One Way Link Building

Eleanor Hanson

In this article we are going to explore link building and creating both proper one way link building and link exchange campaigns. While the content of your website is one the most important factors in search engine placement and ranking, it is also extremely important that you obtain high quality relevant inbound links over time if you want to retain those high rankings. Getting a new website indexed is not really an issue anymore, but appearing for your keywords in search engine results is a completely different story. Link building campaigns, which are also a part of the indexing process, have to be done in a very specific manor or your website could suffer a penalty and drop out of search results entirely and be placed in what is commonly being classified as the sandbox. Although this sandbox effect has not been completely confirmed by any major search engine, most new websites seem to have a very difficult time appearing in top ten search engine rankings for there chosen keywords in the first 6 months of creation, unless very strict guidelines are adhered to.

There are basically two different types of links, one way links and reciprocal links. There are other more complex link building techniques but the first two are the major types that anyone with a website can get without treading too closely to the out skirts of the sandbox.

Reciprocal linking is basically a link exchange between two websites. Website one places a link to website two, and vice versa, and can consist of a text link or image ad between each website. However in recent months these types of links are being considered less valuable than a one way link by search engines. You might be asking yourself, “Why bother then?”, and of course that is a great question that deserves an answer. In the past a reciprocal link was simply counted as a link by search engines no matter what, so what began to happen over time was that totally unrelated websites exchanged links to manipulate search engine results. For example, a website about exotic cars was exchanging links with a website about house painting just to gain a link.

Search engines have evolved to the point that they now realize that a person searching for exotic cars probably doesn’t care about house painting, so this type of link exchange is heavily discounted. Search engines want to provide the best possible results in the top ten to there users, and as such a website with a few good relevant inbound links will now out perform a website with many irrelevant links. What this boils down to is a reciprocal link can still serve a purpose towards not only getting qualified traffic to your website but also search engine consideration if the two websites that link together are related in some way. An example of this would be if the exotic car website exchanged links with say an exotic truck website, or the house painting website exchanged with a home renovator website.

Not only will web surfers of both websites probably click on the link exchange, it will be a more qualified lead as they are both in the same type of niche category and search engines will recognize this. The easiest way to obtain this type of link is to visit the Open Directory Project located at, and type in some keywords related to your own website. The Open Directory Project is considered an authority to search engines so when the results are returned take note of all the categories, sub-categories, as well as websites it considers related to your search term. Then type in these new search terms into any search engine, draft a short and simple e-mail to the Webmaster of each website and request a link exchange. You will not always get a response back, but as stated earlier even a small amount of related reciprocal links are worth the effort for search engine rankings and valuable qualified leads.

One way links are external links from another website that point directly to any web page on your website and without any reciprocal link back. These types of links are more valuable on the whole than reciprocal links, and a quality one way link from a related website is considered a huge vote of confidence towards your website content to search engines. As such your search engine ranking placement will drastically improve as search engines start to consider your website an authority. Sources of one way links are forum signatures, commenting on blogs, web directory listings, and social book marking websites, just to name a few. As stated earlier though, these links have to be obtained in a very specific manner so as to look natural to search engines and obtaining too many one way links to your website all at once will most probably result in a search engine ranking penalty and hurt your link profile.

Now that we have discussed the different type of links and how and where to get them, it is time to build your link building campaigns. In obtaining both types of links you have to choose very carefully how and where your link will appear. As a rule of thumb you should only pay for links on quality websites, and avoid link farms, but if you are unsure which is which, avoid it altogether until you have a little more link building experience, as certain paid links are heavily discounted and can also get you a search engine penalty, and off to the sandbox your website will go. Link farms are basically websites or web pages that contain more than 50 external links on a web page and have little to no actual content on them.

This rule does not include web directories however, as most are legitimate seo-friendly web links contained within neatly organized categories that include a description for each web link, which actually makes up the content required by search engines to be considered legitimate. As there are many web directories that currently accept free one way links, we will now cover exactly how and what to do when submitting your link to them, as well as where to get the best free directory list below.

First you have to obtain the free directory list at At the time of this posting they had a list of over 400 verified non-link farm non-reciprocal seo friendly web directories varying in page rank that are downloadable on an excel spreadsheet. Now open up Notepad or WordPad and fill in the details of your website as written below and then save the file.

Title (Anchor Text) – This should be based on your primary, secondary and third set of keywords. It is recommended that you use at least 3 titles and submit to the directories using 60% your primary keywords, 30% your secondary keywords and 10% your third set of keywords. Submitting in this manor should prevent search engines from considering these one way links as link spam and applying a filter. Try not to use unnecessary capitals because directory owners do not like them.

Description (Web Content) – This should be written in the third person with a call to action using your keywords, but not a keyword stuffed sales pitch. It is recommended that you have a least 3 descriptions consisting of 250 to 300 characters and tailored to your above selected titles. Submitting a well written description will not only improve your chances of being accepted to the directory, but will also assist the directory owner by providing him or her with the required web page content.

Keywords – Some web directories accept Meta keyword information so you should make a list that includes 3 to 7 of your most important keywords or keyword phrases.

Visit each of the web directory links provided on the excel spreadsheet and when submitting pick the category that best fits the description of your website and copy and paste the information in the file you saved earlier. It will speed up the submission process and eliminate things like spelling mistakes that are sure to be rejected by the directory owner. As stated earlier your link building campaigns should be done over a period of time as directory submissions are a part of a long term strategy, and getting too many one way links at a time looks like spam to most search engines.

It is highly recommended that you only submit to 5 to 10 directories a day as some have almost immediate acceptance, but most higher page rank directories take longer to get listed because of a back log of submissions. Once you get used to submitting you should find that it takes you no more than 2 minutes for each directory and your link building campaign will be finished with 6 weeks with a total time invested of approximately 15 hours.

If that seems like a little too much time invested on your part or you just want to simplify the whole link building process, we have recently partnered with G-Lock software to distribute a Free Directory Submission Tool that speeds up the process even further. Each directory submission takes less than 15 seconds each, after you set up your link building campaigns, and it follows each of the tips we covered above automatically.

It will also track and report on which directories you have submitted, how many are still pending, and how many have listed you and what anchor text was used for the listing. If you would like more information on this free directory submission tool visit One Way Links to download your free copy or to view a complete tutorial of the free directory submission tool in action, and don’t forget to submit your website while you are there, it’s a free one way link!

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