Monday, February 18, 2013

SEO Linking in 2013

How To Correct Spam Link Problems

Published on by: James H. Hobson

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A very large number of website managers continue to ignore the best SEO tips published in 2012 by the top SEO experts. The affect in part is continued loss of organic rankings and the resulting drop in website traffic (leads!). This article is intended to help these companies identify spam link problems and provide tips on how to correct spam link problems.

Bad Link Practices in 2013

Even though you may have been the SEO king on Craigslist Google outranks you (yes, pun intended). It's critical for you to take action to improve your SEO practices, and hopefully your website will then see a healthy rise in organic rankings. Here's our Top 5 List of SEO Link Problems:

Sitewide Footer Links

1) The old school style was to cram that giant footer with page links which usually and obviously used anchor text created for SEO purposes. This is probably the easiest link problem to correct and it will make a difference. The problems here are that Google does not want repetitive links in the footer, Google ignores any links to a specific page after the first link it finds on your page, and using exact match anchor text is clearly the mark of spam. SOLUTION: Remove all sitewide footer links. Possible exceptions are utility links such as site map, privacy policy, etc. SUGGESTION: Do use a few outbound links to high quality sites with content that is relevant to the content of your page. We suggest making these "nofollow" links.

Article Spinning & Wheels

2) Could you be more obvious in your bad SEO? Probably not. Just like Bernie Madoff you can get away with a scam only so long. Google hires technology wizards and they are aware of the black-hat tips, tricks and articles published online. While you may think that had discovered a hidden secret Google laughed and went to work on creating ways to kill article spinning and link wheels. This is certainly a big problem for you if you used any of the "big name" link wheel services because Google has identified their sites and relationships, and then killed them off. SOLUTION: First, stop doing this. Next try to manually delete any articles you control and disassociate yourself from any sites where you have a profile with a link to your site. SUGGESTION: Consider using the Link Disavow Tool to remove links. I do recommend using this tool VERY cautiously and probably fr only the most egregious situations.

Bad Blogging & Social Bookmarking

3) Similar to article spinning is flooding "Web 2.0 Blogs" with mindless, off topic comments just to get a backlink. These are extremely time consuming, if not impossible, to remove however do what you can to eliminate these. There are many versions of what I term "bad blogging" which includes the aforementioned guest comments that are off-topic with links to sites that are unrelated, links placed on spam blogs with one article and a ton of unrelated backlinks, and of course the practice of article spinning. SOLUTION: Remove as much as you can. You may choose to report the site to Google just to get the site deindexed and take the link with it.

The first cousin to bad blogging is abusing social bookmarking sites. There are ways to auto-submit content to hundreds of social bookmarking sites. The problems are that it's hard to properly present the information in an automated manner, and it does not apper "natural" when the same content shows up on hundreds of sites at the exact time . . . especially under different user names.

Paid Links

4) This is an issue that confuses many people. You can buy "advertising" that includes a link to your site but you can't buy a "link package" to rapidly acquire mass backlinks. Yeah, I know you think you're just being time efficient but Google disagrees. The typical entity selling paid links re-uses a list of target sites which may or may not be related to your site. Irrelevant backlinks is a big red flag for spam watchers. When Google then looks at each site, identifies a massive amount of backlinks to a plethora of unrelated sites you can bet they then credit you with paid spam links. SOLUTION: Do not use paid link building services.

Internet Press Releases

5) Yep, this worked for quite awhile. Now it's just a silly game to play with Google. Certainly a paid internet press release from a highly trusted outlet, and with meaningful content, may deliver some benefit. Using low quality (free) internet press releases services is a bad idea. Using sales or marketing content presented as news is an even worse idea. I'm not saying that you can't get a press release ranked but it's lifespan is short, SEO value arguably low and it's simply not a good use of your time. SOLUTION: Use press releases only when you have some true news, and then use a paid version of a reputable PR outlet. Google knows that spammers are not going to pay $100+ just to get a link.

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