Entries Tagged 'Link Building' ↓

Niche Site Step-By-Step 005: Backlinking Strategy

Backlinking is one of the most important things you can do in your SEO efforts.  There is so much information out there that it can be very confusing.  Before I started movingacrosscountry.org, I had very little experience with link building.  I had built large sites and optimized the pages for search engines, but I did do that much link building.

Why I didn’t do link building earlier

The reason I stayed clear of link building before this was I thought it was very time consuming.  I started on the web in the 90’s.  Back then you didn’t really need a lot of links to rank in the search engines.  When links began to be the defacto standard for rankings (of course there are many more factors, but links carry the most weight), I read some things about link building and did like what I would have to do, so I avoided it.  The general approach was to do two different techniques; link exchange and create content that people will link to because it is good.

Link exchanging did not appeal to me.  I didn’t want to sit around and compile a list of sites I could potentially get a link from, email the owner, and then hope for a link.  So, I just created a lot of content and hoped that people would link to it and search engines would rank it.

Enter Web 2.0 and Article directories

For some reason I missed the early part of the Web 2.0 and article marketing revolution.  I think I had my head down in programming so much, that it passed me by.  When I finally did get a hold of it, I knew I had to implement a strategy that used both of them.  Movingacrosscountry.org is the first site I build that I specifically built a backlinking campaign for, and I am very happy with the results.  I realized that I could spend some time targeting specific sites with specific keywords and have an effect on how I rank in the search engines.

Commenting first

Although I was reading all kinds of information on building backlinks with Web 2.0 and article sites, I also had run into a technique that used blog commenting to build good links for ranking.  Much of the consensus across the web is that blog commenting is not that good for improving search engine rankings.  This is due to the fact that most sites only let you link to your site from the name part of the comment, you have to use your name and not a keyword, and the link is a “nofollow” link.  “Nofollow” tells search engines not to pass any trust on to the link from the site it is on; this basically makes the link have no effect on search engine rankings.  I believe it has some effect, just not as much as a link that doesn’t have “nofollow”, also know as “dofollow.”

Since commenting didn’t seem to have that much value, I was going to stay away from it.  That is until I heard about CommentLuv blogs.  CommentLuv blogs use a plugin that gives a link back to the commenter’s site.  The link is to the last post the commenter has made on their own blog.  It uses the rss feed to get this data.  The good thing is some of the blogs that use the CommentLuv plugin have the links set to be “dofollow.”  This passes ranking to the commenter’s site, also know as “link juice.”  Most of the comments are moderated by the site owner’s, but if you make good comments they will be approved.  I found this method of blog commenting to be very effective in ranking my site in Google, Bing, and Yahoo.  I even attained some page one rankings for some medium competition keywords using only this technique.  It is the technique is use to start all of my new site’s link building campaigns.

How I found sites to comment on

It was very easy to identify sites to comment on.  I did the following search on Google, Commentluv “my search term” -enabled.  This search returned the most relevant blogs that were using the CommentLuv plugin and were related to my search term.  I installed the SeoMoz toolbar in firefox to see what kind of authority each site had.  In addition, I used the NoDoFollow plugin in firefox.  It highlights all of the links on a page so you can see which ones are nofollow and dofollow.

My Web 2.0 and article marketing strategy

I built link wheels for all of the medium to high competition keywords I wanted to rank for.  For the less competitive keywords, I felt the blog comments were enough.  I wrote original articles and place them on ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com, wordpress.com and tumblr.com.  Then I spun the articles using an article spinner; you can use the Best Spinner to spin articles. The key to making good spun versions of your article is to use good synonyms and then proofread the resulting spun versions before you publish them.

After spinning the articles, I put them on various other web 2.0 sites and article marketing sites.  Some of the links on these placements pointed directly to my site and others pointed to the first tier of links that were pointing at the main site.

Outsourcing link building

After I had rank my initial set of content using the first set of keywords, I created more content and set out to rank it.  For this content I decided to try outsourcing the link building.  I went on Fiverr.com and found different people to build link wheels for me for $5 each.  This seemed like a great opportunity because the link wheel construction is very time consuming.

The problems with my initial try at outsourcing the link building is I didn’t know who to use and it is very tempting to build links fast.  When you search on Fiverr.com you will find many people offering to build links using many different techniques.  I do not recommend using the spammy blog commenting method of blasting 100’s or 1000’s of comments to blogs.  As a matter of fact, I don’t recommend any kind of mass submission other than article directories and social bookmarking sites.  Both of these are good ways to syndicate your content.

