The first step towards creating an effective link building strategy involves researching the potential sites on which you would like to place your inbound links, and determining the potential value associated with these links. Although the metrics available to evaluate a link’s value are wide in variety, individuals may find that assigning a specific value to some of those metrics may be difficult. It is important to consider an approach which can be readily applied without the use of too many specialized tools.
Consider the Page Rank of the home page from the site which is providing your inbound link. Google only provides Page Rank values for individual pages on a site as opposed to an overall score for the entire site. However, most SEO practitioners will regard the home page’s rank as a good indicator of the site’s overall popularity, as this is generally where the most inbound links are directed to. You can also use the excellent SEOMoz toolbar for perhaps much better metrics in regard to page and domain analysis.
Also look into the perceived “authority” of the site which will hold your inbound links. Page Rank is a measure of raw linking value with no regard to niche relevance. Authority value is much more centralized on the linking power gained from within your market space, and is given a much higher value when heavily linked by other authority sites in the given space. Higher authority sites will quite often have higher Page Rank, but the values are not directly connected to one another. As with Page Rank, the authority of the particular page on which your link will be placed should also be considered here. I will be honest and say that I prefer to use page and domain scores far more than simply just using the Page Rank of a page.
The number of outbound links on a page is another commonly observed metric, often referred to simply as OBL. This is an important point to be considered for a relatively easy to understand reason. A page only has so much Page Rank for which it can pass on via its outbound links. The more links on the page, the less of that Page Rank that is shared with each outbound link. If a page only has a few links, it is passing on much more value than a page with hundreds. This can be expressed with a rough equation of:
Pp = Pr / L
Where Pp is the passable Page Rank value, Pr is the Page Rank of the individual linking page, and L is the number of outbound links on the page. That may be a little rough for an equation, but the general idea is that the more outbound links on a page, the less the value of your own link on it.
Another quick and easy metric which can be observed is the actual page relevance. If you’re looking at the site and page’s content and it is general on topic with your own, this is a good thing.
Being sure that you are consciously aware of these values while building links will help you to achieve a greater level of success in your campaigns. You may wish to organize your collected data into spread sheets for reference and ease of use. Keeping accurate records will help you to recognize your successes and how you got there.