Yesterday, we discussed the basics of on-page SEO. Today, we look at the partner concept, off-page SEO.

Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO is the search engine optimization strategy you use away from your website, on behalf of your website. According to a variety of sources, off-page links can make up as much as 80 percent of the algorithm that determines where your website ranks.

And while external links are the main element of off-page SEO, social media efforts are quickly gaining in importance, too.

External Links Are the Backbone

Off-page SEO has traditionally been about finding and acquiring links. The more links to your site that exist throughout the Internet, the better your site will rank on Google and other search engines. And your site will rank even better if those links are featured on sites that likewise have high search engine rankings.

Directories are the traditional way to build a linking presence on the Internet. Submitting your site to tried-and-true directories like dmoz.org and Yahoo is the best way to start. Do some research and figure out what other directories are specifically useful to your content.

“Do remember however, that setting up back links takes time. I would recommend emailing 5-10 websites each and every day to request back-links or partnership links (keeping in mind that the sites contacted should be relevant but not competitive),” advises Interspire.

You can also develop a significant amount of backlinks by publishing to article directories such as EzineArticles.com.

Let the Link Buyer Beware

Watch out for link schemes, though. These usually involve link farms, link wheels, and link exchanges with less-than-ideal websites. Linking to those sites will probably hurt you more than they help you; only consider link exchanges with a “real and substantial business partnership or relationship,” writes Lindsay at SEO Moz.

Indeed, Google is not easily fooled when it comes to link schemes. “There are many ways that Google combats this kind of optimization,” writes Rome Casino’s Edwin Goldberg. “They put a cap on the amount of new inbound links a website can get. They know that if the site gets thousands of links overnight that it is likely spam, and they will prevent the site from ranking any further.”

PageRank

That helps underline one major truth in off-page SEO: The better quality your external links, the better your site will rank in the search engines.

All of your linking efforts are done to improve your site’s PageRank — which is a trademarked term for how Google ranks websites in terms of external links.

Some experts argue that PageRank is no longer the deciding force in Google search engine ranking. Be that as it may, the elements of creating an effective PageRank — quality external links, namely — are still the powering force behind off-page SEO. 

The Rise of Social Media

Today, most affiliates have at least a marginal presence on the Internet’s key social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And those sites — which are starting to rival Google in their traffic, or at least, Facebook is — can provide essential external links to your site. We’ll explore this concept in more detail tomorrow.


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