Tag Archives: link building

Are you still affected by PR-mania when building links?

Google announced that will discontinue PageRank in the future, action that brought a wave of concerns among the “webmasters” having only one concern: “What PR will I have on the next update? ” What is your PR? ” and ” Link costs $50 because it is PR5”…

On the other hand, it isn’t a certain thing whether Google will drop the PR when it comes to some search engine’s internal calculations or not but it seems that we will not know these numbers anymore, which is definitely a good thing. There are two kinds of people: those who run after PageRank and those who simply ignore it.

In the first category we will find mostly webmasters who have created sites for selling links only. As you know, Google does not recommend buying links and it seems that this change has something to do with link-selling market. Moreover, in this category there are some SEO guys who understand that a bigger PR can be translated with higher rankings/conversion, which is utterly wrong.

The second category is related to those folks that simply ignore the PR and for these ones the basic rules will remain unchanged (of course, in this category you can find both SEO services firms and customers that they did not care about PR from the first place). And the basic rules are definitely as follow (in regarding to link building, of course)

– Fresh, interesting and unique content on the website
– Good on-page SEO
– Good internal links architecture
– Good web hosting, thus fast loading sites
– Good numbers of authority backlinks
– Low numbers of outbound links
– Last, but not least, relevance, relevance, relevance

But how will link building be affected by this change? Because let’s face it, it will take place sooner or later. The single link builders affected will be those that were “thinking in terms of PR”, however instead of searching for PR when trying to build links they will be more concerned on how related the website is, anchors text distribution, editorial/footer links differences and so on. So in the end it can only lead to “SEO evolving”.

Quality over quantity or quantity over quality?

This is a debate that seems to never end in the SEO industry, more precisely when it comes to link building. There are two types of link builders with different thoughts:

1. Quality links count more

Quality link are described as those of great value, coming from high PageRank websites, niche-related with less than let’s say 10 outbound links, featuring unique content and so on. These are the high-hanging fruits that are supposed to make a difference and indeed, quality links are most of the times the best ones a website could acquire, even if it lasts lot of time until getting some of those.

2. Quantity of links counts more

These are the usual blog comments, forums links, directories links, guestbook links and so on. The difference between the ones above and these is the fact that these come from high-spammed channels, are located in bad neighborhoods, have maybe thousands of outbound links on page, basically all the opposite to a quality link.

You might say that the answer is simple: quality links count more. But the question that comes is: are quality links easier to be obtained than quantity links? Again, you might say of course, due to the fact that quantity links require much work.
On the other hand, it would not be the first time we see websites ranking quite high in search engine results and when checking their backlinks we notice that only bad links are pointing to their websites, in high numbers. The answers for those sometimes huge numbers are, simple said:

– Scrapebox – a tool for automatic blog comments
– Xrumer – a tool for forum spamming, considered the most powerful blackhat tool ever created
– AutoPligg – a tool for spamming Pligg websites
– Auto-Directory submission tools
– Article Marketing Robot – a tool that submits your articles to thousands of websites thus gaining instant backlink, and so on;

Of course, those are not the single tools that automate link building however they are the most representative ones ever created. Getting back to our initial discussion, it seems that indeed, bad links in quantity can also help in website ranking but only when used with caution and without leaving any footprints. But in the end, one quality link could literally weight as much as 10,000 spam links so the decision on how to approach one of these strategies will only depend to the link builder.

How a link profile should really look ?

When we are talking about link building strategies, one thing is sure : nobody really knows how Google ranks different sites and with the daily algorithm changes it is almost impossible to find out all its ranking factors. However, there are some factors that anyone should be aware of, and one of the most important factors is how your link building profile looks.

Before digging deeper into this subject, we should remind you that before all, it is a demonstrated fact that quality counts more than quantity, whether we are referring to creating content or building links for a website. With the algorithm changing each day, nowadays we cannot know for sure whether link numbers matter most or content, social media presence etc, but let’s see some points related to link profile.

1. Nofollow – dofollow ratio

Most people concentrate on getting only dofollow links, but does this look natural in Google bots’ eyes ? A website gathering links from different channels will definitely have nofollow as well so be prepared to take this into account when starting your link building strategy.

2. Valuable VS non-valuable links

Now an again, a natural link profile should definitely have in « portfolio » links from low blogs as well ; a link profile with let’s say 90% dofollow links from homepages will definitely pull the triggers and raise the red flag.

3. Anchor text diversity

Yes, you try to rank for a competitive keyword, however building links only with that anchor text is unusual. Add to your links portfolio long-tail anchors, links without any anchor, usual « here » links and so on.

4. Social bookmarking sites

There are many automating tools that can easily bring hundreds of links from social bookmarking sites, this is not unusual at all. However, having the same text describing the link could again pull some triggers and release « Google’s hammer » upon your website.

5. Link diversity

Probably the most important aspect is link diversity. Concentrate your link building efforts on multiple channels, from social media, forums, blog comments, directories to home-page links, review links and so on. This is one of the best strategies to keep your link profile looking natural now and again.

