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When I was in college, I knew that I wanted to go to law school.Ai?? I remember talking to the admissions officer at a particular law school.Ai?? He was very clear with me that the only thing that really mattered for getting into his law school was my Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score and my grade point average.
It did not matter whether I was a college athlete, a published author, or the inventor of a cure for a rare disease.
The admissions officer said something like ai???Certainly, we will consider these things if you have the right numbers, but if you do not we will not.ai???
In order to even ai???be in the gameai??? to attend a top law school, you need the right numbers.Ai?? Once you have these numbers, the school will look at other things ai??i?? but you need the right numbers first.
What he was saying, in effect, was that my aggregate numbers were all that mattered.Ai?? My grade point average and LSAT score would be combined into a number that would determine where I would go to law school.Ai?? That was 20+ years ago, and the same procedure is in use today when people want to go to law schools.
Getting ranked by Google is similar to getting into a good law school.Ai?? Your site needs to have the right number of ai???pointsai??? to even be considered for being ranked for the term that you are trying to rank for.Ai?? If you have enough points then the search engines will consider you for ai???admissionai??? into their search results.Ai?? It takes more ai???pointsai??? to be at the top of the search results than it does to be at the back of the search results.
Just like being a superstar athlete can help you get into a good law school, having a fast site, interesting content, and so forth can help you get ranked ai??i?? but you will not even be considered for being ranked unless you have enough points.
If you need to understand just one thing about search engine optimization, this is it:
This concept is unbelievably important and the ai???foundationai??? of all SEO-related efforts.Ai?? In essence, assuming that your page has the right word in its page title, the rest is all about the number and the quality of links coming into your site.
What are Links?
What is a link?Ai?? A link is anything that if clicked on takes the user to another page on the Internetai??i??whether it is your page or someone elseai??i??s.Ai?? Here is an example of text links:
Here, these links are taking people to another area of the CNN website.
In other cases, links could be going to other web pages besides the ones on the CNN website.
Links are generally in blue.Ai?? Here is an example from the Wikipedia page:
Each time another website links to your website, you get credit for a link.
There are different types of links.Ai?? For example, someone could just link to your website like this: http://www.Example.com.Ai?? Conversely, the person could link to a page of your site with a word or phrase like ai???Greatest Blueberry Pie.ai???
A link to a specific term (i.e., keyword) is generally going to be far more valuable than just a link to your website.Ai?? A link to a specific term that is also present in your meta keyword tag is like getting a detailed vote.
How important are links?Ai?? In at least 95% of all cases, the sites that rank #1 for the keyword that you want to rank for have more links coming into them (of a higher quality) than those that do not.Ai?? You can do all of the work that you want on your website, but if you do not have links coming into your site, you are generally dead in the water for the terms that you are trying to rank for.
You still need to have content on your site, your site needs to be operational and work appropriately and so forth ai??i?? but if you have the most and highest quality links coming into your website, you are almost certainly going to be better off than the sites that do not.
I cannot tell you how many search engine seminars I have been to and how many books about SEO I have read. Ai??I am also familiar with numerous SEO companies out there as well.Ai?? Something that absolutely amazes me time and time again is that just about everyone out there seems more concerned about what is on your website than the links coming into.
Google cares very, very little beyond your meta title tag regarding what is on your website.
Google is a computer.
Google needs to quantify everything, and the way it does this is through links.Ai?? Google cannot sit back and read all of the content on your site and reflect upon it and then reach decisions about how much it likes the content.Ai?? The only way Google knows how to understand what sort of content deserves to be ranked is by how many other sites are linking to this content.Ai?? In the world of Google, a link is like a ai???voteai??? ai??i?? the more votes a site has, the more likely it is to be ranked.
If you think about this system, it is a very good one.Ai?? Google just sits back and is constantly counting and tabulating votes, and on the basis of this effort, it can rank sites and provide people with the best user experience possible.
