Ups and Downs in SEO

JasonVan posted 10th of July 2010 in Community Voice. 8 comments.

Anybody who knows anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) knows that links matter most. Onsite optimization is important, but only to get you to the starting line. Links is how you run the race. Without lots of high quality and relevant links, all the onsite optimization in the world means nothing (unless you are vying for keywords that nobody else wants).

So the big question is always..."How to get more links?"

Google and the other search engines want you to acquire links naturally or organically. This means when other webmasters like your site (or content or both) so much that they naturally decide to link to it. Now how often does this happen?

How often will some webmaster stumble upon your site, and love it so, so much that he/she decides to give it a significant mention on one of their relevant sites (using your desired keywords in and around the anchor text)? What's better, how often will this link be on a significant page with actual PR (Page Rank) to be passed to you?

My opinion is this: Unless you are posting something incredibly significant on your site (like the cure for cancer or the solution to global warming), 99% of webmasters who either hear about or come across your site will not give it a free one-way link. Webmasters are far too smart and far too greedy to do something like this.

I've actually had dozens and dozens of webmasters say they really, really loved one of my sites. Then when I asked for a link, they requested a link back (or better yet payment).

I just really, really hate so called "experts" trying to convince others (usually newbies) to just build great content and the links will come (naturally). What a ridiculous farce!!!!

Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't expect any "natural" links to your site.  I myself have strangely discovered dozens of links to my sites that I myself did not acquire or solicit.  Most often, however, these links are on low to no PR pages, and most often these links use my url for the anchor text.  Oh well.  Nevertheless, these links are so few and far between, that it would likely take a decade or two to acquire enough just to move up two spots in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page).  I don't know about you, but I don't plan to wait this long.

The bottom line is that you really need to work your but off if you intend to have any visitors to your site.  You need to be posting in relevant forums and blogs (although most of these have now gone nofollow). You need to be writing relevant articles and posting to as many high ranking articles directories as you can (although these links don't count for much either these days).  You need to be begging for links or link exchanges from high ranking and relevant sites (although reciprocal links don't count for much these days as well).  You need to be submitting your site to press release sites, and any other sites that might give you back a link (although these links don't count for much either these days.

Finally, there is always paying for your visitors.  I used to use adwords ppc (pay per click), but it was getting to be too expensive (even .10 cents a visitor was starting to add up).  Some webmasters buy links, but you definitely have to be careful.  It's not Google or the search engines you have to worry about (getting penalized for purchasing links is a myth - otherwise your competition could buy you a few lousy links in a handful of link farms (or bad neighborhoods) and get you punished - remember that you can never get punished for something that the search engines can't prove you did - you just might not get rewarded for it), its those selling links you need to be concerned about.  There are a lot places on the net where you can find people who are selling links.  The problem is, however, that many of these "sellers" are either selling fake Page Rank (you need to know how to detect this), or they fully intend to remove your link from their site just a few short days after the transaction.  I would say that at least 50% of people selling links on the net are crooked and immoral. This is definitely a buyer beware situation.

Well, I've just gone off on a tangent.  I will write again soon.

ps.  My site was #5 in (USA) for "Chat Rooms", but just dropped to #7.  However, I fully plan to be up to #3 by the end of July.  This site now gets about 2,500 visitors a day (350 new members a day), but this isn't even close to the numbers I want to see.  I won't be happy until I'm getting at least 1,000 new members/day and at least 5,000 visitors/day.  Wish me luck.  I'll keep you posted.

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Great Jason - thanks for the useful information. You have one of the most successful sites here I believe. May I ask what your total member count is up to? How are you doing on ad revenue? Would it be too much to ask for a monthly ballpark on what you collect? People don't share as much as they used to here, so that kind of information can be useful.
My site passed 35,000 members a few days ago. Not bad considering I switched to this software and started at zero about 5 months ago. As for the money thing...I could probably make more (???) if I made better use of ads throughout my site. I'll let you know how much I'm making once I do that...;-)
It has dropped to #10 now :o( Good work on getting such a high ranking for what I would have thought is such a competitive keyword.
Yeah, SEO can be very frustrating. I've acquired a number of quality links since I was number 5, and still I drop (I'm showing #9). There is no point in guessing, as it could be a million possible things. Being #9 is still sending me over 500 new visitors a day just from these keywords. Being number 3, however, would likely double this number.

One idea I have is that I added a new page called "Chat Features". This page outlines and describes all of my chat and chat related features. see more However, google probably sees the terms "chat" and "chat rooms" too often on this page, and therefore considers it "keyword stuffing". I need to dilute these keywords by adding some additional content on this page.
keyword stuffing is bad. You certainly will be penalized for that but only for that page. Personally I do not think that creating this page will improve your websites status. I would continue to work on one way backlinking to your home page. I looked at an analysis website for your website and apparently your backlinks have decreased significantly over the last month or so. This could be a reason for your drop in serps ranking for
And now I'm back to #5 in (USA). I use a variety of keyword ranking tools to determine my current position, as will reflect different results depending on where you are searching from. I found this out the hard way once when I was vacationing in Vegas and thought I had dropped in the SERPS.

That's interesting that you say my incoming links have dropped. I actually dropped from about 700 to about 450 in yahoo (link:, but in my Google webmaster tools see more I'm actually showing that I went up. I don't know who to believe.
I normally use which is has a Texas based IP address to hide my UK based IP address. In doing so it gives me access to the proper
In fact you back links appear to have been dropping consistantly over the last half a year. Yes it is hard to know what to believe. I used the following website to gleen info about your website However I am sure different websites will give different stats.
Hey, I checked out ...looks pretty cool. Thanks for this resource. I'm not sure I agree with everything, but it's definitely interesting stuff.
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