Directory Links Get Discounted by Google

For quite some time, Google has suggested that a good way to increase your ranking in the Google index was to get yourself listed in a few reputable directories.  Of course, much like any other thing that Google admits might help, directories became the go to place to get yourself some nice links.  And an industry was born.

Now, Google has removed that suggestion from their webmaster help guide.  Does that mean the end of the directory industry?  I doubt it.  In fact, my guess would be that it doesn’t change much of anything.  Google probably hasn’t given much weight to most directories for quite some time and is finally letting us know about it.

Personally, I don’t use many directories when I start a new website.  I find the majority of them to be repositories for spam sites and don’t want to associate my sites with them.  Instead, there are plenty of other ways to go about getting links like blogroll exchanges, paid links (don’t pretend you don’t.), and a variety of other programs and strategies that can attain you plenty of quality links in a short amount of time.

Plenty of links will do you no good if you don’t have plenty of content too.  You’ll still get some traffic, but having the content can mean the difference between a visitor that shows up and a visitor that shows up and stays.  Which would you rather have?  If I were you (I’m not, but if I were), I would spend about 75% of my time on content and the rest on link and traffic building practices.

ALT Tags: Powerful SEO Tool

If you don’t take the time to enter in some ALT tags for your images, you might be missing the boat on a very powerful SEO tool.  How powerful?  Read Charles Arthur’s article on “Another Fiendish way to make Money online” and see if any lightbulbs turn on above your head.  I’m not suggesting that you use the ALT tags in the same way as in Charles’ example, but it doesn’t take a genius to see the advantages that using full fledged ALT tags can give.

Imagine if you will, you’ve gone to the trouble of creating some graphs of the cost of blue widgets compared to the cost of red widgets over time with various marketing ploys.  It becomes a very hot topic and many, many people link to the image or hot link it from your site.  If you’ve used the ALT tags on the image, you’ve gained a number of links that have the exact anchor text you want on them.

If you’re not using ALT tags (and I have to admit that I sometimes don’t) you might be ignoring a perfectly good SEO/SEM tool!

Using Results

It’s been a little over a month now that I’ve been testing out So far, I’m finding it to be a valuable tool. I’ve added two of my sites as link hosts. This and one other. Between the two of them, I’ve sold thousands of links for 10s of thousands of TNX points.

The market of TNX and the exchange rate for points makes it almost entirely pointless to try and make money by selling your points you’ve earned. You’ll never get rich that way! So, we have to devise a better way of using those points to get richer. And here’s how: use them!

By using the points I’ve earned from my fully developed and established site, I can buy links for some of my lesser sites. I can amass several hundred links over a matter of days. You’ve got to be careful to not amass them too fast or Google will kick you right out and into the sandbox. We don’t want that. I get around this (and it appears to work) by periodically freezing the campaign and then re-activating it a few days later. It takes 3-4 days for a link to be activated and by doing this, I get a pretty steady flow of links over several days and weeks rather than hundreds of links in one day and then nothing. It looks more natural. Remember to follow the tips that TNX gives and vary the anchor text and the page linked to so that they look that much more natural.

The other trick I use is to not buy the big PR links. I’m not buying links for pagerank, but for the sake of indexing and links. So, with this site, I’m able to sell several links on PR3 and PR4 pages and buy 100 PR0 links with each one. Using a mix of PR0 and PR1 links, I’ve managed about a 3:10 ratio of links sold to links purchased.

That’s all well and good, but does it work? Yes. Within a week of using this method to sell links and buy links for smaller websites, I noticed a marked increase in traffic from the search engines. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that increased traffic from search engines can translate into more affiliate sales, more newsletter signups, and more income.

One downside to all this is that you’re only selling or buying links for one month’s time. If you delete a campaign, the links go away. In the end, you’ll want to spend some time building more permanent links elsewhere, but TNX gives a great boost while you’re doing that building. It only takes a few minutes to set up a campaign and once set up, there is little to no maintenance. I’ll be continuing to play around with TNX and honing my methods as I go. It’s a pretty good tool to have in your portfolio, I think.

Text Link Ads Changes Affiliate Links

If you’re a user of Text-Link-Ads, you’ve most likely got an email waiting for you (if you haven’t opened it already) that will tell you that they’ve gone and changed the URLs for the affiliate links. What’s more, the old links will no longer work in 1 week. Talk about a prime example of why you should use redirects for your affiliate links.

I just spent a good half hour or so going through this site’s archives and changing my old affiliate link to my redirect. I hadn’t done that before because it hadn’t seemed like a prudent thing to do as the old ones still worked. Now, with the change, they all needed to be changed. Depending on the size of your archives, that could be one very large task.

Now, why would a large advertiser network such as TLA change all their URLs? Well, the reason that they use in the email is that the old ones were too long and they wanted to use tinyurl to shrink them down to a nice size. I suppose that’s a valid reason. I suppose that another reason could be that they want to eliminate some of the link/paid link bit pointing at them. Yet another reason could be the very same reason that many people use redirects in the first place. To hide the affiliate link. Many people are hesitant to click a link that has an obvious affiliate link in it.

Whatever the reason, here’s your heads up. Your old links will cease to work in one week. Time to look into redirecting. Perhaps I’ll do a little bit of a tutorial on that next week. We’ll see.

Added: If you want a quick way to change those links in wordpress, Sabahan has the SQL code for doing so.

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