The how and why one company website ranks higher than another is complex, there isn’t “one thing” you can do “to” a website or “for a website” to get yours to perform better.

There are a number of factors in combination that need to work together, not only in combination with each other but the timing of execution also plays an important role in getting your company website to perform in a Google search result

Below is an infographic from one of the world’s top SEO gurus, Danny Sullivan

The chart below outlines how complex a total SEO campaign really is: it involves more than building backlinks, more than hiring a social media person to “improve your companies presence on social networks, it’s more then producing content (actually content has more to do with distribution among various marketing channels)

Below are just some of the factors in getting your website to perform. Remember ranking in Google isn’t everything, it is only the first step. Now you can begin to see why we charge $2400 a year to get your company to dominate one county, $500 a month to manage your total social media marketing ($6000 a year with a contra ct)

Interesting to note is that there are On Page things you can do to improve your sites ranking (this is what web designers think is important) and there are Off Page things to do (a web designer typically doesn’t want to talk about Off Page SEO or Link Building )… then there is content (the search engines can only spider text… the copywriting on your site determines if big G “trusts you” or not. One of the most important ranking factors is TrustRank, or does Google consider your site an authority on your topic or genre. Web designers I know refuse to want to get into the content creation business…

The Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors, used with permission

http://searchengineland.com/seotable

The Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors, used with permission http://searchengineland.com/seotable

Link building – What exactly does that mean?

The process of getting your companies website published on someone else’s website, creating what is known as a backlink (a link pointing back from them to you). At first you had to ask another webmaster (more like beg really) to add your link to their website.

Then it was discovered that if you listed your company website on dozens of what I call “yellowpages clone websites” or online directories, Google would value those as links pointing to your sites… Circa 2005, enter MySpace and social media profiles, it was found if you opened profiles on dozens if not hundreds of social networks AND added your website url, that counted as a back link as well.

Yes we are for hire and have a good, better, best plan for you to choose from

8hrs of 1 on 1 face time to teach you how to out perform your competitors on social media $700 in Frederick Maryland and Montgomery County Maryland. We can do joint web conference if you are not located in Frederick County or Montgomery County Md – remote log in where we can both move the mouse, we can hear each other on the phone, you can ask questions about what you see me do etc.

Client List Testimonials available upon request.
Consulting includes creating profiles and optimizing them specifically to improve your company website’s ranking in Google.

NOTE: we do not accept everybody that requests
our services
, the first hour is free to determine if we want to
accept you and if we can do anything for you. We do not accept a client if we
don’t think we can dosomething for you.

Ranking isn’t everything… but you have to be ON THE FIRST PAGE of Google
or
virtually NO ONE WILL EVER SEE YOUR SITE.

A website is a sales copy delivery system

… Ranking is the first step, We provide effective sales copy for Search Engine Marketing AFTER we get you the number one spot in Google for the keywords your customers are searching for.

After all… what you’re after is leads, you need the phone to ring! Frederick Web Promotions makes your phone ring.

Marketing Plans start from $2500 per year to $15,000 per year

Local Google Advertising from Frederick Web Promotions

240 397-9804

Advertisements

Getting Fans (or “likes” as Facebook now prefers to call it) is better than nothing but it’s NOT ENOUGH

Facebook Has A Spam Filter!

It’s good for you to “like” a Facebook business page but to really give that person’s FB business page a “boost” it’s better if you say something on that companies wall.

It does no one any good to have 1000 fans, if 990 of them never go back, don’t log in, and never said anything: What Facebook is looking for is participation.

The algorithm can not *read* what is being said, but it can measure activity: zero interest in a FB business page= Facebooks algorthim has no choice but to assume the page is relatively worthless, therefore that pages posts are deemed spam (none of that companies posts will be broadcast to the friends of friends News Feed)

All Outgoing (Broadcast) With ZERO Incoming (Receiving)= Facebook Considers Your Business Page to Be Spam

If no one is leaving a comment or asking a question the algorithm will NOT LET YOUR MESSAGES Go Out to your friends or fans News Feed!!!

So you have a company facebook page?

