To Backlink, or Not to Backlink

socialadrBacklinking is a part of SEO which has been in the spotlight lately, but not in a really good way. Google thinks that backlinks should be “completely organic,” although I suspect that is a pretty hard thing to verify.

And, as I mentioned in a prior article, if you are in a niche with unscrupulous competition, you can easily be deluged with bad links at little cost to your competitor(s).

However, I think it’s still worthwhile to get a few backlinks to jumpstart your traffic, as long as you don’t make that your major traffic strategy. I have used the service of SocialAdr to good effect for the last several years, and if you don’t overuse their service, it can give a significant boost to your initial traffic efforts.

Best of all, the basic functionality of SocialAdr is free. Well, except that you do have to put in a bit of effort.

SocialAdr is a “social bookmarking” service. What they do is allow you to get more-or-less random backlinks from postings of other members on various social bookmarking sites, in return for providing backlinks on yours. When you first sign on, you are given instructions for how to set up a couple dozen social bookmarking accounts and attaching them to the service.

However, to get the best use of SocialAdr, I recommend that you go ahead and pay the $20 that they want in order to set up all of the social media accounts for you. Otherwise, you will be spending several hours setting them up yourself. It’s money well spent. I initially made the mistake of trying to set up all the social bookmarking accounts myself. I finally gave up and started over, letting them do it for me.

On the other hand, I do NOT recommend that you get the paid subscription service (plans available from $20/month to $150/month), for two main reasons:

  1. I think the subscription service costs more than it is worth, and
  2. I think the free service is actually more effective

The subscription services allow you to get hundreds, or even thousands, of social bookmark links, without even having to do the work of sharing your own. Which I suspect is not something you really want, primarily because it is very likely to result in too many backlinks of very low quality. Which, in turn, is something that Google knows how to find. And punish. Plus, I prefer to have some control over what I link to.

If you really don’t want to log in every day and do the minimal work involved, you can buy credits without having a monthly subscription, and they aren’t terribly expensive. Near the end of each month, they usually go on sale for half-price, so if I want to buy any, I watch for those end-of-month sales. I use the purchased links just as sparingly as I do the “earned” links.

The basic procedure for using the free service is to log in once per day, and “share” up to five bookmarks, in return for which you get 5 credits. They have a “quick share” feature which allows you to do that with just a couple of clicks.

You can increase your “earned credits” by also sharing bookmarks on your Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and G+ accounts, which takes a bit more time than the basic quick share. The amount of credit you get for that part depends on how many “followers” you have. I don’t bother with FaceBook, G+, or LinkedIn. I only use one of my Twitter accounts, and I spend a little extra time making sure that I’m not linking to something I find objectionable. I also compose my own tweets — most of the time I don’t like the ones supplied anyway. So I spend about 5-6 minutes per day earning credits.

The other side of that is, of course, providing the bookmarks for which you want backlinks. For that, I take the time (20 minutes or so for each) to carefully craft a properly formatted “spintax” description of the URL for which I want backlinks. When I set one up, I specify an initial backlink limit of 10, and a feed speed of “drip” to make sure they don’t all go out at once. If there is one that I think needs more than 10 backlinks, I will specify another 5 every other day, and I don’t go over about 50 to 70 total before I delete it from the system. The service automatically cuts you off at 200 anyway, unless you get one of those pricey monthly subscriptions that I don’t recommend.

As I mentioned, this is not my main traffic strategy, but it is a useful, low-cost tool for getting your site an initial trickle of SEO traffic. I have even seen some of my sites land on page one of Google for a while with just this trick, and I even have one site that I built to 300 visitors/day without using any other traffic methods.

This entry was posted in Blogging, Book and Product Recommendations, SEO, Traffic generation. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply