Inbound Link Profiles in 2011

Looking forward is always fun, and some of the SEO predictions for 2011 circulating are fantastic and I love them.

Some lean heavily towards Social Media optimization since Google and Bing have confirmed that links shared via Twitter or Facebook are considered as a signal of quality and do affect the rankings, and how much may depend on the social authority of a user.

Social authority is probably defined or calculated by the number and quality of people you are following and the social status of your followers; and I’ll also guess that the number of re-Tweets could very well contribute to one’s social authority.

This is a great example of why no-follow links are important. ­čśë

While Social Media is a great area to work at improving, I wanted to look further out over the horizon and touch on another area that I think will have diminishing returns as 2011 progresses. With all of the abuse by lazy webmasters overly concerned with inbound link quantity rather than quality, search engines utilizing link based algorithms have little choice but to make some changes when it comes to the self service linking crowd.

Profile Links – Profile link spam serves no purpose and is designed solely to┬ámanipulate┬áthe search engine results. ┬áMore forums will disallow indexing of these profiles and search engines will begin to ignore them. The only ones’ touting their virtues will be those peddling cheap automated profile building services but the smart webmasters will quietly move on and separate themselves from the sheeple.

Blog Commenting – Search engines are already able to identify keyword rich anchor text posted by your typical 50K blog comments for $20.00 spammer. Save your money. Have a worthwhile comment to add? Want to be taken seriously and possibly receive a little bit of traffic from your genuine effort? Use your name or a common nickname that’s known or recognized; the days of spammy anchor text names are numbered.

Directory Submissions – Quit with the public display of desperation already. Not every directory announced across the numerous webmaster forums is worth the time or effort of submitting a listing to. Ever notice that it’s the same member’s posting offers of “free links” in their latest and greatest dot info directory that won’t be around once the registration renewal comes due? Avoid these directories. You’ll only end up with an inbox full of spam. If you’re going to submit to a directory, make sure that it’s a high quality directory and not a hyperlink landfill.

Editorial Additions – Merit based links always have value and will continue to have value and contribute towards positive rankings in the search results. The more merit based links you have in your profile, the better. It speaks well of your sites when others are mentioning them rather than you going around tooting your own horn, defacing other’s blogs or ┬áor dropping your URLs at any given opportunity.

I think that if you work on improving your inbound link profile and quit wasting time on the self service links you’ll see a continued improvement throughout 2011.

Best wishes for your continued success through out the New Year and happy linking!