Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Why are we abandoning Pagerank?

The dates below show updates conducted by Google over the last 6 years. As you can see, for more than 18 months Google has been publishing a general update of Pagerank only every three months and the last eight months have passed without any updates.

  • 4 February 2013

  • 7 November 2012

  • 2 August 2012

  • 2 May 2012

  • 7 February 2012

  • 7 November 2011

  • 1st Week August 2011

  • July 2011

  • June 2011

  • January 2011

  • April 2010

  • Dec 31, 2009

  • 30 October 2009

  • 27-28 May 2009

  • June 2009

  • 1-2 April 2009

  • 30-31 December 2008

  • 27 September 2008

  • 26 July 2008

  • 29 April 2008

  • 9 January 2008

  • 26 October 2007

  • 28 April 2007

There has been great speculations about what caused the delay but there isn’t an official reason for Google being behind schedule. It could be that the last major update of Pengüin algorithm affected the PageRank algorithm or even, as some people think, Google could be in the process of abandoning PageRank.

Whatever the reason, this makes PageRank an unreliable and unfair way of calculating the value of your links, so we have decided to use mozRank as our primary metric in calculating Link Credit. As you know, Mozrank is expressed to 2 decimal places so for simplicity we will strip the decimal value when recording the mozRank for a page. For example, a mozRank of 3.67 will be recorded as 3 for the purpose of link credit calculations.

At the moment, all link credit is still being calculated using PageRank, but about November 15th we will start the transition to using only mozRank. From that date the value of a link will be calculated based half on the PageRank and half on the mozRank of the page. We expect to complete the move from PageRank to mozRank on  December 1st when Link Credit will start being calculated solely by mozRank (rounded down).

Attention please!
Moving to Mozrank has been delayed. We will send a newsletter, show a message in your Automatic Backlinks’ dashboard, send a tweet and write a blog post here before making the changes. Thanks for your patience.

Improve your Local Search Ranking with SEO

If you haven’t started harnessing the power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your business, where have you been?  There are plenty of other brands out there selling the same products or providing the same services as you do, so how are you going to get your business noticed?  By making SEO work for you, that’s how!  Here are just 5 ways that SEO can boost your business and improve your local search ranking this year.

#1. Use Google Places

Whether your page already exists on Google places and simply needs some updating or you need to create a page from scratch, a visible presence here will ensure your business appears closer to the top of local search results.

#2. Ensure your numbers add up

Whilst it can be tempting to use a mobile as your business number, if your business phone area code isn’t consistent with the area your company is located in, this could mean you appear less frequently in search results.  Stick to the landline number for your physical business location.

#3. Advertise your Contact Information

As any SEO expert or web developer will tell you, your business address and phone number should be clearly visible on your website – it’s a great idea to add your contact details as a footer on every page of the site as this will increase your visibility in search results.

#4. Optimize your Pages

Your home page should be optimized for local search – this means adding the location as well as the business name to your home page, for example, ‘Won’s: Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco’ is an excellent page title! Don’t stop there, use traditional SEO methods to optimize every aspect of your website for local searches too.

#5. Chase down Reviews

It’s a great idea to have online reviews of your business – don’t be afraid to implement a marketing campaign which contacts previous customers and asks them for a review.  In a restaurant or café, a great way to do this is by cards on the table asking people to leave details of their thoughts and experiences.  Reviews can actually impact your local search rankings – so ask customers to visit your Google Places page and leave a review!

Improving your local search ranking could have a huge impact on your business growth this year – so make the most of the customers closest to you by optimizing your website today.

Key SEO Practices for Google Updates

When building a site there is a lot to think about. There is the on-page design, concept, and content as well as the all of the off page work you may need to do. It can be completely overwhelming at times, however; if you focus on one thing at a time you can be more successful as you build natural links back to your site. By focusing on proper article marketing and guest posting you can give your site that boost that it really needs and absolutely earned.

Proper Article Marketing

With the advent of Google Penguin, article marketing has become a whole different ball game. You can no longer build your backlinks solely on article marketing directories. You will need to diversify and post content on various corners of the Internet to see proper effective results. Remember here that unique content is king so by posting different stories to different article
directories you can get a huge boost in your ranking with the new Google updates.

