In the wake of the mass hysteria over Google’s recent PageRank decreases, devaluing of certain links, and the resulting rankings drop many people experienced, I’d like to offer some perspective and advice. First, my rankings at EricWard.com didn’t drop one spot. And remember that my site is 100% devoted to link building, so I have a lot at stake whenever the engines start rejigging algorithms. Here’s your proof.
Second, neither were any of my clients rankings affected. Why? Because I use a style and approach to link building that differs from the conventional wisdom, just like I always have. The conventional wisdom, by the way, now has many of you in a panic. But my approach isn’t magic. You can build links the same way I do, if you are willing to show some discipline.
Here are just five of the many ways link builders hurt themselves.
Being a link seeking snob. How many times have you ignored a potential site because you thought it looked ugly or it had a PageRank of 1? It’s not about appearance, graphic design, or ease of use. It’s about the veracity of the content. I’d rather have links from ugly sites created by business school professors using Netscape composer than a million from gorgeous sites about nothing, or directories with PageRank 4 that nobody has ever heard of.
Over-relying on social media. With everyone gushing over the so-called power of social media, I’m baffled as to how in the world us folks ever survived and built links back before sites like Myspace or Facebook existed. Social media was not created so you could dump URLs and treat the people like sheep. Click. Baaaaa. Click. Baaaaa.
Outsourcing to idiots. Short and simple. Your site is written in English. Your site is designed for people who read and speak English. The links you seek are from sites that are also written in English. Then why the hell would you outsource your link building to people who can barely speak or type English? I even received one link request that said “Please to us linking for because now rankage improves.” Now that’s effective communication.
Obsessively focusing on PageRank. Please please please turn the PageRank functionality of the Google toolbar off.
Seeking only links you can control. Any site willing to give you a link and also give the exact anchor text you ask them to doesn’t have much respect for their own content. Everyone is the Hemingway of their own content. Don’t tell me how to link to your site. Shut up and be thankful I linked to it at all.
Eric Ward has been in the link building and content publicity game since 1994, providing services ranking from linking strategy to a monthly private newsletters on linking for subscribers. The Link Week column appears on Mondays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.