When reading other people’s blogs, you can encounter a multitude of linking problems that thousands of bloggers are making, either when linking to people within their own posts, or when they are commenting.
Linking to Top Level Domains Rather Than Posts
There are multiple benefits for both you and the blog or website you link to if you use deep linking to related content using search engine friendly links, especially for blogs using some method to remove nofollow.
- Anchor Text – If you are linking to good information, you want other people to be able to find it – using a search engine friendly link helps the search engines understand what the content you are linking to is about.
- Related Content – Links between related high quality content are the best form of links for search engine optimization, and for your own readers.
- Use trackback when you link – that provides a clear notification to another blog owner that you are joining in the conversation with them, often with an email notification
- Links Equals Traffic – most blog themes display trackbacks
- Links Equals Juice – on blogs using various forms of dofollow it creates a backlink with your choice of anchor text, which is great for SEO. Reciprocal links between related content are still extremely valuable
- Karma – give other people the kind of quality links you would like to receive – if the link is buried among 20 other links in a list it is almost worthless. If the link is a star in a 10 x 10 grid like a certain meme that is floating around, IT IS USELESS.
You will notice that I also use this to my advantage for internal linking, and I even leave trackback for my own posts on rather than using a plugin to switch it off. It is all great related linking, though it helps to have your trackbacks displayed below the comment box to stop things becoming messy.
Note: I am not saying the occasional link to a top level domain is a bad thing, but even then it is good to use some suitable anchor text.
I frequently see things like “Andy Beard wrote a great post on XYZ” and the link would be with my name to the home page. That link might be useful for a couple of days, but then the blog post will be buried in my archives. Permalinks on blogs are there for a reason… use them!
Using A Link From Google Search Results
I always know when someone has made a rushed effort in compiling a collection of links about a subject. Almost always what they have done is performed a search in Google, and rather than clicking through on a link before copying it, they just copy and paste from the Google search results… a huge mistake
I see it all the time, and it is so painfully obvious by how ugly the links look that it is a redirect, I can’t understand how these slip through.
Here is a normal link to my review of PayPerPost Direct
Here is a link to the exact same article from the Google Search Engine Results
Yes Google are tracking every click within their search results, and so do most search engines. They want to know which results you found interesting.
Tracking Links From Within Feedburner
If you pay for their total stats package, their tracking links are supposed to offer a redirect that search engines can understand, unfortunately, any such link won’t issue a trackback, and won’t register in Technorati.
Multiple times I have seen some of the top blogging and SEO experts use FeedBurner redirect links by accident. In fact because they are more likely to be using a feed reader, they are also more likely to make this mistake than newer bloggers.
Tracking Links From Alexa
I am literally mourning the people who are using Alexa redirects in an attempt to increase their Alexa ratings.
It is believed by many people that using an Alexa redirect to link to your site from various places will improve your Alexa rating. I haven’t tested it, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t but there is absolutely no logical reason to be using Alexa redirects for links which could otherwise be passing some useful link juice.
I have seen people use Alexa redirect links:-
- On their MyBlogLog Profile
- In comments on Dofollow blogs
- For their own internal linking
Seriously, that isn’t a very good idea.
It is fair enough sticking an Alexa badge on your site, or encouraging your users to use useful Firefox plugins such as Search Status which now includes Compete reporting as well.
If you really want to experiment with it, you can use them for comments on other blogs, but then that messes up your tracking data, and knowing where you get good traffic from is highly important.
Note: I do realise Alexa use a 301 Redirect, so in theory the links will pass juice, there is no knowing if the redirect will remain the same link in the future, or if a 301 passes all ranking factors – it is certainly an ugly URL I wouldn’t want to click in places like MyBlogLog or on forums.
Copying A Link From a Comment
I see this one time and time again, and it really sickens me.
Someone posts a great link to related content in a comment, and the author of the post decides to move the item into the main post, or write a new blog post including the link and comment.
Unfortunately the links in their blog in the comments contain nofollow, and the blogging software they use grabs the HTML selected, including the nofollow attribute.
Result… a dead link, totally worthless.
Which page would you like to rank highly in the search engines?
- Your Blogger Profile
- The Pages Of Your Blog
This isn’t a trick question
Unless you have no choice, always use the alternate URL choice when commenting on Blogger blogs, especially on the blogs that have removed nofollow.
Yes it is more complicated and slightly more time consuming, but what is the point of a junk comment link to your Blogger profile.
Even on a blog with nofollow, a comment link is still a link back to your blog, where you want the traffic to go. You can also use a deep link to a particular blog post, and sign your name with appropriate anchor text which wouldn’t be looked on as spammy, especially if you wrote a very good comment, that was related.
As an example I might link to this article using “Andy Beard on Linking Mistakes” or “Andy Beard on SEO Friendly Links”
That kind of link, especially if they know it is to good information, invites people to click and isn’t going to be looked on as spammy if you gave good information.
I quite often delete comments such as
I wrote about it here, this is my link
Give People Good Links
The more times you give people good quality links, with good anchor text, the more times you will get the same high quality links in return.
Sometimes it only takes a couple of high quality links for a particular page to rise to the top of the search results for the phrase used in the anchor text.
As an example I have seen massive improvements for the charity I chose to help in the Charity link meme, which was at the bottom of the 2nd page of results for Polish Charity, and is now in 3rd place, on the 1st page of results in Google.