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Linking Past The Homepage

Chris Richardson
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-12-07

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The first session I attended today, the third day of the Chicago SES conference, was the Linking Strategies track. This particular session had a number of speakers, many of which you all are familiar with like Greg Boser of WebGuerilla.com, Eric Ward of EricWard.com, and Mike Grehan. SearchEngineWatch's Chris Sherman moderated.

Are your visitors getting past your homepage? Have your domain changes brought your traffic along, or left it behind? We want to hear more at WebProWorld.

The focus of the session, like the title indicates, was to provide attendees with some effective linking strategies you should consider when setting out on such a campaign. Following normal conference procedure, each speaker took turns informing the listeners of how do execute such a campaign effectively. Leading off was Eric Ward.

The two areas Ward focused on during his presentation was reclaiming links that have already been acquired and holistic link building. Link reclamation comes into play if you've moved (or in the process of moving) domains and the links pointing to the initial domain will, in all likelihood, not point to the new location. Unfortunately, reclaiming these links can be quite difficult, but Ward did offer some tips to hopefully ease this process:

First off, if you know you are going to be changing domains, plan ahead. Inform those that link to you the site will changing addresses. This can give them an opportunity to adjust their links accordingly. Another area of consideration is 301 redirects. If your domain is changing, but the rest of URL structure remains the same (following the same path as the previous address) and you are keeping control of the old domain, you can employ 301 redirects that will transport visitors to the correct page.

An aside about 301s: during the Q and A portion of the session, Greg Boser indicated he feels 301 redirects are one of the greatest tools in search because by using 301 redirects you still get credit for the original links, even though visitors are being redirected to the new page. A good way to look at 301s is like an Internet change of address form.

After he spoke about reclaiming links, Ward discussed holistic linking. It is important to recognize your site is more than just the homepage. The content within should be linked as well (deep linking). This includes forums and multimedia files. Webmasters or SEOs should submit multimedia files to the respective search engines (Google Video, Blinkx.tv, Yahoo Video, etc) . This advice applies to whitepapers and podcasts as well. Again, submit these files to the appropriate resources and they will acquire links from these directories.

Ward's advice applies to RSS feeds as well. By submitting these files to the appropriate locations, you will acquire links from these locations once the media is accepted into the index. Youth-related content is another link-worthy medium. There are a number of Internet resources targeting children. Provided the content is acceptable, submit it to these sites and you will, in turn, acquire links to these pages.

All of the above reinforces Ward's primary point: don't just try to get links to your site's homepage. Work on getting links to your site's internal content. Also, it is important not to acquire links just for search engine purposes. Conduct these campaigns because your content is worthy enough to be linked to (quality content is king).

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About the Author:
Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

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