Musings From an SEO virgin (and a few questions about link-building)

  1. Doc Wordinger profile image96
    Doc Wordingerposted 5 years ago


    I'd like to ask a few questions about backlinking and off-page SEO. As this is one of my first forum posts I'd also like to include some words about myself and my experience with HubPages so far.

    I was completely clueless about online marketing and the internal workings of search engines before I came to HubPages and began researching SEO. Although I'd done some paid work for an SEO company previously, I didn't really commit to understanding the whole process (they just sent me a list of keywords and told me to write so many words and as long as they paid me each month, I wasn't particularly interested in the purpose of the articles). It wasn't a full time job but it was a nice side-earner and even covered the rent when I was unemployed. Sadly the work dried up. Trying to find alternative ways to write and earn money online brought me to HubPages and introduced me to the alien world of SEO.

    I began by researching HubPages itself, on-page optimization and some very basic backlinking stuff. My original goal was to write five hubs, which I have now done, then evaluate my progress. I've also decided to put money matters on hold for the time being and simply continue for the love of learning a new skill and, of course, writing. With this in mind, my initial five hubs were written with minimal commercial intent - although that didn't prevent me from stuffing some of them with Amazon Ads - and were produced solely to get a feel for the whole process.

    So far, I'm confident with the information that I've uncovered about keywords/phrases. It makes sense and I'm beginning to understand it. But as a self-confessed technophobe and limited internet user, backlinking and article promotion is completely bewildering. I'm far from developing any kind of backlinking strategy and all I've done with my first five hubs, in terms of promotion, is place links on twenty or so social bookmarking sites with dofollow links. I found this time-consuming, excruciatingly frustrating and very unstructured. Some of those links appear to have been picked up by the Google spiders, the majority haven't.

    I'm conscious that I need to develop a very basic strategy for backlinking as soon as possible and widen my scope, although I'm also cautious about doing too much too soon.

    My evaluation at this early stage is that I'd probably be better suited to the Research-Write-and-Prey style of SEO i.e. research heavily for promising keywords and valuable content, strive to create a well-written and informative hub and then try to get by on minimal off-page self-promotion. Some people are capable of writing amazing articles that are intricately promoted but I feel that advanced link-building might be a step too far for the likes of myself who never embraced the full capabilities of the internet. Perhaps I'm wrong and only time will tell.

    So, with this in mind, my next plan is to create a basic backlinking strategy that won't fry my brain, or vex my sluggish, elderly computer. Another benefit of having a simple,low-maintenance backlinking strategy is that it allows me to devote more time to research and writing.

    I think perhaps I could narrow the 20-25 social bookmarking sites that I've used so far down to about 10, based on their effectiveness. I'm also thinking that it might be a good idea to sign up to other revenue-sharing sites like Squidoo and InfoBarrel. I could then write articles on a similar topic and link them back to each other. I'm not sure I like the idea of writing a 'main' article on one site then 'secondary' support articles on other sites. Why not have three 'main' articles with different keywords and similar subject matter that link to each other? Or would that create a 'loop' that would be detrimental to your SE rank?

    Perhaps the area that I'm struggling with the most is how to place links in relevant neighborhoods e.g. a link to one of my poker hubs from a poker site. Prima facie, blog comments and forum posts look like reasonable locations provided you marry your link to a relevant and thoughtful comment. But aren't many blogs and forums now imposing nofollow restrictions upon comment sections? Are they still as effective as they once were? And is it possible to include this method within a structured overall strategy?

    One final question: Can an online writer with modest earning ambition still succeed with an unsophisticated approach to link-building?

    So many questions! I better stop there. If anyone has managed to read this far, please accept my gratitude. Any advice or comments are appreciated.