Removing Bad Links Isn’t Enough

Link removal and link pruning. Whatever you’d like to call it, it’s important to remember that removing bad links isn’t enough to bring your site back to the level it once was at in terms of rankings, traffic, search queries and impressions.

Here are some reasons why it isn’t enough to just remove bad neighborhood links, sit back and wait for a penalty to be lifted:

  • Sending a link removal request to a webmaster doesn’t mean that they’ll remove it. Some contact information could be dead or webmasters might even charge a fee to remove these old links.
  • It might take time for Google to crawl these low-quality pages and recognize that the links to your site are removed.
  • If you use the disavow tool, it could take weeks for Google to address the links you want disavowed. (It’s helpful to get things straightened out and to send a Google reconsideration request and disavow request at the same time with accurate details about what you’ve tried to remove.)
  • Removing links means that the credible link juice to your site must be replaced. Of course, if you’ve removed dozens or even hundreds of links, it will take awhile to replace those bad links with natural and relevant links. As bad as it sounds, think about it as having your site earn Google’s trust again.
  • There are 200+ factors that Google’s search algorithm relies on to rank websites. Doing one thing isn’t necessarily going to be a cure-all for your site.

This sounds fine on paper but execution and the waiting for results is the difficult part. For the DIYers, you can check out and participate Google’s Help Forum to see what other website owners are dealing with and see what you can learn from their experienced. This forum is often frequented by Google employees and if you’re lucky, they might even respond.

Remember to contact your SEO as soon as you suspect your rankings have been dropping to discuss the best plan of action. Feel free to also contact us for a free consultation about your site’s specific scenario.

Why You Should Care About Co-Citations

Up until very recently (this year), getting good links associated with desired keywords pointed back to your site was a main goal in SEO. Then, Google’s Panda and Penguin came along and caused all sorts of trouble.

co-citation

Alternative to Over Reliance on Unnatural, Exact Match Anchor Text
Because shady links, over-optimization, low-quality exact match domains and bad link neighborhoods were becoming more of a problem to sites hit by these algorithmic updates, SEOs began to further diversify by turning to different methods including: social media sharing, strengthen brand by promoting company names, optimizing web design factors and more. This is where co-citations also come into the mix.

The Relationship Between Relevancy + Trust
Co-citations aren’t a new concept but this could become the most important SEO strategy for 2013.

Think about it in terms of a citation for a research paper that you might have done in college. If you’re a highly-regarded researcher who constantly publishes new work about the eating habits of bonobo monkeys, other studies will cite your work and you’ll gain recognition of being the prominent researcher in that specific field. Colleagues, peers, students and other authority sources will cite your legitimate and credible work in anything related to what bonobos eat.

This is the idea behind co-citations for SEO. And it also explains why some businesses rank for keywords that they don’t appear to be actively pursing on the actual page. For example, many people write about, link to and search for “backlink analysis” when it comes to SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer. The argument is that Google is becoming a smarter search engine and no longer needs to rely solely on links to determine the relevancy of your business and certain keywords.

Adjusting Your SEO Strategy?
Once co-citations are on your radar, it shouldn’t really change your current strategies but just change the way you think about them. Co-citations can be part of nearly all aspects of your online marketing plan: social media, local search, blogging and other content creation. Although thinking of utilizing this strategy can make it harder to physically track your progress (versus building x amount of links), it could take your mind off things when you tried to attain a certain amount of links during a set period.

The take away from all this co-citation talk in the SEO world is that you can’t analyze your competition from only looking at number of backlinks and where their coming from. This is wildly different depending on your industry and even location. As if the opaque nature of Google’s ranking factors could be more difficult, we can now add co-citations as a factor!

Read more here:
Not All Anchor Text is Equal and other Co-Citation Observations

What’s on Your SEO Wishlist?

Have you been a good SEO this year? There are always things we would like to help us with web copywriting and content optimization. Here are 3 things that are on our wishlist this year!

Good Links from Niche Sites – Diversified links from high ranking and relevant sites are still important. It would be nice to get some links from sites with PR of 5+, don’t you think? How about some .edu and .gov links while you’re at it?

A Reputable Back Link Analyzer – Since we faced the tragic loss of Yahoo! Site Explorer last month, it would be great to get a free & reliable alternative. (Here are a few, but they don’t feel quite the same!

A Magic Touch to Work out all the Problems with Local – Local and social marketing go hand in hand nowadays. But don’t even get me started on fixing problems with local listings! Updating existing listings can be a pain and it’s no fun trying to work with suspended pages.

An Online Organic Keyword Generator – Sometimes, I’d like to imagine access to a self-populating list of terms that people actually look for online. But that would make things too easy, wouldn’t it? It’s a good thing that we have a formulaic and proven method for keyword research! (But a tool like this would be helpful…)

Feel free to share your other wishes and wants with us. Big or small, we’d like to hear them all!