Search engine optimisation is of critical importance in the ranking of your website for your target keywords or phrases. Many small business owners outsource off page seo work to external companies but you really do need to be careful about the work that is carried out on your behalf.
Some of this type of seo work is useless but some is worse than useless-it can be harmful to the health of your website. The reason for this is because of the “quality”, or lack thereof, of the backlinks obtained to boost your site in the search engines.
I have examined the sites of two clients recently. Each client was paying top dollar to search engine optimisation service providers. However a close inspection of the type of backlinks being obtained and for which my clients were paying revealed the following:
- Backlinks which were placed on sites with no page rank or page rank of 0;
- Backlinks from less than stellar neighbourhoods such as Eastern European porn sites;
- Backlinks placed on link farms-set up on pages which were just long lists of links from completely unrelated industries.
These types of backlinks are completely worthless and will in all probability be discounted or ignored by the search engines. Links from porn sites or other “bad neighbourhoods” can lead to sites being deindexed or penalised by Google.
The best backlinks to get are from high page rank pages, preferably contextually relevant and with as few as possible other links emanating from that page.
Two things to note are
- The page rank of the homepage of the website on which your backlink is placed is meaningless (unless your link is on the home page). It is the page rank of the page on which your link is placed that is relevant.
- Contextual relevance is preferable. For example if you have a conservatory business you are far better off getting a link from a site that deals with home improvements, gardening etc. rather than a computer games site.
There are a number of backlink checking tools that you can use to see for yourself the type of backlinks you have pointing to your site. Once you find out where the links are coming from you can simply visit the site yourself and check it’s page rank and whether you are happy with your backlink’s placement.
One of the handiest and free tools you can use to check your site can be found at http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ Simply put the url of your domain in the box provided and you will find plenty of useful information to allow you to decide whether your seo provider is delivering value and benefit to your website.