In a previous article on off-page SEO, we talked about some strategies for getting maximum value out of your link building strategy. One thing which was mentioned was the use of automated tools such as Backlink Energizer, Unique Article Wizard, and SEO Link Vine which you can use to get your links indexed, submit articles to article directories, and other things that can be tedious and time-consuming. However, can these automated tools actually hurt your search engine optimization efforts if you use them the wrong way?
In this article, we’ll be talking about how to use automated tools wisely for your backlink building and which types of automated tools to stay away from.
The building of good backlinks is especially important for your search engine optimization efforts. However, if done the wrong way, they can cause your site to be penalized by being removed from the search results or, as some claim, being put in the “Google sandbox.” For example, if you build too many backlinks too fast (more than 20 to 50 day), or if you link to sites in “bad neighborhoods” (link farms) or if your link building in any way appears to be automated (two way linking), your link building strategy will hurt your rankings within the search results rather than helping.
If your site gets labeled as a spam site due to poor or unethical linking strategies, it can take a LOT of time and effort for you to recover from the damage done. This is why it’s so important to practice good link building principles, especially if you’re using automated programs.
Automated link building tools come in five basic types:1. Tools that assist with submitting articles to article directories
Article directory submission is VERY time consuming, and tools that assist in automated submission can save you a lot of time and energy. Many of them are also MUCH cheaper than outsourcing the task to a personal assistant who will be responsible for submitting the articles by hand in exchange for an hourly wage.
These tools can be useful provided that you have quality articles to submit to the directories. Also, the use of these tools raises the issue of content duplication. However, content duplication can only cause you to be penalized if the duplication occurs within the same domain name. So using this type of automated software is helpful provided that you provide quality articles for the submission process.
Two popular article submission tools are Unique Article Wizard and Article Demon.2. Tools that assist in the building of mass profile links
These tools are designed to create mass profile links, in other words, links that are included in profiles on forums or social networking sites like Linkedin. With these tools, you enter your basic profile information such as your name, biography, address, and website, and the tool automatically submits that information to hundreds of sites which allow you to create profiles.
The downside of these tools is that many sites require email confirmation or the filling in of captcha information in order to qualify your profile, both of which require human interaction. The other caution with using such tools is that including too many links within your profile can cause it to get deleted for spam, making the link obsolete. Not to mention that some site owners will delete your profile for inactivity.
Automated tools might be useful in helping you find sites for building profile links, but automating the process completely probably isn’t a good idea.3. Tools that assist with automated directory submission
Directory Submitter is a simple tool that allows you to submit your site to multiple website directories. These tools operate much the way that automated profile link building tools do, you input your profile information and the tool uses that information to submit your site to hundreds of directories. While directory submission can help you build a lot of quality links, many directory sites also require the filling in of captcha information or email confirmation in order to qualify your profile.
Your best bet is to find a few website directories which have really high page ranks, submit your site to those, and move on to other link building strategies.4. Tools that assist with social bookmarking
With these tools, you can bookmark pages on your website on social media sites like: Digg.com, Delicious.com, Stumbleupon.com, and many others. Some popular automated social bookmarking tools are bookmarkwiz and socialposter. These tools can help you to build a lot of backlinks quickly, but there are few downsides. First, you do have to create a profile on every one of the social media sites you want to use, which is time-consuming, but only when you first start using the tool.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t want to build too many links too quickly and that some social media sites, such as Facebook, use nofollow tags and therefore the links might not be as valuable as links built using other strategies.5. Tools that assist with blog commenting
These tools use automated programs to find hundreds of blogs and submit comments on them with links back to your site. These programs operate much the way that automated directory submission and profile link creation tools do. You input your basic information like name, email address, and website, and a generic comment such as:
“This is good information, and you’re giving it away for free! I’ll be sure to bookmark this.”
Using these types of tools should be done with great caution. This is because many blog owners not only require the filling in of captcha information to submit your comment, but many of them also require approval from the blog owner. Blog owners are much less likely to approve a generic comment which adds no value to the discussion on which you are commenting on.
When using automated link building, or executing any link building strategy, it’s always important to keep in mind that the backlinking process must appear organic in order to produce bottom-line results. This is why it’s so important to keep yourself educated about the principles of good search engine optimization.
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Additional Reading On Off Page SEO and Link Building