Saturday, November 27th, 2021

Letter from Dave Foreman re: Proactive Blog Safety

We have all come a long way since we started our first blog sites last year! Together we have built 2 of the strongest group blog sites on the Internet for our industry and we can all be very proud. But with this added success comes some added risk.  

As we have discussed in many advanced training sessions, Google is the judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to SEO policy.   Google makes it more and more difficult to obtain back links for websites. They can cut off popular sites from being counted for back linking and they create filters and penalties all the time that make it more and more difficult to enable smaller companies to build back links effectively.  Interactive Limited has recently had two sites banned recently by Google with no warning and for no clear reason. It also appears that the community.dynamics.com site has been penalized by Google and they are working on correcting this.

As our site grows and gains more attention, we need to take proactive measures to maintain our traffic and rankings. 

 Action 1: As owners of the blog site we are going to start posting at least one article per month on each blog that has no outside links in it. This is an expense and process that we will cover as site owners, so that we do not need to ask members to post articles without links. We hope that by having a certain % of posts with no links this will prevent site from raising any “red flags” with Google algorithms.

 Action 2: We also need to your help! Please assist us by sticking to these linking guidelines:

  • Stick to the 1 link to 100 words guideline (this includes your byline link. So a 300 word post would have 2 links + byline link)
  • Do not duplicate links!
  • Focus on creating links when it is appropriate to help the reader get more information from your website or another site (do not link excessively)
  • Note: If you have too many links, our proofreader will remove them.

 Because the sites are so powerful now, each link you use is more valuable to you now than when the site started. So you do not need to worry that you are somehow losing value.  Less is more!

 The overall purpose of natural, “ethical” link building is to provide resources for your readers.   Unnatural linking that could get the site penalized include tactics where too many links are sent to the same page on your website from one article.  Bear in mind that only one link counts per article to each page of your site.  So if you link twice to your homepage from one article only the first link that appears will count.   By linking multiple times with multiple keywords to the same page on your site you create no benefit for yourself and this increases the likely hood that our site will be penalized for being “link spam”.

I realize that link building is an important benefit of your participation in the blog.  However, it is critical to understand that SEO changes constantly; Google, Yahoo and Bing are all constantly changing their algorithm to ensure that their search results do not become filled with Spammy sites that are set up purely to bring in search traffic so that the sites can generate advertising revenue.  Ultimately this kind of policing activity benefits us all, despite the inconveniences.  In the 1950s anyone could load up their car with kids and hurl down any highway at 75 MPH burning leaded gasoline, without seat belts.  Today we have airbags, catalytic converters, unleaded gas and lower speed limits.  The rules of the road for the Internet change much more quickly and they change without warning.

 We have very good sites with great content.  There is no reason for our sites to ever get penalized unless we engage in practices that make the site look like a Spam site.  Bad things can happen to good sites; there are forums and message boards all over the web with stories about good sites that have been penalized by Google for practices that were acceptable for many years. Some of these sites are very large, popular sites that still continue to do well despite the penalties.  

 I know that these explanations may sound very confusing. SEO is largely guided by trial and error and by reading about the experiences of others.  For that reason we try to be conservative in our approach to SEO.  As an SEO it is always my goal to anticipate algorithm changes before they happen.  By reading sites like SEOMoz  Sphinn.com  SearchEngineWatch.com etc.  it is possible to learn about  what other successful SEOs are anticipating.  

From David Foreman, Blog Co-Founder

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