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Do Back Links Work Anymore For Rankings?

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Do Back Links Work Anymore?When I first started writing online five years ago, I was told that back links were the most important factor after title choice and the keywords on the page for rankings.

Over the years, Google has phased out the importance it places on the number of back links, and has gone even further in the latest algorithm updates, punishing sites for building low quality links from “link farms”.

I used to write on different article writing sites that paid people a small amount like Associated Content, (before it became Yahoo Contributor Network), Bukisa, (before it changed to payment through Google Adsense), Factoidz, (before it became Knoji), and a couple of other ones here and there.

You might notice that none of those sites really allow people to make a good living anymore, or you might still get paid something from Yahoo Voices if you live in the US.

These article writing sites have been punished, almost across the board as content farms, and Google has decided to go in favor of people who blog and write on their own domains, or large authority sites like Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, You Tube and Facebook.

In terms of back links, what was once valuable is now in almost all cases not valuable, and can even be used in reverse to damage your rankings.

Reverse SEO: Things That Will Damage Your Rankings

Reverse SEO is a pretty terrible thing to do to someone, completely unethical, but considering how many people out there are doing worse things, it’s already become a part of the way people try to rank their own site, by destroying the rankings of their competitors.

Don’t do that, it’s not fair at all, and they can just do the same thing back to you and everyone else which becomes the most ridiculous war of spam.

Some things which used to work that now don’t, or in most cases don’t work:

  • Social bookmarking
  • Blog comments
  • Directory Submission
  • Spun Articles
  • Syndicated Articles
  • Auto-approve article sites
  • links from blogs in paid blog networks
  • paid links from .edu or .gov sites (scam)
  • links from a home page set up to build links in exchange for your link
  • links from a site’s resource or partners page
  • links from forum comments
  • profile links
  • links from a site that has had a Google slap

Conclusion

There are very few ways to make quality links these days, Google has said that they are paying a lot more attention to social signals, such as Facebook shares and tweets, but these are still no follow.

Matt Cutts from Google suggests that people stop focusing on building back links, and concentrate instead on building high quality content on their site that engages the audience and deserves natural sharing and linking.

Making a page on your site that is link bait basically means giving the people what they’ve been looking for. Quality information such as a list, a sourced news story about a celebrity or event.

There are ways that you can pay to get views to your page, ways you can pay to get shares and tweets, in fact you’re in the right place now.

I do all of that social media stuff, in fact I say that I can do almost anything you want, as long as you’ve got the budget for it. Send me a message at rowan@professionalsocialpromotion.com to talk about how I can help you with what you’re doing.

 

How To Destroy The Rankings Of A Site

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ranking on GoogleThis is a brief explanation of different ways you can destroy the rankings of a site. I’m hoping that people aren’t looking for this information specifically to do negative SEO on their competitors, but to get an idea of what to avoid doing on their own sites.

The first and most obvious thing is link building, and while this was for many years the number one way to get positive rankings, it is now the easiest way to permanently ruin the rankings of your site.

Since the latest algorithm updates on Google, (I’m writing this post in mid 2013), a vast number of link farms and content farms that Google decided were solely built for the purpose of making links to sites have been punished badly, and not just that but any site that links from them also gets a nasty slap from Google.

How do you determine which sites these are? You can use the domain authority checking tools developed by Moz, or also find a free domain authority checker on Moonsy.com.

Authority has long since replaced page rank as the main determining factor in rankings, and there are various things that go into what makes an authority site which are probably too numerous to mention.

The hilltop algorithm has something to do with it, as this identifies authority pages as those who have “expert” pages linking to them. These are pages written on fairly well respected sites that link out to multiple authority source sites as well as your target site.

If you have a back link site that is made with a few pages that only link to your site and nowhere else, and you don’t update it regularly, or publish a post on a free blog like Blogger, and then don’t update the blog, or even worse, use any number of outdated link building techniques that you can build using software, then you will get bad rankings.

If you continue to build links from hastily put together directories, social bookmarking sites, low quality forum signatures and profiles, blog comments, RSS feed submission sites, auto-approve article directories, blog networks such as Build My Rank, Buy Blog Reviews, Link From Blog, etc, bought links from .edu or .gov sites, or PR 9 home page back links, you’re kidding yourself.

The odds are if you do anything that seems like Google wouldn’t like it if they were looking directly at you doing it, then it will probably permanently ruin the rankings of your site, and you will either never get the rankings back, or have to fight tooth and nail to get them back by publishing quality content and building true quality links.

So What Does Work Then In SEO?

By building a link pyramid of long, high quality, well written articles, posts, and guest posts published on authority sites that also link out to authority source sites in the text, continuing to publish high quality content regularly on your site that has good on-page SEO and good internal linking, and having a strong presence on social media, you can easily rank a site for most searches.

It is also possible to rank a Facebook page, a You Tube video, a blog post, or even a forum thread using these same techniques, in fact in many cases, it’s easier to rank a Facebook page using these same techniques, or an article published on a high authority site.

Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, eBay, Amazon, Wikipedia, and other sites that are the most visited, most linked to, highest authority sites in the world are so easy to get ranked on these days.

The simple reason why is that everyone who is anyone is on Facebook, and on Twitter, and is publishing You Tube videos. People love videos, they love Facebook, and they love Twitter.

To some extent maybe Google Plus, Instagram and Pinterest may also start to get higher rankings in the future, but at the moment, the sites I mentioned are easier to rank than your own site, if you’re starting from scratch with a domain and a WordPress template.

How To Destroy A Competitor’s Rankings

I don’t even like putting in this section of the post, because it’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy, having the rankings of your site permanently destroyed because of some terrible person seeking to do whatever it takes to reach the top.

But, in the current SEO environment, it is possible to do negative SEO on your competitors, quite easily. I was doing an SEO campaign for a client, and I had built up her site to first on the first page of Google for a buyer keyword with about two thousand exact match searches a month.

The product when sold made her about a hundred dollars on average per sale, and there were repeat customers. I slowed down my link building, because I didn’t know where else to link to the small amount of pages on the site from, and I stressed the importance of publishing on the site.

She didn’t listen to me, and did nothing at all in terms of maintaining the site, it wasn’t really built for blogging, it was a shopping cart site, and for some reason she had real trouble just writing something good once a week.

So, the rankings started to slip, and I lost interest because she wasn’t listening to me, and then she went and made the most monumental error you can possibly make.

She hired a cheap SEO from Odesk to build hundreds of links to the site for a very small amount of money, like fifty dollars. You get the same deals on Fiverr for five dollars, and it has the same effect, it completely ruins your rankings, permanently.

Two years ago, the same thing would have worked as a positive, even though the links were utter trash without any original content on them at all, from sites with no domain authority or page rank.

These days, that’s all it takes, one slip of the mouse and that’s it. It’s been months now, I’ve tried continuing to build links, I’ve tried using the Google disavow tool, and that actually seemed to make it worse, although I have heard it can just take time.

What you will find is that more than half of all SEO “experts” out there are still using a lot of these push button techniques of throwing spam links at a site, even though they probably know full well that it will work in reverse.

They simply don’t know what else to do, they don’t speak English very well, and never learned how to do anything else but push a button on software to make money, so they keep doing it.

So that’s how you destroy the rankings of a site, hire a cheap SEO who can’t show proof of his claims of being able to rank sites, and who isn’t showing you individual articles of 500 words or more published on high quality, relevant, authority sites with source links, photo attribution, and all of those other things that are so important.

Even the quality of the writing itself is important as Google hires tons of quality checkers who slap down pages that look like they were written by monkeys, (no offence to cheap writers who can’t write, and have nothing to say). Quality content is king, it’s not really rocket science.

If you need help with any of the things I’ve discussed here, such as hiring me to write SEO articles for you, or helping you with your social media campaign, social sharing, advice, help setting up a website, get in touch with me via the contact page.

 

Nuances of Search Engine Optimization

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Search Engine Optimization

Guest post by Jones Petric

The one thing you need to know about SEO these days is that there is a lot of dodgy practices going on, that used to work, and now causes a reverse effect on rankings.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, or the person you’re hiring is working with outdated technology, you may find that you’re on the road to spending ten times the amount of money to fix the mistakes that were made.

For example, you may have to pay someone to remove every single link that was built to your site via the Google disavow tool, because as a whole, all the links caused a negative effect, and it’s impossible to tell which ones had a negative effect, so all of them need to be disavowed to get over the Google penalty.

It’s important to get the right advice, because if you get the wrong advice, it might land you in hot water and ruin the rankings of your site permanently. One thing SEO isn’t these days is cheap.

So What Do You Do In SEO These Days?

Much of what works today is on-page optimization. You need to carefully look at the keyword density, and all the various photos and videos and tags and HTML, and if you make back links, they have to be relevant, high quality, and from high authority sites.

Today, business cycles are now much faster, integrated, and productive, thanks to the rapid adoption of digital marketing strategies and its shifting factors. Its aspects are very helpful in achieving the topmost exposure to the websites in a professional manner.

Some of the basic yet smart tactics of search engine optimization that still work today are as follows:

Page Headings

Your website is your online catalogue offering a great number of products and services to your customers. Web designers and developers make it as attractive as possible.

They frame the website structure, give suitable space for images, and provide proper headings and sub-headings. Headings are the best way to inform your readers about your description and content.

If your headings are precise, then they will attract maximum number of readers to your website. In order to give maximum prominence to the website, search engine optimization experts and web evangelists use heading tags.

They provide H1, H2, H3 tags, etc. to highlight their headings. It will help readers & search engines to understand your intention. One of the best ways to show relevance is to optimize your headings with keywords.

Website Navigation

You can make your website stronger and more responsive through its navigation. SEO experts provide internal links to make your site agile and navigable.

