Saturday, November 15, 2014

Myths About Link Building

Link building is an important part of any site's SEO effort. However, there are various myths that surround link building thanks to all the wrong information that is available. These myths have only increased after the release of Google Penguin.

What are the causes of link building myths?

There may not be any guidelines for proper link building though most search engines will be able to tell you about what not to do while doing link building. Most of the times, people will misread what the webmaster tools say and will use that for their own benefit. As a result, many myths about link building are formed. Given below are some of the common myths about link building.

Directory submissions are not very successful

This is one of the most common myths about link building. Directories are the most effective link building channels even today. However, when submitting the sites to these directories, it is important to remember that both the quality and quantity of links submitted can make a lot of difference. Directory submissions are a very good way of increasing the quantity of links. However, there are certain things that you need to make sure before submitting the site to any of the directories. You need to ensure that the directory is not a part of any link network, it is not spammy and has not been penalized.

Reciprocal linking is no longer ethical

Reciprocal links can add SEO value to both the sites that are a part of the link building effort if it is done in an ethical and right way. What can have a negative impact on your site is if the site from which you get a reciprocal link is meaningless and is in no way connected to your site or field of business.

Don't link to other sites

In today's world, it is important for you to be a part of a community than being the destination of incoming links itself. Different websites will be encouraged to link to you if you will offer high quality links to anyone who visits your site. A part of this is to recommend other quality sites to people who visit your site. It is important for search engines that you are a part of the right cluster and add value to your visitor's experience by providing the right kind of links.

Get links from sites with a high page rank

Link building is not as simple as getting links from sites with a high page rank. There are various factors that can affect the performance of your site. Things like the number of incoming links, the anchor text, how relevant the linking site is to your site etc will make a difference. You also need to make sure that the page that you link to on the site has a high page rank. Sometimes, only the homepage will have a high page rank. You also have to ensure that the link is not a no follow link as that will be of no use.

Links coming from irrelevant sites cannot be counted

There are many people who will say that links from irrelevant websites will not help your site. However, they fail to realize that directory submissions and social bookmarking also make a big difference to the performance of the site. However, you should realize that all the websites that are there on the internet are not directories, social sites or news related websites. And linking to such sites will make no difference to your website.

Only links that are indexed make a difference

This is not true at all. There are various examples of sites with zero indexed incoming links doing well in search results. Similarly, you should realize that just because a link is indexed does not mean it will help your site perform better. Whether the link is indexed or not will not matter. What will matter is the quality of the links that you get to your site.

Buying links isn't an ethical SEO technique

There are many good quality directories like Yahoo! Directory that require you to pay in order get included in the directory. Similarly, you may have to pay to become a member of various business forums. These instances of buying links are completely legitimate and cannot be considered to be unethical. However, you should be very careful while buying links. It is OK to buy a small amount of high quality links for your site. What you should not do is to buy a large amount of links and then disguise them to be organic links.

Link solicitation is the best way to get links

Many SEOs may recommend link solicitation to get links to your site. However, this may not be in the best interest of your site. Given below are the various reasons why link solicitation is considered to be bad.

· You will be spamming a site and can get penalized or even flagged for this.

· You need to think about how many times you will reply to unsolicited emails. If you don't respond to these mails, you cannot expect others to respond to your mails either.

· You need to think about why a person may not expect a link or a payment if they agree to link to your site.

· It can become a waste of time and money and may not give you any success either

· Understand that all of your customers will not be the same. The needs and requirements of every customer will be different

· Try and make the site interactive and give your customers a chance to engage.

One can use link building tools

It is important for you to remember that search engines do not encourage anything that is not organic. When you use link building tools, there will be a surge of your links on various questionable sites. This will give a clear signal to the search engines that what you are doing involves something that is not right. Another drawback of using link building tools is that they will not check the sites to which they submit your link for any penalty or other issues. Hence, using these tools can lead to many bad links which can have a negative impact on your site.

Guarantee of active links


Most of the times, the directories and other sites that you submit to, will have the right to decide whether your link should be added or not. Any SEO who can guarantee you active links will most probably do some illegal thing to get your links active. You should be careful of such SEOs who promise you a certain number of active links.

Ethical and proper link building requires a lot of manual effort and discretion. It involves a lot of thinking, strategic marketing and a lot of competitor research. Substituting this with many irrelevant links will only have a negative impact on your site. That is why it is important for you to make sure that your partner acquires all your links in an ethical manner. Not doing so can cost your site a great deal and lead to the downfall of your site online.

SEO Link Building Tips and Techniques

As of right now, back links are the most important factor when it comes to the search engines deciding where to rank your website. In the future that may change, but there is no doubt that back links will still continue to be an important factor in the ranking process. Because of this fact, it is important that you steadily build links leading back to your website. In this post I will talk about a few effective ways to accomplish this including creating Link Bait, Blogging, Press Releases and Article Marketing just to name a few. But, I won't just tell you to use these techniques I will also tell you how to use them correctly and effectively.

Before I start, we want to make clear that I am not concerned about whether a link has been tagged "nofollow" or not. Research by a few independent SEO firms has confirmed that while PageRank is not transferred through "nofollow" links, overall rankings are affected by "nofollow" links in a positive way. I will address this issue and discuss the studies indepth in a future blog,
but in the meantime I want to make it clear that some of the link building tips I will discuss include building links from sites that "nofollow" their outbound links and that I believe this is a non-issue. I believe this because Google built their entire algorithm on the fact that back links were the most important ranking factor. I do not believe that Google intended the "nofollow" tag to be used as widely as it is currently is and they would never allow millions of webmasters to ruin all the work they put into their algorithm by tagging every outbound link on their site as "nofollow." Google may say that "nofollow" links have no impact on rankings, but I simply don't believe them based on studies I have seen and simple common sense. In our opinion Google continues to say that "nofollow" links have no affect on rankings in order to keep their intended targets of the "nofollow" tag, spammers, in check, but in reality they allow "nofollow" links to have at least some positive effect on rankings.

Link Building Tip 1: Blogging

Blogging is the easiest and most effective way to gain back links. Not only can blogging lead to back links, but it also is a way to consistently add content to your website, and we all know that Google loves sites that consistently add quality content.

The key to gaining back links through blogging is to make sure that you are blogging about topics that are either directly related to your businesses or field of expertise or that provide useful information for your readers. Once you have found your blogging niche the next thing to do is create an RSS feed and submit both your blog URL and RSS feed to as many blog directories as you can find. I have clients that gain hundreds of back links each and every month simply by blogging on a consistent basis. I recommend that you blog at least once a month, but once a week is even better.

Link Building Tip 2: Press Releases

Press releases are a great way for businesses to gain back links to their sites. There are many free press release distribution sites out there to submit your releases to, but using a paid service like PRWeb can result in hundreds of back links from major news organizations with just one press release. Making press releases a regular part of your link building strategy can result in thousands of quality back links over the course of year.

Your press releases can be about anything that you want related to your business. Whether it is about an expansion, the purchase of new expensive equipment, a fundraiser or sponsoring a local event, a press release is a great way to get the word out about your business as well as a way to gain valuable back links which will help your search engine rankings.

Link Building Tip 3: Article Marketing

Article marketing has been declared dead as an SEO and link building technique many times over and it is still alive and kicking. There are rumors of its demise once again floating around out in cyber space because of Google's new algorithm update that was released on April 25th. I for one won't believe article marketing is dead until I see it with my own eyes. It is true that many article sites, such as Ezine Articles, took a hit in the rankings when Google's Panda was released, but the effects were not fatal and Ezine has since taken steps to ensure that the articles posted on their site are of better quality moving forward.