Great

I’m finding that if you don’t “bribe” people (offer value isn’t really bribing) they wont “say something” or interact… no interaction = your company facebook notes are NOT going out to the News Feed

Getting your posts to make it to the General Facebook News Feed is “friends of friends”… that’s a WHOLE LOTTA EyeBalls on your posts if you make it to the News Feed

A Company Facebook Page is only as good as it’s fan base interaction, it does no one any good to have a Facebook business page that is broadcasting (spamming) and not receiving (interaction), Facebook will block the outgoing messages of a FB page that is sending and not receiving.

Problem:

if you’re a newbie to Facebook Business Pages, the default view of your Company Facebook Page Wall does not always show you that a prospective customer just asked you a question:

Facebook Fan Filter

What you have to do is to the link marked “Options” just below your wall, on the right side

Facebook Fan Page Options

Then click “Just Others”

What you want to see is Facebook Fan Interaction, the evidence of that interaction looks like this:

Facebook Fan Page Just Others

Frederick Web Promotions Custom Company Facebook Pages:

What we do is ghost write all the content, and handle all the customer inquires, answer all the questions from prospective clients, perform all the customer service (we’re the point of contact), screen all inquires to determine which ones are real (should go to Dr ____, which ones are bogus attempts to spam the doctor’s FB wall with get rich quick schemes) AND get that Facebook Business Page to rank in the top ten along in Google Local Search Results alongside the Dr’s company website.

We charge $500 a month for company Facebook page management/ content creation available only with a year to year contract @ $6,000 a year, includes handling her twitter account as well: Total social media marketing management

Want Free Help Setting Up Your Company Facebook Page?

for free help completing this task Join one of our Company Facebook Pages at  Frederick Web Promotions and leave a comment. Make sure you leave your activerain blog url so our other fans can see it and so Google can see it thus giving you a inbound link, and leave a phone number so we can schedule a free hour of SEO consultation

You’re gonna have to come up with an angle to fit YOUR geographical area

I didn’t say this was easy.. it IS the most ROI you’re ever gonna get from here on out

…don’t shoot the messenger, a consultants job is to lead a horse to water: Drink or Don’t Drink, I brought you to the water hole, the ball is in your court

Social media consultants are popping up everywhere. Many social media types are claiming to also be SEO consultants.

Having your company “be” on social media is better than you not being there at all, but is your social media boosting your search engine rankings as well?

The most common social media mistake I see is not cross linking, if I see a “find us on Facebook” graphic but do have to hunt for a link to click on to become a companies fan (or “Like” some company on Facebook, becoming a fan is no longer the phrase FB uses) and there is no link…

You’re gonna make me hunt for your company on Facebook… well if you didn’t SEO your Facebook, I may or may not be able to find your company.

Twitter accounts with: no picture, no url, and a unoptimized description are not boosting the companies ranking.

SEO and SEM and SMO are different animals, much the same way advertising and marketing are different animals. The latter deserves it’s own post and I’m not going to address that in this post.

What is meant by Optimizing?

The term “SEO” means: search engine optimization

in a nut shell: early on, some marketers who were also webmasters (I fall into that category) discovered that if you changed/ edited/ altered an existing company website you could “get Google to like it more”

A website could be “optimized” to perform better in Google search results.

The name stuck, even though SEO now means much, much more than reworking a website to improve it’s ranking. Our results show us that most of what improves a website’s Google ranking has more to do with creating external websites to support a main website than fooling with the site structure on a given website.

I prefer the term SEM or Search Engine Marketing over SEO because just because a site ranks doesn’t mean that ranking is going to make the phone ring with rabid customers.

Local Google Advertising With Social Media

So how does one Optimize social media to improve local Google advertising?

Geo tagging

Many social media sites provide for you to specify, right down to the zip code or GPS coordinates where a picture was taken, or from what IP address a photo was uploaded.

Optimizing on site and in social media

  1. Text (keyword density) how often you repeat the keywords you’re shooting for in X # of words
  2. Blog Titles or sub headings: each blog post to a company blog needs to have the keywords you are shooting for in the title of the post. The title has a direct bearing on weather or not said post will show up in Google results where you’d like to see it show up
  3. Uploading photos with Image 0459 rather than renaming the photo

If your social media consultant is not using these very basic SEO tactics… you need another social media person

Yes we are for hire!!

