Category Archives: SEO

7 Ways To Know You’re Getting Bad SEO Linking Advice

Before I begin I want to wish everyone who celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday a very happy family day, and I hope you’re eating as much turkey, dressing (many people call it stuffing but not me) and pie (I prefer sweet potato pie) today while watching football (I’ll be watching the Cowboys game while holding my breath) or however you end up celebrating the day. It may have a clouded historical past (don’t worry, I’m not going there today) but its meaning these days (I don’t mean the day before Black Friday) is an important one.


Today I want to talk about bad SEO linking advice, why so much of it is bad, and how it’s ended up leading me to decide that I’m not going to accept guest posts on the one blog that I’ve been accepting guest posts on any longer.

With Google updates coming at what seems to be a furious pace, many businesses are scrambling around trying to get people to remove links that they paid someone to leave. Sometimes it’s contained within a guest post they paid someone to write for them with their links in it. And then they decide, after getting some “advice”, to try to get those links removed.

On my SEO blog I wrote a post titled Are You Being Used In Link Removal Requests (that blog is now gone), because there are some people who are writing blog owners asking for links to be removed by representing themselves as someone working for that particular company. Yeah, that’s pretty smarmy, but I’m not sure that’s the norm. I do know that the norm seems to be people writing me from Gmail addresses saying they’re representing someone, not calling me by name even though my name is all over all of my websites, and every once in a while threatening me with filing a disavow link; idiocy.

The final straw for me and my finance blog accepting guest posts came yesterday when someone who’d written two articles for the blog in 2012 wrote and asked if I would remove other links from those posts that were internal links from articles that I’d written, citing Google updates and anchor text links. I decided that I was done with it all, thus I wrote this post announcing the end of guest posts on the blog as soon as those which are already scheduled have gone live. In a way I was inspired to go this route by Kristi Hines, who wrote a post in March that I remembered saying she was ending guest posts on her blog and would take it over again.

With that said I thought it was time to address some of the stupidity (yeah, I said it) that keeps coming my way, either through these idiotic emails asking me to remove links or some of the other concepts that I’ve seen here and there. You don’t have to listen to me after you’ve read this though; just go do some research yourself and you’ll find that I’m correct if you’re reading the right authorities. Let’s begin!

1. Anchor text links are bad. No, anchor text links aren’t bad. A2 a matter of fact, if done right anchor text links are the best way to let search engines know what your post or website are about.

What’s bad? What’s bad is linking to the same exact word time after time with the same link or over-linking one specific word or phrase within an article. If you want proof that anchor text linking isn’t a bad thing, visit any news site and see how well they’re ranked. What you don’t see is, if they’re talking about a murder somewhere, them linking to that word over and over. And they could easily do that because murder seems to be the new recreational sport in the States.


2. Comment links on blog posts can hurt your website. Really? Let’s be realistic here. Your comment link would probably hurt me more than it can hurt you. Using this blog as an example, there are over 27,000 links here. Unless you’ve employed a campaign that lays out tens of thousands of links on blogs all over the world in a short period of time, that’s probably not anything you should be concerned about. Overdoing anything is bad, but if you paid someone (which you probably did) to leave comments on my blog, most probably there are fewer than 5 comments from the person you paid over the course of time.

This is the type of thing that leads many people into believing that they shouldn’t ever comment on a blog that’s not in their niche. Let me tell you this; if the only reason you’re commenting is to drive traffic to your blog by getting a free link, you don’t think much of yourself; yeah, I said it. You should be commenting on things you’re interested in, whether or not it’s in your niche. Otherwise you’re a phony, and your comments are probably pretty lousy as well. I’d be surprised if most of your comments actually remain on many quality blogs; think of how many I delete from this blog on a daily basis.

3. Links in your guest posts back to your site are damaging you. Once again, unless you paid someone to overwhelm the internet with your presence, you’re not in any danger at all. On the post I wrote for Adrienne Smith’s blog titled 11 Essentials of Social Networking, point #3 was to link to someone else every once in a while, especially if your inspiration came from them. Anyone with any sense isn’t going to be upset that you’ve linked to them because it’s free one way publicity they’re getting, and you’re using that link in context; it’s a win-win for everybody.

