It is no secret that links are one of the most significant factor search engines use when ranking websites. Google even states that

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34432&query=improve+rankings&topic=&type=

In other words if there are no inbound links from external websites pointing to your site you will not rank for anything on Google and the other big search engines. It doesn't matter if your website is incredible and the content was written by pulitzer prize winning writers. In simpler terms if you build a house in the woods and there are no roads leading to it, do not expect alot of visitors no matter how nice the home is. Please also remember that if you build alot of roads that lead to an ugly shack, no one will stay. So don't ignore building good content. Good content makes it much easier to convince people to link to you.

Since most websites like visitors it is best to build up as many roads to your website. You build roads with link development. Link development is any activity that is designed to create new inbound links to your website. You can do organic link development which is when you go after free links (which is encouraged by search engines). You can also do paid link development which is when you simply open up your checkbook and pay people to link to you (which is not encouraged by search engines).

Some ideas for organic link development are:
Press Releases (not very helpful, unless it your pr is interesting enough to get websites to cover the story and link back to you)
Social Media (similar to pr, develop an interesting story and promote it with social media, people discover the story and write about it link to you)
Article Submission (give free content to related websites, it saves them money and inside the articles are links to your sites, just be careful to avoid duplicate content issues)
Directory Submissions (Best of the Web and Yahoo are good, 95% of all others are a waste of money and time unless it is an industry specific directory)
Reciprocal Links (exchange links with non-competing but related sites, for example a NY layers site exchanging links with a Miami lawyer website, same industry but not geographically competing)
Just be creative!

If you are interested in paid link development. Stop! Review your situation. Then thoroughly research the paid links process and implications. It is vital to be informed of the dangers and pitfalls before you start buying paid links. They can work wonders and they can also get your site killed. Some people are buying paid links in an attempt to sabotage the competition. In other words paid links are not something to casually jump in and start playing around with.

Hopefully this will help you to start developing links and creating more pathways to your great website. As with anything a mixture of techniques will probably work best. It is good to use different link building ways and also to spend time building a site people will be happy to link to. Good luck and happy link hunting!

Excellent article, goodroi. I haven't seen a lot of traffic from social networking but I suppose each link and visitor does add to the total. I've had the most success with article marketing, especially when the article gets published by other sites. Another suggestion would be to comment on blogs in your industry - many do allow a link to your site and you get your name known to others in your niche.

I didn't want to mention blog commenting because many people misunderstand it and other people immediately think of it as spam. I do agree with you that it is a good idea to comment on relevant blogs in your industry. This will help generate link popularity and if your comment is very helpful you can even generate direct traffic.

I would suggest to avoid commenting on unrelated blogs. I also would not suggest "drive by commenting" as well. This is when people submit useless comments simply to drive up the amount of inbound links. This type of activity annoys blog owners and generally leads to your comment being deleted which does not help you.

Since we are talking about blog commenting I should also bring up the automated tools. These tools are a quick way to getting penalized unless you are very experienced.

The fact is that well optimized web pages with few backlinks frequently outperform fluffed up mediocre content that has hundreds of links.

The number of links should develop naturally. SEOs should remain completely focused on giving the search engine the most important content, deploying the best internal linking structure amongst the keyphrase competitors and move along the top ranking competitors with a plan to naturally evolve the web site; broadening its market scope and developing a web site's internal strength for top ranking sustainability.

The fact is that well optimized web pages with few backlinks frequently outperform fluffed up mediocre content that has hundreds of links.

Let's be careful not to give out false information. I am not even going to say a certain person is wrong. All I ask is that readers of this post perform a simple test.

Do a search for any common keyword on Google and look at the domains in position #1, #5, #10, #15, and #20. Then using Yahoo perform a backlink search. (Google does not currently provide accurate data since people like me use it for reverse engineering). You will notice that sites with the better quantity AND quality of links will almost always rank higher (there are penalties and other issues which complicates matters).

Please notice I said quantity and quality of links. Not all links are created equal, an oversimplified way to prove not all links are equal is that Google assigns different PageRank values.

Is it possible to outrank a site with 1000 links with only 10 links? Yes, if the 1000 links are bad quality and off target and the 10 links are incredible quality and perfectly targeted. But it still means the person with the best link popularity wins.

Great post goodroi. Yeah, in order to gain backlinks for your site, you will develop it or build it.

To count in the rankings, do you know if it is it sufficient for a news article to mention only the web site core name with a .com designation?

For example, my client's web site is mentioned in news articles as IPOboutique. I strongly suspect that search engines would not associate that with any site url. Would a search engine include IPOboutique.com in its rankings or does a news article have to display the full url of http://IPOboutique.com?

Many thank for considering this; it is my first post (so please be gentle).

It is no secret that links are one of the most significant factor search engines use when ranking websites. Google even states that
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=34432&query=improve+rankings&topic=&type=

In other words if there are no inbound links from external websites pointing to your site you will not rank for anything on Google and the other big search engines. It doesn't matter if your website is incredible and the content was written by pulitzer prize winning writers. In simpler terms if you build a house in the woods and there are no roads leading to it, do not expect alot of visitors no matter how nice the home is. Please also remember that if you build alot of roads that lead to an ugly shack, no one will stay. So don't ignore building good content. Good content makes it much easier to convince people to link to you.

Since most websites like visitors it is best to build up as many roads to your website. You build roads with link development. Link development is any activity that is designed to create new inbound links to your website. You can do organic link development which is when you go after free links (which is encouraged by search engines). You can also do paid link development which is when you simply open up your checkbook and pay people to link to you (which is not encouraged by search engines).

Some ideas for organic link development are:
Press Releases (not very helpful, unless it your pr is interesting enough to get websites to cover the story and link back to you)
Social Media (similar to pr, develop an interesting story and promote it with social media, people discover the story and write about it link to you)
Article Submission (give free content to related websites, it saves them money and inside the articles are links to your sites, just be careful to avoid duplicate content issues)
Directory Submissions (Best of the Web and Yahoo are good, 95% of all others are a waste of money and time unless it is an industry specific directory)
Reciprocal Links (exchange links with non-competing but related sites, for example a NY layers site exchanging links with a Miami lawyer website, same industry but not geographically competing)
Just be creative!

If you are interested in paid link development. Stop! Review your situation. Then thoroughly research the paid links process and implications. It is vital to be informed of the dangers and pitfalls before you start buying paid links. They can work wonders and they can also get your site killed. Some people are buying paid links in an attempt to sabotage the competition. In other words paid links are not something to casually jump in and start playing around with.

Hopefully this will help you to start developing links and creating more pathways to your great website. As with anything a mixture of techniques will probably work best. It is good to use different link building ways and also to spend time building a site people will be happy to link to. Good luck and happy link hunting!