Although this blog is not about search engine optimization, the company I run – Zealus Web Design Studio – is providing search engine optimization services. Which means we do conduct some in-house experiments. One of the experiments we did was on anti-optimization. In other words – we were trying to figure what actions may lead to web site’s loosing certain position in Google’s output.
Aside from obvious things, like decreasing the number of external links and their quality, removing links from social services and so on, we found that some things don’t quite work as expected. For example – removing pretty and fat links from other web sites don’t send the web site back to the position it held before. So for example, let’s say your web site was number 16 (or 6th on a second page). You’ve added a bunch of links from good web sites with some PR juice and your site jumped to be number 12. Now, if you kill every single link that you have added the web site will sink to (approximately) 14 – 15th position, staying one or two steps higher then before.
Not sure why is this happening, but it does. I’ll give it some time to see if it will sink deeper, but it looks like if you purchase links a little before Google’s PR update and remove them a little after – it may do the same trick as if you were paying for them all the time. All you need is just a sharp date of the next Google dance.
As a bad taste SEO techniques adopter a company called Sitelynx on behalf of the The Times (UK) was spamming media sites with links. Why would a reputable publication like The Times fall for black-hat SEO techniques is another story. What is interesting is that a report on Waxy.org looks like a breakdown to bootstrapping your web site. Well, at least a part of it. Comments give an idea what was done wrong, what worked and what didn’t. Very interesting indeed.
Last week I was participating in another experiment with Freshmeat.net. A lot of pages there have PR 3 and above, so it was naturally a good idea to comment away. However, moderators appear to be quite on guard, so most of the experimental posts and accounts went down the drain couple of days after the end.
Short and comprehensive guide – how to create a link bait on your site. Thanks to members of SitePoint and DigitalPoint forums this all have been gathered.
- Put together a list of web resources (forums, blogs) that are relevant to your topic
- Put together a good post or article or eBook or anything of the real value. Give it out for free from your resource
- Write a brief about your value post. Call it a press-release and submit it to proper catalogs (they called press release web sites)
- Contact blogs you have gathered in step one. Give them the link to your content and press release.
- Register or open new thread on forums you gathered in step one. Provide link to the content you have created. Answer questions. Be a good forum member. Don’t forget to put a link to your content in your signature.
- Write couple of articles about whatever you have created. Use title of your free content as anchor text. Submit these articles to article directories.
- Stumble, Digg, Reddit, put it on del.icio.us. If it’s a video, can be shown on video or can be featured in video – put it on YouTube. Don’t waste your time on Netscape, by the time you read this it’s probably long gone dead.
- Guest-post on other blogs. Explain what and why you have created your content. Create buzz.
- If you have ties via social web sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Jaiku, LinkedIn, etc.) promote your content there.
Most of these bullet points are very obvious to anyone who ever tried to get a decent amount of traffic to the web site. Still, not everyone manages to follow through these simple steps. In any case – this would be a good reference point.