Spiffing or Spam?
At Orchid Box, we certainly do not think Linkbuilding is “spam” – in fact it is an essential part of the SEO business (as competitors like Omniforce, Epitaph Solutions and Vivid Lime will testify to), a laborious but invaluable process which spreads the word of your site out about the World Wide Web. We have wide experience in this field having provided for a number of different sites with very different needs (including gurgle and bookarmy) and thus can give you the up-to-date lowdown on the underrated process.
What is Linkbuilding?
Some might refer to linkbuilding as merely “posh spamming”, but to call it such is to disregard with ignorance a very useful device for your SEO development. The aim of the process is to spread links to your site around the web amongst high Google-ranked websites (which will in turn help your page ranking) and highly relevant ones (which will spread the name of the site and increase traffic). Whilst spamming is largely done by spambots and is for the most part incoherent, therefore unlikely to invite clicks, linkbuilding is well written and aims to attract user traffic as well as pleasing the venerable Mr. Google!
Linkbuilding is highly-targeted, and is best focussed on the better-rated sites within Google’s PageRank system – if you create lots of links in spam sites that have ranking “0” or close this will reflect badly in your own Google ranking thanks to the complex algorithms that work out such rankings. In the same way though, lots of links from the better rated sites (maybe a CNN news article or even Wikipedia) will really boost your own PageRank in time.
Keep a record of where you have posted and your username and password so you can track back if necessary (when you can get the site to email you when you have replies – it’s a great way to keep conversations going and increase the validity of your post) – Google Spreadsheets is a very useful tool for doing this and sharing it, but Excel is very useful too if you prefer. Don’t forget to also record the exact link of your post – it can save a lot of time being able to click straight to your direct post rather than have to trawl through the site’s many pages to dig it out again! Below is an example of a well-ordered spreadsheet for linkbuilding:
The first thing you must do when starting your linkbuilding is decide on a focus – if you are website selling cars, then you obviously want to aim to target motoring-related websites. It is possible to buy long lists of related links to a keyword from certain SEO websites that you can add to a spreadsheet and trawl through link by link. Unfortunately, a large number of these sites contained in the lists will not be commentable – in other words you will not be able to post your link anywhere on the pages. A bit of navigation can often bring up a forum, news article or blog post where posts can be made – usually the only real sources to do so – although sometimes the site will additionally disable HTML coding (so the anchor text will not work) or links to other sites entirely. To make the process even trickier some sites will moderate each comment before it is posted, so it is a good idea to ensure the quality and relevance of your post before you send it or they might delete it.
To optimise our linkbuilding services at Orchid Box we are building up a large database of websites where links are able to be posted, with the site’s theme or genre recorded, and thus the targeted linkbuilding process is quicker and a lot less laborious. This is what other SEO agencies such as Jellyfish has done, we aim to rival their services in this field with our fresh expertise.
Anchor Your Text
Before starting your work, it is a good idea to have a main keyword focus for your linkbuilding. For example, with our work with Gurgle, our posts and comments focus on targeted keywords like “baby”, “parenting” and “pregnancy”. For the purposes of branding we also try and ensure lots of anchor text contains the name “Gurgle” – so we might post a link through the text – Gurgle – parenting, pregnancy and baby site. It is a good idea to gauge your audience and the relevance of your anchor text before just piling keywords into your links...links like Gurgle parents pregnancy parenting baby mothers mums forums can put people off somewhat!
You can create these links using either;
HTML code (<a href=”yourwebsitehere”>keywords here</a>)
or BBcode ([url=yourwebsitehere]keywords here[/url]);
which will usually be accepted by the site your are posting on (though not always!) – all the links you see on this blog post are anchored within such code so you can’t see the destination url.
It is possible to vary your anchor text a bit, indeed it is a good idea to do so – you might see a news article on a site where a link from your own site is very much relevant, and therefore you can post straight through to that exact page. This is an excellent way to get traffic to your site, as by posting something relevant and interesting more people will be inclined to read and comment back on it.
A cheekier anchor text to try and increase traffic is by saying something like “I saw a better one LINK>here<LINK” so people are invited to click your link to find out what you mean – though it’s a bit deceptive it’s largely a win-win situation - if they then go and click about on your site they’ve found something they like and you’re both happy; if they click straight off then no harm done. Obviously it is best to limit your use of such a move though, unless you can incorporate your keywords into the inviting anchor text. There’s lots of similar such techniques which you’ll probably develop yourselves as you go along.
In Orchid Box’s experience the best links are ones in forums, blog posts or news articles that are relevant and relatively up-to-date (not so important if you’re not bothered about increasing traffic with the link) – these are the sort of posts you get people clicking and discussing, as well as helping your PageRank too. If you can keep posting back on the site (and not just links!) this will also increase the trustworthiness of your username and again, people will be less inclined to ignore you. But don’t worry too much if users do disregard your post – the link is there and that does no harm at all!
So you have your keywords chosen, your long list of websites to try and you’re raring to go...there’s no need to wait! The more you post the better the linkbuilding effect will be – we do heartily advise keeping track of your posting record and various created account details though! Vary things up a bit, don’t just copy and paste the same text each time, and don’t hesitate to get involved in the sites you are posting in, you can learn a bit and have a laugh along the way!
In conclusion - Linkbuilding is spiffing not spamming!