As an Ambassador I get asked about SEO a lot and that's great; it's what I'm here for. But I feel that I have talked about everything under the sun and that there is really nothing new in the SEO world other than Google getting more and more picky and strict as to what they require for decent ranking. Because we manage several dozen real estate websites we can see what does work and what doesn't and how to give our clients that little extra boost they may need to really stand out among their competition online. Like we have said for years, anyone can do their own SEO, but it takes time and research, not just once but on-going and most agents just don't have the time to commit to this when they are busy running their own business. This is where we come into play. We give you the tools and resources to manage your own site but when things get too confusing or frustrating, we are here to help; either one-time or continuously.
SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the foundations of ActiveRain. The high quality of this site creates excellent back links to your site. Link a phrase, your website or domain back to your website and it's one more drop in the SEO bucket in your favor. Doing this a lot across multiple sources and online platforms creates more back links which Google uses as a determining factor in where to put your site.
However, if you have ever taken the short route, bought back links, or tried to game the system in any way, even unbeknownst to you, it can cost you ranking. It may have worked for a short time but eventually you will get penalized or banned altogether and it's hard to come back from bannishment.
You can get a snapshot of your back links by checking several online sources such as opensiteexplorer.org and see if any of the back links are fishy, unrelated or just plain spammy. If you have a back link from find my site.com or linkdirectory.com or anything similar, your site is probably being penalized in some form. Have you been stuck on page 3 or 4 for months not figuring out why all your blogging is not working? This could be it. Too many bad back links from directories or unrelated sources can discolor your good back link juju. You can either contact that directory and see if you can remove it manually, continue to build quality back links and hope it gets overshadowed or disavow them completely with your Google Webmaster Tools. This is quite a task and should be used as a last resort but I have had good experience with this when we couldn't manually eliminate all the bad back links. Google will tell you that they insist on manual removal but sometimes you just can't get a hold of old sites or bad companies. Sometimes, the only method is to disavow, especially if you have more than 30% in bad, unnatural or suspicious back links. We have seen sites on page 50 jump to page 1 after just 2 weeks of disavowment.
Now, I'm not saying this always works all of the time because SEO is always best guess. But Google is looking for related links, links and shares from related sources, links in content where someone else has linked to a page or article you have written because it makes sense for their purpose. It's all about providing our readers informative and excellent information regardless of where it's coming from.
Guest blogging is not dead and I use it frequently for related subjects when someone I know personally has a great article that would work in my content. This isn't paid, it isn't spam; it's simply providing a wealth of knowledge for my reader, by me and others when appropriate. Example: Bill Gassett and I collaborated on some articles last week.
Back links really are a major key component to any successful SEO campaign. It's one of the first things we check before taking on a client. We need to know what we are up against. If there are too many penalties or bad back links, the client needs to know it will take more time to correct than simply adding on to little or no back links.
Start today by connecting with your fellow bloggers and ask to write a blog for their site. More often than not, they will be glad to accept more quality content and you can get a link back to your site.