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Thread: SEO, Google and backlinks - discussion and ideas for a beginner

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    SEO, Google and backlinks - discussion and ideas for a beginner

    So, having posted in the introduction section, it has been suggested that I start a new post with some specific questions I have.

    First some background for those who may not have read that thread:
    http://experienced-people.net/forums...eral-questions

    I am pretty much a complete beginner at website development and improvement and, apart from a few blogs, have not done this in the past. Before I pay out any money (well apart from the peanuts it took to register a domain name) I thought I would have a bit of practice in SEO with the aim of getting a site on the front page of google in a certain niche.

    So, I started a free account on Weebly and put together a website on a really narrow niche that I find entertaining. I then registered a domain name on Go Daddy which was a dot com with the two words I am targetting as keywords, hyphonated (quite pleased with that, but given the lack of competition not totally unexpected).

    Since then I have been making sure I include my keywords in the body of text (does highlighting them in bold really help??) and have linked a few times from my facebook account, tweeted with a link and attempted to swap a few links with some peer sites. After a week my website is sitting not so pretty on page 22 of Google (worse than the same time yesterday) so I have come for some advice.

    What else should I be doing to get my website up the rankings, or indeed should I even be trying to do this? I have had some very useful replies so far on the other thread so maybe they can be expanded on?

    Crabfoot suggested I try to employ triangular links instead of simple swaps. In order to do this would I need my sites to be the fat end of the triangle (as it were) or how would I approach other webmasters to ascertain whether they have a couple of sites that could act in this way? Or were you suggesting that my sites make up the whole triangle? As I am just starting out, both of my sites would be pretty new so not particularly high value when it comes to linking (if I understand the concept correctly) but I could certainly make another site as an overview of the subject which could link well. Can Google tell if the sites backlinking are owned by the same person?

    Kay suggested that chasing links is not a great plan (or words to those effect!) as inherantly any site that would be interested in doing this would themselves be just starting out or low value. On the subject of the value of links, what about sites like Facebook or Myspace - are links on those sites considered useful (would be good as I can set them up easily myself)

    Clinton went a step further and said to forget about ranking on Google althogether. If so, what should I be concentrating on instead? Surely Google is essential to capture "window shoppers" as it were?

    So guys, what do you think? I am determined to make a success of this and so far feel like a slightly damp sponge - I have tried to absorb all the information I have come accross but some if just drips out again :-/
    Last edited by Kay; 2 February 2012 at 8:36 am. Reason: Added link to the original thread.

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    Great to see you choose to move the discussion.....

    Firstly new sites are going to bounce around google a lot and my time frame to see how my SEO has paid off is three months. Even when I work for some one I openly say we are going to need to tackle this over three months. Can be more can be less but its a safe frame of time after which one can gauge a campaigns effectiveness. Now to answer some of your questions....

    (does highlighting them in bold really help??)
    There are a few ways to confer to a search engine that a keyword or phrase is of import to the site and super relevant to the content. Begging with the basics....

    Heading tags which weebly should have a selector for but I am unsure. The <h1> heading tag conveys that this is the title of your content </h1> You can use heading tags numerically to state that h1: Is super important information and h2: is also important. H3 is very noteable and h4 is good stuff too. Conventional wisdom says google will make use of heading tags one through six. If I have eight points though I often go as far as heading them all.

    The problem with heading tags is people misuse them, designers use them as decorative properties (I am often guilty of that) and people forget they are of interest to google.....and waste them on fluff.
    <h1> We buy all your </h1> used car parts.
    (Entirely wasted as we,buy,all,your are likely not your targeted keywords)
    <h1> Used car part dealer in Sussex, ready to buy and sell</h1> That's right guys need to buy a part of want to sell some scrap come and see us.
    (far better as it encapsulates what may be the terms you wish to be found on google for into the tag)

    Then there is the strong or bold tag which has debatable merit for SEO purposes, but I am unaware of highlighting text being a good SEO move.

    Then for on page SEO here is a few further things to check...
    Are you images edited well, not to large as a slow loading site is destined to under perform.
    Do you mention your contents keyword a few times through out the article. A lot of people mistake this for keyword density or stuffing, which you are free to google but I really do not care about.
    I mean more along the lines of if you sell cakes, be sure to mention cup cakes, Confectioneries and other closely related words to your product. Google is trying to decide what your site is really about and if you keep just calling your cakes for sale a cake? Well google is going to decide your pretty specialist and that's great if you want to only be found for cakes.

    I hope I make some sense here I see too many sites were people do not mention their own key phrases in their content and do not drop a synonym or two in.

    Now as far as linking goes the idea of triangular linking is great but you need to have two sites in one niche worth linking too and that is not always an option, let me direct you to this This post the entire thread is useful though and covers a lot of aspects of getting traffic into a niche site. You can also check this how to get traffic without google also an interesting one.
    Myspace and facebook are good links for traffic generation but probably not so much for SEO unless people start talking about your site on those networks then your golden. Check out social sites like Squidoo and linkedin they can be very useful....

    There is of course as always a lot to cover, so feel free to come back with questions about SEO, traffic generation or anything else.
    Visitor Convertor Getting traffic is only half the battle. (work in serious progress )
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    Kay suggested that chasing links is not a great plan (or words to those effect!) as inherantly any site that would be interested in doing this would themselves be just starting out or low value.
    That's not exactly what I said. That's maybe how you understood what I said. The message I was trying to give you was that link swaps are considered by many people to be very 1990s. Not only do link swap requests often irritate some more experienced webmasters, one-for-one link swaps also don't tend to do you a lot of good these days.

