With all of the recent changes and talk from Google on how they are now slapping web site for different link building methods and even taking down sites that are “too niche” with exact match domains (EMD), I thought it would make for a good post to sit down with my friend Jeet from GetLinksPro and see what’s working best for his company along with the hundreds of other sites he’s been focusing their promotion and link building efforts on.
1.) What concerns should bloggers and web site owners have with all of the recent changes being made and enforced by Google and search rankings?
To start with, I would like to thank you for giving me a platform to share my views on topics that concern many webmasters, bloggers and business owners looking to improve their online presence.
A lot of bloggers, website owners and SEO companies talk to us regularly that their competitors rank higher even when they are obviously buying links. I went through a large American Shelters company’s backlink profile yesterday and all I could see was resource and links pages that openly invited more link exchanges. They rank #1/2 for many of the industry keywords and it’s obvious that others think that reciprocal or three way link exchanges are still given importance.
With the recent updates, Google has made its intentions quite clear that it will go after web spammers and sooner or later their algorithms will catch up with such shady methods.
It’s relatively easy for bloggers to promote themselves because they fall into a community that produces maximum number of links and buzz for any online property (Makes me wonder where would we be if people didn’t start writing online diaries and weblogs). For now work is cut out for commercial companies and small businesses, because they have to make extra efforts in order to offer some real value for others to talk about them.
Recent updates have actually been rather beneficial for GetLinksPro since bloggers and business owners have understood that they can’t rely on low quality or automated link building any more.
2.) What are your top recommended services or practices for growing a site with quality traffic and ranking in the search engines?
My first recommendation to any business and blogger is to get a good looking and functional website. It starts from there. If your site looks like it was made 2 decades ago and has never been updated, you shouldn’t really expect your phones to ring because of website visitors.
I come across a lot of websites that are missing basic navigational elements have URLs that don’t tell users what they might expect on the page. Ensuring that humans and search engine bots can access all pages of your website is very important.
After you have ensured the basics are correct, you should get the word out about your business and website in relevant circles. Use content driven methods like guest posts to get traffic from relevant blogs, this also makes search engines rate and rank your website higher. Businesses should definitely strive to make and maintain a blog on their site. As I said earlier that online marketing is easier for bloggers because they are considered part of the blogging community by other bloggers; businesses
should strive to get to same position and then they will definitely see a lot more bloggers talking about them.
Quality content is the Swiss army knife that can get you direct traffic (think guest posts and helpful forum discussions), blog mentions (links from your own guest posts and also from bloggers linking to great resources on your website), authority/expert status and a flood of paying customers.
To summarize: you should give something back to the internet and it would love you back and embrace you with open arms.
3.) Are exact match domains (EMD) dead and what’s the future of tight niche web sites?
I think that’s a big misconception, I still see plenty of my clients with EMDs ranking very high. Sure, low quality EMD based sites that didn’t provide any real value to users and were full of barely readable content are definitely in trouble. I feel like days of passive income may be over and people have to start thinking about not-so-passive income. If you outsource wisely, you could still be in the passive income game but making a website once and reaping rewards forever is something that may not work for long.
I like tight niche sites that are done right. It’s possible that the algorithm changes manage to destroy some good ones (Penguin surely gave us some absurd search results initially), but internet marketers shouldn’t start ignoring tight niches completely. It’s often better to be a monster in a small pond than a small fish in the big ocean.
EMD’s importance for SEO has largely diminished, but tight niche sites and EMD’s are here to stay if they add value for visitors.
4.) Does a web site owner need to have a large budget to effectively get traffic to their site and actually rank within the first few pages of Google for a specific search term?
I love that question. Some web site owners would definitely need a huge (more than large) budget to rank but most web site owners should understand that their race is not against Google, it’s against other businesses in their industry. To draw an analogy- hypothetically, if a lion is chasing you and some other people- You don’t need to outrun the lion, you only need to outrun the other people. In real life; If you look at IMDB’s top 100 movies, not all of them were big budget movies like Avatar, you don’t always need a big budget to create a massive hit.
Website owners have to outsmart their peers, generate better content than their rivals and network with more bloggers; blogosphere can make or break a business.
Be smart about your spending; outsource some parts for expertise, others to get things done on a small budget. It’s true that a five dollar gig on a popular task site can’t skyrocket your rankings but most of the times you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to achieve your goals.
5.) What type of results are you seeing in the guest blogging space? Is it still as effective as it used to be, and how are you dealing with more and more services out there trying to sell links through guest blog placement?
I have been doing guest blogging since the year 2009. The results were always awesome. Earlier I felt that ROI was lower than other methods like directory submissions or article submissions but the times they are a-changin’. If anything, effectiveness of guest blogging has only increased.
You bring up a pain point with that question. Shady SEO companies that were once selling links on their private blog networks are now converting the same networks to guest blogging networks. I get automated emails from bloggers everyday asking me whether they can write a guest post, they fail to notice that the site in question doesn’t even have a blog. I also get a lot of guest post exchange requests from SEO companies. And there are bloggers who would like to charge you for writing a guest posts on their blog.
No day passes without one of the prospective customers telling me that I should give them a fixed timeline for delivering guest posts because their current vendor gives them a turnaround time of a week (or two). They fail to understand that contacting a real blogger, sending them ideas, post content and getting it published can hardly take less than a week.
Just like three way reciprocal links and paid links were being sold as one way links from high PR pages, Shady SEO companies are now selling links from private blog networks and guest post exchanges as guest blogging service.
I really can’t go out and educate all the bloggers and business owners about these methods, top internet marketers and super bloggers like you could make a difference here. I do try to put forward my case in front of potential clients and hope that they would understand the difference between real guest posts and paid / exchanged posts disguising as guest posts.
If you would like to learn more about SEO, link building and guest blog posting, I recommend you visit GetLinksPro.com which is Jeet’s personal business site.