Search Engine Optimization: Creative Ways To Acquire Natural Back Links

Search engines use algorithms calculate the order in which the search results are displayed. Although no one outside the search engine companies know the actual algorithms, search engine optimization (SEO) experts agree that back links are heavily weighed. A "back link" is text on another website that links to your site. Search engines count these links as "votes" for your site. The more votes, the better.

Drumming Up Votes

The most common way to get back links it to simply ask another site to exchange links with yours. This is usually accomplished by sending a form email to webmasters who have similar content. This method results in many back links with the same anchor text (actual text that is linked) linking to your home page. If search engines were simply counting the number of back links and the keywords in the anchor text, this would be adequate.

However, as a result of this growing trend to manipulate the search engine results, the search engines have tweaked their algorithms. It is no longer enough to ask everyone to link back to your homepage with your keyword as the anchor text. Search engines are looking for more natural linking behavior, which is evident in sites linking to your internal pages with a wide variety of anchor text. There is also some evidence to suggest that links are weighed more heavily if they are not reciprocated.

Obtaining natural back links requires some creative linking strategies. If you want to continue requesting links and adding sites to your "links" page, you will now have to send customized link exchange emails to each Webmaster, which takes more time and effort than a form email. Because only a small percentage of webmasters will reciprocate, you're usually stuck with a very long list of links on your site. This can dilute your Page Rank and potentially classify your site as a link farm. Not to mention that you should be striving for one-way links, which none of these will be.

New websites face a unique challenge when it comes to requesting link exchanges. New sites have a Page Rank of 0. Most websites will only exchange links with sites that have a greater than or equal Page Rank. Page Rank is another variable in the search engine algorithm. The specifics are beyond the scope of this article, but you should know that Page Rank is determined by a variety of factors. One of which, is the number of back links from similarly themed pages with high Page Rank. The goal is to get many back links from pages with a high Page Rank. It's a catch-22 that requires creative solutions. Thankfully, there are other ways to generate natural looking back links.

Content Syndication

Content syndication is a great way to get quality sites to link to yours without on-going effort required by link exchange requests. Simply post your articles to syndication sites. Be sure to include an "About the Author" paragraph at the bottom with a link to your website.

Websites are always looking for quality content that is related to their theme and will happily link back to your site if allowed to syndicate your articles. This method of linking is superior to being placed on a list of links. You are not required to link aback and because your site will be the only outbound link on the page, your site will be the sole beneficiary of the Page Rank. The page your article is syndicated on will usually acquire the Page Rank of it's domain, which means you could potentially get links from pages with very high Page Ranks without link back in exchange.

With this method, you'll still run into the same problem of having a great deal of your back links using the same URL and anchor text. The problem can be overcome by editing your submitted articles on a monthly basis to change the URL and anchor text. The sites that are already syndicating your content will be using the old URL and anchor text while new sites use the new information. As long as your URL and anchor text changes periodically, you will have a wide variety of natural-looking back links.

Press Releases

Press releases are another great way to acquire natural, one-way back links. Whatever you're doing can be announced in a new-worthy fashion. Is your company introducing a new product line, implementing a new business strategy, or helping to solve a community problem? If so, create a press release and tell the world. Try to submit a new press release each month. It will help keep the media attention on your business and establish your company as an authority.

As you can see, there are several ways to generate natural back links. Simply syndicate your content and submit press releases. With a little imagination and a bit of elbow grease, you can out rank your competition and leave them wondering how you did it.

Danna Henderson has successfully created and marketed several e-Commerce websites using the methods in this article. For more information, visit Breastfeeding Strategies.

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