Link Building: Leverage your Website Portfolio

Friday, 26 March 2010

Building links is a long process, which requires research, constant attention and overall a significant amount of time. Over the years, I have noticed that many companies and agencies start their link building process by looking at potential links from other websites before even considering improving the linking structure within their own website portfolio. It is like looking for gold in your neighbours' backyard, before even digging your own!

If you look at top global companies, most of them have a large website network, which is significantly under used when it comes to link building.
I also went through the SEOMOZ Professional Link Building Guide (definetely worth reading) and unfortunately I have not referenced any mention to this tactic either.

Generating links from your own websites, is obviously not the most crucial element in a link building strategy, however if used properly, these untapped resources can have a dramatic impact on a website's link popularity.

Leveraging your website portfolio for link building is relatively easy and plenty of tactics are available:

- The most common technique is obviously a footer link, which link to all other websites in the network.

- Many websites uses Company profile pages, which outline the profile of one site with direct text link to the other. Such technique is relatively easy to implement and is quite effective.

- Beyond basic footer links, it is advised to link relevant sites together. Links between two sites with related content, will have more impact that a link between unrelated sites.

- Even better it is strongly advised to link from relevant deep relevant content pages from a relevant site to another. Such type of links will have the best impact, while bringing value to the user.

- Over-using this tactic could obviously have a negative impact. Overlinked websites can be penalised, so it is recommended not to abuse the technique and limit the number of links inter websites.

Obviously the links opportunities are endless. Creativity and measure are your best guides to effectively use your website portfolio for link building. Remember these links are the easiest to create, so it should be the starting point of your link building campaign.

No Follow Links & PageRank Sculpting

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Matt Cutts, who works for the Google Search Quality group and specializes in search engine optimisation, recently published a video where he speaks about PageRank sculpting. He spoke specifically about the practice of annotating hyperlinks to non-essential pages, such as a privacy policy, with the rel=nofollow attribute. Many people subscribe to the belief that this positively influences the PageRank of essential pages.

When Matt Cutts said that it was NOT an influence, it shattered many people’s PageRank sculpting theories and practices. Therefore, this was an assertion that required testing and the tests did indeed show that the addition of the nofollow tag did not affect the PageRank of other subpages. However, it was unclear if this was because it had no effect at all or because the effect was not large enough to increase the PageRank to the next highest whole number, e.g. 4.75.

Another observation made during testing was that 10 hyperlinks linking from the home page would reduce the subpage PageRank by one, e.g. PR5 to PR4. If there were 100 hyperlinks on the home page, using the nofollow tag reduced subpage PageRank from PR5 to PR2 or PR3. This contradicted the common interpretation of what Matt Cutts had said.

It was clear that blocking a hyperlink does have some affect on the PageRank value of other subpages. Moreover, this makes sense because otherwise we could infer that an unlimited number of hyperlinks would produce the same PageRank value. This is of course untrue. It would be interesting to hear Matt Cutts explain this matter in more detail.

Furthermore, testing resulted in the conclusion the hyperlinks tagged nofollow remain discoverable. Google follows these “nofollow” links but does not factor them in to the PageRank value. So rather than “no follow”, it would be more appropriate to call them “no vote”.

In addition, it is important to keep in mind that there are countless other factors involved, many of them impossible to quantify from our end. In addition to PageRank, Google uses on-site positioning, navigation depth, and off-site elements, such as link and contextual references. This makes the task of testing PageRank all the more difficult.

In conclusion, the testing led us to the belief that a webmaster can better spend their time generating content or working out a link deal. Constructing a nofollow structure may not be a waste of time but it is clearly not as valuable.

This post is provided by Dejan from Dejan SEO, a search engine optimisation company specialising in advanced link building techniques.

Not getting interviews? Here’re some tips on working with a recruiter

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The first thing to understand is that recruiters are usually working very quickly. We have to deal with hundreds of people and CVs every week. This means there isn’t really a lot of time to pick apart your CV in great detail. You need to make a strong impression, fast.

Even if you’re dealing direct with an employer this holds true. A hiring manager is trying to do their day job while taking time out to read 10+ CVs. Studies show you’ve got less than 30 seconds to get your message across or the person reading your CV is gone and onto the next one.

So what can you do?

When applying for jobs

1. Ask yourself, can you honestly do this job? It’s important to think before applying – if you apply for too many jobs you’re not quite ready for, chances are people will notice and not take you seriously for the jobs you can do.

2. If you can do the job, why? Don’t send a generic cover letter, send a cover letter that passionately explains why you are right for the role. Point out where you have relevant experience that the ad says you must have. So many people miss out on jobs because they have not shown evidence of why and where they have gained the relevant experience.

3. Your CV must show relevant experience that is asked for in the ad / job description. Check your CV to make sure it says you’re an obvious choice for the role. Highlight your relevant experience, make it prominent (ideally first page!).

4. Put at least 3 key achievements in your CV for each job. Doing the job is one thing, measurable results are something else entirely! Stand out from the crowd with what you’ve achieved.

To attract headhunting calls

1. You have to market yourself – it’s no longer about who you know, it’s about who knows you!

2. There’s a variety of great online resources (like Linkedin) that help you do this. Make sure you have an online profile(s) that’s easy to find and keep it up to date.

3. Even if you’re not actively looking for a job, it’s always worth understanding what the market is doing and building relationships you can leverage at a later date. As they say, you create your own luck!

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