I ran my own SEO test over the last two months and found that article marketing is still alive and well. I took a brand new site and wrote article after article and posted them on Ezine, Articlebase, Articlecity and others. The articles were the only source of back links I actively perused. The results have been astounding so far. Five out of the six keywords phrases I am currently optimizing for are now on the first page of Google, Bing and Yahoo!. I cannot definitively prove that the sole reason for these rankings are the articles and the links contained in them, but the anecdotal evidence is quite strong and the most important thing is that my site has not been penalized or fallen in the rankings over the last two months. Things could change and I will keep an eye on it and report to all of you if they do, but as of right now, article marketing is alive and well and a great way to acquire back links to your website.

The key to good article marketing is creating informative, original and unique articles. Don't just write one article and post it on 10 different article sites. Instead, write 10 different articles and post them on 10 different sites. Make sure you use mix up the anchor text of your links as well.

If done right article marketing can result in a ton of quality back links and increased rankings.

Link Building Tip 4: Directories and Review Sites

Using business directories and review sites isn't the most innovative link building strategy, but it is a proven way to gain back links to your site. These back links aren't the most valuable, but believe it or not, some of these directories actually get a decent amount of traffic and being listed in them can drive traffic to your site. The amount of people who visit your site is taken into account by Google when they decide where to rank you. Google figures that if a lot of people are visiting your site and spending time on it then your site must have valuable or interesting information on it and they will rank your site accordingly.

When listing your site in business directories start with industry specific directories if they exist for your industry. A few years ago I might have suggested that you submit your site with DMOZ, but now I wouldn't even waste your time. DMOZ doesn't
carry the juice it once did and there are rumors of corruption and "pay-to-list" schemes going on within the organization. I have submitted numerous sites over the years and only a handful have ever been accepted even though I followed their guidelines exactly. After submitting to industry specific listings, submit your site to any and all local business directories in your area. After that pick a few business directories a week and submit to your site. Over the course of time you will find that you have gained a large number of back links. Once again, these aren't the best kind of back links, but they are not worthless either and they can drive traffic to your site.

There are a few review sites that I recommend creating a listing for. Manta, Yelp and Angie's List are the ones I always list my sites and my client's sites in. Don't be afraid of negative reviews. If you receive a negative review the best thing to do is find out if it is legitimate. If it is legitimate then your best course of action would be to reply to the comment on the review site and try to minimize the damage. If it is not legitimate you can contact the site administrator and ask them to remove it. You will have to prove it is an illegitimate complaint or they won't take it off their site. The links from these sites can also drive traffic to your website.

Another benefit of listing your website on sites such as Manta, Yelp and Angie's List, is the improvement of your Google Places listing. Google Places are ranked using a different algorithm than the one used to rank organic listings. Based on independent research, the consensus is that the most influential determinant of whether or not your local listing will appear in the results is mentions or reviews of your business across the net.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Link Building for Musicians Websites

Simple Link Building Strategies for Independent Artists/Bands/Musicians

Blog Posting

Writing great, unique content and sharing it on your blog is the first and most important link building strategy, as it is the core. We are trying to build links to pages on our site, because that's where we want the traffic to end up at. And If the content ain't good, no ones gonna stay. Pretty cut and dry.

Blog Commenting on hub sites and good blogs

Although not really a link-building strategy as much as a networking and relationship building strategy, commenting on industry blogs and being engaged in conversations is a great way to tell people in your industry that you are around, and you can even pull in some traffic back to your site on occasion as well.

Social Link-spread

Every-time you create new content you should be sharing them across your expansive network of social properties by posting links and sharing with your fans and followers.

Relevant Directories

This is a great way to build good one-way links that will be helpful in the long-term, the great thing is there are quite a few good ones for independent artists and musicians, just as there are many good resources. Just search for relevant directories like "Independent Singer Songwriter directory", or musician directories, or music resources directory, you get the idea... If you are a Classical Composer they probably have a specific directory you can get into. And if you are a Hip Hop Artist, it does you little good to try to get into it.

I'll be writing up a guide of the best Link Building Directories for artists/musicians pretty soon.

Setup an RSS Feed

By setting up an RSS feed, you are syndicating your blog with an aggregator service that will make it easy to subscribe to updates from your website without having to actually go and check to see if you've put anything new out. This is really convenient for most people. You can build a link and perhaps even get some traffic - automatically. Go register for a Google Feedburner account for free.

Profile Links

One of the easiest and best things you can do is to link all of your web 2 pages and accounts together.

Profile links are a fantastic to utilize what you have working for you already. Go ahead and fill out all your profiles completely, and add links to your other pages. The name of the game these days with search engines and social media is not how MANY websites/properties/profiles.... It's the quality and effective utilization that matters. Although artists/musicians never really got that wrong, but make sure you do something! (perfectionism vs. procrastination = NEITHER. Do the best you can in the time you give yourself to work on this, and focus on getting as much done as you can.)

Online Communities

If there are forums and online communities that you are a regular in, or have been there for some time and have gotten to know people, why not share new content with them? Keep them informed, and be sure to post links to your websites with "anchor text" (if available) in your signature.

Conclusion

You now understand why and how, so go start building some links. You can start by leaving a comment/question/suggestion below!

Again, when I was referring to targeted keywords for search engine traffic, I'm referring to bridging the topic of your post to something that someone who may potentially be interested in you or your music would be searching for.

SEO Benefits of Link Building With Your Content

There are many ways to get attention for your site from search engines. This article focuses on how to use great content you've created along with link building to drive massive amounts of traffic to your blog and move your site to the top of the rankings in a natural way.

What is Link Building and Why Do You Need It?

Developing a good and consistent strategy for building links to your blog or website will not only influence your rankings with search engines, make your site more visible and increase your traffic, but it will give your web pages more trust and authority in the eyes of search engines and humans.

When a website with a high PageRank links to content on your site, it's a positive "vote" for your site. These "votes", a.k.a. "backlinks", are a sign of your popularity. Search engines will assume your site has clout and will increase your page rank based on the number of "votes". Other links may include those you place yourself in the comment section of a relevant blog or forum, to link back to your own site.

Inspired, relevant link building should be at the core of your online marketing plan. If you can prove you know your stuff and get enough "votes", your authority in your niche will translate to greater importance for buyers and ultimately bring in a bigger audience. Value is something search engines constantly struggle to find new ways to calculate. For this reason, we need to be on our link building toes.

Search Engines, Links and Rankings

Yes, search engines love links. Links are what enable the search engine bots to crawl through cyberspace finding all that informative content you spent hours to create. They collect all of these pages, sort through them, and attempt to assign a value to them, or "rank" them. When a web surfer searches for a term like "Sony PlayStation PS3", the search engine attempts to deliver back those websites or web pages they have determined to be the best match. They do this with algorithms or mind-boggling mathematical formulas.

Search engines traditionally awarded higher rankings to sites with the most inbound links, the theory being that you must be offering something of value if other sites link to yours. You could exhaust yourself building spammy links to your site from anywhere and everywhere, regardless whether those other sites are in any way relevant to your content or the products you offer. More links is always better, right? Well, if your link building efforts have focused on your niece's baby blog and your site has nothing to do with babies, maybe not.

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing to find better ways to target the best results for the consumer. For example, let's say you're looking for information about that Sony PlayStation PS3. Which site would you most logically expect to see at the top of your search page - the official website for the product (probably the manufacturer's site), or some anonymous web page that lists the product 1,000 times, is littered with ads, and offers no information of value? If the quantity of links was the sole criteria and the anonymous website's owner built millions of meaningless unrelated backlinks, his site may have risen to the top of your results page even though it offers you nothing.

Today, search engines are attempting to award higher rankings to websites and blogs that provide the best value for the end user. Poor quality content can ultimately get you penalized with lower search engine rankings, no matter how many spammy links you build back to it. Logically, if you invest your time in offering well-written, informative content and do high quality, relevant link building to it, more users will visit your site and you will ultimately increase sales and improve your bottom line. So how do we build the right kinds of links?

Give Your Readers Fresh and Unique Content

Before we can think about link building to our content, we have to create it. Quality content is content you provide for your visitors or potential customers. If you build a site where people can learn something and find what they're looking for, the traffic will come. Apart from text alone, "content" includes videos, MP3s, podcasts, photos, reviews, recommendations, even links to interesting resources - just about anything you can think of that relates to your site and which your visitors may find useful, entertaining or educational. If those visitors find your content interesting and important, they will spread the word and you will get natural backlinks without doing any more work.

