Establish A Unique Linking Strategy

Due to the web development and growing competition, search engines are considering link relevance a crucial factor to rank web pages. As a website owner, if you want to develop a long-lasting relationship with Google, establishing a unique linking strategy to rank high on Google should be among your top priorities.

Ranking in Google is like being part of a competition. The more votes in favour the higher you will rank. In order to get those expected votes you need to have quality links pointing toward as many web pages inside your domain as possible. This is a way to show Google that your website contains plenty of quality material that is worth being ranked.

Quality links are those that come from high ranked websites. Google ranks pages from 0 to 10. The higher the number the more Google trusts a website, which will result in an authoritative website. You can get the page rank information from the Google Toolbar. Alexa Rank is also another meter of websites popularity.

Links coming from top class websites are a lot more significant that the topic relevancy. If your website deals with dog training and you have 1000 links coming from low rank dog related websites, that is less significant than having 100 links pointing in your direction from authoritative websites, though their main category is other than the dog training world.

Links should also come from a variety of sources. Build links from the larger number of websites that you can afford.

Search engines also take the anchor text of the link pointing to your website into deep consideration. You need to make sure that the links are created naturally, that is, they must have a common theme but be written differently. If the topic of your website is still dog training, the link pointing to your site could be something like this: canine training, dog teaching, dog trainers, etc. You need to avoid the same text link in order not to look unnatural.

Some experts claim that the position of the link can also influence ranking. Links integrated into the context tend to be more relevant than those that are isolated or in the footer.

Link exchange doesn’t seem to be a good idea in terms of ranking since non-reciprocal links are more valuable to Google. Examining your competitors could be a good source of high quality links and submitting your website to topic specific directories could be part of your strategy, since they are usually high raked websites.

Remember that your main aim should be getting high quality links whenever possible. The consistency in building links is what will have a greater impact on search engines.

The Importance of Building Links

For non-computer geeks, learning ones way around the internet can be a daunting experience, somewhat akin to sword swallowing. Many people are terrified of the internet and so leave it alone. Don’t let this be you. The internet is here to stay and you need this valuable tool.

To thrive in this flourishing and unbalanced economy, at the moment, the most promising way to “get known” or aid in prosperity is the internet. Learning and having the valuable tools such as a great website and quality link building is no doubt a must. Thankfully there are computer whiz kids that can develop both for you; if you are not up for the job. But the big question is what in the world link building is? How does that pertain to my website? What does link building do? How will it benefit my business?

Link Building – What is it?

It uses a third party website to drive traffic to your website. In other words, a link is created on another website that your customers are apt to visit, once they are on that site, they see that yours has something to offer them as well, and will then visit your site. This not only increases awareness that your site exists, it creates credibility and profitability for you. Mainly, though, it give you uncanny exposure to search engines, which helps you get sorted by the search engine, thus pointing many referrals more quickly to your site through such giant engines as Yahoo and Google. Your site will move up the rankings on the search engines, so the net surfer will target you, if not first, at least way up to the top of site listings.

To promote more traffic to your site, the links focus on keywords or phrases, an important concept which you need to understand, because it is up to you to create the essential words relating to your business, as well as your competition. Your well chosen words serve to separate your business from your rivals. There are owners of websites that allow these keywords to grow up organically over time. This can take a very, very long while. To speed the process up, create keywords to optimize the search engine and build links within the context of your website.

Links both incoming and outgoing are essential tools for your site. Be sure, though, that you are creating traffic by strategically placing these links in websites with related businesses. This will offer reciprocity and link significant pages on your site that aid in discovering additional content to increase the worth of your website

Link Building – is it significant?

Here’s the thing if you have a business, say for example an acupuncture center, you wouldn’t go to a random unpopulated area to start your business and make a name for yourself, would you? No, you would stand within the competition so more people will come and spread the world; earning you credibility and prosperity. This applies to business owners and their websites. Link building not only satisfies the traffic from sites but it can interest advertisers to post on your site thereby fetching abundant revenue and a successful website for you.

