Backlinks, confused on what still works and where to start.

34 replies
  • SEO
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Hello, the title really says it all. I run a small group of people who provide Web Design & hopefully soon Internet Marketing & SEO eventually(Right now we refer clients along through 3rd party until I feel our skills are up-to-par in the field). We are still learning a lot when it comes to SEO. Basically we've got the fundamentals down as far as creating solid unique content, optimizing on-site for keywords but naturally, creating 301 redirects to avoid duplicate content, appropriate use of canonicals etc.

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.
#backlinks #confused #local seo #ranking locally #start #works
  • Profile picture of the author webby0031
    Hello mate, all that works are strong backlinks either purchased or earned overtime naturally.

    I think you are in a for a bit of shock it will cost your thousands to rank for WEB DESIGN COMPANY

    Good content and a well built site will not get you ranked for years. Links Links Links..

    Read up about Private blog networks
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    • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
      Originally Posted by webby0031 View Post

      Hello mate, all that works are strong backlinks either purchased or earned overtime naturally.

      I think you are in a for a bit of shock it will cost your thousands to rank for WEB DESIGN COMPANY

      Good content and a well built site will not get you ranked for years. Links Links Links..

      Read up about Private blog networks
      First off, thank you very much for your reply. And yes I understand that would cost thousands and I am prepared with a budget. Although my goal is not to rank for "WEB DESIGN COMPANY", but more so," MY AREA WEB DESIGN COMPANY", OR," BEST WEB DESIGN COMPANY IN MY AREA", or "AFFORDABLE WEB DESIGN COMPANY IN MY AREA" etc. Of course where my area is actually my city, and surrounding cities, etc. That was why part of my question above was how to rank locally well, without a physical location for Google Places.

      From what I hear, I should not personally be a fan of paid backlinks, so not sure on that. I know of course natural backlinks are great, and I am pushing to produce content and such that will help in producing some natural backlinks, although I do think there must be somehow I can give it a push. I'm not looking for a "rank next week" strategy, or even next month, just something to really push my results over the next 3-5 months if plausible.
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      • Profile picture of the author webby0031
        Originally Posted by Jesse Kemper View Post

        First off, thank you very much for your reply. And yes I understand that would cost thousands and I am prepared with a budget. Although my goal is not to rank for "WEB DESIGN COMPANY", but more so," MY AREA WEB DESIGN COMPANY", OR," BEST WEB DESIGN COMPANY IN MY AREA", or "AFFORDABLE WEB DESIGN COMPANY IN MY AREA" etc. Of course where my area is actually my city, and surrounding cities, etc. That was why part of my question above was how to rank locally well, without a physical location for Google Places.

        From what I hear, I should not personally be a fan of paid backlinks, so not sure on that. I know of course natural backlinks are great, and I am pushing to produce content and such that will help in producing some natural backlinks, although I do think there must be somehow I can give it a push. I'm not looking for a "rank next week" strategy, or even next month, just something to really push my results over the next 3-5 months if plausible.
        Hiya mate,

        Without strong backlinks your site will fail no matter how good the content.

        See if you buy strong links that gives you traction which gets you ranked then you can get natural backlinks.

        if you dont beleive me then do what you said and wait years to see good traffic.
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        • Profile picture of the author Fantastic
          Originally Posted by webby0031 View Post

          Hiya mate,

          Without strong backlinks your site will fail no matter how good the content.

          See if you buy strong links that gives you traction which gets you ranked then you can get natural backlinks.

          if you dont beleive me then do what you said and wait years to see good traffic.
          I DON'T believe you...

          That's horrible advice.

          And 100% untrue...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
    I understand that I need strong backlinks, but is buying them really the way to go? I thought Google de-valued paid links?

    Our Stance on Paid Links & Link Ads - Moz
    We Bought Links and It Worked!! - Whiteboard Friday - Moz

    These are just a few articles of many I've read about paid links that clearly state to stay away from them if looking for real results and avoiding google penalty. If you have any additional resources. Please share! Again thank you for your answers! =)
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
    Just wanted to poke back in and refer a more recent article on the downside of paid links I've read.

    New Penguin Update: Get Rid of Paid Links Now! | Eric Miltsch | DrivingSales
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  • Profile picture of the author nob
    Paid backlinks are pure evil!!! And the only way to rank is to write tons of quality content and wait and wait and wait for ever for someone from a relevent site with great pagerank and high citation and trust flow to make a white hat backlink to your site. :-) it aint gonna happen!!!

