Since Google’s Panda update, the world of link building has changed considerably. Although low quality backlinks were never exactly encouraged, they’ve never before been so highly penalized, either. Sometimes, in fact, quantity was enough to make up for shoddy quality. Not so anymore!
Here are some tips to get you by in the post-Panda era of search engine optimization.
Pay attention to advertising! If you are evaluating a site for reciprocal linking purposes, run like the wind if you see huge blocks of adsense, banner ads, and other marketing bits bogging down the site. Small portions of revenue generating ads are acceptable, but any site should be weighted toward content and away from adverts.
Quality counts! You risk damaging your own reputation by accepting links from sites that will post anything that comes their way. Be more selective and seek out web pages that are discriminating in terms of what they accept and decline. Even if you’re submitting a well-written article, the next update might not recognize your stellar writing among a mess of poor grammar and spelling and spam.
Moderation is healthy! Seriously, a website that allows spammy comments to go unmoderated is going to be noticed by Google now – and not in a good way. It’s better for your company not to be associated with those that allow commenters to run rampant.
Content you control! As always, the best place to focus your SEO efforts is on your own web content. Maintaining a blog, providing useful information, and updating regularly will give readers the incentive to link back to your site. Additionally, the more professional your site appears, the more authority you’ll have among your readers, leading to more sales and conversions.
The bottom line is that things really haven’t changed all that drastically. The same bad practices that were always discouraged are still discouraged. The difference is that the penalties seem to be much harsher now, and where you may have been able to squeak by in the past, you can expect to get caught now. Don’t make the mistakes that cost JCPenney and Overstock their good rankings. For best results, follow the tips above.