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Archive for December, 2010

How to get high authority backlinks – the easy and straightforward way

Getting high authority backlinks is not an easy task, but it’s better to start with paid links and industry hub pages because these are the most easy to get.

Everybody knows that high authority backlinks are the essential ingredient to obtain good positions on search engines. Unfortunately it’s very hard to obtain authority links, however there are some links that are easy to get.

I had to find recently some authority backlinks for Pinbud. We all know the theory: high authority links can be obtained only from:

  • educational domains
  • government-related domains (including foreign governmental websites)
  • high PR websites
  • established, old domains with content related to your website’s content

The theory is easy to learn – but the practice is a nightmare.

There are only 2 ways to get a backlink from an educational or a governmental website:

  • the legitimate way: you get the backlink because you’ve done something and you deserve the backlink. This is very hard to attain, because 99.999% of websites have nothing in common with any educational resources;
  • the “hacking” way: you can find a website that’s vulnerable to XSS (or better) so you can place a hidden backlink. While this is a feasible scenario, it requires tremenduos efforts. You must check websites one by one and do tests. In my opinion, it’s simply worthless.

Governmental links are very, very powerful. 2 months ago, intrigued by a post from WebmasterWorld, I’ve made some research and I discovered some highly positioned websites that had only 4-5 backlinks. But all these links were coming from some Chinese secondary governmental websites, and that’s why these websites were occupying really good positions. It was amazing!

High PR websites can be anything, from news to free classifieds, but the most common are the news-related websites. A news-related website will always feature at least PR 4-5, but the most important websites, even the websites of local, minor, newspapers, easily reach PR 8-9. Links can be paid or obtained for free.

After carefully reviewing a lot of possibilities, I finaly decided to pay some bucks, but to ensure some trusted backlinks. Remember, your time costs money: the timeframe required to obtain for free such backlinks can be so huge, that it’s simply worthless. So, I’ve decided to pay links from:

  • Yahoo! Directory. Yahoo! Directory has PR 8. A link from Y!D is $300 / year. Choose carefully your category page. Choose a page related to the content of your website, preferably featuring some competitors, and with a good PR (at least 3-4).
  • BOTW directory. Best Of The Web is another old, trustful directory. It has PR 7 and a backlink costs $299.95 (one time fee).
  • Business.com is the third major directory, featuring PR 7. Price: $299 (one time fee).
  • JoeAnt. JoeAnt directory has PR 7 and a backlink costs only $39.99. However be very careful, because JoeAnt doesn’t seem to be fully indexed by Googlebot. You should submit only to a category that’s indexed by Googlebot.

Thus, paying only $940, we’ve got 4 authority backlinks. But this is not all: Yahoo! listed PinBud not only on the main directory (http://dir.yahoo.com) but also on several subdomains. The same with Business.com. I submitted the website to a category and the editors placed our link on an additional (but relevant) category. In fact, the $940 price paid us not only 4, but 8 authority links.

Beside these we’ve got some backlinks from some minor directories that are probably getting information from Yahoo! So, the money were well spent.

Another precious backlinks that we’ve got in the last weeks are 2 links from Microsoft. As anyone knows, PinBud is powered by Microsoft Bing Maps technology. The coding itself is not Microsoft related (the platform is a classic LAMP – Linux/Apache/MySql/PHP) but the core function, companies listing and positiong, is build on top of Bing Maps integration. So we were entitled to submit our company description to Microsoft Bizspark and now we have a live profile on Bizspark and a link from Microsoft Platform Ready.

And finaly, another worth to mention authority link source is the DMOZ directory – but, unfortunately, it’s very hard to get there. Just submit your website and forget about it. Come again in 4-5 months and, if you don’t see your website, submit it again or try to find on Elance or another marketplace an editor that will agree to let you in for few bucks.

We have seen almost immediately the effects of these backlinks: the traffic on PinBud.ca went up like crazy. And there are enough signs telling us that PinBud.com will be soon out of the infamous “sandbox”. So, the conclusion is crystal-clear: start to build authority links with the most easy to get!

Google changes its algorithm – and teaches you how to harm your competitors

I have read today an interesting post from Techcrunch commenting on a recent Google algorithm change. This change was, indeed, announced yesterday on the Google’s official blog: Being bad for your customers is bad for business.

In short,  Google’s engineers have read a story from New York Times that raised some (good) questions: knowing that link popularity is the basis of the Google’s algorithm, is it fair to rank high a website that has a lot of negative reviews?

That’s why they have decided to  perform a sentiment analysis and to position websites according to these results. So, now it’s more difficult to position a website that only enjoys negative reviews.

Unfortunately, in my opinion this approach – sentiment analysis – opens  largely the door to the most unorthodox tactics for search positions manipulation. In fact, to unfair competition.

One of  Google’s most respected principles was that “there’s almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.” According to the official Google Help Guide,

Can competitors harm ranking?
There’s almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you’re concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don’t control the content of these pages.
[source]”

But now, if Google’s takes into consideration the so-called sentiment analysis, it’s clear that anyone wishing to destroy your website can make it very easily, just by posting some negative reviews on review websites.  Let’s look at this page featuring reviews for DecorMyEyes, the online shop that triggered Google’s reaction: it’s really full of negative reviews! And this page too! And this page! The reviews for DecorMyEyes.com are really awful, but, by commenting on this issue, Google simply showed to everyone the way of harming the competition.

I think that we’ll experience in the next months a growing demand for SEO’ers specialized in reviews writing :) !