What are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ links?

Bad Links

What Is Link Building?

More and more customers are becoming aware of “bad” links. They might even bring up “Penguin” and ask, “What is a bad link?” Here we look at what unnatural links might look like and, even better, what a “good” link is and where you might acquire them.

Up until now many SEO companies relied heavily on link building and acquisition. The idea is simple; create a link from external sources with an anchor matching a popular search query. So I could use a link to my site with “New Jersey SEO” as the anchor from multiple locations in an effort to improve my search placement for that term. Google has always stated that “paid” links are against their guidelines. Last year, however, Google started to devalue these types of links and many sites with large link profiles found themselves further down the page or completely vanishing from search.

What are “Bad” Links?

So what makes a link ‘bad’? It’s pretty simple really. Did you pay a service to acquire links? If so it’s very likely considered to be “unnatural” by search engines. The internet is laden with article sites full of duplicated or poorly spun content and marketers would be wise to avoid them at all costs. Often misinformed business owners participate in article marketing or comment links without knowing the long-term consequences.

What are “Good” Links?

So if paid links are ‘bad’, what makes a ‘good’ link? If you aren’t participating in a paid link service or ‘link wheel’, where you link out in return for reciprocal links, chances are your links are natural. For example, if you’re an attorney and you have links from Avvo or Lawyers.com, two authoritative lawyer sites, those should be considered ‘real’ and ‘natural’. If you write a great article or blog on your site and it gets attention in relevant searches it might get linked from other blogs and used as a reference. This is a great way to build relevant and authoritative links.

Other Things to Watch Out For

The two big mistakes I see are using the same anchor text repeatedly and using incoming links from every page on a domain. Google likes to see varied anchor text from incoming links. So using the same anchor every single time is not a good idea. Instead try and mix up your keywords with the actual domain name and/or the company name. Some folks even use anchors like “Click Here” which seems like a pretty natural approach to me. This issue can be compounded by affiliate links from every page on a site when the anchor exists on a sidebar or footer. Ask people linking to your site to keep it to a single page, preferably the homepage.

What can you do if you used ‘bad links’ in the past?

Getting back on track can be difficult. You can disavow those links through Google web master but that can take some time and there is no guarantee that you will see your site return to it’s former glory. You can reach out to the webmaster for links you do not want to disavow and ask them to remove the link or change the anchor but you’ll likely see limited success with getting people to comply.

Contact us

Let’s face it, links can be dangerous to your marketing campaign. While great links can be huge for your search results the wrong ones can kill it. Many companies, or their SEO companies, got involved with building links since that seemed like the “thing to do” at the time (up until Penguin 1) and it was proven to work for many industries. As Google continues to move toward a quality-centric algorithm we expect to see quality search results with authority instead of those with the most links for their keywords. This should be embraced by companies and SEOs alike. Contact our New Jersey SEO team to learn how we can help your internet campaign.

Google Street View in California’s National Parks

Google does a road-trip through some iconic parks

I’m not even sure my neighborhood is mapped using Street View but I’m sure this is a better use of the technology. You’re now able to follow Google Maps through five of Californa’s historic national parks in a 360 degree panaorramic view. They’ve also updated their Street View maps of the entire state allowing you road-trip through the entire state from north to south.

Yosemite National Park, CA


View Larger Map

Now everyone is able to enjoy the magestic imagery these places have to offer. Of course it’s not quite like driving through but it allows you to control the experience and take the time to really look around. Its inspiring enough to make you want to visit and plan a road-trip right now. You can read more about the details of each location on the Google announcement.

Of course Google doesn’t pass up the opportunity to advertise right on the page. Notice the Ads on the sidebar? What if you wanted a hotel for the night? Type “Hotel” directly in the search box and Google will find one relative to your location using Google Local Places. Also, you will see the Zagat ratings for those hotels giving you even more information to make a decision. That means properly optimized local places is key for attracting business and integrating that with the proper social media channels is becoming equally important. Our NJ SEO Company provides Local Listing Optimization with Social Media to give our clients visibility whenever possible.