How to Play Links Golf

When sheep huddled in hollows of sandy linksland to shelter from freezing North Sea winds off the coast of Scotland, the first golf bunkers were created. When roaming livestock grazed on the tough links grasses man saw an opportunity to mark out hard running greens and fairways for a new sport called golf.

To this day, playing links golf – in Scotland and Ireland – or at one of the prestigious venues for the Open Championship, is the dream golf tour. Many golfers travel from all over the world on a pilgrimage to the world’s best links golf courses.

If you’ve never battled strong sea breezes, or aimed down a fairway lined by gorse bushes you’ll probably feel you are playing a different game.

Global Golfer’s editor Matthew Moore, a one handicap golfer, lived in St Andrews for four years and devoted himself to learning the art of links golf.

Here is a practical guide to playing links golf.

Learn to knuckle the ball off the tee

Fairways at links courses can be narrow and lined by gorse (a hard dense prickly shrub), pot bunkers and thick tall rough fescue grasses.

When the wind blows hard, it’s difficult to keep the ball in play and out of trouble, especially if you are used to driving the ball high through the air with a lot of spin and shape.

To play links courses well you need to drive the ball low and straight, under the wind, with less spin so that it lands and runs down the fairways.

You can do this by hitting the “knuckle ball” with your driver. This shot creates a low top spinning flight that releases and runs on landing.

Here’s how:

· Tee the ball low, quite tight to the turf

· Choke right down on the grip

· Address the ball out of the middle of your stance

· Stack 60% of your weight on your left side

· Swing with a three quarter length at a smooth tempo, resisting the temptation to hit the ball hard and focusing on making a sweet strike

Remember, as with all full shots in the wind, the harder you hit the ball the more spin you create and the higher you will hit it, exposing it to the wind.

The knuckle ball drive will be shorter than your usual drives, but will make up for it by running on the hard links fairways. Best of all, it’s accurate and great for beating the wind and keeping the ball on short grass rather than in the gorse – which almost certainly equals a penalty drop.

Play with Punch not Ego

It’s not unusual to find yourself facing a shot of 125 yards into a tiny raised up green with a gale force wind blowing into your face. This is when you have to leave your ego behind, forget you hit gap wedge 130 yards if you swing full out, and play smart by choosing a much longer club and punching it to keep the flight down and reduce spin.

To play links golf well, you have to accept you will sometimes hit a 4-iron from 140 yards or an 8-iron when you only have 85 yards left. You do this by playing the punch shot – the links golfer’s best friend.

To punch the shot means to play with a shorter backswing, de-lofting the club for a lower flight and using your forearms and body together to shorten your follow through and punch aggressively through the ball at impact.

Top tips for punch shots:

· Grip down the shaft

· Position the ball further back in your stance towards your right foot

· Move your hands slightly further ahead of the ball

· Shift 65% of your weight onto your left side

· Swing ¾ length and punch through the shot with a shortened follow through below shoulder height

The lower the flight the less likely it is to be affected by the wind.

Make adjustments for the ball flying in lower and aim to land it short of the flagstick and allow it to run out towards the hole.

Practical Putting

If you usually play on inland golf courses or at golf resorts, you probably use your lob wedge and your sand wedge most when chipping around the green, throwing the ball high and landing it soft.

At a links courses the strong winds can buffet the ball from the shortest of distances and make accurate chipping difficult. Also, it’s rare to find thick rough around a links green, the most common hazards are bunkers, run offs, bank sides and hollows, which makes it possible to put the wedge away and use the putter from off the green.

At The Open Championship you will have seen top professionals putting from 25 yards off the green with great results. This is because putting from off the green is one of the best short game choices you can make on a links. The fairways are usually extremely tight making nipping the ball off the hard turf a precise skill – and it’s easy to thin, blade or skull the shot.

