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Building Backlinks from Hosted Content

October 10th, 2007

In addition to article syndication, using hosted content is another excellent way to build backlinks to your site for SEO purposes. Hosted content sometimes goes by different names such as “advertorials” or “content swapping”, but they all essentially work in the same manner. You write an article, include backlinks to your site, and pay another site owner a small fee to display your content on his/her site.

As an author, this may not seem like a very attractive option because you are actually having to pay to get your article published, but with this method, you have the advantage of being able to embed your backlinks into the body of the article’s text instead of being confined to a standard resource box. This is supposed to help in optimizing backlinks for the search engines because it looks more “natural”. Also, at least according to the “money talks” theory, this can be a way of building favorable relations with other site owners since most people like the idea of getting paid for very little work.

When designing an article for hosted content, it is important to make sure that your content is well written and provides valuable information to the reader. Don’t forget to proofread your text and remove any errors before submitting your article. Many sites have some type of minimum quality standards for accepting content, so you will want your writing to be as good as you can make it. After all, it is reasonable to surmise that the other site owner will want to convey a professional public image just as you would.

For SEO, most of the standard conventions that pertain to publishing regular web pages apply to hosted content as well. For example, always place your targeted keywords in the title and header tags and try to keep your keyword density between 2 and 6 percent. Be careful about exceeding the maximum threshold on this; there is a risk that search engines will see very high keyword density as “spammy” and penalize your ranking, so don’t just stuff keywords into the text indiscriminately in an attempt to fool the search engines. If you find that your keyword density is too high, you can replace instances of these words with synonyms or related terms. Because of the increased emphasis by many search engines on latent semantic indexing (LSI), using more synonyms, related terms, or secondary keywords may actually help in improving your ranking.

When placing your embedded links into the text, make sure that they are topically relevant to pages on your own site; using well-placed anchor text is another good SEO practice. Whenever possible, link to pages “deep” within your site; that is, pages that you think have quality content but are not receiving much traffic or do not have any backlinks to them yet. Finally, remember that quality is almost always better than quantity, at least when it comes to content creation and good SEO. Using a few links that refer visitors to strong, content rich pages on your site is much better than using 50 or more weak or irrelevant links.

As long as it is not abused, hosted content a nice “white hat” SEO method that is a win-win solution for both authors and the hosting sites. The authors get good backlinks from respected sites along with an additional venue to increase their own publicity, and the hosting site owners get more relevant content for their sites without having to pay for it or spend lots of time writing it. This arrangement also benefits the casual searchers and readers because it results in the delivery of high quality content from respectable sites, which happens to be what the search engines want us webmasters to do in the first place.

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