Oct 182011

The world of  SEO has only recently started to be associated with mainstream thoughts on marketing and internet promotion, but even so it remains an area which is more often associated with confusion that clarity. In this post I’ll look at the difference between weak and bad links.

It is universally accepted a natural link profile includes numerous pages that are either new or not very powerful in SEO terms as well as no-follow links. I prefer to label these types of links as ‘weak’ mainly because they alone won’t considerably improve your rankings, but won’t damage your link profile either. Quite on the contrary, they are an important part of the linkscape or the link eco-system.

‘Weak’ links can include new pages – in fact most new pages tend to be not as powerful in terms of link juice, pages with few or no links pointing at them, or pages on new sites without much authority on the internet. Having many so-called ‘weak’ links, however, can help rankings, whereas ‘bad’ links can potentially damage your SEO prospects. ‘Bad’ links are links coming from ‘taboo’ sites, such as porn sites or other web entities with dubious reputation. The category can be extended to links from sites that have been banned or have received a penalty from Google or other search engines, link farms and sites with duplicate content.

So the there is quite a difference between ‘weak’ and ‘bad’ links. It is worth having a thought about the kind of links you associate a website with, particularly for link builders. In short, avoid ‘bad’ links or links from bad neighbourhoods, supplement weak links with strong examples and, above all, concentrate on keeping a natural link profile with the appropriate mix of brand/non-brand and relevant anchor text.

And last, but not least, as I keep saying, link building is complex and is not necessarily a job for everyone. Always try to place the links and sites you are link building to in the wider context of the internet as a social network, after all the web resembles the human society and is made of humans on the internet.

 October 18, 2011  Posted by  SEO matters 2 Responses »
Oct 042011

In SEO and link building establishing the value of a link is one of the biggest challenges out there. All indicators have advantages as well as drawbacks, so in theory using a combination of metrics is the best idea to implement across link building activities.

There is also a significant difference between bad links and weak links. The so-called weak links won’t impact on rankings as much as better ones but won’t harm your site, whereas links from suspicious neighbourhoods might attract a penalty and are generally to be avoided in order to keep your link profile healthy in SEO terms.

Even if you use a combination of indicators, such as PR and Raven, the outcome of your analysis shouldn’t be regarded as set in stone, since even Raven scores are subject to change or sometimes the way scores are established in the first place is revised. As a recent example, Raven is now using Majestic indicators as part of its score, and that will affect scores across all types of sites.

I guess in the end links are valued based on the ‘feel’ of the evaluator, which is a result of quantitative and qualitative factors. This leads on to the discussion that SEO is not an exact science, but an art, hence it can be approached in a variety of ways.

In the end, a combination of indicators plus a qualitative assessment based on ‘common SEO sense’ should be both effective and practical when it comes to decision making on link quality.

 October 4, 2011  Posted by  SEO matters Comments Off on Link quality metrics
Sep 202011

It is not uncommon to have link builders working part-time. Because of this, a lot of the work ends up being done by students or anyone else who does the job as an addition to whatever keeps them busy for most of the time. This of course means link developers do not necessarily pay enough attention to detail and as a result it’s worth mentioning a few basic rules that everyone should adhere to.

First, links are difficult to get, especially good, topic-relevant links that  can contribute positively to the internet landscape overall. This inevitably leads us to the Blackhat/Whitehat issue, but more on this in another post. Before you place any link anywhere, think of the concept of link neighbourhood. Any sites with adult content, dating websites and other on line entities with dubious reputation should be avoided since they can cause your link building and the site you are link building to more harm than good. Just imagine how things work in the society we live in – similar socialisation patters aplly to the internet.

Then, ‘follow’ links are even more difficult to get. Not that you are expected to only get ‘follow’ links, since ‘no-follows’ are important for a natural link profile. Also, there is nothing wrong with ‘no-follow’ links – they can be used as good background noise for the overall link building campaign profile. More importantly, if you are instructed to ‘produce’, say, 50 links, do not exceed the recommended numbers! Specific instructions are there for a reason.

To maintain a good relationship with clients/employers etc only include good/active links in your reports. This will ensure there is minimum time wasted on sampling and rankings you are working on progress at regular intervals.Overall, be imaginative in your research a try to build a network of sites you could use on a regular basis. To ensure site owners are happy with your activity try to make a contribution to the site/topic rather that just leaving a comment with a link.

And last, but not least, make link building interesting for yourselves by being inventive and continuously learning about SEO and recent developments and ideas. Learning is always a good investment of time and energy.


 September 20, 2011  Posted by  SEO matters Comments Off on Basic rules for link building
Aug 062011

Most SEO professionals will agree that to succeed at the art of search engine optimization more than just job dedication is needed-it takes a certain type of person-competitive, hungry and creative. There are no safety nets or guarantees-rankings fluctuate, although in patterns, and continuous effort is expected in order to have a chance at improving or at least maintaining positions in the search engines.

There are updates, competitor activity, linkscape and other factors to take into consideration when researching, planning and implementing SEO and link building strategies. Also, attention to detail is as important as always, despite automatic submission software and the like. As a link builder, the challenges faced will be very different to the problems an SEO manager has to deal with, for example. If gaining enough trust on blogs and forums in order for them to allow posts with sneaky html in them is hard enough, think about the dodgy link sellers, loss of agency in management chains and pressure to perform that any senior SEOer is faced with on a regular basis.

All the above relate to my statement about the determination and competitiveness necessary to succeed as an SEO warrior. Of course it’s Google’s job to update the algorithm and ‘correct’ suspicious ranking fluctuations, primarily because their entire business model is based on displaying the best search results for customers around the world, but at the same time link builders and other SEO merchants are an important part of the online eco-system, which makes me believe that SEO is here to stay, despite numerous attempts to bury it.

Stay around it will, and so will various surrounding issues, but in order to do so SEO ‘artists’ will have to become Martial artists to cope with the increasingly complex search engine and internet reality, and that’s the only way SEO will continue to be seen as a marketing strategy worth investing in.

 August 6, 2011  Posted by  SEO matters 1 Response »
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