    You have two choices, buy links on relevent sites with pr or create your own high pr network. . No ifs or buts. Simple. :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author WinchMan
      Originally Posted by nob View Post

      Paid backlinks are pure evil!!! And the only way to rank is to write tons of quality content and wait and wait and wait for ever for someone from a relevent site with great pagerank and high citation and trust flow to make a white hat backlink to your site. :-) it aint gonna happen!!!

      You have two choices, buy links on relevent sites with pr or create your own high pr network. . No ifs or buts. Simple. :-)
      Or you could add great content to your site, reach out to the owners of reputable blogs and offer them some great blog posts, in return for a link to your site.

      That will get you the results and reduce the risk of a penalty at a later date too.
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      • Profile picture of the author nob
        Originally Posted by WinchMan View Post

        Or you could add great content to your site, reach out to the owners of reputable blogs and offer them some great blog posts, in return for a link to your site.

        That will get you the results and reduce the risk of a penalty at a later date too.

        If you dont mind waiting and constantly banging out content. Pure white hat methods like this takes forever. There are some good link brokers about and they dont cost thousands as someone here said. If the keyword the op has in mind is a local web design term just a hand full of pr 2-3 of relevent links should be more than enough.

        Create your own high pr network and you can contr. ol your rankings when ever you please
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        • Profile picture of the author nik0
          Banned
          Originally Posted by nob View Post

          If you dont mind waiting and constantly banging out content. Pure white hat methods like this takes forever. There are some good link brokers about and they dont cost thousands as someone here said. If the keyword the op has in mind is a local web design term just a hand full of pr 2-3 of relevent links should be more than enough.

          Create your own high pr network and you can contr. ol your rankings when ever you please
          Lol you ain't gonna rank for web design saint louis with a handful of relevant PR2-PR3 links.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
        Originally Posted by WinchMan View Post

        Or you could add great content to your site, reach out to the owners of reputable blogs and offer them some great blog posts, in return for a link to your site.

        That will get you the results and reduce the risk of a penalty at a later date too.
        I'll agree this sounds like a safer option, although I can see where nob comes from as well. Perhaps taking a moderate approach to buying links, rather not buy up a bunch of bulk links, or bulk junk links, but purchase a few semi-reputable ones. Any brokers you would suggest nob? If so I would be happy to look into them. I am also constantly looking to keep updated content on-site, and do plan on building link backs via guest blogging as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author hipeopo02
    Your site screams "I am a one man shop working out of my apartment."

    I went to see who your "team" is and it's a job application lol

    You say you are a web designer with that site but a site like that could be about anything because you prove nothing. And you want to rank this for "website design" and such related key phrases for searches in a major city in the US?

    good luck with that if you don't plan on cheating Google's algo one way or another...:rolleyes:
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    A crappy product or service by people that disappear from the forum for a long period of time to make it look like they were working on something so when they come back you will want to click on their crappy product or service link

    CLICK HERE! LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      Start with changing your forum signature link here to something like:

      Check out affordable web design services in St. Louis at <a href="hxxp://boostedonline.com">Boosted Online</a>

      That way you don't have your target keywords as anchor text so that leaves more room for using it elsewhere.

      Footer links still carry some value, but be careful with the anchor text you chose, you get penalized faster then you think. Better use the key phrases that you like to rank for next to the hyper link.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
        Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

        Start with changing your forum signature link here to something like:

        Check out affordable web design services in St. Louis at <a href="hxxp://boostedonline.com">Boosted Online</a>

        That way you don't have your target keywords as anchor text so that leaves more room for using it elsewhere.

        Footer links still carry some value, but be careful with the anchor text you chose, you get penalized faster then you think. Better use the key phrases that you like to rank for next to the hyper link.
        Thank you for what is possibly the most helpful and real response to my post. I actually have recently been starting with using more keywords in the surrounding text rather than exact match anchor. =)
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        • Profile picture of the author nik0
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Jesse Kemper View Post

          Thank you for what is possibly the most helpful and real response to my post. I actually have recently been starting with using more keywords in the surrounding text rather than exact match anchor. =)
          Do make sure to use exact anchor text for the strongest links you achieve as they still carry a ton of weight. Just don't use them for weak links at public sites, they should be used just for diversity.

