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There are two sides to search engine optimization (SEO): on-page and off-page optimization. Off-page means getting links from other websites to point back to your site, which strengthens your site's position in search engine results. In this course, author Peter Kent dissects the anatomy of a link, explains how links affect page ranking, and reveals the properties that make an excellent inbound link. The course also evaluates reciprocal linking; link building via press releases, blogs, and articles; and the importance of using quality links that are search-engine friendly.
As we've seen, sometimes paying for links is not the same as buying links. And in fact, there are many, many companies looking for your business, companies that want to help you get links. Some of those companies will help you get links in a way that the search engines dislike, while others use more legitimate methods. Companies that provide services related to real link buildings, not just selling links. And of course, many companies use both approved and non-approved methods. So in this video, we're going to look at the subject of finding companies to help you create links in various ways.
In fact, you will run into companies that have a whole menu of options in which you can choose. Let's start with one of the many worse forms of link, blog comments. You can easily find services that will go out and place comments in blogs pointing to your site. These are really obnoxious; the worst kind of link spam and they probably won't help you any way, as it almost always nofollow links. Any company selling a blog comment service is hard to take seriously. You'll also find companies selling forum comments.
As I discussed in an earlier video, forum commenting can both be a viable strategy and non-offensive if it's done right, but most companies doing this won't do it right. They'll simply drop garbage posts into as many forums as they can, relevant or not. Of course, you'll find companies that will post your site into web directories, and I think this is fine, an ethical strategy, though these days most of these directories hold little value. On the other hand, some companies will drop your site into niche directories, directories related to your business, which is more valuable.
You'll also run into companies that do reciprocal linking, contacting websites on your behalf and asking them for links. As you learned in an earlier video, this is not likely to be very helpful as reciprocal linking is no longer particularly valuable. You'll actually find companies doing most of the linking methods we've discussed in this course, such as posting articles and press releases for you, or submitting your site to local directories. Now we're getting to the out and out link selling. There are a number of services that will place your links into blogs, not into the comments, but into the blog posts and blogrolls, the list of favorite links.
There are essentially two ways this is done. First, there are companies that act as clearing houses connecting bloggers and site owners with bloggers stating how much link cost in one of their articles. In theory, this can be done without upsetting the search engines by making the links no-follow links. Of course, these are generally follow links, as no- follow links will be defeating the whole purpose. By the way, selling links in blog post is not only against Google's guidelines, but in many cases in the United States, it's actually illegal, whether you use follow links or nofollow.
Though almost nobody knows these FTC regulations exist, but they do. Another problem; bloggers sometimes fake their PageRank so buyers end up paying more for a link than it's really worth. And one final problem; these sites are not hard to find, which means it's not hard for the search engines to find them either. The other way to buy blog links is from companies that own dozens, maybe hundreds of blogs. There are many of these companies, perhaps thousands, in particular operating in Asia.
There's a little cottage industry of young Indonesians, for instance, who build blogs, then sell links and article for a one-time fee, or in the blog's blogrolls for a monthly or annual fee. Similar to this, and often run by the same companies, a link is placed into websites that appear less bloggy and more like regular sites. Of course, blogs are merely content management system, so a blog is a website and a website might be a blog. But before blogging software became popular, companies were building networks of regular websites in which they could place sold links.
Another service you'll run into is the placement of social networking links, often known as social bookmarking. These companies often create hundreds of social networking accounts in which they can then place links. Or perhaps go out and create profiles on sites that allow account creation and then place links from those profiles back to your site. You may, if you dig deep enough, run into services that build links en masse, sometimes using software such as XRumer, which automatically post into forums, even automatically entering capture codes.
Systems such as this and the various link networks you may run into are a little scary. They can create many thousands of links very quickly and can create a very unnatural looking link profile. They are the prime target of the search engines. There's nothing subtle here. Finally, there are out-on-out link selling, companies that put buyers and sellers together. Like the blog services I mentioned, site owners sign up and add their site to the inventory, then buyers come in and pick where they want to place the links.
The link sellers can be small sites owned by individuals or even major sites owned by, for example, newspapers. So how do you find these services? Well, that's the ironic thing. You search for them. Search for terms such as buying links, buy text links, link building service, and so on, and you'll soon find plenty of services. You can also find people by searching in the outsourcing websites, such as Odesk.com, Guru.com and Elams.com. Search for link building for instance.
You might also want to search for the term "link building reviews" to find websites that review link services. Here's a major problem with link building services though, all too often it's impossible to figure out what they actually do. There tends to be a lot of blinding with science going on. So in the next two videos I'm going to discuss how to understand what they're talking about and what services they actually provide.
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