Yesterday I had lunch with a prospective new client that had a story similar to many I hear. He did have one interesting characteristic though, he was using a ‘blog network.’
So here’s the back story. He recently acquired a business and it came with a webmaster. Not really a website, just the webmaster. And the webmaster was telling him that they were trying to utilize a blog network to build traffic and links.
Blog Networks, often setup as Link Networks are one of the fastest ways to get a site banned. Google is getting a very good picture of what sites belong where, and ones that are interconnected for less than genuine reasons. We all know the importance of links, but what I try to teach folks is that for the most part anything that is artificial isn’t going to work right.
Take this blog for instance. I am putting it up why? To help my customers. Will someone link to it? Probably, but i’m not doing anything to inflate that or massage that to make it happen. All I am doing is painting a picture of the questions I have almost daily, and sharing the circumstances and the answers with everyone.
I’m sure we may find someone who won’t agree or someone that can tell you it’s okay. And really if you know what your doing it may be okay. But for those of you that have very limited knowledge on these things, it’s not the best thing in the world, and its one of those things that can get you in trouble very easily.
The next problem this person had was that he had paid a lot of money for a website that was very limited and not set up properly for Google. That is one of my pet peeves, I have to say. Regardless of whether someone buys SEO services from us or not, we always design the site to work with a search engine. Finding the right person for web design is hard. They all sound like they know what the are talking about because they know more than you. You sometimes can use cost as a delimiter of ability, but in this business, it doesn’t work. If you think your going to pay $500 and get a quality job that will let you rank on a search engine, no, probably not. But there are a lot of people that charge $3000-$5000 and can’t design a website properly if their life depended on it. And to boot, they think they understand it. My personal opinion is 1 out of 1,000 does.
I think a good rule of thumb is talk to people. Get references and find out about the web designer. Find out if their sites rank and don’t just take someone at their word, ask for specific examples. And don’t be fooled by this web designer in Kingwood Texas. That is so pointed and so specific it would be far easier to rank on that than web design Houston. So make sure you judge the difficulty of the example.