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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.
If you do decide to work with a link company of some kind, you really need to understand what you're getting for your money. In the last video, I discussed some of the jargon you'll hear, but often linking companies are also very vague about what they will deliver, sometimes intentionally so. I frequently talk to clients who've worked with linking companies, sometimes for many months, without ever fully understanding what types of links they'll be getting and how many. Many website owners are of course not terribly sophisticated in this area.
They know they need links, but don't understand the kinds of things we've covered in this course so link companies can easily take advantage of them. So in this video, I want to quickly run through a few things you need to ask and understand if you do decide to hire a linking firm. The first question is of course, what type of links are they providing? Links firms are often vague about this. They're just going to get you links; it doesn't seem to matter where. There's often a signal that you're going to get garbage links, because why would they provide high quality links, when you don't even know what you're getting? Are these links in blogs? If so, where? On comments, blogrolls, posts or reviews? Are they social network links? If so, what networks and what types of links? Of course, you'll also need to know if they're getting you follow or no-follow links.
Perhaps some will be no-follows, and that's fine in some circumstances, but at least be aware of what you're getting. How many links are you paying for? It's surprising how many people buy link packages without understanding the number of links that will be created each month, for example. Then will you get reports showing where these links are? If the service doesn't provide reports, you will never know if you're really getting links or not. Are you paying for permanent links? In other words, if you stop paying, will those links disappear? If so, you're basically renting the link.
Again, that can be okay as long as the price is right of course. Are these pages indexed by the search engines, in particular Google? If not, what's the point? And do the pages have any PageRank? That's not to say the pages with no PageRank or low PageRank are of completely no value, but you should at least know what you're getting. You also need to actually see some example links, so you can get an idea of how valuable the links are going to be for you, and if the person you're talking with is being honest.
Are they in posts and high quality blogs for instance? Or in really trashy, unintelligible blogs that look like they were written by someone who can't speak the language, or by a computer program? Are the links in account profiles that contain nothing more than a fake name in the link or are they in genuine well- written content? You need to know what you're getting. Consider also how obvious these links are. How obvious is it that these links are not real, but purely placed for SEO purposes? If it's really obvious to you, there's a good chance that it's also obvious to the search engines, and thus the links will likely have little value.
When talking with these companies, don't be afraid to push for answers you can understand. If the linking company can't or won't explain what they're doing, then you shouldn't be working with them. And if you do work with the firm, check the reports and sample of the links now and then to make sure you're getting what you're paid for. Make sure you're getting follow links, for instance, on pages indexed by Google. If the page is very young, Google may not have gotten around to it yet. In which case you should at least check to see if the site itself is indexed, and perhaps how many pages in the site are indexed.
If only one or two pages from that site were indexed, there's a good chance your link on that new page will never be picked up.
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