Offsite SEO. So Important. Such a pain in the ass. Especially with the way Google keeps changing everything.
I take that back, It’s just become tougher to do because of Google Panda and the Machine learning.
But it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. In fact, it’s help give even more direction to the way corporate / business folks should conduct their SEO.
Great Offsite SEO Techniques Pre-Panda.
Here’s a great infograph of the way the world looked before panda:
Enjoy some VerticalMeasures.com. Great infograph.
Before you were able to be a little sloppy with your offsite SEO – shotgun approach. So long as you looked for quality and made it look natural. And did it slowly.
SEO Book does a great job explaining backlink techniques.
SEOMoz also didn’t do too bad a job discussing the value of links. Better to read Rand’s as opposed to me re-writing it.
Here are some infographics that show the story.
Offsite SEO Techniques Post-Panda That I’d Normally Use on Corporate Websites
- Blog for SEO: It’s more cost-effective to run a contest for backlinks than to pay for offsite SEO. It’s also safer. Hosting contests not only helps improve Google rankings but helps create a buzz.
- Infographics – Make infographics about industry data and trends. With infographics, you can place a link within the infographic to your home page, specific page. Bloggers and social media users can then embed the infographic on their website. When they do, you get a backlink from the infographic.
- While you are at it, make national and international-based data and share it out on your email lists, Facebook groups and encourage a broader audience to use them.
- Blogging Contests: Do writing / blogging contests for area bloggers. Make the top prize an iPad 2 and a bunch of 2nd place prizes being gift certificates (which you can probably get donated) – with the proviso that to qualify they have to 1) write between 400-500 words, 2) send a dofollow link to /Web-Design.aspx page w/ some “web design” anchor text. Also promise to do interviews for internships and positions to those who enter. Get an intern or two from the contest, have them write a post about their experience on the
- Social Media Integration: Use of sites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Tumblr & Reddit will increase viewership, interaction and provide additional links to your site. Make sure you use the 1-step Facebook Likes, Twitter RTs & Google +1s.
- Online Press Release submissions: Often forgotten about anymore, online press release submissions via email lists to news agencies as well as services like PRweb will help not only increase the potential backlinks but will remind news agencies about your efforts. If they’re in need of a story, or simply like your cause, they’re more likely to write & post stories and link back to your site. And, yes, the best ones aren’t cheap, but they are investments.
- Update Google Local / Places Profile: Make the Google places location is validated. Also…Yahoo!, Yelp, YellowPages.com. Fill out as many categories as you can, max up description using desired keywords as keyword themes and link to these pages from your website, encouraging visitors to leave reviews. The additional review
- Write for Industry / Trade Magazines: you can get backlinks for not only your home page but for other important pages on your site.
- Own Your Name in Social Media Spaces: Even if you don’t use Facebook, Twitter, Digg, WordPress, Delicious and other social media sites, own those names and link back to those sites. 1) Saves from others parading around as you & 2) helps get a few more backlinks from trusted sites.
- Blog Comment Engagement: Blog Commenting is both an effective & abused method. If you’re going to do it make sure that you are engaging, at least fake that you care what’s going on on the post, be thoughtful or witty and reply when replied to.
- Forum Commenting: Another heavily used and abused method so be careful. I’d suggest keep it to sights within your niche and be engaging because not only will webmasters delete you they’ll report you.
Paid Links & Directories
For example, here’s what Google’s Quality Guidelines say on this section:
Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.
So when you venture into the following, do so cautiously.
Paid Links: For example, in theory, make sure you have to put NOFOLLOWs on any links that could be deemed “paid” or Google shuts you down. And don’t think they don’t pay attention to those sites who could be link brokers.
Directories: If you’ve even lost several hours of your live using “the latest” directory submitter in hopes their webmasters will allow the links, you’ll already know how much it’s a pain in the ass. Once more, unless you’re paying for them you’ve got like a 1 in 3 chance of them being published in 3 months. Also, Google’s not always the biggest fans of directories that aren’t them. They usually refer to them as, “one way directories,” and not kindly. If you have the time and wanna try, be my guest. But there’s better ways to do it.
Just Build a Damned Brand
The greatest thing they pout out is what Google SEO Eric Schmidt leaked regarding algorithms:
“Brands are the solution, not the problem,” Mr. Schmidt said. “Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”
And like I’m not going to listen to that.