Put some effort into this; it will help you convert those visitors to customers. But keep in mind that good content should be related in some way to your product or topic, have a value (such as product reviews or tutorials), and be fresh and up-to-date. There is nothing worse than looking for information about, say, the top-rated video games, only to find that the list on the site was last updated in 1999.

The best way to create your quality content before you start your link building is to write it yourself. You already know the most about your product, the people who use it, why they use it, and what they want to know about it. Optimize your content with your important keywords. Write for humans; if you stuff your text full of keywords so it becomes unreadable, no one will want to come back to read more of it. Your goal is not to send visitors to your competitor's site to get what they need.

Adding new content on a regular basis will keep people coming back for more. If you have writer's block and can't come up with fresh ideas, go back to an older post or article and rewrite it, update it with new information, or expand it. Or write a post inviting your readers to ask you questions. You will be surprised at the new ideas you will get. You can also use Google Alerts to keep you up-to-date on your topic and provide fresh material to incorporate into your articles, without having to hunt for it every day.

If you can't write it yourself, put aside something in your budget to pay someone to do it for you. Hire a writer, or a team of them, to help you create unique and fresh content for your site. This can add to the variety of topics and enable you to add fresh content more often. Or hire someone to make short how-to videos and podcasts to jazz up your pages. Another idea is to invite your readers (you can find them by reading your incoming comments) to submit guest posts; they may be link building too and will welcome the opportunity to post on your site.

Don't underestimate the power of relevant, high-quality content to help you with your link building plan.

Understanding 'NoFollow' Links

Next, let's discuss 'nofollow' tags because they can play a part in where you choose to publish or link to the content you've worked so hard to create. Links are automatically followed by search engine spiders; however, the addition of a 'nofollow' tag to a link tells the spiders not to give the link any weight or importance. Some search engines, like Google, may not follow or index a 'nofollow' link. This was originally created to reduce spam by preventing search engines from indexing all the links left by blog commenters. Spam still exists, of course, but this policy means you may not get any credit for these links toward your search engine rankings.

When you do your link building on blogs, forums and directories, they will often use the 'nofollow' tag. (There is no 'dofollow' tag.) In fact, the 'nofollow' tag is automatically pre-set on most websites, so the site or blog owner has to make a conscious decision to change it. The disadvantage of being a 'dofollow' site is that you will have to spend countless hours filtering out all of the spammy incoming comments and links. Many blog owners don't want the headache.

Our goal here is to build a lot of great backlinks to boost our ranking and attract more attention to our website or blog. Consequently, when we have a limited amount of time for link building and are looking for places to leave them, we should find out if the site uses 'nofollow'.

    You can view the source code to see if the site uses 'nofollow' by going to the web page you're interested in. From your browser's menu, select "View" followed by "Page Source". Click CTRL+F and use 'nofollow' as your search term. If you see the 'nofollow' tag in the results, you know.

    Searching source code can be tedious, so look for browser extensions that will do the work for you. For example, the Firefox SearchStatus extension will automatically highlight 'nofollow' links to save you time.

    You can search the web and develop a list of 'dofollow' blogs. Can't find them? Try this little trick. Many sites post a badge to let you know they are 'dofollow' and appreciate your comments. Using Google Image Search, enter the term "U Comment I Follow" with or without quotes (or enter "u comment" and "I follow" separately) and you will be amazed at what you find. Focus your link building on these sites.

Submit Your Content to Article Directories

One of the best free methods of getting high-quality backlinks and increasing traffic to your site is to submit your well-written content to article directories. Article directories constantly rank very well with search engines and they are a great way for you to demonstrate your expertise and build your authority and reputation in your particular niche.

There is some difference of opinion about publishing on 'nofollow' directories. If you are submitting articles to display your knowledge about your topic, 'nofollow' directories are great. However, if your goal is to improve your search engine ranking, then concentrate on link building with 'dofollow' directories to get the most reward for your efforts.

It's important to remember that search engines are constantly looking for good quality articles. Recent changes from Google, for instance, caused many article directories to lose page rank, and valuable traffic and ad revenues along with it, because they published thousands of poorly written, low-quality articles.

These new changes caused many directories to re-examine their publishing guidelines. Buzzle.com, for example, no longer accepts duplicate content (material published elsewhere, in full or in part) or marketing-type articles (written for the sole purpose of promoting a business or product). And they no longer permit outbound links, so you won't get any backlinks from Buzzle. Read the guidelines for each site carefully or your article may not get published.

Tips: Your article should be more than 400 words. Limit your links to the resource box or the author's bio area. Don't make it obvious if you're promoting a product; they will know because a human will read and approve/reject the article. And don't submit the identical article to more than one directory; the best directories don't want duplicate content. None of this should be a problem for you if you focus on high quality writing and follow the rules.

Here are some of the top 'dofollow' article directories for 2015:

    EzineArticles.com
    Hubpages.com
    ArticlesBase.com (note: this directory is 'nofollow' until you publish more than 10 articles there)
    TheFreeLibrary.com
    ArticleCity.com
    ArticleDashboard.com
    iSnare.com
    A1Articles.com
    Squidoo.com

But don't limit yourself to link building on just one article directory. If search engines eventually decide to stop counting more than a few backlinks from the same directory to a single website in their effort to combat link spam, share the wealth. Choose 2 or 3 good directories and rotate your article publishing among them. Another tip is to translate your articles into another language (or outsource it to a native writer) to make them available to non-English language readers. You would be surprised how much attention and traffic these links may bring to your site.

Publish a Press Release

A well-written press release can announce events going on in your business or on your website, and they can include anchor text and build strong inbound links to your site. Make it keyword-rich and be sure your primary keywords are in your title (which should be no more than 70 characters long). Hopefully your press release will appear in RSS and Twitter feeds all over the web, so you want to encourage people to click on it to learn more.

Because a press release is a news item, not only will it help you rank with search engines, but it will also get news search rankings from sites like Google News and Yahoo! News. This gives your business more credibility and brings you high-quality backlinks. Again, you can get more results for your hard work.

Another advantage of a press release is that it will be read by people who have an interest in your business or your company. These are exactly the relevant visitors you're seeking, so make it count. Videos and images can sometimes be included to give it a little pizzazz (and don't forget to name the media with your primary keyword).

Do a search for "press release sites" and spend a little time checking them out. Some are free and others offer paid services. Using a service with a Google page rank of 4 and above will increase the credibility of your press release. And, again, don't waste your time on those that use 'nofollow' tags.

Write a Guest Post

Writing guest posts for related blogs in your niche can be a very good way to get more exposure. Contact these related blogs and offer to write a free post for their site in exchange for the ability to place a link in it back to your site. If they invite guest posting on a regular basis, they may already have a page describing their guidelines. Follow them.

To improve your chances of being accepted, write something engaging that will enhance the blog you are writing for. Research their site to see if you can find some good content to add and find other posts on their site that you can link to in your post. This will let them know you understand the concept of blogging and everyone's desire to keep visitors on their own site.

Target blogs related to your niche. Find sites that have the look and feel you want to convey and preferably one with a higher pagerank than your own. When you contact the blog owner, send your guest post with a little information about yourself. If you have guest posted on other high quality blogs, mention it because it will give you more credibility. If your post is rejected, post it on your own site or submit it to an article directory so your link building efforts don't go to waste. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying.

How Soon Should You Start to Use Link Building Strategies

When you are trying to promote a website to obtain higher search engine rankings or higher volumes of traffic, using tried and tested link building strategies is right up there.

However, there are certain things a web master really needs to put into place first before putting any link building strategies into overdrive.

There are certain SEO strategies that are highly important that do not involve the use of any link building tactics, but without them, any investment in link building software or the use of a link building service would be like throwing money down the drain.

