SEO has changed, gone are the days where you could pump thousands of links at your website in a short period of time, get high rankings and roll in the cash. Today you have to earn your links through providing value.
Google publicly has stated that anyone gaming the system, ‘rank improvers’ will be penalized. So how does one get high quality backlinks then?
How To Earn Your Links
SEOmoz made a great post on earning your links, however here are some:
Create amazing content (that people naturally link to)
Create viral content (that people share)
Contribute high quality guest posts (which you contribute)
In the infographic below we will go over some of the basic benefits that guest posting brings you.
Jill Whalen has created a fairly extensive list of topics you can include in your blog posts. We all know its a good idea to blog, but sometimes we have a hard time coming up with a topic or subject to write about. Well, here are 67 things to blog about, you only need to put your business or industry spin on it and make it relative to your site.
1. Classes, seminars, conferences, webinars (and why you should attend).
2. Special events (wine tastings, 5-course dinners, open houses, etc.)
3. Introduction to new products or services.
4. Important company announcements (as long as this isn’t all you do).
5. Free stuff you’re giving away.
6. Special offers, discounts, coupons.
7. Gift ideas.
Contests or other promotions:
8. Photo caption contest.
9. Holiday theme contest.
10. Product naming contest.
11. Logo design contest.
12. Send in a video contest.
Tutorials, product support and how-to guides (in the form of text, videos, or infographics):
13. How to set up your products.
14. How to choose your products or services.
15. How to use your products.
16. How to fix your products.
17. How to assemble your products.
18. How to clean your products.
19. How to protect your products.
20. How to know if you need a particular product or service.
21. How to get the most out of your product or service.
22. Explain the subtle differences between your products (and/or those of your competitors).
23. Answer reader and customer questions.
24. Conference session summaries.
Show your expertise:
25. Do it yourself: For example, how to create a Title tag, how to unclog a toilet, how to file your taxes.
26. Provide your thoughts on industry news.
27. Take an opposite stand on an important industry topic.
28. How to avoid making mistakes (in whatever it is you do).
29. Industry myths.
30. Show both sides of an industry debate and provide your opinion.
31. Discuss industry trends.
32. Discuss the results of tests you’ve performed relating to your industry.
33. How to be a better…whatever.
34. How to avoid…whatever.
35. How to protect yourself from…whatever.
36. How to survive a…whatever.
37. How to recover from a…whatever.
38. How to become a…whatever.
39. How to create a…whatever.
40. How to change your…whatever.
41. How to calculate your…whatever.
42. How to beat…whatever.
43. How to improve your…whatever.
44. How to make your…whatever…easier.
45. How to save money on…whatever.
46. How to be seen as…whatever.
47. How to have the…whatever…you always wanted.
48. How to stop doing…whatever.
49. How to justify…whatever.
50. The problems with…whatever.
51. The importance of…whatever.
52. What caused…whatever?
53. How to understanding the subtleties of…whatever.
54. What not to do with…whatever.
Interviews (in the form of writing, videos, audio, or a combination):
55. Interviews with industry experts.
56. Interviews with people who work at your company.
57. Interviews with people who’ve used your products or services.
58. Best posts of the year.
59. Breaking industry news.
60. Industry predictions for the future.
61. Provide an analogy between what you do and something in life that people can relate to.
62. Satirize your industry or products (could be via a comic):
63. Reader polls and the results.
64. Industry awards.
65. Product and service reviews and recommendations.
66. Quizzes or tests.
67. Expose bad things that are happening in your industry.
If you have more blog topics to add please contribute in the comments. Be sure to read more SEO advice from Jill’s site.
Necessity, as they say, is the Mother of Invention.
As your blog grows in size, as it invariably will, your new readers will find it more difficult to know where to start. Sure, reading the most current posts are a given, but what after that? Of course, you should also have a list that displays the most popular posts so the reader can see what your best or, at least, what are the most viewed posts. But you can do a little more and giving the reader the ability to read a random post may be just the trick.
It was with this thought that I contacted a WordPress Developer, Lee Blue, to develop just such a plugin. And Lee has done a wonderful job. He has provided a simple, yet effective plugin that produces a link that when clicked loads a random post. Not only does this bring to light older posts that may have been overlooked but increases the pages read per visitor, which is always a good thing.
I did try some other plugins that claimed to do what View Random Post does, but none worked in all the browsers under both the Mac and PC operating system. Please try this helpful WordPress plugin, you won’t be disappointed.
From the plugin site:
This plugin will put a widget on your sidebar with a link to view a random post. There are a few other similar plugins already but we haven’t been able to find any that do exactly what we wanted. We were after a very simple way to put a link in your sidebar which, when clicked, will take your visitor to one of your published posts.
When your visitors click the link to view a random post, the plugin keeps track of all the posts they have viewed via the random post link so that it doesn’t send them to a post they have already seen until they have seen all the posts once. Then it won’t send them to the same post three times until they have already seen all the posts 2 times (and so on).
