Why Off Topic Link Exchanges Suck

Nov 6th

So I recently got this email:

Dear Webmaster,

As you are probably aware, Google has changed its algorythm and now removes sites from its search results when they have exchanged links with sites that are not in EXACTLY the same category.

To prevent being from blacklisted in Google, it is imperative that we remove our link to you and that your remove your link to us!

Our url is www.SITE.com.

We are removing our link to you now. PLEASE return the courtesy and remove your link to us!

Note that Google is updating its results this week and failure to remove these links immediately will likely mean not showing up in Google for AT LEAST the next 4 months!

Thank you for understanding,
Site.com Partners

The email is bogusly incorrect, and I don't think I traded links with the site mentioned, but that is the exact reason why this email is extra crappy.

If you trade links highly off topic you increase your risk profile, and if it helps you rank:

  • Whenever there is an update your competitors can send these remove my link reminders out for you.

  • There are only a limited number of relationships you can have. If you link out to a million sites your links out to junky sites will be a higher percentage than most sites, you will have more dead links than most quality sites, and many of those people will remove their links to you.
  • Your competitors could pay people from Jakarta $3 a day to go through your link trades and trade the same links.
  • Quality on topic sites may be less likely to link to you if your site frequently links off to low quality resources.

I think most sites which recently went south in Google probably lacked quality linkage data, not because they had too many links.

Link Monkeys and Links Within Content

Nov 4th

Jim Boykin continues his ongoing rants about links:

Since most people are still thinking "the numbers game" when it comes to obtaining links, most people are buying "numbers" from "monkeys" on crappy link pages.

When will the world wake up that the numbers game has passed the tipping point in Google. Engine are trying to get smarter with how they analyze sites. My overall thought is that they are working to identify, simply, "Links within Content and Linking to Content"

Not too long ago when I interviewed NFFC he stated:

This is what I think, SEO is all about emotions, all about human interaction. People, search engineers even, try and force it into a numbers box.

Numbers, math and formulas are for people not smart enough to think in concepts.

Best Way to Deal With SEO Clients that Don't Pay?

Oct 22nd

Dan Thies SEO Training Course Coupon

Oct 20th

My buddy Dan Thies is doing another one of his SEO training courses. If you do well with audio training & want to learn SEO I highly recommend it.

Dan gave me a coupon code for SeoBook.com readers to save $100 off his course fees. After you create your login the next screen lets you enter the coupon code seobook. If you would like my ebook to go along with the course just ping me after you sign up.

Hidden AdSense Ads & Hidden Search Results

Ads as content...works well for some. You know AdSense is out of hand when premade sites are selling on eBay.

Debt Consolidation:
Fun to hear a guy whine about his 2 sites in his sig file not outranking Forbes for debt consolidation
http://forums.seochat.com/t54393/s.html
because Forbes has an ad page. :(

I bet his debt consolidation lead generation sites are informational in nature :)

Some are discussing creating links wars
http://forums.seochat.com/t54378/s.html
as if that will help them rank. Good luck knocking out Forbes.com.

If Google dials up their weighting on large authority sites before Christmas maybe the solution is to buy ad pages on some of them. I bet there are some great underpriced ad links and advertisement pages if people would look hard enough.

Coolness:
Link to Jim Boykin's new tool...still a bad tool name though, IMHO.

Will Unfollowed Redirect Links Ever Count as Votes?

Oct 14th

I have not put much effort into following most directory type sites that use redirect links (especailly if they are not ranked well in the related search results), but will engines eventually count many weird links as votes if they notice that the users click on a link and like what is on the other end of the series of redirects? Will those links ever count as much or more than static links that never get clicked on?

Jim Boykin On History of SEO & the Top Results

Oct 13th

The History of SEO:

2005 SEO - Yahoo and MSN, pound with lots of links at once and keep pounding with anything you can get for backlinks with a focused backlink text campaign. With Google, the older the site the better, slow and steady link building with a large variety of backlink text wins (notice it’s the opposite of yahoo and msn).

Google’s Top 10 Choices for Search Results:

I think that for most searches, the top 10 will consist mostly of these types of pages. I think Google does this on purpose to show a variety of Types of pages to the user.

If you’re targeting a phrase, you should start by figuring what type of result your site will be, and what it’s role is in the top 10, and who you’re "real" and "direct" competitor is and what it will take to replace them.

Great posts Jim.

also good comments here Reputable SEO Companies

Dir Sirs, Would You Like More PageRank? Link Exchange...

Oct 13th

Jim Boykin talks link exchange emails, and why over 99% of them are rubbbbiiiiissssssshhhhhhhh!

LOL! It's spam, and you know it is. LOL ;)

Search Engine Ranking Factors

Oct 7th

This page is great.

Some information gets smarter with more input, and some gets less smart with more input. One of the hard parts about SEO is that everything is debatable. Some additional opinions will poison data, whereas others will make it way better.

Even beyond the debatable is that questioning the right people makes some data seem much more credible and so much easier to spread. If you seek input from the right people in your industry, like Danny Sullivan in search, you can help ensure that an idea spreads far and quick.

I bet that within a month or two that page will be the most well linked document on the SEO Moz site, and it is something just about anyone can do in any industry. Design problems, site usability problems, gardening problems, airplane landing problems, etc etc etc.

The key is to know who to ask for help and to be trusted enough to where they want to help you. Of course you also have to appeal to their ego to where they want to help you. Other than including MM in the data sources I don't think there is much Rand could have done better to make that page more linkable. I love the smiley faces.

Another nice thing about the page is it could be resorted, asking the same questions to self proclaimed search spam gurus. Give DaveN, Greg Bosers, Oilman, Baked Jake, and a few other guys the same set of criteria and see how they answer it. Then those feedbacks can be cross compared.

A Google Zeitgeist of SEO factors that has biggest gainers, biggest losers, and top ten would be amazing link bait that reminded people to visit frequently and link in every month. And then maybe redue the whole ranking factors thing once a year or so.

Good idea Rand.

Link Building Tip: Old Community Sites

Oct 7th

If you are struggling for creative ways to uniquify your content and make it more linkable sometimes a good technique is to search an old established community site for a common word. The older the community site the better...as there will be lots more random stuff from before the web became so commercial.

an example: [well.com the]

As a fair warning, some of the top links will be to stuff like rectal foreign bodies. Links, blogs, and RSS may be replacing email on some fronts, but you can still get something out of the butt history page.

Another good link building tip is to take a look at the oblique strategy cards.

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