No one knows how many quality links it would take to dominate search engine visibility, there are too many extenuating factors. Therefore the best strategy is searching for the most influential links, get as many as possible and make it an ongoing process to ensure a competitive advantage.
Linking should be from sites with a PageRank of greater than three if possible. Doing this will give a site a PageRank increase. On the other hand, linking to sites with lower PageRank may bring a site down in ranking.
Here are some other criteria to use when choosing sites:
1) Natural links (one-way, non-reciprocal) are the best type. Useful content which provides value to an audience will attract unsolicited links from other web sites.
2) Create articles and grant republishing rights. There are many webmasters on the lookout for articles that provide useful value. Granting republishing rights conditional upon linking back to the web site is a great way to accumulate one-way links.
3) Contact vendors, as a return favour for business or request links from suppliers’ web sites.
4) Post to industry related forums and take advantage by including links to the site with each post or including the URL in the user profile settings.
There are multitudes of ways to get links back to a site by thinking a bit “out of the box”. These include:
1) Making comments in the press. It is common practice in many organisations to make comments to journalists for articles. If someone from an organisation makes a comment, be it for an article, feature or otherwise, it can often be productive to ask for a link back in return. There is no need to go over board when requesting a link, but simply asking definitely won’t hurt.
2) Sponsorship Deals. Sponsorship deals are a great way to build additional links. Virtually everybody that is in need of sponsorship, from charities and schools to sporting teams, will have a web site. It is not much of a stretch that such an organisation would be open to the suggestion of supplying a link in return for sponsorship. The key in this situation is not just getting a link, but to maximise the value of these links. Most marketing departments push for the logo to be the link, while this is not a bad idea, a text link is far more valuable. This is true as long as the text includes the sites primary keyword phrase. This will not only improve the link popularity, but also the link reputation of the site. If all that can be used is an image, it is vitally important that the image’s ALT tag uses the sites primary keyword phrase. A textual link is still preferable, but a descriptive ALT tag is the next best option.
3) Reviews. A link from a positive review is the best link of all. The result can be pre-qualified visitors with a positive outlook on a particular product, and also the added benefit of additional link popularity. Offering incentives to sites to review products is great way to build additional links. This is particularly true for high tech products, for which there are a plethora of sites online offering news and reviews.
These are just a few potential ways to increase the number of inbound links, and with a little brainstorming, many more can be dreamt up.
By thinking creatively, there is a multitude of ways that the number of incoming links can be increased. By thinking laterally, and keeping links at the front of everyone’s mind, not only will a site’s rankings improve, but additional sources of targeted, relevant traffic can be created.