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Posts tagged with: links

Generate Successful Link Bait Ideas [Infographic]

Voltier Creative a SEO company based in florida has created a really interesting infrographic that shows you how to generate successful linkbait ideas. You can view the high-res infographic here or just click on the image below:


Created By Voltier Creative

Note: This itself is the perfect example of how to create a successful link bait. Just see how this company has managed to get me to write about them and link to their website just because the bait itself is too good to not share!

If you want to learn more about linkbuilding then read my linkbuilding guide & some tips for building authority links.


Dell.com is Buying Paid Links

dell-buying-linksPhilipp Lenssen points out that Dell may be buying text links from many high Page Rank Websites. Buying text links to artificially manipulate search ranking and also to increase Pagerank is openly known as a ‘sin’ in the SEO industry and it is also against Google’s Official Webmaster guideline.

OpenSourceTemplates.org, which has a Page Rank of 6 has a list of “Sponsorship Friends” at the bottom of their page. The links doesn’t contain any sort of ‘no-follow’ tags and it points to different sites with different anchor text. Dell has a link there with the anchor text “Business servers” and it points to the dedicated landing page of dell’s business servers – http://www.dell.com/business/servers. Some other links that are found on the page are: “Raymond Rail watches” – http://www.jurawatches.co.uk , “Web Hosting” – http://www.webhostingmadness.com etc. So as you can see these are all irrelevant links for the OpenSourceTemplates.org, so they are likely to be “paid/sponsored” links.

dell-buying-text-links

And this is not the only site which links to dell’s landing page for server. After going through their link profile in Yahoo Site Explorer I have found tons of home page links from High PR sites, all linking to dell’s server page for keywords like “servers”, “business servers” etc. Below is a small list of sites that I checked:

Page URL

Page Rank

Link Anchor Text

Link Destination

http://www.askapache.com

5

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.pictogame.com

5

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.pdxtc.com

4

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://ajaxblog.com

5

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.joomlaratings.com

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://drawlogic.com/

5

“business servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.opengl.org

7

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://oggix.com/

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.internet101.org

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://movablestyle.com/

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://ilovetypography.com

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.bibtex.org/

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.feedmarker.com/

5

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://opensource2.usrbinruby.net/

7

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.webfilebrowser.com/

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.phpalbum.net/

6

“dell servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.devkitpro.org/

6

“dell servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.impresscms.org

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.mywebcards.net/

5

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

http://www.alphaplug.com/

6

“servers”

http://www.dell.com/business/servers

The list doesn’t end here. I just got board looking at the links, as they are so many! So you can check it urself using BacklinkWatch or Yahoo Site Explorer.

Why Do I think these are Paid Links?

  • All these links come directly from high PR home page with a anchor text that dell would love to rank for! Unfortunately they still don’t rank for the term “servers” in the top 10 but most of their competitors do!
  • Since they are yet to rank for that term in the SERP they have are spending money on Paid Search.
  • dell-buying-paidlinks

    But I’m sure they would love to take that cost off if they can get ranking for that term. (Even if that costs them a bit to acquire those nice juice High PR paidlinks).

  • Links that are surrounding those Dell.com links are ‘not related’ to the site’s theme. Often they are – “cheap video games”, “cheap cellphone”, “web hosting”, “Alcohol Rehab Programs”, “search engine optimization” etc. By looking at it one can easily say that all those are paid links
  • The placement of those links makes it obvious that they are ‘paidlinks’. Most of the links that I found are either on the sidebar or on the footer (with small text). And most of the sites called their link section – “sponsored links” which itself refers to links that has been paid for.
  • None of the links that I have seen actually points to Dell.com Home page. All of them Points to their dedicated landing page for dell’s business servers. If this was done by a link spammer, who is probably trying to hide his ‘other’ paid links by listing some of the ‘good quality’ sites – He would have never linked to a ‘sub page’ of the domain with a perfect anchor text.
  • I don’t believe that Dell’s competitors will try to harm their link profile by getting all these paidlinks on their behalf. Because Google is still not perfect at detecting paidlinks, so I’m sure dell’s competitors won’t spend any money to give dell a chance of an unfair advantage.
  • None of these sites are low quality or spammy in any nature. All of them have tons of incoming links and high Pagerank. But I guess, they just decided to sell links (Eh, who doesn’t love cash?).

