Search Engine Optimization for Dummies (part 3)
The basics of SEO includes building links to your website. This is pretty well known, because google pagerank is based on counting links to websites. What's less well known is that
- not all links are counted equally
- pagerank is only one factor in google's ranking algorithms
Google does NOT want people to buy links with the purpose of influencing their search algorithms. This is not really going to stop people from buying links though, because most people aren't convinced google can detect (all) payed links. Take the following into account:
Google looks at whether a link is 'natural'. That meansthat they will look at your niche and compare your link-pattern to those of related sites. This DOES not mean your link pattern should be the exact same as your
competitors, it should be better.
- The site selling the links should not have ONLY sold links there (sold links should be such a small percentage that google would have to be clairvoyant to find the sold links).
- The site selling the links should not have the text 'sponsored links' near the link you bought.
- The site selling the links should have a good relation to your niche. Personally I'd prefer (not that I buy links at all) links on topical inner pages (they do have to be indexed in google) that get found in google for searches related to your site.
Google is hypocritical on this. They do want people to buy adsense ads, for instance. Still, the following links don't count towards pagerank in the first place:
- Links on search results don't add to pagerank, because they are generated pages. Google would go into an unproductive mathematical loop if it counted links on its search pages as links.
Despite all this: Buying links can't hurt your site, because it has always been maintained that links from other sites to yours can't influence your ranking negatively. But if you buy links just for pagerank, you are going against what google wants. Google does not mind links that get bought for traffic and have a 'rel-no-follow' attribute.
That is important to know, but since google isn't God (yet), it need not change what you actually do. For SEO strategy a diversified link-pattern should be your goal. This means that buying links should never be they only way you build links to your site.