Avoiding Spam When Building Strong Backlinks Part 2

Last we spoke of the dangers of building backlinks through spammy techniques.  Here are examples of those dastardly techniques and the proper methods of replacing them when dealing with blogs.  Saturday we will discuss the manners of building strong directory references without being spammy. You will need to first download the SEOmoz toolbar for Firefox.  This toolbar has a function that shows “No Follow” tags on page links.  Using this tool will allow you to determine which blogs are worth commenting and interacting with for links and track-backs. Most everyone with a blog has visited or even pursued Tecnorati… (if you haven’t you will after reading this.)  Within Techgnorati, you have access to blogs that are separated by category and relevance.  There are other blog index sites that maintain a strong list of blogs by content, but Tecnorati tends to be the most reliable for the search engines. Once you are on the site, search for a blog that resembles the topic of whatever page you wish to link to.  If you are choosing to link to your main page, choose a blog that is closely associated with the Keywords of your entire site.  If you are using the link of a specific page, search for a page that has that specific topic.  Tecnorati has a ranking system that allows the user to comb through different levels of relevance. Obviously, you want to get links from the most relevant site to the topic being covered. Using this method, you’ll want to start by performing a “Time Honored Blogging Tradition” RTFA!!! Read the article people.  Seriously, if you don’t know what the topic is, it will show in what you’ve written. Once you read the article, then it’s time to interact. Make sure that the comment you leave is more than the following junk: “nice post” “I agree with the points you made” “good thoughts but I take issue with your points” These comments are common and quite annoying pieces of spam.  These statements will likely be caught in any filter and removed from any site that cares about their relevancy.   It would always be suggested to be Part of a conversation.  If you’ve read a post, use enough of the material within it to make a valid statement. Here’s a list of other rules that will avoid negative treatment for blog comments:
  • Only leave comments that are a full, comprehensible sentence.
  • Sign up for updates on future comments.  This can ensure many links and a future relationship between your site and the site you are commenting on.
  • Leave only on link on the site, the one in your name description.  Leaving tons of links in the content of your comments makes it strongly resemble an unwanted communication, leaving many to list your comments as spam.  If your site links or email addresses becomes associated as spam, it’s very likely that your future comments on other blogs will be filtered as well.
  • Leave the auto commenting software to those who don’t mind being banned from the search engines.  It’s just not worth it.
  • Read the articles!!! There will always be a better exchange of ideas when you do and you’ll likely receive more convertible visitors to your website if they believe your communication to be respectful.

Downtime Can Be A Nightmare

We're glad to be back in the land of the tubes.  The past two weeks has made for an incredible experience of getting our site back up and working out the finer points with our host. Before we get into that portion though, we should probably explain why we were down... As we often point out, we are hosted by Byethost.  They and Bluehost are the two hosting companies we've come to trust the most for shared server space. Unfortunately, we discovered that a plugin we were using for the feeds was not well accepted by our neighbors on the server.  We were capturing all of our feeds with the Wordpress plugin wp-o-matic. What we didn't realize is that this plugin causes for some major drain on the server side, and when on shared space, damages your neighbors bandwidth... OOPS!!! We honestly never considered that such a widely-used plugin would be the cause of such issues, but test afterward have shown that it couldn't have been anything else. Because of the excessive bandwidth, resources, and memory that wp-o-matic was stripping from the shared space, we were booted to a Virtual Private Server... Ie...Banished to the Degaba System. It took a week of negotiating, but byethost was willing to settle the discourse once we were well assured that it had to be the plugin that was causing all of he trouble.  One week later, we're back up and on the way again.... Needless to say, our feeds will no longer run through WP-O-Matic. Now for the sob-story While we were only down about a day and back and forth from IP's for one week, Google took a lot of notice.  Our impressions went from an average of 1,000/day to 22 tonight.  Our traffic went from an average of 200/day to 30 tonight. The past week of being back up is representative of absolute downtime in the SERPs. Notice in the screen-shot that the exact date of being down is visible, as well as the subsequent falling out with Google ranking. While this is a pretty steep setback for the short-term, we will return to our previous standing rather quickly.  We've run into similar situations with client sites, but never thought we would need to do damage control of our own. Here are the following steps that must be taken directly after an event like this. 1. Immediate push for Back-links- During the month following a down-time like this one, the need for sites around the web to verify your existence is crucial.  The pages that Google attempts and fails to Crawl can be put on the back burners for a period of time.  Making a strong push for links and acknowledgment can get a faster crawl to those skipped pages than would likely come otherwise. 2. Add more content.  We all know that the best way to get Google's attention is to give it something new to look at. While we feed several different blogs on this site, we also enjoy adding our own content on a regular basis  At this moment its pertinent to add more than we normally would.  The additional content will signal that the site is not dead and is in fact very much alive and active. 3.  In addition to adding the content, we have to make sure that Google is aware of it being added.  To drive home this point, we submit sitemaps... Several sitemaps. From XML to ROR, wee submit every possible format of sitemap available.  Some may think this a bit eccentric, but in dire moments like these, it can be the difference between being demoted  for weeks or for months.  For additional sitemaps in Wordpress, we suggest using the following We also have some made at xml-sitemaps.com in url.txt and rss.ror format. Our running experiment will now be to see how long it will take to return to the traffic and ranking that we had last month.  We will share this experience with you all and welcome any suggestion or thoughts you would like to add.