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Inbound Link Strategy for Marketers

Lifeblood of the Internet Marketer's Site: Some Essential Tips on Links.
 
Paul Smithson - 8th December 2008
   
paul smithson You’ve probably heard about Adobe and the infamous “click here” ranking by now, but just in case you haven’t let me give you the story in brief. 

If you go to Google and search for the phrase “click here,” Adobe’s website ranks first in the SERPs.  Adobe’s site doesn’t even have the phrase in its title tag, or even in the body text.  In fact, the phrase isn’t visible on that page at all!  So how did they get to the first position?  It’s all about the anchor text that’s used on their inbound links.

You’ve probably been to a site that has downloadable PDF files, right?  You’ve probably seen a link at those sites that says something along the lines of, “You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the file.  Click here to get it.”

You see that?  The phrase “click here” appears in the link text. The sheer volume of thousands upon thousands of sites linking to Adobe’s website using that phrase in the link text made Google’s search algorithms decide that Adobe’s page was relevant for the phrase.

Let me just hammer home that point.

Adobe is ranking at the very top of the search results on a search term that doesn’t appear on it’s own site, but is used by lots of other sites when linking to Adobe. Just pause for a moment whilst you take that concept in as it is a crucial lesson in one of the most important techniques in search engine optimization.

A similar situation has been immortalized in popular culture.  A few years ago, a bunch of people thought it would be funny to get the biography of U.S President George W. Bush listed first for the phrase “miserable failure.”  Thousands of people linked to his biography with that phrase, and soon his biography did indeed come up first for that term. They did the same thing with John Kerry, making his site #1 for the word waffle.

Google has since made tweaks to their algorithms to prevent this. These are coded into the algorithms, and no human intervention is necessary.  They didn’t manually go in and remove Bush’s biography from the top rankings for the phrase.  It was all due to changes in the way Google’s algorithms handle anchor text.

But Google couldn’t just discount sites that had certain link text pointing to them, but didn’t have that text on the page, which is why Adobe still ranks highly for the phrase “click here.”  Something in the Google algorithms is able to separate the reputable links from the non-reputable. It could well have something to do with the authority of the pages that link to a site, which is why it’s always good to have inbound links for sites with a higher PR ranking.

What we do know is that the text used on inbound links is still extremely important so don’t forget to take that into account when acquiring inbound links to your web sites.

About Paul Smithson - Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.


For more information about this, and many other Internet Marketing-related topics, visit Paul Smithson's site, www.xsitepro.com.

Source: http://www.xsitepro.com/inbound-link-strategy-for-marketers.html


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