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5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working

If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur with an online dropshipping business or other internet enterprise, you may have invested time in social media marketing but failed to get the results you hoped for, and consequently are ready to throw in the towel and forget social media as a way to build your business.

Don’t be too hasty!

There are reasons why your social media strategy might not have been successful so far, and fixes for these failures/

Here are 5 reasons why some marketers are not successful with social media marketing:

1. Targeting the wrong demographic: This is a fairly common mistake made by a lot of entrepreneurs. There are quite a few popular social sites, but they are not all created equal in terms of having members who represent your ideal target market. For example, Bebo is comprised mainly of young people. If you are selling a product geared for a more mature consumer, investing time in social marketing here is a bad move.

2. Failure to use good SEO: Search Engine Optimization is crucial, and this rule applies to social media marketing as well as your ecommerce website. You should make sure to use best SEO practices on your Twitter profile, your Facebook page, LinkedIn or any other social site you are using for marketing.

3. Your content and contributions were substandard: To be successful with social media marketing, you must engage with your audience. And this requires you to be engaging with fresh, interesting content. You can’t just login and blab out any old thing just for the sake of putting in an appearance on the social site and expect to get good results. Create rich, compelling content and it will pay off for you!

4. You came across as shady and untrustworthy: If you plaster your website with ads and shady looking links, most people will hit the back button. In order to optimize your social media marketing efforts, your website should be professional looking and display trust and security symbols prominently.

5. You spread yourself too thin: This is another fairly common area of failure for social media marketers. Trying to cover too many bases and engage in marketing campaigns at too many sites is never a good idea. Basically, unless you are willing to work 20 hours a day at it, you are setting yourself up to fail. It’s better to choose one or two social sites and focus on them than to skip and hop around from one to another, not doing a good job on any of them.

If your social networking hasn’t been up to your expectations, you might be able to recognize what you’re doing wrong and fix it!

social media marketing

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eCommerce: Shortcuts to Success in a Home Business

The internet has opened the doors to a whole new world of opportunities for enterprising entrepreneurs who want to make a living online, and taking a few shortcuts will have you making a profit even faster in your home dropship business!

Time is of the essence for many “netpreneurs” who are starting and running a home business.

Most home business owners take care of every aspect of operations by themselves and consequently wear a lot of different hats. So, making every minute count is of paramount importance!

Save a little time with these shortcuts to success in an internet business:

  • Use a free website design program. There are some great ones available online! Professional website designers spend a lot of time and a lot of money getting the right website design programs and learning all about how to use them. Face it, unless you are a wealthy home business owner, you probably can’t afford to hire one of these ultra snazzy design firms that produce the sophisticated websites for multi-million dollar corporations. So take advantage of one of the free sites that allow you to create a very professional looking website.
  • Sometimes it is best to spend money by hiring a pro. You need the best content for your website that you can get. It should have effective SEO, as well. If you are not proficient at writing content and/or not good at SEO, then definitely hire someone to do this for you. This is not the area to cut corners and try to save a few bucks!
  • Get started in social media marketing ASAP! Especially for a fledgling business, money may be in as short supply as time, so use the free marketing available from social sites and a business blog to drive traffic to your website. There are several free services and tools available on the internet for social media marketing that allow you to save considerable time by basically consolidating everything for you.

Success awaits anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort necessary to make it happen, whether it is an online dropshipping business or another ecommerce endeavor. Time is money, so saving time with shortcuts can help speed you on your way down the road to success!

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How to Launch a Successful eCommerce Business Blog

Did you know that having a blog for your ecommerce website is one of the best ways to build your brand and grow your business?

Business blogs, if done properly, are a wonderful tool for the ecommerce entrepreneur!

Here are some tips to help you launch a great blog for your business:

  • Determine what the purpose of your blog will be. Do you want it to be primarily a search marketing tool? Do you want a blog so that customers and potential customers can interact with you? Or maybe a combination of both those things? A blog is like any other endeavor—you should have a plan and a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish.
  • When establishing a URL for your business blog, be sure to incorporate the name of your business. It’s nice to use keywords but if you hope to build brand awareness for your business, then you’re better off using your business name in the URL.
  • You will need blog software and WordPress is a good choice in most cases.  Best of all, it’s free!
  • For best results and a polished, professional appearance, you should customize your blog to more or less correlate in some way with your industry or business. There are an abundance of free templates available on the World Wide Web that can be fully customized to suit your taste and purposes.
  • Decide on what categories you will have for blog posts and content. In general, it’s best to base these categories on your prime keywords. That way, when you post an article to your blog and designate a category, it will use good SEO techniques.
  • Do your best to attract blog subscribers and use clickable widgets so that it’s easy for a reader to share your blog post with others. You should set up accounts on such websites as Digg, Delicious, and others.

