Alot of the questions we get asked are normally regarded to links, and how someone can increase the number of these links. There are many myths regarding SEO For Photographers, so here we will try and answer some of the most common questions and dispel a few of the myths for websites for photographers.
1. Links to your site need to be relevant. This is where alot of people fall down. They feel that if they run a photography site, their links should only come from other photography websites. This is wrong. Your links could come from any website, the most important thing is the page that they are coming from. Does this look to the search engines like it has some form of relevance to your site? Yes, well then good. The other important thing to consider is the anchor text (the words you click to follow the link). This also needs to be relevant to the page your linking to.
2. MYTH – Building to many links to quick is bad! This is one of the biggest myths surrounding link building, and seems to have started from one piece of information, and grown out of all proportion. The truth is, a person sat at a computer for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, manually building links back to their sites would not raise a red flag with any of the search engines. If you do this automatically using software, there may be issues if you don’t know what your doing.
To explain a bit more, if this myth was true, you could wreck all your competitions websites search engine rankings. If your key word was ‘Wedding Photographer London’ and you were stuck on page 2, unable to get onto page one. You could (in theory, according to this myth) build many links to the sites on page 1, wreck their search engine results, and fly up the rankings yourself. Fortunately, Google is sensible, and knows that devious people may do this, which is why building links quickly to your site isn’t a bad thing. Also, the search engines understand that a small website may suddenly get a celebrity endorsement on Twitter, or launch a new popular product, or be in the news etc. So don’t be afraid of building links.
3. Spread where the links are coming from. Spread your link building across a variety of sites, and type of sites. There is no point in having just 1000 links, and all of those 1000 coming from one site. Spread them about a bit, and include links from Forums, Directories, Blogs, Social Network Sites and more. This shows the search engines that you site is popular across many areas, not just one.
4. Not all links are worth the same. The search engines do not just simply add up the number of links you have, and favour those with the highest number, instead each link has a value. Firstly, it comes down to the pagerank of the site they are coming from, then where on the page the link is. As strange as it sounds, placement of a link on a page has an effect on its worth. If the link is contained within the main text body of the page, that is worth more than one placed in a sidebar or the footer of a site. Being in the main text shows the search engines that someone has taken the time to write about that site, and include a link in the text to it. Finally, it comes down to how many outgoing links the page currently has. The more outgoing links from a page, the less each of those links is valued. Generally, you should try to place links onto pages that have less than 100 outgoing links.
5. Don’t expect instant results. When you place a link, it could take anything between 6 and 8 weeks before the search engines find it. You then need to hope that they index it. It would only be after the page the link is on is indexed, that you will start getting some of the value from that link. There are processes that Badge Patches put in place to aid the search engines in finding these links quicker, and hope that they get indexed faster.
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