4. Even internal links can be bad for you. Now you’re just being silly. One of the highest ranked websites on the internet per Google and their page rank is, the folks that actually create the HTML standards that the rest of us try to live up to when creating our websites. They’re almost nothing but internal linking and almost all of it is anchor texts. In these cases what you’re doing is helping search engines figure out how your sites internal links are actually connected, and it helps your authority because you’re not trying to hide anything but make things easy for them to share with others. And, of course, that’s the best thing you can do for your visitors, link to other articles that are on the same topic you’re currently writing about that are related.


5. You shouldn’t have any links in your sidebars to anything without adding the “nofollow” tag. Did you know that Google recommends that website owners shouldn’t try to sculpt their pages too much because it could lead them to looking unnatural? Did you know that my advice is to do what you feel is necessary as long as you don’t overdo it?

Both websites and blogs have lots of links if they’re worth anything. Worrying too much about the duplicate content thing as it applies to links is pretty silly; remember my news site comparison earlier? Where it’s bad is if you’re overdoing it on specific phrases again. On one site they used “wedding” as an example where a site might constantly use that word and follow it with others such as “dresses”, “rings”, “shoes”, “tiaras”, etc. That definitely looks spammy (what a strange word that is) and will get you and your site into search engine trouble. Do you really think your visitors will come to your site, know it’s about wedding stuff, and not be able to figure out that all those things are related to wedding stuff without your telling them?

This gets back to the old discussion of whether you should add things like a blogroll to your site. Trust me, you’re not going to lose much ranking or traffic because you support certain websites or other blogs, and they’re not nofollow. I’m of the opinion why put them there if you’re going to nofollow them?

6. If there are too many links back to my site, Google’s going to think it’s all my fault so I have to take care of it. What are you, a man or a mouse (or a woman or a… I’ve got nothing lol)? For an example here I’ll use my main business website. That site has been up 11 years now, and back in the day one would try to get onto a few directories for search terms we hoped to be found for.

For one particular search term that website is linked to more than 6,000 times. I certainly didn’t contact 6,000 sites to ask them to add me to their directories for that term. I didn’t pay anyone for it either. What you’ll find is that sometimes you end up on a list because many sites find things on their own or through their own robots and such and add you. This blog is on many lists of dofollow blogs, as my finance blog was on a list of multiple blogs that accept guest posts. Does anyone really expect me to contact all those people and ask them to remove my links from their site?

Google has recommended that people only go through this process if they send you a letter. They’ve also said that they’re going to try to give you examples of where you’ve failed. Trying to get everyone to accept what you’re trying to do is illogical. Any company promising you that they’ll get it done is lying to you. They might get many links moved but truthfully, it’s your fault for doing it in the first place. The best way to overcome it all is to start adding better content to your own site and working your way through things that way.

But since I know you’re not going to listen to me on that one if you haven’t listened to the previous 5, it leads me to my last point, that being…

7. Threatening sites with a disavow threat. Ooohhhh, I’m scared! Seriously, this is happening and it’s stupid. Actually, though I’m going to talk about it, here’s the link to Google’s disavow policy. You know what it says midway down the policy? Here’s the actual quote:

“If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm
your site’s performance in Google’s search results

The disavow tool is meant for sites to ask Google not to penalize them for certain links. Anyone using it to complain that you wouldn’t remove a link that they actually paid someone to leave on your site could backfire if that’s the majority of what you had someone doing for you. If you paid someone to help spread your links and they’ve ended up spamming certain websites over and over, possibly even being paid for by someone else, those could benefit you. But you sending in a disavow request does nothing to me or anyone else whose site you’ve left a link on. Not only that but I’ve given thought to calling out some of these people for threatening me and also posting the email. Now, who would that hurt more?

As I said, you might decide I don’t know what I’m talking about but don’t just argue it with me. Go and do your research if you don’t believe me, or continue doing it your way. I can honestly say this. I’m Just Sharing did take a minor hit after the very first algorithm Google came out with, and hasn’t been touched since. My finance blog has never taken an algorithm hit. If your links were on either of those sites you’re good multiple times over. My business blog did take a big hit earlier this year but it’s back to where it’s always been now. What this proves is that it’s got more to do with you and your site than outstanding links for most of us. For those of you who went overboard trying to buy links… well, you’re probably the unlucky minority in this game.

I’m done; what’s your thought?

Blogs Or Articles?