Now here is a tip on what NOT to do with your blog: Don’t try making your blog too full of salesy hype about your business as this will be a major turn-off to readers.

Instead, write your blog posts so that they correlate with your industry, and occasionally put in a plug for your ecommerce business. Moderation is the key!

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eCommerce: Social Media Optimization & SEO for Dropshipping

Social Media Optimization, or SMO, and Search Engine Optimization, or SEO; are a match made in ecommerce heaven and can do wonders to promote your online dropshipping business!

With Social Media optimization, you virtually promote your business, build your brand, make yourself visible and generate buzz about your website that will supply a steady stream of fresh traffic—all without any active promotion!

We’re all familiar with SEO, but every ecommerce entrepreneur should familiarize themselves with integrating SEO with Social Media Optimization.

According to the results of a recent Nielsen study, social media sites such as blogs, and social networks now account for 18% of where searches begin, outperforming sites that are dedicated to publishing information specifically to help individuals find deeper analysis and details.

This is a trend that is gaining momentum by leaps and bounds; as Nielsen observes, “Social Media is becoming a core product research channel.”

At the core of any successful Social Media Optimization campaign are social objects.

Social objects are the content that is created in social media,

This includes images, videos, blog posts, comments, status updates, wall posts on Facebook, Twitter tweets and all other social activity that ignites a spark for online socializing and conversation.

Understanding social objects and how they function, as well as how you can integrate SEO with these social objects, is one of the most important things about a good Social Media Optimization program for your dropship business.

To connect social media and social objects, there are five basic areas you need to focus on:

1. Titles: When using SMO with SEO, don’t try to come up with an attention grabbing title so much as one that contains the keywords that match the search patterns of the people you hope to reach.

2. Keywords: When choosing keywords for social objects, bear in mind that they may not be what you would expect. So use Google Adwords for some ideas.

3. When you are writing descriptions for social objects, make sure that your copy includes a minimum of three keywords related to your business and targeted viewers.

4. Tags: These are keywords that serve to group and organize your social objects within the social network you are using.

5. Links: Just as in SEO, links help drive traffic to your social objects and help boost your ranking in search results.

Social Media Optimization and Search Engine Optimization go together like peanut butter and jelly, so make the most of this combination to help grow your ecommerce dropshipping business!

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7 Quick Tips for eCommerce

If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur, you are probably always looking for new ways to improve your site as well as your sales!

Here are 7 quick tips to help you fine tune your ecommerce website:

1. Make your website friendly to any and all users, regardless of where they might be in the purchasing process. Some might be basically window shopping. Some might be doing price comparisons. Some might be doing research about what types of widgets are available and what sort of bells and whistles each type has. Some might be there specifically to buy. Accommodate all of them!

2. Make your website content pack a punch and sing a song that grabs and holds the attention of visitors! If you can’t write killer copy and content yourself, then hire a freelance writer to do this job for you. It will be well worth the investment!

3. Have attention grabbing headers, and make sure each header uses good SEO techniques. Besides wanting to get the attention of potential buyers, you want the search engine crawlers to pick up those headers. So, use your best keywords and incorporate them into your headers!

4. Have good calls to action! This is vital to the success of your online business! Ask for those sales! Make your calls to action loud and clear. This is not the time to be subtle or ambiguous. If you want the sale—ask for it. Leave no room for doubt about exactly what it is you want the person to do next.

5. Have great photos and plenty of them! Nothing is more off-putting than a website with poor quality, blurry photos. How can you possibly expect people to buy something they can’t even see? Especially online! Always remember that you are asking visitors to purchase something they can neither see nor touch except in the virtual world of the internet. So have lots of great quality photos!

6. Have a community where your customers and visitors can interact with each other and with you. A lot of websites don’t do this and it’s a huge mistake. If you make visitors feel at home, and give them a sense of belonging—they’ll be true blue and loyal!

7. Monitor your website frequently to make sure there are no broken links, slow loading pages or other booboos that slow your site down or cause glitches. Streamline the entire process from the time someone lands on your site until they purchase and checkout!

Use these tips to keep your website running like a well-oiled machine and watch your

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Twitter Made Easy: A Social Media Marketing Guide for Newbies

March 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Bonanzle, Drop Shipping, eBay, Home Business, Home Worker, Wholesale

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Do you want to try social media marketing with Twitter but are unsure where and how to start?

