Posting on blogs, forums, and social bookmarking websites can be a great way to build up links, but the value of social links devalues quicker than a new car driving off the dealer’s lot.
Increasingly, the web relies on reverse chronological order to keep the newest information on the top of a page. As updates and new posts are added, almost every type of website is constantly pushing the old pages down to the bottom of your screen and eventually they’re buried into an archive that’s probably not indexed very well. Whether you’re heading to blogs, social bookmarking sites, or old fashioned web forums, you’ll find this system of organization in place.
The problem, of course, is that its damn-near impossible to keep your links at the top of the page – or at least in a place where the search engines can find it. Take a look around any of the various Pligg sites that sits with minimal moderation, and you’ll find a link war among spammers who are trying to keep their links as the bulk of the front page. Of course, a lot of Pligg admins are taking advantage of “1 IP = 1 Vote” systems, but it isn’t too hard to hop behind another IP identity. Well, maybe it is because web based proxies don’t work well with Pligg and more ISPs are providing customers with static IP addresses. A few years ago I probably could have reset my modem every time I needed a new IP but this isn’t exactly the point here..
The first thing you’ll realize if you’re relying on blogs, forums, and bookmarks for your backlinks is that the job is never done. No matter how many times you post and no matter how well received you are in the community providing you with the link opportunity, anything short of a constant commitment will eventually result in all of your efforts being buried in the archives of obscurity.
How can you fight this? Well, here are a few ideas that won’t make you too many enemies:
- Know the “Hot Topic” – As a publisher, offline or on, you need to be able to spot trends and recognize the type of headline that generates a whole lot of hype. When it comes to forum posts, if you can find these early and drop some comments (and signature links) on the first page of the post, you’ll have a visible backlinks that keeps getting bumped to the top of the page. Some popular forum posts literally get bumped for years – and if you look back at the front page they end up carrying quite a hefty bit of pagerank. Once your post is well positioned, you’ve got every incentive to keep that topic rolling. As always, be sure to use your best judgment. If there’s nothing left to be said, don’t go rambling on to the 10th page. If no one has posted in six months, don’t drag the topic back from the dead unless there’s some kind of awesome new development.
- Find the Premium Tags – When you’re posting links to Pligg sites and other social bookmarking communities, there’s no point in trying to “out-submit” the people who are utilizing automated linking techniques. Instead, try to link smarter! Search google like this “site:bookmarkdomain.com/tag/” to find out which tags are ranked as relatively important. You may even find some tag pages that have their own pagerank! Forget the front page, you might be able to leave your link sitting here for a few weeks or months before enough people realize the opportunity.
- Help your Blogger Buddies – Blog comment links are another great way to meet people and build backlinks, but of course it suffers the same sort of race-to-the-bottom as all of the other forms of social media listed here. Obviously, you can help the value of your comment links by posting on the most popular blog posts – but you can take that philosophy a step further by helping to promote the blog posts you’ve commented on and found particularly interesting. Not only are you helping out a fellow blogger, but you’re also drawing attention to your own comments and links. Talk about a win-win situation!
In my next post, I’ll give a few ideas about how to take advantage of this content onslaught – from the administrative side of things. Stay tuned!