As the SEO world continues to evolve, there’s one thing for certain – building links just won’t go away. Long gone are the days where you can build thousands of links via forums, blog comments and post on low-grade blogs ranking for moderately competitive terms almost instantly.
Did you know that the most recent Google update claimed that social profile pages play a role in their ranking algorithm? Did you know that there are more than 250 social media websites that are highly reputable and can help your rankings grow? By creating a public profile on each of these social websites, your website will gain more exposure, gather quality backlinks and you may even see a slight bump in your ranking.
Unlike the past where you could just link to your homepage with the same anchor text, the times have changed and this strategy no longer works. Today, you have to deep link to multiple pages and categories, which of course, takes a lot of work. If you’re on a budget and want to build deep links to multiple pages, here’s why Social Foundations can work for you:
Reason #1: We Use High Domain Authority Sites
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and hundreds of other social websites have one thing in common – they are authoritative and very reputable in Google’s eyes. With this authority, you shouldn’t feel afraid to place your website links on their website. As long as your profile is deemed useful, Google is going to think the same way.
Reason #2: Simple, Efficient, And The Ability to Target Multiple Keywords/URLs
Do you know how long it would take you to create more than 200 social profiles? It would probably take days. For as little as $25, you can set up your keywords and have your profiles done for you. Ask yourself what your time is worth, and you will quickly see that this investment is well worth it.
The service also lets you put in multiple keyword and URL combinations, which makes it deal deep link building.
Reason #3: White Hat
As mentioned above, all the websites that your profile will be set up on will be from household names that most of the Internet has heard of. It’s a great way to build deep links to your deep internal pages, create keyword diversity and even bring in some extra traffic.
If you want to have diversity to your link building in a safe manner, Social Foundations is an amazing opportunity to consider. Even if you don’t like what you see after the job has been done, they are happy to back up their work with their 100 percent sanctification money-back guarantee.
Forum spam. You probably hate it, but people are still doing it and building links off of forums. Why? While there is some value to forum links, this completely depends on what capacity they’re being built.
The Biggest Forum Link Building Service Providers
You will find that for everyone listed below, forum links are built by the hundreds and thousands. This typically means that they’re essentially spamming forums. I wouldn’t point any of these links to your money site, but they are still good for tier 2 linking.
Forumlinkbuilding.com – These guys have been around since 2008, they were selling forum links before it was cool. Fiverr.com – Whenever you’re talking about the dregs of link building you can usually find the very best deals on them here. Thousands of forum links for $5 is a hard price to beat. DIY – If you ever wanted to tangle with doing forum links, it might be a good idea to pick up and do yourself first just to know what you’re buying and how it works..Before you outsource something, I 100% recommend this.
Theoretically forum links are fantastic. You can often find forums related to your websites niche and the more you post on that forum, the more links you can get via your linked signature.
In practice, usually forum links are built the wrong way. Relying on the link in a users profile only and remaining inactive with the forum is a sure way to get a link that will probably be removed eventually or even a link that won’t get crawled altogether. The activity within the forum can be outsourced itself but oftentimes when this is done the posts are short and usually deleted by moderators.
Xrumer’s Release, Changing Forum Link Building Forever
The release of XRumber by BotmasterLabs changed the landscape of forum link building forever. In 2005 it existed as a tool only available to Russian spammers and was relatively underground. In 2006 it hit the English scene and built a devout following over time.
Xrumer made it was possible for any idiot to automate forum links on a massive scale. Because of the commercial success of Xrumer more and more people knew to look for these kinds of services and for a long time this was very effective.
Manual forum link building services now had to compete with other providers which were able to provide nearly the same kind of links at a much lower price and with incredible efficiency.
Google Panda and Penguin’s Affect on Forum Spam Link Building
Websites whose foundation was solely built off of these kinds of links were hurt bad and put in a difficult situation. Sometimes it makes more sense to start over than try to recover a site that got a Penguin slap from building too many of these links.
Penguin delivered a crushing blow to the major automated link building services who relied heavily on forum links. While they are still around and selling links, they’re certainly a shadow of their former glory.
What’s the Real Use of Forum Links Now?
Blasting forum links only has one real use and that is pushing up your satellite/mini-site properties. It would be a big mistake throwing these kinds of links at your money site.