Here are some basic steps to getting started that may help you get on in there and at least get your feet wet in the Twitter stream:

  • First, create a Twitter account. Heads up: Choose a username that incorporates the name of your ecommerce business if at all possible. For example, if your website is named happycamper.com, then try to get “happy camper” as your Twitter user name. This is using good SEO and also helps to build your brand!
  • Spend some time writing a killer profile bio. You are limited to 160 characters, so you’ll have to choose your words wisely! Again, use good SEO practices and work in as many of your major keywords as you possibly can.
  • Get a free Twitter custom background. Choose one that reflects your business; add your business logo, name, and everything else you can. This also works to build your brand even though the search engines won’t pick up content on backgrounds. Other Twitter users will see your custom background so it helps to make it memorable.
  • Do upload a photo. Remember, this isn’t about who is the fairest in the land, it’s about making yourself more personable and humanizing yourself. You may consider yourself so ugly you could hire out to haunt houses, but never mind. Post a photo of yourself anyway!
  • Now that you’ve gotten registered, composed your profile bio, gotten a great background and posted a photo—start getting a feel for Twitter. Basically, you should just lurk for a few days until you have a pretty good idea of how things are done. Observe the social niceties and mind your manners!
  • Start participating. You can do a Twitter search to find others whose interests correlate with your industry. Once you find them, follow them & when there is a good opening for you to comment—go ahead. Don’t follow every Tom, Dick & Harriet on Twitter or try to amass thousands of followers yourself just to have them. Twitter isn’t a numbers game. It’s better to have 500 qualified followers whose interests correspond to your business than 5,000 of any and everybody.
  • Establish yourself as a trustworthy, interesting Twitter user who shares entertaining, informative or other valuable info with others, and you will soon garner plenty of good followers!
  • Be consistent and plan to spend a certain amount of time on Twitter every day.

Think of social media marketing as a garden—you prepare the ground, sow the seeds, cultivate and tend the crop, and ultimately enjoy a rich harvest.

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Social Media Optimization: Do You Need a Blog for Your eCommerce Business?

February 5, 2010 by  
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Have you thought about setting up a blog for your ecommerce business but wondered if you really need one enough to mess with it?

The answer to that question is YES, you do need one, if you want to practice social media optimization and grow your online business.

Why do you need a blog?

Well, for starters, one-fourth of the most popular websites on the World Wide Web are blogs.

That should tell you something.

People like blogs. In fact, the collective blogosphere is enormous!

Based on research by ComScore MediaMetrix, in a report issued August of 2008, in 2007 there were 77 million visitors to blogs, compared to 44 million visitors to Facebook.

So, blogs are certainly a force to be reckoned with on the internet, and a very useful tool for social media marketing!

Here are just a few of the benefits of having a blog for your online business:

Helps you to establish yourself as an authority or expert within your niche

Is a fantastic social media and Public Relations venue

Lets you create a whole community based on your business

Gives you immediate invaluable feedback

Allows you to interact with your customers and potential customers

Provides great social media advertising through back links

As a rule, blog posts make it to the search engines faster and with higher ranking

Helps you to establish and build your brand

Helps build your business through increased traffic to your website

Generates Buzz that will keep you “front of mind” amongst your competitors

Helps you to troubleshoot problems and contain damage from problems or potential problems with customers

By combining SEO with Social Media Optimization on your blog, you can incorporate keywords that will help you rise to the top in search engine rankings.

There are some fabulous FREE resources available on the internet to start your business blog.

One of the best known is the much acclaimed WordPress, which provides everything you need to start your own blog absolutely FREE.

Click Here to go to WordPress

Another great FREE resource to start your blog is Blogger, a free publishing tool from Google.

Click Here to go to Blogger

So, what are you waiting for?

Get your ecommerce blog up and running today, and harness the power of social media marketing while you improve and grow your online business!

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5 Tips to Make Your eCommerce Website Popular with Google

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Bonanzle, Drop Shipping, eBay, Home Business, Home Worker, Wholesale

