Link building tips for small business sites

Everybody is talking about link baiting, but it’s hard to create a good link bait when you have no noticed voice. I thought it might be useful to repeat some well established techniques of link acquisition, that is link building tips for small sites with a tiny marketing budget:

The value of links from a search engine’s perspective

Question: What is a link worth with regard to search engine rankings, what kind of links should I hunt for if I’m not the WSJ, and where do I have a realistic chance to get linked?

Answer (summary): Valuable links generate human traffic, trafficked sites do get a ranking boost. The article provides examples and explains why some inbound links are utterly useless.

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Reporting spam to Google is a nightmare

Well, every now and then I do report a spammer, for example when I find my or a fellow SEOs articles on an AdSense driven Blogger-Splog, heavily and pretty much unrelated advertised in Google Groups and Google Base via a Google Mail account, and probably even visible on organic SERPs.

Google’s network of services allows spammers to make a living from Google alone, but on the other hand it doesn’t provide the victims with a consolidated spam report form.

Why can’t Google create an enterprise wide tool to report abuse?

[Omitted: the detailed description on how to report a spamming freeloader and plagiarist to all abused Google services in less than 2.5 hours]

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

v7ndotcom elursrebmem: Turn something completely silly into something good

When you search Google for for “v7ndotcom elursrebmem” the results will confuse you, until you stumble across GrayWolf’s v7ndotcom elursrebmem page.

Q: So what’s v7ndotcom elursrebmem?

A: Using the Web to help kids with cancer.

You really should support GrayWolf’s campaign by dropping links to his charity page:
<a href='http://www.wolf-howl.com/v7n/'>What is v7ndotcom elursrebmem</a>?<br>
Using the Web to help kids with cancer.

Thank you.

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Yahoo’s handling of the link condom

Folks are wondering why nofollow-links are shown in Yahoo’s backlink searches, site explorer results etc., and I’m wondering why the heck they’re wondering.

First, that’s not a new thing, the link condom has nothing to do with the ability to locate backlinks, so Yahoo always listed castrated citations and votes in link: and linkdomain: searches.

Second, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Yahoo’s handling of rel=nofollow links. The value “nofollow” of the REL attribute creates misunderstandings, because it is, hmmm, hapless.

In fact, it means “passnoreputation” and nothing more. That is search engines shall follow those links, and they shall index the destination page, and they shall show those links in reversed citation results.

There were micro formats better suitable to achieve the goal, for example Technorati’s votelinks, but unfortunately the search geeks have chosen a value adapted from the robots exclusion standard, which is plain misleading because it has absolutely nothing to do with its functionality.

So, since we now know that the “nofollow” value is a notional monster, can we please have it removed from the search engine algos asap? Thanks.

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Google Sitemaps

I plan to launch the Google Sitemaps Knowledge Base (BETA) soon. So if anybody has a neat Sitemaps related question which is of common interest, or an educational article I can publish exclusively, please submit it in the comments or drop me a message. Thanks in advance.

By the way, I’ve created a new RSS feed consolidating all Google Sitemaps stuff from the tutorial, FAQ, knowledge base (BETA), XML validation and whatever.

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

What is the best search blog out there?

Obviously the very best search blog out there is the famous Gray Hat News, well known for their outstanding research and well balanced coverage. Unfortunately, GHN doesn’t bother you with boring SEO topics, so Claus Schmidt’s great list of SEO bloggers will lead you to some valuable additions to your daily readings.

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

TGIF - Casting pearls before swines

Today I stumbled across a crowd in the Google Sitemaps Group posting long but pointless superhero-stories on how they have excluded Googlebot because Google is that slow in indexing and MSN and Yahoo are so much better.

You know that sort of uber-savvy marketing geniuses, don’t you? Someone told them that going to the Web where everything is free of charge and the search engines owe everybody and his dog instant rankings for any kind of crap they will get rich quick without spending a dime. Clueless journalists and zillions of scrupulous do-it-yourself sites powered by AdSense have mutated many serious and reasonable people to greedy and agressive freeloaders.

