Here’s a topic I’ve covered many times over the years, but haven’t touched upon in the longest time. The catalyst for writing this article came from a brief discussion with a long time friend of mine about the gripe I have with Google and my blog articles.
Truthfully, Google sometimes feels like they hate me. Many times my article don’t show up within the first 300 links on there and it irks me to no end. In those times, I’ve learned that the only time I’ll find an article of mine is when I type the entire title of the article surrounded by quotation marks (that’s how you search for anything that has specific terms in the way you want to see them). Continue reading Linking 101→
Time for another Mitchell rant, and this time it’s on the topic of “quality backlinks”.
Here’s the deal. I understand that many people are looking to find ways to get backlinks, which to me means getting something for nothing. Yeah, that’s not quite fair, but I say that because I keep seeing post after post with titles like “5 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks” and every single one of them says almost the same thing.
You know, Google has messed up again because they tell people that the thing they look at in ranking websites and blogs is backlinks to other sites of quality. To this I say “blah”. What they’ve done is once again set people up in doing all sorts of stupid stuff, just so in two or three years they can come out with the Wolverine update and slam all of those sites for once again doing what they told them to do, saying “you idiots, we didn’t mean for you to do it that way.” And they’ll be laughing at you when it happens.
I say “you” instead of me because if you’re doing all this stuff to get backlinks and that’s your only goal, you deserve to be laughed at. And I say that while having one blog that I actually allow people to write guest posts for, which gives them a backlink to their site. But really, who’s benefiting more from that, them or me?
What are these genius recommendations I keep seeing, that you’re also seeing over and over? Here they are:
1. Write guest posts
2. Comment on other blogs
3. Write in forums
4. Post links on social networks
5. Ask others to trade links with you
Oh yeah, the sidebar 6th is to make sure you do all of this on both similarly themed websites and high ranking websites. And I saw one that talked about making sure you have quality content; didn’t I address that topic once before?
Are there problems with these recommendations? Well, some of them anyway. Guest posts are great for gaining some publicity but just how many guest posts can you write, or have someone else write for you, that’s actually going to do you any good? How many comments can you or will you actually make in a forum that’s going to help you? And don’t you hate when someone you know asks you to trade links with you and that they’ll make sure your link will be on a PR2, 3 or 4 ranked site?
The other two?
Blog commenting is more about joining the community of bloggers and having people learn who you are rather than creating backlinks, although it’s probably a benefit if you comment often and are on dofollow blogs. But if that’s all you’re looking for you’re kind of shallow.
Posting your links to social media sites is smart, but not necessarily for backlinks. Once again, the idea is getting your link out to others who might be interested in what you have to say and share and be willing to come back to your site to read your content, and they might even stick around to read other content or even buy something.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not saying that backlinks won’t do you any good. What I will say is that the ways everyone else is telling you to do it makes no sense. Who has that kind of time? And is your motivation legitimate?
Of course, some of you now want to pin me down on this question; what would I recommend in getting backlinks if I’m saying it’s not a bad thing to have them? My recommendation; write well, and write something compelling.
I’m not using the term “high quality content” because who can really define that? Instead, I’m saying to write something that others will look at, read, possibly comment, and then might be intrigued enough to want to link to you in their content. Wow, what a novel idea!
How do you do that? It’s a combination of 3 things:
1. Write things that are entertaining and challenging that makes people think and gets them to want to share your stuff without you asking them to
2. Try linking back to someone else’s blog post or article every once in awhile to show how it’s done. People not only like returning the compliment but commenting on what someone else had to say shows you read the post, were touched by the post, and that maybe your own stuff is worth looking at. You don’t always have to agree by the way; if you’re a consistent reader of this blog you’ll see that I’m always pulling a link from someone else’s blog and commenting on it.
3. Go get people to come to your blog by commenting on their blogs (good comments, not drive by’s) and by sharing your links on social media. This is a combined effort, but you have to be diligent with it. I’ve made this recommendation before and I’ll make it again. If you don’t have lots of time, find 5 blogs that you like and only concentrate on those 5 for awhile. But put your links out everywhere you can think of, that you like, at least once.