Fees For Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Optimization:

Social Media Optimization: 8 hours of one on one consultation, create social media profiles with SEO ranking specifically in mind. First Hour is exploratory, we may or may not choose to represent you, we will discover if we can realistically do something for your product or service in this first hour. Fee $100.00 per hour or $700 come into our shop at 1446 W Patrick St, Frederick Md or we can do remote log in where we can both move the mouse and I can answer questions over the phone live

Google Places or Google Local Business Listing ranking

Many small businesses come to us with excellent ranking in the organic listings (sometimes called the natural search results or the main body of search results) but they are NOT ranking in the 3 pack of Google Maps. Google Maps is often the ONLY search results displayed on a smart phone. Increasingly people will start using their smart phone instead of a laptop, you need your company to rank in the top 3 or you will be virtually invisible. Fee for top 3 ranking in Google Places and one listing in the top ten Google organic listings $2000 annually

Keyword selection: one on one consultation to select effective keywords $100.00 per hour Typically our clients have a long list of keywords they’d like to be found under, we counsel you should pick no more than 3 keyword phrases, sell one thing and sell it well. You only have X amount of Google authority available to you at one time, attempting to spread a finite quantity of Google Juice over many keywords is counter productive in our experience. Every 6 weeks add 3 more keyword phrases to target, do NOT attempt all of them at once.

Managed Company Facebook Pages

Ghost write content for the supporting blogs we create, get each of them to rank in Google and create content for your company Facebook page and get the company Facebook Page we create and manage for your company to rank in Google:

$1000 to $3000 upfront: between $500 month and $1000 month for retainer fee and content creation/management. Fee’s vary depending on the competitiveness of your target market. We can hit any target, some targets are harder to hit than others. Typical Fee is $15000 annually ideally for criminal lawyers, divorce attorneys that want to dominate the local search pages for the geographical area they practice law in.

National Rankings: fees vary depending on competitiveness of the selected keyword phrase. Fees range from $14,000 annually $2000 up front, $1000 month to as much as $25,000

David Bruce Jr
785 Wembly Dr Frederick Md 21701

Google Android # 240 397-9804 davidbrucejr@frederickwebpromotions.com
Local Google Advertising Consultant

Worldwide Ranking Examples, if I were you I’d want to see what I’d be paying for, talk is cheap, put up or shut up:

Google Search Results for “local Google Advertising Consultant”
#1 Worldwide out of About 10,800,000 competing sites
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=local+google+advertising+consultant

Google Results for “regional search engine ranking”
#1, #7 and #8 out of About 21,200,000 results
http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&q=regional+search+engine+ranking

Google Results for “company facebook pages”
Ranked 13 worldwide out of About 343,000,000 results
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=company+facebook+pages

Google Local Business Listings

Cheating with fake reviews or keyword stuffing the company name WILL Get you BANNED from Google Places… it IS possible to be forgiven IF you take certain steps!

The most valuable part of a local Google Advertising campaign, Google Local Business Listings are powered by Google Maps, which is now called Google Places.

Google Places business listings often appear above the organic Google listings

Google Search Results Broken Down

Did your Google Places Account Get Suspended?

  • Fake reviews you left singing your companies praises
  • keyword stuffing
  • entering too many custom categories
  • mud slinging by fake complaints against your competitors
  • opening a gmail account, leaving a fake review (and never logging back into that gmail account again… did you really think Google was that stupid?)

… every possible method of gaming the Google local business listing rankings has already been thought of, attempted in the last 6o minutes.

So… you bent the rules and were caught dirty??

Welcome to the club, you most certainly are not alone!

So now you’re kicked off, is there a Google path to redemption?

Yes there is!

If you want back in to the good graces of Google Places we can help!