Guest Posting

One of the best ways to promote your site or brand is to go ahead and guest post on a variety of websites. This method is surprisingly easy, and although it takes time, patience and work, it can be exceptionally beneficial to your webpage’s rankings. Guest posts are extremely useful to create buzz, traffic and natural links around your site.

All in All Google Penguin is all about links and link building. The more you build high quality, useful links, the better off you will be and the more likely you are to rank higher in Google Search. You will not have to stress about losing your positioning on Google if you build your site with the long term in mind. Sure, you can profit quickly from the short-term approaches but you are building your house on quicksand at that point.

The effects of Google’s “Panda” and “Penguin” updates for Automatic Backlinks (2/2)

Penguin is the nickname for the latest major update of Google’s algorithm and the one with the highest potential of affecting Automatic Backlinks users. The update aimed at rewarding sites with what they consider a natural link building strategy and punishing all others. Some webmasters have experienced pretty drastic drops in their search engine ranking while others have received boosts, but the sites in Automatic Backlinks networks seem to not really be affected. We believe that this is because we only allow quality links in our system. Here are a few tips on how not to get smacked over the head by a penguin.

Avoid link spamming

Some experiments suggest spamming links using the same keywords as anchor text might not improve your ranking. Others might suggest the opposite but if you feel like you want to prevent this, the solution is easy and harmless; add more link variations to your campaign. Some good ideas of variations would be: swapping the capital letters at the beginning of each word, switch the word order, insert additional words, use secondary keywords…

Add natural links

Not everyone in the internet is SEO savvy, so they are going to link to your site using anchors like “click here”, “nice site” or even “”. Including a fair amount of these (1 link per each 10 links with real keywords) will make your anchor text look natural to Google’s search engine. The more natural your links look in Google’s eyes the better off you will be.

As mentioned in our last article regarding making sites panda-proof; by avoiding link spamming and adding natural links you can begin to see improvements in your site. It is also important to mention that these methods work best in conjunction with automatic backlink building. It will not get your site banned and you will gain the exposure your site deserves.

The effects of Google’s “Panda” and “Penguin” updates for Automatic Backlinks (1/2)

During the last year, Google has made a few dramatic changes to their search algorithm. The first major update was called “Panda”. What is the Google panda update? Since Google implemented it its goal has been to analyze the contents of sites much more thoroughly than before. It works in this manner: it assigns a quality score to your whole site depending on how good your contents are and the user experience you offer to visitors. It’s a global mark that affects the rankings of all pages in your site in the same way.

It doesn’t matter if you boost your landing page using cutting edge technologies and add brilliant content, the score comes from the evaluation of every single page of your site. This means you may not improve ranks just by getting more inbound links. Panda affects people who build automatic backlinks. Even if you get 100 links to one of your pages, the odds are that your rankings will not improve if your site is not Panda-proof. We found one of the best approaches to what Google means with quality can be found in this blog post, but here is some valuable advice:

  • Article interlinking. By mentioning each article with the same topic, you are showing to Google that your site is genuinely talking about that subject and you are not just adding text full of keywords to your site.
  • Avoid long keywords and use topics. For example: don’t use as a title of an article “how to cook a chicken” to a recipe, it’s better to use “Roasted chicken with potatoes”. Still, you can talk about “how to cook a good roasted chicken” in your article. Those kind of keyword titles have been used for a long time but now, Google reduces your quality score of sites that abuse this old SEO practice.
  • Also make sure your site loads in 4 seconds or less for optimal search engine results. Google Panda likes sites that load fast.

Using Automatic Backlinks for your site is extremely important and can be very beneficial to boost your rankings. You just want to make sure that you are building links over time and have realistic expectations. Often when using a technique like link building, a site will enter into a “Google dance” where it may be back to page 0 one day and up to page 1 the next. The key here is to continue building links in a natural manner and to be patient.

Essentially Google Panda is an update that really changes the market for Search Engine Optimization. With this new update it can be seen that quality of a site matters more than ever now. Making your site SEO friendly in light of Google Panda has taken on a whole new meaning. You want to have plenty of interlinking on your site, you want proper keywords as well as proper placement of those keywords, but you still want to have a solid back link strategy that looks and feels natural.

