When building links for a site, it's important to note that the relevance of the page that contains your link is of utmost importance. Many webmasters may not be aware that they can control the relevance of the site that is linking to them. Let's begin by examining the factors that effect a page's relevance to your site:
- Page title
- Page URL
- Tag text(em,strong,h1-6, alt attribute, et cetera
- Body content
- Meta description
- Link anchor text
Of these, most webmaster think that they only really have control over the link anchor text, which isn't always true. There are some ways in which you can control the relevance of the body content, and sometimes the tag text. Here are a few examples:
- Social networks
- Free site hosts(geocities, angelfire)
Most internet web directories require that you enter a description of your site. Most webmasters don't take advantage of this option to it's best ability. Although, some directories are very limited on how many characters you are allowed to enter, typical directories allow between 200-250 character descriptions. That should be plenty to help build a pages relevance to your site's content. Use this space to make a detailed description of your site, use as many targeted keywords as you can. Avoid making short descriptions like "a site about racing cars". That sort of description is very vague, and not keyword rich.
Forums can offer some of the best relevance to a site that you can find, especially if the forum is themed around the content that your site is offering. Take advantage of the signature bar, but take care to read and understand the rules pertaining to signature bar links. Create new topics, use topic headings that are descriptive of of the topic itself, and be sure to try and include some targeted keywords in the topic heading. The body of the post is a great place to plump up the pages relevance. Use targeted keywords, and make your postings sensible to attract visitors to your site while improving relevance.
Although some Portals make abundant use of the nofollow attribute, this is still a great place to get targeted traffic from. A portal site, like the name implies, is a site that leads you to other sites. On a portal site, you can make blog entries, join in on niche theme forums, add images, rss feeds, and even add links to your site. I take advantage of this type of site, regardless of the nofollow attribute. Although the major search engines admit that they don't count a nofollow link as a "vote" from the referring site, none say that they don't take site relevance into consideration when determining SERP placement, which is by far more important that PR is in the first place.
A cross between a portal and a free site provider, social networks are the most popular type of site on the web. You are permitted to edit your profile and include all types of tidbits, including images, links, and anything else that you'd like to include or write about. Your profile gets "hits" when people stumble across it. You have friends, which are basically other profiles linking to your profile from there's. The more friends you have, the more exposure you have to your profile. This is another great place to build relevance. Write articles or stories that pertain to your site, or write an extended description. Don't forget to place links in the body of your articles and description, as well as placing links in the link roll or menu bars.
Free site hosts
There are several good examples of free site hosts. Blogger is a great free blog site that permits you almost full control over the design and layout of your blog. In essence, this is no different than having a blog hosted at your own domain, except that blogger advertises your blog entries for you, giving you more exposure.
Another great way to build relevance is by creating several 3 to 5 page sites at as many free hosts as you can find. TopCities and GeoCities are a couple of good free host providers. They place ads on your site to help recover hosting costs, usually at the top of your page. That doesn't matter as much though, you should build these sites for the benefit of the search engines, and SE's don't care about ads.
You shouldn't copy and paste a hundred sites that are the same all over the internet. You should try to make each of your small sites unique and descriptive of the content you offer at your main site. You should also market these small sites to help boost their PR and in turn, boost your main site.
This is just a few ideas on helping to boost off page relevance. The amount of control you have over off page factors is determined mostly by your abilities and the amount of time that you are willing to spend pursuing your marketing plans.