Every once in awhile I do something really stupid without even understanding that I did it. As a regular part of link building exercises, I submit my sites to a lot of different directories. Generally, that doesn’t yield a high volume of back links, but I do this to provide an alternative source for traffic, and of course what ever back links I can get. Well in this case it bit me right in the butt.
I have been using an optimizing tool called IBP(Internet Business Promoter) to optimize one of my sites. I was trying to reach a 95% level of optimization for Google and had achieved 92%. To do this, I was following the advice given by IBP regarding anchor text for inbound links. By the way IBP is a good tool, but no tool is a substitute for thinking . IBP gives me very specific direction about how to achieve a top 10 ranking and I carefully consider what that might mean.
However, in my aggressive approach to get lots of back links using my prime keyword as anchor text, I submitted my site to many directories. Two of these directories absolutely blew me out of the water. I know that you should not always use your primary keyword for the anchor text in a back link (actually about 25% is good) and I was following that rule. I figured that one directory listing equaled one back link and I was managing my submissions to directories based on that rule.
Well, to my surprise, two of the directory sites created about 400 back links with identical anchor text. The anchor text was my primary keyword and since this was a relatively new site, it made up a large per percentage of the total back links. Google looked at what I had done and swatted me pretty soundly. The end result was my site, which had three keyword phrases on the SERP’s at pages 1 -3, dropped to pages 30 – 50. That will put you in a funk for a couple of days.
You will remember that I have told you, that success in blogging for profit is pretty much based on your ability to think your way through the problem at hand (believe me there is always a problem). So here I was with a classic Internet gottcha! My first inclination was to just do nothing and see if Google would have pity on me (fat chance). So I checked the other search engines (Yahoo, AllTheWeb, AltaVista) to see it they had also put me in purgatory. They had ignored the whole event.
My second thought was to see if I could delete my listing with the two directory listing services, or change the anchor text I had used with one or both of them. There was no web based option to do either a delete or a change to the listing content. I sent both directory sites an email asking what I needed to do to change the anchor text for these links. Of course I received no answer. So then I calmed down and decided the solution to the problem was going to have to come from me. After all, I had 400 new back links and that wasn’t something I wanted to give back. It’s actually a good thing in the overall scheme of things.
Since I can not undo what has happened (and probably don’t want to), my solution is going to have to be one that dilutes the effect of dumping 400 new back links, with my primary anchor text, into the mix. That solution is one I’m working on today.
My current solution is to create 200 -250 new back links, that do not have my primary keyword as anchor text, to offset the 400 very focused anchor text back links. This should lower the total % of back links using my primary keyword. I’m doing this by commenting on blogs that provide a “do follow link”, by listing with high PR directory sites and by looking for high PR Blog-Roll exchanges. Also, I’m trying to keep a fairly steady stream of posts going while I try to repair/mitigate this problem.
I promised at the outset of this Blogging experience that I would share my good as well my bad experiences. This one is definitely “Ugly”. However, I will tell you that over the years, (more than I care to think about) I have learned a great deal from my mistakes, but have never learned a thing from my successes. So this should be viewed as a learning experience.
Now the good news, for all you who are screaming, “Throw Me In That Brier Patch!” You want to know the names of those two sites that dumped all those back links on me don’t you? You bet you do! Well here they are. Just be aware what can happen, and chose the title you list very carefully.
Isn’t this a fun way to make money?
Have A Great Day Learning Something New!