Reddit has been continually rising in popularity since first emerging on the scene back in 2006. Today, it is one of the most popular social news sites of its kind, proving to be a great alternative for those who have grown tired of competitors such as Digg and StumbleUpon. Reddit often calls itself the front page of the internet to play on its growing reputation as a digital newspaper of sorts. And just like newspapers have categories and sections, this site has something similar known as subreddits, a feature that can come in handy for the savvy social marketer.
A subreddit is essentially a category or subcategory that has a community of reddit users built around a specific topic or area of interest. These categories are finely targeted and can be set to either public or private by the creator. Examples of popular subreddits, as chosen by the user community include:
- World News
These examples represent broad general interests, of course, but the subcategories on reddit go much much deeper. For instance, you can find subreddits on specific topics such as World of Warcraft, Indie Gaming, and even presidential hopeful Ron Paul. While each area of interest has its own moderator, community members are able to contribute by submitting and rating content from around the web that is related to the topic at hand. For everyday users, subreddits provide an easy way to quickly access the content that matters most. For marketers, they provide a way to generate visibility and meet business objectives.
Benefitting From Your Own subreddits
Perhaps the best thing to like about subreddits is the fact that anyone can create them. There are numerous benefits to setting up your own, starting with the community aspect. If fellow redditors share your interest, it could easily lead to a situation where users are commenting, sharing, and engaging in other ways that keep the community alive with activity. The site has millions of active users, all interested in something. What this means is that unless your area is built around an obscure topic like “overhanded Bolivian bowling techniques”, there is a great chance that you will be able to attract others who share your passion.
The big payoff to having your own subreddits is increased traffic. All that activity combined with solid content means it is highly likely that people will want to pay a visit and learn more about what you have to offer. Make sure your newly created subcategory is listed on the subreddits page, pass the word along to your connections on the site, and the possibilities are endless.
Some observers have gone as far to say that subreddits are what have enabled reddit to surpass Digg in the social bookmarking arena. This is not as farfetched as it may sound considering it is one of the platform’s most important features. Whether it is streamlining content discovery or building a community around your own, social marketers can make great strides by putting this essential element to use.
Link building is an essential part of any successful SEO campaign; there’s no arguing about that. In order to rank for any given keyword, we need backlinks – and lots of them.
However, not all links are created equal.
The reason it’s important to know how valuable your links are is very simple: the higher the quality, the fewer links you need to get ranked.
The following 10 qualities are the ones I always look for in a perfect link.
#1. High PR of the domain
High PR can be equated to more domain authority in the eyes of Google. The more authority a site has, the higher quality the links coming from that domain will be.
My ideal homepage PR is 4+.
Of course, it’s a whole lot better to have a link on an inner page that has high PR of its own.
#2. Keyword-Rich Anchor Text
Google uses anchor text pointing to a page to determine what that page is about.
If I start building links to this post with “Ana Hoffman” as anchor text (like a lot of blog commentators would do), then Google might find that this post is more relevant to that keyword than to such keywords as “link building” or “backlinks“.
It’s best if you try to rank each page of your site for one specific keyword or variations of it, but of course, this is not a must – just works better that way.
Also, try to have at least 70-80% of exact match anchor text. The other 20-30% could be naked URLs, long-tail variations of the keyword, or even a few “click here” links.
#3. Long-term Link
This is the kind of link that won’t be removed in a few days.
Forum links are one such example. You create a new profile, sprinkle it with some links, place some comments on a few threads just to learn a week later that the forum moderators decided to remove all your links.
Here’s a better way to create forum profiles (thanks to Gerald for teaching me this link building trick): create your profiles without any links in them, wait for a week or two for the moderators to check it out, and THEN go back and add your links.
The chances of them sticking are much higher this way.
#4. Page is Indexed by Google
It only makes sense to add your links to pages that Google already knows about, right?
However, there are plenty of times when it’ll be up to you to make sure that the page your links are added to is indexed, like in article marketing for instance.
I strongly suggest that you keep track of all the URLs where your new content is placed and make sure all those pages are indexed by pinging them, linking to them in a few comments – just to name a couple of ways of doing it.
#5. Link Building Consistency
This is where most sites get in trouble.
The webmasters fail to maintain link velocity, i.e. to build links on a regular basis.
So what happens is a few hundred or even thousand of links come in within a span of a couple of days and then… nothing.
Very obvious one way link building pattern that can land you in Google sandbox.
#6. No Bad-Neighborhood Links
I would never add a link to a page that already has links to sites like porn, pharmaceuticals, etc. – you don’t want your site to be associated with bad neighborhood sites in any way.
