Archive for the ‘LinkBuilding’ Category

Implementing Effective Link Building

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Link building can be a long, arduous process. Given the scope of most link building projects, it’s vital that you allocate your resources and time efficiently. Awareness of the major link building misconceptions that persist, plus a bit of creativity, can go a long way toward effective link building.

Overemphasizing Google PageRank and Relevance

When deciding whether or not to pursue a link on a given page, the cues used to understand the value of the page are often Google Page Rank and the site’s relevance. Both are important, but neither should be over-emphasized at the expense of missing link building opportunities.

Google’s PageRank (PR) is the level of authority that the search engine assigns each web page that it crawls. To the extent that PR serves as a general guide for a site’s influence and reach, it can be useful. But to draw any major distinction between links from a PR 3 and a PR 4 page is just splitting hairs, and it’s certainly not a productive approach to link building. Furthermore, PR is not an accurate representation of Google’s own weighting system; links on PR 0 page can prove quite valuable, especially in the right context (such as on an authority domain like a .gov or .edu link).

The standard logic has long been that the most valuable links are those placed on relevant, similar-themed sites. While this is true, interpreting it at face value can lead to lost opportunities. The best links are always on relevant sites (preferably those of the same niche or industry) or those with similar themes, even links on entirely unrelated sites aren’t harmful, and can often help. Use common sense, but never reject a link building opportunity outright just because it isn’t in the same industry as your site.

Relying on Outdated Strategies in a Rapid Industry

There is a wealth of strategies that link builders have at their disposal, but the best ones are not used nearly enough. An excess of emphasis on the more mechanical aspects of link building – directory submission, for example – is a trap many fall into.

You can get much more for your time and money by testing under-utilized but tried and true methods, as well as some creative new ones:

Go back to the basics. The classic form of link building has always been the personalized note or phone call to the webmaster to the site on which you’d like a link. This has fallen out of favor in some circles because it takes time to personalize for each site and to make the case for your inclusion, but it remains one of the most consistently effective techniques.

Make your link building campaign Web 2.0-friendly. Every link builder’s goal is to have other people handle the tedious aspects of link building for them, and a well-planned viral media campaign can have that effect. Use “link bait,” articles written with the intention of gathering links. Write about sensational, reader-friendly topics and use catchy headlines. Create video content that’s attractive to link to.

Don’t let conventional wisdom constrict your attempts to run an effective link building campaign: avoid the myths, be creative, and let your link building take off.

Using your domain as anchor text for links

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

We are recommending to clients that they use their as anchor text for a portion of their links. The pages are natural, the links are in content, but naturally occuring links on the net do not occur as anchor text for the most part.  If someone is writing about finding herbal tea, they will link the name of the fantastic company that they found as a source for tea, not the word “tea”.  It is being theorized in SEO circles that a page of relevant content, where the Googlebot is reading relevant keywords surrounding the link, with the anchor text as your URL, is going to pass authority for that topic or industry.

Ideally with a 10 page package, with one or two links per page, you would use 3-4 of these links on your URL, and the others on 2-3 different keywords.  This keeps the profile more natural, as links tend to occur on the web.  The value is passed and the exposure minimized.

Keeping our Links Under the Radar

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

We are constantly making efforts to improve the quality of links we provide. One of our strong points is keeping the links under the radar. We have several efforts in place, some old, some new:

1. The fact that the link is in content helps immensely. The fact that the page is 400 words of content, and not just a 3-4 sentence paragraph like some of those blog posts people sell– this is also higher quality.

2. Our best kept secret, an idea developed by us, and to my knowledge the only company doing this, is to block Yahoo from indexing the pages. This is to keep your spying competitors from seeing what you are doing to promote your site. For those of you that do not know, people commonly use Yahoo to view a sites backlinks, because they tend to show all or most of a sites incoming links, where Google only shows a very small portion. So although our edu links will not help improve your Yahoo search rankings, they also will not be visible to outsiders.