The content on your website needs to make sense, and your website needs to be coded properly.Ai?? Nevertheless, if you do not have links coming into your website then you are going to be essentially dead in the water if you are trying to rank for any marginally competitive term.
The Concept of Page Rank
One of the most amusing things about where I live (Malibu) is the way a lot of the social structure appears to work.
Because there are a lot of movie stars and other celebrities in my community, a good part of the social pecking order for some people is based on whether or not they are friends with certain celebrities ai??i?? and whether or not their friends are friends with these celebrities.
I am not even close to being part of this, but I certainly have the chance to hear about it and see how it works first hand.Ai?? If someone is friends with Julia Roberts, that person will instantly have a certain level of social cache.Ai?? If he/she is also friends with someone like Cindy Crawford, he/she will have more social cache too.
Why is being friends with someone like Julia Roberts considered a good thing?Ai?? Because millions of people like Julia Roberts and she can be friends with anyone.Ai?? If she is friends with you, it is a very powerful endorsement.Ai?? She can only be friends with a limited number of people.Ai?? If she is friends with you, this is similar to a ai???linkai??? in Googleai??i??s eyes.
Some people might not have any celebrity friends.Ai?? Instead, they may be friends with just a few normal people ai??i?? or a lot.
Being friends with a few people that are not well-known by society is unlikely to count for much. Ai??This is especially true if those people also do not have a lot of friends ai??i?? and are eager for friends.
Who is more influential socially?
The person with two very famous friends or the person who is friends with a bunch of common people?
The person who is good friends with two famous people. Ai??Why?Ai?? Because an endorsement from two major celebrities is likely to carry more weight socially than an endorsement from a few people who are not as well known in society.
Page rank works in a fashion similar to a popularity contest.
When Google is deciding what page to rank for a given term, it looks at the quantity and quality of the sites linking to you on the Internet. Ai??Google generally ranks the quality and relevance of sites linking to you by measuring the page rank of the site linking to you.
In the world of Google, someone like Julia Roberts would have a high page rank.Ai?? Your next-door neighbor who rarely leaves the house would not.
There are lots of plug-ins that you can put in your browser to see page rank.Ai?? You will typically see page rank in your browser in the upper right-hand corner if you install a plug-in:
Here, you can see that Joeai??i??s Car Wash in Wichita, Kansas, has a page rank of 1.Ai?? If Joeai??i??s car wash linked to you from its home page, it will not help your site very much.
In contrast, Wikipedia has a page rank of ai???9.ai???
If Wikipedia linked to your site from its home page, it would help your site a great deal.
Page rank indicates how many ai???votesai???ai??i??i.e., links, a given website has.Ai?? In the above example, because Joeai??i??s Car Wash has hardly any votes going to it, it has a page rank of 1.Ai?? In contrast, the website for Wikipedia has a lot of links going to it and therefore gets a page rank of 9 in the above example.
The idea behind page rank is that each link on the web to another website counts as a vote.Ai?? Some sites have more votes than others.Ai?? If you run a website and find the content on another website to be very good, you may link to it.Ai?? The more people linking to a given website, the more ai???popularai??? this website is (according to the eyes of Google) and therefore the higher the site should rank in the search engines because it has more votes.Ai?? In a similar manner, some votes (links) count more than others because they are from more authoritative (i.e., popular) sources.Ai?? The most popular sources are typically going to be the sources with the highest page rank.
All web pages on the Internet are assigned page ranks.Ai?? The higher the page rank is, the more authoritative Google considers the page to be and the more likely the page is to rank for the given search results.Ai?? Each page rank as you move up the scale becomes more and more difficult to achieve.
Here is a good graph that discusses the concept of points and page rank:
In this example, you can see how the ai???point systemai??? works.Ai?? The first set of numbers on the top shows how many points you need to achieve a given page rank.Ai?? The second set of numbers on the bottom shows the number of points a link from a site of a given page rank will provide.
Thus, if you get a link from a PR1 site, it will count as 20 points.Ai?? In contrast, if you get a link from a PR5 site, it will count as 6,902 points.