My Advice to Dell

  • Don’t Buy links. There are many other ways of getting ‘legit’ links that can help you with your ranking
  • Do more keyword research! “Servers” is very generic and a single term keyword. Even if it may have a lot of searches it may not have the highest conversion for Dell. I don’t think that customers who are interested to buy servers, would simply search for ‘servers’ in Google. When acquiring links (natural/paid) try to vary your Anchor text. Keyword like – “network server”, “Small Business server”, “home server”, “database server” etc are more targeted keywords and are likely to bring you customers that are truely interested in buying your server. Google’s Keyword tool is an excellent tool that can help you to find good relevant Long-tail keywords.
  • Don’t send everyone to one single landing page. Dell should create separate landing pages for each of the different types of server with relevant information about the servers, benchmark results etc. All those landing pages should also be optimized for its respective keywords. (e.g. Keywords in Title Tags, Body, Headers etc). For instance, you have acquired a lot of links with anchor text “business servers” to this page – http://www.dell.com/business/servers. But the phrase itself doesn’t appear on your site’s title or body. (*Well it appears only once in the lower bottom body).
  • If you are really into buying links, do it more discreetly so that it doesn’t become obvious that dell is buying links. (*check out some of the resources listed below)

Resources Related to Paid Links / Buying Links

8 Ways to Buy Links Without “Buying Links” – Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz.org

Thinking about buying links? 30 tips to save you from failure – Brian Chappell

Buying links under the radar so Matt can’t find them – Jim Boykin

How to: Buy Links Without Being Called a Spammer – Aaron Wall, SEObook.com

Jim Boykin: Paid Links Aren’t Worth It To Me – We Build Pages

The Art of Buying Links Under the Radar – Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz.org

John Scott on Link Building – V7 Network Blog

Buying Links is Hard Work – Search Engine Watch

Here comes a Bonus (~lol):

How to report paid links – Matt Cutts

So whats your view on Paid Links? Share in comments!


How to Build Authority Links (including .edu .gov .mil)

How to Build Authority LinksAfter I wrote a comprehensive Link Building Tutorial, I got few emails from my readers and I noticed a common trend in their questions. Majority of them wanted to know How to Build authority Links without buying them?

So I thought rather than replying to each of them individually, I’d just put it up a short answer here in my blog so that everyone else gets value out of the information that I’m about to share.

If you have been in this industry for some time, some of these techniques may not be anything new for you but then again I welcome you to go along with me as I talk about Authoritative Link building.

What are Authority Links?

As the name implies it basically refers to links that have high authority. Some time back a link coming from a High Page Rank site was considered Authoritative. Now that is still not 100% discounted as PageRank still is a good indication of how search engines like Google look and value a website. But obviously when I’m saying PageRank I’m not saying the small green bar that you see in your Google Toolbar. Toolbar PR is very different than what your actual PR is. Toolbar PR is just a small representation of your actual PageRank value.

Years passed and search became more complex. The demands of the users increased substantially and so did the spamming in the search results. So Google came up with another ranking system called TrustRank (Actually the research paper was released by Yahoo first I’m not sure how Google got hold of the patent). Anyway so TrustRank is basically built upon the concept of PageRank but it takes the concept further by taking a set of Absolute Quality Sites and then following their link patterns to find out other quality sites. [Read the Initial Research Paper (PDF) of TrustRank].

So basically educational institution & universities, government sites, military websites, News sites are of high authority. So if Google looks at their Outbound links then they are likely to find another set of quality websites and then can go another step down and look at the outbound links of the second set of quality sites and that will reveal a 3rd set of quality sites and this will continue on until the search engine dies. So the assumption with this concept is – Good sites will always link to good sites. And when there is an exception and a Manual reviewer at Google finds out – they penalizes that “Good site”.

Anyway back to the original topic, Authority Links are those links that helped create the 2nd, 3rd level of quality sites. So if you can get such links, your website will supposedly be treated well by the engines (Its like the President telling his Chief of Staff to give you a Job).

How Do I Find Authority Links?

Ok for those who just jumped to this section without reading the first section – I totally understand. You want to jump right to the nuggets without grasping anything unnecessary. Well I’ll just go right to the point –

  • Spy On your Competitors: Yes, that obvious! If your competitor is doing really good in the search engine, its possible that he has a powerful link profile. So you can easily spy on him by diving into his incoming links and as you do so, give particular attention to the links that you think are authoritative. Tools that I recommend you to use – Yahoo Site Explorer, BackLinkWatch.Once you find some quality sites that are linking to them, go to those respective pages and try to figure out why they are linking to them. If that seems like a natural link you might imitate the strategy that your competitor used to get the link. In most of the times quality sites links to other sites just as a citation or as “related resources”. So if you have any resource that you think can fit that article/research well, you can send an email and ask the webmaster to consider adding your resource in the list. If your resource is top notch its very likely that they will add it to make their resource page more rich.
  • Find out which .edu/.gov/.mil are linking to your competitor: I am often surprised to see how many people doesn’t know about this simple Yahoo Site Search command –

    linkdomain:www.google.com site:edu

    If you go to Yahoo Search and type the following, you will get all the EDU sites that are linking to google.com. So simply put your competitors URL in place of Google and you can change edu to gov, mil and other extensions that you like. Example: See how many EDU backlinks twitter has.

