By 7 years ago in Blogstorm SEO

Answers to your questions

As promised two weeks ago here are the answers to your SEO and linkbuilding questions. Sorry about the delay.

Dave asks:

How effective do you think it is getting links from free hosted blogs such as blogspot and wordpress? In comparative terms, would you prefer links only from these blogs or directory submissions?

Hosted blogs and directories struggle to obtain natural links so you would need to do some careful analysis to see which is likely to pass the most weight. Assuming the blog is well read and has a good number of incoming links according to Technorati and Yahoo then I would guess the blog would pass more value. You could also check how the pages of each site rank on Google if you want to analyse the issue further.

The best thing about getting links from blogs is that it’s really easy. Submitting to directories is boring whereas writing an interesting article and watching loads of bloggers link to it is fun.

Ross asks:

Over the course of the first year of running a site, Google accounted for 93.41% of my search traffic – Yahoo accounted for 2.88%. Why on earth is there such a huge difference? Does Yahoo “punish” sites that they consider ‘blogs’ because they run WordPress?

Google has a very large market share, it’s probably almost 100% in some niches where the searchers are more internet savvy. Yahoo also doesn’t place the same weight on domain trust as Google so you won’t get the same level of long tail traffic that Google offers.

There was a rumour that MSN and Yahoo assigned less importance to url’s with lots of folders so this might not help WordPress bloggers.

donthavname asks:

What do you think of googlebombs? Were they really removed algorithmically or rather manually?

Removing a Google bomb algorithmically isn’t too difficult so I don’t think they removed them manually. All Google needs to do is remove the ability for a page to rank for a specific keyword unless the keyword is present on that page and most Google Bombs will stop working.

Wicked Keemo asks:

Do you have recommendations for good London-based, PHP developers?

No. I’m a (self taught) php coder myself and I’ve never had to hire anybody else.

Zoran says:

Give us some secret cool link building tricks ;)

Write something that is so newsworthy people can’t fail to link to it. If you could discover a new gadget Apple were planning that would get a lot of links.

Zoran also asked:

How long are you doing SEO ?

Freelance for about 2 years. Before that I spent 4 years working for a large UK company doing in house website marketing & development.

Den asks:

Hello, if I want to link to my site’s index, which is the best?

1. /

2. http://example.com/

3. http://example.com

Never link to your homepage using a href=”/” as this doesn’t pass PageRank. You should always use a href=”http://www.site.com” as this is the shortest version so its the safest.

Glenn asks:

Do you think that everything is going to start becoming more of a niche like Digg-Clones or even Facebook clones for certain brands or clubs / teams. Or do you think people will use the social networks available and build their communities within those?

Digg is the clear market leader and by allowing users to customise the topics they see it makes it very hard for niche sites to flourish. Sphinn does well because Diggers hate SEO and it has such a strong community.

Digg could start whitelabelling the software and letting people set up niche Digg clones for a set fee. If this is where the market goes expect Digg to join in somehow.

Any site with a forum or loyal readership would be stupid not to implement social networking and Facebook style features. They don’t even need to innovate, just copy the ideas the major sites have.

To answer your question I think sites with Facebook style features will be a lot more successful than ones with Digg style features.

Mario asks:

I have a portuguese website with good content, good layout (so it seems) and it gets high rankings in search engines in some of the posts.

My problem is that I don’t have many people linking back to articles or subscribing my RSS feeds.

I’m hosting a contest to win an SEO Book and I have advertised it in forums, websites and e-mailed people and the response wasn’t that great.

So my big question is, what more can I do to get more readers to participare, subscribe to my feeds, link back and to create more exposure.

Blogging in a non English language is hard. I would create a duplicate version of the site for English speaking users just to help you gain links. Use geotargeting to send people to the right version for them.

I will be writing an in depth post on gaining RSS readers later this week.

By Patrick Altoft. at 6:23PM on Wednesday, 26 Sep 2007

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

comments

6 Responses to “Answers to your questions”

  1. Can you please reference me to any documentation or authoritative information on href=”/” not passing PR?

    I think I have to disagree with you on that.

    Now linking to href=”http://www.domain.com” is better due to scraper and duplicate URL issues, but that’s about it.

  2. Shane says:

    “Never link to your homepage using a href=”/” as this doesn’t pass PageRank.”

    How did you determine this?

  3. Ross says:

    Thanks so much for the answer to my question!

  4. Late 2006 and early 2007 I worked on 3 websites that had been linking to the homepage using a href=”/” and all of them had low PR on the homepage and high PR on the internal pages. After making the change to an absolute link the situation sorted itself at the next update.

    Obviously this isn’t a scientific test and some people might not agree but its enough evidence for me. Smile Since then I always advise people to use an absolute link.

    Better safe than sorry, especially since using an absolute link is so easy.

  5. Dave says:

    Patrick, Thanks for the response, kinda missed the point of my question though. I was asking about getting links from free hosted blogs more specifically, not just blogs in general. Would you answer the same?

  6. Sorry Dave. The answer is that I don’t see a difference between free hosted blogs and hosted blogs in terms of the link weight they pass, assuming the blogs are equally popular in terms of links. The issue is that very few free hosted blogs have the same link equity as normal blogs because most people upgrade to their own domain as soon as the blog gets popular.

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