What Are These Strategies and Why Are They More Important Than Link Building?

First of all, there is no one link building strategy that is more important than the next, what is important is the order in which you do them!

Search engine optimization strategies are strategies that encompass every method of website promotion.

One strategy, which is designed to help search engines understand what a site is about, is called on-page SEO. Good on-page SEO will help a site rank better for the correct keywords and subject matter but if this is not done correctly, or at all, a site could well be dead in the water before it even gets a chance, no matter how many links point to it!

Hence why on-page SEO should be the number one priority for web masters. On-page SEO involves a number of different things, from ensuring your keywords, and related keywords, are included in the URL, Title, Description and 'H' tags, to ensuring the site has new and unique content added regularly, at least once every three days seems to be the widely accepted benchmark.

On-page SEO is a complete topic by itself so covering it in full in this article wouldn't be doing the topic justice, however, it is still advisable to gather as much information as possible about how to do this highly important task properly.

Once you are an on-page SEO expert and have created a website that the search engines will love you for, then it is time to start with some effective link building strategies.

Effective Link Building Strategies

Link building strategies are an important and extremely effective method of helping your website surge up the search engine rankings...but be warned, they do take a considerable amount of time to implement, especially if you intend a fully hands-on approach.

Many people will perform searches looking for the most recent strategies, but there really is no need to do so. Sure, there are new methods for building links that crop up each year but the tried and tested methods are by far the most effective and have stood the test of time.

Here is a list of eight of the most effective ways of building links that have been a staple of website owners for years.
  •     Article Directories: Posting articles to article directories has always been extremely effective in obtaining quality back-links to your site.
  •     Bookmarking: Excellent method of gaining fast, quality back-links to your site and every piece of new content you post on it.
  •     Blog Commenting: Making worthwhile and interesting comments on blogs that allow you to leave a link back to your site in your comment.
  •     Profile links: Many sites require you to sign up in order to become a member, most if not all of these sites provide members with profile pages where they can then leave information about themselves which normally includes links to their websites.
  •     Link exchanges: Although the standard two-way link seems to have lost a lot of its effectiveness (Site A, links to B and, B links to A), three-way linking is still quite effective (A to B, B to C, C to A)
  •     Web Directories: Web directories work in the same way as the yellow pages. Simply post your website details (including a link) in the appropriate category. There is always debate about the strength of links from web directories but they ARE still effective.
  •     Press Releases: Highly effective way of not only building links to your site but also increasing traffic, especially if you have written a kicking press release!
  •     RSS Feeds: Submit your RSS feed to as many RSS directories as you can to obtain back-links on autopilot. RSS feeds are dynamic, and each time you post something new on your site, you will get instant back-links. As I have mentioned, all of these methods do take a long time to implement and see results from but if you require, or want, quicker results then you need to consider one of these two options.
  •     Buying link building software: There are many different pieces of software that will help build links for you. All of this software will turn the 100% manual task of building links into a semi automated task and will therefore speed up the process, although be warned...you will still spend a lot of time making links.
  •     Use a Link Building Service: Link building services will completely free up your time by creating all your links for you so you can then concentrate on developing your website and running your online business. This option is by far the most time efficient and cost-effective method of improving your site's ranking.

SEO Link Building Made Easy

SEO link building is the cornerstone of a successful search engine optimization strategy. Every website needs to build backlinks in order to be ranked by the search engines on the results pages. It can be frustrating and it is easy to build low value ineffective links.

What is SEO link building?
SEO link building is defined as the process through which high value backlinks to your site are obtained from high ranking websites. Your keywords should always be used within the anchor text to ensure maximum value. Links can be generated through advertisements, comments, articles, press releases, social media or bookmarks on social sites.

Why build links?
Search engines place a lot of importance on the quantity and quality of backlinks to a website. Links form a big part of the algorithm used by search engines to determine ranking and backlinks from high volume websites have the ability to generate a lot of traffic to your website. Websites with a lot of quality links are seen as experts on their subject matter and will therefore rank high on the search engine result pages.

How can SEO links be build?
There are numerous methods that can be used to build links. Some of the acceptable and widely used methods are:

- Article marketing
- Comments on blogs or forums
- Reciprocal links
- One-way links
- Press releases
- Facebook and Twitter
- Bookmarks
- Directories

Article Marketing
This is a very effective tool and can also be used to establish credibility. Articles should be written using your keywords (keyword density of 3% - 6%) and should relate to your website, product or services. Always ensure that the links back to your website contains your keywords in the anchor text. Follow the guidelines and rules of the article directories when submitting articles to ensure that your articles are published.

Comments on Blogs or Forums
Links can be created by commenting on blog or forum posts. It is advisable to place a link back to your website in your username and not in your comment. This method of SEO link building has been abused and you may find that a lot of blogs and forums delete comments that do not add value. For maximum results it is advisable to comment on blogs or forums that relates to your website, service or product and that allows do-follow links.

Reciprocal Links
It is a good idea to have a few quality reciprocal links to high PR websites. When two websites link to each other it is called a reciprocal link. Always link to a website with a high PR (page rank)that relates to your service or product. Links can be obtained through contact with the webmaster of the website that you want to link to and some websites have an automated process. It is important to make sure of the PR of the page that links to you since not all website pages have the same PR.

One-way Links
High value one-way links are the gold of SEO. The search engines allocate more value to one-way links than reciprocal links. Posting content (not comments) on popular blogs or high PR websites generate quality one-way links. Some blogs and websites allow guest posts and it is important to build a relationship with these type of sites. Always manage your links to ensure maximum value and only build links from established websites in good standing.

Press Releases
One-way links, awareness and traffic can be generated through press releases. This method has also been abused and the search engines are aware of this. Only submit a press release when you have something to share or announce and make sure that it is well written. You should ideally not submit more than 4 press releases in a year.

Facebook and Twitter
Promoting your website through Facebook and Twitter is a must. High quality links generating traffic to your website can be build through these sites. You can reach a lot of potential customers and improve your rankings by using these two sites effectively.

Bookmarks
Another method that has been badly abused. One-way links can be build by bookmarking your websites on various social sites. The value of these links have decreased due to abuse but it is still a viable SEO link building method.

Directories
You can build one-way links by submitting your website url to directories. Try to limit your submissions to directories with a high PR.

What not to do
- Do not make use of link farms
- Do not build links from banned sites
- Do not build links from gambling or porno sites
- Do not build massive amounts of links in a short period of time
- Do not use black hat techniques

The key to a successful SEO link building strategy is to continuously build high quality links over a period of time. You should aim to build 10-20 links per day using a combination of methods. This should not take you more than an hour daily and is worth the effort. It is important to understand that SEO link building takes time and will not push your website to the number one position on the results pages overnight.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Other link building methods, important to know, not to focus on

Reciprocal link building is a share system, where one web page displays the link to another website and vice versa.  There is normally an agreement between the two website owners, where each page shares the other's link.  This once had a lot of value, but that changed in 2003. Yet, reciprocal links still have their place, particularly if you cannot get a one-way link for a top website, it can sometimes be a way of getting the process started by offering a reciprocal link exchange.

A one-way link is a link from one website to another without any reciprocation.  One-way link building can be considered more valuable than reciprocal, because there is no known reason for the link.  This leaves the search engine guessing why there is a source for another link on a different site.

There are many advantages to link building.  The process and strategy of an advertising campaign through quality link building services can be compared to the domino effect.  A quality link building campaign will have your indexed frequently by the search engines, which will improve the ranking of your pages for competitive keywords.  The higher the rank a website has in search engines, the more visitors it will attract.

SEO companies are springing up in mass numbers, as the need for a higher ranking and the effects of it can make or break a business.  It is important to research a link building company, before the decision is made to invest as little as £200, and as much as up to £2000 (or more) into SEO and/or link building services.  One sure sign that the link building company is reputable is through prior work.  Obtain samples that are currently on the web, for the proof is undeniable.

