But one thing I'm still trying to learn and master are backlinks and what still works and what doesn't. I've heard so many things about blog comments not working, forum profiles not working, and footer links such as "Designed by WEB DESIGN COMPANY BLAH" link at bottom of webpages.
So in starting my new website which I will be offering website design, I am targeting locally and have a good list of competitors. Most of what I've noticed is the backlinks that come up are either directories (which I've also heard carry low value) and footer links of websites they've designed.
Honestly we've not been adding footer links purely because we heard that Google is punishing these links. So whats the real story about these footer links? If they really are being devalued, does this leave opportunity for me to seek higher quality links over that of my competition whom most there links come from such? And if so, where do I start(PPC Ads?), since most of my competitions links appear to be what people are saying is "devalued".
Another issue I am finding is how I should go about targeting locally without having a physical location to create a Google Places. In order to help prevent a lot of overhead, we work out of home office spaces and meet with clients at locations such as starbucks etc as well as clients offices. I know Google Places can be a big help in local search rankings, and I'm finding it difficult to get around needing a physical location, so any advice there would be very helpful as well.
Just looking for a little insight into what would be the best method to start and what still works. Thank you so much for your replies.