The Battle for Internet City – RankedHard.com comic

Here is a snippet from our latest SEO comic, Ranked Hard. Please visit the RankedHard.com site to see the comic this month. It is the best one we have done so far, in my opinion. From time to time I use Ranked Hard as my soap box to comment on SEO-related topics such as link buying, SEO Celebrities and Internet spam, but with this comic I decided that I would poke some fun at three well-known Internet personalities: Seth Godin (Founder of Squidoo), Jason Calacanis (Founder of Mahalo) and Jimmy Wales (co-founder of Wikipedia). Each of these web celebs has created a force on the Internet. But have they created a force for good on the Internet? Have they made the Internet a better place? In some ways they have, but in many ways–not so much. Of course the negative effects on the Internet aren’t really their fault. Let me explain. I’ll take each person in order and, since this is my site, I am going to give my opinions. You may disagree, and if so, please post why in the comments below. A good debate is always worth the risk of offending someone. Want to read more and see the comic? Head over to see “The Battle for Internet...

Link Buying Becomes Comical

Our latest Ranked Hard, SEO Comic, is up for viewing. It deals with the concept of link buying and Google’s sporadic approach at curtailing the purchase of link. Take a look at Crazy Eddie’s Link Emporium. Here is an excerpt from my post under the comic. Please visit and read the entire rant on link buying. If you would listen to Google, and why wouldn’t you, you would be led to believe that they are against link buying and don’t reward sites who do buy links. In fact, they will penalize sites that do buy links. Don’t believe me? Read Google’s engineer Matt Cutt’s own words on buying and selling links. They even provide a handy dandy form to report paid links. Find a site selling links? Report them. Find a competitor buying links? Report them. Then, your site, which is honestly gathering links, should rise to the top of the rankings. Right? Wrong. Oh, so very wrong. Google has been caught selling links more than once. So they understand the temptation and financial rewards of selling a link. But the rewards can be much greater when buying a link: higher search rankings, more customers, more sales and more profits. But if link buying is really being stamped out by the big G, then why, oh why, are so many people doing it and dominating the search rankings? Read the rest of...

Buying Links May Not Help with SEO Efforts

Catching up on my Google reading and found this tidbit on Google’s Webmaster Blog. It refers to the strategy of buying text links to give you a better rank in Google. This confusion lies in the common belief that there are two ways for optimizing the link-based popularity of your website: Either the meritocratic and long-term option of developing natural links or the risky and short-term option of non-earned backlinks via link spamming tactics such as buying links. We’ve always taken a clear stance with respect to manipulating the PageRank algorithm in our Quality Guidelines. Despite these policies, the strategy of participating in link schemes might have previously paid off. But more recently, Google has tremendously refined its link-weighting algorithms. We have more people working on Google’s link-weighting for quality control and to correct issues we find. So nowadays, undermining the PageRank algorithm is likely to result in the loss of the ability of link-selling sites to pass on reputation via links to other sites. We don’t buy advertising links on sites for fear of this very reason. If the site is a good marketing investment for passing on visitors then a link may be worth purchasing, but if you are buying a link for the purpose of getting better search engine ranking, you might be better off investing the time to find a free link from another...