3. We limit the # of links on a page. The spider knows if it is a spammy page full of links. The Google algorithm surely includes a ration of words to links, and it does read the words around your links to verify content. We have seen some pretty hideous pages, and if you have purchased pages like this before, we recommend you take them down fast. The algo is getting smarter, and spammy paid pages are triggering flags. Most of our clients know this, they only request 1-2 links per page, but we can also reassure you that we will not let some other inexperienced client fill up his page with 10 or 20 links, drawing attention to the site. You will be in good company.

4. We limit the number of pages we will sell someone. Although I love a big sale like the rest of the world, it will not do you any good to slam up 40 pages in a week all linked to the same URL. We carefully advise our clients on what is an appropriate number of pages. Again, let’s all stay smart and under the radar.

5. We do not share our pages before we sell. And we will not sell less than 2 pages. These weeds out less than savory clients that maybe are fishing for info, or maybe just new to SEO and do not understand what is desired and what is risky. Again, good company helps us all. This is also part of the reason we raised our prices recently – the value is clearly there to people that know what they are doing, and with our link and page caps now, we will keep only serious clients.

We are always open for more ideas, lots of our decisions are based on client input. so let’s all stay in touch, keep working to stay 2 steps ahead of the algorithm and keep our sites ranking high.

The Reality of Link Building

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

In their effort to create valid and relevant search results, Google’s complicated algorithm is ever changing. The key to ensuring that your site shows up at all in search, and particularly high enough to get some traffic, is factoring in the importance of inbound links. It is impossible to say exactly how many links you need, what kind of links, or why some links seem to work more than others. But with experience and research, you can learn how to work towards that perfect mix of links that will signal to the search engine spiders that your site is indeed worthy of the Top 10.

Now in the long term, your focus on having a visitor friendly site, with material that a visitor wants to see, will be rewarded by the search engines. And of course increase conversions and loyalty. So be careful not to lose the perspective of your customer, your visitor, and make your site what the public wants.

That said, you still have to do a ton of work that you would not normally do for visitors only, if you want to rank for your words. It is just not possible to build a site just for visitors and expect to rank.  MAYBE if you have 4  years, MAYBE if the nature of your business coincidentally is one that demands new content  naturally for visitors, MAYBE if you are such a huge authority in your field, if your field happens to be something worth linking to, MAYBE then you can just randomly and naturally build up enough inbound links to rank high enough to turn a profit. But what if you sell socks? I mean, how much content can you possibly ‘naturally’ put on your site about socks? Is it really helping your visitor? And how many websites in the world are just dying to link to your fabulously well written valuable articles (1-2 new ones a month, right?) about socks, choosing a color, knee socks vs. crew, etc. It is all just fluff, and this is what the search engines want (expect) us to do.

So accepting that you will have to manipulate your marketing plan for the search engines as well as visitors, you will embrace this intimidating link building campaign. You must get links. Gotta do it. No getting around it. And link baiting, enticing people to link to you by offering rich valuable content, or free widgets, or press releases, is a big part of it. But baiting is just not enough for most sites, you will have to do active building the  hard way:  one at a time or buying them.  You will want lots of smaller links, and a few big boys. Some links in content from a high PR will work magic on most sites, especially mixed in with the average links. Authority links such as EDU links or GOV links will complement your smaller links and give you a big boost.

Keep your link campaign well rounded, with a mix of inbound links from pages with high page rank, and even below yours. Vary the anchor text for your links. Also point links to internal relevant pages in addition to your home page.  Take your time, space out your new incoming links. The crawlers will detect an unnatural spike. This is especially important for new sites.  Links in content are still absolutely the best,  seek these out in every creative way possible. Avoid bad neighborhoods where there are lots of spammy paid links to questionable sites.

And how to get all of this done? It is daunting, and the only way to do it right is to spend an enormous amount of time on it. This is why companies are hiring these things out, and focusing on designing their site for their visitor, letting the SEO worry about the rest.