          For example:

          - domain name (with and without spaces)
          - url with and without http:// www. and / at end
          - generic
          - keywords in sentence
          - keyword in combination with brand name
          - post title
          - keyword next to hyper link

          If I had to put it in groups from strong to weak:

          A: Strong - exact anchors
          B: Medium - keyword in sentence or in combo with brand
          C: Weak - post title or next to hyper link / url
          D: Poor - generic / domain name / url
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    • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
      Originally Posted by hipeopo02 View Post

      Your site screams "I am a one man shop working out of my apartment."

      I went to see who your "team" is and it's a job application lol

      You say you are a web designer with that site but a site like that could be about anything because you prove nothing. And you want to rank this for "website design" and such related key phrases for searches in a major city in the US?

      good luck with that if you don't plan on cheating Google's algo one way or another...:rolleyes:
      I asked politely for constructive answers, not a smirky response. I have already stated I believe, that the website is still under construction as it is a new start-up. It is me, my partner, and two other designers currently. I understand it is a major city, but there are similarly small agencies ranked high as well.(Although they have been around a while longer). As I stated before I'm not looking for a "Quick Ranking technique", just for advice on what still works in backlinking. If you can't provide a constructive response to the conversation, please stay out of it all together. When I want criticism of the design etc, I will make a thread regarding such, and will message you first.
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      • Profile picture of the author hipeopo02
        Originally Posted by Jesse Kemper View Post

        If you can't provide a constructive response to the conversation, please stay out of it all together.
        I already did. You are going to have to cheat the system with a backlink strategy (PBN) or something of the sort because you have a thin site that looks like a template.
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        A crappy product or service by people that disappear from the forum for a long period of time to make it look like they were working on something so when they come back you will want to click on their crappy product or service link

        CLICK HERE! LOL
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        • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
          Originally Posted by hipeopo02 View Post

          I already did. You are going to have to cheat the system with a backlink strategy (PBN) or something of the sort because you have a thin site that looks like a template.
          The design may affect users staying or trusting the site, but has little to do with what search engines see, and I doubt they can tell if my site is a "template" from there crawl. My site uses a very SEO friendly Wordpress theme called Sterling. Yes my site is still in the process of having alot of content added to it etc, but I already stated that was the case. I have not begun promoting the site yet until I have good solid content on-site. I am looking at building a custom wordpress theme for it on Genesis Framework, but for now the current theme will do.
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          • Profile picture of the author nik0
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            Originally Posted by Jesse Kemper View Post

            The design may affect users staying or trusting the site, but has little to do with what search engines see, and I doubt they can tell if my site is a "template" from there crawl. My site uses a very SEO friendly Wordpress theme called Sterling. Yes my site is still in the process of having alot of content added to it etc, but I already stated that was the case. I have not begun promoting the site yet until I have good solid content on-site. I am looking at building a custom wordpress theme for it on Genesis Framework, but for now the current theme will do.
            He means that real people wouldn't link natural to your site and thats why you need a PBN to rank it.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
              Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

              He means that real people wouldn't link natural to your site and thats why you need a PBN to rank it.
              Ahhh. I see. =)
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            • Profile picture of the author multiplecloud
              Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

              He means that real people wouldn't link natural to your site and thats why you need a PBN to rank it.
              Totally agree with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    damn guys...

    why start anything at all...rofl....

    It sounds like it would be a party if i just go jump off a bridge....

    but honestly, setting up anything these days is nothing more
    then an up-hill battle against those that have been around for years....
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
    Thank you nik0 I will definitely use that advice!
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    • Profile picture of the author Sunnieone
      Oh my goodness I am a newbie and read so much about SEO and backlinks etc it gets more double dutch to me the more I read,how do you guys ever learn this stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author linkassistant
    Originally Posted by Jesse Kemper View Post

    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.
    Everyone seems to shy directories like plague these days, but even though 99% of them may be junk (especially if they ask for a reciprocal link), a few links from well-moderated, highly relevant directories won't hurt.

    As far as local is concerned, it really helps to have a verified Google+ local page. Previously, Google'd let business owners create a local listing by specifying their service area. http://support.google.com/places/answer/177103?hl=en This may be still possible, but the privileges this option gives you are fewer than, say, if you own a verified local Google+ page - http://support.google.com/plus/answer/2659170?hl=en
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  • Profile picture of the author anoopsparx
    Try to get the high DA and PA links, that will benefits you. All links should be look like natural. If you are adding the links in footer, it good, you can make it nofollow or Start Creating Brand name of your company, if you become the brand then you can add footer links like designed by your company name with do follow.
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  • Profile picture of the author dtsautomation
    There really isn't much wrong with footer links, it's just that you probably do not want your ENTIRE linkprofile to consist of footer links only, but if you can get good footerlinks, get them.
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    • Profile picture of the author sanmal
      Hi Jesse,

      Back Linking is very important as entire SEO and Social Media.You should go after all of this in stages as google likes that.It has to be organic and slow whatever u do in order to rank higher.Quality and Unique content after you complete stages is a must.

