So in the history of internet marketing we went over the things that were once used, and no longer work. In this section we cover what is going on today in SEO and what currently is working and how you can use it to better rank your sites. Most of the things listed first are black hat methods to rank, gaming the system, but we cover lots of white hat methods that Google wants to you use at the bottom starting with Citations.
Anchor Text Ratios
So picking up where we left off in the history of internet marketing we’ll dive right back into anchor text. As we have seen by people who have done some pretty intensive studies, Google is looking for specific things in the anchor text linking to your site. Now, this is all more of an art than a science. Everything is based on observation, but there always seems to be exceptions to the rule. Sites with wonky ratios seem to stay ranked highly in the SERPs for no good reason. So there are clearly things that we have yet to learn about this. What Google does seem to be looking for right now is mostly branding and url anchor text. Even a combination of the two together is not bad. With the many ways you can do url links it should not be hard to have these and branding links make up 60% of the links that point to your site.
This is natural in the eyes of Google, because when you see most links on the internet you will see a link that is a brand or a url. Other common generic anchors are “website” “here” or “click here”. These are also natural, and all of these should have a higher % of the total links than your money keywords to. Your money keywords are the words you want to rank for that will attract the people you want to sell your product to. You will likely have a hand full of these types of keywords, and you want a 1-3% average for them. Ideally 2% would be best as it will keep you from having an over optimized backlink profile. It cannot be overstated that screwing this part up could result in your site dropping in the SERPs.
Private Blog Networks (PBN)
These have worked really well for quite a while now, with only a minor change required with a recent Google update. What PBN’s are, are domains you buy, and use to push link juice to your money site. If used correctly it will only take a few of these (depending on how difficult your niche is) to push you higher up in the SERPs. As said in the history of internet marketing, a link to your site is a vote on how good it is. Well the better the domain that links to your domain, the more power it carries. This is the entire reason why people buy good domains with great metrics, because a link from them transfers some of that goodness to your money site. The more of these sites that link to you, the greater the chances of a better ranking.
The minor changes that are needed to keep PBN’s working still are to keep all articles or blog posts as close to the niche you are in as possible. You cannot have one about electronics, and another about leaky pipes. Google can now see this, and these variety sites will hurt you more than help you. If you have links coming to your site from one of these, remove it and most times your rankings will improve. The other change was that just having these domains on different IP’s is not enough anymore. In early 2013 you could have many domains on one host with many different IP’s all pointed at your money site. Now the way it works is that you need to limit the number of domains on a host. Most people suggest 2, maximum 3 per host, and still on different IP’s. What will happen if you ignore this is you will notice diminishing returns, and ultimately penalized rankings. We have a full page of 1 and 2 dollar hosts that you can throw all of your PBN’s on to keep you from having to deal with this mess.
Something that still seems to work for now is spamming a domain and doing a 301 redirect on it to your money site. This is another churn and burn method that appears to still work for up to a few months before the domain passes bad link juice. The thought behind it is that you are just trying to build up enough links and it will pass link juice even though the domain could never rank because of the massive amount of link spam going to it. Many people expect that this will stop working at some point this year, and may possibly hurt the money sites, though I don’t know if Google will go that far.
There is also use that is considered much more white hat. The intended reason of a 301 redirect is to get traffic to your new domain after you move because of a re-branding, or other reasons you needed a new domain. One thing you could do that is simpler to running a PBN is to do a 301 redirect to your money site from the domain. It is not recommended to have too many 301 redirects to your site, because with everything else you want everything to do everything as natural as you can to not draw any unwanted attention to your site. What we did with High Pa Domains is we bought up other similar named domains and did a 301 to them. That way we protect our brand, and make it easier for others to find us. All 100% natural.
2.0 Blog Network
2.0 Blog Networks are free blogs that are on any of the free 2.0 platforms, WordPress, Tumblr, Blog.com or any of the dozens of other ones. These are very popular right now for several reasons. The first is it is easy to make them and add lots of content and links to them. Software like FCS Networker could easily make you a few hundred 2.0 sites in a day, and after you age them a short amount of time, add spun content to them with links and you are all set. The second reason they are popular is because they are difficult to detect. Most money sites will be shared on these sites, so having a reasonable amount of them pointing at a money site would not be uncommon. The third reason these are great is because most of the time you can spam the hell out of them with links. Because the main domain already has millions of backlinks to it, so adding a few hundred thousand more is nothing.
