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Link Building By Company
Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:44 AM
Most of my clients do not want to pay for link building, nor do they have the time or wish to pursue doing it on their own, so what we currently do is post a page on their site that is basically an About This Site page in which we give a little bit of information our company and that the site was developed by us and then we have a list of all the other sites that we have developed organized by business type, i.e. listing all the construction companies together, all the health service companies, etc. with links to their sites.
Our original concept was that we could establish "relevance" for Google by listing sites that we have developed, the relevance being that they were developed by us. It also creates a mini portfolio of our work on the sites in the hopes that it might being in some additional work for us.
Only a small percentage of our clients are actually interested in SEO work, as their businesses are regional and they choose to invest their marketing dollars in local media, so we don't often get the opportunity to actually do some optimization, but this is one thing that we can do for everyone and over time we have seen it improve their sites ranking with Google.
My question is this, with the latest changes in Google is this still (or was it ever and I was just deluding myself) a viable option to pursue or will Google start to see this as a negative things for our clients. We maintain these pages on lots of sites at no charge and it does take a fair amount of time to keep them current as we add in new projects at the rate of 6-10 / month.
Thanks everyone, I appreciate your feedback.
Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:55 AM
seo aside, I think that presenting a portfolio on your site is a good idea, so that potential customers can see your work. I can't see this having a negative effect, as it provides useful information to users of your site.
Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:11 AM
This is potentially going to set up a little (or not-so-little, depending on how many clients we're talking about) network of interlinked sites. If the clients aren't interested in pursuing link building on their own, it could be that the majority of the links pointing to some of your client sites could in fact come from this network of other client sites. That's liable to look "fishy" to the SEs.
As hooperman says, there's nothing wrong with having a portfolio page (or even a whole categorized portfolio section) on your own site, which could then link to all your client sites.
There's also nothing wrong with having an "about this site" page on each client site that talks about what you did for them. That would be an ideal page for your "portfolio" page to link to, in fact. There's nothing wrong with having that "about this site" page link back to your site, whether it links to your portfolio page or to your home page or to a detail page on your site speaking to the specific service(s) you provided to that client.
And there's nothing wrong with linking one client to another if they're in related/complimentary (non-competing) businesses and potentially clients/customers of one client might also be in the market for what the other client offers -- assuming that each client knows what you're doing and is okay with hosting a link to an outside company.
But linking all your client pages together into a big network? That's a little iffy. If the clients aren't really aware of what's going on or of the possible consequences, it's even more iffy. And on top of that it's taking you a fair amount of time to maintain all these pages, and you're doing it free of charge... well, to me the answer is obvious.
Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:25 AM
Currently there is around 75 sites that we are talking about that currently have this page on them which means each one of those sites has 75 links back to 75 other sites.
Thanks again for the feedback. I certainly appreciate it.
Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:27 AM
That's a link farm, isn't it...?
Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:10 AM
Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:10 AM
Not a good idea at all unless those sites are all relevant to each other. (In the same field, or whatever.)
Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:48 AM
Your firm is in an ideal position to capitalize on a reverse marketing strategy, which is to create 75 profile pages on your site that explain what you did for your clients. Each page can link to the client sites and the client sites can link back to both your home page and their individual profiles. You should have a crawlable profile site map that the spiders can find.
This way, you avoid creating a link farm and instead establish a unique niche hub based on content, not links, but which is still a hub (the linkage is in place).
You'll have a great deal of control over the effectiveness of your clients' visibility in the search engines and the ones who don't want to pay for SEO will gain a little extra boost while you won't be bogged down with investing time and resources in pushing out horrendous updates.
Posted 21 December 2005 - 09:28 AM
I guess we have a little bit of work cut our for us to correct how we are doing things. Live and learn as they say, sometimes the hard way.
Thank you again everyone for your kind assistance.
Posted 21 December 2005 - 09:58 AM
But you have the right attitude about it, which is great. Many other posters would have just said we were mean and kept doing what they were doing! We love the people like you who are willing to learn and improve the way they do things.
So kudos to you!
Posted 21 December 2005 - 10:19 AM
If all one was interested in was their original point of view, or "We've always done it this way" why bother asking other folks for their opinion and advice. Life is about growth in all dimensions so it doesn't make too much sense to waste time defending an undefendable position.
We take our responsiblities towards our clients very seriously and its very embarrassing to discover that something we thought was a service to them turns out to be a disservice. but at least we now have some accurate information on how to correct the problem.
I will be looking at implementing the hub solution instead of my faux link solution that Michael Martinez suggested.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.
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