However, manually built forum links from forums that are in your niche are still solid links that are very beneficial for your site. A lot of forums you’ll have trouble getting a link from, however, because some forums don’t allow signatures with external links in them.
Back in the AltaVista and early Yahoo! days, webmasters could throw up a few meta-description tags, create some mediocre content and not even have to worry about acquiring links from other website owners.
As the years went on, backlinks from other websites became more important. Just like the early AltaVista days, when backlinks slowly became relevant, webmasters could set out and get just about any backlink possible and watch their rankings soar overnight. Sadly, this isn’t the case anymore.
Today, webmasters have to focus on getting backlinks that count. It takes a lot more effort and if done right, your website can truly thrive. However, if it’s done wrong, you can quickly find your website on Google’s bad side.
To make sure you’re building links the right way, here are 10 mistakes you don’t want to make:
Mistake 1. More Isn’t Better Anymore
A sad misconception that most webmasters focus on today is quantity. Instead of focusing on quantity, think about the quality. Let me ask you this one for a second: Would you rather have one solid backlink from the New York Times or 10,000 links from various WordPress blogs with no visitors?
Mistake 2. Focusing on Exact Anchors
If you have the chance to pick your anchor text when acquiring a backlink, don’t focus on using the same anchor text over and over. Techniques like this will look artificial to Google and can potentially lead to some severe penalties.
Instead, try to vary your links. Use your website name, use random words and sprinkle a few targeted anchor text in less than 10 percent of your link building opportunities. While building anchor text backlinks are great, remember that backlinks that you don’t have to work for are the best to get.
Mistake 3. Links to the Homepage
Just like varying your anchor text, don’t have every backlink go to your homepage. While it’s okay to have most backlinks go here, make it a habit to link to other sub-pages, popular category pages and even pictures. Again, the more diverse you are, the more natural you will look to the search engine.
Mistake 4. Over-Aggressive Velocity
It’s okay to set aside a few weeks and aggressively link build, however, make sure that you’re not setting out to get 10,000 links. Again, this is going to look artificial to Google. Instead of setting a “number” goal, set a traffic goal. Today, a great backlink is going to send you traffic and build your credibility with search engines. Once again, don’t worry about the number.
Mistake 5. Focusing on the PR Bar
Back in the early 2000s, the PR bar was all the rage. Sadly, the PR bar isn’t what it was. While it’s so tempting to focus on that green bar and the number that goes along with it, you’re going to want to focus on other aspects.
When looking for potential backlink partners, look at their OpenSiteExplorer.org domain score, social media profiles to see how many followers they have and get an idea on how much traffic they are getting. To get a ballpark idea on their traffic numbers, use services such as Compete, Quantcast or Alexa. With this data, it should give you a good idea how powerful their website could be.
Mistake 6. Writing for Search Engines
A great way to get backlinks today is by guest posting. However, when writing a guest post, you don’t want to write for the search engines. This means keeping your keyword density down and actually providing their readers with quality. No one wants to read an article that is riddled with 50 keywords that don’t blend in with the content.
Mistake 7. Canned Responses
Requesting a link is going to take a lot of interaction with other webmasters. Sadly, this is where a lot of you get lazy. Instead of copying and pasting the same request to every webmaster you come across, it’s so important that you’re unique with every email.
When sending an email, greet them by their first name, don’t be pushy and let them know why a link would be beneficial to their website. If you’re going to write a guest post, let them know what you’re going to write and send them samples from your earlier work.
Mistake 8. Relying on Just One Type of Link
When building links, you may find it rather easy to get certain kinds. However, that doesn’t mean you should stick that strategy only. For example, getting a backlink via article submission websites and forums is rather easy. If your link profile is 99 percent forum links, is this going to look natural?
Mistake 9. Exchanging Links
There’s nothing wrong with exchanging links, however, make sure that you’re not doing it on a large-scale. If someone lands on your homepage and notices 300 links, this is a large red flag. If you’re going to exchange links, make sure it’s relevant and the website you’re linking to is actually going to offer value to your readers.
Mistake 10. Black Hat Strategies
No matter what year we’re in, black hat strategies will always be around. Yes, these strategies can work; however, how long are your rankings going to last? While it’s so tempting to game the search engines, you’re going to want to ask yourself if you’re in it for the short-term or the long haul. Similar to selling drugs, do you want to take the risk?