We live in an information society with the internet at our fingertips though broadband, DSL and mobile phones. We also live in a society that is comprised of consumers that have the ability to publish their words, thoughts and ideas in seconds through websites, blogs, and web 2.0 resources including micro blogging platforms such as Twitter.
Understanding and realizing that our customers are more tuned in and wired in than just a year ago is vital to protecting our name brand as well as tapping into the evolving consumer base we are attempting to persuade.
Over the weekend a valuable lesson was learned by a Fortune 500 company, and will soon be adapted across all channels of business relationships.
You see on Friday November 14, 2008 several wired in mommy bloggers took offense to a video advertisement that was on the Motrin website. The ad was geared toward “Baby Wearing Moms” and was rather insensitive to say the least.
A viral ground swell of disgruntled opinion towards the advertisement was fueled on the Twitter Micro blogging network. The Tweets continued and bloggers voiced their opinions.
By Saturday Night and into Sunday AM, 100′s of blogs and 1000′s of twitter accounts were active in their dismay of the Motrin websites and it’s marketing message. A viral and virtual boycott was formed and the public perception of the Motrin Brand sank lower the President W’s approval ratings.
By Sunday night and into Monday afternoon, the Motrin website was taken off-line to attempt damage control. As of this post the site is back up with a Public Apology.
The lesson that should be learned from this account, is the your consumers have public voices, and monoritoring your Keyword and Brand Name can stop a landslide of public disgruntled behavior. If the people at Motrin had a Simple Google Alertfor their Brand Name, or set up and monitored a Twitter Search for their keywords and brand name, they would have been aware of the firestorm that was headed their way. Motrin took down the ad 4 days after the incident developed into a Butter Fly Effect.
By monitoring and reacting, the Tsunami of bad publicity could have been avoided and damage control could have been set in place earlier than Day 4.
The several lessions to be learned are:
Know your market
Understand your market
Keep tabs on your Public Images via Google Alerts / Twitter Searches via Brand Name Keywords
and above all, never underestimate the power of a mommy, her keyboard, and a internet connection!
The power to make or break any website or blog is the amount of traffic and ROI (return on investment) that can be generated from month to month. When your livelihood depends upon your on site internet presence, it pays to think outside of the box and explore opportunities as they present themselves. Last week I introduced you to the Apple iPhones App for getting your blog iPhone ready and a quality back link from the Apple.com site.
Since it’s Friday and a gorgeous hello “Global Warning” day here in Richmond Virginia, I thought I would take the time to show you just another cool little thing I discovered in my mad labs here at Big Oak SEO – Richmond SEO Company.
I love the power of social media and Web 2.0 style sites, and one of my favorites has been Twitter. Yes that little tool that makes you get your point across in only 140 characters. However if you know how to use those 140 characters wisely it can pay off into huge dividends.
On election day, Nov 4th I was cruising around and saw that Yahoo had jumped into the Twitter arena. More importantly the folks that run the elusive Yahoo Directory. With a quick double check I confirmed it was the good folks at Yahoo and not some cyber loser and huge practical joke.
So I had nothing to lose and put my best 140 characters together and sent a Tweet to the folks at Yahoo – Directory.
Well the power of twitter and a decent website got the attention of the good folks at the Yahoo Directory and guess what…
Yup Today I got into Yahoo Directory from a single tweet. I didn’t even have to use all of the 140 characters twitter allows and I made it in with less than 80 characters and 3 days. Not Bad for an Election Day Result and Global Warming hitting Richmond Virginia this Friday November 7, 2008.
With the recent craze of iPhonethis and iPhone that and the Mac vs PC world of commercials it’s about time we make our own websites or blogs adaptable to the iPhone Apple Mac People. As you can tell I am PC guy and almost resemble the PC guy from those commercials. I learned on a PC and I am not usually accepting of change when it comes to my computer, but adaptable to markets and strategy. I was using Win 95 way past 98 and hit Win 97 around the time Millennium was out. That’s neither here nor there. This is about adapting.
Most blogs these days use word press, and a WP plugin has been developed to enable Iphone’s to easily read your blog. Click on the WPTouch link to grab this plugin. The plugin comes with it’s own CSS and themes for the conversion process, but all you have to do is install the Plugin into your normal Plugin Folder on word press and activate. The plugin takes care of the rest. If you are using WP-Cache or Wp Super Cache plugins then a few minor tweeks are needed.
Now that you installed the Plugin ready for the next coolest thing?