Your worst putt will always be better than your worse chip, so look at the slope and undulation of the land, be practical and use your putter to get the ball up and down.

Bump and Run makes the game fun

You will have heard about the Scottish bump and run or seen it played. This low flying shot lands short of the green or just on the green and rolls out towards the hole like a putt.

If you have nothing between yourself and the flag then the bump and run is a brilliant option because once it lands it starts to behave like a putt and can track towards the hole. Links greens can be undulating and sloping and so landing a high chip or pitch onto a hard downslope can cause inconsistent bounces and erratic results.

How to bump and run:

· Address the ball off the right foot

· Use anything from a five iron to a 9-iron

· Weight 70% on the left side

· Sternum ahead of the ball

· Heads ahead of the ball, club sitting upright

· Make a putting stroke and hit crisply down into the back off the ball

· Pick a spot just on the green to land it and let it run towards the hole

Lie of the land

A caddie at The Old Course at St Andrews, Turnberry or Troon would tell you that it takes time to get to know the subtleties and nuances of links land and learn the bounce of the ball. Often slopes and natural features can funnel the ball towards the hole, squeeze extra yards from a drive or prevent a ball from going in a hazard.

Buying a yardage chart and studying the contours and slopes of each hole is a good idea but you can’t beat being alert and observant when you are playing the course. Watch how partners balls bounce, look at sloping fairways and anticipate if you need to play to the right for a kick to the left.

Sometimes on a links the last place you will aim is the flag, because you might need to hit it 30 yards right to catch a shoot that funnels the ball left to the hole.

Hybrid Heaven

The worst thing you can do when playing links golf in a wind is hit hard onto the back of the ball with a steep swing squeezing the ball up into the air and applying backspin to it. The shot will balloon and the wind will exaggerate the spin forcing it into trouble.

A good way to get around this is to have a number of hybrid clubs or utility clubs to pick from. By using a hybrid with a shallower flatter swing you can pick the ball off the top of the grass and sweep it towards the target.

It’s easier to hit lower shots that have less spin and are more accurate by hitting hybrids rather than trying to drive down hard on long irons.

Make the wind your friend

The chances are that it will be windy on your links golf tour. It’s vital you make the wind your friend not your foe. The easiest way is to play with the wind rather than against it. Instead of trying to cut a three iron into a right to left wind, take a 5-iron and aim further right allowing the ball to ride the wind. It’s the same with a driver, cutting a ball into a right to left wind can take fully 80-yards off your tee shot, but, set up for a right to left draw and aim further right can result in big drives and simpler second shots.

Use the wind to your advantage and remember the harder you hit, the higher it flies and the stronger the effect on the ball and its spin.

Take your medicine in Bunkers

Our final tip for playing links golf is to be able to take your medicine and play safe when you find yourself in bunkers. Have you heard of the “Sands of Nakijima”?, more commonly called the “Road Hole” bunker at the 17th on The Old Course at St Andrews.

It’s typical of the deep pot bunkers with riveted faces common on the links courses of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. I mention it here because it’s a classic example of how a round can come unstuck when a golfer tries to execute a miracle recovery from a deep bunker. If you aren’t at least 90% certain you can clear the lip don’t risk duffing it into a riveted face and having it drop straight down into an even worse spot.

It’s no shame to play out sideways or even backwards from a links pot bunker if it means you can save a bogey or even better stop yourself making a quad or scoring in double figures.

Opt for the conservative shot that will guarantee you have at least a chance of a reasonable score – if you don’t you might find a bunker named after you.

Once again, here’s the short version of Global Golfer’s top-tips for playing Links Golf.

· Knuckle ball your drives

· Play with punch not ego

· Be practical putt from off the green

· Bump and run to make the game fun

· Learn the lie of the land

· Hybrids are heavenly on the links

· Make the wind your friend

· Take your medicine in the bunkers