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Is Directory Maximizer Any Good? A Real Life Experiment

As I had mentioned earlier in one of my posts, I use directory submission as a strategy to build links to my sites. However, I don’t focus all my energy on this tactic.  I spend most of my time on high quality link building activities like guest posting and outsource more time consuming activities like directory submission to companies like Directory Maximizer.  However, I am doing a sort of an experiment here with this post.

When I was  searching for ‘Directory Maximizer reviews’ to see what others are saying about this service, I could find many positive reviews and a few not so good reviews about the results of their submission service. Also, of late, especially after Penguin update many people tend to believe link building with this tactic is of no use.  I could also see people searching with terms like “is directory submission still good”, is directory maximizer any good” etc. So I thought I would run a live experiment with this post to find the real truth about Directory Maximizer’s services.   We’ll wait and see if this post would rank for the term I have used in the title of this post ” is directory maximizer any good” with the help of links from directories.

As you can see this is a free wordpress blog and I am not doing much SEO for this blog. I would like to write every day on this blog, but due to my  commitments at work, this goes down the priority list. I create content whenever I can (I promise to write more often) and I drop a link to this blog whenever I write for other blogs and I am going to place few directory submission orders now.  If you have come to this post through a Google search, that says if directory submission is any good.

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Hiring SEO Consultants: When to Listen and When to Question

Of all the web based services out there, SEO is one of the hardest to understand. Webmasters often make the mistake of simply abdicating their SEO responsibilities to an outside firm. They don’t question, they don’t ask, they don’t get clarification. Then months later, they find that they’ve spent thousands of dollars, have nothing to show for it and even worse, often have penalties.

It’s important to know when to listen to your SEO consultants and when to question them. You should never just give an SEO consultant complete authority to do as they please. Instead, question them whenever something doesn’t seem right.

These are some of the common things you should listen to and some of the common things you should question.

Question Them When: They Suggest Auto-Generated Content

If your SEO firm is suggesting the use of auto-generated content, alarm bells should go off. Auto-generated content means exactly what it sounds like: Content generated by machines rather than people.

This could be generated by “spinning” one article into many different versions. It could be generated by scrapping RSS feeds. Some people even go as far as to have entirely machine written articles.

These methods not only doing work anymore, but can actually damage your rankings and your brand. Be very, very wary of companies recommending these techniques.

Listen Closely When: They Talk About Quality Content

On the other hand, when an SEO firm talks about developing quality content, listen. This is what drives the web. It’s what drives rankings. If your SEO consultants want to develop more high quality content, by all means go with what they’re telling you.

Question Them When: They Give You a Guaranteed Ranking

Guaranteeing a search engine result is simply not possible. Why? Because at the end of the day, results depend on Google’s algorithm. Even if you do everything right, it’s entirely possible that you’ll see no results whatsoever.

An SEO firm can’t guarantee results in full integrity. They can tell you what they think will happen and how long they think it’ll take, but they can’t possibly guarantee results.

Listen to Them When: They Talk About Options

A great SEO firm should be able to walk you through all the various options and paths that you can take to get your rankings up.

This should include a mix of a wide range of different linking strategies, from getting high authority links to social bookmarking to getting many low PR links.

Talk through the pros and cons of each strategy and see which one(s) resonate with you.

Question Them When: They Talk About Spammy Techniques

If your SEO firm is talking about techniques that sound like link spam, a red flag should go up.

If they’re talking about building “site wheels,” if they’re talking about paying someone to create 5,000 links in a day, if they’re talking about creating fake accounts on social media platforms to link to your site, all of these should send up red flags.

Work with companies that generate real links, not fake links.

Listen to Them When: They Give You On-Page SEO Advice

If your SEO firm is telling you what you need to do on your site to get ranked, listen closely. Offsite SEO is only part of the equation. An important part to be sure, but it’s still just one part.

In order for your rankings to work, you need to have a good title tag, good H1 tags, a good meta description and more. You need to also make sure that your link juice flows well from page to page. Your internal linking structure should be carefully designed by an SEO expert.

These are some of the most important things to consider when you’re working with an SEO consulting provider. At the end of the day, the most important thing is results. Unfortunately, SEO results can take 6 months or longer to gauge.

In the mean time, you need to learn when to question your consultants and when to take them at their word. As a rule of thumb, if what they’re doing is above board and seems like it’ll build your brand and build links, then do it. If it seems like it could damage your brand and it seems unethical, avoid it.

How to Find and Get Links from Authority Websites

If you want to get your website to rank high in the search engines, you need to get quality back links. Getting high quality back links from authoritative websites is more important than ever. It wasn’t very long ago that you could use a piece of software, push a few buttons, and then rank very well for almost any search term. That is no longer the case with all of the algorithm changes that have been going on. Quality is now more important than quantity and on this page we are going to help you learn how to find authoritative websites that you can get links from.