Whether you have a ton of experience outsourcing your link building already or this is your very first year in SEO, this short post will give you some killer tips that might just change the way you think about outsourced services.
Here they are my friend, 1-6.
1. Ignore the allure of paying for cheap links in quantity.
I am still astonished at how active link sellers are on Fiverr. Some of the top link building gigs get 100+ orders a week and all for essentially the easiest (and worst) links you can build. While these do have a little bit of use beyond indexing, they are worth about what you pay. 5 bucks. Using them on a clients site is a foolish move you will eventually regret.
2. Know what you’re outsourcing.
Before I ever have someone else build a link for me, I make sure I have a solid understanding of the process behind it. This ties in directly with #4 below.
3. Know what you’re buying before you buy it.
Be wary of links that are described as “secret sauce”. Without knowing what it is, how can you know for sure if its dangerous or beneficial? This is especially important when you’re considering sending links to your money site.
4. Always require a report.
Demand transparency in everything you pay for. If a service provider is unwilling to provide a report then that should raise a red flag. Are you really getting what you’re paying for, how do you know? Certainly all good links are eventually discovered via backlink research tools, the excuse that they are protecting their sources is a poor (and short-sighted) one.
5. Diversify everything. Link types, anchors, and the pages links are sent to.
Never rely exclusively on a single set of link types. I made this mistake years ago when blog networks were all the rage. Guess where my best sites are now? Toast.
The same can be said about diversifying where your links are sent. A diversified link profile is a natural one, even down to the page level. Make sure your links are pointing all kinds of places on your site, not just the domain and a handful of your favorite URLs.
6. Want to be really safe? Forget about anchor text.
So many people these days are hung up on anchor text. What is the distribution? Are we hitting the anchors too hard or too much? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could forget about anchor text for our campaigns?
I am going to go out on a limb here and leave a small but controversial tip regarding link building that most people don’t (and won’t) adhere to. If you want to be extra-safe with your linkbuilding, forget about anchor text completely.
Google is getting smarter and anchor text is slowly becoming obsolete. They can figure out the topic of a page based on its content and what text surrounds any incoming links (called co-citations). If you’re really concerned about penalization, forget about anchor text completely. Use generic terms, raw URLs, and/or descriptive long-tail phrases to link to your pages.
Just within the last couple weeks I have been running an experiment on the effects of local citations on the rankings for local businesses. Because of the results of this experiment I am hoping to launch a unique citation service within the next couple weeks.
Why These Work Well Post-Panda
These citations are basically raw or branded linked URL with the business address below.
There’s no need to worry about over-optimization or getting tagged for unnatural link building. These are for the most part nice authority business directories which every business should be listed in.
What The Data Tells Us
Preliminary results look really promising. For businesses which are already on the map, I’ve already been tracking some pretty decent results from landing about 40+ solid citations.
Social Foundations – If you’re on our mailing list you received a pre-notification and a discount on this service about a week ago. It’s essentially a KnowEm alternative but with a much cheaper price. Have you claimed your keyword real estate yet?
Basic Press Release Package – If you’ve got your own syndication lined up, then our basic PR package is right up your alley. You get the same great press release written by my inhouse writer (Frank Scherer) plus syndication to 2 premium submission services. Both of these must-have elements at a new low price.
What We’re Working On
Comprehensive Local – As more and more businesses come online, they’re all looking for someone who can bring them to the top. Our upcoming Local SEO service combines a whopping 6 of the most important search ranking factors all in one simple package. If you have local clients they’ll love you for this one.
Every night before I go to bed I brush my teeth, pray to the mighty god’s of SEO, and then usually read the latest happenings on the Google Panda update. A few of my favorite sites were affected by Panda and this mishap has been the center of my attention for the past 2 months.
A recent thread I found questioned the connection between the Panda slap and scrapers reposting dupe content (Are DMCAs the Answer to Panda?). This thread poses an interesting question: Could you be getting punished because someone stole your content?
It’s a scary thought but some are coming to the conclusion that this just might be the case. For some people, their websites hardest hit by Panda are also the ones most scraped and plagarised.
I wanted to check out if that was the case for me, could my fitness blog hit hard by Panda just be a victim of hardcore copyright infringement?
