Link FarmHappy hump day!

So, it happened again this morning. I’m sitting on the train, commuting to the city and reading my email. I plugin my internet stick and prepare to reply to an email I feel very strongly about, and the next thing I know I’ve got a full blown blog post — not the response to the email I had originally intended.

So, the email I read started out something like this …

“We’ve been talking with this guy, he has a social media background is great with analytics. We really think he’d be an asset. Do you think we should hire him?”

So I open up the link in the email to find a link farm. Seriously? A link farm? Paid links, affiliate MLM options, really? This is “the guy” with this social media and analytics expertise I’m supposed to embrace? <Sigh…>

Here’s the thing. Buying links is never a technique I recommend to clients who want long-term results. {I can hear the clickity-clack of keyboards as angry link-builders crafting their strongly worded emails to me!} Save yourself the time and blood pressure spike, I’m not saying all links are evil. I’m saying that all links are not created equal.

In my opinion, paid links is a band-aid approach to low search engine rankings. If you have crappy rankings, you have bigger problems than a lack of crappy links. Paying for links has been known to give certain sites a quick boost their rankings. The problem is that those rankings are short-lived.

My second opinion is that paid links are a thing of the past, a pre-panda tactic. Search engines are getting smarter and they’re demanding better quality from sites overall.

The issue that I have with using paid links as an SEO technique is that even if (and that’s only IF)  a site gets to the top of the rankings, odds are it won’t convert/get the click-thru. That’s because there was never a strategy put in place to cover, which is really the most important part. What do I always say? “What good is a #1 ranking for 100 keywords if none of your pages are converting?”

Link farms build links — that’s it. They don’t create quality, relevant, useful content (c’mon, stop the clickity-clacking again). Quality SEO copywriters are NOT a dime a dozen. Finding one sort of reminds me of American Idol in that everyone thinks they can sing write. But the ones who win get results are the ones who have a healthy combination of raw talent and years of industry-specific training.

How do you find an SEO copywriter who will help you rank well and convert? I’ll explain in my next post … I’m about 3 minutes from Union Station and I need to pack up my gear and hike up the office!