Apr 30 2008

Forget reciprocals and start networking

Tag: SEOadmin @ 4:17 pm

Now we all know(well most of us anyway) that link building is one of the most important aspects of good SEO. We also know that the links we do get need to be of a high quality, ie, have good Page Rank, be relevant, come from an authoritive site, have few outbound links and is not spammy etc etc.

I recieve many link exchange requests every day which are pretty pathetic really. You know the ones “Hi, I saw your site and wanted to know if you would link to me? blah blah”.

For me, reciprocals are now pretty pointless. Don’t get me wrong, one or two reciprical links from relevant authority sites is not a bad thing, but links from pages that have hundreds of other links(including those to Viagra and online gaming sites) are pretty much worthless in my eyes and no doubt in the eyes of the search engines.

SEO’s and webmasters need to adopt a different approach to link building if they want to rank well. The search engine algorithms are becoming more and more sophisticated and have the ability to sniff out crappy, worthless links.

So how does one go about obtaining good quality links then?

Well in my opinion SEO’s need to start networking more. What I mean by this is that link building is very similar to building links and business associates in the offline world. In order to for you to do well in regular business, you need to network and build relationships in order to help each other to achieve your goals.

The same applies to SEO and link building. If you have something of interest, for example good articles, how to’s, free software or advice for example, why not approach another webmaster and ask to have your content placed on their site with a link back to you or a link to your content from their site?

If what you are offering is of any real value, most webmasters are sure to give you a link back and no doubt the link will be of much more use in terms of link juice(coming from a quality relevant site) and in terms of click throughs.

Most savvy webmasters are only to happy to place good content or information on their sites and are not afraid of “losing page rank”. Its all about offering your visitors more and sometimes this means linking out to other relevant authority sites.

For me, its better to spend a number of hours writing good content and then contacting others sites and getting them to link to you, than it is to build 100 crappy recip links that have no value. The return on investment(your time) is far greater.

Another good thing about writing or offering something of value is that your site also becomes an authority site in your niche and becomes a bit more trusted when linked to from other quality sites.

So go on, start networking with other sites and see if you can offer each other some quality content as opposed to some worthless reciprocal links.

Apr 29 2008

Outbound links and their role in SEO

Tag: SEOadmin @ 2:47 pm

I’ve just had my usual daily browse of the seomoz blog and read a great post by Eric Enge.

Eric discusses the importance of outbound links and how they can be used in order to get more authoritive links.

This theory to me is just so true. Webmasters can sometimes seem totally paranoid when it comes to linking to other sites that may have something interesting to offer such as an article, a service, some free software or something else of great value.

Just try getting a link to your site now days and the first thing the webmasters want is another link back to them.

It seems that to a degree people have forgotten the art of linking and that its not only about links coming into you but also links going out.

I’m pretty sure that this can also help in other ways such as having something to offer your viewers showing them that you are a source of good information. It also helps the search engines to determine your sites profile, ie which niche your site is related too.

As Eric mentions in the post, its like becoming part of an exclusive group where you share information with other sites that are an authority within your niche.

So start linking out to other sites that have something interesting to offer and you just might see some reward in your rankings.

Apr 22 2008

Which are the best web directories to submit too?

Tag: SEOadmin @ 7:43 am

Well this is a question that I hear asked quite often. Which are the best web directories to add your site too?

Firstly I should explain the different kinds of web directories that are available.

1. Free directories which are pretty much automated
2. Paid directories with an editorial process and policy

The truth is that nearly all free directories are not worth the time it takes to submit your site. Rumour also has it that Google are in the process of devalueing these directories as they have been abused in the past.

The best directories are paid directories such as dir.yahoo.com, business.com, lii.org, clush.com, botw.org and joeant.com to name a handfull.

The things to look for in a good directory are:-

1. Is there a strong editorial policy and process
2. Do sites get rejected. IE no site is gauranteed to be accepted?
3. Are they strict with the use of official site name as the anchor text?
4. Is the directory free of crappy ads
5. Does the site have good Page Rank. 5 or above?

If you can answer yes to the above then the directory will be worth adding your site too as it probably passes a certain amount of link juice.

