Answering Elaine’s SEO Questions

Elaine asked some questions earlier in the week. I’m not sure how many were rhetorical, but I thought I’d add my thoughts (anything to keep me away from the VAT).

  • Should I search the ethernet for PR4+ blog posts, which don’t implement the ‘no follow’ and then try and figure out how to, sneakily, get my link in, so it looks oh so natural?

    – Sneakily? I’ve had some great success using the Majestic SEO tool and SEOMoz’s Competitive Link Finder in finding other blogs to get links from – I don’t’ take too much interest in page rank.

    – My biggest source of links is from retailers who place my reviews (testimonials) on their site and then link it.

    – I’m also working on another strategy which crosses the biz dev / link building objective by using Twitter to engage and then acquire commentary / links. I’ll expand on this later.

    – A few years ago I saw that it’d be more difficult to acquire links without offering something better than the average site. So I started going further down the content route with more emphasis.

  • Should I be making fan pages on Facebook, My Space, Bebo, Squidoo and Wikipedia?

    – I get some traffic from Facebook and Wikipedia. It doesn’t help with SEO a great deal (well conventional wisdom says that – who wants to be conventional though?)

    – Don’t forget Flickr though – more on that some other day.

  • Should I be creating numerous twitter accounts to cater for the wide range of products I could twit to unsuspecting followers?

    – Nope – one per site is good. Twitter is a massive element of my biz dev strategy. It’s paramount that I engage and illicit the support of my followers to grow my sites.

  • Should I be writing numerous blog posts to my various alter-ego blogs and inter connecting them all?

    – there’s nothing wrong with inter-linking in a relevant fashion. I do it to some degree, but only when the link is valuable because the content I link to is of use to the user. I won’t do those stupid links in footers on their own.

  • Should I be creating more niche websites on the WP platform?

    – I use Blogger, everyone knows that. But after some recent client work with WP I’m going to move a couple of new ones over to it and see how they get on. There’s some awesome plugins that would save me a massive amount of work, so they’re worth testing.

    – I often think its worthwhile extending your 2 or 3 main sites. You could use HitTail to extend your keyword range?

  • Should I be searching out different hosts so that I don’t host my sites on the same IP address?

    – this strategy is only useful if you’re over-reliant on using your own link juice and you find it difficult to attract links naturally.

    – make your sites good enough and it won’t be a problem.

  • Should I be signing up for the latest SEO/Affiliate conference, although they cost a fortune?

    – I was just thinking this. There’s so many good resources (like SEO Scientist) etc that I feel that often its not worth it for the education alone. But there is the value of networking.

  • If I sign up for the latest SEO/Affiliate conference will I make myself ill worrying about networking?

    – Elaine worry about anything? Nah. You’re an expert!
  • Should I be writing dozens of articles for article sites

    – only do what you’re interested in. For sites that I have less passion for I use TextBroker – they’re awesome!

  • Should I be writing concise articles, inserting just the one link to my site, for other complimentary sites?

    – have a look at Glen’s views on the most tweeted blog posts. Long posts work. Only link when its relevant. Do some content because people will find it useful.

  • Should I be spending most of my time finding those ‘impossible’ PR8 one way links which will lift my site up to Nirvana Link Heaven?

    – Have a read of the World Wide Rave or Crush It! – there’s some great ideas there to attract great links as a by-product of self marketing.

  • Should I just concentrate on good content and bugger the SEO side of stuff?

    – Nope – they’re two sides of the same coin. Make SEO a “given”, always have it in your mind, but put the content first.

  • Should I forget about good content and concentrate on the on-page stuff?

    – as above.

  • Should I use ‘no follow’ to sculpt my site into the silo effect? (no I haven’t got a clue, either!)

    – lol! Read this post from SEOMoz.

  • Should I start using pivot tables to analyse my data from Google Analytics?

    – I gave up on this post too. For some it’d be useful, but for me it was over-kill.

  • Should I start actually analysing my data from Google Analytics?

    – hell yeh. As well as Hittail there’s some great keywords in there for content expansion as well as source URLs that you can go back to and try and expand your exposure on.

  • Should I be concentrating on the long tail keywords and not the short tail ones?

    – With different sites I’ll do different things. But generally I concentrate on mid-range keywords and when the site has got some traction, I move further into the head.

  • Should I be using Linkscape or Majestic – or both?

    – Both.

  • Should I start buying links? (that’s a rhetorical question Matt, I’m a Yorkshire lass!)

    – It depends what you mean “buy”. But in the traditional sense, now. But some directories are worth it.

  • Should I start selling links? (another one of those rhetorical jobbies!)

    – One of my competitors does. Now do I report them? cough

  • Should I start interlinking my pages with the relevant anchor text (don’t forget to alter it, though) from within the content on similar pages?

    – Yes, where relevant.
  • Should I ‘no follow’ all my affiliate links?

    – you should be robots.txt’ing them. I’ve not really bothered with nofollow. Perhaps I should.

  • Should I ‘no follow’ all my outbound links?

    – I don’t do it. If I link to people its because they deserve it. Ok, so I’ve done it once or twice when I’ve thought they’ve not.

  • Should I bother with reciprocal links?

    – Value is obviously less than one-way links with relevant anchor text in relevant content. But also think about the traffic they give. I get some useful traffic from reciprocal blog roll links.
  • Should I bother with backlinks from sites with PR1 or less?

    – Today’s ugly duckling is tomorrow’s “bit of alright”. If the site is relevant its worth asking. A site might also have a penalty and if it is removed then the link-juice could be of use.

  • Should I submit to directory sites?

    – There some useful ones, but they’re mainly topic related.

  • Should my main content be moved to the top of the page with the help of CSS?

    – Er no. Concentrate on what’s within the content – that’s infinitely more important.

  • Should I start following all the Twitterartis mentioned on the latest top 500 worldwide SEOists?

    – I’ve really reined in who I follow. There’s some good information streaming through. But be selective.

  • Should I stop salivating each morning at the thought of the little pearls of wisdom which might have appeared in my Twitter timeline overnight from SEOists with strange names?

    – I’m going to be controversial. SEO doesn’t change as fast as people think. Only people’s perceptions of it.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :-)

Img © walkn

Cover image © alexanderdrachmann

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About the author:

I've been doing SEO for 15 years, affiliate marketing for 12 and starting arguments since the day I was born.. Follow him on Twitter / Facebook.