Successful websites have a lot of links pointing to them. People link to websites they like and sites that make their life easier. Encouraging linking is done by creating linkbait. Here is a great post about linkbaiting that includes interviews with top line link builders Eric Ward, Rand Fishkin, Roger Montti, Todd Malicoat and Rae Hoffman.
Question: What are the factors you would take into
account before buying a link from a directly contacted site (not a link
broker or seller)?
Answers: It is 100% dependent on the outcome I’m expecting that link will cause, and the signal of intent that link may send to the search engines.
1. Rank for the target search term(s) at the major engines
2. Relevance to the site/page in question from a human perspective, i.e. would people on that page be likely to click-through and convert?
3. How well do pages at the site generally rank against their competition?
Take a look at the backlinks then note any from the same site. Remove those similar sites and search again. So if you’re in Yahoo and you’re doing this:
1. linkdomain:linkseller.com -site:linkseller.com
2. And find they have a bunch of inbounds from anotherlinkseller.com, do this:
3. linkdomain:linkseller.com -site:linkseller.com -site:anotherlinkseller.com
When checking the backlinks, screen out links from .info domains.
Test the value of a link – you need to know the type of link popularity that is going to be passed to determine a value to associate with the link.
All linkers agreed visible toolbar PageRank is highly overrated, and they do not use this as a quality indicator.
Cornwall has a huge list of linking resources written by top SEO’s and link baiters.