Many SEOs believe the number of links coming into a given site is significant.Ai?? For example, one of the sites that I run LawCrossing has lots of links coming into it according to Alexa:
Nevertheless, this site is a PR5 site.Ai?? Despite having lots of links coming into the site, it is the quality of the links and the PR of the links that matters.
Every single page of your website will be assigned a different page rank.Ai?? In addition, the page rank from your home page will generally flow down to your sublevel pages and the pages that you are linking to.Ai?? Each link that you send from a high page rank part of your site to a lower page will discount the strength of that link.
In addition, a PR5 site with tons of outbound links on its page will have the point value of each of the links that it sends out discounted.Ai?? Thus, if a PR5 page is linking to one page, it will be worth 6,902 points.Ai?? If a PR5 page is linking to two pages, it will be worth 6,902/2 points.Ai?? If it is linking to 3 pages, it will be worth 6,902/3 points ai??i?? and so on.
Most sites never become more than a page rank 4 or 5.Ai?? It is very difficult to get a page rank 6 and page ranks 7 and 8 are very rare.Ai?? For example, the largest car company in the world, Toyota, is only a PR7:
There are less than 20 PR10s on the Internet.
You Need to Get Points to Your Website
The entire search engine game revolves around getting points to your website.
If you have a page that you have written about ai???red kangaroosai??? on your websiteai??i??you want to get links (points) to this page.Ai?? If you have more links and points than others trying to get points for this term, you are going to rank the highest.
People have known this since the 1990s.Ai?? For example, in the 1999, many webmasters got together and did links to the term ai???more evil than Satan himselfai??? to Microsoftai??i??s home page.Ai?? This got the page to rank for this term.
Once you have chosen keywords, written some good content, professionally programmed your website, and created good meta title tags, the only thing you should be doing legal designer drugs for sale. from an SEO perspective is working on getting ai???pointsai??? to the pages that you want points to.
Getting points to your website is not an easy thing.Ai?? It is not easy convincing websites to link to you, and it is something that most intelligent SEOs do not spend a lot of their time doing.Ai?? Any good SEO program requiresai??i??in fact, it mandatesai??i??that you know how to build links to your website and the pages that you want to rank for.
As you can imagine, given the importance of links to ranking in the search engines, a massive industry has popped up to sell links.Ai?? One of the first ai???link brokersai??? was Yahoo! Ai??For $299, you can buy a link on Yahoo! to get included in their directory.Ai?? Similarly, even Alexa sells links on its site.
Because links are so valuable to search engine rankings, there are all sorts of shady and not shady characters who will sell ways for you to get links.Ai?? There are automated tools, blog networks, and various tools that you can use to get links.Ai?? Most of the links that you can get through sources like this are bad links and will not help you.
What is a Bad Link?
Bad links are links from sites that Google does not trust.Ai?? Because links result z pack for sale online, caverta (original). in ai???pointsai??? and ai???pointsai??? are like currency, Google wants to ensure that when it rewards you points, these points are coming from legitimate sources.
If you could pay Julia Roberts $10,000 to be your friend and she would then be your friend, this would discount the value of her friendship in social circles.Ai?? Because she was willing to be friend with anyone with $10,000, you would not gain a lot of social cache by paying her to be your friend.
In a similar manner, if you were friends with the local social outcast who would be friends with anyone, this would not give you a lot of social cache either.
Bad links are links from sites that accept money for links (not necessarily Yahoo! or Alexaai??i??due to their own authority and reputation) and links from sites that will give anyone a link.
Sites and people who sell links are a huge threat to Google because links are so important to the way it ranks sites.Ai?? Anytime Google finds out that a site is selling links, it immediately discounts the ai???trustai??? and authority that a link from a given site will give the site receiving the link.
There is also the concept of the ai???neighborhoodai??? that the link is coming from.Ai?? If you run a site about orthopedic shoes, having a bunch of links coming to you from gambling and pornography sites is generally a very good indication to Google that something is wrong.