What Is a Quality Back Link?

Most of us know what a poor quality back link is. If you are setting up fake forum profiles just to get a link back to your website or you are using a piece of software to automatically comment on blogs with something like “hey nice post, thanks for the info”, those are not high quality back links.

A contextual back link that has a hyperlink within the context of an article, especially an article in the same niche as the site you are linking to, is considered a very high quality link.

For a while, people were able to rank very well using link networks. There were link networks that were allowing people to easily build contextual backlinks by posting content to various blogs in the network. When you posted content, you would get backlinks and usually rank very easily.

The problem with link networks is that they worked almost too well and Google didn’t want people to be able to manipulate the search results so easily. Google worked to shut down some of the most prominent link networks and while there are still some networks out there that will help you rank, it may be risky to use these networks because they could be discovered and deindexed at any time.

How to Find Authoritative Websites That Will Give You a Back Link

There are a number of bloggers and Internet marketers who will tell you that you can simply send website owners an e-mail and ask for a back link. This is a technique that has been around for many years but it’s a lot easier said than done.

No matter how great your website is, it’s not easy to get other webmasters to link from their site to yours just by asking them to. You could spend a lot of time tracking down webmasters and asking them for links and still come up empty-handed. The way I would recommend finding authoritative websites that offer you the ability to get a back link is to look for guest posting opportunities.

A lot of bloggers need content for their blogs. To get this content, some bloggers offer guest blogging opportunities. You write an original piece of content for their blog, and in exchange, you are allowed to link back to your website. It is a win-win situation because the blog owner gets free content and you get a quality back link from an authoritative website. But how do you find sites that offer guest posting opportunities and how do you make sure they are in fact an authoritative website?

There are a few things to look for to make sure that a site is an authority in a particular niche. Does the site have some Google page rank or PR? Do they rank highly in the search engines for a lot of niche related keyword phrases? These are signs that a site may be viewed as an authority by the search engines.

Guest blogging offers more than an opportunity to just get a back link; you can also get direct traffic from the blog you are providing content to. So another thing you should do is make sure the blog is getting a lot of traffic. One way to do that is to simply look at how many comments the various blog posts are getting. You also want to look for a blog that is updated regularly and is getting posts on a regular basis.

Before you can determine whether a site is an authority in a particular niche or whether they get a decent amount of traffic, you have to find some sites in the first place. To find sites that offer guest posting opportunities you can simply use your favorite search engine and enter your niche plus a search query like “guest post”.

There are a number of possible search queries you could use because each blogger may use different terminology on their sites. Search for things like Guest Post, Guest Bloggers Wanted, Submit a Post, Contribute to our Site, etc. Combine these types of search queries with your niche keyword and you will find blogs related to yours that offer guest posting opportunities.

Then try to determine if the blogs you find are an authoritative site in your niche and create some content for these sites. It’s a lot of work but as I mentioned earlier, getting ranked in the search engines these days is more about quality than quantity. Creating a diverse link profile with a few good quality backlinks will be far more valuable than a thousand spammy blog comments or forum profiles.

My Directory Submission Experience with Directory Maximizer

I my last post, we discussed about the basics of Search Engine Optimization. SEO has undergone a complete makeover courtesy the big daddy of search, the great “G” or Google. People who had accumulated chunks and chunks of links (whether legally or illegally) suddenly saw their efforts go down the drain. Websites that used to come on top of search results dropped to extreme low levels which adversely affected their business.

But on the other hand there were and there are people who still continue to rank on top despite the crackdown by Google. How did they manage to do so? How did they plan their SEO strategy? How did they manage to come out with flying colors where others failed and are deep down stuck in depression?

They planned out their SEO strategy in a smarter way. They stayed out of Black Hat SEO methods and focused on building links naturally to their site. They invested their time and money and waited patiently for the results unlike others who rushed ahead. They also used diversified methods of link building unlike people who concentrated on building links from one source or spammy networks of blogs/directories.

Today, I would like to share my experience with Directory Maximizer, a directory submission service. Many webmasters consider directory submission as a useless and spammy tactic to build links but not all of them know how important it is to get a link from an SEO friendly directory.  Initially, I tried submitting my site to directories on my own. Though it is not a difficult task, I found it quite tedious to find quality directories and to submit to them one by one. That’s when I found Directory Maximizer. Their service looked promising as all what I had to do was to give my site details and write few titles and description and they handled the rest. They have a list, and they manually submit the sites to many directories.  I wasn’t sure how it would work, so I decided to place a test order for 35 directory submissions for $5.