Google announced that there are Quality Scores it uses as criteria to determine which websites should rank higher in Google’s Local Business Listing Rankings

Among them is to complete not only your Google Profile but if you have any, your employees Google profiles.  See my post on Real Estate Marketing blog platform ActiveRain:

So You Want Something From Google And Didn’t Hang Your Shingle Out

A more completely filled out contact us page is another common error of omission

======

If you’d like for us to pull your fat out of the fire, we can do that:

Guaranteed Google Places or Google Local Business Listing ranking

Top 3 listing for your main keyword in Google Maps Guaranteed

Many small businesses come to us with excellent ranking in the organic listings (sometimes called the natural search results or the main body of search results) but they are NOT ranking in the 3 pack of Google Maps. Google Maps is often the ONLY search results displayed on a smart phone. Increasingly people will start using their smart phone instead of a laptop, you need your company to rank in the top 3 or you will be virtually invisible. Fee for top 3 ranking in Google Places and one listing in the top ten Google organic listings $2400 annually

It’s widely known that to boost your ranking in Google Places you should add up to 10 photos or images to your Google Places Accout

Add Photos to Google Places

785 Wembly Dr Frederick Md 21701 240 397-9804

Local Google Advertising Strategist David Bruce Jr of Frederick Web Promotions

240 397-9804 cell, OK to call afterhours, I’m almost always available

Update 12/26/2009 (with Egg on my Face) Google’s Personalized Search has consequences if you check your own rankings too often. Rather than remove this (mistaken) post I’ll leave it up here as a lesson to those who insist on checking and rechecking their ranking in Google.

Google doesn’t show everyone the same thing. Google’s personalized search will display to you in response to your search query, what it thinks you want… and  part of that is based on the aggregate of your last 180 days of searching. Meaning if you check a given keyword/ keyword phrase too often, and you click on your website (or your competitors link) Google will assume you obviously like that site and it will show that site higher in the serps.

====

Below is my mistaken conclusion, a post that 3 weeks later I discovered I was wrong

====

Google Local Business Listings which is Googlemaps underneath is apparently removing SEO companies from the search results.

I don’t yet know if this is a nationwide change in the Googlemaps algorithim, Google is said to roll out changes incrementally in some markets (some data centers) to test in order to determine if they want to keep a change or drop it.

SEO companies have been learning how to improve the ranking of Googlemaps listings, and Google has been penalizing SEO firms for keyword stuffing and other methods of improving the ranking in the local business listings.

If you search in Maryland for the keyword phrases:

  • search engine optimization
  • internet advertising
  • internet marketing
  • search engine marketing
  • No More Googlemaps Listings For SEO Firms
    Now I’m searching from a Frederick Maryland IP address so as of this post I’m not sure if the Google results returned from a searcher searching from another state outside of Maryland. Google is known to display slightly different results to searchers searching in a given geographical area as opposed to searchers searching from elsewhere.

    Improve ranking in Google Local Business Listings

    Frederick Web Promotions

    240 644-7530

    davidbrucejr@frederickwebpromotions.com

    Press Releases For Link Building

    Conventional Advertising thinks press releases are for editors to reuse or republish in their print publication.

    That’s fine, what Press Releases mean for Google rankings is quite another story.

    Google’s algorithm , which is to say the computer program that powers the decision  making process to pick who gets to come in at #1 in Google Ranking, used to be X

    I’ll explain what X is, but for the immediate purpose of this short post, we’ll address a change to the algorithm caused by elections.

    It takes Googlebot roughly 6 weeks to circumnavigate the globe (index the entire internet, every country, every language): that’s a baseline, one more 6 week pass and now Googlebot has something to measure, ie. here is X and here’s the increase or decrease in traffic, visitors, buzz about X, interest in X.

    So that means, from the perspective of someone wishing to improve their company website’s ranking, it takes 12 weeks to see a change in Google ranking

