When you start your first web site, one of the most important areas of your site has to be the Links Page. Definitely any personal site or small business site (that does not have a lot of content), really requires it. The main reasoning being that a links page goes ahead and helps search engines rank you and also find your site more relevant.

There are a couple of ways of building a link page, the first one being a manual links page, where you add each and every link yourself into a static page or weblog menu. The automated way is to have a links program that helps you organize the links and may offer some added features like link validation and link submission forms. Large directory sites use commercial scripts to build their links pages, but as far as the search engine is concerned, a links page is a links page. A smaller static links page may in fact be more popular with a search engine than an automated page which has hundreds of links.

Who Should I Link To?

For a personal site, look at what sites you usually bookmark in your browser and pick the most interesting ones. Organize these into a few categories and then setup your links page. If at first you have just a few links, that’s fine. Over time your links page will grow.

Business sites, you probably do not want to link to your competitors, but at the same time you want to keep your links more closely related to your business. The great thing about the Internet is that there are many non-commercial sites that offer advice or information on a variety of topics. Linking to these type of informational sites is usually appreciated by your customers and will make your site more customer friendly. Another way of promoting your business is by promoting your friend’s business. For example Menards does not install the products it sells to home improvement customers, but they can refer you to a local contractor; you can apply this same strategy to your links page.

Once your site is up for a while, you might receive requests from other web site owners to link to their site. This is often referred to as link trading or having a link partner. The idea is for both sites to link to eachother and help promote eachother. The driving force behind this is Google’s Pagerank status. Linking to a highly ranked site usually does not mean anything, but if that highly ranked site links back to you and your pagerank status is lower, chances are your pagerank will improve in the coming months. Beginning sites should concentrate on their content first, and in time the linking requests will come.

Remember To Link To Us or Contact Us

On the bottom of your links page, you should have a note about how other sites can link to your site. Some webmasters are actually pretty friendly still, and if they find your site interesting, they will actually link to you regardless. And if your links page has no link submission form, a simple Contact Us link to your contact page or webmaster email will help those linking partner requests come in.

Eventually you may find that your Links Page may be one of the most visited pages on your site, and one which you hardly have to work at to really maintain.