External Links And Why We Should Link To Other Bloggers

External links are very important for many reasons, SEO not being the least of them. Something I don’t do nearly enough is link to other bloggers. I know I should but I don’t because I don’t have the time to do it properly. There are many really good reasons why we as bloggers should link to not only our fellow bloggers but to any relevant site that adds value to our post. 

The Importance Of External Links

Even though this fact has been out since February of this year I’ve only just come about it today. It was a video of Matt Cutts answers the following question.

Hi Matt, does the big G have a version of the search engine that totally excludes any backlink relevance? I’m wondering what search would look like and am curious to try it out.

Matt Cutts And External Links

We don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally, and the quality looks much, much worse, It turns out backlinks, even though there’s some noise, and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results.”

“We’ve played around with the idea of turning off back link relevance, and at least for now, backlink relevance still really helps in terms of making sure we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results.

Now I know Matt is talking about backlinks but as far as I’m concerned backlinks and external links are the same thing. They’re both pointing from one site to another. Without external links search engines would find it extremely difficult to find relevant information for  it’s myriad of users.  Google is trying to find a way of doing it but so far is failing.

external links

That is why linking to other bloggers, especially if it adds value to your blog is a great for SEO. Google needs and wants to know what you think is important and relevant because if it’s important to you it’s probably important to others as well.

That’s also why Google hates paid posts. Links within paid posts have little or no value, especially if the link has nothing to do with your post and is only there to fool the search engines.

That’s also why Google now looks less favourably on guest posts as it once used to. There are too many people out there writing guest posts for the sole reason to get links back to a particular site.

Remember how at the beginning of the post I said the reason I don’t link to other bloggers is because I don’t have the time to do it properly? This means that it takes time to find relevant sites to link to. You can’t just link to any site. As far as Google is concerned that is a waste of it’s time. If it’s going to follow a link then it should be adding something to the post not just sending it off on and irrelevant tangent.

Are you taking the time to make sure your external links are relevant to your post?

 

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StumbleUpon My Social Media Of Choice

There are lots of ways to share your favourite posts. Some people Tweet them. Some like to share them with their FaceBook buddies. Because of the SEO benefits of having images in your posts there are a lot of bloggers out there happily sharing their stuff with Pinterest as well. Personally I like to share my posts with all of them but my favourite is StumbleUpon. If you”re not a member you can join here.

Wikipedia says…

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine) that finds and recommends web content to its users. Its features allow users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing and social-networking principles.

Toolbar versions exist for Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Safari. StumbleUpon also works with some independent Mozilla-based browsers.

The thing is StumbleUpon is not really a form of search engine. I know I’ve never used it to search for stuff, although I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who do.

Speaking of sharing your own stuff, there are some out there, like my mate Mitch, who don’t feel comfortable about Liking Their Own Stuff. Me, I have no trouble at all being the first person to share one of my posts. Read the rest of this entry

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Why They’re In Violation Of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

I wrote a post some time back about Charging People For Removing Their Links. The reason I’m getting all these requests is because these guys have all been notified that they’re in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This is a bad thing, especially if your website is business related. The reason being that once you get on the almighty Google’s bad side you’re site can be delisted from the Google search engines.

 Here is what Google has to say about it.

 

Violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

Your page has been blocked from our index because it does not meet the quality standards necessary to assign accurate PageRank. We cannot comment on the individual reasons your page was removed. However, certain actions such as cloaking, writing text in such a way that it can be seen by search engines but not by users, or setting up pages/links with the sole purpose of fooling search engines may result in permanent removal from our index. Please read our Webmaster Guidelines for more information.

Once you have modified your site so that it meets our guidelines, you can submit your site for reconsideration.

While there can be a lot of reasons why these guys are in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, the point that interests us is the one where people have been trying to rig search engine results by using unscrupulous back-linking techniques.

Last week I wrote a post called Is CommentLuv Bad For SEO? That post was necessary because of posts out there which were writing crap about a great plugin. Perhaps this misconception has come about because a lot of requests from Googles to remove such links so as to appease the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, were being found in the comments! This has nothing to do with CommentLuv and everything to do with the people leaving the comments.

Read the rest of this entry

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