I’m sure that you’ve seen Google’s General Rating Guidelines by now. I won’t explain these complete guidelines here, so visit Blogoscoped for a summary or one of the original posts at SEO BlackHat or Brian Ussery for more info about this rater’s guide.
When you read these guidelines (I’ve read it before, but it’s great to read it again as an eye opener), there are a few things you might pick up and use when you’re building links. These tips aren’t ground breaking and it also isn’t a complete list, but it’s nice to see these things confirmed by an official Google document.
1. Go for niche directories in stead of general ones.
The best links you can get are from websites that get lots of ‘vital’, ‘useful’ or ‘relevant’ ratings. Niche directories will not only pass more relevant traffic, but will also receive more positive ratings because of their specific focus. Therefore, you should definitely focus on niche directories and only the top general ones; getting hundreds of general directory links is just not worth it anymore.
2. Get links from your country.
If you’re looking for a book store in the US, the web shop of Amazon.co.uk will be rated as ‘not relevant’. And so will your link on that UK website probably (partially) as well. However, focusing on getting as much links from your country doesn’t mean that a link from BBC.co.uk isn’t valuable ;)
3. Go for news groups, but keep it informational.
For informational queries, newsgroups which are focused on the subject and provide helpful information will receive a ‘useful’ rating. This means that these newsgroup pages might show up in the top of the SERPs, so if your link is on that page, it might receive a lot of click troughs. Remember to keep it useful for the user though, because the page might not get a ‘useful’ rating if you’ve spamming the page.
4. Offer to write FAQ’s.
Informational pages such as FAQ’s can get ‘useful’ ratings. If you offer to write an FAQ for a website you’d love to get a link from (and of course include a few links to your own website), you might be able to score a few links from a valuable, ‘useful’ informational page.
5. (Not link building related) Bonus Tip
Do you have an affiliate website and you don’t want to get labeled as a ‘thin affiliate’, which is considered as spam by Google? Adding a ‘become an affiliate’ link to your footer might help ;)