TGIF, so I did it again:

Oh well, you guys are funny. Just because you did not manage to get your stuff into Google’s search index that doesn’t mean nobody can manage it. Actually, ignoring 60% or even more of all referrers on the net is plain silly.

You cannot compare the major engines. They have very different ideas, and not the same data. A new engine like MSN lacks historical linkage data for example, and therefore MSN has to weight on-the-page factors more than Google. That’s a flaw, not a goodie. The same goes for Yahoo to some degree, although they have three predecessors (ATW, AV, INK), but those engines lacked a sophisticated link analysis.

Psst… here is a secret: to rank high at Google a new site must come with a solid marketing strategy. There is no such thing as technical tricks and SEO magic to get a site indexed and ranked. Plain diversified marketing, targeting every channel out there, will do the trick. Even word of mouth will boost your Google rankings.

“Fact is other search engines make it easier to submit a site and provide better results for unit of time and money invested in terms of traffic and in terms of visibility.”

Yes. Other engines are easier to spam because their quality control fails way too often.
“Better results” from a site owner’s perspective have nothing to do with relevant results provided to search engine users.

“In addition, new content needs to be available much more quickly than is the ‘norm’ for this process to meet market [read: customer] demands.”

True, Google does exactly that. Google’s news and feed search delivers new stuff within minutes on the SERPs, and Google’s Web search is pretty current when it comes to search results from trustworthy authority sites. If you don’t operate such an established Web resource, see above how to change your site’s status.

Your problems are

1. Ignorance
If you would have read the Sitemaps home page and other information publically available on Google’s site, you would be able to fund and manage your expectations properly. You say Google owes you free traffic in return for the sitemaps submission. That’s a misinterpretation.

2. Laziness
You’ve done not even half of your job. If you want to be successful on the Web, then you have to learn how things work. That includes studying all major search engines as well as every other source of traffic. On the long haul MSN and Yahoo will dump your pages if you don’t improve your stuff. They get better every week, and in a while they will have reached Google’s relevancy and search quality as of today.

3. Lack of patience and strategic thinking
Gazillions of sites online for many years do very well with Google. These sites have created a stable base of converting traffic coming from many sources, including search engines, over years, and that’s hard work based on reasonable well thought out strategies, and diligence. Why should you arrogant noobs pop up and get rich quick?

4. Arrogance
You guys think your stuff is indexworthy, search engine users –potential customers!– may respectfully disagree. Search engines, and that means all of them, are designed to find valuable and interesting content for their users. Since the first days of AltaVista they have improved their technology, and today all major players deliver pretty good results, w.r.t. to search query relevancy and timely information as well.

The engines handle huge amounts of junk and spam quite fine, but spammers have changed the game to a great degree. That means nowadays a site must gain reputation before the search engines honor great content or outstanding offers with free organic traffic. The engines weight reputation differently in their ranking algos, but reputation is an important ranking factor across the boards. You can’t gain reputation over night. Not on the Web, and not elsewhere.

Look at the first experimental MSN results a while back, they were overwhelmed with junk and spam. Look at MSN search results now, they’re much better, but MSN still indexes way more questionable stuff than Yahoo and Google. They’ve learned to factor in reputation. They still learn to do a better job, they have deep pockets and their engineers are smart.

If you don’t promote your Web presence properly, your MSN traffic will decrease, your Yahoo traffic will decrease, and Google will send zilch because you impatient and arrogant kids keep Googlebot out. Reminds me of my 3yo daughter crying “that is soooo unfair!” when she doesn’t get a candy 5 minutes before dinner.

There is a life without organic SE traffic, actually lots of sites do very well with bought traffic, but it is thoughtless and stupid to cut off any potential source of traffic.

Well, I should have known better, explanations like that are a waste of time. Here is the reply I got from the guy who bragged like a marketing guru specialized in search marketing research before:

What you now say passes my poor powers of comprehension; it may be all very true, but I can’t understand it, and I refrain from any expression of opinion on it.

Will I ever learn to avoid useless efforts? FWIW, feel free to take my ‘pearls’ to cast before other swines.

