Building links to your website is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization for you website. Each inbound link is like a vote for your sites popularity and the more votes you have the better your overall ranking will be for the page that has the links pointing to it.
Now, without going into a deep “Geeky” conversation about search engine algorithms and how Google treats links, we need to understand the importance of one-way-links as opposed to the more traditional two-way link exchanges or even three-way links.
First let’s take a two-way links. Two-way links are used by traditional link exchange systems and many webmasters look to exchange links with other sites. This still has merits and works with many search engines as long as they are relevant. However, many search engines are shying away from the credibility it provides.
Consider this in the terms of an election. Site A votes for (links to) Site B, in turn Site B votes for Site A. Basically you cancel out the relevancy of those votes. Search engines are wise to this and are rapidly considering this a bad way to count inbound links. That being said, linking with relevant sites to yours still has positive effects when exchanging links, so understand we are not discounting this as an SEO strategy. Three-Way links are a little more complex and are an attempt to exchange links and by pass the “Canceled Vote” effect.
In this scenario we have three websites that create a triangle of links. Site A votes for Site B, Site B votes for Site C and Site C votes for Site A. This networking of links creates what seems to be a series of one-way links and you bypass the mutual linking negative effect. Unless you are in a link exchange that provides three-way linking you will need to have multiple websites that you can place links on as you need two parts of the 3-way linking structure to handle it and that can be a maintenance nightmare. Especially so if you are like me and have 20-30 sites going at any one time….yeesh!
So, finally we come to the ideal scenario, which is arguably much more powerful than all these other solutions combined. One-way links are the landslide win in terms of the election analogy we used earlier. Basically, everyone is voting for you and you do not have to reciprocate in any way at all. The search engines see one-way links as everyone is saying you’re a great website and that they should pay attention to you. This means you must be important and they will rank you higher accordingly.
They also look at outbound links on your site and as you do not have pages and pages of outbound links that can hurt your overall ranking, you have even more credibility. Now, there are many methods to build one-way links to your website and we will cover those in another article very soon. We will cover such topics as article marketing, RSS directories, the importance of anchor text, etc. Suffice to say, when you are working on the external aspects of SEO and building links, try to focus on building one-way links to your site and watch your rankings sky-rocket!