If you run a medical clinic and your site is linked to from a page that contains hundreds of links for products and services not at all related to what you are selling, Google is smart enough to understand that this is probably a bad link.
If your site has more bad links, purchased links, and so forth coming into it than good links then it will have a very difficult time ranking.
Most people ai??i??both inside and outside of the SEO worldai??i??have heard about Google updates.Ai?? These updates are occurring on an ongoing basis, and Google is constantly updating its search algorithm to ferret out bad search results and make its search results more accurate.Ai?? Remember: Google only makes money if people keep using it and are constantly returning to its site.
Just about every search update there has ever been ai??i??whether it is called Panda, Penguin, or otherwise ai??i?? is all about making sure that sites that have ai???badai??? links coming into them stop ranking highly.Ai?? The entire currency of Google is links and points, and Google always wants to ensure that points are counted in the way that they should.
When an update happens, what is typically happening is sites that have purchased links, or are getting bad links, are being removed from the search results, or pushed far down in the list.
Ranking on Google is as simple as getting links, but the links need to be from the correct sorts of sites.
What is a Good Link?
A good link is a link from a site that that seems to have trust ai??i?? and for which links are not easy to come by.
A link from the directory DMOZ, for example, has always been seen as a good link.Ai?? It is very difficult for a site to get listed here, and it requires a manual review in order to get in DMOZ.Ai?? Google trusts links from this site and for some time even used these results for its own directory.
Links from sites like CNN and the Huffington Post are also good links. Ai??Google assumes that if you are getting links from these sites, you must be doing something right.
Links from associations and trade groups in your industry, links from other businesses in your industry, and so forth are good linksai??i??the higher the PR of the site linking to you, the better.Ai?? The fewer links the sites in your industry are linking to, the better.
While there has been some disagreement about this recently, links from government and educational sites are generally very good.Ai?? Google assumes that these sites are not commercial (and therefore ai???good neighborhoodsai???) and if they are linking to you then a link from them can be trusted.
In determining a good or a bad link, Google is essentially trying to determine how popular you are by evaluating whether or not the people voting for you can be trusted ai??i?? and how trustworthy these people are.
How to Get Links (and Points)
Every person who is good at SEO has a ton of points and links coming into his/her site, and he/she also figures out how to get these links from sources that count and that carry a lot of value.
Some of the most common ways of getting links are the following:
Directory submissions are important because they can give your site a backlink.Ai?? Having lots of backlinks from directories is something that can help any site.Ai?? Personally, I always make sure that my sites are submitted to just about any directory that will take them.
Here is an example of one of my company on DMOZ:
I believe that press releases are so important that I do a press release every single day of the year ai??i?? seven days a week.Ai?? They help my search engine rankings tremendously.Ai?? I use paid as well as free sites to do my press releases.Ai?? Here is an example of one on PR Web.
The following are some popular bookmarking sites:
Here is a popular social bookmarking site StumbleUpon:
Most of my sites have thousands of articles on them:
You need to be adding articles to your sites constantly.
You can create top 10 lists, rankings, compendiums, and infographics to attract links. Lists and rankings are great way to attract links and something I do frequently:
You can also write articles and submit them to article directories. Ai??This is another great way to get links:
Content is one of the surest and the most popular ways to get links.Ai?? Content is the foundation of SEO and is something that you must constantly be doing to attract visitors.
Social Media. Ai??Social media is a very important method for getting links.Ai?? Social media includes sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.Ai?? You should have profiles on all of these sites and constantly be updating content on these sites on an ongoing basis.
An important point about social media is that one of the factors that Google is increasingly using to rank sites is ai???activityai??? ai??i?? i.e., whether people are talking about a given site and referring to it at various places on the Internet.Ai?? For example, if a site is popular then you would think, logically, that people would be talking about this site at various places on the Internet ai??i?? like Twitter and Facebook.Ai?? This ai???chatterai??? is something that Google listens to and uses for ranking websites on the Internet.