    Free Paid
    Count URL Login Required Google Page Rank Alexa Traffic Rank Free Submission HTML Anchor Tags Images Accepted Approval Time Paid Submission HTML Anchor Tags Images Accepted Approval Time Pricing Paid Features
    1 pressreleasepoint.com 288272 1 Day 1 Day Front Page, Other Sites
    2 pressabout.com 157471 1 Day One business day approval
    3 free-press-release-center.info 187059 1 To 7 Days 2.99 Top spot for 7 days
    4 pr9.net 129396
    5 prlog.org 34969 1 Day Automatic PDF version generation
    6 pressreleaseforum.com 272461 1 Day
    7 express-press-release.com 86255 1-3 days Few hours 29 Published within few hours
    8 postafreepressrelease.com 1452330 1 Day
    9 pressexposure.com 281459 1 To 2 Days
    10 speedypr.com 1188498 1 Day
    11 sbwire.com 223562 7-14 Days One Day $39.95, $19.95 One business day approval
    12 seenation.com 647266 1 Day
    13 myfreepr.com 427649 1 To 7 Days
    14 exactrelease.com 491041 1 To 2 Days
    15 sanepr.com 129647 1 Day
    16 prwindow.com 871995 1 Day
    17 mediasyndicate.com 419015 1 To 2 Days $15, $20 Highest priority
    18 webnewswire.com 1352897
    19 businessportal24.com 72616 1 Day
    20 press.xtvworld.com 209013 1 To 7 Days
    21 thepublish.com 1215758
    22 newsblaster.com 1244874 1 Day
    23 usprwire.com 496685 $75, $350 Posted to ClickPress, USPRwire, UKPRwire
    24 i-newswire.com 69752 1 To 7 Days 25 Top spot on release date
    25 pressmethod.com 189511 $5, $15, $29 Same day distribution
    26 1888pressrelease.com 46440 1 Day $10, $25, $50 Attach files, 5 Images.
    27 clickpress.com 109722 $75, $350 Posted to ClickPress, USPRwire and UKPRwire
    28 prnuke.com 526822 1 To 7 Days
    29 24-7pressrelease.com 53383 1 Day $49, $89, $349 Next day distribution.
    30 pressreleasemonkey.com 1516649 25 Advanced html editor, images.
    31 pressreleasespider.com 273261 1 To 7 Days
    32 malebits.com 230856 1 Day $1, $4.99 / Month, $14.99 / Month 1 url , 10 active urls, Unlimited publishing, unlimited urls
    33 clicnews.com 393798 30 Days
    34 pressreleasecirculation.com 992313 1 Day
    35 pr2work.com 1799048 1 To 7 Days
    36 prfocus.com 987388 1 To 7 Days
    37 epicpr.com 2707780 30 Days 10 Expedited Release Review & Approval
    38 press-network.com 13569892 1 Day $69, $149 Edit, complete rewrite
    39 pressbox.com 930365 1 To 7 Days
    40 freepressreleases.co.uk 122166 1 To 7 Days �30, �90, �180 Submission to 30 press release sites.
    41 bignews.biz 679139 1 Day
    42 ideamarketers.com 26704 1 Day $5,$15, $36, $91
    43 pr-usa.net 75052 1 Day
    44 newsalbum.com 490012 1 Day
    45 pr-gb.com 215253 1 Day �400, �1000/month Home page. Private category
    46 caymanmama.com 262127 49.95 Immediate release
    47 digg.com 166 1 Day
    48 base.google.com 4 1 Day
    49 prfriend.com 1610997 1 To 7 Days
    50 theopenpress.com 115074 1 Day $10, $50 Stars, Same day service
    51 newsreleaser.com 1143815 1 Day
    52 press-library.com 1030256
    53 live-pr.com/en 116044 1 Day
    54 prarticle.com 754172 1 Day
    55 information-online.com 227868 1 Day
    56 prunderground.com 382859 1 To 7 Days 24.99 Next Day Distribution, Media Attachments
    57 openpr.com 57079 1 Day
    58 prbuzz.com 181110 1 Day 99 Releasing your press release to a large number of search engines and online news sites
    59 prleap.com 43848 1 Day $49, $99, $149 Social Media, Media Attachments
    60 pressmediawire.com 168189 Within 12 hrs $59.95, $39.95, $19.95 Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines.
    61 fastpitchnetworking.com 47071 1 Day $50, $95 Direct Distribution to 50,000 Fast Pitch! members
    62 pr.com 17821 1 Day $199/yr, $499/yr Full Company Profile, Business Directory, Product Directory , Service Directory