#7. Active Sites
An active site with fresh content posted frequently, with lots of signs of reader engagement, like comments, social media shares, etc. is much more likely to be crawled often, which means your links will be quickly discovered and indexed.
The following 3 qualities might raise some eyebrows; let’s talk about it in comments if you disagree.
#8. Not Sidebar/Footer Links
It sounds like a great deal to be listed by another site in their blogroll.
However, aside from branding and potential traffic generation, those links might not be worth as much, since it’s not that difficult to obtain them.
#9. Relevancy is Overrated
There’s a lot of talks about getting links from niche-specific sites only.
I haven’t seen any conclusive testing that’s been done on that.
On the other hand, I’ve heard of plenty of link builders who ranked their sites on page 1 with nothing but “irrelevant” links.
#10. Authority Outbound Links
Yet another debatable point.
However, I, among many other SEO’s, believe that it helps to have your links on a page that links out to authority sites relevant to the topic in hand.
Here’s a good example of this train of thought:
And yet another one:
- Link Intelligence: What Goldilocks Can Teach You About Linking Out (Traffic Generation Cafe)
And there you have it.
Boxing gloves on?
Comment to show me that you’re alive!
This is a guest post from John McElborough. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
One of the first things we do when building links for a new client is to identify their competitors, work out who’s linking to them using link research tools and try to copy as many of their links as possible. But if you’re an established site how do you stop SEO’s like me mining and cloning your links?
A while ago I wrote about a technique I use to throw competitors off the scent using a redirect. Its certainly not full proof but following some discussions I had with other SEO’s after writing that post its clear that there’s a concern about link data mining so below I’ve compiled a definitive guide to the methods you can use to keep your links private and prevent cloning of your backlink profile.
(If you read all the way to the end I’ll share the results of some recent testing I’ve done which may give you a new technique to try out)
Blocking crawlers and backlink analysis tools
The simplest way to stop link mining is to block your site from crawlers used by link research tools. There are 3 common data sources used to power most backlink analysis tools:
Majestic SEO uses data from the Majestic12 crawler. It adheres to robots protocol so you can block it using this line in your robots.txt file:
User-agent: MJ12bot Disallow: /
SEOMoz / Linkscape
SEOMoz’s linkscape index is used by an increasing number of SEO’s via their Open Site Explorer tool and the API. You can block SEOMoz from showing your links using a meta tag in the <head> of your pages.
<META NAME="SEOMOZ" CONTENT="NOINDEX" />
This one is subject to change when Yahoo moves fully over to Microsoft.
The only real way to block data from appearing in Yahoo Site Explorer and the multitude of 3rd party tools it serves like Linkdiagnosis and Market Samurai is to block the Yahoo crawler. This can be done in robots.txt:
User-agent: Slurp Disallow: /
This however will block you entirely from Yahoo search results. Most of my sites get less than 5% of search traffic from Yahoo these days but still, its hard to justify cutting this out entirely. I’ve got a better solution below for dealing with Yahoo data.
Obfuscate your link data
Even if you can’t block competitors from seeing your backlinks entirely you can take steps to make their life more difficult. Building high volumes of low quality links to your site is a good way to obfuscate your data, making it harder for competitors to locate and copy your best links.
Yahoo Site Explorer and data accessed via the API will only show the first 1000 links pointing to a page. While Yahoo does tend to show the most important links near the top of their data this isn’t limited to unique domains and doesn’t exclude nofollowed links. As such in order to render your sites backlink data useless to competitors you need to build a few sitewide links on big, well established sites. Blogroll links are good for this. These links are pretty easy to buy because you can use the nofollow tag to avoid penalties. Facebook pages and forum signatures are also good for this.
Build links which can’t be mined
Create an un-copyable profile
This is certainly the best practice approach. When building links you should be aiming to build links which are going to be hard or impossible for your competitors to replicate. Typically these will be the types of links which manifest from great content and personal relationships. Your competitors won’t be able to offer cash to replicate these links.
Run your own link hubs
The hardest links in the world to copy are links on sites which you own (you’re not going to link to your competitor now are you?!). If you’re part of a group of sites you might already be getting links this way. Beyond this you can look at everything from building a single microsite to developing a fully fledged distributed link network.
Build links downstream
One thing which no link analysis tool does is looks at the links which point at the pages which link to you. If you’ve got some good quality links on authoritative domains think about building links to those pages. You can bet your competitors aren’t thinking about who’s linking to your links.