Scaling the Plagarism Checking
After fumbling around with copyscape for, oh I don’t know, 3 minutes I realized this just isn’t going to work.
I needed to find a better solution, something that could check my website’s in BULK.
After reading the above post on there I downloaded the freeware Uncover made by textbroker.
Uncover: A Free Tool for Finding Duplicate Content in Bulk
Basically you can point Uncover to your sitemap or achives page and it will grab all the links on the page. You can even go several levels deep (more than 1) but I don’t recommend doing this. It will collect a bunch of URLs that you don’t need checked (like feed urls and plugin urls) and will make the checking a lot slower.
After it’s grabbed all the urls you want checked you can click the button and off it goes. This runs on your computer and depending on how many articles you’ve got it should be done within 10-20 minutes or so.
After it’s complete you can go through each URL checked one by one and it gives a little list of potential copies, how many words are copied, and what percentage % you’re copied.
An interesting detail about this program is that it seems to work even better than Copyscape itself. I cross-referenced the dupe content it was spitting out with Copyscape and it was picking up MAJOR copies that Copyscape wasn’t even reporting. Pretty interesting considering Copyscape seems to be the standard in the industry and not reporting on 80% copied articles is a bit alarming.
My Results from Using Uncover For Just 10 Minutes….Holy Auto-Scraping Batman
Only after checking the first 5 posts I came across a user that was set up about 3 years ago on Zimbio to scrape several of my blogs at a time using the autoimport feature. It was taking posts the very day they were published off a lot of my blogs and slapping them up there.
Same with a feed site I found.
What kind of affect this could have on my sites I’m not sure, but it certainly can’t be healthy. A couple support e-mails I’m sure the problem will be taken care of.
Usually I am just focused on building links/content, not protecting what I’ve already done. So I guess it’s understandable that it’s taken me this long to catch these CONTENT OFFENDERS.
There are a couple other random sites I found copying my exercise site’s content, I think a DMCA notice or two should do the trick here.
“I have a legal issue that is not mentioned above” ->
“I have found content that may violate my copyright” ->
“Yes, I am the copyright owner *or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.”
*Outsource this if you have a ton of these to do.
I’ve seen some people suggest finding offending sites e-mail and try to e-mail them to take it down. Unless its some kind of reasonably credible site with a support e-mail I think that’s pretty much a waste of time.
Therefore, we must release the DMCA dogs across all four corners of the web to smite our foes.
I’m a firm believer that the most cutting edge SEO methods aren’t found in the most popular blogger’s posts. The best edges you’ll find are from looking closely at the trails that the most competitive niche websites leave.
What are some of the most competitive and profitable niches online? Sex, drugs, and gambling. Top rankings for porn, poker, and pharmacy keywords can bring revenues of $1,000′s daily.
I understand that this isn’t the popular opinion as I read all of the 100% White Hat SEO blogs that dominate the majority of the SEO blogosphere. But the fringe, spam-happy SEOs are are worthy of at least a portion of your study time.
While I would never advocate spam or risk losing your money site over super-shady methods, there are a handful of techniques that are low-key, safe, and can be picked up by the average white/grey hat. You just have to take out your magnifying glass and look a little closer.
After reading a good Wickedfire thread posted by Guerilla from Drip Feed Blasts titled Analyzing a Number One Result I had the motivation to spend the day analyzing some of these kinds of websites and backwards-engineering their link profiles to see exactly what they do to rank. Guerilla pointed out a cool technique a top ranked site is using which I cover at the end, and decided to share it in hopes that some of us can learn a thing or two (and boy did I, thanks dude).
I also did a little bit of digging myself and found something cool which I’ll share with you now.
PLEASE NOTE: What you find below isn’t my attempt to call out anyone for bad link behavior, not at all (and I ask you don’t use the data below to go all link snitch on anyone, either). Merely reporting on some of my findings so that you can learn from it.
1. How Much Would You Pay For A Link on Huffington Post?
This is an interesting technique, not very blackhat-ish, and is very powerful. All it needs is just a little bit of social engineering and a paypal payment and you’ve got one of the most valuable links on the web.
The funny thing about these particular articles is the response and reception from readers. One of the articles gets double digit tweets, the other has people commenting about their favorite drug/pharm videos (wtf?). Yes, it’s really that stupid… but hey, it works.
