Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Blog
Thanks for stopping by our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Blog. We'll post articles and information here regarding the latest trends and techniques of link building and SERP improvements. Feel free to add your thoughts and comments.
If you're new to SEO, then you're probably asking yourself that question right now. You've probably heard that text link advertising can be very effective, but you've probably also heard that Google doesn't like, or want people to buy text links. Each webmaster interested in moving up in search engine result pages (SERPs) will have to answer this question for themselves. But to answer the question, you really need to know a little bit more about what they are.
What Are Text Link Ads?
Text link ads are simple hyperlinks placed on one web page that points to another. The reason why they are so important is because one of the biggest factors in Google's algorithm to index URLs in a SERP is PageRank. PageRank is how Google quantifies a websites quantity and quality of links on other pages that point to their own (i.e. backlinks). When one website points to another, it counts as a 'vote' in that target site's PageRank. The more popular (higher PageRank) a site is, the more weight the vote carries. Thus, a text ad on a very popular site can help the SERPs of a new site tremendously.
Why Google doesn't Like Them
It's no secret that Google doesn't like text link ads. The reason is because usually, they will hurt the quality of the search results they provide. Most webmasters will publish a link to just about anything for a few bucks, and therein lies the problem. If the site they are linking to is not relevant (very related), and is not high quality, then by placing the link ad, they are adding a popularity vote to that site, and ultimately moving a lower quality site up in the SERP.
What are the Rewards?
When used properly, text link ads can make a huge impact on a website's organic traffic. When you them on high quality, very relevant sites with strong PR, your website can soar to the top of a SERP. And as everyone knows, the closer to the top of a SERP you are, the more times searchers will click on your url in that results page.
What are the Risks?
For webmaster publishing text link ads to unrelated, low quality websites can be extreme. Some sites that sell links to low quality or unrelated sites have been banned, or lowered dramatically in the search results.
However, buyers of links face far lesser risk. In most cases, the worst case scenario is that if they purchase a link on a completely unrelated site, the ad they buy can be rendered ineffective.
Ultimately, the decision will rest with the webmasters. Each webmaster will need to weigh the risk versus the reward, and decide for themselves whether or not to buy text links. Just keep in mind, with the rewards so great, and the risks so low, your competitor probably is.
RSS is not understood by a lot of webmasters, therefore it's not used properly by most webmasters.
So let's skip the default definitions for what RSS stands for (really simple syndication) and let's get down into how people are MIS-using it.
Mis-use of RSS
If you have a blog an RSS feed is created automatically for you upon creation. Most blogs' main site feeds are seen on domainname.com/feed or /feed/rss. Since most people who THINK they know about the value of RSS simply submit their main site feed once as it is in its default state /feed or /feed/rss, they don't get the full value out of their submissions and RSS feed, on it's most basic level.
What you should do with your sites' main RSS feed:
Get in Translated over into a FeedBurner RSS feed which changes it from the default-looking RSS feed >domainname.com/feed to something with far better SEO benefits > domainname.com/yourmostimportantsitekeywordshere
Now, when you go to post your main site feed to the RSS aggregators, you'll be using Anchor Text for your main site in your RSS feed descriptions, which creates some valuable link juice to your site using free resources.
So get all your sites' RSS feeds turned into something that makes the name of the RSS feed keyword-rich and site descriptive. Feedburner does a good job of this but always seems to trip me up on one of their steps, but it's worst hit to get it done to archive anchor text in your RSS feed names.
What else should you do with your main site feeds?
Merge your RSS feeds and Mash them up into a Master RSS feed. RSS merging or RSS mashups is done by using 3d party resources to parse/merge/mashup whatever RSS feeds you enter into their user interface to create a centralized, mashed-up, merge RSS feed which has a combination of all those feeds, combined.
What to do with a Merged, MashedUp RSS feed?
If you have 4 niche sites and they all have feeds, create one master feed for all those sites and submit that master feed urls to the RSS aggregators sites. What you're doing here is creating a deeper deep-linking autopilot mechanism for getting backlinks.
