First of all let me apologise it has been almost a month since I last posted. I have been unbelievably busy on various projects and unfortunately the blog has had to take a back seat. However, you should now start seeing regular posts again
As I said, over the last 5 – 6 weeks I have been making preparations for various projects, some my own and others with Branded3. As I have been trying to devise a link strategy for these new websites it occurred to me there aren’t many SEO’s that are actually going to tell you how a site ranks in Google.
We all know a website needs links, but how do you get them? Where do you get them? What makes them good? What makes them useless? Unfortunately you’re going to get a lot of mixed messages in this area for a few different reasons;
1 – High profile SEO blogs (SEOmoz) have to say what they think Google want them to say, even when they talk about what I call ‘cheap SEO’ methods they always back it up with, “we don’t think this will work in the long term” meaning “we can’t endorse this, regardless of how well it works”.
2 – You then get those bloggers who simply repeat everything they read on the high profile blogs adding very little in term of their own experience.
3 – There are also those people who don’t want to get on the wrong side of Google so they keep things to themselves and attempt to discreetly push others in the right direction.
I unfortunately now fall into the bottom category… I posted a month ago on how links don’t have to be indexed to count and hinted at a site that might be using linking techniques with this in mind. Within a week of posting the website I ‘hinted’ at was removed and my site lost PR and all my site links (still lost now). I didn’t lose any of my rankings or traffic but I have seen this kind of activity before and it’s normally Google’s way of saying ‘be careful’.
I may be completely wrong but it all seems a little coincidental to me….. hmmm
Anyway, in a complete show of defiance I decided to post some of the biggest link building myths your likely to read online and many times from the most popular resources, let’s dive right in…….
You should aim for high PageRank Links
Because they pass more juice? True
Because they have more authority? Debatable!!!
The truth is what we know as toolbar pagerank is absolutely irrelevant when it comes to link building these days. I could launch a site tomorrow and have a PR5 by the next update by buying a handful of high PageRank links; this wouldn’t make my new spam site a good place to get a link from.
In terms of rankings for a keyword term toolbar PageRank is irrelevant – I have lost count of the amount of times I have out ranked a high PR website with a PR2 blog. Seriously toolbar PageRank is not going to help you on your way to top rankings, if that’s your link building plan be prepared to fail.
I am not saying you shouldn’t get high PR links, just don’t rely on them, you need a lot more to rank at the top of Google
Links that aren’t relevant don’t count
Yes you should aim to get links from relevant websites with good authority but the fact that people say irrelevant links don’t count is a joke. My advice is, if you can get a link from a site, GET IT!! Yes look for relevant links but don’t refuse one because it isn’t relevant.
Links that aren’t indexed don’t count
Well I addressed this in my previous post, however for all those who hang onto Matts Cutts every word; “Just because we see them doesn’t mean their passing weight” & “just because there in webmaster tools doesn’t mean they count”.
Believe me or not when I say I have seen websites rank with as few as 6 indexed links for majorly competitive terms, all the anchor text ones aren’t even indexed.
This is what I believe – Google comes along crawls a new page, decides the page isn’t worth indexing but still follows the links on it and credits anchor text accordingly. I a firm believer that anchor text only counts the first time it is crawled,, What!!! I hear you say?
That’s right; I think all those people who look for social mentions and then run around asking people to change the anchor text are wasting their time. Let me give you an example.
– I have ranked for the keyword ‘SEO’ for the last 6 months in around 14th ish.
– Patrick at Blogstorm gave me a link in April with the Anchor Text “SEO consultant”
– My ranking for this keyword jumped to 3rd within a week
– 3 weeks after placing the link he changed it to just “SEO” for me to see the effect….. There wasn’t any
– I still rank 3rd for “SEO consultant” and my “SEO” rank hasn’t budged
So what does this mean?? Does Google only count the link the first time it is crawled? Does Google count links placed on a page after it has crawled it a few times already? Does buying links within old blog posts/news articles work?? My opinion is NO, don’t waste your money or time.
(By the way there are high profile SEO firms out there that will try and sell you this tactic, trust me when I say don’t waste your money, keep it for links within fresh content)
Link Buyers Get Punished
You know what maybe they do, however I have never seen it. In fact I could put a giant list together in the next few days of thousands of sites actively buying links, report it to Google and nothing would ever be done.
I know there are those out there saying they have seen a site punished, unfortunately I would want to know the website and see definitive proof that it was the links that caused the punishment and not some other error.
I’ll say no more on link buying in fear of being slapped by G (Don’t you just hate competitors that report you to Google just because they can’t get ahead of you in the SERPS?)
Google actively checks IP’s
I agree that Google could do this, but are they???
Again I have seen no evidence of it and regularly see websites ranking thanks to a nice IP linked network. They may check it upon a manual review but not on a bulk basis.
It pains me to say this but when it comes to SEO you shouldn’t believe everything you read, there are too many copy bloggers and others who are scared of being slapped. As you have read above I have my own suspicions about the readers of SEOwizz and Google connections but the way I see it is I am only telling the truth. If Google did punish link buyers then I would be singing a different song, if Google were more open about the anchor text signal there would be no need to speculate and dig deep into link data.
What Google have to recognise is that webmasters aren’t really bothered about what Google consider to be good or bad SEO, they only want to know what works. Google should put all SEO bloggers out of the picture and just start getting honest.
Sorry for the mass content on this page but it has been a while