The right links are fuel for a retail web site’s search engine rankings. But building the right links is among the most difficult, misunderstood and poorly executed aspects of search engine optimization. There are two kinds of links that retailers should focus on to improve such rankings. Links from an e-retailer’s product page to other relevant product pages within the siteâ??with relevant, as judged by the search engine spider, being the keywordâ??is one type. But a retailer can’t just put a bunch of links on a site to achieve a higher rank without taking into account whether the links achieve business goals. Such links must make merchandising and business sense, otherwise they will interfere with the shopper’s experience and possibly have a deleterious effect on a retail site. The second kind of link is links coming into a site from external sources, which retailers have a lot less control over. A link from a hunting magazine to an outdoor retail site is a link from an authoritative external site and those kinds of links can boost a retailer’s search rankings. But they are much harder to achieve because they require persuading the outside site to link to the retailer’s site, a mostly manual process. This session will examine criteria for evaluating a link’s value, creative link building strategies, link building dos and don’ts, and how to leverage affiliates and social media content. It will tell attendees how seemingly innocent practices can undermine a search engine optimization program and how best practices in search marketing are likely to change in the near future.
P.J. Fusco, Senior Consultant, NetConcepts
Mark Kaufman, Associate Vice President, CNet Findability, CNet