There is a debate among SEO professionals as to how quickly acquiring links can affect the ranking of a particular site. You can find several differing opinions about the subject, and other key factors in SEO, by reading http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors.
In my opinion, the major factor is whether or not the links are acquired naturally. Link farms can literally give you thousands of links almost instantaneously, but so can an article which gets a lot of attention in the social media circles. So what’s the difference?
The major difference is that a social media article generates links that are related to the content on your site and thereby relevant, whereas a link farm may provide links to pages that are completely unrelated to your content. This is a significant difference, as I have mentioned in some of my earlier posts. Links that are not relevant to the content on your page are not going to be counted.
I stated in my post Linking Can Be Scary, that a good strategy is to secure 1 link a week until you have more than 20 quality links, and 2 a week thereafter. I stand by that recommendation, however there can be exceptions. When you post an article on the social media sites like http://www.digg.com it can inspire people who are interested in your content to link to you. Because this can be somewhat viral, those links may come in rather quickly but the difference is that they are natural links (relevant to your copy).
As an example, we recently had a client who signed up for a link exchange that he saw in the newspaper (without asking us first). Almost immediately after receiving the links from this program, the client dropped out of the engines. We recommended that he stop purchasing links from this program, he did and two weeks later his rankings returned to what they had been before receiving a bunch of irrelevant links.
So while it is possible to generate many links quickly, it is imperative to avoid the traps that can harm you. Ask yourself, will associating myself with this site generate links that are closely related to my content? If the answer is yes, then go ahead with it. If not then it is best to steer clear.
When developing a website it is critical to have unique and relevant copy to inform your potential customers about your product or service. Another great reason would be to allow the search engines to better understand your subject matter. One of the more common ways I have seen business owners displaying their content is through the Adobe’s PDF format. A PDF format gives the user the ability to download the information in a clear and structured format. While this can be a great way for your visitors to find and read the copy you develop, you could be inadvertently causing yourself harm.
For example, let’s say you have five PDF files which house a majority of your content. The search engines will most likely index the PDF files much like a normal page on your website. This means there is a possibility that when a searcher is conducting a search on a key phrase you’re targeting, the five PDF files could surface within the natural results. You’re probably asking yourself, how could it possibly be a bad thing to have my PDF files indexed and being displayed within the search result pages? While the search engines crawl through the copy of the PDF file and index the content, critical functionality such as a primary navigation is absent. Thus the PDF acts as a dead end for search engine spiders. The same can also be said about the searchers who find themselves at the PDF versus the actual website. If a searcher clicks a natural listing which happens to be one of the PDF files used to display content, they would lose the ability to navigate to other areas throughout the website. This could ultimately result in a loss of a sale as well as a diminished branding experience.
AJAX allows a developer to query a local or remote data source and render that content right to the browser without refreshing or reloading the page. This gives the user a much more responsive experience, if you have ever used Google Maps or the new web apps like Google’s Docs & Spreadsheets beta, you will no doubt understand the power of this wonderful technology. Now with all the new AJAX toolkits out there it is easier then ever to dive in and use this technology in your web projects. Expect to see it in use very often in the coming years.
Recently I tried to find any information I could regarding SEO and AJAX. I have had much fun playing with it in the past and wanted get back into it, but this time I am questioning it from a SEO perspective. I have yet to find a good reliable solution to get AJAX content indexed.