I’ve been in the business of business website consulting for 4 1/2 years at this juncture. Most of the concepts have stayed the same; great SEO, continuous new content, balance, etc. There are two things that have changed the landscape a bit in that time. The first is social media and how companies can use it in some form or another for their advantage. The second… the conversation about blogs or articles.

Back in the day it seemed a fairly easy conversation. Having articles on a website makes a lot of sense to a degree. If done properly they help enhance the authority of a website. They’re fairly easy to optimize and, when done well, end up with their own page rank and many more opportunities for websites to be found fairly high for their search terms.

Nowadays a couple of things have changed. One, search engines value new content more than static content; even a page ranked fairly high will only maintain itself for so long. Two, more website owners and businesses want the ability do certain things for themselves, which means they need an easy process; not everyone knows how to write code to add new pages to their website or links within the website.

This means blogging becomes a more viable option for some people. In some ways, blogging it easier. You can write multiple short posts and keep your website relevant. You can write long posts and keep your site relevant. You can easily add video or sound to a blog. Blogging is easy because you don’t have to know how to code anything. You should for maximum effect but you don’t have to.

So we come to this conundrum of whether a website should have a blog or articles. Actually, for me, it’s not a conundrum at all. I tend to believe websites need both. And I’m prepared to say why.

Websites should have articles that pertain directly to what they say they do. I’m going to use the example of my business website to highlight this. My business website says I basically do two things; leadership/management training and health care finance consulting. Within the health care finance consulting, there’s one thing I do specifically that’s more specialized, that being something called charge master consulting. Not all consultants do this, so it’s my edge, if you will.

Now, I could just write about this every once in awhile in my blog, but that’s really not strong enough for me. Since this is a core business issue it needed that specific link that I shared. However, if you follow that link to the page, which talks about the service I provide, you’ll see I have 3 other links on that page. All of those links are articles I’ve written that are related to what I do. That helps the search engines really zone in on what I do for business. My main search terms are all in the top 10, most in the top 5, for providing this service. I used to be number one for all of them but you just can’t always keep the big dogs down I’m afraid. 🙂

I have a similar page talking about leadership and management, and I link to some articles from that page as well. But there are many more people that provide these same types of services. Therefore, even with the articles I have, I need more of a boost when it comes to that topic. Hence, my blog talks more about leadership issues there than anything else. Doing that helps keep my site in the SERPS, although I still battle for recognition. My checking it last night when I was putting this together has me at 143 on Google, 103 on Yahoo and 136 on Bing. In a crowded field that’s not bad, but it can be better.

So, this is my argument for having both articles and a blog on a website. How do you see it?

SEO Reputation Scam

It’s amazing how things sometimes just build upon themselves. Case in point, I’ve written a couple of articles in a row that indirectly tied into each other, and suddenly something else comes up that, well, just flows into each other in odd ways.

SEO scams

I thought about linking to both of the past articles, but I do that often enough and this time I’m going to let it go for a moment. It’s just easier to do a rehash here without it and then get to the new stuff.

The quick recap. On my local blog I wrote a review about a restaurant that wasn’t good. As a sidebar, I noticed that some bad reviews that had been written on a site called Yelp seemed to be hidden. Then I learned that Yelp filters reviews based on participation on the site, which brought about questions, at least for me, as to whether sites like that could be trusted for their reviews because maybe it was possible that companies paid to have those reviews removed or hidden.

Then I get an email from pointing to a news story from April 15th that talked about small companies that get bad reviews and how SEO companies are contacting those companies and saying they can take care of these bad reviews. That’s what the article, titled Bogus ‘Complaint Removal’ Sites Prey on Small Businesses, talks about, mentioning how many business fall for this scam and then try to report them, but there’s no real place to report them.

Here’s the thing, if I may. We all have the ability to try to control how we’re portrayed online. If we’re not online and not managing our profiles, if you will, someone else can come along and put something up that will take over the search engines and put you at a disadvantage. If you’re a business, that could end up being a very bad thing indeed. For instance, if you go to Google and type in “Village Burger Liverpool Review” my original article comes up 4th, behind 3 reviews on Yelp, and I just wrote that last week. You can’t just type in Village Burger and find it because it seems that business name is all over the place; so much for originality.

There are many reputable SEO companies in the world, and I hope I’m considered as one. Sure, there are things you can do to help recover your reputation. But bad reviews will probably always be there, even if you have enough money to buy every person off that ever says something bad about you. Anyone that tells you something different is lying; don’t believe the hype.