If you don't have RSS feeds for a site because it's in html or ASP format, you can create feeds from HTML urls by going to sites like HTML2RSS to create feed-worthy urls to parse merge and submit.
I've used Yahoo Pipes to create Merged RSS feeds but FeedMingle, RSSMIX and HTML2RSS are some resources you should check out as well.
But wait, there's more! How to create more effective and direct RSS backlinks to all your site urls:
Everything this post covered so far is good for creating feeds which links to feeds, or feeds which links to recently posted content. This is all good advanced quality SEO work that builds your link popularity, but to get even more benefits from this sooner rather than later, you want to take things to a whole new level.
You want to submit each post, or article or webpage to the RSS aggregators as an individual RSS feed. A lot of webmasters who are into link building don't realize this can be done, and they're missing out on a lot of the benefits of RSS.
If you are brand new to the internet, then you might not have even heard of SEM before. Or you might think that SEO and SEM are synonyms, or interchangeable acronyms.
Well, there's actually a huge difference.
Search Engine Optimization, SEO, refers to making improvements in order to improve your position in the results pages of search engines. The type of improvements you can make are broken down into two different categories, on page optimization and off page optimization.
On page optimization has to do with changes you can make on your own site to improve your position in SERPs (search engine result pages). There are a lot of different improvements you can make, from title tags to alt attributes, there are numerous changes you can make that can and will effect your rankings.
Off page optimization pertains to improvements that you can make that are not on your website. Backlinks are the primary off page factor. Building quality backlinks to your site is a great way to improve your rankings on SERPS.
Search Engine Marketing, SEM, is different, in that it has to do with marketing directly through the search engines in the form of advertisements, or sponsored listings on the search engines. Google's Adwords, Yahoo's Publisher Network, and Search Advertising with Bing are the dominant SEM programs, but there are may others. SEM has proven to be generally more beneficial than other more traditional forms of internet advertising, such as banner ads or pop ups, because they send more targeted traffic your way.
Web marketers use SEM and SEO together to maximize their traffic through both organic search as well as through paid advertising. Any marketing campaign with hopes of being successful should include both, and now that you know the difference is between the two, I hope you will as well.
Ninty-nine point nine percent (99.9%) of all online business conducted on the internet begins with a simple search on a search engine. That's why it's absolutely crucial that you research and select the key phrases you optimize your website for. In fact, selecting key phrases can, and often will be, the determining factor that 'makes or breaks' your online business.
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Some of the key phrases we optimize for will be natural. Product names in an e-commerce store for example, are examples of natural key phrases. Each product description page in an online store should be optimized for that product name.
But there are many other key phrases that are not as natural, and we’ll want to choose our key phrases carefully.
There are essentially 3 different factors we want to consider when selecting key phrases.
- Number of times the keyphrase is searched for in Google (where 90% of all internet traffic comes from)
- Amount of competition a keyphrase has. A lot of people think this means the number of results you get from the Google search for a keyphrase, but really we want to know how many people have optimized a page for this keyword.
- How relevant a keyphrase is to you. Obviously, we want to select key phrases that closely match the content of our website.
There are four different tools that I normally use to do my keyphrase analysis and evaluate these key factors.
- http://www.google.com/webmasters/ – Provides key phrases you already rank well for. You can use these key phrases as a starting point, and then try to improve on them.
- http://www.semrush.com/ – Provides Extremal useful information, such as top performing key phrases and any given website. i like to use the to 'spy' on my competitors, to see what keywords they're using. Also provides AdWords key phrases that they are advertising with.
- https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal – I use this to determine how many searches each keyphrase gets each month, how much competition a keyphrase has, and to find new key phrases from their list of suggested key phrases.
- http://www.wordtracker.com/ – This tool comes with a free 7 day trial. It actually gives the number of times a keyphrase is searched for on Yahoo, and it’s usually a little further behind than Adwords, but it’s good to have a different perspective.
This has been a hotly contested debate over the past year as webmasters continue to try to find new ways to improve their rankings in SERPs.