Because you blog is iPhone ready, you can submit it to Apple.com as a website app. You can see some venturous bloggers have already joined the race at http://www.apple.com/webapps/news/
Fill out the details, descriptions and categories. TIP – HINT: Your “Company Name” will Be a Live Linkable Backlink, so use your Web site or company name and a Major Keyword when filling in the “Company Name” section on the application
You will need a screen shot of you blog and an Icon in the dimensions shown below to successfully complete your application. ( 320 x 356 PNG – For screen Shot and Icon 128 X 128 with a recognized alpha channel )
Once and if approved by Apple your blog will appear in their iPhone Downloads section. Even though this whole process is way cool, I am still a PC guy, at least til 2012 according to my historical upgrade patten.
By now, I’m sure you know the importance of creating fresh, quality content on your site. One of the ways you probably do this is through a blog. These days everyone has a blog, and why not? It’s an easy way to get articles syndicated and ensures you have fresh content on your site, along with many other benefits.
However, in this world of Web 2.0, just having a blog isn’t enough. You need to get out there and take part in your online community. You need to comment on other people’s blogs.
Don’t know why? Well, you’re in luck, because here are the top five reasons to comment on other people’s blogs.
Top 5 Reasons to Comment on Blogs: Get Known in the Community
The goal of SEO is getting your site to rank, which happens when the search engines view you as an authority on a subject. Before the search engines can view you as an authority, people need to view you as such. One of the easiest ways to make this happen is by leaving good, meaningful comments on other people’s blogs.
Think about it like this: No matter how good your content is, if the search engines don’t know about it and people don’t know about it, then you’re just writing for yourself. You need to go to the people. Go to a blog that has a large readership and start leaving good comments. This will introduce you to a large readership.
I promise, when you give beneficial comments, people will respond. The owners of the site will get to know you because of your comments, and users will come to enjoy how useful they are. This successfully accomplishes your first task — having the people regard you as an authority on a subject.
I put the list I here so I would always know where to find it, since it is our company blog. I did abbreviate the content and I plan on adding more. I hope if any readers find better blog directories, that are particularly excellent, they will add them by commenting below. If they are really good I’ll add them to this list officially.
Best of the Web Blog Search La Crem de la Crem, Best of the Web’s Blog Directory is very selective and only lists aged and valuable blogs.
I counted 171 words starting with Filehostfactory and ending with “your own site.” Out of those words, 34 are being sold as Chitika ads. That is 20% of your content being sold to advertisers. Wow! And it doesn’t make reading it any easier either.
According to Chitika big money by top bloggers is a certainty so this type of in-your-face link advertising may be more prevalent as small-time bloggers seek a bigger piece of the blog advertising pie.
Has anyone had monetary success with this type of advertising? It would seem to drive viewers away in my opinion.
The author, Will Harrison, is trying to increase his Technorati Authority and thereby his rating. His method to do this is to link to 5 blogs, his own and 4 others he enjoys and pass it along. Big Oak SEO blog was one of the 4 he chose (thank you). If he has linked to you and you find the post with the link, a request is made from the post that you do the same.
Sounds much like a chain letter of sorts, which I’m not a fan of, but for the sake of the experiment, I’ll try it. As of today, Jan. 10, 2008 my Technorati Authority is 35 and my rank is 231,062. I’ll report back if any noticeable increase happens.
Here is a snippet from Will’s post:
This makes Technorati seem like an easy enough place to increase your rating. All you need for authority are incoming links.
How are we going to get those incoming links? Glad you’ve asked. I found this method called ViraLink. What happens is: I will post the link to 5 blogs I enjoy, including my own, under this post. Those 4 blogs that aren’t owned by me will see their Technorati ranking increase and look to find out who linked them. Actually, it would probably be best to link smaller blogs that will look to see who linked them. Anyways, when they find this post, they are to copy the post and add another 5 blogs onto the list. It kind of starts a chain.
I see no harm in trying it out, so here is Will’s 5 blogs with my 5 blogs added:
I have started doing something I hope catches on in the blog community: Commenting with purpose. Being the owner of this SEO blog I’m always delighted to see comments, especially since this means someone thought enough of what I wrote to read it and then comment on the content.
It can be discouraging when a commenter is taking advantage of the fact that I do follow comment links, but if they have said something worthwhile I feel it is a small price to pay if I give away some link juice. It can also be disheartening to see I have three comments on a post, but the total word count for all three comments is about 30 words. Sometimes three simple comments like, “Nice post, I agree with your thoughts,” can be nice, but more often I would rather have one comment that says something more and even challenges what I have written.
So, I have committed myself to commenting with purpose. When I visit other blogs I will make every effort to make an intelligent, thoughtful and interesting comment that actually adds to the post. It may not always be lenghty, but my comments will never be boiled down to a “Nice Post” comment.
I hope those commenting on my blog will try to do the same, and I also hope my readers will not feel pressured to write more than they want. After all, I would rather see a short post with gratitude than nothing at all. Thanks for reading and for commenting. And when you do comment, use your name, not your keyword, it cheapens the comment, in my humble opinion.
Update: Well I’ve made one comment per day this week and I feel good about my contributions. Here is one of the comments I made on a post by Jill Whalen about changing urls.
This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More