Traffic Exchanges are systems where you are asked to browse to other peopleâ€™s websites and you earn credits or points that count towards other people who have signed up for the same traffic exchange to need to visit your website. Here is a short list of reasons that I believe you should avoid traffic exchanges:
Comments are closed.
Now we are done talking about thing to avoid in SEO and web promotion. We are moving on to a new topic:
PPC vs. Link buying
Another way to get links is to buy them. It might make sense, but spending your money on Pay-Per-Click advertising like YahooÂ® Search Marketing might make more sense. It just depends on your budget and goals. The big advantage of paying for links is that it not only increases your website visitors by getting traffic from visitors of the website you are advertising on, but it also could help your Search Engine Rankings.
The big advantage of Pay Per Click advertising, is that you are only paying for actual visitors to your website. In the case of buying links or banner space on other peopleâ€™s sites, you donâ€™t know how much traffic you will get from the links. Also, paying for links is harder to quantify in terms of ROI (Return on Investment). My recommendation is that if you choose to buy links, be sure to buy links that are likely to bring traffic to your website, and be sure to shop around for good deals.
If you want to buy links primarily to raise your Search Engine ranking then I recommend you purchase links from directories. Shop around for the best deals, but also be sure to buy links from the more prominent directories. In the case of directories, you arenâ€™t really buying the links per say, you are spending money to get your site reviewed by an editor of the directory. If the editor believes that your site is acceptable they will include it.
I personally have never had a problem getting my sites listed in directories, but if you were to submit an evil web portal or spam site I would NOT expect it to get listed in many directories.
PS. If you want to learn more about Pay Per Click advertising then I highly recommend you download Aaron Wallâ€™s free PPC ebook.
A link farm is a website whose purpose is for constructing links between member sites. For example, a link farm will create a link page that needs to be on all of itâ€™s members pages. This can be spotted by Search Engines. Some link farms now have multiple link pages to make it harder for the Search Engines to spot. However, this technique is sure to be caught at some time. Link Farms should be avoided as they are a violation of most Search Enginesâ€™ policies, their use may hurt your siteâ€™s link popularity, and may result in a ranking penalty. I do not recommend using them.
Donâ€™t confuse link farms with blogrolls. A blogroll is a list of other blogs that you link to from your blog. While many times blogrolls contain reciprocal links, blogrolls are in no way, shape, or form the same as a link farm.
At one point in time, many Search Engines were not fond of interlinking all your websites together. However, with the advent of blogs that has all changed. Several years ago when I was monitoring baby related search terms weblogsinc kept showing up in the results. When I looked at their blog network, I was just SURE that they were going to be banned by google for excessive interlinking of sites. But they never were banned! Realizing the power of being able to interlink all your blogs together (wheter related or unrelated) without a Search Engine penalty I decided to see if I liked blogging. It turned out that I did enjoy blogging and started building a blog network of my own.
link farms bad, blogrolls good
The best deals for paid links are links that require a one time fee or a low annual fee. These links can often be obtained by:
1.Joining trade associations.
2.Sponsoring or supporting 501c organizations.
3.Sponsoring other websites.
4.Paid directory inclusion.
Finding trade associations related to your business and joining them can help your business in many ways. Most trade associations have pages that list their members and include a link to their members websites. Getting involved in your community also helps you promote your site in other ways.
Sponsoring or Supporting Websites
Many 501c websites allow people to donate money to their organization to become a sponsor or supporter. On many of these sites you will get a link to your website. Sponsoring sites that will link back to your site for a small donation can be an excellent way to buy links that point to your website and in addition you are helping out the site you sponsor.
Paid Directory Inclusion
Many directories require payment to be included in their directory. Usually the payment is a one time editorial fee to determine if your site is appropriate for their directory. Directoriy links can be an excellent deal. Donâ€™t just look for general directories, also look for industry specific directories. Many times industry specific directories will bring you more traffic, because people use them to find businesses in your area of expertise. At least I have found this to be the case for our sites. Also, some Search Engineâ€™s (Google) might not look at a link from a directory as being nearly as important as a link from another site.
Links from Link Brokers
Text link brokers (sites that manage the buying and selling of text links) offer monthly payment programs, where you pay for a text link for one month on a particular related website. These programs will give you a variable degree of traffic. I canâ€™t recommend one broker over another. However, I can say that some Search Engines (like Google) are trying to discount paid links for Search Engine ranking purposes.
