t suggest free exchange link sites as they are considered unwelcome by google.

  29. peter says:

    I forgot to mention that the article is really helpful but from my own search I have to say that the search for links is extremely difficult as you must link to safe locations or you might be banned from search engines later.Free link exchange sites is a rather unsafe option as I have concluded.They might help at first but when google finds them and bans them your site gets banned too.If anyone has further knowledge on that I would like to hear his/her opinion.

  30. Floyd says:

    My website http://www.goenfield.com is a business directory for Enfield, CT. As of right now the search engines only find it when I actually type in Go Enfield, but using these tips, I hope it will show up for more keywords, such as just Enfield. Thanks for the great info!

  31. Zoom says:

    In response to IO Error above. Do outbound links really help page ranking? Our site has outbound links to MSNBC, ABC, and CBS and I have not seen a change in our PR.
    http://www.zoomswap.com/

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