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SEO: Link Building in Depth

Understanding linking jargon


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SEO: Link Building in Depth

with Peter Kent

Video: Understanding linking jargon

One challenge working with link building companies is simply understanding what on earth they're talking about? I think part of that is intentional. There are lots of link building companies that are a little more than a scam and they don't really want you to know what they're doing. They're blinding you with science hoping to make the sale without going into detail about what you'll get in return. On the other hand, some services suffer from a problem common in the geek world, an inability to explain things clearly and an assumption that everyone is a geek and understands anyway.

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SEO: Link Building in Depth
2h 27m Intermediate Oct 26, 2012

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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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding Google PageRank results
  • Analyzing links
  • Building local and directory links
  • Working with article syndication services
  • Creating link bait
  • Distributing links of social networks
  • Buying links: the pros and cons
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing SEO
Author:
Peter Kent

Understanding linking jargon

One challenge working with link building companies is simply understanding what on earth they're talking about? I think part of that is intentional. There are lots of link building companies that are a little more than a scam and they don't really want you to know what they're doing. They're blinding you with science hoping to make the sale without going into detail about what you'll get in return. On the other hand, some services suffer from a problem common in the geek world, an inability to explain things clearly and an assumption that everyone is a geek and understands anyway.

So in this video, I'm going to run through a few bits of jargon you may hear while reading link building sites or talking to link builders. In fact, even if you have no intention of buying links, this video may help you understand general link building jargon. Some of the services you'll see offer, they're obvious; forum comments, directory submissions, press release distribution, and so on. But let's consider some of the terms we haven't discussed in this course, where we've only touched on quickly. Let's start with the few general link terms.

First, the term one-way links. This simply means that you get a link pointing to your site without placing a link back to another site. Typically, this term is used in some kind of link network situation, so be careful. You may be asked to link to a different site, site B we'll say, in return for the link from site A, you may be getting yourself into some kind of link network, and by linking out, you're telling the search engines that you are a willing participant and thus risk some kind of penalty.

When people talk about deep linking, they simply mean linking into your website rather than just to the site's homepage. This is a good thing to do, spreading your linking around your site. The term above the fold means the space in a website that could be seen when the page loads without scrolling down the page. It's quite likely that links near the top of the page are more valuable than links lower down the page. Another link type that's likely to be more valuable is a content or in-content link, a link that will be placed into content within a web page rather than just in a block of links.

You'll also hear the term landing page. That's simply the page that the link points to; the page that the visitor lands on after clicking the link. You may also hear the term relevant, which means the link will come from a page that contains content that is somehow related to the subject area of your site. That's a good thing, but sometimes even links are non-relevant pages, in particular, if they are keyworded can help. And a permanent link is what it sounds like. You pay once and the link should stay for good; though realistically one day the site will probably disappear.

Many links are in effect rented, you pay by the month. Some services will state that your links will be placed onto pages of a particular page rank, which of course, we have discussed in an earlier video; the higher the PageRank the more valuable the link and the more expensive. You may also see claims of particular Alexa ranks. Alexa is a website analysis service owned by Amazon and it maintains list of sites ranked by popularity; the lower the number, the higher the rank.

A low number means a more popular website. Site wide links are links placed on every page in a website. This often refers to links in blogrolls, or in traditional websites, links in the page footer. But it may also be links in some kind of link block higher up on the page. A Drip Feed refers to creating links gradually, a few a day or a week. The idea is to avoid a sudden huge increase in links pointing to your site which may look suspicious.

Spend enough time digging around link sites, and you'll see a feature called unique class C IP numbers. This means that each link, or perhaps block of links will come from a different IP number. But it won't be simply the last three digits in the number that are different, it'll be a number in the C block or above that will vary. So the links won't be coming from pages with IP numbers close to each other, which could indicate to the search engines that the pages are related to each other.

When link companies talk about blog links, they could be talking about several things. First is blog comment links, links placed into blogs by commenting on a post. They're probably of no use to you, as comment- links are generally nofollow, though some companies may be placing follow links into their own blogs. Then there's blog-roll links, links that appear in every page on a site in the list of usual links. These are typically rented out; you'll paid by the month or perhaps by the year. Finally, links in actual articles.

In some cases, you write an article and give it to the company. Or they can write it for you, though it may be in pigeon English. You'll typically get two or three key-worded links in the article and pay a one-time fee for as long as the blog stays active. Some services also sell what they call sticky posts, links in blog posts that will remain on the blog's homepage for a specified period of time. You could also hear about blog reviews, which are typically reviews of your website or product posted in a blog.

Again, you're getting links in the blog post not the comments or blogroll. Strictly speaking, of course, these are often illegal under FTC regulations, unless it's stated in the review that it's been paid for. A lot of services also provide social bookmarking services, which really can mean a number of things. There are a lot of social networks now, so one big question is, what networks are the links being placed into? Sometimes these services create hundreds of accounts on five or ten different networks, and then place posts containing links to your site.

They may also provide profile links which are links directly from an account profile. These may be social networking accounts, but could be accounts from just about any website open to public registration, such as forums. You sometimes see services offering to create squidoo lenses. Squidoo.com is a site that allows members to set up pages known as lenses, collections of information related to a particular subject. So these services will create lenses about your subject area and include links to your site.

Whatever kind of social networking service is being offered, it's worth bearing in mind that in most cases the links you're going to get are probably not very valuable. One more unusual service that you may run across is Link Wheels. A Link Wheel is a network of sites that all or mostly linked to the target site, your site, but it's also linked to each other in some kind of pattern. In the simplest incarnation, you might have, say 20 sites linking A to B, B to C, C to D and so on, all the way up to R to S and S to T, and the T site links back to A.

Then all of the sites linked to your site and to any other sites they're promoting of course. Link Wheel companies often use social networking sites, setting up accounts to act as the spokes of the wheel, and so, perhaps a combination of social networking sites and blogs. You may also see sites offering search engine submission services. In general, this is a waste of time and money unless the service also includes submitting your site to search directories, not merely search engines. There are a lot of search engine submission scams out there often claiming to submit you to a list of search engines that include systems that no longer even exist, so beware.

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