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Trying To Do A Link Makeover

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#1 kenmtb


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Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:11 AM

I used to hold the #1 spot on google for wooden toys for years. It all seemed easy
until I went back to school and parked the domain. Times have changed I guess because
I dropped from 6K visitors a month to 1.5K.

Years ago I had >1000 or so links and now about 1400. The competition rocketed to 100,000-1,500,000 links!
I mainly make toys, not websites so I am baffled how to keep up these days. I know that quantity is not as
important as quality but the numbers are staggering.

Are these links from software, blogs or manual labor? I need ideas how to fight back.

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 03:39 AM

Staggering link numbers tend to be deceptive. Many times they are internal links. Or they may be sitewide links on large Websites. They could also be spam links (it's easy to drop links in 10,000 forums or blogs with software -- generally takes 1-12 hours).

You can create your own staggering link numbers fairly quickly but they won't necessarily translate into traffic. You should spend some time studying the whole "wooden toys" query space (or as much of it as you can document) to see what the real search trends are. Just a quick glance in Google's external keyword suggestion tool shows me about 46 exact match queries that use "wooden toys".

A query space consists of the keywords people use to find content and the content that is actually relevant to those keywords (sounds unnecessarily redundant until you consider that some irrelevant content may be included in search results).

The link counts won't really tell you anything useful but knowing what people are searching for and what they are finding will give you a much better idea of what the landscape looks like.

From there you can develop a plan to optimize for relevant keywords that have traffic but which don't seem to get as much competition. Build brand value where people will be the most likely to find you. Leverage that growing brand value into competing for more challenging keywords.

At the same time, build out the content of your Website so that your long-tail keywords show you other ways people find your content. Those long-tail queries often lead to new, "neighboring" query spaces that your competitors may be paying less attention to.

#3 bobmeetin


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Posted 07 September 2010 - 10:02 AM

This doesn't really answer the question, but it may help support what Michael said. Several of the methods of checking links report artificially inflated figures as he suggested because they don't qualify the information. I'm interested in knowing 1) unique domains linking to you and 2) nofollow or not. As a web developer who works primarily with CMS websites with numerous pages, a link to my business commonly ends up in the footer. The footer is consistent page to page. Whether the site has 5 or 500 pages, it is still just one unique domain. http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ will give you some insight. Take a look at your site and your competition's. Maybe this will help put it in perspective. It now seems to detail the much-debated nofollow as well.

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