That’s it. Do that stuff, keep doing that stuff, and you’ll build up more juice for your blog or website than you can imagine. You’ll get quality people coming to your blog and the search engines won’t penalize you; who can ask for anything better than that?
Well, maybe one more thing. In this video myself and the rest of the Hot Blog Tips Hangout group talked about finding motivation in blogging, and we broached the subject of this post as well; enjoy:
I’ve noticed that sometimes people don’t put urls (web addresses) in when they make comments. Almost everyone has either a website or a blog somewhere that they could link to, so it would seem like the natural thing to do. It’s not a required field, though, so many people don’t even think about it. So, I figured it was time to give people some reasons why it’s a good idea, and I’m going with four.
1. You get a backlink to your blog. If you know SEO you get this concept. If you don’t, the idea of a backlink to your blog is that sites such as Google try to determine how much of an authority your site is online, and one of the criteria is how many backlinks you have going to your site. The more the merrier, as long as they’re somewhat related to what you do, but even if they’re not backlinks can only help. And supposedly they help more when you’re getting a link from another site and not having to link back; that part doesn’t matter to me, just take the link. By the way, this is why there’s so much comment spam, because these weasels are hoping to find those blogs that don’t monitor their comment spam so their sites can grow in prominence; and you thought it was so you’d buy Viagra from them. lol
2. People might click on your link and check out your site or blog. If people like your comment, sometimes they feel compelled to check you out. And none of us are on the internet so we can hide from others, right?
3. If you blog, CommentLuv will be your friend. If you put a link in and you have a blog, you’ll notice that on blogs that have that little heart on them that you see below, it will pop up your latest blog post. That’s from a site called CommentLuv, and it’s there to help people get their content noticed while they’re participating on another blog. Go to their site and register, and suddenly you have the ability to pick from your last 10 blog posts to decide which one you want to highlight. This works great if you comment more than once on someone else’s blog, or if there’s a specific older post you want to highlight.
4. It verifies you’re not a troll. Spam is one thing; trolls are another. Trolls are people who post without any real identifying information. If your blog doesn’t require an email address,then people can post anonymously, and that means they don’t always have to show the proper respect your blog deserves. They can go after you or other people and don’t care whose feelings are hurt. When I was dealing with trolls on one particular post earlier this year regarding Akismet a bunch of them came to the blog and posted these really long and threatening messages, which of course I could care less about. None of them left a url, and all the email addresses were fake. They just wanted to rant, and they wanted to hide. I just deleted them all, which was easy for me to do. If you have the appearance of having something to hide, people don’t always trust the comment. I at least give the benefit of the doubt, but not everyone will.
And there you are. Any questions, comments, please share.
First, I’d like to mention that I had my final guest posting article on DeAnna Troupe’s blog post last week, titled You Can’t do It All When You Work For Yourself, a small business topic many folks need to learn as soon as they can. I hope you check it out, and I thank DeAnna for asking me to write it for her.
by Randy Aquilizan
You know, ever since I wrote my post on guest posting, it seems I’ve been coming across many other posts about the subject as well. One of those posts I commented on, and it’s created an interesting exchange that has prompted me to write this post. It’s from a blog called We Build Your Blog, and the post was titled Guest Blogging – Why don’t you do it?. Andrew is the guy who writes it, and he had recently commented on my post above, which is what prompted my return visit. By the way, that’s the great thing about CommentLuv; thought I’d plug that while I was at it.
Anyway, his response here left me wondering what he might be getting at, because, well, truthfully, my mindset wasn’t geared towards how he responded. When I went to read what he had to say, my mind cleared up and I knew where he was coming from. And it’s something that, personally, I won’t do and never have done, and never even thought about doing, yet something he recommends. First, I hope you go read his post and comment; it was nicely written.