Once the order is placed, I could track the progress using their live report.  My submissions were completed over a period of two weeks as I had opted while placing the order.  The only issue with directory submission is it takes time to get the approvals, sometimes up to 60 – 90 days. Within two months or so, I could see more inbound links pointing to my site, but search engine ranking remained the same. Then, I had a chat with  one of the guys at Maximizer and they advised me to submit to a higher number of directories and to use my brand name as well as targeted terms in the titles and descriptions. This time I placed an order for 500 submissions spreading across 5 weeks. Another two months went by and I started seeing results. I moved in to the first page (from page 4 or so) of Google for some of my targeted terms and I could see an increase of organic traffic to my site. I was happy with the results and my advise to you would be not to ignore the links you could get from directories. These links are helpful, especially if you have a brand new site. But, don’t limit your link building to directory submissions alone, it should be one of the many link building activities.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with my experience of ordering through Directory Maximizer and would continue to order for all of my sites. With due emphasis on diverse link methods, Directory Maximizer has also started offering Guest Posting and Local SEO services.
How do you go about directory submissions? Have you used any directory submission service like Directory Maximizer? Please share your thoughts below 🙂

 

 

 

How to Get Backlinks for your Site?

As I had mentioned in my last post, the most important off-page optimization factor is the backlinks pointing to your site. Not just the number, the quality of backlinks also is important. But how can you build links to your site from other sites? If you create a site and then leave it at that, no one would ever link to you, unless you have an out of the box site.  In this post, we will discuss about some of the legitimate ways of building backlinks.

1. Guest Posting – write for other blogs

Guest posting essentially gives you three major benefits-

  • Backlinks
  • Brand exposure
  • Traffic

Ask to guest post. Approach sites and ask if they would be interested in having you as a  contributor? It helps if you can propose a post idea that would go well with their audience.

2. Conduct Interviews

Another great way is to interview someone in your (even other) industry. Interviewees usually link back to these interviews thus, creating a valuable backlink.

3. Create Visual Content

Produce something other than just textual content. Create an infographic on something related to your industry. Produce videos where you do things like explaining or demonstrating a complicated task. Create a comic and other crazy stuffs that can go viral – brings traffic plus backlinks.

4. Create Something Valuable

See what’s missing and see if you can contribute to it. No forum for your industry? Create one.  Create a list of places where people can take their kids out on a weekend.  Do the research, compile, publish. People would fall in love, share and link to it.

5. Join Industry Associations and Local Chamber of  Commerce

Industry associations are not just the way to grow your network, but most of them would link to your site as well.

6. Get listed in Directories

Getting listed in relevant directories is a good way to get huge number of backlinks. There are different types of directories – general, niche, local, paid, country specific and so on.  Find out the good ones, most would have an option to submit your link. Fill up the required details and submit your details. Once approved, these would be counted a valuable backlinks to your site.

These are some of the strategies I regularly use at work.  What are yours? Share them in the comments. I would love to hear.

SEO Basics Explained

Ten to fifteen years ago SEO wasn’t much talked and sought after. People hardly paid any attention to their rankings. We had a couple of search engines like MSN search, Yahoo who controlled most of the market until Google burst onto the scene and made everyone stand up and take notice. Slowly and steadily it crawled through all the information on the web, indexed it and positioned itself as the headmaster of search. Search algorithms, ranking algorithms, freshness algorithm all came one after the other and people scrambled to be on the top of Google.

Today the image of SEO is completely different than what it was earlier. People are even ready to go to zenith to get their site on top. Numerous SEO companies, automated software’s have popped up that makes doing SEO easier. But is it really that easy? Not in my opinion at least.

Let’s quickly review the basics of SEO in this post.

1. Choose The Right Keywords

Choosing the right set of keywords is the first step in search engine optimization. General or generic keywords are usually not the best approach, and sometimes it’s better to be a little more specific and focus on niche keywords relating to your product or service. Try to be specific with your keywords, and remember that people no longer use single keyword search phrases – the average search phrase contains 3-5 related words.

2.Title Tag

Your title tag is an important SEO factor. Using keywords in your title tag can improve your Google ranking significantly. Trying to achieve a balance of professionalism with keyword density in the title tag however is sometimes a little more difficult.

3. Keyword Density

Keyword density refers to the ratio (percentage) of keywords contained within the total number of indexable words within a web page. The preferred keyword density ratio varies from search engine to search engine. In general, I recommend using a keyword density ratio in the range of 2-8%.

4. Backlinks

This is the most important but the toughest part of the SEO process. Backlinks are websites that link directly to your website. The general principal is the more back links you have, the higher your pages will be ranked, as your website must be good if so many other sites are linking back to it.

We will discuss in detail about of these in the upcoming posts.