The basic premise of a link wheel goes like this. You set up 5-10 hosted blogs on sites like Blogger, Wordpress, Sqidoo, etc. These are called the 'spokes'. Then you place a prominent link on each one of them to your main site that you are trying to promote, called your 'hub'. You also place a link on each 'spoke' to another 'spoke'.
When you are finished, your configuration should look a little like this...
Unfortunately, that's where most webmasters stop. "I've built my wheel, now where's my traffic?"
But that's not how it works. This configuration in and of itself is practically useless. Links to your site on these 3rd party hosted blogs, having no inherent traffic, no backlinks, and no PageRank, are worthless.
Unless, of course, you actively promote each 'spoke' in your wheel. If you build links for each one of your 'spokes' through traditional link building techniques, such as blog commenting, forum posting, social bookmarking, etc, then you build up traffic and popularity of these sites, which in turn pass some traffic and popularity on to your main target site.
But wait a minute. Now instead of promoting one site, you've got SIX sites to promote. Sounds like alot of work, doesn't it? Well, it is. Not only do you need to promote each spoke, but you also have to provide unique content to each one.
And what benefit is it to link the 'spokes' to each other? This just makes it look like some complex reciprocal linking scheme that Google hates so much.
But there ARE some advantages. For one, you control the content on each one of these spokes. You can optimize each page for your important key phrases, in some cases you can get on the same page of a SERP as your main target site. I've seen one site that has FOUR different pages, one on their target and 3 on their spokes, all on the same first page of a SERP they were targeting. Can you imaging having 4 out of the top 10 results of a targeted SERP? Talk about blowing away the competition.
My recommendation is that if you can come up with enough unique content for each spoke, and you have the time to do the extra search engine optimization and link building for each spoke, it can be very advantageous to set up a similar configuration. But I wouldn't link the spokes together. I'd set up more of a 'star' than a wheel.
View our inventory of over 600 pre-screened, high quality sites ready to publish your text link ad today.
I was browsing around in Google's Webmaster Central yesterday, and I discovered that you can no longer view your 'live' PR distribution. You used to be able to find the live PR of your site in the 'Diagnostics' section under 'Crawl Stats', under the graphs of the crawl of your site.
This was often quite useful, as PR here is usually well ahead of the PR displayed in the Google toolbar, which is only updated every three months.
When asked about it, Google representatives said, "We've been telling people for a long time that they shouldn't focus on PageRank so much; ...We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it."
From an overall perspective, they're right. Obsessing over PR isn't a very good idea. Yes, PR is still the most significant off-page factor in determining your SERPs, but obsessing over PR leads to neglecting other factors that are just as imortant but harder to quantify.
Relevance, and Uniqueness are two factors that are on the rise in terms of importance in search engine optimization. These are two factors that Google has specifically targeted in their latest update to try to improve result pages.
That's why it is more important than ever to check many different factors when selecting text advertisements to purchase. Yes, you still want your backlinks to be on pages with good PR, but that's not all you should look at. Make sure sites you select from our inventory are relevant, or related to your site. also, check that the page that would have your links is unique. Copyscape is a great way to check for uniqueness.
Although PR is still the biggest factor in SEO, Google is obviously takes measures to prevent it from being the ONLY factor.
I've been asked quite a few times lately about the difference in the SEO benefit of a one way links, such as the links you find here on www.AdhocAds.com, and reciprocal links (2, 3 or more ways).
The reason everyone asks is that it is certainly easier to get a reciprocal link than it is to get a one way link.
The problem with two way links and three way reciprocal links is that Google's SERP ranking algorithm takes into account how many outbound links you have when they determine your PageRank, and when they determine where in the search results you will be.
That means that you want to try to build more inbound links than you have outbound links. And with 2-way and 3-way links, you have to provide an outbound link in order to gain an inbound link, so you're not really making any headway.
That's not to say they are completely worthless. I almost always exchange a link or two with any new site. But the links you get are very heavily discounted. Don't expect to move up very far in SERPs if you have nothing but reciprocal links.