Be wary of a link building company that does not offer a phone number or a means to instant message.  The means of communication will be vital if there is a problem or if a correction needs to be made.  If a company does not communicate or respond instantly prior to the work, it may reflect the response time with the work.

There are many link building services, and it is important to find the one that is most suited for the needs of the business whether those needs are local, national or international.  More isn't always better when it comes to a link building system; rather, higher is most important.

How Does a Link Building Company Improve Your Website Position?

Is Transparency The Backbone To Effective Link Building Services?
An entrepreneur would never consider opening a business without advertising or using word of mouth to promote the business.  Starting an SEO campaign without using link building services is very similar to the prior example.  The site may offer the perfect solution to a business need, yet may not be profitable if no one visits the site.

What is link building?

Before delving into the benefits of link building services, it is important to understand what link building services actually provider to the purchaser.  Link building is creating ties to a website, like a popularity contest, it's about the number of votes, links, particularly one-way links you have compared to your competition, but more importantly, these votes or links must be coming from other valuable websites related to your topic and industry. Ultimately, a consistent approach to developing quality one-way links is going to plays a critical role in your websites ranking.  Google changed the rules in a big way back in 2003 and made one-way theme links, those links that are wrapped in valuable and relevant content, the most important links in determining a websites ranking for a particular keyword.

  •     If your link (web address) is on another website that is a leading authority website in your industry, then you must be doing something right and the search engines reward you for it but granting you attributing your link towards your ranking more = higher ranking.
  •     Each link delivers more traffic to your website, more visitors + good content = visitor into customer.
  •     It's important that you use an anchor link format which looks like this:

keyword-keyphrase [http://www. YourWebsite .co.uk/keyword-keyphase]

Obviously, the format above should use your websites URL and, of course, your page extension and the keywords you are targeting.

Anchor Link Text Format

This anchor link provides the search engines with all information needed to determine the links value by highlighting the keyword(s) you want to be positioned for.

How to get these valuable links?

There are many different ways that this can be achieved such as through blogs, social media, virtual correspondence (newsletters), online articles and any other form of content that has a anchor link embedded in it and subsequently submitted to another valuable website.  This will require time and dedication to creating targeted, interesting and engaging content and then to submit it. This is where a company becomes quite valuable.

The whole purpose of using link building services is to firstly have each page of the website optimised for the best keyword(s), secondly it's to outsource the laborious task of systemically creating the links, which can often be in the 000's for the highly competitive terms.  The closer to the top of the search results you are for your keywords the better the return on investment, but that depends on the keywords of course eg. 'Fast loan' vs 'free cat book' which keyphrase would you prefer to be ranked number one for?  The phrases 'fast loan' would be more profitable and thus more competitive. More visitors will result in more business if the keywords are right.  It is that simple.  But it's not...

You need to make sure that the page converts visitors into customers. But you need to get the visitors before you can focus on conversion. So focus on getting the links and traffic first then begin to start testing to maximize the conversion rates. Easy still, outsource the traffic and building links work and focus on getting the website perfect for when your visitors arrive.

SEO Link Building Tips 101 - The Power of Contextual Link Building

anyone who has dabbled in internet marketing or SEO for their website knows the best way to rank in the search engines is to link build for the keywords they wish to target. While the search engines use many different factors to determine site rankings, most experts agree that link building is one of the biggest. However, not all link building techniques are created equal.

As any true link building expert can tell you, there is a big difference between amateur and quality link building.

4 Types of Link Building Strategies

Anyone that has spent any time studying SEO, researching algorithms or reading internet marketing blogs and forums knows that link building plays a huge role in a website's marketing campaign. If for some reason you didn't know that link building was such a big deal, then it's imperative for me to tell you now. Backlinks (links pointing to your website) are considered web votes in the search engine popularity/ranking formulas. The more websites there are with links that lead to your site, the merrier. However, it does not stop there. Who links to you, why they link to you and what they say about you are arguably more important factors than how many websites "voted" for you.

There are 1,000's of ways to build links back to your site and for a variety of reasons. Some will build links to increase rankings while others are looking to increase PageRank. Whatever the case may be, it is necessary that you understand the different types of link building.

Building Links to Increase Total Backlinks:
In some industries, depending on the competition link building could entirely just be a popularity contest. For example, you could check the backlinks of your competitors rankings for the terms you are targeting and notice that they have over 100,000 backlinks compared to your 112. Also, for some search engines, having a plethora of links plays a role in your search engine positioning. Furthermore, the more links you have pointing to your site, the more paths you have for bots to find your site and to cache it. Building backlinks to increase your total in-link count in Yahoo or Google is usually done because this is something that can easily be seen by anyone online. Having a site that only has 50 backlinks says a lot. Much can be said about a site with over 40,000 links as well.

A few techniques to increase total backlinks include site-wide link building, blog rolls on blogs with a lot of posts, directory submitting and article distribution.

Building Links to Increase PageRank:
Although you want a lot of sites to point to yours, you also want these sites to have high PageRanks. Google uses PageRank as a measure of importance. PageRank is an algorithm that measures how many sites are pointing to you and how many sites are pointing to those sites pointing to you and so on. Google still makes it clear that PageRank is the heart of their search engine algorithm, so getting links from websites with high Page Rank is a must. When you obtain links from sites with a lot of links pointing to them, it shows Google that a trusted domain has linked to you. Another reason you may want to increase your PageRank is because you want to sell advertising placements or blog reviews and noticed that the higher the PR of your site, the more money you can charge.

This form of link building is a very common technique performed by directories. They buy links from pages with a lot of PR to inflate their PR so webmasters will want to pay for inclusion into their directories.

A few techniques to increase PR fast is to get links from sites with a PR4 or better, sitewide/blogroll links, social bookmarking, mass press releasing, text link buying and link baiting.

Building Links that Increase Search Engine Rankings:
As mentioned before, backlinks counts as votes. However it is not only the number and type of backlinks that matter, what they say about you could make all the difference in the world when it comes to search engine positioning. The anchor texts of your links are labels that help the search engines bots categorize and rank your site according to relevance. Sometimes getting a few links saying the keywords you're going after can go a lot further than how many links you may have. So if you are looking to build links to increase search engine visibility, find relevant sites to give you links saying the keywords you're going after for optimal keyword placement.

A few techniques to increase rankings are niche directory submissions, article distribution, link exchanges, blog reviews, links from sites already ranking for terms you're targeting, and press releases.

Building Links that Generate Traffic:
So we can build links to increase PR and we can build links to improve our rankings. However, isn't the ultimate goal to generate traffic? It's easy to build links to indirectly generate traffic via the SERP's and to forget about generating links that send visitors. While some links may increase your PR or even help your search engine positions, links that send relevant traffic directly to your site from a site related to yours could be a better investment than building links in hopes to get some love from the search engines' proprietary algorithms.

A few ways to generate traffic via backlinks, is through affiliate marketing, paid links, links on pages with top Alexa rankings, reviews from bloggers with a lot of subscribers, forums in your industry, social networking and press releases.

While all of these techniques are valid, the important thing to remember is that major search engines like websites that generate traffic naturally. So not only do you have to figure out which route you want to take (if not all of them), you should also devised strategies that will give your website a natural link building profile.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Most Innovative New WordPress Plugins

WordPress (WP) is probably the most popular blogging tool that is used worldwide. It is free and open source content management system that allows bloggers and professional developers to find ease in setting up websites loaded with great features. Many plugins that were developed in order to maximize the functionality of WP sites, but there are some very innovative new WordPress plugin that are simply amazing!

One of these innovative WP plugin Google XML Sitemaps. This allows you to create a good XML sitemap that helps search engines to index your blog better. This is one important plugin that has been seen by many to have a profound use of blogs and professional websites, given the importance of getting the search engines to find your site faster and get ahead of the rest.

Another great WP plugin Fast Secure Contact. This is a plugin that allows you to provide customizable contact form allows website visitors to send you email. The plugin blocks spammers and there are no templates that you need to mess with. It is easy to use and highly increase the functionality of your website.