I purchased several different link wheels and allowed the seller to provide the content.  The content that was provided was all well spun articles.  Some of the seller’s plans had an option to submit your own spun articles to use.  I didn’t use my own articles.

Traffic Nose Dive

My traffic continued to grow while I was having the campaigns done through Fiverr.com.  The keywords  that I desired to rank for with the Fiverr link wheels were medium to high competition.  I did see a move in my search engine rankings for those keywords, but none of them made it past page three of Google.  The link wheels from Fiverr did not increase my traffic.

About two months after doing the link wheels with Fiverr, Google made a major algorithm change and my traffic got cut by two-thirds.  I believe the link building I did on Fiverr was the cause of this drop.  I don’t necessarily believe it was all of the link wheels because they were build by different sellers using different sites and techniques.  Some of the sellers used poorer quality sites and templates to distribute the content.  They basically are using the same template over and over, such as, SenukeX.  I would not recommend using these kinds of templates.

What I learned

Link wheels are effective, but need to be from quality sites.  Hand building, or simulating hand building is better than fast automation.  Using template based link wheels leaves a footprint that search engines don’t like and will find.

Blog commenting using CommentLuv is one of my favorite ways to build links.  I get to interact with bloggers and their readers, provide good insight, and I get links back to my site.  It also allows me to put links on pages that are already indexed in the search engines and that the blog owner is actively promoting.  I use this method to start almost all of my link building.  I also use this method as my on going maintenance link building to grow my rankings.

I’d like to know what you think of backlinking strategy I use; comment below.

Also, share this post with anyone you think would be interested.  There are share buttons on the side of the post.

Link Wheels: What Are They And Are They Still Effective

I see a lot of people in forums talking about link wheels.  Some people say they are good, others say they are not, and others are really confused as to what they are and how they should be used. I will explain everything you need to know about a link wheel.  When you finish this article, you will love link wheels even if you hate them right now.

A link wheel is very simple to understand.  You link sites to your main site.  Some of those sites also link to each other, but your site never links to them and generally no two sites link directly to each other.  This is a single tier link wheel.  If you then link sites to the first set of sites that are linking to you, you have a two tier link wheel.  These second tier sites can link to each other if you like, just remember that part of the trust will be passed to whatever a link is linking to.

Most developers use web 2.0 sites and article directories to build a link wheel.  Some of the best web 2.0 sites to use are wordpress.com, tumblr.com, squidoo.com, wix.com and other high trusted sites.  Some of the best article directories are ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com, amazines.com, and other top article directories.

What to do with the link wheel

I think this is where many people get confused.  They understand the basic concept, but don’t know where to apply it.  I was the same way when I first came into contact with the link wheel strategy.  The link wheel is designed to build authority around your site.  First, you should use sites that have high trust rank to build your link wheel.  This is because these sites have the ability to rank for keywords easier than most sites.

If you target your keywords on the first tier of the link wheel and then point all of those sites to your site, you are effectively surrounding yourself with that keyword.  Search engines see this and follow it, believing your page is about what all of these pages that are pointing into it are about.  Additionally, by placing your keywords as the anchor text for the link, the websites further believes that your page is about whatever keywords you have targeted.  When the search engine gets to your page and sees that your page is indeed about the topic of your keywords, it indexes with your keywords.  Then, if the first tier sites also have high trusted sites linking to the pages that are linking to you and those pages are about your keyword, more trust is passed to the pages linking to your page and then, subsequently, passed to you.

A basic concept we have to understand is, high trusted links carry more weight than lower trusted links, especially when the linking pages are themselves trusted for the keywords you are targeting.  What this means is less links are needed if high trust sites link to your site and then high trust rank sites link to the sites linking to you.  Some people feel that it is not necessary to link some of the first tier sites to each other, or for that matter, second tier sites to each other.  I do not know if it is necessary.  I have seen people doing well with both, including myself.

The final step is to link some sites to the second tier; creating a third tier.  Many people like to blast the second tier sites with many links from lower trusted sites, but I believe you can follow the same process as you have with the first two tiers and link to the second tier with other high page rank sites.  The key is to put up good content on all of the sites.  If you like to spin articles, make sure they are still good after you spin them.

If you only build one tier and do not link anything to that tier, the results will not be as good as building a second tier and linking to the first tier.  The same is true if you do not build the third tier and link to the second tier.

Link wheels are good for your business.  They are a form of advertising.  They allow you to associate your brand, and specifically, your optimized page, with high trust sites.