This is a guest post by Jarret Morrow who is a published author, blogger, and co-founder of the Hive Health Media blog network.
Link building is obviously still very important aspect of Search Engine Optimization and consequently blogging itself. Sure, in an ‘ideal world,’ your blog would generate natural backlinks–only from .gov and .edu sites with optimal hypertext and links in content at the top of the page. Realistically, that’s just not going to happen though, is it? With the advent of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, people are now more likely than ever to share your post without actually generating a “do follow” link to it. Worse yet, if you’re hoping for backlinks on a new blog or site that’s not yet generating any traffic, you could be waiting a long time.
Now that we’ve identified a common problem, I’m going to tell you about one solution to generate natural backlinks with your RSS feed-particularly if you’re using WordPress as your blogging platform. To clarify, this method is a “white hat” SEO method, so it won’t get you in trouble with Google either.
Step 1: Optimizing your blog for ‘scrapers.’
Scraper sites are a reality of blogging, so you might as well make the most of it. What are scraper sites? They’re sites that republish your content without your consent. Typically, these sites scrape content from your RSS Feed.
Without engaging in the age-old debate over full or partial feeds, to optimize your site for scrapers, you’re actually going to want to set your blog to full feeds. Next, you will want to ensure that you have a related post widget installed to display 5-10 related posts at the end of your article. Lastly, you will want to install the RSS Footer plugin by Joost de Valk. You can find this plugin from the WordPress plugin repository–it’s free.
Step 2: Submit your feed to Free RSS directories
Okay, I’m not going to provide a list of Free RSS directories within this article, however, you can find lists of these quite easily with Google. You can start off by searching for terms such as “Submit free RSS Feed” as just one example. Some of these sites unfortunately are just set up to collect emails, so you’ll either want to avoid using those or set up a second email address to prevent clutter in your primary email box. Common sites include Feedlisting dot com, Feedage dot com, and Feed Agg dot com among others.
With this technique, you will create a mix of NoFollow and Do Follow backlinks. Though NoFollow links differ in that they do not pass PageRank, it’s important to have a mix of NoFollow links to create a natural-looking link profile. Most SEOs recommend at least 3-5% NoFollow links to obtain a natural appearing link profile.
Step 3: Share your RSS Feed to create backlinks automatically
1. LinkedIn – If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can import your blog feed with a tool called “blog link.” The RSS links that you will create from this tool will only be available to your LinkedIn contacts.
2. Tumblr – You can create a free account at Tumblr and configure your Tumblr to auto post links or excerpts from your blog feed. The links created by your Tumblr are DoFollow.
3. Twitter – You can autopost your RSS feed as link in Twitter with various tools including Twitter Feed. As Twitter links, these are NoFollow links, so they won’t pass PageRank.
4. FriendFeed – Among the various features of FriendFeed, you can also use it to share your blog posts and create links to them. Friendfeed is another social media aggegator tool that you can use to create NoFollow links for your blog’s RSS feed.
5. Zimbio – Zimbio works much like many other Feed Aggregators. You can submit as many blogs as you want to create your Zimbio which does provide DoFollow backlinks including those you add with RSS Footer and a WordPress Related Post widget. One word of caution is that Zimibo unfortunately hotlinks images from your blog posts. If you’ve taken steps or installed a plugin to prevent hotlinking, your Zimbio won’t display properly.
6. Facebook Fan Page – If you create a Facebook Fan Page for you blog, you can use Simply RSS to automatically update your Fan Page with NoFollow links to your blog post.
7. Blog directories – You can also leverage your RSS Footer / Related Post links from your feed in a number of blog directories. Popular choices include My Blog Log, Blog Catalog, and Blogged, though there are several others. Most of these create NoFollow links, but they can also be a source of traffic as well.
8. Amplify – You can quickly create an account on Amplify which also allows you to add RSS feeds to your Amplify page. The links from Amplify are DoFollow which is also nice.
9. Facebook Networked Blogs – Though the links from a Facebook Networked Blog page are NoFollow, there are some added benefits. I find that if you create your Networked Blog page with the same name of your company or Blog, it will rank very well under that search term. This has natural benefits in terms of reputation management.
In terms of this type of link building strategy, the overall quality of the links will not be substantial. However, it will go a long way towards creating a natural-looking link profile. As well, the greatest benefit will probably come from your scraper sites. If you change the anchor text with the RSS Footer plugin every month, you can vary this to help rank your site for various keyword search phrases that you want to rank for.
As a secondary benefit, if you’ve created all of these social media accounts with the same name as your blog or company, these social media profiles will eventually rank very well. Feeding these profiles with content from your RSS Feed will help them rank better under Google searches. This will provide your company or brand with a fairly strong social media buffer to provide you with some degree of reputation management.