Tech and Trends:- In recent weeks and months, it has become harder and harder to know what Google wants. The latest “Penguin” update is a case in point, discouraging and confusing thousands of webmasters. Many who built spam links were hurt in this update – but there were many who never built any links at all were affected as well. If you were hurt in this latest update, where do you go from here?
There will be a lot of speculation in the coming weeks and months about what webmasters should and should not do in terms of helping their sites rank well in the search engines. However, it is certain that backlinks will continue to be a ranking factor by Google. But I believe getting quality backlinks is going to more and more desirable, and the best way forward.
By “quality backlinks” I mean links back from high PR sites that have related and quality content on them.
Instead of building thousands of “spam” backlinks from low PR directories, profile links or blog commenting, just a few high PR links from other websites in your niche is possibly all you need now to rank well. But finding such sources can take a while.
You can solicit dozens, or even hundreds, of webmasters in your niche, asking if they will link back to you (most will not). You can ask them if you can write a free article for them (“guest post”) in exchange for a link (most will not be interested).
You could also try using a paid high PR blog network. It used to be that one of the best ways to get high page rank links to your website – and rank higher for targeted keywords – was to use one of the popular subscription blog networks, such as BuildMyRank, AuthorityLinkNetwork, Blog Blueprint and similar blog networks.
Depending on the size and quality of the network, subscribers were able to post articles to hundreds – and in some case thousands – of different blogs in the network. Thousands of internet marketers have relied on these networks in the past few years to help them rank for certain keywords. BuildMyRank was one of the most popular subscription blog networks, and those who used it frequently praised its ability for helping them rank better.
Until The Entire Network Was Found And Deindexed By Google!
In recent months Google has been hard at work putting these huge blog networks out of business. Literally thousands of blogs have been deindexed, and all the posts and all money that subscribers have paid has gone down the drain.
The subscription costs were also steep (starting at $59 a month). And many users also purchased content for these networks as well. I know because I myself used this network, and it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend $100-$200 a month on content, in addition to the subscription fee.
Even if you were only paying $59 a month to subscribe to the service, that means that you were paying over $700 a year for the ability to create posts on blogs that are now essentially gone – completely deindexed from the Google search engine! And if you were paying additionally for content – well, it is likely your losses were well into the thousands of dollars, just for this one network. All the money, effort and time you put into these blog networks has been wiped out.
In fact, the loss of all those links is likely hurting you now. Google now sees that you have just recently lost a lot of links from these networks and then… you get penguin slapped!
However, it is worth while keeping in mind that there is one main reason that Google has gone after these networks so aggressively:
THEY WERE EFFECTIVE!
I strongly suspect there was a reason that Google decided to deindex these networks manually right before launching the Penguin update on April 25, 2012. These networks were one of the few methods of backlinking that Google had trouble discounting from their algorithm.
The only way to limit their effectiveness was to manually eliminate the networks before the Penguin update!
And it was very easy for Google to find and then deindex these paid high PR blog networks. All a Google employee had to do is join up in order to have instant access to the blog network – and the power to find and then deindex the entire blog network!
Now, there are likely a few paid networks that survived this massacre, and you could start looking for one to join that hasn’t be deindexed (yet). However, there are other downsides to using a subscription based blog network:
• The quality of content on these networks is often quite poor. Even those like BMR which only accepted “unique content” was full of garbage posts. Those which accepted “spun” content had even worse!
• The time your original post spent on the high PR page was quite limited – often less than 24 hours. Most of these blogs would receive literally dozens of new posts each day, so your original post soon rolls off onto a PR n/a page.
• Problems with keeping the content indexed. Even if the blog itself was not indexed, often your posts would not end up indexed in the search engine – or would disappear from the index shortly after publication. You would then have to build additional link to your original pages to keep them indexed in the search engines. However, many blog networks do not make this easy for you since they are often trying to hide their domains so that they will not be deindexed!
So what is the solution?
For me, at least, the solution has been to stop paying for subscriptions to expensive blog networks – and instead build out my own private high PR blog network.
In particular, I see the future in building niche specific networks that can provide relevant, high PR links to your sites. For example, if you have a site that provides information or sells acne products, you may have a whole niche of high PR sites in the health niche that you publish acne related articles on that link back to your site.
Having just a few, related high PR links may – in the current SEO climate – be enough to give your “money site” a real boost. PLUS, these sites themselves may end up ranking quite well for your articles (or at least certain pages on the site), and they can potentially bring you additional money as well.
Most importantly, since I am the only person using the network, I have much more control over both the content and the postings. No spun crap, no spam, only limited outgoing links, nice designs and only QUALITY CONTENT on them. And no worry of Google employees signing up only to find out what sites are in the network (and what sites are using the network) and then slapping those sites into oblivion in the next Google-update-named-after-a-cute-black-andwhite-animal.