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Old 04-15-2007, 07:31 AM
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Default Link Popularity & SEO

Too often prospective clients are looking to capture traffic and sales from just a couple of different major keywords.Often, these keywords are very similar – singular and plural versions ofthe same term, for example.The real secret to working with keywords in links to work with as varied a spread of keywords of possible, in order to capture as many different keyword combinations of these as possible.

Although Wordtracker and Overture keyword checkers may show some keywords as having high volumes of searches, you often need to be cynical about these.After all, in competitive keyword areas, many searches are performed by vendors checking their own positions – instead of actual prospective customers. And this bloats the traffic volumes.What Wordtracker and Overture keyword lists often don’t illustrate is that there can be an incredible range of related keyword related searches.

Each of these may have an very small volume – perhaps once a month – but once you start to add these together, they can equate to a HUGE volume of potential traffic, that even beats major keywords.What’s more, you can often find that the more competitive keywords are relatively generic – good for window shoppers – so the conversion ratio isn’t so great.However, much more precise searches in the Longtail can convert much better, because you’re capturing search traffic that has already made a purchasing decision.Last year, a new client who is otherwise “sandboxed” for most of his major keywords switched off his PPC and went on holiday for 2 weeks.

When he came back, there was over ($15,000) in orders waiting for him. And this is during a slow season.Almost all of these orders were generated through a large volume link campaign, which specifically aimed to capture lots of different keyword combinations – links that didn’t simply aim for major keywords, but a whole variety of them.The Longtail remains a very underestimate SEO strategy, but you ignore it at your own cost.
For Example: Good Keywords Tool shows the keyword frequency.

See below

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Off-topic links

Google is perceived by some to particularly reward “on-topic” links.But not every page with a link is going to be devoted to that topic – heck, you only have to consider Google itself.Consider how many times you see people link to Google – how many of those webpages are specifically about search engines?Probably not many – but instead about an unrelated subject, where Google is recommended as a resource for finding out more.Off-topic links are a natural part of the structure of the web, and because of that, are always useful – for human users and search engines.And the simple truth is that off-topic links work and are effective for SEO campaigns.

While on-topic links are desirable, this can really push up a budget considerably. Frankly for many small businesses to insist on on-topic links only is not simply difficult, it’s unnecessary.

My personal SEO philosophy is not to simply deliver results, but to deliver results in a very cost-effective manner.After all, would you rather pay $5,000 or $1,000 to generate $10,000 in sales?Off-topic links can be a very cost-effective way to generate keywords links in volume – and develop corresponding traffic and sales because of it.

Web directories

Web directories have a variable reputation in SEO.On the one hand, they are often regarded as little better than link farms. Even worse, they almost certainly provide “low-trust” links.
Even still, I use directory listings as a strategic part of my overall SEO campaign.
This is not because I want to use directory titles to “link bomb” into listings – but as a key part of a spidering strategy.Having a search engine friendly site requires that search engines can actually find and index it, and web directories are a way to help ensure a stable of static links that search engines can use to find it.It also helps raise the overall profile of a website online.

Sometimes the page listings can capture key Longtail searches that – if you are listed prominently enough on – can help expose your target company to human users, and even capture qualified sales leads.When it comes to SEO strategies, a directory-only approach isn’t going to be a big help for competitive business verticals.However, when enrolled into a wider SEO campaign utilising multiple strategies, I personally consider it to be an invaluable part of the armoury.

How to beat the Google Sandbox

The Google Sandbox is an old system.It was first noticed in April 2004, when volume link builders (such as myself) found that instead of immediate ranking effects from volume link building, as expected, it now took 3 months before those links would impact.Since then the Google Sandbox has come to encompass a varied range of filters that Google seems to have developed in order to prevent easy manipulation of rankings – with the result that many newer domains have an awful time ranking for major keywords.If you’re a results-driven person like myself, then it can be initially unnerving. But all is not lost.For websites with a lot of content (such as informational sites and ecommerce sites) you can still capture a lot of Longtail searches.I have a client who still is sandboxed for a number of his targeted keywords. However, we capture enough sales from the Longtail traffic to make the SEO campaign more than profitable from him on that basis alone.However, I’ve recently taken up a new strategy for him to help fight sandboxing.

Instead of just trying to rank his website, I’m now ranking webpages on “trusted” third party sites – on pages dedicated to promoting his products/services.So far it’s working very well – because the pages are on older and more trusted domains, Google has no problem ranking for those pages for the keywords used in the links.

In just a couple of weeks he captured half of his targeted keywords into Top 10 rankings on this method alone, plus he also has his own site represented in various positions – and all in addition to the capture of sales from Longtail search traffic.Although ranking third-party sites instead of your targeted website isn’t ideal – not least because it introduces another click between a visitor finding a listing to view, and the destination webpage – it can at least provide a short-term solution to a short-term problem.
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