I comment on sites like LinkedIn, for example, for issues related to job search on an ongoing basis:
Most links that you put on various sites will not count that much towards your search engine rankings, but they will often count to some extent.Ai?? I recommend commenting on forums, blogs, and so forth not just for the links but to be a contributor in your industry.
Videos.Ai?? Producing various videos and putting them on your site ai??i?? or distributing them ai??i?? is a great way to get links as well.Ai?? Once you make some videos, you can put them on various video sharing sites and this can get you additional links back to your site.Ai?? Videos are an outstanding way to get links.Ai?? I have done literally tens of thousands of videos in the past that I use for link building.
Everyone out there has likely received an email requesting him/her exchange links with the sender of the email.Ai?? This sort of thing rarely works, and it is difficult to get links doing this.Ai?? Nevertheless, you should be out there constantly developing relationships with people in your industry, helping them, and providing useful content for them.
For years, our company has given away free memberships to the paid job sites that we run schools in order to get links.Ai?? We then ask these schools to link to us, and most of them do it quite willingly.Ai?? As a consequence, weai??i??ve gotten links from hundreds of universities, law schools, and other institutions ai??i?? which helps our company tremendously.
Iai??i??ve found the best way to get links from people that you want links from is to do something for them first.Ai?? Once you do something for the person whom you want a link from, he/she is generally happy to link to you.
You should always do your best to leverage your existing relationships to ask for links.Ai?? The more links that you can get from existing relationships with vendors, friends, and others, the better.
Iai??i??ve purchased websites with a page rank of 7 for as little as a few hundred dollars.Ai?? Once I purchase the site (or the domain), I then throw few links on it to some of my most important sites and then ai???presto,ai??? I have links coming into my site and my site begins to rank better for more important terms.
Linking from Your Own Sites.Ai?? I have hundreds of sites.Ai?? Most of my sites are linking to my other sites.Ai?? I do this because it makes sense.Ai?? I need links so I link from one site to another within my sites.
The Importance of Outsourcing Link Building
Getting links coming into your site is a full-time job.
Because there is so much work involved in link buildingai??i??and because it is so incredibly importantai??i??there are countless services and automated tools out there that will promise you short cuts and other methods of building lots of links in a short period of time.
For the most part, you should ai???run awayai??? from any service that is promising you any sort of automated link building.Ai?? Google is dedicated to searching for and punishing websites that do anything in an automated fashion.
The absolute best way to build links is slowly and manually.
Several years ago, I started a website, ShortTask.com, that I use to have people do simple tasks like do small blog posts and submit to manual directories:
While you should constantly be churning out content for your website, the variety of factors needed to get lots of links into your site can generally be better accomplished by outsourcing this work because there is simply generally so much work required.
I developed ShortTask for some of the smaller tasks and sites that I have that I want to ensure I have links being built for on an ongoing basis.Ai?? For example, I may create a task asking someone to get me a link from an automotive blog for a site that I have about jobs in the auto industry.Ai?? I will then engineer it so that this task repeats every few months.
Getting links takes time and you need lots of links coming in to rank. Ai??You also cannot stop building links whenever you feel like it and then resume it later. Ai??The link building needs to be occurring constantly day in and day out.Ai?? If you stop doing link building, Google will see this drop off and assume something has changed with your site that no longer necessitates it sending you as much traffic.
Over the past several years, I have experimented with dozens and dozens of link-building schemes.Ai?? In order to run sites that get substantial traffic, you need to be constantly building links to them.Ai?? The amount of link-building work is so profound that I have found that it is basically impossible to do this work in the United States. Ai??Instead, Iai??i??ve organized and hired teams of people overseas to help me with this work.
At any one time, I generally have at least 100 people working on link building for my businesses.Ai?? This is serious business and something that I do not take the least bit lightly.Ai?? Your livelihood depends amoxacillin online no script. on links in this business.