Almost everyone who has some knowledge of search engine optimization understands the importance of inbound links: the more inbound links you have to your site, the higher your rank in the search results of the major search engines.
However, actually getting other sites to link to your site can be challenging. The proliferation of Web 2.0 sites like social networking and blogging sites offers a great opportunity to get inbound links.
The rel=”nofollow” Attribute in Link Tags
When looking for Web 2.0 sites that allow users to create outbound links, pay attention to how they use the nofollow attribute. To prevent spam, many web 2.0 sites automatically place nofollow in all or most of the outbound links created by their users. The attribute tells search engines to exclude that link when counting inbound links to a site.
A link tag with a nofollow attribute looks like this:
<a href=”http://www.fatcatreport.com rel=”nofollow”>my blog</a>
The same link without the attribute looks like this:
<a href=”http://www.fatcatreport.com” >my blog</a>
I recently came across a very useful Firefox add-on that adds a pink highlight to links that contain the nofollow attribute. This saves a lot of time because you don’t have to view a page’s source code to see if a link has a nofollow attribute.
Recommended Web 2.0 Sites
These sites let users create outbound links without the nofollow attribute.
Squidoo lets users create pages (they call them lenses) on any subject, complete with outbound links from their lenses and profile pages.
Live Journal is a blog-like journaling site that lets users create outbound links from their journal entries, profile pages, and community pages.
My Blog Log (one of my favorites) is a social networking site for bloggers. They can create outbound links from their profiles and community pages. From the profile, users link wherever they choose. From their community page, users can only link to their own My Blog Log posts.
Hub Pages is a blog-like publishing platform that lets users add outbound links from inside the content of their posts (called hubs) and the user’s bio on their profile page.
Digg, the popular social bookmarking site, lets users create outbound links from the About section of their profile page.
Google lets users create outbound links on their profile pages (used on applications like Google Friend Connect and Google Groups). I am not sure if Google gives a link from a Google Profile page as much weight as a link from another site, but profile pages do appear in Google search results, so I suspect there is some benefit.
Of course, Web 2.0 sites can be useful for much more than getting links. The sites mentioned above have a large number of active users and offer a great opportunity to bring some of this traffic to your site or blog. I recommend creating quality content and actively interacting with other users by adding comments to their posts or bookmarks, and by making friend requests and joining groups.
This guest article was written by Stephen Weisel from Fat Cat Report where he blogs about web marketing. You can also write a guest article on QOT and showcase your blog.