Friday, April 20, 2007

Not so Natural Link Building

So my main focus for this week has been working on link building for GetMyHomesValue and the keyword real estate leads (yes that right there is a shameless linking plug).

After reading MANY SEO blogs and tutorials of the experts...I'm pretty sure I'm a bit of a black- hatter. Ok, no, I won't say that. I think I will call myself a gray hatter. I'm pretty sure that I am engaging in link building tactics that true SEO experts may frown upon. But you know what? Tough shit. I'm new at this, I'm still learning a lot, and I'm sorry, but I just don't have the expertise yet to do all the little intricate things to get natural links (plus I don't have ultimate power over our websites, so anything I may want to seriously change, I need to get an okay from the boss men.)

So what have I been doing to build up links for the keyword real estate leads? Two words: articles and blogs (I guess technically that's 3 words, but whatever.)

So far, the easiest and most interesting way for me to build links and gain traffic is article writing. Why? Because I love to write. At heart, that's what I am: a writer. So it's nothing for me to take a few days, come up with like 5 different articles utilizing real estate leads and than submit them to a bunch of free directories. And you know what? It works. We've gotten more traffic on another site I wrote articles for, and even made some money b/c they used our affiliates. Will Google perhaps catch on to this and penalize me? I sure as heck hope not, b/c to be honest, I think as long as I'm providing useful information, there's no reason why I can benefit a bit by getting a back link. Maybe expert SEOers out there are cringing reading this but hey, when it comes to link building a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I'm also working on getting in the real estate blog community - possibly getting in on some forums, reading blogs all over the place, responding when I feel I have something interesting to contribute. And if I just happen to link to in the process, well, so much the better than. I wouldn't call it spamming, b/c shoot, I've got more knowledge to lay than half the people commenting, but yes, I wind up getting a link out of it. (And truthfully, when it comes to blogs, it's not the links so much as possibly getting the authors of the blogs to check out my sites - word of mouth advertising rocks too and if they like what they see, they just might blog about it).

Are these tactics considered black hat SEO? I don't think so, but again, I'm not the expert. I would say at the most they are "Light Gray Hat" SEO. Will they help GMHV? Will they hurt it? Only time will tell. (Crap, I REALLY hope they don't hurt it!)

I can only assume that as I gain more knowledge and confidence in the subject, I may be able to leave more questionable link building tactics behind. But we'll see. I'm a good girl, but I've always had a bit of a naughty streak lurking!!

Oh! One more thing. While checking out my normal SEO blogs this morning, I came across a GREAT post by Stuntdubl entitled The SEO Playbook: Welcome to the Rabbit Hole Alice - an AWESOME resource that you can tell he put a lot of time into. Lots of GREAT info and resources on link building. THANKS TODD!

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