How To Keep Low Quality Links From Killing Your PR
When you apply for a job, you send in your resume and a list of references who can attest to the quality of your work. Google considers an inbound link to your site in exactly the same way. An inbound link to your site from another trusted and established site acts as a resume reference: that site considers your site authoritative enough to link to. That is what Google wants to see. Quality, professionalism and thorough, targeted information. And that is what a quality link ensures, in Google's eyes anyway.
If Google sees a site with few quality links inbound to them and then with a link to your site, it will paint both of you with the same brush. Google will just assume that both your sites are fairly irrelevant and place you way down at the bottom of the food chain.
That's what a low-quality link will do. It will drag you all down. That is a completely counter-productive process. What you are always trying to achieve is a significant rise or spike in your Page Rank (PR) and all of the other various ranking algorithm reports out on the Web. Associating your website with a Low-Quality link is not only a foolish move, but it is one that can have long-term derogatory consequences on your entire site.
Everyone has received the spam emails from "link farms" that claim that they can get thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of links to your site in 20 minutes for just $79.95. These links profit no one except the greedy scammer operating the "link farm," and many are the woeful web entrepreneurs who have shelled out hard earned cash for this "service" and found their sites blackballed by the search engines and banned in perpetuity. This goes to prove that it is a relatively easy process to collect and submit links. It is a far different story to collect fully qualified and valid links.
It is obvious how important this is when you're spreading your links around. You only want reputable, top-quality, authoritative sites linking to you. However, there is yet another hurdle to consider and one that certainly does not escape Google's probing algorithms: Unrelated Links.
If you are selling surfboards and you have an inbound link to you from the most respected, highest Google-ranking website which sells tractor parts, Google will knock both of you down again. Google can't see the connection between tractor parts and surfboards thus it devalues the linkage. However, if your inbound links are from acknowledged authoritative sites directly related to surfboards such as wet suits, suntan lotion, swim fins, shark repellent, etc. then you've just scored a significant Google bullseye.
The selection process which is necessary to establish these high-quality links is extensive, but well worth the time and effort expended to accomplish it. Many people in this day and age of immediate gratification look at long-term effort as something to be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, hard work over a period of time is still the most time-honored and effective means to success in any field of endeavor.
Link building is absolutely no different. Yes, it would be very nice if there were some website or software out there which immediately and automatically searched the entire Web for the perfect fits for linkage to your site, made all the arrangements, and implemented a strategic and comprehensive plan that was specifically designed to keep all the parties in the transaction happy and with significantly increased traffic all around. It seems as if software technology has not reached this state yet, and it's quite likely that it will not reach this level for many years to come. Therefore, link building is going to remain an "elbow grease" function for site owner publishers and web masters for a very long time.
You would be well advised to learn the state of the art of link building techniques now, rather than waiting for some miraculous technological advance to turn it all into an instantaneous and automatic chunk of code.
A good point to start is by referring to the Google Toolbar, which includes the Page Rank. If the Page Rank is high, then Google has verified that site to have a goodly number of quality links. A high Page Rank does not necessarily equate with an elevated listing as some highly Page Ranked sites can be found way down in the list. Google's algorithms take into consideration a large number of other factors, such as the overall quality of the site, the amount of information that is directly relevant to the search term, and many others.
If you combine this information with a comprehensive list of the sites matching many of your key phrases, you now have a basic compilation of your primary targets. It's always important to check out each URL's link popularity with an online link checker, whether you do this manually or automatically through a variety of widely available freeware, shareware and other software options is up to your preferences.
All of the facts, figures and numbers in your list are worthless unless you apply one of the most critical factors that cannot be included in software: Common Sense. Take a good hard look at each and every site on your list. Is their content truly relevant to the creation of a high-quality link to you? Again, no point wasting time and energy getting a link back to your surfboard site from a tractor parts company.
This is not a process that can be completed during your coffee break. The results you get will be directly related to how comprehensively you complete your task. You have to be thorough, you have to be logical and you have to be smart about this. And don't expect immediate results. Once you've submitted all your links it could be upwards of four to six months before you start seeing the results.
Link building is both a creative art and an exacting science. In order to continue to build your site's success you must consider all of the applicable techniques and be willing to implement them for your Hub, blog. or site.