I had an interesting call the other day from a local coffee shop/signmaker/fax shop/web design firm. They wanted to sell me a link in their “link farm” for $75.
Wikipedia on Link Farms:
A link farm is a form of spamming the index of a search engine (sometimes called spamexing or spamdexing). Other link exchange systems are designed to allow individual websites to selectively exchange links with other relevant websites and are not considered a form of spamdexing.
Okay, these guys aren’t spamming, but honestly, if you believe that their little link farm is going to help you get a top Google result, as they promised in their pitch, you’re sadly mistaken. Not only will it have little effect, it might actually drop you into the Google Supplemental Index, more commonly known as Google Hell.
If you need a top Google result, then you’re going to do a whole lot of things correctly. Such as:
- First and foremost, have good well written, compelling, keyword-laden content that is well structured (uses h1, h2 and bold tags).
- Use your keywords through out your page title, meta keywords and desc. as well as in alt image tags.
- Cultivate links that mean something – Inbound links should say “best sewer cleaning service in West Armpit” not “click here.”
- Worthwhile links – having your link on a page with a hundred other links that have nothing to do with each other isn’t going to help. If you’re a proctologist, get links in proctology directories.
- Add content regularly – if there’s new content on a frequent basis, the search engines will start to index more. The easiest way to do that is to blog (a subject to expand upon in another post).
- Avoid layout tables, use tableless CSS – I can’t prove it (yet) but my tableless CSS sites seem to perform much better than their code-heavy layout tabled cousins. One business recently switched from a tableless css layout to a layout table-type design and in a matter of 3 weeks, virtually disappearred from Google. Of course, they did a lot of other things wrong as well.
There are no quick fixes. And I question why you’d want to use a “one stop shop” for web design and SEO at all. This is a highly specialized field, and you should not be using the same guy who does your copies and binds your business plans for your web site issues.