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Local Websites And Links From Outside The Region


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28 replies to this topic

#1 PatrickGer

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 10:11 PM

Im starting to work on this friends site and am wondering...

do decent links from outside the local region help?

On the one hand Id prefer to only go for links that send real traffic, too (that might convert into customers - not exactly the case for people from other regions)...on the other hand Im wondering if creating a better piece of content thatll be able to draw links from sites that wont send visitors we could turn into customers (but has a much larger potential to draw links) might be a better idea.

Based on the #1 competitor who doesnt have mostly regional links (at least those that I can see in site explorer and majestic :-)), it seems that non-local links from decent sites do help, right?

If you guys try to get the ranking for a local site up, Do you shoot mostly/only for local links? or also for links from anywhere on the web...?

PS: Does the link authority of a website matter a lot for...ranking high in the maps/local listing? or is link authority somewhat irrelevant for this?


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 03:56 AM

"decent links" are always useful no matter where they are from.

People travel, people talk to each other,

#3 Jill

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:01 AM

QUOTE
If you guys try to get the ranking for a local site up, Do you shoot mostly/only for local links? or also for links from anywhere on the web...?


I'll take any link that anyone wants to give me.

#4 PatrickGer

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 03:04 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jul 18 2010, 04:01 PM) View Post
I'll take any link that anyone wants to give me.


I must say Im surprised at your reply Jill - I was expecting you to say something along the lines of only getting relevant traffic which you seem to be big on (dont get me wrong, I am big on this, too!). And it seems that on a local business site that only does business with people in the location content on the generic topic for people from all over the world wont be the link thatll bring in targeted/relevant traffic exactly! (more like 90+% untargeted traffic that you dont stand a chance to make a sale with).

I mean ...I have a thing for "real traffic/business" from links, not just getting links to boost SE rankings (b/c real link traffic is safer, lasts longer,etc...)....but I think at the end of the day it comes down to nothing but ROI.

So say you sell flowers in san diego..and have a local business site for this. You could try to create useful content on flowers that appeals to people who have websites on flowers all around the world, and your potential to get links (thatll boost SE rankings, but wont bring in lots of targeted traffic..as you just sell flowers in san diego!) is enormous (if done right). Plus, you could use social media channels to get exposure for your content.

Or you could do the same but only for san diego, and your potential to get links (even though more targeted ones) would be very limited in comparison.

Do you think along the same lines when it comes to this @Jill (or anyone else, of course!)?

just curious..

PS: I am also gonna try to get links from businesses/websites that are before my friend's site in the buying cycle...where the target audience already hangs out, basically...which will hopefully bring in some highly targeted traffic(/business).

But I feel like overly focussing on local links might be a neglected opportunity.
(though Ill sure try to get some of them to make sure the site clearly comes off as local to google&co / wont be surprised if local links give you a better boost for local&map rankings, either...)


#5 Catz

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:13 PM

The www does stand for world wide web. grouphug.gif

If someone who is not local finds something in your website they determine to be link worthy, it's a vote of confidence you should be happy to have. Especially if they do it on their own, simply because they enjoyed something on your site and believe others might enjoy it too.

#6 PatrickGer

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:52 AM

QUOTE(Catz @ Jul 19 2010, 06:13 AM) View Post
The www does stand for world wide web. grouphug.gif

If someone who is not local finds something in your website they determine to be link worthy, it's a vote of confidence you should be happy to have. Especially if they do it on their own, simply because they enjoyed something on your site and believe others might enjoy it too.


lol :-)

Here comes another question, though - Do non-local links help nearly as much with local rankings as local links? that would be another important question.

Based on the SERPs I can remember in my mind, it probbaly does make sense to create useful stuff for people from all around the world interested in the topic even if youre just a local business in that niche....just realized that wink1.gif



#7 qwerty

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:03 AM

I'd certainly take a link from anywhere -- I'm not going to write to someone who recommended my site to their readers and tell them the recommendation is not wanted. But I'm also not going to blow out some small local business' budget by seeking out links that I don't consider relevant. If we're using the San Diego florist example, I'll concentrate on Southern California, flowers, gifts, and similar niches, along with a handful of general directories, at least to start. If they want to invest more in link building, that's another matter.

#8 Mooro

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:27 AM

Links in, all are welcome! Links out, selective + relevant + authorative only.

#9 PatrickGer

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:01 PM

I got to ask about this one, again:

- Would you folks ever create content that is NOT useful for your actual visitors (that you hope to turn into buyers), but that attracts people who are completely disinterested in buying from you (the content can still be useful for them!)......if you thought this would be a great idea to get links?

