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Three Free Ways to Get Quality Links

Nowadays, in order to rank highly in the search engine rankings, it is no longer enough just to have any old links coming in to your web pages. Google will now devalue links it no longer considers relevant to the subject matter of that web site and, if you have too many of that type of link, may even ban your web site for link spamming. So, how do you go about getting quality links? Well, here are three simple, free ways to increase links to your web site.

One method is to submit your web site to one of the hundreds of web directories that are available. Many of these are ranked highly by Google, and getting listed in such a directory will enhance your PageRank. The best-known of these is the Open Directory Project at www.dmoz.org, but there are many more, both general in nature like the OPP, or specific to a particular subject. Submission to most of these directories is free, though some will require a link back to the directory in return for listing your web site. One word of warning though – submissions to most of these directories are checked by real people, rather than by computer, and it may take many months for your listing to appear.

If you are running a web site, then it’s fairly safe to assume that you have some knowledge about the subject of that web site. Web sites of all types are looking for articles in their field of interest, whether it’s archeology or zoology, bell-ringing or yachting. There are also many web sites that have banks of articles, on all subjects. Why not use your knowledge of the subject to write articles about it, and submit the article to web masters looking for relevant content. Try to make such an article interesting, rather than self-promoting – you are not looking to promote your web site in the actual text of the article. You do this in your signature file, which web masters will include at the end of the article. In the signature file, make sure that you include a link to your web site, plus a few words about it.

The link will help in two ways, not only in PageRank, but also potentially increasing traffic to your site - people that find your article useful may click on your link for more information. Good articles are often picked up for reproduction at other web sites, increasing your exposure. This is allowed, as long as the content is unchanged and, more importantly for you, the signature file is left intact. Write enough articles and, if they are of good quality, you may appear to be an expert in that field and people will start looking for you by name.

This neatly brings me to the third method of adding links to your web site, although it’s not really necessary to be regarded as an expert for this – it just helps give you some credibility. Message boards, or forums, are all over the Internet, dealing with almost every subject under the sun. Become a frequent visitor to some that deal with your field of interest and start to contribute in the discussions there. Again, don’t try to be self-promoting – this will upset people and could even lead to you being banned. This is where that signature file comes in again – as in the section above, this is where you will get exposure, both from the link itself and the increased traffic you may generate. One thing to check though – some forums will not allow the bots from search engines to follow links from forums, which rather defeats the original purpose of posting on that forum.

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