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If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur, you understand how important it is to have Google’s approval!
There is a saying that you will hear/see many times on the internet: “If you don’t exist on Google, you don’t exist.”
This is so true. To have a successful, thriving high-traffic and high- sales online store, you absolutely must be prominently featured in Google search.
Internet retail research has shown that very few consumers will go past the first page of a search. The closer you are to the top of the page, the better off you are!
So, what can you do to make Google like you and want to put you first?
Here are some pointers to making your ecommerce website more popular with the Google search engine:
  • Instead of trying to work out or try some complicated, never-fail formula for SEO, write your content so that it will flow smoothly for the reader. This doesn’t mean forget about SEO, it simply means don’t make it the be-all and end-all of your content. Google likes it when you don’t overdo the SEO stuff!
  • Ask your friends and/or relatives if they genuinely like the content you are writing for the web. If they like it, there is an excellent chance that Google will like it, too.
  • Update your content frequently. This is one of the most effective ways you can get in Google’s good books! Google loves fresh content, so if you supply it, you are helping your website be a favorite with this search giant.
  • Have a blog for your ecommerce business and share valuable, informative content with readers so that you build up a solid base of followers who read your blog posts. Google likes popular, influential websites that have lots of friends and followers.
  • Use SEO with SMO, or Social Media Optimization. Google responds very well to websites who are adept at combining these two things.
The more favorably your ecommerce website is viewed by Google, the more successful it will be!
So, make sure that you schedule time at least every week or so to keep your website up to speed and keeping Google happy!

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Combining SEO with Social Media Marketing: What NOT to Do

Combining SEO with social media marketing for your ecommerce business must be done correctly in order to be effective.
There are social media “purists” who are incensed to see it used for marketing purposes at all, much less leveraged with SEO!
However, it is being done, and done successfully, by canny ecommerce entrepreneurs who understand what a powerful marketing tool social media can be, especially when the power of SEO is incorporated into the strategy.
But you do have to watch your step!
Bear in mind that a lot of the social media site founders didn’t have marketing use in mind when they developed their community. Ditto for many of the users or members.
So, here are some things you should NOT do when using SEO with social media marketing:
DON’T: Jump right in and start trying to run the show! Instead, gradually build your place in the community of users. Then you can start working on SEO along with social media optimization.
DON’T: Be a know-it-all or a blow hard! It’s fine to have an opinion or to offer well informed comments, but don’t be obnoxious or pushy. If you get a chance to incorporate some of your keywords into conversations, do it naturally and above all–nicely.
DON’T: Spam. Never, ever.
DON’T: Make nonsense comments just to use your keywords.
DON’T: Be stand-offish. You should never, for example, create a Facebook page and then fail to engage with your fans and/or friends. Ditto for Twitter and followers! Don’t just slap up a bunch of SEO content and then sit back and lapse into silence.
DON’T: Take and not give back in return. Share something of value, and do this often! It doesn’t have to all be about SEO and marketing, and in fact, it shouldn’t be. To approach it in such a fashion would be the Kiss of Death to your social media marketing aspirations.
DON’T: Be too sales-y. This is a gigantic turn-off to others! It’s great to use SEO with SMO, or Social Media Optimization, but don’t over-do the hype with keywords.
DON’T: Ignore what others are saying In other words, don’t just talk so that you can use your keywords often, but listen to others, as well!
DON’T: Be a phony. No matter how good you think you might be at pulling the wool over the yes of the public, the community will pick up on phonies—count on it. Walmart tried that with its “Walmarting Across America” blog, when it tried to fool people into thinking that the blog entries were originating from everyday consumers who love Wally World. They were exposed, and you will be, too, if you pretend to be something you aren’t. So, don’t try to throw out a bunch of made-up baloney so that you can load up on your keywords.
Using SEO and social media marketing together successfully is a savvy move to make if you want to grow your online business, but make sure you do it right or your efforts will be counterproductive.
The above rules apply to any form of social media marketing!

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Strategies to Spend Money & Earn ROI from Link Campaigns (without buying links)

Posted by randfish

Last week at Pubcon Las Vegas, I presented on How to Buy Links with Maximum Juice and Minimum Effort with fellow panelists Roger Montti (Martinibuster), Aaron Wall (SEOBook) and Todd Malicoat (Stuntdubl). I was a bit of an odd choice for this discussion, as I’d only recently announced SEOmoz’s Stance on Paid Links & Link Ads, but Pubcon’s organizers decided it would be interesting to have a divergent point-of-view.

Below is my presentation, which covers the perspective I come from and why I’m so risk-averse as well as strategies I recommend to capture value from investing in link acquisition campaigns:

Pubcon 2009 Paid Links

Not surprisingly I had a lot of people talk to me (and email me) after the presentation and express some really valuable opinions and questions. The presentations started late due to a misfunctioning projector, meaning there was no time for formal Q+A. I thought I’d take the opportunity in this post to address some of those missed questions.

Do you ever recommend link buying for any site? What about hyper-competitive industries?

Because of my distaste for risk of any kind when it comes to Google’s webspam team, my answer is consistent – no. I don’t ever suggest that businesses buy links from brokers or in the form of link ads that carry the primary intent of boosting a site’s ranking. To be fair, many of my colleagues who practice SEO in competitive industries (dating, gaming, pharmaceutical, real estate, e-commerce, etc.) don’t agree and do engage in buying links to boost their rank. I even know folks at Fortune 500s who use link brokers successfully for specific pages and targeted keywords (this group is probably in the lowest risk category).

