Let’s play a game to illustrate some not-so-silly linking strategies. Imagine you just launched a new web site devoted to breeding chipmunks. If I gave you a choice of the following three sets of inbound links, and I told you you could have one set and only one set, which set of links would you want pointing at your new chipmunk breeding site, and why?

Set one

http://web.ncf.ca/dg300/links.html

http://www.zoomschool.com/subjects/mammals/rodent/Chipmunkprintout.shtml

http://www.maaoravat.com/Maaoravat/links_eng.html

http://www.fishbc.com/adventure/wilderness/animals/chipmunk.htm

http://www.starpulse.com/Television/Alvin_and_the_Chipmunks/Links/

http://www.eagle.ca/~diane/index21.html

Set two

http://www.angelfire.com/ca/albrit/

http://www.chipmunk.cwc.net/links.html

http://danielwright.wikispaces.com/page/links/Chipmunk

http://web.ncf.ca/dg300/links.html

http://www.wildlifesearch.com/chipmunk.htm

http://www.pestproducts.com/chipmunks.htm

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/nreos/wild/wildlife/animals/mammals/chipmunks.htm

Set three

http://www.animaltrek.com/mammals/chipmunk.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipmunk

http://www.britishcolumbia.com/Wildlife/wildlife/landmammals/cw/cw_chipmunk.html

http://www.aftagley.com/chipmunk_links.html

http://www.animal-protection.org/tierhaltung/welchestier/sh.html

http://www.technorati.com/tag/chipmunk

Each set of links offers something different than they others, and each set of links would be appropriate and 100% on-topic. So which set of links would be better? set one has several high rankers at Google, but set two has that sweet .edu and some high rankers at both Google and Yahoo. Then again, set three offers you a Wikipedia link and a Technorati tag link.

It’s not as easy as it might seem. You could argue for each set depending on what you value. Search rank? Click traffic? Trust over time? What set of links is more likely to help you not just today, but tomorrow? What if I said your new chipmunk site is an ecommerce site that sells chipmunk posters and calendars? What if I said your new chipmunk site sells pest removal traps and cages? Would that distinction change the links you desire? Do tools like this help you decide? There’s many ways to skin this cat, or, um, breed this chipmunk…

So take one more look, and remember, the set of links you choose will be the only links you can have. Forever.

Which set do you want, and why? Tell us in the comments section below.

Eric Ward has been in the link building and content publicity game since 1994, providing services ranking from linking strategy to a monthly private newsletters on linking for subscribers. The Link Week column appears on Mondays at Search Engine Land.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Link Building: General | Link Week Column

Sponsored


About The Author: has been creating linking strategies for clients since 1994. Eric publishes the strategic linking advice newsletter LinkMoses Private, and provides linking services, training and consulting via EricWard.com.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.squareoak.com squareoak

    I’ll take set three with the Wiki link. Although this link won’t help me rank, the traffic will be substantial. I don’t see the search engines (you know who you are!) devaluing Wikipedia anytime soon. Wikipedia has rank, authority, and trust that for the time being, is extending beyond technorati, or .edu domains.

  • http://www.squareoak.com squareoak

    I’ll take set three with the Wiki link. Although this link won’t help me rank, the traffic will be substantial. I don’t see the search engines (you know who you are!) devaluing Wikipedia anytime soon. Wikipedia has rank, authority, and trust that for the time being, is extending beyond technorati, or .edu domains.

  • http://www.paulpedersen.com/ Paul Pedersen

    Set #3!!

    Wikipedia is nice …but more importantly, all of these links are from sites/pages that are more related to my topic. In addition, they are information resources and have substance …which, supposedly, is what my site is supposed to be.

    I’ll take a link from a good quality neighborhood then a link from a .edu any day.

    You are known by your friends:
    Set #1 is shallow,
    Set #2 is slutty, and
    Set #3 is a classy , well educated fellow.

  • http://www.constantlycomplaining.com ryanol

    Group one is definitely bad neighborhoods, one that starpulse page is pure webspam and two its got a canuck site.

    Group two is also in need of some gentrification and its not all that relevant….and still we can’t shake that damn canadian site.

    Group Three is my clear winner here

    ***no actual canadians were harmed in the production of this comment

 

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide