SEO Help - I'm new and need clarification

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I was going to start focusing SEO on my website about 3 weeks ago when I read about Google's "Panda" and penalizing sites for unnatural backlinks.

1) So what does google see as "unnatural backlinks"? Based on articles I've read, it's spun articles that are posted on high PR blog networks, is this correct?

2) If I submit my articles to social bookmarks ie reddit, digg, will my site get penalized?

3) If I create content on site like squidoo and blogger and have a linkwheel, will google see this as "unnatural"?

4) Will comments on "do follow" sites be penalized now?

To make it short, what are good SEO practice so google won't penalize my site?

Thanks in advance.
#clarification #seo
  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    1) So what does google see as "unnatural backlinks"? Based on articles I've read, it's spun articles that are posted on high PR blog networks, is this correct?
    An unnatural backlink is any link you create yourself to influence your search rankings. Google wants people to link to you on their own because of your great content. That said, people go about "link building" knowing that there are risks.

    2) If I submit my articles to social bookmarks ie reddit, digg, will my site get penalized?
    Probably not.

    3) If I create content on site like squidoo and blogger and have a linkwheel, will google see this as "unnatural"?
    Yes.

    4) Will comments on "do follow" sites be penalized now?
    No, not specifically. Commenting and engaging on related blogs is good practice when you use your name rather than a keyword stuffed title.

    I wouldn't blast comments on completely unrelated sites. take your time and make a meaningful contribution.

    To make it short, what are good SEO practice so google won't penalize my site?
    Overall a good strategy is getting High PR links from trusted domains to your homepage and also getting contextual or related links pointing towards to your internal pages. Your on-page seo, is a large part of the equation so you need to get that right early.
    • Quality directories: yahoo, dmoz, botw, niche-related directories. (none of that submit to a 1000 nonsense)
    • Guest blogging on Related sites
    • Infographics / Linkbaiting
    • Buy High PR Links on related sites
    • Buy/Acquire related websites
    • Donate to related .orgs or charities that link out
    • Press releases
    • Social Media accounts for your site on: twitter, g+, facebook, friendfeed, etc. Everytime you add new content to your site, you update these pages.
    • Quality Bookmarking: Mister-wong, diigo, etc - Likewise, everytime you add new content, bookmark it.
    • Yahoo Answers / Quora - Answer questions and deep link to internal pages on your site.
    • Unique Youtube Videos with your deep links in the description.
    There's lots more, but try these.

    And look at your competitors. Once you're done making your content better than theirs, you can look at their backlinks and try to acquire the best of what they have. If they are spamming, then don't follow them.
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    • Profile picture of the author rankwatch
      Banned
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      • Profile picture of the author fiberoptic
        The main thing to worry about is the age of your domain. Domains that are < 1 year old and get too many backlinks get de-indexed. Also if you get 50,000 backlinks one month and 100 the next month, you might get de-indexed. However if you get 50,000 backlinks every month, you probably won't get de-indexed.
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        • Profile picture of the author condorx
          Here are my recommendations;

          1)Do not use same contents.Always write fresh content.
          2)Do not aggressively build links.If your site age is less then 1 do not build thousands of links a day.
          3)Try to create same number of links a day.
          4)Avoid additional advertising(Dont place banner ads everywhere,Google downgrading pages with too much advertising above the fold)

          Hope this helps.
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        • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
          Originally Posted by fiberoptic View Post

          Also if you get 50,000 backlinks one month and 100 the next month, you might get de-indexed.
          Dude, cmon.

          I can pull 4,000-10,000 backlinks with a single press release alone.

          And whos to say I cant do 5 press releases during the initial launch of my site?

          This myth of "too many backlinks at once" is getting old.

          To the OP - just stay away from paid link building services such as Build My Rank and you'll be fine.
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          BS free SEO services, training and advice - SEO Point

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          • Profile picture of the author fiberoptic
            Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

            Dude, cmon.

            I can pull 4,000-10,000 backlinks with a single press release alone.

            And whos to say I cant do 5 press releases during the initial launch of my site?

            This myth of "too many backlinks at once" is getting old.

            To the OP - just stay away from paid link building services such as Build My Rank and you'll be fine.
            I agree. There aren't any facts to base my assumption on, since Google likes to keep everything a secret. However I have read quite a few blog articles and forum posts from people that have gotten de-indexed from having too many "unnatural backlinks".
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            • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
              Originally Posted by fiberoptic View Post

              I agree. There aren't any facts to base my assumption on, since Google likes to keep everything a secret. However I have read quite a few blog articles and forum posts from people that have gotten de-indexed from having too many "unnatural backlinks".
              Well from what Ive read so far, most of them are blatently using services that violate Googles terms and conditions (BMR, High PR Society etc)

              Ive never heard of anyone being spanked for submitting a press release
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              • Profile picture of the author fiberoptic
                Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

                Well from what Ive read so far, most of them are blatently using services that violate Googles terms and conditions (BMR, High PR Society etc)

                Ive never heard of anyone being spanked for submitting a press release
                Pretty much. That's why I've turned my attention away from low PR, high quantity backlinks, to high PR, high quality backlinks. I believe it's more important to find DoFollow blogs and post meaningful comments, instead of downloading a 100K AA list and clicking fast comment submit using scrapebox.
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    • Profile picture of the author cricketns
      Thanks so much to everyone for helping me answer my questions. I was wondering if you guys can help me out and go into more detail with answers. Below are my questions, in bold. Thanks!

      Originally Posted by retsek View Post


      Overall a good strategy is getting High PR links from trusted domains to your homepage and also getting contextual or related links pointing towards to your internal pages. Your on-page seo, is a large part of the equation so you need to get that right early.
      • Quality directories: yahoo, dmoz, botw, niche-related directories. (none of that submit to a 1000 nonsense)
      How do I find quality directory for my niche? Is there a website with this list?

      • Guest blogging on Related sites
      • Infographics / Linkbaiting
      • Buy High PR Links on related sites
      • Buy/Acquire related websites
      • Donate to related .orgs or charities that link out
      What's an example of .orgs or charities that do these?

      • Press releases
      This I can do by myself. Sounds like a great plan!

      • Social Media accounts for your site on: twitter, g+, facebook, friendfeed, etc. Everytime you add new content to your site, you update these pages.
      Is there a free tool that can update social media accounts at once? If not, what do you suggest?

      • Quality Bookmarking: Mister-wong, diigo, etc - Likewise, everytime you add new content, bookmark it.
      • Yahoo Answers / Quora - Answer questions and deep link to internal pages on your site.
      • Unique Youtube Videos with your deep links in the description.
      what's a "deep link?"



      There's lots more, but try these.

      And look at your competitors. Once you're done making your content better than theirs, you can look at their backlinks and try to acquire the best of what they have. If they are spamming, then don't follow them.

      How do I look at competitors backlinks?
      Thanks again!
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    • Profile picture of the author retsek
      Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

      Hi, I am really sorry but I don't agree with all you said in this part. No offense intended I assure you.

      So let me explain what I mean - Google definetely does not like people 'buying backlinks' like you say.

      It is also obvious that the new google panda also does not like bookmarking, social bookmarking and directory submission - they are all 'unnatural' because the owner of the site is 'building them!'

      What I agree with you is the fact that press releases are being seen by Google as being Natural.

      I will explain why in brief here:

      Google loves press releases and is giving them lots of value because when you write and submit a press release on a wire service, it either gets published on lots of other sites and blogs if the owners of these sites like what your press release says (that is interpreted as a vote of confidence in your site by google) or if your press release is only shown on your wire service it means no one liked it enough to publish it on their site/online news publication.

      There is a lot of confusion right now on what press releases can do for your site, everyone is looking at press release as the new holy grail of link-building, but pay attention if you submit lots of press releases in the same month, especially when a website is still new, Google might interpret that as a 'spam-attempt' and completely ignore your website/s for months, I've seen lots of my own competitors doing this mistake! Don't fall for that.

      What is unnatural about buying a link from Yahoo? Or submitting to DMOZ? Or maintaining the four social bookmarking accounts I mentioned?

      What makes it so obvious to you?
      what the **** does link building have to do with Panda?

      It seems everybody on this forum has something to sell ..rather offering real genuine advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author successproducts
      First I would submit your site to web 2.0 such as digg, reddit, squiddoo and hub pages. there are more. Then do your back links from those web 2.9 links. Before you blast anything, you don't blast using your main site URL. Also take care of on page SEO like keyword in the title tag etc. You know the routine. Blasting is good when your site is PR of 3. It's the safest time to blast anything.
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    • Profile picture of the author georgem78
      Originally Posted by retsek View Post

      An unnatural backlink is any link you create yourself to influence your search rankings. Google wants people to link to you on their own because of your great content. That said, people go about "link building" knowing that there are risks.

      Probably not.

      Yes.

      No, not specifically. Commenting and engaging on related blogs is good practice when you use your name rather than a keyword stuffed title.

      I wouldn't blast comments on completely unrelated sites. take your time and make a meaningful contribution.

      Overall a good strategy is getting High PR links from trusted domains to your homepage and also getting contextual or related links pointing towards to your internal pages. Your on-page seo, is a large part of the equation so you need to get that right early.
      • Quality directories: yahoo, dmoz, botw, niche-related directories. (none of that submit to a 1000 nonsense)
      • Guest blogging on Related sites
      • Infographics / Linkbaiting
      • Buy High PR Links on related sites
      • Buy/Acquire related websites
      • Donate to related .orgs or charities that link out
      • Press releases
      • Social Media accounts for your site on: twitter, g+, facebook, friendfeed, etc. Everytime you add new content to your site, you update these pages.
      • Quality Bookmarking: Mister-wong, diigo, etc - Likewise, everytime you add new content, bookmark it.
      • Yahoo Answers / Quora - Answer questions and deep link to internal pages on your site.
      • Unique Youtube Videos with your deep links in the description.
      There's lots more, but try these.

      And look at your competitors. Once you're done making your content better than theirs, you can look at their backlinks and try to acquire the best of what they have. If they are spamming, then don't follow them.
      Your tips are reasonable and i completely agree with the link building strategy recommended by you.
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  • Profile picture of the author leorocking25
    The content should have contain enough dynamism ,the link should builds in a well arranged manner with the content.think about the content quality of others competitors also.
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  • Profile picture of the author StevenJones
    Just do your thing and go about your business like your normally would. Don't panic. Be aware and ask yourself the question if Google would penalize you for the behaviour. It's about making it look natural.

    Is a link wheel natural? No! So don't go that route. Drip feed your content and links over time and you are golden. Backlink your backlinks to give them even more weight. And so on..

    People just gave you some great advice, you should definitely take it!
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    How do I find quality directory for my niche? Is there a website with this list?
    Just avoid those "submit to a 1,000 directories". You want to submit to directories where there is a review process in which not any and everyone gets in. Such a directory should also be actively adding new sites on their own and not just from submissions.

    A good rule of thumb is to a avoid any directory that doesn't have well-known authority sites listed in categories you would expect them to have.

    Here's a good list

    SEO Web Directory List - Web, Social and Local Directories | SEOmoz

    What's an example of .orgs or charities that do these?
    It's niche specific so i'm afraid you'll have to search and use your imagination. Start here: Charity Navigator - America's Largest Charity Evaluator | Home


    This I can do by myself. Sounds like a great plan!
    Your press releases should be newsworthy enough to make journalists and other webmasters want to contact you or publish your release or write a story on that release.

    Is there a free tool that can update social media accounts at once? If not, what do you suggest?
    If you use Wordpress, there's plugins that will do it. But manually posting allows you personalise your message every-time, which will help in getting re-shared, retweeted, and +1'd.

    what's a "deep link?"
    An external backlink that points to an internal page on a website, rather than the homepage.

    How do I look at competitors backlinks?
    I use OSE to determine a link quality by looking at PA and DA. I also use MajesticSEO since their index is bigger and they have a discovery report which shows back linking history. Another good one is Ahrefs.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author seenathkumar
    Today over optimization is also serious problem, so if you are creating links you have to avoid low quality links which will lead to de ranking and warning of unnatural links, so it's better to build links from niche directories, gov, edu, org sites avoid links which are spam and their are more chances of getting that link spam, quality press release and unique article submission can help to boos your ranking, so now you should know to check the quality of back link which will help to build natural and quality links for your websites. .
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  • Profile picture of the author Pyramid Linkers
    Whatever you do, just do it consistently. Don't send low quality links directly to your site and take a gradual approach. You will be fine. Don't take the foot off the gas because a few people think the sky is falling.
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

    Hi,

    don't take the fact that I challenged your ideas personally and allow me to explain why i had to point out that certain SEO techniques are no longer working after the panda update. There is absolutely no need to be aggressive towards me (or anyone else) just because we disagree on a technique.

    So back to seo...

    how does google (after the panda update) decide if a link is natural or unnatural?

    Google uses this simple formula - if a webmaster 'created' a link either by buying it or by doing social bookmarking (by submitting his site and adding a keyword) ... Google is not anymore fond of such backlinks

    Google loves naturally created backlinks where 3rd party website owners/operators think that your site is interesting enough and decide spontanously to link to you without you forcing them.

    You have two options now:

    the blue pill - you keep buying links from yahoo and paying hundreds of dollars for it and keep living in the illusion that Google will move your website up in their search engine results

    or the red pill - and you start doing SEO the way Google wants you (let's not get into an argument whether what Google wants is good or not) and by taking this advice you will start seeing your websites going up in the serps.

    I just want to add one anectode about how search engine requirements change along the years, I don't know how old you are or when you started in internet marketing, but i remember around 1995-1998 circa when all one had to do to rank high for a particular keyword was just to 'stuff' this particular keyword in his own site all over the place. I remember doing lots and lots of money by having a website rank in the top 10 for the keyword 'debt consolidation' and all i did back then was just to have the word 'debt consolidation' written for 200 times in my main page and having lots of other pages from within my own site linking to the main page using the hypertext 'debt consolidation'. I remember I had 0 Zero backlinks from third party sites.

    Oh how things change!! - try doing that tactic today and most probably your site would be banned from all search engines!

    Change is happening all around us, Google Panda Update is a major change brought about because lots of people were paying to get 'unnatural' backlinks to their site and spamming the hell out of google results. So google engineers, one in particular whose surname was Panda, decided to stop this by doing some hefty changes to the Google algo. and filtering such backlinks out of the equation. Google thanked this engineer and called this update for him ... hence the name... Google Panda (most probably it was not one of the best decisions since probably everyone is swearing at this Panda engineer :p )

    Best of luck to you all


    I say again ..what the hell does Panda has to do with link building. Jesus Christ, what does Panda have to do whether a link "is natural or unnatural". Do you understand what Panda is or are you just using buzzwords you think will attract people to your service?

    Every single one the techniques I listed above still work. Spamming thousands of directories will not work, likewise sending out hundreds of press releases won't either.

    You don't have to knock other methods or claim they are dead in order to sell your services. Or if you do, you should probably keep it in the WSO or Warrior for hire forums. People will call you out otherwise.
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    • Profile picture of the author retsek
      Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

      Hi,

      Once again please calm down and there is absolutely no need to loose it, we are just discussing here.

      you say "what the hell does Panda has to do with link building?" If you think that Google Panda Update has nothing to do with link building then I have to say that you are bound to fail if you keep going on this path.

      Listen to me... Google Panda is all about backlinks.

      There are backlinks which Google likes and there are backlinks which Google dislikes.

      I already explained in detail the difference between natural and unnatural so i won't repeat myself, but please understand that just by doing backlinking today is not enough you have to have the right backlinks

      If you think you are going to rank a website just by doing social bookmarking like we used to do a couple of years ago, you can forget it.

      I won't go into detail again into what works or not, I have already explained myself.

