Continuing my series on making money with blogs, or at least using a few ads to break even, I’d like to write a bit about link building. As I mentioned in my previous post “How to Make Money with Japan Blogs“, The Keyword Academy taught me that keyword research is an important part of finding blog topics for which you can rank, get traffic, and market to that traffic.
Link building is something like the currency of trust on the web. Many people tend to think of the main benefit of links being the traffic that comes via the link. Links, however provide some benefits that can be even more important than the traffic they bring.
There are two basic types of links, “no follow” and “do follow”. The follow part refers to whether search engines should follow the link.
“No follow” links are primarily useful for sending traffic and providing some name recognition. Most comment links are “no follow”.
Links from within the body of a post, or in a blogroll tend to be “do follow”. In addition to the same benefits as “no follow” links, “do follow” links also tell search engines to follow the link for more information about whatever keyword was used in the link itself.
In a nutshell, a “do follow” link tells Google that the site being linked to is an authority on the keyword topic. In turn, links can improve your rank with Google, and search traffic as well.
There are many ways to build links, but the best kind of links are natural ones, links that are earned through the virtue of good or useful content. Other good ways to gain links are through exchanges with blogs in the same genre, guest posting.
Some blogs tend to be a little stingy with how they link to other blogs, but there are also many successful blogs and sites that link out extensively. Japundit, a Japan blogs submission site, is a great site for link building, has a good page rank, and is made up of submissions from other blogs about Japan and Asia. (Note the “do follow” link with pertinent keywords.)
There are plenty of blogs that are worth linking to, and linking to blogs that provide value to your readers is also a great way to improve the experience of readers, and show your blog’s reliability and authority in a genre.
A word of warning about link building however, is to remember that if you are using Google Adsense on a blog, it is against the terms of service to buy and sell “do follow” links. Google wants to protect the integrity of its search engine results and does not want rank and authority to be passed based solely on an exchange of money. Content and reliability must remain king in order for Google to deliver relevant results and rankings.
Another advantage of The Keyword Academy (from which I learned much of what I’ve learned so far) is that there are many opportunities to build links through guest posting and other means (all acceptable to the Google Adsense terms of service and completely “white hat”).
However Japan bloggers should take advantage of any opportunities they may have to link to each other and reciprocate so that relevant, well-written, accurate blogs which portray what life in Japan is truly like can move up in the search engines and more widely share the truth.