Link Love: How to Give Good SEO {Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge}

Posted 19 September, 2013 by Amanda / 26 Comments

Bloggiesta

Hello, my darling Bloggiesta participants!

During the summer 2013 mini-Bloggiesta, I gave you a challenge on easy SEO tweaks. This time I’m back with more SEO. But while the last challenge was about what you could do to improve your own website, this challenge focuses on links.

Because I’ve seen some of the linking going on, and frankly, it could be better.

Though what I’ll cover is about linking to other sites, linking your own site in your posts helps improve your SEO.

Self link love is important too.

If any point you have a question, leave me a comment here, tweet me @BookBender, or message On a Book Bender’s Facebook page. I am here to help.

What you need to know about link love

Before we get started on the challenge, I want to discuss two key terms vital to understanding link love. These are prerequisite terms, so if you don’t understand after I’ve explained, you’ll have to educate yourself. SEO is technical and a certain level of HTML knowledge for this challenge is required.

1. SEO keywords

Keywords = what people use to get to your post/page/site. YOU choose the keywords, both when you optimize your own pages (e.g., easy SEO tweaks) and when you link to other pages.

2. Anchor text

In the case of linking, you tell the search engine what the post/page/site is about based on what you include in the anchor text–the text that’s the link itself.

THIS IS <a href=”http://URL.com”>ANCHOR TEXT</a>

Example from this post: “summer 2013 mini-Bloggiesta” links to the list of mini-challenges for this summer’s mini-Bloggiesta. This means that when a search engine crawls my post and sees my link, it’ll know Bloggiesta’s post with the list of mini-challenges is all about summer 2013 mini-Bloggiesta. If someone searches for mini-Bloggiesta or summer 2013 mini-Bloggiesta, that post will show up in the results.

In other words, I’m giving Bloggiesta good SEO. The more people who link to you with good keywords, the higher you rank in results for that keyword.

When all the Bloggiesta participants link the Bloggiesta homepage using “Bloggiesta” as the anchor text, the search engines know that Bloggiesta’s website is THE PLACE for Bloggiesta.

If you search “Bloggiesta,” their website should be the first result. And that is good SEO.

This means you NEVER use “click here” or “this” or “read more” for your anchor text. Your anchor text should include keywords that will tell the search engine what the post is about.

Google “here” and see what happens. If your results are like mine, you’ll get results for websites like Adobe, QuickTime, RealPlayer, and Java. Why? Because so many pages use “here” for their anchor text to link to these sites. You know what I’m talking about: “If you can’t view this, download this program here.”

The link love challenge

Now for the challenge portion of the evening. Please do BOTH of these. You can use the same post for each challenge. (Note: if you don’t link AT ALL, your job will be to add links to a post.)

1. Optimize a post for outside links

Here’s what you do:

Pick one post with links to outside websites.
Evaluate your anchor text: are you using your anchor text to describe what the post is about?
Change your anchor text accordingly

Come back here and link your optimized post WITH GOOD ANCHOR TEXT in the comments.

My post on Kelly Apple’s website and book release is an example of an optimized post for outside links.

2. Optimize a post for links within your site

Pick a post with links within your site (or pick a post that allows the opportunity to link within your site; I find discussion posts to be excellent for this)
Evaluate your anchor text: are you using your anchor text to describe what the post is about?
Change your anchor text accordingly

PS. The benefit to doing this is that it encourages your visitors to click around

Come back here and link your optimized post WITH GOOD ANCHOR TEXT in the comments.

My post on starting your sentences with and & but is an example of an optimized post for linking within the site.

BONUS: My business post on how to grow your blog with social media is optimized both for linking OUT and linking WITHIN.

Caveats

1. Usually when you leave a link on someone else’s website, you want to include a nofollow (rel=”nofollow” definition) within the HTML link. It’s the site owner’s decision and responsibility to choose who and what they want to link to and give good SEO to. Links to bad sites can reflect negatively on the site that posts them. Please respect this.

2. Pages full of links (like a review archive or blog roll) may not be as advantageous to you and who you link to as you might think. I’m not sure how it works, exactly, but don’t go link crazy. You’re blogging for people, not search engines. If your posts/pages aren’t useful for people, you’re not going to have good SEO, no matter how much you optimize.

Giveaway

Once you’ve completed this challenge, you can enter to win a copy of my ebook, Blog Events. You’ll receive an ebook in .mobi or whatever Calibre can convert an ebook to. The challenge is open internationally. The giveaway is subject to the terms and conditions listed below.

Terms and Conditions

  • You must be at least 18 years old or older and a Bloggiesta participant
  • Your information is subject to the On a Book Bender privacy policy
  • Your entry will be verified; if the entry cannot be verified, it will be removed
  • Void where prohibited
  • The length of the giveaway is from 9/19/2013 12:00am to 9/23/2013 12:00am Central
  • Value of prize is $2.99
  • No purchase necessary to win
  • Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen
  • Odds of winning depend on the number of entries
  • Additional terms and conditions may apply

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Filed under: Event,

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26 Responses to “Link Love: How to Give Good SEO {Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge}”

  1. This is one thing I definitely need to be better at Amanda, up until now I really haven’t paid all that much attention to SEO and I know I should if I want the blog to continue to grow. I’m going to go back through your SEO tweaks post and take notes to hopefully make some changes in the near future!

    • Both look great! The only suggestion I have for linking posts (as you’ve done here) is only link the relevant parts—not the entire title. If you’re trying to tell search engines your post is about Firefox AddOns, “Organizing my digital life” doesn’t reflect that. Does that make sense?

  2. Wow. I honestly had no idea that it mattered what your link text was. NONE.

    *sigh*

    Sometimes I am still such a newb.

    Thanks for your amazing posts, as always. :)

    • Ah. Do you ever remember what happened when you searched for “George Bush” and then pushed “I’m feeling lucky”? It was like a list of his failures or some nonsense. They accomplished that with linking. You get enough links and BOOM. That’s what appears in search results.

  3. What do you think of my SEO linking attempts on my Bloggiesta Starting Line post? I’ve got inner linking and outer linking going on there.

    The “nofollow” thing is something I need to read up on. It’s new to me and I’m not sure what it means. (Though I did use it in my link in this comment. LOL)

    Great Bloggiesta mini-challenge!!

  4. “This means you NEVER use “click here” or “this” or “read more” for your anchor text. Your anchor text should include keywords that will tell the search engine what the post is about.”

    Gaw I do this all the time!! Shame on me.

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