Becoming the Don of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Wiseguy – Off-Site SEO Components That covers the meaningful on-site SEO components; now we need to take a look at those off-site factors that bear on your search engine popularity such as social media.
Search engines are like popular websites. They let the use of others show them which sites are most worth going to. That is not to say that you will not be indexed by spiders before you have in-bound links established, it is just to say that you will rank better when search engine crawlers can see that others are pointing towards your site, too.
You can think of it this way. The content on your site provides the food for search engines—this we’ve said before. And the links from others outside your site help search engines qualify that, or assign a value to your site.
The moral to the story is that good links mean good rankings. You need outside links coming into your site to gain good ranking and search-generated traffic.
But what makes a good link?
The way the crawlers see it, links should follow a natural order. That order goes something like this:
A website is created
The website is found by a few chances’ visitors
Those visitors like your site, and recommend it to others (by linking, such as this is the way of spreading good news on the www)
Those interested parties tell other interested parties, and soon there is a navigable path of links from one happy user to another, back to your website.
Now the thing about it is that spiders are smart. They know a natural link-structure does not happen instantly, and it is not all centered around one point.
So, while you can get the ball rolling by scattering some links around the web yourself, or trading a link with someone else (reciprocal links), you can’t just flood a few locations with tons of links back to your website.
Hence, there are some disqualifiers for the links coming into your site.
Off-topic links don’t make a lot of sense. Limit links from places that do not share your interests.
Reciprocal links just look like a trade-off, so all of your links cannot be gained in trade (some weight will be given to shared links, so they shouldn’t be discounted, but don’t put all your eggs in this basket).
Having all your links from one or two sources looks just like what it is—you out there linking back to yourself, and not moving around the web to do it. Start some links through social sites like Squidoo and MySpace, but also use these for their intended purposes of informing others about your website.
Paying for links from the top websites (because yes, you can pay popular people to “like” you) looks equally contrived. Your link pattern should be from the jocks’ table as well as the nerds’. Paying for a couple of high-hit links is a good fire starter, but don’t group your eggs in just this basket, either.
Basically, you just need to utilize link opportunities from each category (link type—one way, reciprocal…). A strategy to employ to establish links from the outside in might look like:
Establish one-way links from quality sites
Establish reciprocal links
Submit your site to directories
Use free article submissions (nicely suited since they’ll scatter across the web and draw in links from all over)
Engage in social networking on topic-specific niche forums and blogs, etc.
Create social networking pages and lenses at Squidoo, Zimbio, and other similar sites.
This may seem virtually impossible, but there are such things as paid links and link networks. One that has worked well for many affiliates is Jonathon Leger’s 3WayLinksNetwork. There are others, too, and you can research this online. Just know that the fastest way to build links that will count is to utilize all available resources.
And as a last note, know this. Do not be scared that you might break one the rules of pleasing the crawlers with your links. You can’t really do it wrong. By that what is meant is that while the right mix of links boosts your performance, the ‘wrong’ mix doesn’t really hurt it.
If you end up with a link structure that is too heavily weighted in one area, the worst that will seemingly happen is that the links will be discounted, but they will not subtract ‘points’ from your ranking.
In essence, they just become neutral. Try a few things, build up some links, and then go from there to tweak your external linking.
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