Do You Trust Your Neighbors?: 4 Link Building Tips for Reputation Management

Creating and maintain a positive search results page for your company’s name is about knowing how to channel SEO juice through linking strategies. Google uses “links” as a way to measure a website’s trust and popularity in the web community. If there are a lot of links to your website on other websites, that shows Google that you are well trusted and probably provide valuable services and information. Thus, Google will rank your site higher than others that may be in your field. Of course, that’s a very simplistic way to look at it (there are many other factors that go into determining what websites rank well for certain keywords), but this explanation works for the purposes of what we’re going to talk to discuss: Linkbuilding.

Linkbuilding is the practice of getting other websites to link to yours (or to other websites that you want to rank well). There are lots of creative ways to build links, but you want to make sure you are getting links from good websites, websites that also have a lot of links pointing toward their site. Links from highly ranked sites count more to Google than links coming from sites that barely rank at all. So these are the types of sites you want to get links from.

If your site has a lot of highly ranked sites linking to it, you live in a good neighborhood, metaphorically. But if a lot of your links are coming from spammy and untrustworthy sites, you might think about moving. In your quest to get links from highly ranked websites, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Website Rank

First and foremost, take a look at a website’s Google Page Rank. You can find this out through a number of online tools and browser plugins. Page Rank is on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being a poorly ranked site and 10 being a site that Google likes a lot. The higher Page Rank on a site that contains a link to your site, the better. As well, you can use the SEOmoz toolbar, that gives websites a domain and page authority based on a variety of metrics. Again, the higher the number, the better it will be to get a link from.

2) Keywords

One way to tell if a site will be a good neighbor is through their use of keywords. When you read  over the text of the site, is it easily readable or does the grammar seem clunky with a handful of words used over and over again? If a website is “keywords stuffing,” that’s a site you want to stay away from. Chances are, that site does not rank well, and may actually be on a steady decline.

3) Site Text

Aside from the repetition of keywords, how is the rest of the site text? Is it helpful, useful, and easy to understand? If a site contains useful information and is easy to navigate, it is probably a site that does well in the rankings. Google likes sites that users return to again and again, because they provide users with valuable content and services. Linking from these types of sites will give you more juice to rank better in the search results.

4) Their Neighbors

Many times you can judge the quality of a site by the type of company it keeps. That is, check out some of the links on the home page and sidebars: where do they point to? Do they point to other useful and valuable sites or do they link to a wide variety of websites and sales pages that have nothing to do with the theme of the site itself? When a website points to trusted websites, it’s probably in a good neighborhood. On the other hand, if half the links point to gambling websites, discount pharmaceuticals, and cable TV deals, this may not be the best neighborhood to link from.

Good Neighborhoods and Reputation Management

 Reputation management is about more than simply getting great links, it’s also about being associated with other positive and useful websites. If your website is in a metaphorically good neighborhood, with lots of links from trustworthy websites, your rank will improve and you’ll better be able to accomplish your reputation management goals.