    Free Paid
    Count URL Login Required Google Page Rank Alexa Traffic Rank Free Submission HTML Anchor Tags Images Accepted Approval Time Paid Submission HTML Anchor Tags Images Accepted Approval Time Pricing Paid Features
    1 pressreleasepoint.com 288272 1 Day 1 Day Front Page, Other Sites
    2 pressabout.com 157471 1 Day One business day approval
    3 free-press-release-center.info 187059 1 To 7 Days 2.99 Top spot for 7 days
    4 pr9.net 129396
    5 prlog.org 34969 1 Day Automatic PDF version generation
    6 pressreleaseforum.com 272461 1 Day
    7 express-press-release.com 86255 1-3 days Few hours 29 Published within few hours
    8 postafreepressrelease.com 1452330 1 Day
    9 pressexposure.com 281459 1 To 2 Days
    10 speedypr.com 1188498 1 Day
    11 sbwire.com 223562 7-14 Days One Day $39.95, $19.95 One business day approval
    12 seenation.com 647266 1 Day
    13 myfreepr.com 427649 1 To 7 Days
    14 exactrelease.com 491041 1 To 2 Days
    15 sanepr.com 129647 1 Day
    16 prwindow.com 871995 1 Day
    17 mediasyndicate.com 419015 1 To 2 Days $15, $20 Highest priority
    18 webnewswire.com 1352897
    19 businessportal24.com 72616 1 Day
    20 press.xtvworld.com 209013 1 To 7 Days
    21 thepublish.com 1215758
    22 newsblaster.com 1244874 1 Day
    23 usprwire.com 496685 $75, $350 Posted to ClickPress, USPRwire, UKPRwire
    24 i-newswire.com 69752 1 To 7 Days 25 Top spot on release date
    25 pressmethod.com 189511 $5, $15, $29 Same day distribution
    26 1888pressrelease.com 46440 1 Day $10, $25, $50 Attach files, 5 Images.
    27 clickpress.com 109722 $75, $350 Posted to ClickPress, USPRwire and UKPRwire
    28 prnuke.com 526822 1 To 7 Days
    29 24-7pressrelease.com 53383 1 Day $49, $89, $349 Next day distribution.
    30 pressreleasemonkey.com 1516649 25 Advanced html editor, images.
    31 pressreleasespider.com 273261 1 To 7 Days
    32 malebits.com 230856 1 Day $1, $4.99 / Month, $14.99 / Month 1 url , 10 active urls, Unlimited publishing, unlimited urls
    33 clicnews.com 393798 30 Days
    34 pressreleasecirculation.com 992313 1 Day
    35 pr2work.com 1799048 1 To 7 Days
    36 prfocus.com 987388 1 To 7 Days
    37 epicpr.com 2707780 30 Days 10 Expedited Release Review & Approval
    38 press-network.com 13569892 1 Day $69, $149 Edit, complete rewrite
    39 pressbox.com 930365 1 To 7 Days
    40 freepressreleases.co.uk 122166 1 To 7 Days �30, �90, �180 Submission to 30 press release sites.
    41 bignews.biz 679139 1 Day
    42 ideamarketers.com 26704 1 Day $5,$15, $36, $91
    43 pr-usa.net 75052 1 Day
    44 newsalbum.com 490012 1 Day
    45 pr-gb.com 215253 1 Day �400, �1000/month Home page. Private category
    46 caymanmama.com 262127 49.95 Immediate release
    47 digg.com 166 1 Day
    48 base.google.com 4 1 Day
    49 prfriend.com 1610997 1 To 7 Days
    50 theopenpress.com 115074 1 Day $10, $50 Stars, Same day service
    51 newsreleaser.com 1143815 1 Day
    52 press-library.com 1030256
    53 live-pr.com/en 116044 1 Day
    54 prarticle.com 754172 1 Day
    55 information-online.com 227868 1 Day
    56 prunderground.com 382859 1 To 7 Days 24.99 Next Day Distribution, Media Attachments
    57 openpr.com 57079 1 Day
    58 prbuzz.com 181110 1 Day 99 Releasing your press release to a large number of search engines and online news sites
    59 prleap.com 43848 1 Day $49, $99, $149 Social Media, Media Attachments
    60 pressmediawire.com 168189 Within 12 hrs $59.95, $39.95, $19.95 Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines.
    61 fastpitchnetworking.com 47071 1 Day $50, $95 Direct Distribution to 50,000 Fast Pitch! members
    62 pr.com 17821 1 Day $199/yr, $499/yr Full Company Profile, Business Directory, Product Directory , Service Directory

