Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

Link Building in 2010

It wasn’t long ago that you could join a link exchange network or add free link building software to your site and watch the links pour in. Well, let me rephrase that, you can still watch the links pour in but the quality and the value of the links has diminished. You can sign up at the popular LinkMarket and watch the link swap offers pour in from hundreds of new websites that aren’t even indexed yet or the masses of template built funnel pages created for a few clients of “Dirty Dan” the SEO. Or you can add a hundred or more link partners from Asia or the Middle East because those are the “partners” that you think your visitors will find value in, right?

There are many conflicting theories on where Google is with filtering link swaps and farms. Although Google seems to be hiding the page rank for some of these built out link swap pages some people believe they still count. If you have thousands of inbound links from unrelated low quality sites with overflowing outbound links it still appears to work according to some “experts”. But is it working for the new sites? Is Google leaving the old link swappers rank alone but discounting the newcomers? Do the filters only apply for the new sites using the old tricks? Is Google just hiding the pagerank on link farms to discourage others from joining in or are they filtering the results and value passed by these farms? Is the toolbar page-rank any indication of the value or the actual page rank of a links page, or is that page’s value actually higher? If your URL includes the word “link” or “links” is it penalized? Should it be? A real test would be for someone to take a well positioned site with a high number of “low quality” inbound links that were acquired with a link swapping campaign and start removing those links. Obviously this would be a challenge because the link partners would have to be contacted. It would be a time intensive manual process to undo an automated build and it put’s the site at risk for a drop in the search results. The inverse would be easier, take a new site and try an old-school link swap build. That still wouldn’t tell us about old builds though.

What about blog spam and the boneheads that use keyword laced link text rather than a name when they comment? Is there still a value in that? Do forum signatures still work? Should they?

We have seen so many abuses in the past like the early days of meta keywords and tiny or hidden text that you just know we are going to see some innovation in “real time” search results abuse. Do the search giants have a plan or did they roll out the feeds as quick as they could for fear of being last or missing the game?

Should we all be spamming twitter with links to our website and blog posts right now? Is one tweet enough per site, page or post? Should we tweet swap? You tweet me I tweet you! Can I pay you to retweet me? Should I? We have all seen the spam that ruined Twitter Trends.

So I have asked a lot of questions and given no answers. For now  I can only say that in 2010 you still have the same old reliable opportunities. The following is a list of link building techniques that should always work, they are so white-hat that you should not incur penalties. As always, you need content and you need on page optimization and conversion optimization. Without those then what’s the point in building traffic?

  • Request links from friends, affiliates, and business partner sites
  • Join relevant industry groups and request or add links to your profile
  • Find business directories that are still known to count like Best of the Web , Yahoo Directory and the Open Directory Project (DMOZ)
  • Join business networks like linkedIn and Merchant Circle
  • Write and submit articles to quality article networks (Read and obey the rules). Be sure your profile and the article links to your site.
  • Add your blog to your profile at sites like Technorati , MyBlogLog , BlogCatalog
  • Make sure you have set your blogging software to ping update services like Technorati, Pingomatic, URLfan etc. *
  • Blog, Blog, Blog – Write good content and it will get linked to if it can be found. It’s perpetual.

While most do-it-yourself web masters could manage these tips on their own there is still plenty of work involved and I see plenty of work for SEOs in 2010. Not just the hard stuff, most successful business owners will not have the time or be inclined to perform these simple tasks. Not only are they time consuming but most search professionals will provide more than what I have listed here even for entry level link building.

Good luck in 2010 ad post comments on what has worked, what stopped working, and what is working for your link building campaigns in 2010.

* In WordPress the update services can be found under Settings > Writing and scroll down to Update Services.

Link Building 2010 Revisited – Why Blog Networks Don’t work

—David Blizzard

Social Networking is Marketing

Can social media be used to market your company? Yes, print media and telemarketing are giving up a lot of ground to Internet marketing and social networking could be another nail in the coffin. Social media can be used for marketing, branding, and customer relations but is it really free? Not at all, anything that takes your time or an employee’s time is not free. You need to determine the cost and estimate the value in order to budget for this avenue of marketing.

The Twitter buzz: Here are some good starter tips right from the horse’s mouth, Twitter 101 a Special Guide. You can use Twitter to mingle and rub elbows, virtually. You can find out when people are talking about your company or products and services. You can respond to questions about your service and make new connections. You can provide a link to your Twitter account on your company website and blog and give customers a look at your personal side. In moderation you can use Twitter for SEO by linking to new product releases or blog posts but it should be a low percentage of your overall tweets. Twitter is not a great SEO tool, it’s Internet marketing.

Step back now and look at your business without the rose colored glasses. Are you really so big and popular that you need to watch for tweets about your company? Is monitoring Twitter going to improve your customer service? For small companies the answer is probably no so don’t buy in too deep. Stick with the things that will benefit you.
Do you really have something to offer, something to say, or something you can give away? If the answer is yes then start tweeting and building your social network. Spend a few hours per week building a network and offering something of value. Value may be found in humorous replies, interesting sub culture news, industry news, personal experience with a product, free samples, free work, or just be that person that lets others know someone is listening. You aren’t selling your services directly, you are marketing your company.
Remember, if your customers can’t get a reply to an email or a call back because you are too busy Tweeting then you have missed the point of Twitter.

We know Facebook is the cat’s meow for personal socializing but how is it for business? It’s not anywhere near as hot as Twitter for business but the water is warm. Facebook has a different set of rules for business accounts or pages. Should you set up a company page on Facebook? If you have the staff to use Twitter to its potential then you probably have the resources to maintain a company Facebook page so the answer is yes. If you are a small company and you are going to set up a facebook page and then neglect it as if setting it up was all you needed to do then no, you shouldn’t. If you have time to make new product or service announcements then it can be useful. Did you know you can run an ad campaign on Facebook?

Some other sites to consider are and . Like Facebook, they will require some setting up and then maintenance but only occasional work is required. With both sites you need to build your connections and with MerchantCircle you can try adding coupons and get your customers to write reviews. That reminds me, Google Maps offers the ability to offer coupons and reviews too.

Blogging is probably the number one social media that can improve your visibility, build brand, keep customers informed, and it can be leveraged for search engine optimization. If you have a blog you should make it a unique host name like blog.[yourdomain].com or a unique domain name. I believe there is some value in your blog being a separate site rather than [yourdomain].com/blog. Don’t use free blog services for a company blog. You should treat your blog just like you do your company website and build something of value on a domain name that you own. Unlike Twitter where you will make connections almost immediately a blog requires marketing and SEO work the same as your company website. A blog has all of the marketing and social value of Twitter and Facebook and then some but it does require more work.

Should you use some of your advertising budget to advance your social networking? Social networking is marketing so you could justify this. You might want to take some of your print media budget and try hiring a copywriter to advance your blog until you have more time yourself or the staff to do it for you.

Email marketing, is it social networking? Yes, a newsletter is a very good example of social networking. Let people know what is new with your company, include customer success stories, contests or drawings, tutorials, you can even share videos. As long as it’s not all about a sale or laced with ads or buy now buttons then you are networking. If you are giving and not trying to sell then it’s networking. Like I said, networking is marketing.

That’s it, the basics. Smaller companies should not get caught up in the hype and neglect normal business operations. Do what you can now, grow your company and then you can increase the time you spend on social media when you have the time or staff to accomplish your goals.

—David Blizzard