The Ultimate TinyMCE has also been among the WordPress plugin that gained popularity exponentially. Those who are using TinyMCE could now expand its functionality with advanced option provided in this plugin.

Another great plugin is Buddy Press. This is described as social networking right in the box. This helps you to build a network that will Befit your company, sports team, school, or similar community.

For moviegoers and video enthusiasts, Add Movie Trailers and Game Trailers plugin will allow you to include a trailer to your own site. You can even create an IMDb page that is totally unique.

Since safety is the main concern when it comes to building websites, Get Off Malicious Scripts is another plugin that greatly helps bloggers and web developers to search for malware and viruses on your server. It helps you to remove them so as not to make your website vulnerable.

And never forget social networks like Twitter in promoting websites. Because of the large role that social networks play, MyTweetLinks was also one of the most commonly used innovative WP plugin to present. It makes the basic facts in your blog posts to be part of Twitter. It is really a great way to promote your site without having to do a lot of efforts.

Taking account of these WordPress plugins and use them on your site or blog can greatly increase the effectiveness of your site and make it more attractive to the eyes of visitors.

A Beginners Guide to Link Building

Link building is an essential ingredient in ranking your website highly on the major search engines. There, now that we've got that brilliant grasp of the obvious out of the way let's move on to what you can do to actually create them. Before we launch into the nitty-gritty of link building, no beginners guide would be complete without a brief explanation as to why links are important and the different elements of them. Being a beginners guide this won't be an entirely complete list but it will be enough to get you going on the right path. Understanding what you're trying to do will help you do it better and more importantly, understanding the "why" of the situation will help you stretch your tactics outside of this and other articles on link building.

Why Are Links Important?

To put it simply: a link is a vote. Every link pointing to your site from another website tells the search engines that the other site finds your resource valuable and thus, the engines read this as a vote for your site. So it must be about getting tons of links and you're done right? Wrong. This is incorrect as ...

Not All Votes Are Created Equal

Unlike your own vote in an election, some votes are worth more than others and some votes are worth SIGNIFICANTLY more than yours (unless of course you're a content writer for the Google.com domain in which case you obviously have the top vote). The basic factors that affect a link's value to your website are:

The site strength - the strength of the site that is pointing to yours is a significant (and historically abused) factor in the valuation of links. In the absence of other easily-visible criteria let's look at PageRank as a key valuation of a site's strength. If a site with a PageRank 8 links to your site, this vote is worth significantly more than a link from a PageRank 3 site. This is because a PageRank 8 site is, in Google's eyes, a more important site than the PageRank 3 site.

Relevance - the relevance of a site linking to you is, if anything, more important than a site's strength. If you run a bed a breakfast in Utah a link from a PageRank 3 bed and breakfast will be worth more than a link from a PageRank 5 web design site. This area is a bit grey in that it relies on the engine's ability to determine what is relevant and what is not however we've seen evidence that this area is strong at this stage in the game and is only becoming more important over time.

Anchor text - the actual text used to link to your site is extremely important. I've seen extremely strong sites get beaten out by weak ones simply due to the poor use of anchor test. If you're building links to your site be sure to include your keywords in the text that links back and, if possible, the exact phrase you are trying to rank for. At the same time, you can't make all your anchor text exactly the same - how can that possibly look natural?

Position - the position of a link on a page and the number of other links on that page impacts the value of a link. A link in the footer of a page is given less weight than a link near the top, a link in the content of a page is given more weight than a link in a list of links and a link on a page with 50 other links is given less weight than a link on a page with only a few other links. If we think about it - this makes sense. All of these things indicate whether the site with the outbound links actually intends for one of their visitors to click the link or not. From an engine's perspective - the more it appears that a site wants a link to be clicked on, the higher the weight that link (or vote) is given.

Admittedly there are a number of other factors but this is a beginners guide. Following the considerations above will insure that as you make each link decision - you're odds of making the right choices will be significantly higher than if you ignore them. Ignoring them may not get you penalized or banned but it will make your task far more time consuming as you secure less valuable links and thus need to build far more than following he right methods.

So far we've covered briefly the why of link building, now let's get into the real-life, here's-how-to-do-it side of things. Below I'm going to cover three of my favorite link building tactics. These are tactics that apply to virtually every scenario. The number of ways to build links is only limited by your imagination however and this should not be viewed as a comprehensive list. This is, after all, a beginners guide and I'm trying to list the tactics that apply to virtually every scenario.

SEO Link Building - Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How)

In this article, we discuss search engine optimization link building strategies that you can implement.

Perhaps you've read an article or two by search engine optimization ("SEO") experts stressing the importance of link building to the visibility of your web site on the major search engines. If, for example, you happen to navigate the Google online documentation to the "Webmaster Help Center" you will see the Google response to the question "How can I improve my site's ranking?" The Google response includes the statement "In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.2"

"Link building" then, is the process of developing "inbound" links to your web pages in order to drive traffic to your site and improve your search engine ranking. Sounds simple, but there are so many different complex online link building programs and strategies it's mind boggling! And, some techniques, even legitimate techniques implemented incorrectly, may actually render inbound links completely useless.

I started this article intending to cover the 5 W's - who, what, when, where and why. But, at the risk of detracting from the clever title, I felt the need to add "How?" in order to make it more useful. So this article is designed to provide insight into the following questions:

1. Who should link to my web pages?

2. What should the link entail?

3. When should I add a link to my site?

4. Where should a link appear?

5. Why should you care?

6. How can businesses develop their own inbound links?

No doubt, reasonable minds can disagree with some of the opinions and strategies contained in this article. I direct your attention to footnote references to several online articles that I found helpful. I encourage you to review these articles so you can draw your own conclusions. I do hope you conclude that there are a number of legitimate link building strategies that you can tackle!

Why Should You Care?

Sorry, I have skipped over who, what, when and where to begin instead with "Why?" After all, if I cannot make the case that link building is important, you certainly will not read the rest of this article!

It is believed that, in the eyes of the major search engines, the number and quality of the incoming links that point to your site are indicative of the worthiness of your site. I know, it sounds like a popularity contest - perhaps this stirs up memories of the disdain you had for your high school prom king/queen election process. Popularity and Page Rank aside, you are interested in driving qualified traffic to your web site and developing relationships with businesses that offer complementary products and services. Link building techniques are designed to accomplish this.

Who Should Link to My Web Pages?

It is believed that links from "authoritative" websites and "related" industry sites carry the most weight. An "authoritative" site might be an educational organization (.edu), a publication, a government agency (.gov), a known subject matter expert or an organization/association in yours or a related industry.

As for "related" sites, partners, vendors, but not competitors are good "reciprocal linking" (discussed later) opportunities. Their sites should be related to the products and/or services you provide.

Make sure to set your standards high! Analyze the inbound links to the page where you would like to see your link. Are they in fact authoritative and relevant sites? How do you research inbound links to your potential linking partner?

There are some excellent SEO link building tools out there! Netconcepts provides a free "Link Popularity Checker" at http://www.netconcepts.com/linkcheck/. Another site is LinkPopularity.com. Use these tools to assess the quality of the links to the page before you ask for a link! While you're there, check out the link popularity of your web pages and those of your competitors.

Note that many SEO experts believe that you should stay away from a web page that already has too many links. How many is too many? According to an article in Website Magazine, "... it is best to shy away from any pages with more than 20 outbound links.3"

You'll recall that we mentioned the term "PageRank" earlier in this article. The Google PageRank scoring system is used to quantify the relative importance of a web page. You can determine PageRank by downloading and using the free Google ToolBar (http://toolbar.google.com).