I think this quote sums up the method perfectly:
“Knowing how to use automated/paid links properly is still a very powerful weapon in your arsenal. However, without getting those few precious authority links that the other, inferior SEOs cannot access, it’s going to be a long and unexciting ride trying to make a buck, if you’re playing in anything remotely competitive.” Offwhitehat – Social Engineering for SEO
Questions to ask yourself: How can this be replicated? What other powerful news/media sites contain their own private stable of bloggers that can be used to build these kinds of powerhouse links?
2. Building an SEO Foundation with Expired Domains: One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure
This is the method that inspired me to write this post and it is also probably the most controversial of the two.
It’s also a method that got SEO blogger Michael Martinez a bit angry in the past. This particular site I dug into had registered an old blog he wrote on and reposted all of the content. Of course he was not too happy, considering all of his hard work was now sitting beside sidebar links to cubans, pills, and poker links.
However, this method may be the single reason that this pharm site is ranking #2 for the term “Viagra Online”.
While I’m not going to get into the ethics of this method, I just want to report on the some of the findings behind this and a jist on how it works.
I have built some mini nets with expiring domains before, never to the scale that this site is using them and never to just slap a couple links up and expect an ROI.
Today I have officially emptied my cup so that I can re-learn this technique all over again:
A couple things should strike you when you investigate the SiteExplorer Link to the site above:
1. The vast majority of their links are all from homepage links on sites that they (most likely) own themselves. How can you tell? You’ll also find the sites linking to the same sites over and over. Some cuban, gambling, and other pharm sites.
2. The sites are using old, archived content from when the dropped site was active. Look at this site for instance: A bunch of sidebar links that don’t work. When you’re digging through the webarchive for old content most of the times it won’t be there, but you’ll get tidbits of it, usually the homepage. In this case the homepage and its content was recovered but not the sub pages, hence the reason the sidebar links are not active. The content on the site as it is now is actually from 2005 according to the webarchive.
3. There is little to no anchor text diversity. Put the URL into Backlinkwatch.com and you’ll find just how tight the anchor text is. The sage advice I’ve always followed is to always diversify your anchor text to look more natural to the SE’s.
Could link diversity really not matter or could you even be hindering yourself in ranking for a particular keyword by diversifying your anchor text? These are questions I don’t have answers for.
4. There are a crap load of homepage links. From the looks of it, their network could reach into the 1,000′s since it is a large percentage of their overall link profile (I share some of this data in the graphs below).
So How Are They Doing It?
In my opinion, using the old content is something that is necessary in the early stages of a newly-regged expiring domains life. It’s important to tell Google that you’re just the old site revived, and all the links, PR, and authority that the old site has should stay the same. While this is just a theory of mine, I have never done it any other way.
Registering expiring domains is something I won’t go over now, a simple google search will tell you what you need to know. I might write up something more extensive on this later.
The Pioneer of Building SEO Networks
This technique is not new, in fact one of the people I considered that pioneered this style of link building is Eli @ Bluehatseo. You can find a super-extensive post on building an SEO Empire which is a must-read for anyone that wants to dive head first into this. While his strategy is a bit different without the expired domain element, overall it holds the same idea:
The importance of building a strong SEO foundation.
This is actually the first time I’ve ever seen evidence of this strategy working at this kind scale, with a keyword of this caliber and competition, and with these kinds of results.
I spent a lot of the day re-thinking and re-learning about a strategy which I thought I knew all about. These kinds of days really get me motivated to retry something old and see where it takes me.
I think this really emphasizes how most of these syndication services drip your articles and links out for a more natural link building affect.
Free Traffic System was the network that surprised me the most. It outdid some of the paid services by a long shot. If you’re new to syndicating your articles using networks like these this would be a good place to start, you can’t beat the price!
After taking a year long hiatus from offering link building services in December of 2009 I’m back and better than ever.
A few things have changed, most notably the name. From Savvy Content to Marketer’s Center, I felt like Marketer’s Center fitted what kind of business this has evolved into. From 100% content creation services in 2006 to the full fledged link building company that it is today.
The services have also changed, a lot. We’re going to be offering some cutting edge stuff that you just won’t find anywhere else.