Is link-building a waste of time?  No.  Without a doubt, link-building is the most productive way to develop traffic to your website and to increase your ranking on Google’s search results pages.  Getting hundreds if not thousands of sites that willing to link to your site can be a tough job though.  You have to develop links with sites that contribute to your Google PageRank.  If you solicit links from sites that have low PageRank values themselves, your site won’t realize any significant benefit.  In fact, it’s not just the PageRank of the site that you’re getting the link from, it’s the PageRank on the exact page that you’re getting the link from.  If you don’t know what the page rank is, go to Google and install the Google Toolbar.   From then on, you’ll be able to see the PageRank (from zero to ten) for every website that you visit.

Here are some simple mistakes that newbies make all the time when they first start trying to get links.  First they try to email tons of websites and ask the webmaster if they’re willing to trade links.  While it seems like a good practice, it can be very frustrating.  I know.  I’ve tried it.  I’d spend all day emailing people and they anxiously check my email the next day to see no replies.  It’s just such a common thing these days that webmasters delete the emails right away.

Then the newbie decides to try something else.  They think to themselves, “Ooooh.  If I just visit tons of blogs I can make comments and post something with a link to my site.”  Sorry but this one doesn’t work either.  If you’re ever operated a blog, you know that you as the moderator get tons of comments, pingbacks, trackbacks and more.  Most of these hit the trash.  Or if you’re lucky enough to have made it through the moderator and get your comments posted, odds are that any hyperlinks you put in your comments will not benefit your site at all.  Most blogging software like WordPress, Blogger and Blogspot all use what are called nofollow tags.  They are elements in the code that automatically tell search engines to ignore any links that are within the comments.  So if you’re spending all day making blog posts to get lots of links pointing to your site, you might as well stop right now.  The links will be visible for people who are reading the comments so they can click through to your site, but from Google’s standpoint, the links are worthless.

Another nice time-waster is Wikipedia.  The same thing goes for Wikipedia as blogs.  Their software uses nofollow tags too.  If you’re trying to create new pages on Wikipedia for link building purposes, skip it.  Sure, it’s great to get content out there that’s good for business, but it’s worthless for link building.

Until tomorrow…

Chadd Bryant

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