My personal plan is to spend a very minimal amount of money on link building, mostly focused on a few related directory submissions. These days I prefer to spend my time and money on other methods of promotion. When you are first starting out and/or when you are running a strictly ecommerce site, spending money on links can help get you noticed.
The traffic you get from paid links will vary greatly. In some cases when you pay for links, you will get a lot of traffic in other cases you wonâ€™t. Paid links will help your search rankings in some Search Engines.
Some people are against buying links, but itâ€™s not really different than spending money on PPC advertising. Itâ€™s just another method of promoting your website. It has itâ€™s pros and cons. Be sure to research ahead of time how to make the best use of any budget you set aside for buying links. Every link you get has a price, whether it be the time you spent writing content that people linked to, or the time you spent finding reciprocal link partners, or the time you spent commenting on blogs, etc. Every link has a price, you have to decide what is the price you are willing to pay for the traffic you get and how to best make use of your advertising budget. It isnâ€™t always easy and takes time to figure out.
You may decide that you donâ€™t have time to optimize your site and would prefer to hire an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert. One important thing to note is that the best SEO expertâ€™s websites donâ€™t always show up first in the search rankings. Sometimes SEO experts who show up top in the rankings have clients who donâ€™t. The reason for this is that a really good SEO expert may be too busy to keep his website in the top of rankings, because he is busy getting and keeping his customerâ€™s websites in the top of the rankings. When you choose an SEO expert make sure that they can show you that their client websites are getting good traffic from their work and that their clients are happy with them. Ask them if you can contact their clients for references. If they give you the run around, then YOU should runâ€¦ run to find someone else. GoogleÂ® has some good recommendations for what to look for when hiring an SEO expert, so I suggest you look at their information:http://www.google.com/webmasters/seo.html
The general idea is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You may also want to look at hiring Website Promotion or Search Engine Marketing expert as opposed to a strictly Search Engine Optimization expert. It is best to get traffic from a variety of sources and not rely totally on the Search Engines. Search Engine Marketers and Web Promotion experts focus on the whole picture and not just the SEO.
I had some thoughts on a similar SEO / Search Engine Optimization related topic, maybe iâ€™ll start a new thread
Since predicting the future is impossible to do, the only thing I can say is that ultimately Search Engines would like quality content to rule their results. Creating good quality content on your website is likely the best path to maintain good Search Engine results over time.
Whether or not it helps your search rankings, getting links to your website will always be important because of the traffic that the links themselves will bring to your website.
There are many techniques to promote your site beyond SEO. Many of these techniques help your Search Engine traffic increase as well.
We will be discussing these methods in detail in future posts, starting with PPC ads.
PPC advertising is one of the best known ways to advertise a website or blog. I have used it succesfully on both Google and Yahoo. I highly recommend that you consider using PPC advertising to promote your online business (especially when you are first starting out).
Aaron Wall has written an excellent free ebook that covers all the details of PPC Advertising. I highly recommend you take a look at it. You can download it by clicking here.
Being active on forums and mailing lists can help bring traffic to your website. On some forums you can place a link to your website(s) at the bottom of every message you post (your signature). These links can help increase the number and quality of your incoming links. They can also help you gain visitors who click on the links in your signature.
Forums and mailing lists can also help you keep up to date with the latest news in your businesses field of expertise. Actively answering questions on forums can help establish your reputation as an expert in your field. My suggestion about participating in forums and mailing lists is to stick with mailing lists and forums that you would participate in even if you didnâ€™t have a business to promote. The reason that I say this is that you can spend a lot of time every day on forums and mailing lists keeping up with the posts. This is time that could be spent promoting your business in other ways, running your day to day business, or having fun with your family.
Participating in forums, discussion groups, mailing lists, etc. helps you become part of the community for the niche you are in. It is ideal for you to be participating in forums or mailing lists in your niche a long time prior to starting your business. Because one of the best ways to get instant traffic to your site is to already be active in the community your site is targeting.
While forums can help you get traffic, they can be very time consuming. You need to balance your forum participation with your goals. If one of your goals is to work smarter and not harder, then I suggest spending a minimal amount of time on forums and spend more time using other promotion methods. That said, forums that allow you to place your website in your signature certainly can help increase the traffic to your website and forums can be a great way to get involved with the community you are targeting.
One important final note: It is better to be active on a forum with a huge membership than on a forum with very few members. It will give you much more exposure in your niche.