What you want is one way backlinks on quality, relevant sites. Like the ones you find in our inventory at www.AdhocAds.com.
If you're into SEO like I am, then this isn't news to you. What is surprising is how many new website owners fall for this dupe.
Angela's "system" says that the PR of the page doesn't matter. She says that it's really only the PR of the homepage that matters, and that if you get 1000's of links from pr0 inner pages on sites that have a strong homepage PR, then you will soar to the top of your SERPs. Of course then she goes on to try to sell you those 1000's or PR0 links.
The theory has been tested and disproven time and time again. If you look at her original argument, that her article on goarticle achieved high SERP placement with only pr0 backlinks, her argument is full of holes, and just doesn't hold water.
Let's take a look at her SERP, shall we? The search phrase
That's her page there, second from the top.
Now lets have a look at the backlinks of that page...
Well, that's funny, that page has ALL KINDS of high PR backlinks. Here's just a few...
Looks like Angela has some 'splaining to do!
I think Angela achieved her high ranking on that SERP from all of those links from high PR pages. Looks like she took advantage of Google's delay in showing backlinks and tricked newbs into thinking they could achieve similar results with just a bunch of PR0 links.
Well, the gig is up. Shame on you Angela!
It's not the number of backlinks you generate, its the quality of the backlinks you generate. Pagerank is not passed from the SITE, it is passed from the PAGE. So, if the pagerank of the page your link is on is a PR0, you will receive very little SEO benefit from it. 1 backlink from a relevant, high quality pr3 page does more for your SERPS than 2000 pr0 links from forums and social bookmarking sites.
Angela's method never worked guys. It's been a joke for over 2 years now. There's no secret shortcut to building quality backlinks.
Are the world of link building and search engine optimization is constantly evolving, so too is the value in these two types of backlinks.
Sitewide link have long been favored by search engine optimizers, because you receive a backlink for each page of a website. The bigger the website, the greater number of backlinks you receive.
But more recently, we are finding out that Google doesn't seem to value these sitewide links as much as we first thought. In fact, while a sitewide link may at first show a backlink for each page in Google Webmaster Central, over time, the backlinks slowly disappear, until only 1 or 2 remain.
It's no secret that Google isn't a big fan of text link ads. And some people might be hesitant to purchase or publish text link ads because they are afraid of being penalized by Google.
Well, here's the straight poop.
I've been in the SEO game for about 10 years now. Before I got into the brokering business, I first used text link advertising as my primary focus to build up a PC game e-commerce website from scrtatch to a pr5, 1000 visitor per day business that I sold after 2 years for $25k. Later I worked with a fortune 500 company to help them establish an ecommerce website, and we used text link advertisements as our primary means of establishing a strong web presence. They are still going strong, several years later. Today, I work for a fortune 100 company that everyone here has heard of, and text link advertising is an important part of our link building campaign and SEO efforts.
I started AdhocAds.com leveraging what I had learned about SEO and link building. Today, I buy and sell over 100 text link ads per day, and I feel well qualified to give you my honest assessment of link building through text link ads and Google.
The truth here is if advertisers and publishers are very careful to only purchase and publish links that are related to their own site, and the sites the ads are published on and are linked to are high quality, with original, unique content, then there's no reason for any penalty from anyone.
The sites that I have seen penalized for link buying or selling are for either buying links or selling links to low quality, unrelated sites, or for using code that the publisher places on their site which is designed to 'automatically publish' the link for them whenever an ad is sold, ending up in links to low quality, unrelated sites being published without the publisher even looking at the link first. This 'automated code' is easily detectable by Google and other search engines. THESE THINGS are what Google objects to most.
Text link ads sold on our site are 100% reviewed by publishers before they publish them. The publisher is responsible for making sure that they link only to quality sties related. They should never link to sites made for advertising, or related to warez, porn, or gambling.
Also, publishers manually publish the link, so that can place it in content, or on the site naturally, rather than having it in a section the 'automated code' that screams 'UNRELATED TEXT LINK ADS HERE'.