One-way links are links to your site from sites which do not receive a link from your site.
They send a powerful message to the search engines – that your website is so valuable or interesting or useful that other sites want to tell people about it.
One-way links are wonderful things to have because they increase your link popularity – the number of pages linking to your site. Search engines such as Google place huge importance on link popularity when ranking your site.
You can also receive direct traffic to your site from people who click on the links.
All links to your site are good, but where possible always aim for topic-related links.
Late in 2005, Matt Cutts of Google made it plain in his blog that Google frowns upon sites which “overdo” reciprocal links. Heed his warning and try to make as many of your links as possible one-way links.
Ways to get one-way links
- Create a useful, interesting web site and other sites will naturally link to it. The vast majority of the thousands of links to THIS site were not requested.
- Invite experts in your niche to write articles to be published on your site. When they do, they will often tweet about their article or mention it in their blog.
- Submit your site to major directories, such as Yahoo! and DMOZ.org, in the appropriate category.
- Write articles and submit them to newsletters which are then archived online.
- Hunt for sites that complement yours and ask them to publish your articles, with a link back to your site – or a page on your site. (You should get links to ALL your good pages, not just your main page.)
- Submit brief, useful hints to newsletters for the same reason.
- Submit articles to article directories. You can speed up this tedious work by using ArticleAnnouncer, the tool professionals use. This tactic isn't nearly as useful as it used to be years ago.
- Publish articles on your site and invite other sites to publish them on their sites, with a link to you.
- Write testimonials for products you love. Companies often post testimonials on their site with a link to the submitting site. Joe Vitale has taken this tactic to extraordinary lengths. For examples, trying doing a search on Google for “joe vitale +testimonial”.
- Participate helpfully in forums which allow a text link to your site in a signature. Read the forum instructions first, or you risk making an ass of yourself. UPDATE 2009: Many forums now use the rel=”nofollow” attribute on links. When you see “nofollow” in the HTML, you'll know that the links don't pass PageRank. On our affiliate forum, we now use “nofollow” links, in keeping with Google's advice to “nofollow” links that we don't necessarily trust. We don't want to provide straight links to spammers and bad neighborhoods.
- Consider buying text link ads on other sites, for example from Linkadage or Text Link Ads. (Remember that Matt Cutts has written unfavorably about buying links.) Better still, arrange for articles to be published on other sites with a link to your site in them. You may have to use some innovative thinking to achieve this. The results make the effort worth while.
- Buy ads in newsletters on your topic which are archived online.
- Locate industry-specific directories and submit your site to them. For example, if your site is on a health topic, look for health-related directories.
- Give away free ebooks and white papers that contain links to your site.
- Create simple web-based free software. Tell other sites, newsletters and forums about it and ask for a link to it.
- Create downloadable software which contains links to your site.
- Get listed in business directories.
- Create a blog and get it listed in blog directories.
- Join business associations which list their members' sites online.
- Write regular news releases and submit them to topic-related web sites and Internet news wires such as PRWeb and Business Wire.
- Make arrangements for other sites to archive your newsletters on their sites.
- Get your white papers published on other web sites.
- Submit your free ebooks to ebook directories.
- Submit your downloadable software to software directories, such as Download.com
- Locate a popular site in your niche which would appreciate having you as a regular columnist. Write tips, lively commentary, product reviews, or whatever topics suit your niche.
- Do something funny or outrageous or brilliant and people will link to your site without being asked. For good examples, see Cracked.com. Here are some tips on how to create compelling content.
- Use gimmicks. If people see something odd on a website, they'll often tell other people about it. You can also alert newsletter publishers and suggest they mention your gimmick in their newsletter. For example, Jim Crawford tells us how to make a sound play with a mouseover.
How to find “nofollow” links
Some links pass “link juice” and help your PageRank. Some don't. The links that don't pass PageRank value have rel=”nofollow” in the HTML.
In Firefox, here's how to discover if a link is “nofollowed”:
1. Go the web page that contains the link.
2. RIGHT-click anywhere on the web page (NOT on a link).
3. Click on “View Page Info”. (In Internet Explorer, click on “View Source”.)
4. Click Edit.
5. Click Find. Search for the link. See if it contains rel=”nofollow”. If it does, it doesn't pass “link juice”.
Fortunately, there's a much easier way to find nofollowed links… You can easily check for “nofollow” links by using a free tool called SEO for Firefox. It's a Firefox extension from SEOBook. This free tool also gives you a lot of other useful, competitive data. More than 500,000 webmasters use it.