A lot of low-quality search engine optimization companies cannot keep up with the demand Panda has caused, and to make sure your site is panda proof is critical if you want to see a return on your investment. Plenty of internet marketers have been greatly disappointed with the new update of Google Panda because, the new updates favor sites that are in it for the long haul and does not give preference to quickly built, low-quality sites. All in all if you follow the rules and build a high quality site you will be able to survive Google Panda with ease.

Changing from PageRank to mozRank

In the next few weeks will switch from using Google PageRank as a metric for determining the quality and price of a backlink to using mozRank by SEOmoz.

Why we are abandoning PageRank
For a long time it has been common knowledge that PageRank is not a very good or trustworthy metric for quality even Google agrees.

Additionally PageRank has never been made publicly available by Google except for in browser toolbars, so for us to get the PageRank of a particular page we have to pretend to be a browser toolbar and send a fake request to google. As Automatic Backlinks has grown, we have been sending tens of thousands of these requests on a daily basis and Google quickly detected that we were no ordinary browser toolbar and blocked our servers, even as we added more and more. Lately it appears that Google have started replying to these requests with a 0 instead of the usual ‘#blocked’ message meaning that we incorrectly marked pages as having a PageRank 0.

A final reason for the change is that we do not like to send requests to google with the URL of every page in our system. It gives them an opportunity to detect our network and this is a risk we feel we can no longer take.

Why we have chosen mozRank
mozRank is a metric quite similar to PageRank as it is a score from 0 to 10 on a logarithmic scale. In fact our preliminary tests show that mozRank and PageRank seem to follow each other quite closely. The number is calculated for using the metrics of 9,200,000,000 links on 400,000,000 pages.

Additionally, the clever people over at SEOmoz have made an API available that makes getting the mozRank of a page a very simple task which means we finally have a reliable, accurate and up to date method of determining the quality (and thus price) of a backlink.

What does it mean for our members?
We have decided to go with a rolling launch of this new system which means that we have already started adding pages with a mozRank of 1 or above. We expect that we will start adding links to pages using a price calculated from their mozRank (as opposed to their PageRank) as early as next week. Existing links added using PageRank as the price metric will remain calculated using the “old method” in a transition period of some months. This is to avoid large fluctuations in our members’ Link Credit balance.

Some members will have noticed that they will now have both a www and non www entry (and possibly other subdomains) of their sites in the dashboard. This is because Google does not distinguish between the two versions, however SEOmoz does. We encourage members to create a redirect from the non www to the www version of the site (or vice versa). This is a best practice SEO technique anyway and it will mean that the mozRank will all be on the same subdomain. Members are also welcome to activate the additional site, although we will not place links on it unless it has any mozRank.

Is manual link exchange a dying trend?

The idea for Automatic Backlinks was born out of frustration trying to manually find link partners.

At the time we were working for a client trying to get their site ranked for particular keywords. Even though we were outsourcing the work to India it was painfully slow and painfully obvious that the effort put in was nowhere worth the reward: a reciprocal PageRank 0 link inside someone’s link directory.

The problems with manual link exchange are manifold:

  • Reciprocal links are largely ignored by Google (which results in some people resorting to complicated 3 way link schemes)
  • You need to monitor that your link partner keeps his end of the bargain
  • You almost have to resort to spam in order to find link partners
  • It is extremely time consuming
  • 99% of all links are PageRank 0 and often considered bad link neighbourhoods

These problems sparked the idea for Automatic Backlinks which solves all of these issues and it seems that Web Masters are realising this as well.

A quick comparison on Google trends shows that searches for “link exchange” are in decline and that searches for “backlinks” are increasing. In fact “backlinks” is now searched for more than “link exchange”. I believe the decline for “link exchange” shows that Web Masters and SEO professionals are realising that traditional manual link exchange simply does not work, but people realise that they need to get “backlinks” somehow if they want to rank so they are now searching for that instead.

Graph showing the decline of link exchange and the increase in backlinks on Google Trends

We of course welcome this change as we provide what we believe to be the best platform for getting relevant, quality backlinks – all 100% free and automatic. We only provide PageRank 1 or above backlinks so you know that there will be no bad link neighbourhoods. Should you lose a backlink because someone shuts down their site – we will provide you with a different link from one of our more than 10,000 websites automatically.

It is no wonder manual link exchange is a dying trend.