Google +1 Recommendations Go Live

Google Announces New Google+ Features

Google has been busy working on extending their Google+ features. This latest initiative is intended to provide users a richer experience by showing additional content on a particular site that friends have recommended. These changes are being rolled out today so expect to see them anywhere you see a +1 badge. You can read the announcement on the Google Developers Blog.

Google+ Recommendations Go Live

If you have a Google badge on your site, that’s all you need to do. All recommendations will refer to the same domain or subdomain so the results will always be relevant. These recommendations will work across all +1 buttons for all users, whether or not they’re signed into Google+.

Google+ is huge for NJ SEO. Being able to draw visitors to your site via recommendations can be a monumental boost to traffic. And, this feature works even if you’re not logged in.

Twitter Improves Search

Twitter.com Adds Some Powerful Features

Friday Twitter added some powerful search options to their social media site. Introducing Search Autocomplete and “People You Follow” search results making it even easier to find out what’s going on in your online realm.

Search Autocomplete shows the most likely phrases for your search phrase as you type. This makes finding existing hashtag topics or events a breeze. Just start typing and choose your result from a possible list of choices.

twitter improves search

After you get your results there are also a bunch of other improvements.

Spelling corrections: If you misspell a word or phrase the results will be shown for the suggested/corrected term.

Related suggestions: If you search for a topic for which people use multiple terms, we will provide relevant suggestions for terms where the majority of that conversation is happening on Twitter.

Results with real names and usernames: When you search for a name like ‘Alec Baldwin,’ you’ll see results mentioning that person’s real name and their Twitter account username.

Results from people you follow: In addition to seeing ‘All’ or ‘Top’ Tweets for your search, you can also now see Tweets about a given topic from only the people you follow when you select the ‘People you follow’ view. Viewing Tweets about a topic from just the people you follow is a great way to find useful information and join the conversation.

Check out the twitter announcement to see the Twitter.com blog post on the topic.

Our NJ SEO Company creates multiple social media accounts for it’s clients and keep them updated with interesting content from their web blog of relevant events.

 

 

Google Power Searcher Training

Become a Google power searcher

Think you know how to search with Google? Did you know you could search only a certain site for specific information using “site:newjerseyseofirm.com google”. Or maybe you want to check the status of a flight? You can enter the flight directly into google, like “delta flight 187” for updated travel information. There are a myriad of tools Google provides via regular and advanced searches that can help find what you’re looking for faster and easier.

Google Power Searcher Training

Registration is Open

Google announced today registration for Power Searching with Google, a free on-line course designed to showcase these search techniques and how you can use them to your advantage. It’s a series of six 50 minute classes that will cover a broad range of subjects related to finding information on the Internet. Classes begin on July 10, 2012 and will run for two weeks at which you can take them at your own leisure. It leverages MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) a format by Stanford and MIT blended with Google’s own tools to provide a unique learning environment.

Visit the course page if you want to know more. When you’ve completed this course you will be finding information in no time! Of course don’t forget that people could be using this information to help better find your products and services. Learn more from a leading SEO Company.

Google Hot Searches with Rich Snippets

Google Hot Searches: Find what people are searching for on the Web

Most people search for what they want or need but if you’re curious to see what is hot at the moment and trending you can now turn to Hot Searches from Google Trends. Hot Searches provides a quick glance at popular stories and articles from around the web. It’s a great way to see what topics and events have just happened even before major news sites begin covering topics.

