This is the first post about thinking greener when building links. This post is about understanding different types of links plus when and why the different types of links will be important depending on what type of site you are building links for. The second post, to follow, will be about the three “R’s” of link building: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle links.
We all should be familiar with the numbering system that you will see on plastic materials inside of the recycle image (like above). Recently, I started looking at understanding the numbering system, it gives you insight into what your bag, bottle or toy is made of. Below are the numbers and the definition of the type of plastic with an example of the types of products that use the type of material:
- 1 PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate – Soda Bottles
- 2 HDPE – High-Density Polyethylene – Milk Jugs
- 3 V – Vinyl or Polyvinyl Chloride – PVC Pipe
- 4 LDPE – Low-Density Polyethylene – Grocery Sacks
- 5 PP – Polypropylene – Food Containers (not Styrofoam)
- 6 PS – Polystyrene – Styrofoam
- 7 O – Other – Mixed resins
Here are the link building reference numbers that will help you to better understand what your link is made of:
1 DIR – Trusted Directories
Like PET plastics, trusted directories are durable and really necessary in our online society. Directories were the way to find other websites before search engines were available, but as we all know, like search engines, all directories are not all created equal. There are few truly trusted directories and yes, there are hindrances to entry. These hurdles to get past are usually either money, influence or time.
- Examples of Trusted Directories:
- Yahoo Directory
- DMOZ, the
- LII – Librarian’s Internet Index
- Best of the Web
2 NDIR – Niche Directories
Like HDPE, the niche directories fill in the gaps for food storage, not quite as strong as PET but very durable and necessary for daily living. Good niche directories work to become a trusted directory eventually, however, they deal with a particular topic or area of concern. Now, I am not suggesting that you go and submit your website to every niche directory that you find, however, to be recognized as a valuable resource in your given vertical, you might want to be listed in the directories that are specifically targeting your vertical or niche. In the same manner, niche directories wouldn’t be considered a trusted source if they didn’t include the most relevant websites either. However, like the trusted directories, you will most likely have to pay to be listed.
- Good source lists to look for quality niche and vertical directories
- Strongest Links
- iEntry Directory Portal
- ISEDN – Independent Search Engine & Directory Network
3 QR – Quality Resources
Vinyl, like quality resources have so many applications everywhere. Quality resources are recognizable online and off. Websites that an average person would know as a reputable source of information like a government agency, news source or reference source. To be listed by a quality resource it may require a newsworthy act or offer a very important or valuable service or product.
- Examples of quality resources:
- The New York Times
- Government Agencies – List of Agencies
4 NR – Niche Resources
Niche resources, just like LDPE, have valuable applications. These types of resources are relevant to a particular vertical and include quality sources of information on a particular topic. These can sometimes include quality resources if they have segmented their content into major verticals or niche areas for specific types of information. Many of these niche resources would be difficult to isolate because they will be different based upon the topical area. Like the quality resources, it might require a newsworthy act.
- Examples of a quality resource broken out to become multiple niche resources:
- USA Today
5 QNB – Quality Niche Blogs
Blogs have become an important piece of what the Internet has become, like PP plastics have done for food service over the last few decades, niche blogs are useful to everyone that is trying to pay attention to a particular vertical. Niche blogs have replaced specialty newspapers and magazines for industries for many professionals trying to keep up with their industry or even their passions.
6 B – Blogs
Blogs, like Styrofoam, has value, however the value of a link in a blog post is limited by the structure of a blog. Blogs publish the latest post on the index or home page (typically, the most valuable single page of a website) of the blog so a link in a post is very valuable when it is posted, but the value drops over time as the post with the link drops from the home page to the depths of the site. Like Styrofoam, the post doesn’t go away but the usefulness of the link diminishes. I won’t list blog examples, I am sure you know a few.
7 GL – General Links
General links like other mixed resin plastics are just that, general. General links are links that you may not have intended, they may not have a real value to your website but they are links none the less. These might include scrapers or aggregators that pull your content and republish it as their own without even pulling out internal links or such. General links aren’t something you should be trying to get, but I wouldn’t be concerned if these links start showing up in back-link checks with Site Explorer or link search attributes.
So, here is my link classification of the “Green Internet.” The follow-up post, part 2, will be understanding how to take your link building efforts to the next level and include eco-friendly activities online.
If you have ideas on how to further clarify these categories, feel free to comment below.