Life After Google Panda Updates and Link Building

link building

Love it or hate it, link building is still an important part of SEO after the massive Google Panda updates.

The quality of your inbound links is becoming more important as Google Panda updates have shown us.  Although these updates are aimed at getting rid of “content farms” and lower quality links, many people’s rankings have been hurt by the recent Google Panda 2.2 updates.  For example, many people who used to rank well for certain phrases using article submission sites have now seen drastic drops. Of course, you know Google is already preparing version 2.3!

Because of these updates and changes to Google’s search algorithm, quality links have become increasingly important. Overall, the point of these updates is to help you recognize and ultimately remove low ranking on site pages and off site content in order to improve user/customer experience.

And with the debut of Google +,  you bet that social media activity is becoming more important in determining your search engine rankings! Back to my point of link building – it’s crucial to continue your efforts on a consistent basis. Here are a few good link  building resources that are sure to be helpful.

What’s Your Link Building Focus?

When it comes to link building do you have a particular focus or do you have a diversified plan? Blogs, directories, paid links, reciprocal links – there are so many options!

Pay Attention to Nofollow Links
Did you know that many popular blogs and even Google Sites apply the nofollow feature to links? This prevents spammers and link abuse. Basically, nofollow links tells the search engine crawlers to not count your link. It doesn’t mean that you should avoid nofollow links all together though. These sites are still a great place to be social and join in on the conversation.

Different Types of Directories
Every directory is not the same! The most popular ones are dmoz and ipl2. Generally speaking (and thanks to Rand Fishkin) there are 3 types of directories that you can submit to:

  1. Specific directories that are categorized by topics or industry. (ThomasNet is the most popular for industrial suppliers.)
  2. Local directories are helpful and you can find them through your local chamber of commerce or other online neighborhood resource.
  3. Generic directories. You’ve probably come across worlds-best-internet-director-1000 or something similar. Again, targeted directories are more preferred than these kinds.

Other Sources for Links

  • Social bookmarking
  • Press releases sites
  • Niche forums or communities
  • Review sites
  • Social media profiles

Blogging Tips & Helpful Blogs to Follow

I’m currently putting together a presentation for an event we’re hosting in Los Angeles on November 12th in a few weeks that will discuss blogging, local search engines, social bookmarking, and how to monitor your business and was inspired to post this blog about blogging. If you’re new to blogging these links will be very helpful. I’d sign up to follow these blogs so you can see some successful bloggers in action.

You might also want to follow a few blogs that relate to your business so you can see what others in your space are doing.

Here’s a list of what to look out for when you’re observing these bloggers.

  • Use of catchy headlines
  • Links to other sites and blogs from within content
  • Free downloads and how they capture your email
  • How often they post
  • Comments – post a link back to your blog if you can in the comments field (Start commenting on other blogs!)
  • Ad-ons (what else do they have on their blogs that add value to the user experience – twitter feed, list of users, advertisers, links to other social media sites such as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon)

And lastly I’d start putting together a list of ideas for your own blog. Thanks for reading! Please feel free to post some blogs you’ve found helpful.

6 Tips to Start a Successful Blog

It’s becoming more and more apparent to me that you must learn how to blog to stay ahead in search marketing. Search engines love fresh content and blogs allow you to easily add fresh content. In the last 2 years I’ve noticed entire sites in our industry turn their entire site into a blog. The blog platforms out there are very robust and offer you many benefits.

Here are 6 tips to create a successful blog:

1. Get a unique domain name. If you sign-up for a blogger account or a wordpress account you’ll get a sub domain and it will be tougher for search engines to find your content. Domains are going for as little as $7 a year now so make the plunge and buy your own domain name. Go to mydomain.com if you’d like to register a domain today.

2. Setup hosting. Hosting is also very cheap these days. You can spend as little as $5 per month to host your blog. This along with the domain name adds up to $67 for the entire year. Make sure and pick a hosting company that has 24/7 support and that has been around for some time. There are many hosting companies out there and some will not be around for the long haul. A few of my favorites are Dream Host and Media Temple.

3. Create an outline ahead of time so you have some topics to talk about. Make sure it is relevant to your businesses. If you sell books online than you could do book reviews and link directly to the books on your site.

4. Promote your blog. There are blog directories out there where you can submit your blog so you’ll start to get some readers. Also promote your blog on your main site. We (emarketed) have a banner on every page of our site pointing people to our blog. Also include a link in your email signature to direct people to your blog.

5. Get involved with other blogs. Comment on other peoples blogs and include a link back to your blog. This falls in line with promotion as well but helps you with getting in to the habit of reading others blogs which helps you get familiar with blogging. You’ll start to notice how blogs are written, how people interact with blogs, and hopefully gain some readers for your blogs.

6. Setup Google Analytics to track your blog traffic. Google Analytics is an amazing free program that can be installed on your blog in a few minutes. WordPress has a plugin where you install and just input your Google ID number for Google Analytics. You can see what site someone found you on, how long they stay on your blog, what size monitor they are viewing your blog on and so much more.

Hope this helps. Feel free to leave a comment if you think of some others that I missed. I know there are many but this will get you off to a good start.