    Find out why those sites are linking to your competitor and then you will automatically know how to get links from them. E.g. Imagine that a university professor is doing research about semantic web and he referenced my blog post where I wrote about some advanced semantic web algorithm. Now if you are my competitor you can probably try to produce a 3 times better piece on semantic web and pitch that processor to include your work in his article. In many cases he will, if your writing is good and relevant to his area of research.

  • Get Links from .Edu/.Gov/.Mil blogs on your Niche: There is another simple search command in Google, that can help you to find .edu, .gov, .mil blogs on your niche. Go to google and type the following:

    Keyword+inurl:blog site:.edu

    Just replace “keyword” with your own keyword. So for example If I’m looking for edu blogs that talk about SEO, i can search for SEO+inurl:blog site:.edu. And it gives me a nice list of blogs that has talked about SEO and has linked to many SEO resources. So If I have something that is absolute quality, I may be able to pitch the author of the blogs to link to my resources as they are relevant to what they are writing about. But you need to be creative with the “keyword” when using that query in Google, because sometimes it may return irrelevant junk results.

Obviously there are plenty of other ways to find authoritative sites, but I guess the ones i mentioned here are probably the most easiest ways.

Read Some Other Resources Related to Authoritative Link building

The 4 Different Types of Authority Links – Wiep.net

The Wisdom & Folly of Directory Link Building – SEOmoz.org

TrustRank Algorithm – SEObook.com

Getting Links From Known, Quality Linkers – Search Engine Land

The Quest for Authority Links – Search Engine Guide

Beyond Link Building Tools – Search Engine Land

How to Get Links – Wikipedia – David Naylor

Some Link Spying Tools You May Like

Hub Finder: Simply Enter Two domains and you will find out which website (hub) Is linking to both of them.

SEOBook Link Tools – a variety of different types of Link tools

SEOMoz LinkScape – Gets you access to link information on more than 30+ billion web pages across 200+ million domains. [Its not Free]


InLinks: MediaWhiz Selling Links for SEO

InLinks- Selling Links for Search Engine Optimization Benefits Techcrunch just picked upon MediaWhiz for launching their new product InLinks that is a straightforward Link-buying system for SEO benefits.

How Does InLinks Works?

With InLinks advertisers can buy links to those sites are then added to publishers sites whenever certain keywords pop up in content. These aren’t pop-up ad links like Kontera and others – InLinks offers full blown links without any notation (like a nofollow) that tare primarily meant for giving out link juice for SEO benefits.

What Does Matt Cutts Thinks about InLinks

Techcrunch shared the following email from Matt Cutts (Head of Google Webspam Team):

Google has been very clear that selling such links that pass PageRank is a violation of our quality guidelines. Other search engines have said similar things. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also given unambiguous guidance on this subject in the recent PDF at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/03/P064101tech.pdf where they said “Consumers who endorse and recommend products on their blogs or other sites for consideration should do so within the boundaries set forth in the FTC Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising and the FTC’s guidance on word of mouth marketing,” as well as “To date, in response to this concern, the FTC has advised that search engines need to disclose clearly and conspicuously if the ranking or other presentation of search results is a function of paid placement, and, similarly, that consumers who are paid to engage in word-of-mouth marketing must disclose that fact to recipients of their messages.” Oh, but you say your blog isn’t in the U.S.? Maybe it’s in the UK? Then you’ll be interested in http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/uksi_20081277_en_5#pt11 which covers unfair trade practices and specifically mentions “Using editorial content in the media to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear in the content or by images or sounds clearly identifiable by the consumer (advertorial).” But you’re not in the UK? I believe many of the unfair commercial practices directives apply through Europe, e.g. http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/rights/index_en.htm to prohibit misleading or aggressive marketing. The reality is that accepting money to link to/promote/market for a product without disclosing that fact is a very high-risk behavior, in my opinion.

What Others Bloggers are saying about InLinks:

InLinks.com – TLA Launches In Links, an Inline Link Buying Program : Aaron Wall – SEObook.com

Normally, It’s a Good Thing to Get Featured on Techcrunch : Rand Fishkin – SEOmoz.org

InLinks – These New Text-Link-Ads May Be Tough to Detect : Amit Agarwal – Labanol.org

Text-Link-Ads Debuts Inlinks.com — Hopes To Fly Under Googles Radar : Deep Jive Interests

My Two Cents

I won’t go into any debate of whether ‘paid links’ are good or bad. I think i have written enough of it already here. But I’d just say that both publishers & advertisers needs to be careful when signing up for these kind of programs due to the fact that they are ‘extremely’ dangerous when they get this kind of publicity and goes inside the radar…