It’s time once again for a SEO Sunday special, dedicated to links, link building, tips and good practices of linking. It is a known fact that links pointing to your blog are meant to increase its value, not only in the eyes of search engines but also when it comes to authority measuring services like Technorati.

Links are a great tool to increase you search engine ranking and your blog’s visibility, but only when the link building is done smart. Sometimes, people that heard about the importance of link building are willing to do whatever it takes to gather as many links to their websites and blogs as possible, and this is potentially damaging their rankings. So, before going any further, I’ll tell you some things that you should stay away from.

Bad link building practices

More and more link building services are promoted on forums these days. I’m sure that many of you have come across those “1000 directory links for $10” topics. Well, some people have to make a living, and that’s not to blame, but before paying for such services you should consider a few things.

Most sellers state that links are placed in directories with page rank varying from 2 to 6/7. In most cases, this is only partially true, as that page rank value is only met on the directory’s home page and not on the actual page where your link will be placed.

Further more, these service provider will most likely submit your blog using the same title and description or at most with 2 small variations. Why is this bad? Because out of nowhere, 1000 links to your site, all containing the same information will pop up in search results. How does that sound? That sounds a bit like spam to me, so be careful with it. Link farms don’t work!

Another thing to avoid is buying or selling links through link market websites. These websites have a bad record with Google and have been penalized since their services are seen as a threat to Google’s policy about natural, relevant backlinks. So, if you care about being in Google’s grace, search engine rankings and page rank, think twice before using them.

Whenever you want to buy a link, make sure it stays between you and that website’s owner and also learn as much as you can about his website’s history and previous practices. Also, if you’re going to buy directory links, make sure you study the offer well. No serious provider will offer a good service for such a low fee. Link building through directory submissions can have positive results if managed well.

Link building: Reciprocal links

Reciprocal links are a common practice between start-up bloggers. These have less value than one way links but still can be very helpful under some circumstances. Reciprocal links ease the spider’s circulation and the page rank transfer when encountered between blogs that activate in the same niche, approach the same topics.

Link building: One way links

One way links have a stronger SEO value because they are considered more natural. Getting one way links to your blog from pages that display relevant content and also have high page rank are certain to give you a boost in search engine rankings.

If we’re talking about 100% natural links, there’s basically no way that you could control where these non-reciprocal links come from. You cannot pick the page rank or the anchor text, but still, there’s one thing you can do.

Write good quality posts as they are more likely to attract the interest of higher authority blogs and websites and so, pass some of their search engine trust to you.

Link building: Deep linking

Deep linking is one highly important factor when it comes to link building. It does not only add to the total number of link backs to your blog, but also contributes to traffic levels and increases spiders’ interest in your content, making it more likely for them to index it faster, give it more importance and check back more often to rebuild their cache.

Link building without considering deep linking is meant to fail. Again, great content is one powerful tool to attract such links.

More good linking practices

Consider building a strong internal linking system. Make sure you use relevant anchor text whenever linking to you own post. Do so to ease up spiders’ discovery and navigation through your blog.

Also, if you’re one of those link-love givers, at least do it right. Take 5 more seconds to add at least a relevant title to that external link if not a good anchor text. It costs you nothing but helps the receiver a lot. After all, that’s what link love is supposed to be about, a way to show appreciation.