      I am also not using any buzzwords, I am trying to be as simple as possible so everyone understands me.

      However, I think we do have an agreement on the fact that backlinking is important at least :p
      Nothing in your post says anything about why "Google Panda is all about backlinks". Again this isn't the WSO forum. Underlining it doesn't make it so.

      Google "liking" or "disliking" a backlink has ZERO to do with Panda. Whether a back link is natural or un-natural has ZERO to do with Panda. I feel for sorry for customers who put their sites into the hands on "SEOs" such as yourself. But then again they kinda deserve it.
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  • Profile picture of the author uoftenwinny
    Get some high PR website to promote your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    Originally Posted by Alyona The Publicist View Post

    First of all I cannot understand why you keep stooping so low and keep using such language directed at me and anyone else who doesn't agree with you!

    We are here to discuss ideas and learn from each other, you may take my advice, completely ignore it or perhaps chew it and see what fits you but there is absolutely no excuse for your kind of language and aggressive behavior.

    By having that cleared out let's go back to our original discussion...

    Do you ever go on the Google forum? after the google panda was rolled out thousands and thousands of angry webmasters posted there stating that their website went down in the search engine results, most of them admitted that they used social bookmarking and article marketing as their link building strategies! On the other hand there have been some webmasters who reported that their site moved up in the serps because they used natural backlinking methods

    You can keep trying to rank your sites using article marketing and social bookmarking whilst you keep insisting that google panda is not about backlinks!!!

    Google's official version of what the Panda is, is far more different than the reality out there!!

    I understand why you keep stating that Google's version of what panda is has nothing to do with backlinks, that is because you are only here on this forum typing out and hitting at anyone who challenges what large corporations like google say and that is because you are not out there in the search engine war/jungle building websites and trying to rank them, fealing the thrill whilst chasing the number 1 position for a particular keyword!

    If you talk to anyone who is an experienced search engine optimizer you will understand that there is a complete difference from what Google says to what Google does!!!
    So you say social bookmarks and article marketing were hit in the Panda updates. That's true. Sites like Ezinearticles suffered greatly because of the level poor/thin content they published. Panda is about on-page factors!

    Guess what? Press Release sites were also hit just as hard, if not harder by panda. Here are actual numbers of traffic losses from the TOP press releases distributors due to the panda updates.

    businesswire.com - lost - 69%
    prnewswire.com - lost - 83%

    These are top tier sites with a review process. Imagine the impact on the crap free-for-all PR sites you submit to.

    You understand now why your signature promotion is a total contradiction ?? Why what you're saying is false? It is FALSE to say "Google Panda Loves Press Releases" given these facts.

    I am done replying to you. A waste of time really.
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  • Profile picture of the author kdshannon1989
    Okay, No you wont be penalized for using digg and reddit. Unnatural links could mean alot of things, for example it is unnatural if you are brand new site with 1000 backlinks, and all of them are dofollow. Basically, if you were google, would you think this guy is cheating to get links? If so, then avoid it. The best SEO practices are quality content, freshness of website, real backlinking not automated, variation of backllinks, do follow and nofollow, relevant keyword targeting.
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  • Profile picture of the author TourPlanet
    dear its a great discussion for the newbies
    and like to say that you are doing very goood
    just keep on doing
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  • Profile picture of the author trilogy9013
    Just put yourself in google's shoes.....

    If your brand new website gets 1000 high PR backlinks from a bunch of blogs tomorrow does that really look natural? NO

    You are right in saying that google has been recently targeting a couple blog networks and at this point in time (unless you have your own private network) i don't really recommend getting too many blog network backlinks. They could hurt you more than help in the future. Getting social bookmarking backlinks and web 2.0 backlinks won't hurt you at all as long as you don't start getting a ton of them overnight using Xrumer etc. Post quality content on them and start building links slowly over time and you shouldn't have any problem.

    Just remember to diversify your backlink building portfolio and mix up your anchor text (no more than 10% exact keyword backlinks) and you shouldn't have any problem with getting natural backlinks.
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