If you’ve been involved in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) link building and web promotion for any amount of time you will have seen reference to the dreaded “Bad Neighborhood” and how putting links from your site to sites that are “Bad Neighborhood” sites can get your site penalized in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) as well as costing you pagerank.
That part of your promotion is simple enough to deal with, don’t link to anything that doesn’t provide value to your customers AND give them a reason to keep coming back to you. Generally speaking, most sites that are selling something might link to a very few sites, a forum dedicated to your site’s field and maybe a blog or two (especially if you’re linking to your company blog or other blog of yours whose topic is relevant to your sales site).
There’s another thing about your neighborhood that you want to be aware of. If your business topic / field is one of those that is surrounded by scammers and rip-off artists, you have to go an extra mile to assure your customers that you are not ripping them off or scamming them. Preferably without jumping up and down about how honest you are.
The thing to do is look over the sites of some of the scammers, look at the claims they make and whatever shady practices they’re using and make certain that your site goes out of it’s way to not use such tactics. One approach would be to let your customers know right off that some people in your business are just ripping people off and give them some generic examples with company and product names removed about some of the ways that disreputable people are trying to do business in this field, then show how your business is different.
It will probably mean a bit of extra work but in the long run it’ll be worth it because you can eventually end up with a significant chunk of the business from the dissatisfied customers of your competitors.
Technorati Tags: Bad Neighborhood, Generic Examples, Business Topic, Shady Practices, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Result, Scammers, Dissatisfied Customers, Product Names, Extra Mile, Web Promotion
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