This would be a (very odd :-)) example:

Youre selling tulips in san diego. Nothing but tulips.

And you have this idea for content that would be utterly useful for flower lovers from all over the world....that you think has a great shot at attracting plenty of links. Considering youre target audience is limited to San Diego (not the whole world) + only tulips (not all kinds of flowers)....very very few of the traffic you receive to this piece of content are likely to be converted into buyers. But you think itd help you get plenty of quality links (from somewhat related websites).

Would you ever do this? Would you ever do it on a client's site?

Im wondering if doing this would be a risk one should avoid........ Could this kind of site get into trouble for not passing a handcheck?

If I understand it correctly google isnt really known for ever having banned a site for having links from (at least slightly) related topic websites (even if those are links the webmaster would have NEVER tried to get if he only thought about visitors (which I think i read as a suggestion in google's guidelines))

PS: a few of you said you'd "take" any link (or almost any). But would you ever search them out intentionally (I think thats a bit of a different story)..?

#10 Jill

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:12 PM

QUOTE
Would you ever do this? Would you ever do it on a client's site?


Yes, and yes.

#11 qwerty

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE
If I understand it correctly google isnt really known for ever having banned a site for having links from (at least slightly) related topic websites (even if those are links the webmaster would have NEVER tried to get if he only thought about visitors (which I think i read as a suggestion in google's guidelines))

Google isn't going to ban a site for having less than 100% relevant sites linking to it. That's just not going to happen. Google isn't even going to ban a site for having arguably 0% relevant sites linking to it. At the most, they're going to decide that some of the links shouldn't "count," and I'd say that even that is unlikely. The sort of links Google explicitly doesn't want you getting are the kind that are intended to deceive them: advertisements pretending to be votes of confidence, or networks of sites set up for the sole purpose of linking out and boosting the apparent link pop of target sites.

Now, back to your example. If all I do is sell tulips in San Diego, but I publish some content that demonstrates that I'm a great source of knowledge about flowers in general -- knowledge that's of use and interest to flower lovers all over the world -- then of course I deserve those links, and of course I deserve any boost in ranking for local searches for tulips that I might get out of it.

A far more questionable example would be the sort of cheap link bait I used to see on sites like Digg: someone posts a link to a page of hilarious, uproarious, world's greatest parking fails: cars hanging over the edge of the fifth level of a parking garage, Hummers parked perpendicular to the rest of the cars in a lot, taking up six spaces, including a couple of handicapped spots, etc, etc, har de har har. These are of course all pictures that everyone has seen before, but someone has stuck them all together on a page that happens to sit on the domain of a car rental or limousine company, with one little link back to their home page.

#12 PatrickGer

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 03:50 PM

thanks for your replies! (@both)


#13 Michael Martinez

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 05:41 PM

You have a Website that appeals to dog breeders. Now you want to create content on that site for people who modify their cars as a hobby because you believe you'll attract more links.

While this is very bad SEO (relying on links for optimization) as long as you actually build up visitors who are interested in your car-related content, it should not be bad for the Website.

Search engine optimization has to look at a lot of different stuff and focusing on links is just not going to help you with most of what you need to do.

There is no search engine guideline that says a Website has to be about one particular topic. Nor is there a search engine guideline that says a Website has to get links mostly from similar sites. The point in all of this should be to create content that people want to visit -- even if it's just a form to sign up for a service or buy a product.

You're taking the long, slow road when you think in terms of "I need to add content for links".

Add content for people, not links.

#14 PatrickGer

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 02:19 AM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Jul 23 2010, 12:41 AM) View Post
You have a Website that appeals to dog breeders. Now you want to create content on that site for people who modify their cars as a hobby because you believe you'll attract more links.

While this is very bad SEO (relying on links for optimization) as long as you actually build up visitors who are interested in your car-related content, it should not be bad for the Website.

Search engine optimization has to look at a lot of different stuff and focusing on links is just not going to help you with most of what you need to do.

There is no search engine guideline that says a Website has to be about one particular topic. Nor is there a search engine guideline that says a Website has to get links mostly from similar sites. The point in all of this should be to create content that people want to visit -- even if it's just a form to sign up for a service or buy a product.

You're taking the long, slow road when you think in terms of "I need to add content for links".

Add content for people, not links.


Hmm..see, this is the first website I'm actually working on (okay there were two others, but the first guy had experienced a penalty in the past because he had tried some blackhat stuff so wouldnt even allow me to change the title element LOL, and the second one well that was similar), and Im asking those questions because I dont want to get this friend's site into trouble obviously!

