So with all of the penalties and algorithm adjustments trying to keep people from cheating the system in terms of link building and establishing links, it becomes very confusing to small business owners whether sites or links are worth linking with. Much like you may go to the Better Business Bureau or look up reviews when utilizing a businesses services that you are not totally familiar with, there are ways to check on potential link partners.
There are hundreds if not thousands of potential directories, press release sites, blogs, and more that you could potentially get links from. To narrow the focus and make sure you use your time and money wisely, follow the golden rule of link building. Just check how reputable the site is to Google. Google has a pagerank checker that you can even add to your browser to see a sites power. If you don’t want to do that, you can at least use a site like http://www.prchecker.info/ to get a feel for whether the overall domain is strong. If you are a small business, I would try to be sure that you get a 4 or higher, though some may even say 5 for higher.
For example, when looking to do a press releases, you know top sites like PR Newswire are reputable, but expensive. PR Newswire is an 8 on the Page Rank scale. However, I’ve had a lot of pr sites email me with offfers, etc. promising better distribution, etc. That is doubtful compared to PR Newswire, but if you want to see if it may be worth getting a release done there to mix it up and get links from more places, just check their page rank.
Follow this method for any comparison. Keeping in mind SEO is not the only part of your marketing plan, but when comparing local chambers of commerce, industry directories, etc. compare their page ranks and if you want to get even more serious about it, compare the page rank of the deeper pages where you will be linked to, and then help that feed your decision.
As you know, getting links from bad sites can actually hurt you and get you in trouble. Stay away from those 0’s, 1’s and 2’s if at all possible.
Just follow the golden rule to make sure you are investing in golden links.