Thursday, October 26, 2006

Search Engine Strategies

The most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the links pointing to your site. Here, as with most things, quality is more important than quality. If you have a single link to your site from a high-traffic, popular site, it will be worth many times more than hundreds of links from “Free For All” (FFA) sites.
Trust me when I say this: DON'T waste your time with FFA submission. The people who market FFA submission make it sound really tempting I know. Who wouldn't want hundreds of links pointing to their site? In my early days, I went on a campaign to get as many FFA links to my site as possible. The only thing it achieved was the vast quantity of utterly useless emails I got each day. In fact, it was so bad that I had to close down that email account.
I have found out subsequently from some of the masters of SEO (like say John Reese or Brad Fallon) that it may even be likely that some of the major search engines actually penalise a site that has many FFA incoming links. What I do know is that even though I had possibly 1,000 incoming FFA links, not one of them appeared as a link in the major search engines. It seems reasonable to conclude that even if the search engine doesn't penalize you for having FFA links incoming, at least all that work to get the links is wasted. In case you were wondering, I didn't go out and manually submit to heaps of FFA pages: it was all done through submission software. Even so, it's just not worth it.
Let me say this again ... get good incoming links to your site. Without them, you will never be high on the search engine rankings. How do you know they are good? Get the Google Toolbar and enable PageRank viewer. While it is not a 100% accurate reflection of a site's search engine ranking, at least you can see whether a page has a high page rank.
Another indication of the quality of a site is where it ranks in the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. There is a lot of software out there (most of it free) that will allow you to find out the ranking of a page for a particular keyword.
In summary, stay away from FFA and “link farms”. They will not do you any good and may actually hurt you in the long term. Build your quality links and your search engine rankings will soar in no time.

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