Link building is the number one most important factor to search engine rankings, yet it’s one of the least understood topics. Not all links are treated equally. In fact, many links that webmasters seek out aren’t even counted in Google at all!

If you want to succeed in the search engines, it’s crucial that you follow link building best practices. What are these practices? Here they are.

=> Shoot for One-Way, High Authority Links from Related Sites

These three factors are the most important factors for determining link quality.

* One way – If the link is reciprocal, Google vastly discount the link.

* High authority – Getting one link from the New York Times is easily worth more than 10,000 links from brand new websites. Get links from high authority sites. In the past “authority” meant page rank, but today Google takes a lot more than just page rank into account.

* Related – If you have a ton of unrelated sites linking to you, Google will look at your site with suspicion. In natural markets, people link to one another within the same topics and industry. Search engine spammers on the other hand tend to buy links en mass from unrelated sites. Get links from within your industry.

These are the three most important factors for evaluating link quality.

=> Get a Mix of Link Sources

There are many different places you can get links from.

* Contextual – This is the best place you can get links from. If your site is mentioned in another site in relevant context, that’s viewed very highly in Google’s eyes.

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* Static site links – Getting a link on someone else’s site, especially authority and/or related sites is viewed highly by Google.

* Blog commenting – Blog commenting used to be an effective way to get ahead in the rankings, but comment spam has gotten commenting downgraded. That said, it can still help your rankings quite a bit.

* Forum postings – Forum postings with a link back to your site in the thread or in a signature can help your rankings as well, especially if the forum is related.

Getting a mix of link sources is the best way to appear organic while getting a fair volume of inbound links. Don’t just use one technique – use them all.

=> Anchor Texts & Deeplinking

Most webmasters link primarily to their home page. If you do that, however, chances are you’re missing out on a lot of link-juice opportunities to get sub-pages ranked.

Instead of sending all your links to your home page, link to relevant subpages. Get these ranked for long tail keywords. Your home page will also gain in ranking as a result. Focus on getting backlinks to pages deep in your site.

Also, make sure your anchor texts are relevant to the page they’re linking to, rather than your home page. Anchor text is extremely important in determining the relevance of the link.

These are some of the more important link-building practices for getting ranked in the search engines. Diversify your link sources, deep link, get the right anchor texts and aim for high authority, related one-way links.

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