Buy presell pages
If you’re in a competitive space and are buying links you should be thinking about how you can buy links which both minimise the paid link footprint and which are hard for competitors to replicate. The latter I feel lends itself to buying links on dedicated ‘presell pages‘. If you negotiate a presell page you can stipulate that the webmaster can’t add any extra links (to your competitors) on the page you’re renting. You can then build some links to the presell page. That way even if a competitor rents a page on the same site as you, they don’t get the same value from it as you do.
Place links on noindex pages
I’m planning on covering this in more detail on my blog soon but an idea I’ve been testing is building links on pages which aren’t indexed. A page which uses the noindex, follow robots meta tag will still flow PageRank and anchor text to sites it links to, but from the tests I’ve been playing around with at least, these pages won’t show up in any major link analysis tools.
This has huge potential for anyone concerned about competitors spying on their backlinks. Certainly it will stop competitors finding and copying links (and meaning they can’t report paid links) it also creates an opportunity to distribute content without duplicate content penalties. Here’s some possible applications:
- Buy presell pages which are noindex, followed
- Let webmasters republish your content on their sites (with links)
- Hide links on other sites you own to avoid network detection
Questions on any of these techniques or have your own methods? Please ask or share in the comments.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of different ways you can acquire links. Every link buildling tactic comes with pros and cons. I have found that the most effective way to build links is by taking the time to build relationships with experts in your industry, than to just dropping a link in a directory or forum. I understand this is a time intensive process and it requires a lot more work, but the end result are highly relevant, authoritative links. Below is a step by step process to effectively approach potential link partners.
Follow this 4 step process:
1. Make a Potential Link Partner List
If you read industry blogs, than you probably have a pretty good idea who the major influencers are in the industry. Start by generating a list of potential experts/bloggers you would like to contact. Take note of their blog (if they have one), what sites they contribute to, and any social media sites they engage in.
2. Start Following Them
Before you even begin contacting anyone, start following them. If they are on Twitter, start following them. Pay attention to what they tweet about, who they tweet about, who they are tweeting with, and pay attention to their style/personality.
If they manage or contribute to a blog, sign up for their RSS feed and being reading recent and upcoming posts. Start to understand their style of writing, how often they blog, and what topics they cover.
If they use social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, start following their bookmarks. See what type of sites interest them. Find out if they have other types of passions besides just the industry you are in. You may be able to connect with someone on a deeper level (similar intersts, location, background, experience).
photo credit: papalars
Forgive me for going back to SEO 101 on this post, but it’s something that keeps popping up time and time again. There are some out there who still insist on always getting links back to their home page, while the rest of their content has no back links. The main reasons for link building are to increase your online visibility, to improve your site’s relevance for certain keywords, to gain trust from the search engines, and ultimately to have each page on your site rank higher.
Now, how do you expect to accomplish these things if you’re only getting links to your homepage? Sure, your homepage might end up ranking better for its target phrase, but what about all the other pages on your site? After all, those are the bread and butter of your search traffic. It’s these deeper pages on your site where you get to target the specific, niche keywords that will drive highly targeted traffic to your site. And I don’t have to tell you that highly targeted traffic means greater conversion rates (but I will anyway.)
The Benefits of Deep Linking
So, let’s do a quick refresher on the benefits of deep linking.
• Improved Search Ranking for Deep Pages- As I mentioned earlier, the most important benefit of deep linking is that it can help you rank higher for the keywords deeper in your website. That’s one of the main reasons you break down your website into different pages, so you can target different keywords (and of course, to improve the usability of your website.) So, by getting deep links, you’re going to generate more long-tail search traffic, and more traffic overall.
• Page is Easier to Crawl- Deep links also make your site easier to crawl for search spiders. With links pointing to the pages deep within your site, you make certain that they will get crawled and they’re likelier to index quickly.
• Increased Trust- If every link to your website is pointing at your homepage, what does that say about the rest of your site? It sends the message to the search engines that the deep pages on your site aren’t important and perhaps not as trustworthy. The truth is the deep pages on your site are usually the most important, and that’s why it’s so crucial to build links for them.
• Higher Quality Traffic- The whole point of SEO is to improve the quality of your traffic. After all, who cares if a million visitors come to your site each month if none of them stick around? Link building for all the pages on your site helps improve the overall quality of your traffic. This way, people will land exactly on the pages that interest them instead of having to wade through irrelevant content. And of course, this means your conversion rate will be better.
Remember, building deep links is no different than link building for your home page. The same strategies apply, and over time, you’ll find this to be far more effective for increasing your online visibility than just getting links for your home page. So, start getting those deep links!