Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Linking Best & Worst Practices

Best Practices

• Do submit your site to the Open Directory Project (OPD or DMOZ). A listing in
the OPD is considered golden as the ODP feeds so many other directories,
which will result in multiple listings for your site.

• Do submit your site to Yahoo. It costs $300 a year to be reviewed and listed
on Yahoo but this is a pretty small price to pay once a year compared with
the number of people that use Yahoo.

• Do submit your site to if you have are a B2B (business-to-
business) site. It costs $100 a year to be listed here but is well worth it for the
quality of traffic you get.

• Do exchange links with all sites that offer similar or complementary services
to yours, with specialized portals (vortals) and directories, and with industry

• Do create your own Related Links page rather than have it automatically
generated by a program. Google has been known to penalize sites that
generate Links pages using “cookie-cutter” template pages.

• Do include a link to your site in your “signature” line when you post in forums,
blogs, or newsgroups. This also applies when submitting articles or sending
out newsletters.

• Do link to each page on your site from your home page (or your sitemap
page) and back again. This will help funnel PageRank to your most important

• Do include inline links on your site. Inline links appear in the body of a
paragraph rather than in a navigation menu. Google likes the neighboring text
that surrounds inline links.

• Do use simple A HREF format links rather than JavaScript to generate the
link. Google may have a harder time deciphering your link otherwise.

• Do actively monitor who links to you. You need to track this on a regular basis
to make sure your link is added on sites you have agreed to trade links with.

Worst Practices

• Don’t use “click here” as the text link for any link, ever. Otherwise, Google
may decide your site is about “click here.”

• Don’t exchange links with link farms, link free-for-alls (FFAs), or other sites
that are obvious spam.

• Don’t exchange links with unrelated sites simply to boost the number of links.
Your customers won’t be on these sites and it won’t help with Google.

• Don’t have broken links on your site. While not as critical with Google, Yahoo
routinely checks your site for broken links. Plus, it is unprofessional.

• Don’t “hide” your links using JavaScript, forms or other methods, unless you
have a legitimate reason for doing so.

• Don’t have your Links page automatically generated by a program. Google
has been known to penalize sites that generate Links pages using “cookie-
cutter” template pages.