Should you consider PageRank while determining whether to ask for a link on a page? One contributor to the online article "Over 125 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies", Dixon Jones, suggests that the PageRank of the web page where you would like your link to reside should be between 3 and 10.4 In his article "The Nitty Gritty of Link Requests", Chris Boggs suggests that PageRank is not as useful as it used to be but "PageRank is still a good guide.5"

Many Internet marketing professionals continue to suggest that you submit your site to the appropriate category within the major directories as well as to vertical engines and industry directories. Examples of popular general directories include Yahoo!, Open Directory (dmoz.org), GoGuides, Gigablast, JoeAnt, Gimpsy and BlueFind. Many allow you to submit your website URL for free. Some may require you to add a reciprocal link to their directory.

In his article, "SEO: Weaving a Web of Links", Stephan Spencer cautions against seeking links from "free for all" links pages that are packed full of links.6. Again, pay attention to PageRank and topic relevance. Watch out for automated submission programs that submit to irrelevant search engines and directories.

What Should the Link Entail? What Should You Put on Your Link Page? Once you have targeted an inbound link opportunity, you will want to suggest the link location and the exact link language you wish to appear on their site. Make it easy to implement your link - place HTML on your site that your partner's webmaster can cut and paste onto their web page.

Embed your keyphrases into the link text. Although the subject of web page optimization is beyond the scope of this article, make sure the page the link points to (the "Target Page") is "optimized" for those keyphrases. The target page need not be your website home page. Not sure how to determine the best keywords for your business? I discuss this very issue in my article "Web Page Keywords - Do's and Don'ts" which you can review at http://www.ebizmachine.com/seotips.html.

The question "What should you put on your link page" presumes that the linking relationship is "reciprocal". Not all links will be reciprocal - we'll talk more about link building strategies that involve the creation of useful online content encouraging "natural" link growth without reciprocal arrangements. However, your arrangements with partners, alliances and some directories may well be "reciprocal". In other words, "I'll point to you if you point to me."

Before you approach a partner for a reciprocal link, you may wish to create your link to their site in advance demonstrating the techniques described in this article. "One good turn deserves another" - include one or two carefully drafted paragraphs of descriptive information for each link.

When Should I Add a Link to my Site? But for my need to have a catchy title, this section is better named "How often should I add inbound links?" Experts these days are writing about "natural growth of inbound links" and "organic link gaining" and "Emulating Natural Growth in Link Building", as search engine optimization authority Chris Boggs recently wrote in Website Magazine.7 Sounds downright "earthy", doesn't it?

It's clear that link building is a slow and steady grass roots process and some experts maintain that link growth should follow a natural, free range, pesticide-free progression (OK, I added the italics for fun). Boggs writes that efforts to rapidly gain links "are sometimes easy for search engines to discern..., especially if the links are in a known network of sites that exchange links.8 " Suddenly adding 100 new links to a site that for 6 six years has had 5 inbound links may cause a search engine to penalize you for your participation in a "link-farm." But, adding a few relevant links every so often does appear to be consistent with natural growth.

Where Should the Link Appear? Ideally, your link should be placed within the content of a page rich with topical information relevant to the focus of the target web page. This may be asking a bit much - your link partner may already have a "links" or "resources" page designed solely for this purpose. However, make sure your prefab HTML link includes descriptive information that goes above and beyond a simple link and make sure you offer to reciprocate with a high-quality descriptive link.

Check to make sure the agreed-upon location is a page that has been indexed by the major search engines. In particular, it should not be a page that only authenticated users (login & password) can view.

How Can Businesses Develop Their Own Inbound Links? The last section of my 5 W's and an H article may be the most important. There are many bytes of available online information related to link building strategies. In many respects, your success stems from the quality of the relevant content on your website. Your industry peers and topical experts will be eager to reference your website if it is a valuable source of relevant information and you have achieved an appropriate level of expertise. Your peers will assess your site in the same or similar manner as is described in this article. They will assess the quantity and quality of inbound links to your web pages.

Here are some suggestions that both enhance the usefulness of your web site content and help you build inbound links to your site.

1. Publish a "How To" or a "Review" Article Someone in your organization must like to write! Add your article to your website and publish it! There are many websites dedicated to publishing articles for free. Many allow you to include a brief bio AND a link to your website. The Article Banks website (articlebanks.com) contains useful information and resources related to publishing your article online.

Not sure what to write about? Start with your most popular keyword search phrases and develop a topic that your customers frequently raise. You sell GPS devices - compare and contrast the two most popular manufacturers who also happen to be popular web searches. You are a CPA- how about a "top ten" list of personal tax misconceptions? Do your best to make your content unique, original, useful and entertaining.

Convert your article to PDF format that online visitors can download and print. Consult with your web developer about adding "email to a friend" functionality.

2. Post in a Relevant Online Forum or Newsgroup Join an online community relevant to your website and become a regular, contributing member. Make sure to include your website URL in the signature area of each of your postings.

3. Post in a Relevant Blog? You've heard the buzz on blogging. Your website URL can be included in blog contributions but be careful here. Search engines are more and more sensitive to "Blog Spamming.9 Chris Genge, a contributing SEO author in the article "Over 125 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies", writes "Even though blogging is all the rage these days, I think it will go the way of link farms in the not-too-distant future, especially if/when the SE's determine that it is just another case of spamming. We are staying away from it...."10

4. Publish in an "e-zine" Some of the most popular sites relevant to your business may not have a link program. Offer instead to contribute a unique topic to their monthly e-zine (email newsletter). Include your bio and a web page link.

5. Write a testimonial or review for a trusted product/service Many businesses are eager to publish testimonials on their site. Ask to include a link back to your relevant web page.

Finally, make sure to track your link building progress. Create a spreadsheet for this purpose. You will no doubt have to follow up on your link requests. Capture details including the information you entered and the date you submitted your request. Politely remind link partners of their commitment to link to your site and point them to the inbound link from your site to theirs. Run your favorite link popularity and page rank tools to monitor your progress.

Conclusion If you are at all interested in driving qualified traffic to your web site and in developing relationships with suppliers of complementary products and services, you should spend some time learning about web page link building strategies. In this article, we discuss the who, what, when, where and how's of SEO web page link building. Link building is much easier if your website is a valuable source of topical information and you have attained a high level of expertise.

In the "How Can Businesses Develop Their Own Inbound Links?" section of this article, I provide several suggestions designed to help you achieve that end. However, they say "The devil is in the details." When it comes time to manage the process of soliciting and adding inbound links to your web pages, there are many details that will influence the success or failure of your program. You must carefully choose your link partners and directories and be prepared to suggest the link page location as well as the makeup of the link itself.

Finally, you must be both diligent AND patient. It's fine to methodically forge relationships and build a community with complimentary web sites. But there is growing evidence that link building in an "unnatural" manner will hinder your search engine visibility and negate your efforts. So, be careful out there.

Footnotes:

1 Pease keep in mind that this content is provided for educational purposes in order to introduce you to important search engine optimization concepts. There are many factors that influence search engine results and page rank - we cannot promise that the techniques described in this article work in all cases. Thank you! -Bill Schwartz, EBIZ Machine

4 Things to Look for in a Link Building Service

One of the best things a business or individual can do to promote a web site is contact a link building service. Needless to say, high-quality, relevant links are very valuable, and a solid link building campaign has the potential to have a high return on investment. Because of the importance of links in today's search algorithms, businesses and individuals should not take choosing a link building service lightly. The following are a few tips to help sort out the good link building firms from the bad.

1. Webmasters seeking a link building service should look for expertise first. The link builder should have a grasp of advanced link building algorithms (such as VIPS and TrustRank). Reading through the link building service's web site with the utmost care is a must. Quite simply, the link building service should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of SEO, marketing, search engine algorithms, and appropriate business practices. Experts in the field of link building will undoubtedly make their expertise known on their web site.

Additionally, it is advisable to look at the link building service's web site as a whole. Is the design professional and user friendly? It may seem like a waste of time investigating the web site design of the company, but it can be a very telling representation of what type of link building service owns that site. Experts in any field take the highest pride in their work. An expert link building service would want to present itself in the most positive light. Since the web site is indeed the portal from the link building service to the customer, its design and usability are quintessential. If a link building service is haphazard with their web site design, they will certainly be more likely to haphazardly build links.

