As a freelancer who provides SEO work for websites and blogs, I am woefully aware that many ACFW writers treat links in blog comments as spam. Knowing how the search engines index these comments, I spend much of my time educating bloggers on the value of these links.
The internet is a monster of sorts: a ‘spiderweb’ of information. The search engines “spider” our sites with “robots” in order to index our pages. The goal is to link to sites that are relevant to our own. To that end, most writers are willing to place a “button” (or link) to another writer’s site on their blog – this is a “touchy feely” way to connect and it gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling. But to the search engines – having a reciprocal link that links me to you and then you to me will not carry much weight. Though the search engines don’t completely devalue this link, it’s not as valuable as having a solid one-way backlink from another site.
Backlinking is the way to get our site or blog found on the web. It’s not enough to write a blog and just have all of our friends read it. Although we might have a great following within the ACFW community, is this group really the target of our writing? We already read each other’s books, we review them, we all talk about one another… Isn’t the goal to reach those outside of our own network? The folks who need encouragement – both inside and outside of the church?
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t delete comments that are obviously spam – of course, we should. I run about two dozen blogs, each for a specific purpose – I link to Amazon products and to other affiliate programs on several of my commercial blogs; I have one blog that I use to showcase my flash fiction and another that I use to sell SEO services. My AKISMET settings hold comments if there are more than two links in any comment. It gets dumped into my spam folder until I approve it – in many cases, I just remove the extra links and then approve the comment.
If our readers find us by putting our name into the google search box, they already know us. They might be looking for our latest book, which is great – but how do we get the person who has never heard of us to visit our blog? Connecting to others is how it is done.
If you are happy with your position in google, Bing and Yahoo! that’s a wonderful thing. If you have a bunch of books out already, you are way ahead of the game.
But for me, post your link and comment on my do follow blogs. Bookmark me. Networking is the basis of SEO. It’s a give-and-take spiderweb of information. I use other blogs and forums to gain valuable backlinks for my own sites, so I am pleased to feed the monster.
Michael Lee Joshua is a happy grandpa and a freelance writer. He is also skilled in SEO techniques and can help you find and dominate your niche on the internet. Visit his blog or contact him through his website at www.GrandpasHeart.com or his SEO site at www.PayNoPostage.com.