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Official search engine statement: link building do's and dont's

Bing recently published a document about link building. Although it focuses on how Bing deals with inbound links, it can also help you to get better links for Google, Yahoo and other search engines. The most important points of Bing's document can be found in this article.

The importance of link building

The Bing engineers know that link building is important and they describe link building as follows:

"Link building is a very important form of self-promotion on the Web. You contact webmasters of other, related websites and let them know your site exists. If the value that you have worked so hard to instill in your site is evident to them, they will assist their own customers by linking back to your site. That, my friend, is the essence of link building."

In other words, reciprocal linking is fine. They also remind webmasters that link building is an ongoing process:

"Think of link building as your chance to build your reputation on the Web. As your website is likely one of your business' most valuable assets, consider link building to be a primary business-building exercise. Just don't make the mistake of believing it will result in instant gratification. Successful link building efforts require a long-term commitment, not an overnight or turnkey solution. You need to continually invest in link building efforts with creativity and time. Good things come to those who wait (and work smartly!)."

Things that you can do to get good links to your website

Here are the things that Bing recommends:

You should develop your website as a brand and brand it consistently. People like to link to high quality websites.
You should find relevant bloggers, industry websites and product reviewers and make them aware of your website.
You can publish concise and informative press releases online.
You can publish expert articles in article directories.
You can participate in relevant conversations on blogs and forums and add a link to your website when applicable.
You can use social networks to connect to industry influencers. Your profiles should contain links to your website.
You can use email newsletters to notify people about new content on your website.
You can launch a blog or a forum on your website.
You can participate in relevant industry associations and their online forums.
You should strive to become a trusted expert voice for your industry while promoting your website.
The link manager in IBP can help you with most of these tasks. It finds relevant blogs, related websites, directories, etc. It also helps you to contact the other websites, keeps track of your contacts, etc.

Warning: the following things will get your website in trouble

Just like Google and other major search engines, Bing doesn't like to be cheated. If they detect unnatural linking patterns, your website might be penalized. The following things can trigger search engine filters:

Your website get a lot of additional inbound links a very short time.
Many links that point to your website are from unrelated websites or blog comments.
Your web pages contain hidden links.
You get links from links farms or automated link exchange systems.
Paid links point to your website.
Known spammers link to your website.
Your website links to known spammers.
Here's what Bing does when they find suspicious data that is related to your website:

"When probable manipulation is detected, a spam rank factor is applied to a site, depending upon the type and severity of the infraction. If the spam rating is high, a site can be penalized with a lowered rank. If the violations are egregious, a site can be temporarily or even permanently purged from the index."

Getting inbound links requires some work. The Bing engineers are very clear about this fact: "Make no mistake: getting legitimate and highly valuable, inbound links is not a couch-potato task."

Fortunately, the link builder in IBP will help you to get things done as efficiently as possible. You can download it here.

 


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December 2009 search engine articles