The marketing industry has seemingly collapsed in on itself. It seems that these days anyone who can set up a blog has declared themselves and SEO expert. Some of these people are great marketers but they don't know the first thing about SEO or how it works. They post things that are absolutely untrue. They share things based on what they HOPE is happening. However most of them, are totally clueless.
For example one of the things I read almost constantly now is that building links back to your site no longer works. In fact its something I have been hearing on SEO forums for years, but now it has leaked into the blogging world, and the social marketing world, and its just terribly false information being spread and respread over and over again. All the while people are wondering “why can’t I make it successful”.
First let me list a couple of the popular marketing myth’s about google search engine optimization, then I will go about showing why and how each myth is wrong and why its important for you to understand the reality of things to market online via seo.
- Backlinking – the practice of building links back to your site, doesn’t work.
- Google evaluates web rankings solely on social status.
- If you are not on Google+ you won’t rank well on Google.
- The only people who build backlinks are spammers.
Backlinking doesn’t work
The truth is whitehat marketers have been trying to claim this for years. Go do a Google search using “backlinking doesn’t work” as a subject and you are going to find countless articles and forum posts that stretch back to the mid 2000’s. The fact is backlinking does work, it has always worked, and it will continue to work in the future.
The way it works is actually very simple. First Google created an algorithm – which is just a mathematical formula – that would examine a number of factors about a website. Based on those factors Google would give a website a score. Getting high scoring websites to link to your website using certain words would both increase your score while at the same time provide you with keywords for the search engine and increase your website listing.
When Google sets about getting rid of spam from the search engine what they do is they they change the algorithm. This means the factors they use to examine and score a website change. As that happens some website lose search engine listing and some gain listings. However that has a serious impact. For example if I was a website that google scored as a 7, and after a change to the algorithm Google now scores me as a 4, suddenly every website I link to is affected. They all lose a little bit in page listings because I am not valued as high. Now factor in this can happen to thousands and millions of websites all at once, and you can easily see how Google can get rid of spam. This is also why every time Google updates people start complaining about lost search results.
Google evaluates web rankings solely on social status
Earlier this year Google actually did a nearly complete re-write of how they score websites. On top of the other factors that Google has used, they added something extreme. This extreme change they added was social influence. Now when they score you how well you score as a website has a VAST amount to do with how much social activity your links get (in other words how often are they being shared and on what networks now matters for ranking your website).
Because of this people have become confused. And that is where this myth of backlinking doesn’t work comes in. They seem to think social is the only factor and nothing could be further from the truth. Just like has always been the case with Google – after your site is given a score – that score is still used to determine how much a backlink from your site is worth. If your site scores low, a link from your site becomes worthless. However if your site scores high, a link from your site has value. That value is passed on to websites you link to.
The more high scoring websites link to other sites, the better position a site is listed in the google search. Nothing about backlinking has changed in years. The only thing that has changed is how Google scores a website. This has MAJOR impact on where and how to build backlinks, but backlinking DOES still work.
If you are not on Google+ you won’t rank well on Google.
This myth actually cracks me up. Okay if you are on Google+, Google gives you the ability to share with them a lot of social factors about yourself and your business. This has a huge impact now because of the new way Google scores websites. It’s certainly in your best interest to be on Google+ because of this reason. You can help Google easily find all the content associated with your business on social networks, and they allow you to say “hey this is another one of my accounts”. The more social you are the better your overall score gets.
However the truth is Google is a giant machine and it seeks out this information whether you provide it to them or not. So even if you are not on Google+ a large part of what you do socially, Google will use in scoring your website. It just may take them longer if you are not on Google+ feeding them the information directly.
So the fact is, yes you may rank better in a faster period of time if you use Google+ but by no means does it mean you HAVE to be on Google+. Google will find you one way or the other. The fact is the majority of businesses and websites in the world that rank well on Google, are not on Google+. So clearly this myth is just that…. a myth.
The only people who build backlinks are spammers
This one makes me laugh. No the only people who build backlinks are not spammers. Nearly every company in the world now uses a blog to backlink to their website. This is a common practice and Google ranks highly for it. The biggest and best ranking bloggers and blogs are the ones who frequently comment on other blogs, thus leaving links back to their own websites. Getting a link is someones blog sidebar often can bring in thousands of links from a single site. This practice is not about spamming.
On top of this I submit regularly to web directories online and I can say many of these directories appear in the webmaster section of the google website.
What links matter now
Now that we dispelled the myths on backlinking the question becomes – so where DO I build backlinks from that won’t affect my rankings in a negative way? Well the answer to that is certainly not an easy one and Google doesn’t want it to be. The truth is your backlinks need to come in naturally, from websites that have a decent social presence or who are frequently mentioned on social networks, from websites and webpages who have content relating to what your site is about, and from content rich websites.
The fact is where to build links is different in every industry. However I can give you some great starting places and explain way.
This information that I am sharing is the very methods and websites I have been using to build both my website score and my search rankings with google. The website I am referring to is of course the marketing cooperative website.
Currently the ranks for the marketing co-op are as follows (note this site is not yet two months old):
advertising cooperative – result 4
advertising coop – result 24 (ranking result 1 in bing)
advertising co-op – result 46 (rankding result 1 in bing)
marketing cooperative – result 32 (ranking result 7 in bing and 14 in yahoo)
marketing coop – result 84 (ranking result 1 in bing and 1 in yahoo)
marketing co-op – result 68 (ranking result 1 in bing and 1 in yahoo)
marketers cooperative – result 6
marketers coop – result 1 (ranking result 14 in bing and 1 in yahoo)
marketers co-op – result 3 (ranking result 1 in bing and 1 in yahoo)
How I am achieving and building my rankings
Company Profiles – Company Profiles otherwise known as Branding Pages or Branding Profiles are one of my key methods of backlink building. The sites that host these kind of pages are ranked very high because the content is very controlled and very centered around the website one is building a link for. On top of this one controls 100% of the content that appears on the page. This means they can fill in their own profile page with the keywords they are looking to rank well for.
There are lists and lists of places to build Branding Profiles. I have included a list of the company profiles I have set up for the marketing coop below.
Marketing Cooperative on LookupPage
Marketing Co-Op on Brandyourself
Marketing Coop on Free Company Profile
Advertising Co-Op on About Our Work
Advertising Coop on g2link
Marketing Cooperative on Fair Pages
Marketing Co-Op on Apsense
Social Profiles – Social Profiles are extremely important to set up – even if you never use the social network. A lot of people think if you set up a social profile its only effective if you also use the social network. This is absolutely not true when it comes to backlink building practices. Yes it is ALWAYS best if you actively use your social accounts, but it is still important for the Google search engine to actually find yor profile page – with or without content.
Just like with company profiles, there are lists and lists of places to build Social Profiles. I would strongly recommend you use all the major social networks as well as some of the ones targeted to business and business networking.
The basic sites you should have social profiles on are as follows:
If you want to look into more social networks targeted towards businesses I recommend the following:
The Conclusion to Backlink Building
It seems to be the only conclusion that can be made is that backlinking is still alive and well and its not going anywhere. Its a matter of shifting where and how you are building links. Google is getting better at combating spam because they can use social measures to find and stop it, but thta should have no effect on honest marketing.
Now its your turn
Where are your incoming links coming from? What methods are you using to build backlinks? Are you finding certain types of sites are ranking better than other types of sites? Leave some comments and let me know what is it that is working for you!