So..whatever kind of content i create or link building I do, I'd prefer the site to look like it can pass a handcheck (even if chances are somewhat slim that itll ever experience one..).

What you say about there not being any SE guidelines for a website only having to be on one topic just opened my ideas...obviously that one is true!

Im not exactly sure what you mean with building content for people not for links, though. I do understand the idea that your website should be built for people in the first place and not for search engine spiders, but if I want some decent links to this e-commerce site (I have already gotten him some new/highly targeted traffic for long-tail keywords he hadnt thought of, but I still do need some links to improve rankings for our main terms, and dont think I should invest my time into building up a new query space right now)....then Id argue the best idea is to create a piece of content that appeals to a certain audience..but also one for which a group of linkers exist that find the piece of content compelling enough to want to share it with that audience (think that target group having a problem, and me targeting an altruistic group of webmasters who are truly trying to help those folks).

Is this content for people? I think it is (because to a certain group of people itll be truly useful), but I wouldn't add it (or think about adding it), if links weren't the end goal for this (as I dont c are much about attracting people who are not gonna buy because they're outside the region, anyway).

When you say add content for people not links, do you disagree with what I typed above? Or did you mostly mean to stress that I dont want to add a bunch of boring content that wont get links, because no *people* are interested in it? am a bit confused...but thanks for helping out!

EDIT:

Very interesting, and thanks again michael...Ive come to realize that in this niche (and i bet in others, too) people who dont have a damned clue what SEO is, actually sometimes tend to have somewhat unrelated (as in slightly related) content on their websites for people other than clients they try to target. Creating that kind of content (maybe in combination with creating some other stuff like it that doesnt draw any links) could actually help make the site look non-SEO'd.

Edited by PatrickGer, 23 July 2010 - 02:50 AM.


#15 Michael Martinez

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 03:10 AM

QUOTE(PatrickGer @ Jul 23 2010, 12:19 AM) View Post
Im not exactly sure what you mean with building content for people not for links, though. I do understand the idea that your website should be built for people in the first place and not for search engine spiders, but if I want some decent links to this e-commerce site (I have already gotten him some new/highly targeted traffic for long-tail keywords he hadnt thought of, but I still do need some links to improve rankings for our main terms, and dont think I should invest my time into building up a new query space right now)....then Id argue the best idea is to create a piece of content that appeals to a certain audience..but also one for which a group of linkers exist that find the piece of content compelling enough to want to share it with that audience (think that target group having a problem, and me targeting an altruistic group of webmasters who are truly trying to help those folks).


But why do you feel you need these links?

What is the point? What are you going to accomplish with them?

If you're just linking because you've found dozens of SEO blogs and tutorials that say you need links, you're not optimizing for search. You're a hamster in a cage, running in the spinning wheel.

Have you set expectations for yourself for the links? Do you have a specific plan that calls for X number of links, using (A,B,C) variations on anchor text, positioned on sites that do K,R, and J?

There is no magic number for how many links you need. There is no requirement for constant linking in most queries. So do you know at what point you can stop? Do you know how many links you really need?

If you can't answer these questions precisely with some reasonable confidence, then why are you busting your gut over links?

What are you trying to accomplish? You're not stating any specific goals. You just keep asking about links. People can give you all sorts of anecdotes, advice, and feedback but what are you going to do with it? What helps you the most? What helps you the least?

I see an endless array of questions from you that seem to be wandering in no specific direction.

Have you written an SEO strategy for this project? Have you established what the walk-away points are? Have you figured out what the ROI you're trying to achieve is?

You don't have to be right in any of your goals and projections. You can make some adjustments as time goes by.

I just get the sense, though, that you're not setting goals, that you haven't established any metrics for success, and that you're just engaged in "doing SEO work" -- which isn't really going to optimize much of anything.

Maybe I'm misreading your questions -- it's impossible to say. You don't really provide much information about what you're doing.

But I can assure you there are whole communities of people who do nothing but build links for their Websites and they are posting frustrated questions in various forums every day about why their sites aren't getting the traffic they think they should be getting.

I'm talking about people who are claiming number 1 rankings in queries that supposedly get 100,000 hits per month -- these guys claim they get anywhere from 400 to 20 visitors a month for those queries.

I have a pretty good idea of why they're seeing so little traffic -- do you? Have you done the research to ferret out the inflated traffic data? Do you understand that probably 90% of the links you obtain (maybe even more than 95%) probably won't help your friend's site very much because of your inexperience?

I'm not saying don't build links. I just think you need to stop and set a few objectives and milestones down on paper so you can see how well you're doing as you go out and build your links.





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