Jason Yormark

My Backlinks Strategy Sucks, And What I Plan To Do About It

I’ve written on my blog for quite some time, and I’ve had a mild amount of backlinks-freesuccess with it depending on how you define success.  I’m fairly happy with the level of engagement I get, and I get a nice size audience somewhat regularly when I actually find the time to post on a regular basis.  My Google Page Rank was hovering quite nicely at 6 for quite some time, but dropped to 4 in the past few weeks.  My Alex rank continues to climb a bit as I’m dancing in the 300,000 range.  But where I’ve been terrible at and continue to be is with my back links on pretty much all the engines.

For whatever reason, I have a hell of a time getting my articles linked to more often.  I feel that I write fairly useful and/or entertaining blog posts that most seem to find interesting or helpful.  But somewhere I’m missing the boat on getting those blog posts referenced more often.  I’ve never claimed to be that much of an expert when it comes to SEO strategy and backlinks, but I’ve started to really pay attention to this and ask around on how to best improve this.  These are some of the steps I’m initially taking to hopefully improve my situation.

Content Syndication – I’ve got my content currently being syndicated on sites such as Social Media Today & Business2Community.  What I didn’t realize is that the automated process which both use to grab your content do not properly format the author footer in a way that attributes your site that the search engines “like”.  Big props to my colleague Garth O’Brien who pointed this out to me.  Once I realized this, I asked the folks at B2C to switch over to a manual submission process, and I went and updated my profile box on Social Media Today so that my articles get the right attributions so I score that link juice.

Ask And You Shall Receive – I know this is pretty much a no brainer, but I just figured it was time to find quality bloggers and ask for link exchanges.  The key here is to not just blindly find folks with strong blogs and ask for an exchange, but really spend some time to read and engage with like minded folks, and then politely ask.  I find simply linking to them first and pointing this out makes it more likely they will reciprocate.

Actively Commenting – It’s hard enough to find the time to actually write on my blog let alone find time to engage on others, but it’s really an important part of the whole process if you’re serious about building out your own blog.  I never just comment just to comment, but I definitely try to ensure I leave a few comments per day on articles I find interesting.  I’m not entirely sure it’s a huge deal as it pertains to contributing to increasing my back links, but I’m told it’s a contributing factor.

I would love for those of you that have had success with this to share in the comments section so that I could potentially write a follow up post on some additional strategies that are effective.

Jason Yormark
I'm a 20 year veteran of digital marketing & the owner and founder of Socialistics, a social media agency based in Seattle. My spare time is filled with writing, baseball, my boys and everything Seattle has to offer.


  1. Commenting is the one area I fail on – big time! It’s easier to write my own post than to think up an intelligent comment 😉
    Glad to see you are got the links from your syndicated content sorted. How does that work for traffic? or is it just a link and exposure thing?

    1. Hi Sarah.  Traffic wise I don’t see a big spike.  Most people consume the content on those channels.  I have picked up a few readers from there, but it’s pretty much just an exposure benefit. It’s too early to tell what effect it will have on my SEO for those particular channels, but they are both well respected channels with great visibility.  I’ll report back once I notice any improvements.

  2. thanks for this interesting post.

    I’m pretty new at the blogging scene. Started blogging a few months ago to get more visibility and traffic to my website. All this about backlinks was just one more thing I was not really aware of and now it became one more thing to worry about :o)

  3. Very interesting. Always curious about the world of backlinks.

    Thanks and good luck!

    Joan Richardson

  4. Good tips. I didn’t know the bit about automated social publishing services. I finally got a webcam so I’ve been recording videos for my blog. I’m hoping to make readers get involved more because I’ll feel like more of a real person. Asking for backlinks would probably be a good strategy too though.

  5. Jason, good to know, my posts are also on Business2Community. Backlinks are not something I have focused on at all, this is a good reminder that sometimes all it takes is some very simple changes to make a difference. 

    The one thing from this list that I do is comment regularly (although my intent isn’t backlinks, its conversation and community). However, some of those comments have sparked further posts and ‘earned’ backlinks. It is slower going, but building those connections (relationships) leads naturally to additional connections, including promotional support for your blog and additional backlinks.

    Good note on Business2Community in particular for me, another thing to put on the list.

    — @wittlake 

    1. What data supports a reciprocal link from subject matter similar sites is useless?

      I am fully aware their value is much less than a one-way link. I also understand a reciprocal link is devalued greatly when a Social Media subject matter site is linking to a vacuum cleaning service website and vice versus.

      I have sites with only reciprocal links to subject matter related sites and little content yet their PR and mozRank reflects the strength of the reciprocal backlinking sites. The speed at which those ranks were accrued can only be explained by the backlinks. When I say little content there was little to no content on these sites. 🙂 

      Asides from SEO value a reciprocal link can bolster brand awareness and community acceptance. For example, if an expert in my field links to my site that gives me some credibility with his site visitors if they do not have an extensive backlink/blogroll list.

      I do agree a reciprocal link is less valuable than a one-way link but do not agree they are useless in the right circumstance for SEO.

  6. One thing I recommend is setting up a Twitter/Facebook account and linking to your stories from there. It’s a great way to get a set list of followers that are interested in your content, and to update them on new content.

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