    Maryland Internet Advertising by Frederick Web Promotions on Yahoo

    Maryland Internet Advertising on Bing

    Frederick Web Promotions 6688 Canada Goose Ct, Frederick Maryland 21703

    Building Links Through DoFollow Forum Signatures
    Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 1:01pm

    I haven’t written a link building post in a while, because for the most part, I was off investigating other things. And getting way too complex. When I realized it’s the things I think are simple and run-of-the-mill that people really are looking to learn about. So as people ask me questions, I note them and try to write a post. I used to hate questions. Taking someone from “What’s a signature?” to viewing browser source in one sitting may be hard, but hopefully, it’s not impossible. Now I realize these questions are the master key to the type of traffic I want at this blog. So off we go.

    Forums are basically where “social networks” started.

    I talk to a lot of people who want to get traffic to their site. And they usually think I can tell them how in 10-15 minutes. So I try. Rarely do people listen. And out of those that listen, very few actually use what I tell them. I am not sure why this happens. Maybe they are lazy. Maybe they think, “How can something like that help me?”. But one guy I talked to I told to use forum signatures to build links. That was about all. I thought it was simple enough to get someone started. I told him to sign up for forums, add a signature file, forget about it and just converse. Put in your two cents where ever you can add something to the conversation. I did not list specific forums.

    I told him that and I was thinking, yet another person not taking my advice. But I was wrong. A few weeks later, he came back to me and we checked the site. He has a micro business and is outranking local corporations here in Kansas City. He is doing this with a site built from templates. He doesn’t even know HTML. And what he used to do it, local business directories and forums. It blew my mind. One, for getting through to someone in 10 minutes. Two, for the results.

    And since most people understand forums, I think it may be the best place for the average non-tech person to build links to his site, especially if you have the gift of gab. They have been around since they were called bulletin boards and some still are. You can find multiple forums on just about any topic you want.

    How Forums Work to Boost Your Site’s Position in the Search Engines

    There are many ways to get links to your site and links are votes. That is about the simplest way to think of them. Think of them as another site voting for your site to rank higher than other sites for a specific keyword. He who has the most votes, all else being the same, will rank the highest. It is not that simple and not the whole story, but if you are new to this, it is a good place to start.

    Most other ways of getting links will get you one link from one site. You comment on a blog that uses dofollow and you get one link back from that post. You submit an article to an article directory and you get one link, most of the time. Run down the list of link building methods and it takes a lot of work to get one link. With forums, once you create a signature, that signature will now be under every post you add to a forum thread.

    Detecting if the Forum Will Pass Rank to Your Site

    Remember that the links to your site count as “votes”. Well, in the early days of blogs, getting a link to your site was as easy as commenting on any random blog you happen to find. It was not long before spammers caught onto this.

    To prevent spam, the “nofollow” tag was created. A normal link in html looks like this: <a href=”http://www.website.com“>This is your link text</a> and a “nofollow” link looks like this: <a href=”http://www.website.com” rel=”nofollow”>This is your link text</a> . That rel=”nofollow” does a lot. What it does is tell the search engines that happen to spider that page this link is not a vote for your site. In other words, the link is worthless for your rank in search engines like Google.

    There are some people that say this link still counts as a vote with a lesser value, but if you are new to this, we will stick to this rule: if there is a rel=”nofollow” around your link, it is worthless for building your rank in the search engine results. If it is a high traffic forum, people may click on your link but it is not helping you anywhere else. It’s value is limited to those clickthroughs.

    Okay, let’s see if a forum is passing rank. Browse to a thread in the forum of your choice and make sure there are some signature showing. To detect if a forum is using nofollow tags, first right click in the middle of your browser’s window. On a Mac, this would be Control and your normal mouse click. After doing that, a menu should pop up for you. Now depending on your browser, you should see something like “View Page Source” or just “View Source”. Click that.

