Watch Where You Place Your Links

Hmm, watch where you place your links… ha? Can be taken as a solid advice for many things, shady sites, shady content surroundings, even utilizing the right position to place a link on your own pages. Also, it can be taken in context of placing links where no one will find them, including search spiders. Let’s go over each scenario.

shady link

Shady Sites

First thing that comes to mind are empty and shallow content network sites. Yeah, most of you think of Indian networks, but on the contrary, Indian networks even took a turn for the better in the last few months, what I would be worried about are the newcomers in the web space that think they got it made. The guys that are taken by self-proclaimed SEO gurus that still rely on old spin the article routine and inner link their websites in such a manner that my granny would be able to tell it’s a network, not just that, but she gets a headache every time she tries to read one of those posts.

Basically, if you are not sure what was written once you read it, it’s not that good. And when you take a look at the site and there is no contact form, there is an empty about page and some of them even still have the default WP content, what can you expect? The posts are 200-300 words and have 10 links in them each, the sidebar is full of drug, casino and insurance links that have nothing to do with the topic of the site, get the hell out of there asap.

Shady Content Surroundings

You get a mail from a marketer or a blogger saying that he finds your website great and that you might benefit from linking to each other. Doesn’t sound bad always, sometimes bloggers are smart enough to offer you an in-content link, sounds even better. But if the website in question is solid, why not just exchange guest posts and call it a day, you write your own content and know that anywhere you place your links is fine. What, you want to save half an hour or an hour and just tell him to drop a link in a related article? Wrong!

Search engines do look at the surrounding content for images to understand them better and for links as well. So if you place a link with anchor “top 10 destinations for 2012” in the article that actually talks about some guy’s great time in Hawaii in 2010… well, do the math!  That’s not even half bad, I mentioned above posts with 10 links, one shady link in that same content can be a menace, even if the content is of great relevance to your link. What you need to do is periodically check your existing links that were acquired in a similar manner, as those “bloggers” tend to send those emails in bulk, so don’t be surprised if you go back to see your link surrounded by 5-6 other non-related links.

Bottom line, beware where you place your links, make sure that the link finds its natural place in the content, if there is  no reason for your link to be there do you really think it will have some positive impact?

Link Placements on your Website

This doesn’t happen to experienced webmasters, but for newbies I found this to be very common. Ok, so aside the navigation part and structure for a website, you can find great tutorials on that on the web, I’m talking about placing outgoing links on your own pages.

Why are there 50 links in your blogroll? Are all of those friends, great resources? I doubt it, at least have the common sense to segment the links, so have a blogroll that says friends, one that says resources and one that says advertisement. Ok, so people that advertise on your website don’t want to be placed there, than add another one called recommended or something really specific to the type of links.

Also, don’t place non related links on your pages, who will benefit from that? Your pocket? Sure, but for how long, until your traffic starts going down because you’ve been flagged? Why would you place a link to a miracle cure for something if you are blogging about social media? One of the top blogs actually, will not name them, I’m sure some of the people that are reading this article will recognize their blogs.

Another thing, placing non related links in the content of your posts? Why would you do that, do you care for your readers at all? How will a person reading a Guide to Cairns benefit from the “online gaming” link you have at the end of the post or somewhere between the paragraphs? Oh, you are using Textlinks services, so it’s not your fault… It is your fault, give it more editorial or stop using them.

Hard to Find Links

I often get mails proposing to have links at educational site or even government sites, not to mention all the proposals I get as an SEO, my mail is full of similar rubbish.  As bloggers you probably get them as well, maybe not so often, but hey, here is an example just from the other day.

A guy wants to give me a content placement on his high authority Uber important .edu site that shall not be named! I take a look out of curiosity to see what he is offering, after all, it is an amazing site, but the page he is offering is something like and my page would be placed on OK, so the domain has PR8, subdomain has a PR3, and his user page even though it is almost 2 years old is not indexed, wonder why? There are several thousand users, most of which never posted a single thing, and his personal blog space has 3 posts from 2009, probably while he was a student there.

So if I want the great effect of that link I will have to go the distance and link to that post from several places, make it indexed first and give it my own link juice, as it will never get any link juice from the subdomain, let alone the main domain.

This is just one example, but if the link you create never gets seen by a spider or a user, do you think it will matter. What, all those thousands of profiles you paid may go to waste and you are realizing it just now, what a bummer. Unless the profiles you created were used, so you went and made a few post, left some breadcrumbs for the spiders to follow, those profiles are either long gone, removed by the admins, or left there to collect dust.

End of the Rant

Just getting a link and feeling all high and mighty is not going to get you anywhere, that link needs to be indexed and related to have some impact. Paid networks and unrelated content will not get you much as well, those pages may be ignored once they are found out and your links devalued, so you are just wasting your time and money.

I know some of these opportunities sound good at the time, but whether it’s a paid link, a negotiated link or something you created yourself, give it some attention, research and most of all love, as those links won’t do a thing on their own.

Zac is a link building specialist and a seasoned SEO professional. He manages a team of link builders and actively promotes some of Australia's biggest brands. Zac is an active blogger and also maintains Dejan SEO's news and updates section.

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