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Nailing Referrer-Spammers

The recent referrer-spam renaissance annoys me. Scumbags like the ten million pixels home page, ads on the moon and zillions more of Alex Tew plagiarists, assclowns like the dutch loan & mortgage scam afab.nl, legions of eBook diddlers like articledirector.com and other make-me-rich-while-screwing schemes, affiliate mobsters like googlecashworks or adsensetoyourincome, link peddlars like belinked.info, and gazillions of other low-life artists are running bots spoofing the HTTP referrer to make me click on their fucking scam URLs in my referrer stats.

Because those suckers are usually smart enough to avoid static IPs, it’s hard to block them. However, it’s possible to shut them down. I’ve sent a few cease & desist letters, received apologies, and stopped a couple of referrer spammers. Unfortunately, this approach involves work, that is research.

My emails cc:
· the admin/abuse/hostmaster email address of each domain appearing in the referrers
· the abuse address of the hosting company
· the abuse address of the domain registrar
· all email addresses collected from whois searches including the hosting company
· the abuse addresses of the ISPs from where the bots ran
· the email addresses of local authorities and all sorts of spamcops

Q: How to get the hosting service and domain registrar via domain name?
A: Do a whois search at WebHosting.info

Q: How to get the spammer’s ISP?
A: Search your server logs for the faked referrer URL and do a whois search at GeekTools for the user’s IP address

Q: What is a C&D letter?
A: Example C&D “Konstantin Lysenko and Sergei Goshko, stop your referrer spam bot or I’ll shut you down. 100 faked requests per hour to several URLs not linked from your site with your home page as referrer URL is abusive.” Example answer “Dear Sebastian, I worked on tool that checks my clients resources for inappropriate content. Possibly it went out of control. I disabled it for now. I’m really sorry it caused you problems. Thank you, Sergei”. The reply is laughable, but at least the referrer spam from that assclown was stopped.

Be creative :)



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

Can you trust a SEO who steals?

Tahir J. Farooque runs a SEO service in Los Angeles: Cresoft Corporation. Instead of writing up articles on search engine optimization for the company’s Web site at cresoft dot com, he prefers to steal those from other Web sites.

Tahir J. Farooque is not only a content thief, T.J. Farooque is an incredible stupid plagiarist. When this not that savvy thief receives a cease & desist letter, the stolen content gets shortened a bit. Laughable to think a thief can get away with theft by rearranging the sales pitch thrown together from stolen content. But that’s Tahir Farooque’s poor mind. Putting a business at legal risk and asking for bad publicity seems to be easier than writing an own copy. Perhaps Tahir F. is not capable of doing his own research, but then he lacks a fundamental skill for a search engine optimizer. Would you assign SEO work to a stupid thief?

I’ve put up a page with screen shots, whois info etc. under Content Theft: Tahir J. Farooque’s plagiarism at CRESOFT.COM (Cresoft Corporation), feel free to link to it with a suitable anchor text.

UPDATE: The content theft sold the company, and the new owner apologized for the plagiarism. That’s why I’ve removed the info page linked above and crossed out the company name.

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

The "Sozialgericht Bremen" Farce

Philipp talks about a german judge threatening a supermarket owner and blogger for a top10-spot for the court Sozialgericht Bremen at Google. I’d consider the judge’s letter business as usual in the Germany of 1933, nowadays it’s plain sick. However, I’m giggling thinking of a future disclaimer on german SEO sites “our work may get your butt in jail”. If you understand german, read the “Sozialgericht Bremen” letter here. Since the Sozialgericht Bremen farce made it in the press, chances are the blog post will outrank the court soon, and that’s well deserved. Hint: a few more Sozialgericht Bremen links can’t hurt.

Tags: ()



Share/bookmark this: del.icio.usGooglema.gnoliaMixxNetscaperedditSphinnSquidooStumbleUponYahoo MyWeb
Subscribe to      Entries Entries      Comments Comments      All Comments All Comments
 

« Previous Page  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28  Next Page »