How Many Links Would be Too Many?

When I’m reading over notes for SEO Liverpool and Summit Online Marketing, I feel it’s quite important to revisit important information, especially if I’m receiving questions around the subject.

I received an enquiry about a website that had lots of links and believe they’re getting penalised for it. The copy seemed succinct, keyword rich and the meta data looked good.

A few years ago I remember reading that over 100 links on a page can be considered a link farm.

My quick bit of advice revolved around PageRank sculpting to enhance search engine ranking. The classic way to negotiate lots of links is in changing them to no-follow links. This is a quick and easy way of not passing on your hard earned ‘juice’ to unnecessary third parties.

Although how much juice still gets through is debatable.

On closer inspection they had gone with the classic ‘ball’ linking structure (Every page links to every other page). It’s not very effective at conserving and spreading the link juice (PageRank, link reputation and link popularity).

I wasn’t saying this was a bad thing, but with SEO, testing is key. I advised changing the structure to what is known as a ‘pyramid’ linking structure.

A pyramid linking structure

Typically all the links leaving the home page are no-followed, except the one leading to the sitemap. The sitemap has normal links to everything, except the home page. With internal pages, everything is no-follow except the link back to the home page. It creates a feedback loop, concentrating all the link love back to the home page. This could mean you’ll be getting a lot of traffic from your internal pages… depending on your content!

Food for thought.

 

 

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Domain Strategies for Search Engine Optimisation

You’re optimising your Web site. You’re working on building links to your Web site. The best SEO will ask you ‘are you paying attention to your domain name strategy?’ Yes, your domain name strategy.

Although you have one main domain name, every small business SEO knows it’s important to take a look at your domain strategy as a whole and check for things that may help — or hurt — your search engine rankings.

Redirect Domains to Main Web Site

If your main Web site is www.maindomain.com, then you’ll want to 301 permanent redirect all the domain names you own that aren’t in use to www.maindomain.com. There are several reasons for this, such as stopping mirror sites from appearing, making sure your main domain name gets credit for links to other domains you own, and making sure your main domain name gets the PageRank credit for links to other domain names you own.

This brings up another issue: the links pointing to other domain names. By doing some domain name research, you can find domain names that were previously on the same topic that might have traffic, backlinks, and PageRank. You can benefit by finding the right domains, buying the right domains, and redirecting them to your Web site with a 301 permanent redirect.

Choose the right domain name and you may benefit from better search engine rankings. If you were to find a domain name that was formerly on the same topic of your main Web site and you’re able to buy that domain name and redirect it, it could mean additional traffic and additional sales.

Depending on how the search engines deal with that domain name, it could mean getting credit for additional backlinks and more Google PageRank to your site. And, if your domain is new to the Internet, there could be benefits to gaining some quick “authority” through domain purchasing/redirecting.

No Guarantees

Buying domain names and redirecting them won’t necessarily bring more traffic, backlink credit, or Google PageRank to your main Web site. There are many factors that might prevent this.

Whenever you buy a domain name, you don’t know if traffic is already going to that domain name until you take ownership of it and point it to some place where you can look at the traffic (you could point it to your Web site, set up separate Web hosting for it, or use a domain parking service).

There are many factors that can influence whether you get backlink and PageRank credit, including whether the search engines give you that credit. Some search engines, such as Google, have been rumored to “zero out” PageRank and backlink credit when a domain name changes owner; they’ve also been rumored to “zero out” PageRank and backlink credit for other reasons, as well.

There are many checks you can perform before you buy a domain name, and that’s probably best covered in a separate Google SEO discussion. Those include going to the search engine and typing the domain name to see what comes up — and searching for it in quotes to research it. You can also look at the domain name in the Wayback Machine to see its history.

Domain Auctions

There are several ways to find domain names, including searching at the expired domain name auctions such as Go Daddy’s TDNAM.com auctions, Sedo auctions, and eBay. There are other domain auctions at NameJet, SnapNames, Pool.com, and TUCOWS Auctions. Most of these are covered all at FreshDrop.net, a domain research service that allows you to search those auctions for domain names. You can also sort the results using several helpful factors, including sorting by domain age, PageRank, and number of backlinks.

By doing some domain name research, you may be able to find domains you can buy that were on your site’s topic that might bring some additional traffic to your site. And backlinks and PageRank might just come along with that on the side, as well.

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Does Google Conduct Minor Toolbar PageRank Updates Between Major Updates?

Summit Online Marketing are asking the question most people who participate in search forums ask themselves. Does Google, on occasion, update the toolbar PageRank score of a particular web site between the major and mass toolbar PageRank updates that are reported?

As an SEO company, why do we ask this question? Well, if you visit enough blogs and forums, you are bound to see a thread or five with the title, “PageRank Update.” These threads are fairly noticeable and we find spot them on a fairly recent basis.

Real Webmasters involved in SEO outsourcing are noticing updates to their PageRank scores in the Google Toolbar. This happens all the time, and then they jump to the forums to be the first to announce the next PageRank update. But then you see a mass response of replies saying, “no PR update here.”

So is it possible that what that SEO Webmasters have noticed was a true toolbar PageRank update for his site? Maybe. There are a few possibilities, the most likely is that he or she is hitting a different data center with different PageRank scores. But I would not rule it out that Google does push minor PageRank scores to the toolbar between major updates.

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