[UPDATE: This post is part of a series on WordPress SEO written way before Google introduces a whole lot of changes in the seo terrain including but not limited to Panda and Penguin updates, EMD update etc. Most of the tactics and strategies discussed in this post though still relevant are not effective as they used to be. You're therefore advised to use the with caution]
Today I'm dealing with link popularity with special focus on how to create off-site seo one-way back links. Remember in the previous post on off-site search engine optimization I said off-site seo is nothing but acquiring links from other relevant and related sites. The purpose of course is to increase your link popularity which is important for your seo rankings. So in this post I want to expand on this and then give you some ways of creating those backlinks easily.
Link Popularity and SEO Ranking
Link Popularity? But What The Heck Is That, Anyway?
Ok, link popularity simply refers to the ranking that the search engines assign to your website or blog. It is a system created by Google but now virtually all the most popular search engines employ it to rank your web pages in their indexes. It is based, of course, on the discretion of the search engines who, using their secret ranking indexes, give status and ranking to sites that have links to their pages from related, quality sites. It is a simple formula indeed but it is an important one since it determines the ranking your blog page gets when a searcher enters a keyword into any of the search engines.
For example, while dealing with the subject of on-site seo we emphasized that it is important for you to research your target keyword phrases and then include them in your content, page title, url and description tags. Now think of a situation where 3, 4, or 10 other blogs all do this with the same keyword phrase. Will the search engines put all on the same ranking, say #4 on the SERPs?
No, of course!
So how do the search engines determine where to put each of these pages? It’s simply by checking their link popularity! This is why most times even when you have done everything about optimizing your blog pages for the search engines you’ll discover that another more bigger and popular site outrank your page on the SERPs even when they have not taken care of all the seo elements in their pages. The search engines are simply using their link popularity to outrank your blog!
Did I hear you say that’s unfair? But life is unfair, in most ways! 🙂
You don't need to complain about that. Instead do what you should do now and maybe sometime in the future, when you’re as big as those other sites, you’ll also receive that unfair advantage!
The point I want you to understand here is that increasing your link popularity is as important as keyword research and creating killer content!
So, here are,
5 Off-Site SEO Strategies For Creating One-Way Links To Increase Link Popularity
One-way backlinks are definitely better than link exchanges. Here are 5 proven ways of creating one-way links:
(1) Get Listed In A Popular Directory Like Open Directory Project And Yahoo
This is one quick way of getting a high quality link back to your blog. If your blog/site is business-related, you will want to be listed on Yahoo though this will cost you around $300 a year. But the truth is, that will be money well spent. However, if it is non-commercial, the listing will be free, but it will take a whole lot of time and follow-up to actually get it listed. Open Directory on the other hand will give you a free listing whether you are business-related or non-commercial but be prepared to make a lot of follow-up inquiries before you see your site listed. One thing you should note when submitting your blog for listing in any of these directories is to ensure that you select the most appropriate category.
(2) Write And Submit Articles To Article Directories
This is really a simple one-way link building strategy that many bloggers have overlooked. But used well, it can really help greatly in increasing your blog’s link popularity. Unfortunately, blackhat online marketers have over the years abused this system but not minding that you can use it to achieve good results if you want to. When recently Google “slapped” most of these article directories during the panda update many bloggers thought article marketing was dead. But that is far from the truth. Most of these article directories still maintain high search engine rankings and are still receiving a huge flood of traffic everyday. Getting a link from them could be a plus for your blog.
One simple strategy of using this system is by submitting your blog posts to the article directories a day or two after you’ve published them. Make sure that your blog post has been indexed by the search engines and then minimally rewrite the post and submit to any article directory of your choice starting with ezinearticles.com.
Note: It is important that you re-write the article a little just to guide against duplicate content issues. But that shouldn’t worry you since the article is already indexed on your blog.
(3) Take Advantage of Social Sites like Squidoo etc
Another powerful way you can build one-way back links for off-site seo is to create squidoo lenses, hubpages and free blogs on blogspot.com and wordpress.com. Just like you did with article submissions, you can rework some of your articles and post them to these sites with back links to your blog. Remember to link to both individual pages and your home page. The search engines frequently visit these sites and they will found your links in those places and will index them for your blog.
(4) Dedicate Yourself To Guest Posting
This is actually a new form of article marketing that has become very popular amongst bloggers. There are different advantages to guest posting as a blogger. But of all these the greatest is the link popularity you can achieve through it. For example, guest posting on a dofollow blog like the Web Income Journal will not only expose your blog to other bloggers who frequent this blog but also get you a dofollow link in the process. Now think of guest posting in any of the a-list blogs out there! Ok, I can see your eyes already rolling with desire! ?
Here’s a simple guide for unrivalled guest blogging success:
(a) Read and understand the terms of the blog you want to guest post.
(b) Read a few of the posts on the blog to understand the direction of the content.
(c) Take a careful look at the comments to have a picture of the blog’s audience.
(d) Write your guest post with a hard hitting headline.
(e) Check your already published posts and put a link back to one of them in your guest post content.
(f) Write a killer byline at the end of your guest post with a link back to your blog (home page).
(g) Submit your guest post using the approved submission system.
If you’ll follow the above guide you’ll not only get your guest articles in some of the high traffic blogs out there but you will also succeed in getting some high profile backlinks to your blog. Over time you will succeed in increasing your link popularity.
In all of these bear in mind that the quality of sites will greatly enhance your link popularity. Besides, the blogs where you guest post should be blogs that are, in some way, related to yours so that, not only will your link popularity increase, but your customer/readership base may also be expanded.
(5) Organize or Sponsor Blog Contests
This is another powerful and quick way of creating one-way links to your blog. Usually for anyone to participate in the blog contest they will have to announce the contest in their own blogs with links to all the sponsor's and organizers' blogs/sites. You have the power of deciding the anchor texts with which they are to link back to your blog. Do a search on Google and you'll see examples of such blog contest. Study how they are doing it and come up with your own ideas. For a wider reach you can always look for sponsors who will be eager to contribute some prizes to the contest.
Conclusion: Off-site seo strategies definitely takes time to add up. When you decide on a particular strategy ensure that you work on it for some time. A hit and run attitude will amount to noting but a continuous and dedicated approach will produce the right results that will increase your link popularity over time.
Over to you: How much of off-site seo have you been doing? On-site and off-site seo which one do you think you should focus on more? Let's have your views in the comments below.