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SEO Tips: Getting Inbound Links for Your Website

By Sarito Carroll

Information Architect and Writer, FX One Seven Zero

We all know that being within the first pages of search results is key if you want to be seen and found on the web. People searching for information on the web rarely view more than the first few pages of search results. In fact, people often don’t even look beyond the first page of results. One of the most critical ways that search engines, such as Yahoo! and Google, rank pages is by analyzing how many other websites link to your website. The bottom line is: in order to get a good page ranking, you must have quality links to your site. However, this is not an easy task because search engines are smart and if you use illegitimate means of getting links, such as “link farms”, it could actually hurt you. An important thing to keep in mind is that links must be propagated organically over time. If a brand new site suddenly has hundreds of incoming links, it will look suspicious to search engines, and they may decide not to index your site at all. The best approach is to slowly build incoming links while simultaneously adding and refining the content on your site. In addition, not all links are alike. Links from legitimate, credible sites carry more weight than a random listing on a site that has no relevance to your market sector. Google, which is by far the most used search engine, states the following in regards to how it determines page rank:

"Page rank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages 'important'."

When generating links to your site, the best sites are:

  1. Sites with content relevant to your market sector who are not your direct competitors
  2. Sites with a high page ranking by search engines like Google and Yahoo!
  3. Sites with strong content

Now, whilst keeping the above information in mind, here are some tips for generating incoming links to your website:

  • Send out those press releases! Besides the traditional uses of press releases to get your name out there, they can now be used as an SEO tool to increase incoming links to your site. Also, whenever your have a new product or service, announce it with a white paper that includes a “live” link to your site. There are many sites on which you can post your press releases for free. Some popular sites are,,, and

  • Get published on the web. Write and post articles on your website and get other content-related websites to post your articles. Make sure your articles include your website’s URL.

  • Become an active participant in blogs and forums. This will get your name out there and if you write interesting stuff, readers will likely want to check out your site. Be sure to include your URL on all entries that you post.

  • Encourage your resellers and distributors to link to your site. There is nothing better than having a happy customer include a link to your site from their site. Not only will you get an incoming link, it also gives you credibility.

  • Get listed on web directories. There are numerous web directories available. The key is to choose good ones. This means web directories that are legitimate and related to your area of specialty. You can also get listed on some general directories such as Yahoo! (see
    for more information) and the Open Directory, which is used by AOL, Google, Netscape, and Yahoo search engines. (See, for more information).

  • Develop an online tool and encourage people to link to it. Create a tool that is unique to your market sector and which is actually useful. People really aren’t looking for fluff. For example, some kind of service or product estimator that is specific to your industry, such as a construction estimation tool.

  • Post videos on You Tube. If you have videos, post them! The web has become very dynamic and video streaming is no longer just for geeks. Creating and posting interesting, relevant videos that link back to your website not only gives you incoming links, but can also generate leads.

  • Investigate highly ranked sites in your industry. By searching on keywords related to your market sector and location, you can see which sites have a high page ranking. You can then search on a site’s URL to find the sites that link to them and get your own site listed. For example, if you search for “marketing presentation, Denver,” will be amongst the results. You can then do a search for “,” to retrieve a list of sites that link to In this example, you will see that the search results include Boulder Digital Arts directory. You could then go to the Boulder Digital Arts directory to add your own listing. We suggest that you follow this process for your market niche, and get listed by all appropriate sites and directories. Please note: we found that searching without the www generates more results. For example if you do a Google search for you get about 50 results; whereas if you include the www, you only get 4 results. We recommend searching on both Google and Yahoo!.

This takes a lot of time, but it’s worth the investment. Try to budget an hour a week for building incoming links. There are not many other factors that can influence your site’s page ranking as much.

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