Popular and easy ways to get backlinks

Lately, more and more webmasters are discussing about different ways for getting backlinks to their websites while anyone is aware that a certain website will rank higher on search engines only if a lot of quality backlinks are pointing to it, as votes. Although there is a great debate in webmasters’ world whether certain links are worthy or not, this article will show you some methods of gaining a few good links. Remember, this is not for spamming but for building links gradually, sharing useful thoughts and participating in the community related to your niche.

First we should talk a little about the importance of nofollow links. Though less people consider these links important, they must be a part of anyone’s link building campaign while it will look more natural in search engines’ eyes. Second, even though nofollow does not pass PR, we all know the page rank is less important these days and anything that can help our rankings is way better than a higher PR.

Let’s first start with blog comments. The opinions on this subject vary from people that do not trust in links from blog comments to those that rely on blog comments for their whole link building campaign. Blog comments are not only good for links but also if one shares thoughtful comments that contribute to a post the chances of becoming an authority in his niche is higher. Related to blog comments, another great debate is whether .edu and .gov links carry more weight than regular .com and others. While Matt Cutts claims Google values .edu and .gov links as regular links, it is better to have its than not. Going further, finding related .edu blogs that you can make a comment on is easier when using advanced Google queries like site :.edu « niche » blog like for example site :.edu golf clubs blog. But again, do not spam your link on those blogs but only share what you think on that subject and bring value to the post you comment on.

Another great way for gaining links and exposure are RSS Feed Directories. Whenever a blog post is added a new link in added also in the Feed Directories you have listed your feed to. Moreover, there are even social networks that allow adding feeds, such as MyBlogLog, Squidoo and so on. There are literally thousands of Feed Directories available, easy find for anyone doing a Google search.

Social bookmarking is also a good method for gaining links and getting a new website indexed quite fast. Moreover, creating a mind-blowing post that gets thousands of diggs for example will get you not only a handful of new visitors but also the desired backlinks.

Press releases and article marketing, although they will not get so many value links its cannot be left aside while it is all about exposure. More than that, a well written press release that catches media attention could get syndicated in thousands of other places, meaning not only thousands of links but also visitors interested to find more about your company/services/blog.

Link Baiting is like any webmaster’s Nirvana, is what SEO gurus promote and what Matt Cutts says is best for getting quality links. A great method for creating link bait is by creating a contest or a giveaway, let’s say person that gets the most re-tweets wins the prize. You will get an incredible exposure in the online communities.

Of course there are many other ways of getting backlinks however these are quite popular among webmasters nowadays and also they are not so time consuming as let’s say creating a detailed report about something related to your niche that gets links while it worth that. That does not mean one should not use each and any methods available while diversity is best when doing a link building campaign.

5 popular methods to create a link building strategy

As for any business, link building could mean nothing with the right strategy to apply and to become a success.Whatever you would try in an aleatory way, might be lucky and succeed, but most of the times without a plan all the link building efforts will fail.

Here are some lines on which a person could create a whole link building strategy.

First, we have my favourite, the competition check. Best tools for finding what your competition does for links are Yahoo’s siteexplorer and SEO SpyGlass. Just by checking their URL you will discover a lot of interesting thing about how they approach their link building campaign. Are they buying links, exchanging or submitting to directories? Do they comment on blogs? Are they more into article marketing? How many press releases have they released? These are just some questions for which you will get answers by doing this check.

Second, there is the keyword research. One of the best ways to find gaps and cover them by ranking your long tailed keywords on Google’s top page. There are several tools that can be used for keyword research, choosing which one to use strictly depends on each and anyone’s taste. Obviously, see who ranks better for a keyword, analyze their on-page SEO and go back to first method and check their link building efforts.

Here comes the next strategy, and this is strictly related to whether you are looking to promote your services/products on local market or international. There are literally hundreds of local directories or local classifieds websites that allow placing a link in company’s profile, or even if they do not, a free listing is always good while you cannot have too much exposure when it comes to online. Do not forget about important listings like the ones in Yellow Pages, Thomson Local, Google Places (now Maps) and so on.

The non-commercial and authority websites strategy it is more difficult than the ones above while although you get a lot of exposure and link juice from this kind of websites, it is harder to get into their pages. The best method to approach would be to offer something they need, usually well-documented articles, research papers and so on. Let’s say you are in the “furniture” business. With just a search for “furniture associations” and “furniture organisations” you have some interesting results that could become a great place for a link. Being in the same niche, strictly related to what you are offering and having a great authority in furniture industry makes those links a goldmine for your business. The examples could continue, but you probably got the point.

Last, but not least, is the link bait. The link bait is the most popular link building method among link builders while it is considered a great way to gather natural links. It actually means creating something that can be talked about and, in the end, linked. From just a contest that spreads through blogging networks to even writing something bad about a company/well-known person, a successful link bait will always attract traffic, fans, links and, why not, haters.

Although these strategies are very time consuming and sometimes require a medium-large budget – if you do not have the necessary time to do it yourself – you cannot go wrong with its. Are there any other strategies that I missed and should I have written about? Share your thoughts below.