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Matt Cutts - Linkbuilding Consequences
Posted 13 December 2005 - 10:04 AM
Is he specifically referring to paid text link ads and overdoing recips or do his comments extend to all "unnatural" link building which covers most of our current link builiding strategies to some extent:
One way through webmaster requests
Are we supposed to have a field of dreams attitude towards link building: if we build it, they will link?
Posted 13 December 2005 - 10:37 AM
Yes, that's Google's attitude at least. Only a relevant page is worth linking to, so work on relevant content and the links will occur organically. In practice, it's not that easy, but good content should be the driving force behind most of what you do.
My opinion, not tested fact.
Posted 13 December 2005 - 10:38 AM
Do you need to get some links to get the ball rolling? Sure, but that's pretty easy to do.
However this doesn't mean that I have some sort of constant link building campaign going on with my sites. My sites are good enough that once I start to get the word out they collect links all by themselves, without any special effort on my part.
Quite frankly, I decline 99.999% of reciprocal linking requests I get, and I'm sure I don't get them all because of my spam filter setup. If the requesting site doesn't make sense for visitors to my sites the request goes no farther. There's no way I'm going to bastardize my sites in this manner. Period, end of discussion.
IMO it's nice to see the search engines finally catching up with the curve.
Posted 13 December 2005 - 10:41 AM
Is this supposed to be something new? Artificial links have always been a bad idea, and I'm pretty sure Google has always spoken out against them, as have all of us here.
Read our Link Building Articles for creative link building ideas that will bring REAL links and REAL traffic, as opposed to artificial links.
Posted 13 December 2005 - 10:48 AM
Yes and frustrating isn't it? No one would expect a business offline to just open it's doors and wait for traffic to come so I think it's silly to suggest that for an online store.
Promote yourself as you would an offline business - which it appears you're doing and keep building out your store with new products and whatever else your buying public wants. Be practical in your approaches and creative in your marketing plan and sell yourself just like you would if you were on Main Street.
Posted 13 December 2005 - 11:50 AM
Posted 13 December 2005 - 12:21 PM
Ceteris paribus, how can I compete in organic search results with other sites who are "gaming" the system with thousands of links generated through one way back links, directory submissions, article/pr syndication, etc which at this point are commonly practiced and beneficial seo practices if done in moderation.
Taking the high road sounds great, but is it practical for a small business owner to sit idly by hoping that google identifies these artificial linking schemes and boost my site above the others?
What would you advise me to do about serp ranking?
BTW, I don't sell Chia Pets or even have an online store
Posted 13 December 2005 - 12:38 PM
Relevant backlinks likely indicate a relevant page for the SERP. Therefore, it's in Google's best interest to count relevant backlinks higher than those less relevant.
Google isn't in this for the small business, democracy, and apple pie. Google wants to make money--however possible.
The sooner you can get your site in-line with their model, the faster you can reap rewards.
Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:02 PM
I see so many people who honestly believe their site is the "best" and I look at them and well, they are nice sites. Sure, they might be a little easier to use and a little better looking than the other sites, but at the heart of it, they are the same store as the rest, selling the same stuff for the same prices.
Why should that store rank higher than stores who've been around longer and promoted themselves in a variety of ways? The benefits to the user are pretty minimal- while it may be prettier and easier to use, it's not so much better than the others that it deserves special recognition.
Let's say you built a chia pet store because you thought it would be an easy route to make some extra cash by using a drop shipper and building a nice site and following the search engine recipe for a "good site". And yet... there it sits.
You don't have the cash for PPC (although, if it's really a great usable, attractive site PPC should more than pay for itself, but that's a topic for another thread.) You do have some time to put into it though...
What will make your Chia Pet Store "the best"?
Here are some quick ideas off the top of my head:
- Offer Chia Pet "birth certificates".
Create a database of Chia pet owners and the names and birthdates of their Chia pets. Allow people who've bought a chia pet anywhere to register their pet, post a picture of it, give it a name, and tell it's life story. Give them printable birth certificate pages and labels to identify their pet.
Hmnn... the possibilities are endless on this! Chia pet owners are quirky types and would love the idea of giving their pet personality. Gag gift buyers can take the joke up a notch or two by wrapping the printed registration and birth certificates up with the pet.
New Chia Pet style coming out? Hmnn... however will you reach all the chia pet afficianados to let them know about the new platypus chia pet... oh wait, there is this HUGE database of chia pet owners...
Do you think other people who sell chia pets might link to this free service? You bet they will! It's a service that will help them sell more pets at no cost to them. Gift sites? Chia Pet hobby sites? I think you'd get a link or two... a regular schedule of press releases as well as targeted emails to specialized publications and blog owners will get the word out and from there, it grows and becomes viral.
- Show Us Your Chia Pet
Install a photo gallery for Chia pets where people can upload their chia pet doing wacky things or dressed in different outfits.
- 1001 Ideas for using a Chia Pet
What to grow on them
Where to put them
How to use them as door stops
What you can do with broken parts of a chia
Hide them in your officmate's cubicle and move them every night
- Chia Pet Blog
Have a Chia pet travel the world and get friends to act as hosts and post pictures and stories of what the chia did there...
That's thinking outside the standard catalog site and giving people a reason to link to your site! Useful, funny, quirky, interesting... things you can do to bring people back and tell their friends about your site will elevate it beyond "just another internet store" and improve sales and rankings.
If you think, well, that's easier because Chia Pets are kind of quirky, here's a post on getting links for a Vaccuum Cleaner Sales site It doesn't get more boring than that...
-Caveat! Adding things "just to be different" that aren't really helpful, funny, or useful in some way is wasted effort. Think about the customer and what they need, what they are amused by, and what they would enjoy.
Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:13 PM
But Scottie...that's waaaaay too much work.
It's so much easier for me to just join a link farm!
Come to think of it, it's just not fair that Google doesn't want to count my link farm links as links. Google sucks and so does Matt Cutts.
Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:21 PM
The belief that a link should not be counted as a vote if someone paid for it is a very dangerous idea. Imagine the link structure of the web without the influence of paid or monetarily influenced links. It would be a very, very different environment and I wonder if Google really believes it would be a better one. It's particularly egregious since their business model is serving links to paid sponsors, but they don't want folks doing it on their blogs or sites unless they add "nofollow" and remove some of the value of that link... Seems highly hypocritical to me.
Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:36 PM
I have directories that people pay to be listed in... and the links are still counting.
I can understand why they wouldn't want to count site-wide paid links.. because most of them are simply there for link manipulation. If they are there truly for advertising, then they still work, right? You are paying for the exposure to the audience of that site, not buying a higher ranking in Google.
Or...were you just trying to buy a higher ranking and you really don't care about advertising on the site...
Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:39 PM
Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:42 PM
Matt knows everything..!
Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:48 PM
BZZT! Sorry, but I do that all the time. I do just fine.
There is no secret to getting a small business Web site to rank well, except doing the research to determine what people are looking for which is relevant to the business and then designing content that satisfies their needs.
Do you need to build links to that content? In some cases, yes. It depends. But you don't need thousands of links.
The vast majority of small business Web sites (excluding the obvious online stores that don't operate as licensed local businesses) are not even focusing on search engine results.
Heck, a lot of Fortune 1000 companies have Web sites that never come up for their names in the top ten results.
Most of the serious competition comes from spammers. And they don't usually last very long.
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