It also helps audiences to browse through your website. It is a holistic practice and substantially strengthens your site’s infrastructure.

For more attention to detail, experienced SEO experts and web analysts provide breadcrumbs, sitemaps, and bottom navigation to the website. These factors are user-focused and assist them to move instantly across your website.

Content

Your site content is the only thing that will help you to outshine your competitors. Valuable, factual, informative, and actionable site content will help your audience to understand your products, services, business objectives, and intentions.

Boring, repetitive, and copied content will bring disaster and take your audience away. Also it helps search engines read and crawl your website more efficiently. In other words, you can say “Content is king” in search engine optimization.

If you are a business owner and want your website to be highly productive and fruitful, then you need to adopt search engine optimization strategies. These strategies are useful for the business owners to boost their performance and productivity through better online visibility and search engine rankings.

Linking From Other Sites

While back links are still important for the rankings of your site, the most important thing is that you do not build low quality, irrelevant links from low-authority domains.

Quality is the most important thing, and it’s not about page rank these days, that metric has not been important for many years, it’s all about authority, and authority is determined by how many links the sites that link to yours have from big authority sites, and not just the individual page, but the domain as a whole.

Domain authority and page authority can be measured on certain tools, like SEOmoz, but in general, you have to use your common sense to determine that some sites are just link farms that will no longer benefit your rankings, and will actually damage your rankings if you link from them, and other sites are high quality.

About The Author

Web Seo Mall provides SMO services, article marketing, content writing, seo audit, SEO consulting service, twitter followers and blog commenting etc. They have years of experience in internet marketing, search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

Common Mistakes In SEO

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Common SEO Mistakes

Guest post by Wendy Palmer

There are thousands of companies worldwide which rather than looking into how they could boost their online marketing efforts should be instead be looking at what they’re already doing wrong.

Of course, the biggest and most important online marketing tool on the face of the Earth today is SEO and the power held by Google and friends in determining the fate of any given business is almost terrifying.

As such, SEO has become a fundamental box to be ticked by each and every sensible business across the globe as to get by without SEO is now practically unheard of.

However, there is one quite enormous error in the above and it lies in the way in which so many are indeed seeing SEO as a box to be ticked – a fatal mistake if ever there was one.

Quite to the contrary, SEO is the kind of thing that needs to be lavished with attention and approached with both focus and dedication in order to get right, which quite frankly is something of a growing rarity on the online business scene.

So, if after ticking what you thought were all the right boxes you’re still finding your name buried under the competition, chances are it could be down to one of the following simple yet blindingly obvious mistakes:

Building Low Quality Back Links

Google is constantly changing it’s algorithms, but since Panda and Penguin, Google has actively been punishing those who are seen to be building spam or low quality links.

While they won’t punish you for having a few links from forum signatures, directories, social bookmarking sites and article directories, you have to choose the best and highest authority sites where people of all kinds go to publish content.

For example, an article from Ezine or Hub Pages still makes a quality back link, but to publish a syndicated (duplicated) article on hundreds of auto approve article directories that make no attempt to filter good and bad content is likely going to get you punished badly, even de-indexed.

You have to make an attempt to distinguish between the quality, authority sites that you do want links from, and the low quality, content farms that you don’t want links from.

There is no easy way to this, but you could find a tool that checks the domain authority of a site perhaps, or just check the ranking of the site and sub-pages of the site on Google.

Stagnation

First up, while there will always be certain SEO elements and approaches that should be stuck with like glue, this doesn’t mean you’re able to put them in place and then leave them to their own devices.

Quite to the contrary in fact as even the most remarkable SEO initiative will stagnate and become useless, perhaps even detrimental if it is not seen as an on-going program.

From content writing to link building to blog production to keyword mining and pretty much everything else in the book you will come across, it’s all about freshness and consistency these days which means that what seemed to be hitting pay-dirt for you a couple of months ago might now by driving you into the ground…big time.

Ignoring Lessons Learned

Innovation and initiative are hugely important in SEO, but not nearly as important and staying true to lessons learned over the course of the years.

Roughly translated, if you think you are better off shunning basic concepts like link building and keyword research in favour of elaborate theories for future SEO tactics, chances are you’re in for a fall.

It’s all a matter of reaching a balance, but said balance must always be deeply rooted in everything that’s already been learned. Or in other words, try not to get ahead of yourself.

Limiting Lines of Attack

And finally, it might be a good idea in many areas of life to find something that works and stick with it exclusively, but SEO is not such an example.

As such, while you might have come across an amazing approach to build back links in huge numbers or run the most award-worthy blog on Earth, it’s vital not to forget how important every other line of attack is.

There is no single SEO process that really has any chance of coming to serious fruition unless used in conjunction with others – broaden your focus and you’re onto a winner.

About The Author

Wendy Palmer runs a small business in Stoke specialising in SEO link building services and other online marketing solutions for local businesses. She shares a home with her husband of four years and the couple’s young daughter.