Hot searches has gotten a facelift and now features the use of rich snippet data to provide users with images and related information about a link. So you can get a feel for what the topic is and why its trending. Want to know whats hot? Check it out. You can also read the full announcement on the Google Blog.

google-hot-trends

We’re committed to providing our clients the Best SEO in NJ. We take advantage of Rich Snippets on all our pages to provide awesome looking, meaningful search results. Results that get customers clicking…

The New Bing With Social Media

Bing has released it’s updated search design today unveiling an integrated Social Media engine

New Bing with Social Media Integration

Bing’s look has been completely redesigned with a three column layout for search results. The left column contains your search results. The middle column, or “Snapshot” offers relevant results to the users search term. The column on the right, or “Sidebar” is intended to offer Social Media interaction and will show a Facebook activity feed and provide social interaction. Bing has a full release available here on their blog.

new-bing-with-social-media

Google has just announced it’s new Search Results Page which also increases the value of social media on searches with added value for Google+ and Zagat. Obviously both companies see the increasing value of social media channels. I tried it myself and found it somewhat lacking in content from a social media perspective. However, they are likely to build on this functionality and offer increasing functionality.

NJ Social Media Marketing is becoming essential for businesses who want to build a brand and gain exposure on the internet. Traditional methods of SEO are no longer effective. The internet marketing landscaping is constantly evolving and social media is here to stay.

Google+ Local with Zagat Integration

Local Google results now improved with Google+ and Zagat recommendations

Google+ LocalWant to find the best restaurants in the area? Google announced today the release of Google+ Local, where they’re looking to improve on their existing services by including information from Google+ and Zagat. Now, when your friends and family (people in your Google+ circles) give a +1 to a page, or provide a review on Zagat, it impacts your search results. The idea is that your friends and family share the same likes as you do and you hold their opinions in high regard.

You can find this new search as part of your Google+ account on an icon named “Local”

Google+ with Zagat

Here you get an integrated view of information about a place listed in Google.

The same type of information is also available when you look for information on Google Search and Google Maps. Google Maps for mobile is also live and iOS support on the way. The Zagat integration works in a similar fashion with a 30 point scale used for everything from Food to Decor so you can gauge the type of result you’re viewing. And, if people in your circles have any reviews or ratings, those are also highlighted.

Google Maps with Zagat

It’s clear how Google+ will become more and more powerful with roll-outs like these. Having a popular Google+ page can be huge for a company, help them create a brand, and most importantly, be used to influence search results. Our NJ Internet Marketing campaigns feature Advanced Local Listings across multiple sites and include Social Media integration to push your company to the next level.

Facebook Smartphone On The Way

The Social Media Giant Announces it’s own smartphone

Facebook Smartphone On The WayReports suggest that Facebook is poised to release a smartphone sometime next year. The Internet giant just recently announced its own app center which provides apps for mobile phones on various operating systems. Also last week we saw that Google acquires Motorola Mobility. We definitely see these two Internet giants in a face-off for the mobile internet space.

There have been reports as early as 2010 that Facebook is active in developing a mobile device. Since then they’ve gone at great lengths to keep things on down-low. It’s reported that this is the third attempt at a smartphone and that “Mark is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,” a Facebook employee said. Read more on this NY Times Article.

At The NJ SEO Firm we see Mobile Internet Marketing as the future of SEO. We welcome the Facebook Smartphone and hope that when it does come around we’re poised to capture the mobile community.

Google Fights Scams

Google reveals some data about their fight against scam ads

Google Fights Scam

Found this article on the Google blog that talks about their fight against spam-ads on Google and AdSense pages. Google has built technology to help identify, review and remove advertisers who attempt to trick customers with misleading claims, promote malware or to spam. Here is a look at some data which demonstrates the massive scale of these efforts. Apparently Google puts a lot of effort into this initiative.

They also said that it’s a few scammers that manage to create the majority of these negative ads with users creating new accounts as fast as Google can identify and remove them. In turn Google increases it’s efforts and so the arms race continues. Google claims they continue to make ground against these people demonstrated by the existing quality of their advertising.

Google's Fight Againt Bad Ads

 

At the NJ SEO Firm we manage our clients marketing strategies using a combination of SEO with PPC advertising for maximum results.