Types of Links and Which Ones to Pursue

Not all links are built the same. Some are more valuable than the others. That translates to varying values of PageRank, varying costs of directory listing and degrees of difficulty in obtaining links from different websites.

Therefore, it is possible that my 100 inbound links may not be as valuable as your single inbound link.

As link qualifies as probably the biggest factor in the ever changing search engine algorithms, especially Google, we should pay more attention into doing link building. And in doing so, we also need to determine which avenues to pursue since links have different types. Knowing these types will help us decide which will be most productive to us.

Authority Links
Links from popular sites like ESPN, Travelocity, Amazon, ClickZ or NY Times. Could be very difficult to achieve but the reward is unparalleled by any of those below.

Directory Links
Links from reputable directories like Open Directory, Business or Yahoo! Directory, not just those that have a lot of AdSense ads.

Reciprocal Links
Links from sites with similar or complementary contents. For real estate sites, relocation or pet adoption sites will be good partners. For education sites, job sites or specialty sites like cooking, computers or law will be complementary.

One-way Links
Links from blogs quoting our contents or from high traffic sites like Digg, Wikipedia or StumbleUpon. This requires high quality and interesting content.

High reputation Links (.edu / .gov)
Education and government sites are perceived to have good quality content simply because these domains are granted to specific organizations of the community although I don’t see them having a significant advantage over others.

Media / Press Release Links
Links from some media sites can be classified as high reputation or authority link type. In general these are links that are more to do with relating to the public such as news, press releases or updates.

RSS Feed links
These are links that are usually aggregated from blogs, blog comments or contents that are constantly adding up such as news releases.

Profile Links
Links that point to our bio pages or our website homepages once we build content that are quoted on presentations or used in an argument. This is usually found on sites that accept articles for online publication such as Ezine Articles or Web Pro News.

The list above is in no particular order but the most profitable linking (and arguably the most challenging) is to pursue the authoritative links. If our web page contents are unique and answer different questions or trigger interests, it could help, but it’s not a guarantee.

One thing we should take note is the nofollow directive on links. This should be fairly easy to spot when we look at the sample source code of a potential partner’s pages:

Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site.

Visit my rel=”nofollow”>discount pharmaceuticals site.

The second example above tells search engines not to infer link value into the outgoing site and therefore will only be ignore by search engines. The only thing we could hope for is that someone to click on that link and actually convert.

Shall we do it ourselves? Shall we ask someone to do it for us? It’s entirely our call. One thing we should remember that if we do link campaigns, we ensure that we know the target audience of sites we intend to request for links. And be sure that our pages will be helpful to them.

For SEO people, is this job too tedious for us? I bet, but does that mean we will rely on specialists to do the job for us?
If you don’t build links, you’re not a real SEO.