Yes. And here is why you should not discount no follow links.
Rand Fishkin, Founder of SEOmoz just did a great blog on early ranking factors data after his companies April Linkscape update.
One of his interesting points during the session was that many SEO’s are using more no follow links, and that they are seeing better value in them.
I have agreed with that for years. And here is why. A link profile that has a nice mix of Follow and no Follow is more natural. Google likes natural.
Not only that, but as Rand made this point in the presentation, alot of really trusted sites and high value sites use no follow. Face book, twitter, wordpress… the list goes on and on. I don’t think google really pays as much attention to the no follow tag as many people think they do. Why would they. Works to their advantage if we think they do, as they then have a metric that is pretty easy to identify sites building an unnatural linking profile using an unnatural amount or percentage of follow links.
So, I go back to were I always seem to go with Links. Add links that you would add without considering how they will effect your site rankings, and you will end up in good shape. SEO is not search engine manipulation. It is solid marketing and promotion for your web site.
It’s really the same thing. In our sales coaching, one of the main topics is how to sell more through business relationships.
Local SEO is just an extension of that principle. Your site needs to “build good relationships” with other local and national sites to attract attention.
In business you want to first, build great relationships with your current customers, and then build strategic relationships with other companies that can promote your service, and in turn you can promote theirs.
The bottom line on building better positive relationships in business is finding ways to support your customers and network in new and valuable ways.
Ask not what they can do for you, but ask what you can do for them.
A good step would be offering to write a letter of reference for their services, and allowing them to post it on their web site. Testimonials are an important part of building trust, and they should jump at the offer. It’s good for their site and company and if you add your business information to the testimonial include your web site, and that’s a plus for your SEO.
I truly believe that the way you advance your business is by helping others advance theirs. And just like with good local SEO, make sure you chose the companies you promote carefully, as you will be judged to an extent by their reputation.
When we explain SEO, or search engine optimization, to business owners, we explain it in this analogy.
SEO is like a popularity contest back in high school. Every one wants to be liked by Google. So the first thing is Google has to like your looks. In this case, that’s your site. Google like’s sites with good content, easy navigation, and a site that is clear what it’s about.
The second thing Google wants to know is who likes you ( who you hang out with). In this case what other sites like you, and how does Google feel about those sites. If they are popular, your site is going to pick up some popularity points in this contest. A site’s trust is also very important, is Google confident that the site that mentions your site is on the “good” list.
Google also wants you to be popular with sites that are related to you. No one likes a wishy washy site. Are the sites that like you, related to what you are?
And Google knows who likes you (your site) by what other sites link back to you, or give you a mention.