It’s this concept of actively seeking out blogs to write guest posts for to help spread the word, get backlinks, and help PR, which in this case, I assume, is page rank, though I could be wrong on that. He talks about asking some of the big boys if they would accept guest posts, and how sometimes they accept it and other times they turn it down for whatever reasons they have.
As I said, the concept of asking someone else if they’d accept a guest post of mine has never flickered in my mind, but while reading his post, it reminded me of an old post that Dennis wrote when he alluded to the thing about if I wanted to write a gust post for his blog to just ask him, and in my mind “why would I ask someone if I could write for them, for free, instead of just putting it on my own blog and moving on with life?” Not sure if you remember that exchange, Dennis, but it remains clear in my mind.
Once again, I’m left wondering whether this is a generational thing or a cultural thing in why, to me, such a thing as asking someone else to accept a guest post of mine is anathema to my way of thinking. Maybe it’s couched in some way in some of my history of others claiming my work as their own and not getting credit for it. Maybe it’s tied in with the fact that I never asked out first any of the women I ended up having any sort of relationship with. Or maybe my mind sees it as a favor to me to ask people here and there to guest post here. I do see it as a compliment, I must admit, whenever someone asks if they can guest post here, but I know that not everyone sees things that way.
It’s probably the same reason I think the way I do about posting to article directories. I see that as someone else getting the benefit out of what I write rather than my getting much benefit out of it. That point can easily be argued both ways, but the way I see it, when I get those monthly stats showing me how many people looked at an article I’ve written, it’s not much higher than when I post articles to my own sites.
By the way, on Andrew’s blog, I responded that, because of my own pride, I have never asked anyone if I can guest post for them, and probably wouldn’t, that I don’t care about page rank, since this blog has no page rank anyway (but my Alexa rank is now around 115,000, and getting better weekly), and that at this point going for more backlinks probably isn’t going to do much more for this blog, though I welcome them when they come.
So, I put the question out there; how far will you go to promote your blog? I don’t mind guest posting, and I don’t mind people asking me if they can guest post; I want to make that clear. I just don’t do it, and can’t see myself doing it. What say you?
I decided to go through the same steps he did, which means I started at Google, which is always the most imprecise. Google thinks I only have 31 backlinks, so it’s already discounted.
Next, I decided to go to Yahoo. Just so you know, you type into its search engine link:http://www.domain.com, replacing “domain” with your domain. Yahoo said I had 8,696 backlinks; whew! I had to think about that one for a bit, wondering if I’ve really written that many comments, and now that I think about it, probably not, but I’m probably close to it. Because I have many other places I’ve left my link, such as forums and social networking sites. But it’s mainly through blogging and blog comments, so it shows that I’ve been active in my 11 months with this blog.
As I looked down the list of the first 100 I remembered each of the blog titles on all those blogs, so I probably wrote some kind of comment on them; and here I am calling Peter mouthy! 😀
I decided to check one of those links out, where I commented on the blog Small Business Trends on the topic Ten Reasons I Won’t Use Social Media Sites. My searchr said there were 228 links on this page, but the page only got 62 comments, and to get to that 228 it has to count its own comment links, which are created with each comment that’s posted along with a link to the person’s homepage, if they left one. Since it’s counting those then it’s skewing the stats just a little bit, as there are a lot of other links on the page, but they don’t total up to the 228.
Of course, on this blog, since I have CommentLuv, basically every person that leaves a comment, that has a blog and leaves their address link, gets two links, so I guess it counts. The point is that you’re supposedly getting more link credit on posts that have fewer links that lots of links. I’m thinking that, if you get too caught up on that one, you could end up freaking your mind out. With this tool, you can also check whether the links are nofollow, as well as what the anchor text was on those posts.
Interesting stats, I must say. I guess I’ve had a lot to say, and not only on this blog. I guess I’ve really promoted this blog better than my business blog, which I’ve had for over 4 years but “only” have 4,191 backlinks. I don’t mind; the purpose of the other blog is much different than this one.
How are you doing with your backlinks? Do you care?