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.

3 comments ↓

#1 Julie on 05.29.12 at 7:34 pm

I really love the blog commenting strategy! It is fun for me and builds me links. I also make a link wheel for my sites but I don’t worry too much about it. I also like commenting in forums and more recently Yahoo Answers. With Yahoo Answers it isn’t really backlinks but traffic.

#2 Art on 06.07.12 at 10:56 pm

Do you comment on blogs from your niche or outside your niche as well ?

#3 admin on 06.14.12 at 9:00 pm

I comment on post that are related to the page I am trying to promote. If I have an article about flying kites, then I do a search for flying kits and comment on those post.

Leave a Comment