      Regards,
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  • Profile picture of the author wakizashi99
    Good post topic, very interesting. Although if Jesse's site is no good it has me a bit worried, as it already looks better than the one I am putting together... Although my town is much smaller and has less competition than St Louis
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  • Profile picture of the author PBScott
    If I were you I would start attending trade shows, and sell some websites... on those website, have a link to you as the creator. Maybe some WordPress themes, and your own network of website, each with a design created by link.

    One website company I know sold website templates, but they were free if you left the backlink.

    The natural way is to create something worth linking to, your blog is the best place for that, submit to social media, and if it's good someone might eventually backlink to you.

    You might want to do some press releases, top tier directory submissions, and guest blooging etc though they do not have as much value as the used to they are far from useless.

    Your are way behind the competition with reguards to backlinks, you probably can't catch up, I would concentrate on SEO (not SEM(backlinks)), Social media, advertising and content.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
      Originally Posted by PBScott View Post

      If I were you I would start attending trade shows, and sell some websites... on those website, have a link to you as the creator. Maybe some WordPress themes, and your own network of website, each with a design created by link.

      One website company I know sold website templates, but they were free if you left the backlink.

      The natural way is to create something worth linking to, your blog is the best place for that, submit to social media, and if it's good someone might eventually backlink to you.

      You might want to do some press releases, top tier directory submissions, and guest blooging etc though they do not have as much value as the used to they are far from useless.

      Your are way behind the competition with reguards to backlinks, you probably can't catch up, I would concentrate on SEO (not SEM(backlinks)), Social media, advertising and content.
      Yes, thank you very much for your advice. I am really finding a trend of the best backlink building method, is not one at all(Or at least not building any yourself). Or basically, to just produce good solid content(Articles, Infographics, etc) worth linking too naturally, and promote those through social media etc. I agree that I am probably WAY behind as many of them have been in competition for years. I don't plan on getting to the top right away. I am just trying to find best place to start so I can build a solid foundation of good backlinks, that will hopefully lead to me having a more solid backlink profile. I feel I have an advantage to do so, because many of my opponents backlinks were produced at a time before Google got restrictive on backlinks and devalued many types. So possibly a door left open? I hope so! =)
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  • Backlinks play a huge part in your SEO campaign. This is an important factor that search engines use to rank your website. So yes, they are important but you need to work on more quality links. Directories and social bookmarking sites still count but not much as most of these sites have low page rank. You can still do backlinks for these sites but I recommend you focus more on finding relevant and high page rank sites that help you get more PR juice. You can focus on content marketing like building links to high PR blogs (you can do guest posting for this), build links to business listing sites (if you are a local website), and also be active in social media sites.

    Also, do not forget to always analyze your on page SEO. A very well optimize site will get ranked in SERPs easily.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jesse Kemper
      Originally Posted by affilorama-portal View Post

      Backlinks play a huge part in your SEO campaign. This is an important factor that search engines use to rank your website. So yes, they are important but you need to work on more quality links. Directories and social bookmarking sites still count but not much as most of these sites have low page rank. You can still do backlinks for these sites but I recommend you focus more on finding relevant and high page rank sites that help you get more PR juice. You can focus on content marketing like building links to high PR blogs (you can do guest posting for this), build links to business listing sites (if you are a local website), and also be active in social media sites.

      Also, do not forget to always analyze your on page SEO. A very well optimize site will get ranked in SERPs easily.
      Sounds like a good plan to me. Going to really try to focus on just promoting good solid content and good communication via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media promotions etc.(May need to hire a writer, but eh) Thank you for your answer. =)
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      • Originally Posted by Jesse Kemper View Post

        Sounds like a good plan to me. Going to really try to focus on just promoting good solid content and good communication via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media promotions etc.(May need to hire a writer, but eh) Thank you for your answer. =)
        And about using social media to back up your SEO campaign, I suggest you make an official pages for your company in Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Always remember that you have to share relevant and useful content (even in these social media accounts) PLUS, make it to the point that your content will go viral There are tips that you can read online on how to do these things. Good luck!
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