2.0 blogs work great at diluting the anchor text to your site so that you are less likely to receive an over optimized penalty for having too many links with your money keyword in it. Its best to use these sites to build your url or brand anchors up. As long as you post well spun content to these domains they should last for a long time. Also make sure you set up a regular posting schedule. The more regular you post, the better the chance that your 2.0 site will not be deleted due to inactivity. Again with software like FCS Networker you can set up a posting schedule weeks or months in advance, so there is no reason not to take advantage of this.
Citations are things that help your local sites rank better locally. Citations typically involve using your Name, Address and Phone number (NAP). You want to make sure that any time you have your information out there it is the same as every other time you’ve put it out there. Many SEO experts have stated they think that Google can identify this information when you put it out on the web, even if there is no link back to your website. This is not an open invitation to spam your NAP everywhere on the internet, but it is something to consider if you are posting links to your site on other blogs or forums.
If you are running a local site Google expects to see these. If you do not have this information out there on different local pages it is at best not helping you, and at worst holding your rankings back. Your competition is using these, so why aren’t you? Go out and find some local directories and get your site listed. Just make sure that you use the same Name, Address and Phone number on every page or you could run into trouble.
YouTube is an incredible way to attract attention to your site. You can make easy videos from sites like www.powtoon.com. You can get free videos from them if you do not mind their companies watermark on your videos. While it can be tempting to only do high pitch sales offers you can often reach more viewers by offering solutions to peoples problems. Some people will not feel comfortable doing the fix on their own, or will be unable to because of special tools that are needed and still need you to fix their problem.
Social media is a great way to build interest in your site. The down side is you cannot sell anything to your customers from your social media sites. You still need a website to close the sale. Do not underestimate the power of social media as it can draw a in a huge amount of traffic, but do not rely on it for conversions. Facebook and Google Plus are the top two to use.
Google Plus – Google Places
Is your business a local business that you want people to come and buy things from your physical location? You want to be listed on Google Places, and that means you need a Google Plus account. Signing up is easy. Unlike Facebook this site is mostly a ghost town. About the only reason most people use Google Plus is for whatever slight ranking boost Google gives you for having your business listed on it, plus the ability to be shown in the top 7 local results in the SERPs (this is often referred to as the 7 pack). The citations listed above will help you to be listed in a better spot locally.
In order to set up a Google Places listing you need to use Google Plus. Yes you need this. Google gives more love to people that uses this otherwise worthless social platform so just sign up for it, and post updates that no one will ever read on it. What most people end up doing is posting the same or nearly the same information they post on Facebook on it. You want to be as active on it as you are on Facebook for the best results. And maybe you might even get a person to your site by liking what you post in two or three years.
Many businesses do not use press releases the right way. They use them as an ad as if they are selling to someone. Yes obviously you want to build interest in your site through it, but for it to work right you want to write it like it is going to be published in the newspaper about your business. You want to inform people about something, a new product or service, expanding your area, an event you are having. Something that news outlets might want to pick up as a story that will get your name, and links back to your site out there.
After you get the rest of your site set up, you will want to consider a few mobile social apps. If you own a local business where your customers will come to you apps like Yelp or Foursquare could be important for helping your business. You can offer them deals for checking in, but more importantly you can use it to track feed back about what your customers think about your business. It always looks better when a business responds to a negative review trying to make the issue the customer had better. This is the easiest way you can do your own reputation management. Remember that no matter how big of a jerk a reviewer might be, you never want to have a melt down on social media or the internet will know all about your business, and for all the wrong reasons.
You want to use a WordPress plugin or build a way on your site where people can like it or +1 it (with Google Plus). Google looks at all these social signals, so the more social things you can link to your site the better. If you have lots of pictures for people to pin, Pinterest works well, if its a site where you can link your LinkedIn, go nuts. The more you can link without making your site look like you are pushing it on people the better. Its easy to set up, and easy to maintain, so use it and you should get a few points of movement in the SERPs.