Think Relationships not Technology

Two girls who are very fond of each other, apparently close friends are sitting and looking into the distance

After Google’s unofficial disclosure that so called “PageRank sculpting” support has been discontinued many people struggled with the fear of links in comments.

Many stingy webmasters are afraid that links from User Generated Content (UGC) in general are draining their PageRank again. Is your site authority leaking through comment links? Does it hurt you on Google?

 

Linking out is good for you

Matt Cutts of Google said that good outgoing links are a positive ranking factor but few people notice or care.

People are still stuck in the past.

Moreover most people wrongly focus on technology not conversation. It should be the other way around!

To succeed in a modern social media environment – where the social Web is

  • all-encompassing
  • self-evident
  • taken for granted

– you need to focus on the human factor.

Some people already argue that the E in SEO stands for experience not engine anymore. Face the facts:

  • SEO is about humans not robots.
  • SEO is about humans not tools.
  • SEO is about users not Google.

SEO is about conversation not technology. It’s even more than that, it’s about relationships.

 

Meeting people online leads to connections

The people I “met” online back when I started are mostly still around and I’m part of their virtual sphere. People still know and recognize me after years.

I can be silent for a while or they might have stopped blogging in the meantime but all the time the number of my friends online is expanding due to my sheer ongoing activity.

Having a link means having a relationship with another human being who edits a website.

Social media allows everybody to link in a plethora of ways. You can

  • bookmark
  • vote
  • tweet
  • like
  • love
  • share

You spread the news and good resources via a myriad of channels. The channels change over time. You can’t always build a new audience from scratch on each one of them.

It’s Friendster one day, MySpace the next and Facebook a day later. It’s WhatsApp in the morning, Instagram during lunchtime and Snapchat in the evening.

You can’t be everywhere all the time yourself and broadcast your content. You need people who use these tools and genuinely engage with their audiences.

The relationships stay and the links to other people stay as well. Unless you think robots, tools and Google. They can dump or ban you anytime.

 

How to connect with people

People can abandon you as well, but they usually don’t out of the blue. Even when supporters do leave you on the Web you won’t lose 2/3 of your revenue over night.

Make sure you listen to the right people in the conversation. Then make sure to connect with them, forge a relationship, create a link. A link is a real connection between people.

The HTML link that shows up on your website is just a manifestation of the real link between two individuals, the person who links and the person who is linked to.

What does this mean for blog comments? I don’t care if you just link your microsite which is unrelated to my blog as long as the link between us is a real and valuable one.

A supportive or also a critical comment will pay off for both of us, sooner or later, no matter what the robots, tools or Google have to “say”.

As long as you contribute something of value you deserve a link.

The only thing you must care about now more than ever considering blog comments and likewise user contributions elsewhere is the quality of links. With WordPress blogs it’s easy:

  • Moderate comments with links
  • Moderate all comments on posts older than a week
  • Do not allow links to empty pages,
  • Edit deep links (unless they’re relevant)
  • Remove gambling/adult pages
  • Delete automated “thank you, great post” comment without context

Nothing fancy here. Unless you are new to blogging you have encountered such comments already.

 

Being anti-social hurts yourself

Most of these comment moderation measures are common sense best practices and have been implemented by most bloggers already.

Also make sure to use one of the many dofollow plugins until WordPress removes the obsolete “nofollow attribute” from the default WordPress package.

Using the anti-social nofollow attribute you hurt both your site and your commenters sites.

For people who want to switch off comments altogether: Why are you on the Web? The Web is about sharing or at least offering information.

Consider this: Everything you publish and share might empower others and hurt you so either you risk that and reap the benefits or you go offline, no need for a website then.

 

Think relationships not technology

When you think relationships not technology no single tweak, small or big, from Google or any other site can hurt you.

Stay connected to your peers throughout the many social media platforms and using all the upcoming tools and never forget what really counts.

All you need is link love!

Last updated: March 7th, 2017.

 

Merken