Only a year ago I could create a website that would appear on MSN.com within a week, Yahoo! within a month, and Google within 6 months. I was at my prime and Organic SEO was "the way to go".
Gone are the Days of Organic SEO
Today, my best practices are being challenged by the link war going on. My best practices still work eventually and over time, but the quick-fix, get cha' to the top on MSN overnight, days are gone.
How many of us SEO's now own Arelis or some other link development software? WebPosition combined with a few best practices use to be enough, but now it's all about the links; but how many and where should they be on and off your website?
Links On Your Web Page
Good question. Well, we all know that each link ON your website gets a hypothetical "vote" and the more links you have on a page, the less value each vote has. We also understand that pointing outside of your domain without a ref=nofollow is a way to "leak PageRank". So the general answer to the On-Page question is simple: Fewer outgoing links, with incoming links increased only proportional to the current PageRank.
For example, if the page your editing only has a PageRank of 3, I'd recommend keeping your external links down to 5 or less and your internal links under 10. Use your sitemap page to maintain intuitive navigation for the web crawlers. Now, if your page has a PageRank of 6, you can increase your outgoing links to about 15 and safely have about 50 internal links. You get the picture.
External Links - Use with Caution in the Beginning
What about external links? Well, technically external links don't have anything to do with how you optimized your page. However, SEO alone has proven itself to be a thing of the past without linkage (SEO + Quality Links = Higher Search Engine Ranking). I've learned that one or two links from PR5+ web page can put you in the number one position for your keywords.
The key to external links is:
- Make sure the link contains your keywords in the link text
- The link is NOT patterned in link farms or linking schemes
- The page linking to you contains one or more of the keywords in the Title and/or description
- The page linking to you has at least a PageRank of 4 or greater
- The link is prominently placed amongst text and not lingering in the footer or bullet list
- If possible acquire links in .ORG or .EDU domains - since they have the highest PR
Where to start. Well considering the fact that one of my sites went from the third page to the number one position in Google in about a week, I'd say the first place to start is the Yahoo! Directory and DMOZ. Pay the lousy $300 on Yahoo! - it will pay off. I sold nearly $1,000 copies of my ebook since I paid for that one little link in Yahoo! Get over your budget and just do it.
Okay, I don't know about you, but using Arelis has made me feel a little uncomfortable. It's the push versus pull affect. Sure it benefits both people if you exchange links (3-way links at least), but don't you feel a little intrusive sending out email to people who haven't asked for it? I don't know, I guess its a case of ethics versus success online. I say only use this software if the pay-as-you-go directories don't work first.
Thoughts? Questions? Let me know what you think of this blog. I appreciate your responses and value the time you spent reading this extremely long blog.
All the Best!