By the way, there’s a brief follow up to what happened at that restaurant, if you will, and I’m writing it here instead of there because I got this information from a source that would be easily identifiable if I wrote it there, and I know none of those folks will come here because they don’t know about this blog. Anyway, someone mentioned that blog post to the owner and said they saw the picture I put up on the article. The owner’s response: “I need to buy smaller buns.” So much for customer service, a pattern that just keeps coming up more and more.

SEO Is A “Practice” Like Medicine, Not A Science

Every Wednesday on Twitter there’s something that goes on that originated here in the Syracuse area. It’s called Community Manager Chat, and it’s actually geared towards people who handle the social media processes at their particular companies, or for someone else. I get to be a part of it because social media is my thing, or at least a big part of my thing. If you ever decide to participate it’s at 2PM Eastern time, and you use the hashtag #cmgrchat to follow along.

Searching by Josh Heilaman

Last Wednesday the topic of discussion was blogging, which y’all know I thrive on. It was actually the second week on the topic because it seemed like it was very popular and there were so many questions being asked. I answered a bunch of questions, and on that day and the day after I got a bunch of new followers; I could see that a lot of people were interested in what I had to share.
Continue reading SEO Is A “Practice” Like Medicine, Not A Science

The Debates About SEO

Search engine optimization is an interesting concept, one that I’ve been dealing with for almost 4 years now. It’s interesting because you never really know where discussions on the topic are going to take you, and often people love to disagree on things concerning different aspects of it.

Debating Creationists
by the mad LOLscientist

I recently wrote a guest post about this subject on another blog. My general premise is that people shouldn’t be stressing themselves out about using all sorts of SEO tactics when it comes to blogging because it’s better to make your content look smooth and sound seamless than it is to worry about too much of the SEO involved in trying to get people to your blog. In my view, you don’t totally throw out SEO, but don’t overly worry about it because, for blogs, it’s not as important as the breadth of your content if you’re a niche blogger.

Of course I encountered disagreements on the post, which I kind of expected, because there are many others who would say I was stark raving mad for saying that. However, I stood my ground. Based on research and real evidence, if you have at least 100 blog posts on a subject all the SEO sculpting in the world isn’t going to make a blog post stand out from any other in the search engines. Having a consistently good pattern of writing on your niche will work wonders, though.

An interesting way to show this is to look at this blog’s top 10 keywords from January of this year through August 31st for how people found this blog on search engines and see if the posts they might match up to were all that optimized. Here we go:

1. Cleavage – well, that’s still my most popular post for some reason, but in a post that was almost 1,350 words I used that one word less than .7%, even if it’s in the title.

2. Ultra Diamonds complaints – I wrote one post about this back in 2008 and I mentioned it twice, and not even in a row.

3. sensors quality management scam – I’ve never written a single post on this topic, and I have no idea what it even means. I wrote a post on secret shopper scams, and someone wrote that line in a comment.

4. forcefield.exe – mentioned once in a post I wrote about Zone Alarm.

5. do they still make zima – I wrote that comment once in a post on, well, Zima.

6. pdf my url – I wrote a post on this software, but I used the term “pdf” twice and “url” three times.

7. favorite classical pieces – I wrote a post on my favorite classical pieces, but I only used the phrase once, not including the title.

8. obsession with numbers – This is the first post where, as I look at it now, one could say I optimized it, although it certainly wasn’t intentional.

9. google desktop thunderbird – This one is also inadvertently optimized, and when I look at it, probably very well indeed.

10. mystery shoppers corp scam – once again this phrase doesn’t show up anywhere in the post I wrote on secret shoppers, and I have no idea where the word ‘corp’ comes from.

What’s my point? Out of my top 10 keywords, only two posts are actually optimized, and that occurred because of natural writing rather than any attempt to provide proper SEO to the posts. And the two posts that are optimized are #8 and #9 on my list; how do we explain the top 7?

As I said and will reiterate, I’m not saying that if you wish to take the time to do it that going through the process of optimizing your content might not be a worthy goal? What I’m saying is that, at least in my opinion, writing your content so that it makes sense to your readers, and eventually search engines, seems to work just as effectively if your topic in some way matches up to what people are looking for. At least for blogs; we can talk about websites another time, unless you read the article I just linked to. lol

Or I could be wrong… nah! 🙂

WWE Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80’s