2. When searching for a link building service, one should look for examples of proven success. A solid link building service will make past successes available for all to see. When coming across the proven success statements on the web site, be sure to follow up on the claims of the link building service. If the service claims to be ranked number one in Google for "widgets," be sure to follow it up. Search "widgets" in Google and see if the service is truly number one. If it is, then that link building service might be a good choice.

3. The reputation of the link building service should be taken into account. People in the SEO industry understand high quality link building, versus low quality. A recommendation from peers should be considered to be very valuable, because colleagues can often be the best judges and offer the most objective opinions. The SEO industry is relatively small, and most SEOs are familiar with others' work. A link building service that is well known in the industry is certainly worth consideration.

4. Any link building service should be honest about how links are obtained. There are straight foreword ways of building links (observing search engine guidelines) and there are ways that are considered to be "black Hat" (not observing search engine guidelines). Depending on preference, one should consider how the link builder would obtain links. If your web site has a reputation to protect, then hiring a "black hat" SEO could be a gamble. Additionally, search engine algorithms are always improving in order to shield themselves from black hat SEO tactics. That being said, a link obtained dishonestly could end up hurting the web site rather than helping.

Essentially, the best link building service will proudly display past successes and offer all pertinent information about its link building service. A top-notch link builder will have expertise on the subject, and wonderful presentation (professional web site design). The link building service will make past successes available, and inform the client about how links will be obtained. The link building service should also have a good reputation within the SEO industry. The best firms will demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and initiative in link building practices. Searching for a high-quality link building service can be tedious, but if carried out correctly, the rewards will far surpass the effort.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How-To Add Animated GIF Files to WordPress

Adding animation.gif WordPress files can prove frustrating, even for the most experienced blogger. I know! I encountered the same problem and spent several hair-pulling time absorbed in the help text forums to find a solution. I do not want anyone else to go through the confusion and frustration scouring through all that mess to find a simple solution.

So, get down to the nitty-gritty, I discovered that there are three main factors that can prevent files being viewed or your.gif movements WordPress blog:

1.) Make sure your.gif image under 500 pixels. I went for much less in 350X200 pixels. Various theme templates allow for different sizes, but none usually allow for files larger than 500 pixels. It is best to be safe by ensuring inventory is well below the maximum allowed in most themes.

2) Reduce the size of the image before loading the.gif file. If you pull it through WordPress "edit" tool, it will not work. WordPress will recognize the file as a "full size" for it to load properly.

3) Change the theme. There are several free themes available on WordPress and some do not allow for animated.gif files, period. Try changing themes and loading files.

When I loaded my animated.gif file, it seemed to have loaded successfully. I could see the animation, and everything seemed just done. But when I checked my main blog - nothing. I read where someone other bloggers could at least see the movie, but there was no movement. But when I went to the main page of my blog, nothing showed up - no. I was so confused and read through the "Help" forum on WordPress, just made ​​me more confused.

Often with the help forums, there are a lot of "experts" chiming in with not-so-helpful advice. Sometimes they show a lack of patience (I witnessed), or speak in technical jargon that is not easily understood by the average social media novice. I have seen several "experts" chime-in on one question and argue about their resolution, which is not fun for the novice who is looking for a quick and simple solution.

As for me, I reduce the file size of my animated.gif three times, and it still would not show. Change theme solve my problem. After spending hours scouring blogs for various unhelpful steps and work through a lot of trial and error, I discovered the three main problems that can prevent your.gif files from loading and / or movements.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Choosing Between Drupal, Joomla and WordPress For Your CMS

What are the differences between Drupal, Joomla and WordPress when choosing to use a Content Management System (CMS)? Given all the differences between the three, what is the best one to choose?

A CMS will generally come with the ability to assist with user accounts (which may involve a variety of roles e.g. admin, editor, basic user etc.), it makes and preserves menus, and it manages the content of the website and the overall system. A CMS is essential for the easy running of large, content rich sites.

Drupal is a highly sophisticated programming interface for web developers. This CMS will work on any platform that has a web server able to run PHP and a database, it needs these so that it can store the website's content and settings. There are many themes that can customize the way a website looks and feels, all an administrator needs to do is choose the required theme from a menu. Drupal is a very powerful tool that is best suited to advanced PHP developers, it is often accused of making sites that are not very pretty though anyone with a good understanding of it's templates system will not have a problem with this.

Joomla is another popular CMS. This CMS is also written in PHP, it stores all necessary data in a MySQL database and also includes features such as RSS feeds, page caching, blogs, news flashes, and so on. It can be uploaded onto any web server that supports applications for PHP. There are many different hosting sites that provide a control panel that allows the deployment of a Joomla web site. Joomla is not as complicated to use as Drupal, but if a site needs to go beyond the standard setup it might prove too much for the novice programmer.

WordPress is often used as a blog publishing application that can be powered or operated by PHP and MySQL. This has many different features that include a plug in design and a framework for templates. Three hundred of the worlds biggest websites use WordPress as their CMS. This is the most popular blog software used today.

It has features such as templates and widgets that can be positioned without needing to know any PHP or any form of HTML code. It also features links that use integrated link management, a helpful search engine and supports the posting of non-blog articles hence its use as a CMS. WordPress allows users and developers alike to go beyond the features that come pre-installed by adding many more features via freely available plugins. It is the ideal solution for anyone who wants a feature rich site that is easy to setup.

In making your choice of CMS, it is best to understand the full scope of the website that you are creating. Choosing the wrong CMS at the start can cause no end of problems as transferring to a new system may not be so easy. For complex sites with unique features Drupal is recommended. For simpler sites it's best to go with WordPress. Joomla lies somewhere in between.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

10 Free Wordpress Plugins Your Blog Needs

So maybe you are just beginning steps in the "blogging arena". Or it's possible you've been doing this for a while and are simply looking for different, suggested plug-ins. At any rate, if you're a
"wiz" or not, plug-ins are necessary to the format of your blog. What's even better, are plug-ins that are completely free. So let's start here, exactly what is a plug-in? A plug-in, by description, is a collection of software components that offers specific skills to a even bigger application. Quite frankly this, it's a function that improves a larger project- your blog is the larger mission.

Initially when I first started out blogging, I had not a clue what plug-ins were, what their purpose was, or exactly how they could make my blog superior. Now I know. I use these plugins on quite a few, if not all, of my blogs and sites (18+). They have proved helpful, and continue to work effectively for me and I didn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure them out (which was certainly nice). So here is my list:

1.) All In One SEO Pack by Automattic: Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog

2.) Bookmark Export by Timo Schlueter: Bookmark Export makes it possible to push your blogs status importing your blog-posts/pages into social bookmarking services

3.) Disqus Comment System by Disqus: The Disqus comment process swaps your WordPress comment system with your feedback published and powered by Disqus

4.) Facebook Comments by James Low: Replicates comments from your imported Facebook Notes back into your blog articles

5.) Keyword Strategy Internal Links by Keyword Strategy: Keyword Strategy link generator plugin

6.) Pinterest Badge by Arun: Adds Pinterest contact marker widget to your web site

7.) SEO Slugs by Andrei: Eliminates typical text like 'a', 'the', 'in' from blog post slugs to improve SEO

8.) Shareaholic by Shareaholic: Shareaholic adds a (X)HTML agreeable list of social bookmarking icons to each of your posts

9.) Ultimate Follow Me Plugin by Free Blog Factory: Tired of the complicated and bulky "follow me" plugins for WordPress? Showcase any or all of your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, youtube, and buzz profiles with your personal choice of button design

10.) W3 Total Cache by Fredrick Townes: Significantly increase the speed and buyer experience of your website. Incorporate browser, page, and object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress

If this is your very first time looking into plugins, or your not 100% what to do; before you begin writing a lot of content, it's recommended that you ensure that you can use these plugins using the theme you chose. So download the plugins first. When you're in your site's "backoffice", go to "plugins" to the left and choose "add new."