    Now that you are looking at a bunch of html code, the easiest way to determine if a forum is dofollow is just search the whole page for “nofollow”. Ctrl+F usually brings up a search menu on most browsers and you can do this with source code. So push Control and F at the same time, type “nofollow” and hit enter. If nothing comes up, you are at a dofollow forum.

    If your search does turn up a “nofollow”, check it to see if it is around one of the signature links. People nofollow links on their site for various reasons and some other links on the page may be nofollow. To make that a bit easier, go back to the real page, copying one of the signature links, search for that on the html source (the page we got by right clicking) and determine if the signature link itself has a nofollow tag.

    And there are Firefox extensions that make this easier. But if you are not using Firefox and are not used to addons, showing you how to use them would have made this post a lot longer and involved, so I skipped that process.

    And most forums I have run into are dofollow, so the manual process of right clicking and viewing the source may be overkill, but it helps to know before you invest in creating a profile there and fleshing it out.

    Creating Your Forum Signature

    This will be a general tutorial and some forums are set up differently then others, so you may have to do some looking around to edit your forum profile.

    Usually on a bar, across the top of a forum, you will see various links like Forum Jump, FAQ, Search, Tools. There should also be a “Sign Up” or “Register” link. Obviously, this is where you sign up. Do that first. Most are basic forms and most will send an email to the email address you used to sign up. You will have to click on this link before your forum membership is activated.

    Once you have determined that the forum will follow signature links, you have signed up and you have activated your account, it is now time to add your signature and flesh out your profile. Look around on that top bar for something that says “Edit Signature”, “Edit Profile”, “Control Panel” or something similar. While you are in there, you might as well fill out your whole profile, because it will get some traffic from other forum users especially if you are active and on most forums, every post you make will also link back to your forum profile.

    In your signature, put your links or your links and a small blurb. Some forums limit the amount of links and text and a whole bunch of links there looks a bit spammy, so use good judgement when creating your signature. And here are the basics of your link:

    <a href=”http://www.thesiteyouarelinkingtoo.com” Title=”This pops up when you mouse over the link and should have important keywords, if allowed by forum”>This is your anchor text and should have important keywords</a>

    Finding Forums

    Before the critical mass of blogs, if you searched for a very specific question on just about any topic, forums showed on the first page of results at Google. Now, chances are that blogs have taken that place in search engine results. But forums are out there and some still outrank the blogs.

    Should you find forums related to your niche? Yes. That will give your most valuable backlinks because the content on both the forum and the site you are linking to in your forum signature are related. But if you find that this limits the amount of forums you can be active on, branch out to other forums and use them also. For example, if you only found 3 or 4 forums on “window and door repairs”, make sure you are active at those forums.

    But if you have more time, go to unrelated forums and add your signature. And if you do, you might as well find ones on topics you like and can gab about for days. Most webmaster forums are full of members with signatures that have nothing to do with being a webmaster. The members still talk about webmaster things. But their signature point to unrelated sites.

    One of the easiest ways to find forums is to use a keyword related to your niche and add forum to the end of it. Then search Google for that phrase, i.e “webmaster forum”. Basic and simple.

    Another way is to use a forum search site. These sites search only forums. Just enter niche related terms and these search engines will search a bunch of forums at once and give you specific forum threads as results. Here are a couple:

    Some DoFollow Forum Lists

    I was going to build my own and still might, but there is a lot of forums out there and it is rare to run into one that does not give you a dofollow link. So instead I will lead you to other blogs. Use this list if you are lazy. These forums have already been checked for dofollow links.

    How Not to Spam

    Just don’t. That’s about it. The beauty of your signature at a forum is that you can forget about it. Do so. And start conversing. It may take a while. It’s like driving. At first, you stress out, thinking Step 1, Step2, Step3. But eventually, you’re a natural.

    Don’t look for opportunities to get links. Just about any forum you land on will have hundreds of active threads. Browse them until something strikes you. Answer questions. Ask questions. Post tips. And mainly watch the other forum members. Learn from them.