Despite these examples and my respect for my colleagues, whenever I’m asked, I’m going to give the same reply – it’s my belief that in the long run, your money will be better spent on link acquisition that runs no risk of being flagged as manipulative by Google. The penalties and problems of link buying simply outweigh the benefits in my mind, so while I have no problem with paid links from a moral, ethical or legal standpoint (nofollow is most definitely not a way to disclose advertising to consumers as per the FTC’s guidelines), the pragmatist in me says link buying isn’t the way to success at Google.

What about directories that require a payment?

The short answer is – it depends. I’d wager a lot of money that some directories which do require payments pass great link equity. These include sites like:

Then there’s the opposite end of the spectrum of directories that exist primarily for the purpose of selling PageRank. Google took action against many of these a couple years back and I suspect they continue to identify and discount their links as new ones crop up. In 2007, I wrote a lengthy post on What Makes a Good Directory and I’d still stand by nearly all of that today.

The message here is that just because a site requires payment to get a link doesn’t make it a “paid link” that Google will penalize or discount. As with many things in life, SEO and the web, there are shades of gray and nuances that require paying attention. If stuff like this were simple, SEO would be, too, and we know that’s not the case.

If I see my competitors engaging in link buying, how can I compete if I don’t do it, too?

I think a big misnomer with link analysis comes up when people scroll through a list of their competition’s links via something like Yahoo! Site Explorer. There’s no metrics indicating whether the link is passing juice, no metric for trustworthiness or quality, just a notation that a link exists on the page. Even if you’re using something more advanced like Linkscape, there’s nothing to say which links Google counts and which they don’t. You can easily get pulled into the idea that paid links are what’s propping up the competition’s rankings, when in fact, it’s a few great natural links that are doing all the heavy lifting.

I remember a site clinic several years back featuring a Google’s webspam chief, Matt Cutts. He was reviewing a site’s link profile on stage using an internal tool and commented that while Google saw several hundred links to the site, only three (yes 3 out of hundreds!) were passing link equity. Cearly, the search giant does a tremendous amount of filtering on the web’s link graph, so don’t presume to be sure which links are passing value.

Even if you feel very confident that paid links are winning the battle for your archnemesis, I recommend taking the low-risk road. In the long run, they’re likely to get penalized/devalued and you’re likely to overtake them with a link profile that’s clean and continually increasing in value.

Where do you draw the line between money that’s spent to acquire a link indirectly (as with event sponsorship, ads that turn into links, etc.)

This gets at the crux of the issue, but I think I’ve got a reasonably good methodology for determining which links requiring funds fit with Google’s guidelines and which violate them. I like these three questions:

  1. Does the organization offering the link tout SEO, PageRank, customizable anchor text or Google rankings as either a portion or the whole of the benefit you’ll receive by paying this money?
  2. Does the money go towards little else besides the link itself?
  3. Does the organization/website provide links via this acquisition methodology (whether that’s an event sponsorship, a charitable donation, an advertising relationship, etc.) to the more aggressive side of the SEO/web marketing field (niches like porn, pills, casino, legal, real estate, etc.) often with anchor text heavy links?

If the answer to any of these is a definite “yes,” the source is likely to fit into Google’s “suspicious” pile and possibly will lose the ability to pass link equity in the future (or already has).

How can you be sure that linkbait and viral content won’t be treated the same as paid links by Google in the future?

Just a couple months back, I wrote about Why Linkbait is a Tactic the Search Engines Will Always Value, so it’s probably not worth re-hashing here. Certainly, there are ways to be manipulative about virtually anything in the link acquisition world, and Google may well take action against some forms of these, but I believe natural links acquired through great content are going to stand the test of time (and are likely to benefit from future ranking signals, whatever they may be).

This is just Google FUD – we shouldn’t let them dictate how to do our jobs!

But we already do! The only reason we try to build these links, research the right keywords, create and submit XML sitemaps, etc. is because Google is dictating the way their crawling, processing and ranking systems work. In their ecosystem – the one that drives 85%+ of all search traffic on the web – there are guidelines, best practices, rules and regulations. If you want to play on their court, you’ve got to abide by those rules or be ready to face the consequences. I’m not ready for those consequences and thus, have low risk tolerance and the attitude you’re reading about.

None of this is to say that a more risk-heavy appetite and more gray-black hat methodologies for link acquisition aren’t worth trying; just make sure you do it on sites you’re willing to get tossed out of the playground.

As always, I’m looking forward to the conversation in the comments.

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