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Beginners Search Engine Optimization and Link Building

Updated on July 18, 2013

Search engine optimization and link building is something every article writer needs to learn about to succeed at making money online. Content is king, but if the search engines and visitors can not find your golden content then it is practically useless. Backlinks give SEO give search engines the tools necessary to find your work, derive it's meaning, and establish it's importance.

SEO for Beginners

SEO in a nutshell is the tactics you use on and off page to optimize your content to be found and understood by the search engines. Failing to keep search engines in mind when crafting your pages is a recipe for frustration and failure. the key to success online is building organic traffic through search and that is simply impossible if you do not optimize your work.

On page factors of search optimization begins when you choose your keywords. Keywords are the gist of what you are writing about. You want to pick words with a high search volume and low competition.

Many people judge competition by the number of competitors but the more important factor is the competitors on the first page. If there a only a few thousand competiors but every site on the first page of Google results is a high PR, high authority site you will have a near impossible time ranking. Likewise, if there are millions of low quality competitors, and low authority, low pr sites on the first page it may be quitre easy to rank for that term.

Once you have selected your keywords it is time to optimize your page for those terms or phrases. That means using the same term throughout the article. Make sure your keywords are used throughout the page including tiltes, headings, and tags. Search engines are a little dumb and you need to convince them what your page is about. Try to vary your exact wording and don't over do it. Using your key terms over 3% of the time is key word stuffing and you can be penalized for that.

Perhaps you think that link building begins off page, it actually begins on page. Having a strong internal link structure is very important as it highlights the most important pages you have written and it creates in content link. Interlinking many internal pages together can help your rankings just as much as off page links. Try to have every article link to at least one other article.

After your article is optimized on page it is time to begin the most important part which is off page optimization. I will go into techniques of finding places to build links in the next section, but for now I am going to cover how you build your links.

The words that are highlighted on your links are your anchor text. You want to use your keywords in your anchor text as that let's the search engine no what the source is about. The more links you have as "keyword," the better you will rank for "keyword." Again, you want to vary your exact terms but always keep them semantically related.

Too many backlinks with the same exact term looks unnatural. Keeping your terms natural looking is important to avoid any penalties for trying to manipulate results. This also means varying your sources of links. Too many backlinks from one source, such as forum links, or too fast, looks unnatural and can do more harm than good.

Link Building For Beginners

Now that you know how to optimize your pages, on and off, I will give you some ideas how to go about link building. Again, backlinks are the main way search engines determine the worth and meaning of your page. High quality and high quantity links tell search engines that your page is important. The anchor text tell search engines what your page is about.

You may not realize it, but link building is another factor of SEO that begins on page. If you focus on building high quality, and worthy of discussion content, your off page link building will become much easier. Write something unique and/or controversial so people will have a reason to link to it. Organic links like this are the best type of links to have and the resuls tend to spread like wildfire.

Sometimes your content does not have what it takes to go viral and you must rely on your own link building for it to be found. There are countless ways to create links to your work and I am going to share a few with you.

1. Write Articles-Articles are the quickest and easiest way to get in content links. In content links are much more valuable than stand alone links because they are surrounded by relevant keywords.

The site you are now reading this, HubPages, is probably the best site for writing articles. Not only do they have a large active community, they give you 60% if your AdSense impressions. If you have not only joined I suggest that you do.

Other sites to post articles include EZine Articles, Article Base, InfoBarrel, Exceptz, and Seekyt.

2. Blog Commenting- Blogs are another great source of backlinks. Instead of spamming them leave constructive feedback. This will not only prevent your comments from being deleted, it will also encourage the blog community to follow the links to your page.

3. Forum Posting- Forums are another way to expose an active community to your work. Don't just jump in spamming, take some time to become known to the community. As you become respected, not only will people be okay with you linking your own site, they will flock to read more from you.

4. Social Bookmarking- A very easy way to get links is with social bookmarking. These are sites members use to share links to sites that enjoy. These communities can be very active and many don'y like you spamming just to promote your own work. In these cases you want to be active and sprinkle high quality work in with other links that will entrench you into the community.

As you can see, link building is not only a way to rank higher in the search engines, it is also a way to get direct traffic to your pages. Finding links on related pages not only helps you to rank higher, it gives potentail viewers a direct path avoiding the possibility of them clicking on a seartch result leading to another site. Never overlook the fact that links can not only attract bots, they can also be used to attract real life humans.

Another factor to consider when linking to your work is if the links are do follow or no follow. Contrary to what the titles may tell you, any link is going to hold some value. It is better to focus on do follow as they are more valuable, but a profile of only the one type is going to look unnatural. If a no follow link is on a high traffic, relevant site, that will still be a quality link to add to your portfolio.

This article covered the basics of SEO and link building that a beginner needs to know. A whole book can be written, and they have, and still only scrape the service of everything there is to know. A lot of gurus might try to sell you on the secrets of SEO but the truth is that no one really knows exactly how to best rank. If someone figured it out then the algorithms would simply change to stay ahead of the marketers. It is mostly a matter of trial and error and finding what works for you. Hopefully I have given you some ideas in how to rank better and build links.


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    • LennyP profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Iowa

      Thank you for the positive feedback.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent hub, Lenny. Very useful info. I'm still mindboggled--it all sounds so mathematical to me, LOL

    • youmeget profile image


      7 years ago


      Great work.



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