If you measure your search engine popularity by checking your ranking on Alexa.com, then you have probably noticed recently that your ranking on Google has changed. This is due to the fact that Google, like other major search engines, has been changing the rules of the search engine optimization (SEO) game. What used to get you super high rankings now may move you down a few dozen pegs. And what used to get you in the top 500,000 may now have you off the list completely. What happened?
If you were listening to your Denver web site design team over the last couple of years, you were probably hearing a lot about reciprocal linking in order to maximize your ranking on the search results page. Reciprocal linking is simply one site linking to another site and vice versa. Sort of an internet version of “your scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
To accommodate this trend, linking services were established that would set up these links for you. You join the linking community or pay your money to the linking service and you get the chance to scratch backs with people you would never ordinarily even meet. If you have used one of these services, chances are that you have links on your Links Page that are completely unrelated to the goods or services that your site provides.
While this may have seemed odd at the time of set up, the rules of web site design, Denver businesses reasoned, required that this kind of reciprocal linking be used. The logic was that as a search engine scoured the web looking for useful sites, they would count the number of links to your site. If you have a lot of links, you must have some really great content, right? Well, sort of.
Today, the search engines have wised up. In fact, this has happened very recently. As word that you could simply rack up the links on your site to boost your search engine ranking, sites all over the web were doing it. Denver web site design was focused on maximizing space for links so that clients could pile on the linking community additions weekly, even daily. But if you have ever been on a website that offered links and found that they were totally useless, you know why the rules have changed.
Today, SEO is still bolstered by links to and from other sites, mainly from other sites, called back linking. But the difference is that any old link is not as good at helping your ranking as it used to be. In fact, a bunch of links that are irrelevant to the type of person visiting your site could actually hurt you.
So what’s the best way to use back linking to improve your rankings? Simple. Keep it real. Link only to sites that offer something of genuine interest to your visitors. This could be a related product or service. It could be an article bank with great content on a subject of interest to your clients. Or it could even be a competitor’s site. You can solicit these sites for reciprocal links and often will get them. But even if you don’t, being of service to your client needs to come first. With the new rules in SEO, your ranking will soon follow.
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