    Trying to build up your backlinks, on the other hand, can be good for your site if you go about it in the right way (ie without being spammy). There are probably countless ways to build backlinks - blog commenting, forum posting, guest blogging, and some sites will give you a link in return for a good photo, a recipe, a DIY idea, etc. It's best do do this for yourself when you're new. If you outsource it too soon, you probably won't have a good enough understanding of what exactly you do and don't want your freelancer to do for you.

    So, yes, you do want to build backlinks but probably not just by simply swapping links with someone. Most of the more established websites won't be interested and the others will not be of much help to your site.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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    Slowdrive - Wow thanks, that's a really helpful and detailed reply. I will check out those links and get back if I have any questions (probably quite likely!)

    Kay - thanks for the clarification, that makes sense. Can I just ask what is considered spammy? I presume adding a comment on someone's blog with a link to my site is pretty bad form, or is this not considered the case? I think this site may be a bit of a narrow niche to even have a forum devoted to it but that is certainly a good option for some of my other ideas. Some websites seem to have a bulletin board type thing when people leave comments - is this something I can use?

    Totally agree this is something I want to do myself - this was the idea behind the quick start with a Weebly site so I can get the SEO straight in my head before moving on to constructing something myself .

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    Can I just ask what is considered spammy?
    It's easier to answer that by starting with what isn't spammy. Make useful and/or interesting comments or postings. Join in discussions, ask relevant questions. Provide some useful piece of information about something you came across recently. All these things will usually be welcomed whether it's on a forum or a blog or any other type of place where people interact with each other online.

    Self-promotion is a big no-no. If others think your main purpose is to drive traffic to your website or score backlinks, then they won't be interested in you or what you're attempting to do.

    It's kinda like a Zen concept - you can do it much better when you're not actively trying to do it. Don't worry if that seems a bit weird or alien to you at first, depending on your mindset it may come quite naturally to you, and anyway there are some very experienced people who have never quite 'got' how to make the most out of forums, blog commenting, etc.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    My Blog - come in and have a look around, you might find something of interest. Comments are welcome! (dofollow)



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    Quote Originally Posted by nehpets View Post
    I try to employ triangular links instead of simple swaps. In order to do this would I need my sites to be the fat end of the triangle (as it were) or how would I approach other webmasters to ascertain whether they have a couple of sites that could act in this way? Or were you suggesting that my sites make up the whole triangle?
    Get yourself another domain (or more if you want). Approach the other webmaster saying you have placed a link to their site on your domain no.1, would they like to place a link on their site to your domain no.2. Try to choose a domain that is relevant to yours, you will be more likely to get a positive response plus Gargyl will see it is more relevent.

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    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    there are some very experienced people who have never quite 'got' how to make the most out of forums, blog commenting, etc.
    That's true - but some are very good at it - I'm here because I followed a link Clinton left on someone's blog.

    There's an area on Acorn Domains where you can ask people to assess your site. You can get some really good constructive criticism over there, especially if people like Blossom take an interest - she's got all the on-page SEO rules hardwired into her scull.

    In days of yore, savvy people would start into generating their own sites for link generation by building autogenerating sites. Using a feed to get content, these beasties spin the input articles out of human recognition and generate keyword-laden pages of unreadable garbage, never intended to be read by human eyes. There are still a lot of those sites about, they have PR and thousands of pages, and their owners still use the sites to provide themselves with links.

    Unless you are incredibly BH knowledgeable you can't do that any more - the panda eats the sites before you get them started, and a lot of the spinning effects relied on misusing imperfect translation sites that don't give the desired results these days. But there's still a philosophy that says a large number of sites, distributed across several domain registrars and hosting sources, is a key factor to providing links for yourself. The alternative is a very slow game ... don't be discouraged.
    Last edited by crabfoot; 2 February 2012 at 6:32 pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    link swaps are considered by many people to be very 1990s. Not only do link swap requests often irritate some more experienced webmasters, one-for-one link swaps also don't tend to do you a lot of good these days.
    Reciprocal links don't help your SEO, that's a fact, and too many can hurt you. The word Google use is 'excessive' and they don't tell you how many of course but it's not in any doubt, this one isn't an SEO myth.

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    However reciprocating contextual links with quality sites is a good way of syndicating content and adding link value.

    All of this is my opinion mind you, but if I sell a shopping cart and you sell a wordpress theme reciprocating reviews with relevant content and a link even if reciprocated is still good business both for traffic and ranking. Its about quality vs quantity and making sure that you are well placed not just splattered across the footer. The trick imo is to make sure you link is housed in contextual keyword rich text.
    Visitor Convertor Getting traffic is only half the battle. (work in serious progress )
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    Sorry, Slowdive, I don't agree. I link out to others if I want to either because it's useful for my site's visitors or as a "reward" to someone for giving me some content that's useful. I assume that other sites will link to mine for the same reasons. It would be very, very rare for me to agree to anything such as, "I'll link to you if you link to me", in any context, whether contextual links or not.

    Sure, we all have our own opinions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowdive
    However reciprocating contextual links with quality sites is a good way of syndicating content and adding link value.
    Stating something as though it's a fact, without evidence to back it up, could be misleading "advice". Perhaps you could explain a bit more about how you reached this opinion?

    I'm very much with JJ on this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure
    Reciprocal links don't help your SEO, that's a fact, and too many can hurt you. The word Google use is 'excessive' and they don't tell you how many of course but it's not in any doubt, this one isn't an SEO myth.
    If you think we're wrong, then please explain why. I need to know what I've been doing wrong for all these years.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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