Posted by randfish
High quality directory link building may seem dreary and time-consuming, but it’s still one of the best methods to build credibility with the search engines (remember the importance of trust distance?). Today, while adding resources to our list of valuable directories, I stumbled across three webpages with valuable insight into the process of link building. Both are from universities, providing directives on how to evaluate a link – it doesn’t get much more relevant than this.
The three pages are:
- University of Southern Maine’s Checklist for Evaluating Web Resources
- UCLA College Library’s Thinking Critically About World Wide Web Resources
- Evaluating Web Resources from Cornell University
I’ve pulled some excerpts to help illustrate how those who might consider linking to your site make that judgement:
Is the information easy to get to? How many links does it take to get to something useful?
What is the quality of the graphical images? Do these images enhance the resource or distract from the content?
Does the site have its own search engine?
Is the site easily browsable or searchable?
Accessibility and usability are big issues – and it’s one of the key reasons link building goes hand in hand with great design. Build a site that looks like a professional, high quality resource and your informative articles will carry more weight and a greater ability to attract links.
How comprehensive is this site?
- What are the link selection criteria if any?
- Are the links relevant and appropriate for the site?
- Is the site inward-focused, pointing outward, or both?
- Is there an appropriate balance between inward-pointing links ("inlinks" i.e., within the same site)& outward-pointing links ("outlinks" i.e., to other sites)?
- Are the links comprehensive or do they just provide a sampler?
- What do the links offer that is not easily available in other sources?
- Are the links evaluated in any way?
Search engine have always said they’d judge sites by who they link to and who links to them. Humans who evaluate whether they’ll link to us are being instructed to do the same thing! Reputations online are garnered through linking in more ways than one, so be careful about what you link to and how you label it.
Determining the author or source of information for a Web site is important in deciding whether information has credibility. The author should show some evidence of being knowledgeable, reliable, and truthful.
- Is the author identifiable? Look for links that say "Who We Are," "About This Site, " or something similar.
- Is there contact information for the author? (e.g. e-mail address, mailing address or phone number)
- What is the author’s background? (e.g. experience, credentials, occupation, have they written other publications on the topic?)
- Does the author cite his or her sources?
- Is this site linked to often by other sites?
- Do links on this site lead to other reputable sites?
- Are there spelling errors or incorrect use of grammar?
- What domain does the site belong to? (e.g. edu, gov, com, etc.)?
The perception of authority is easily created and just as easily destroyed. No matter what kind of site you’re building, if you want the links to flow, provide some information about the site, about yourself and about the information you provide. Proper citation and effective backgrounds can mean the difference between link building success and failure.
Take a couple minutes right now and look over the site(s) you’re working on. Do you meet the criteria for picky link creators?
- Professional design, look and feel
- High usability and functionality
- Non-commercial content is available in a research-oriented form (if you’re not providing any non-commercial content, read this post)
- Information about the author(s), the material and the sources is clearly provided
- Contact information is obvious and accessible
If you’re firing on all cylinders, there’s a good chance you can close the trust distance gap with some very high quality links.
More: continued here