Installment 7 in an opinion series by Linda Bradshaw about blogging and SEO
So now those bloggers using these “Black Hat” techniques may very well ask, “Linda, please help me! What can I do?” Well, I’m no expert on that. Really, I’m not. But this is what I did, and hopefully it is bringing me back from the brink of blog extinction.
I started buying new domain names with no PR and started building the blogs from the ground up. And I did a lot of learning about how to build a blog in such a way that the almighty Google would hopefully throw me a reward in the way of Page Rank somewhere down the line. I knew that it would take a very long time for that to happen and I had to be patient. I bought several different domain names and worked on all of them. I tried to work on them equally, but apparently some were “better” than others and some got good PR quickly, some got low PR and took a very long time to improve their PR. But it had to be slowly, over time, as Google is suspicious over anything that happens fast, and I do not want to incur the wrath of Google!
Through a lot of trial and error, and good advice from my good sister N, and a lot of independent reading of things that I found online I slowly started to make money blogging without buying and using the expired domains, without using spun or scraped materials (I never did that, never heard of it before this group!)
I learned that in between each post where I am providing any links (whether do-follow or no-follow) I should put in a post that has no paid links at all. I learned to only use unique content that I wrote myself. I learned to make sure that there is fresh content on each blog more than once a week. I learned to not allow spammers to publish their comments on my blog, for they are trying to steal my PR and that will cost me at the next sweep. I learned to not take any pay-per-click or pay-per-action jobs. They don’t pay me anything and they make my blogs look spammy, which is a huge “turn-off” to any potential advertiser. I learned to not take any banner ads. I learned to not blog about porn, pills, gambling, religion, politics, or to promote any controversial “cause” that is likely to cause any business (potential client) to decide to avoid using my blog.
I have joined local Chambers of Commerces and gone to a lot of their free lunch and learn programs, networking meetings, and met a lot of people who consider themselves to be experts in SEO. When I tell them that I am a professional blogger they sometimes get quite upset and tell me that some of their clients lost PR because they had paid bloggers for back links. And some get very interested in talking to me about blogging for them. It’s all a good learning process.
And I learned that the vast majority of SEO experts, both local and online firmly believe that Google is now taking aim and targeting companies that have websites that have links from blogs that use the spinning/scraped content. And they believe that Google will be penalizing link farms and any website that has nonsensical strings of letters/numbers etc. They are going to penalize them, and they are going to be banning/blacklisting those blogs that use those techniques.