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Link Dumpsters and Other Hazards of SEO - 4 Tips for Link Leverage

Posted 06-04-2010 at 03:29 PM by Tess  
As an SEO service provider and someone who works to stay on top of the SEO game when it comes to my own sites, linkbuilding is one of my least favorite tasks. It's a bit mindless, very repetetive, and can make for one extremely long afternoon.

Yes, I could outsource this task. After all, these are the kinds of things we encourage our own clients to outsource, but I would rather slog through it myself, as tedious as it is, and do it right than risk having it done wrong or on the cheap. Sure, there is software that will autosubmit my site, promising me 10,000 backlinks by the time the sun comes up, but I'd rather have just five relevant, high-quality links back to a site than fifty or even fifteen hundred links in broken-down link farms.

However you get it done, linkbuilding should be a regular part of your marketing agenda. SEO shouldn't be seen as an 'extra', nor should it sit on your well-intentioned to-do list week after week. If you have a website (and if you have a business and a pluse, you'd darn well better have a website!) you need to be doing some kind of SEO, and linkbuilding is by far one of the easiest search engine optimization techniques to apply. It doesn't require any knowledge of HTML, it costs little to no money to execute, and it can have a tremendous impact on your site's search rank if done correctly and consistently.

Aside from the keywords, link title, description, and other anatomy of your link building campaign (all of which I will discuss in follow-up posts), the single most important thing to bear in mind is where you are getting your link love from.

Here are my tips for what to look for and what to stay away from when considering which link directories to use in your own link building efforts:

1) Is the site thrown together? Bear in mind that directories are always going to be more function than form and as a general rule they're not meant to be pretty - but do look for directories that are on the uncluttered side, don't have broken down images or other obvious technical issues, and are not stuffed with ads.

2) Is anybody home? When considering a new directory, drill down to a subcategory to see what kinds of sites are listed and how they are presented.

- If you find tons of listings for escort services, Russian brides, gambling sites, or other issues that reek of 'low rent' internet, consider if this is really the kind of directory that will provide the most linkback value for your site.

- Check to see if sites are organized into applicable categories. Is a link for a hotel listed under 'Travel', or in 'Finance'?

There is a running joke in our home office about the types of directories that approve anything and everything without an eye to spelling, grammar, taxonomy, appropriateness, or overall content - they are nothing more than link dumpster. We call them that because they are literally full of garbage. Google's algorithm is cultivated enough to know when it's indexiing a link dumpster and ranks these sites accordingly (ie, not at all).

3) Is there link love? A truly SEO-friendly directory will allow a reasonable amount of keyword inclusion in link titles and descriptions.

4) Is there a choice? A good directory has a nice selection of categories for you to choose from. Ideally, you'll find categories that relate directly to the site you are submitting: Virtual Services; Business Outsourcing; Small Business Resources, etc.

There are thousands of link directories out there, and more are cropping up every single day; with those four simple questions in mind you'll be able to apply a more judicious eye to each one as you carry out your own link building campaigns.
Total Comments 6


mjescobar's Avatar
Do you have any favorite sites you would share on or off board?
Posted 11-27-2010 at 10:32 AM by mjescobar mjescobar is offline
Tess's Avatar
For those new to link building I usually recommend using a site like Directory Critic http://www.directorycritic.com/free-directory-list.html but you really have to pick and choose which of those directories you'll submit to. It's pretty hit or miss. I really like Vile Silencer - they have a Top 100 Free Directories list http://info.vilesilencer.com/top and another more comprehensive list that you can download as an XL http://info.vilesilencer.com/seofriendly.xls As far as paid sites, there are quite a few good ones - many are listed in the Vile Silencer XL. Check out www.webdirectory-index.net and www.resource-index.net for two SEO friendly paid directories created and curated by yours truly I hope that helps!
Posted 12-02-2010 at 04:30 PM by Tess Tess is offline
This link [URL="http://www.resourece-index.net/"]www.resourece-index.net[/URL] did not work. Looks like a typo? I tried [url]www.resource-index.net[/url] and that one looks like it is right :)
Posted 12-04-2010 at 07:06 AM by Off~Site Secretary Off~Site Secretary is offline
La Virtual Admin Support's Avatar
Would love to learn more about this so I will be able to do it myself too.
Great info, thanks!
Posted 02-07-2011 at 07:36 PM by La Virtual Admin Support La Virtual Admin Support is offline
Tess's Avatar
Yes, that's the right link - thanks for catching my typo! Another SEO lesson, it isn't worth anything at all if it's not spelled correctly!
Posted 03-16-2011 at 10:08 PM by Tess Tess is offline
Wow, this was not only one well-written blog, but it was jammed packed with information that [I]everyone[/I] can make use of.

I for one am on a mission to master using SEO correctly. Thank you for the terrific links and to Off-Site Secretary for her keen eye ;)
Posted 04-10-2011 at 07:32 PM by eXPERT Business Support eXPERT Business Support is offline

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