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Are Paid Links Hurting Your Sites SEO

Are paid links hurting the natural search engine rankings of your website? They may very well be. For those of you who haven’t kept up with all the fanfare, Google has stated their position against paid links – virtually discrediting the paid link industry and indicating that they will penalize sites that purchase inbound links. By penalize, they are essentially saying that each time they identify a paid link pointing to your website, it will count against you.

So if you cannot buy links, then how can you attract them? This change in direction initiated by Google has resulted a series of questions aimed at how to properly generate links to your website without paying for them.

One place to start is with the question, “ Is Your Website Link Worthy?” The reason to focus on link worthiness is because companies, who are purchasing in-bound links to their website, are often missing the big picture. These companies should focus on the reason why purchasing links is the primary SEO option. Often times, sites have not focused on their own website and determined why other websites would want to link to them.

Here’s a great exercise. Open your web browser and visit your URL. When you get to your website, write down 10 reasons why other sites would want to link to you. Chances are you’ll struggle to write down ten. You’ll probably have 3 or 4 at most. The point here is that you should consider creating compelling reasons for other sites to link to you.

Once you’ve identified some of the most attractive link building qualities of your website, you need to exploit them. There are a variety of tactics you can use to let others know why linking to your website is so valuable. Consider promoting your website’s most desirable characteristics on your home page. Once browsers navigation to your free tools, information, or resources, encourage them to link to you.

Sometimes the direct approach is best. Encourage others to place a link on their websites directly to your homepage where users can easily navigate to you valuable resources. Alternatively, you can provide other websites with the HTML code or link they can copy and paste onto their own website, directing individuals to the proper page on your website.

Make it easy for someone to link to you. By providing the proper code, information, and description, other websites can easily link to your website. Those sites that do not think about link generation often do not simplify or encourage the link building process and therefore never generate a significant number inbound links.

The other thing to keep in mind is that when you encourage others to link to your website, to access your tools or resources, provide them with the specific link text you need to improve your search engine rankings. Instead of using your URL only, make sure that links are given the proper text that includes your specific keywords and keyword phrases.

By coding links with your keywords, you will be building your Google link popularity and provider other with information regarding your link. This will not only generate more links to your website, but encourage individuals to click on your link.

Now that Google has announced that they are punishing websites who buy links for purposes of link building, we all need to look at our websites and ask that important question “Is my website link-worthy?” Consider this when evaluating your website and identify reasons why others would want to point to your site. Make it easy for them to do so. The result can only be more links, better search results, and more traffic!

About Michael Fleischner

Michael Fleischner is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer. He has appeared on The TODAY Show, ABC World News, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Michael is a graduate of Rutgers College and Northwestern’s Medill School with a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications.

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