If you can, also try to get into dmoz.orr(googles own dir) as this is very beneficial as is yahoo’s directory. Although it costs $299, I have seen it have a huge affect on ranking for sites. Afterall, Yahoo is the number1 site on the web(according to alexa) so a link from Yahoo has got to be worth mucho link juice.

So there you have it. Do your homework and don’t waste your time with free for all directories.
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Apr 21 2008

Recent Sandbox Observations

Tag: SEOadmin @ 11:47 am

In my last post I spoke about the Google sandox and explained what it was, why we are put there and what we can do to get out of it.

I also mentioned that you can use the allinanchor or allintitle commands on Google in order to ascertain where your site may be placed once released from the sandbox.

Well here’s a funny thing. I have been working on a couple of sites recently providing SEO and the sites were indexed at different times approximately 3-4 months ago, both suddenly on the exact same day appeared to be freed from the sandbox with both sites jumping hundreds of places for some of their respective search terms.

I personally feel that this is real proof that a) Using the allintitle or allinanchor to ascertain post sandbox serps positioning, is a pretty good and reliable way of measuring your potential rankings and b) That it does look like Google appears to have a certain filter threshold period where multiple sites are let loose from the sandbox all at the same time.

I think that this is too much of a coincidence and in my mind is sufficient proof that the sandbox filter appears to be a probationary period that is set for new sites that are indexed within a certain period and then released on a set date in the future.

Another thing to note is that one site is in an extremely competitive niche(real estate spain) and the other a not such a competitive niche(golf holidays in spain).

So be patient, as like I said, if you perform regular SEO and keep acquiring good quality links, you will escape the sandbox and when you do, the links that you have been getting should shoot you up the serps.

Apr 16 2008

What is the Google Sandbox?

Tag: SEOadmin @ 8:13 am

I thought I would take a moment to write a quick post about the Google sandbox, what it is, how to get out of it and why you may end up there in the first place.

To those who do not know the Google sandbox is something that is constantly in discussion among search engine optimisers on the web and around the SEO forums.

The sandbox refers to a filter that Google applies to a site and its rankings. When you are in the sandbox you will normally notice a number of things one of which is that although you may have many backlinks and a well optimized site, you still rank very poorly for your chosen keywords. As long has you have not been practicing blackhat SEO this will more than likely mean that you have been sandboxed.

Continue reading “What is the Google Sandbox?”

Apr 02 2008

The Importance Of Writing Quality Content

Tag: SEOadmin @ 2:51 am

One thing is for sure. Its getting harder and harder to rank well for competitive keywords. With Google clamping down on paid links and also giving less value to certain social media sites, removing the PR of most of the nets directories and generally making it harder for an individual to manipulate the SERP’s, or “muddy the SERP’s” as Google like to put it, the emphasis is more than ever being placed on quality content for your site.

There are two kinds of link building strategies, you either go after links or you get links to come to you.

What is meant by this is that if you create fantastic link worthy content, people will link to it naturally. The other method is to seek out links yourself manually, whether it be directories, related sites, blogs, forums, blog comments, social media networking or social media bookmarking to name a few.

Both methods should be used, but the hardest of the two is creating links naturally by having people link to you site or specific pages on your site. The only way this can be done is by creating something of great interest, statistics, an article, top 10 list, free software or some other interesting informational link bait. Like they say, “if you create it, they will link to it”.

Another way of creating links is to write articles on your niche and get them out there onto the net. This can be via social media sites, bookmarking, article directories or blogs. The most important factor though is that the article is “link worthy”. So its worthwhile taking your time with the article. Even if the article takes a month to write, in the long run it will be worth it, as you may get many quality links from high PR sites or authority sites.

In my mind this will be the way to go in the very near future, if not now. So sharpen that pencil.. uh I mean keyboard and get writing some great content. After all, its what we all want when searching the web right?

Apr 01 2008

One mans junk is another mans treasure

Tag: Website Reviewsadmin @ 10:57 am

I thought I would take the liberty of giving one of my new clients sites a great big plug. If you are based in Spain then you may be interested in the Sell It On The Coast online auctions in spain site.

Its a site with the same idea and features as Ebay, but aimed at the English speaking communities in Spain. Listing fee’s are low and couple this with less delivery cost and shorter delivery times and you can see why this site is going to become very popular on the coast. Enjoy!!

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