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I have a new stock discussion forum and I would like to promote it. Specifically, I have two ideas in mind to help promote it:

1) Become a member at other stock discussion forums. Make high quality posts, build a good reputation, and leave a link to my own forum in a non intrusive way (ie. in signature or at the end of my posts). This approach makes sense because you can find other members in other forums that are interested in stock discussion and a backlink to your forum, as long as it is not done in an intrusive/spammy way, should come across as acceptable.

2) Promote my site by writing articles at Squidoo, Hubpages, etc. This approach also makes sense because that's what Squidoo and Hubpages is for.

The problem with both these approaches is that when I leave a backlink to my site, the page that I am leaving a backlink from may have a low PR - most likely, a PR of 0. Now, I have read that after the Penguin update by Google, your site can be penalized if you have too many backlinks from low PR pages:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224339

So, I am caught in a dilemma:

a) If I start promoting my site via other stock forums, Squidoo, Hubpages, etc, but the backlink to my site comes from a page with low PR, Google may penalize my site.

b) However, if I don't promote my site, nobody will ever discover it (aside from other promotion techniques like social media promotion, directories, etc).

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page inside forum has a low pagerank (stackoverflow is an exception), so posting your link in discussion won't help much. –  neo Jan 24 '13 at 8:28
    
Does no-follow links count as a back-links ? Please explain ! –  user23457 Feb 18 '13 at 9:50
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5 Answers

Having a few low PR backlinks does not automatically get you eaten by the Penguin. Assuming that the forum sites are reputable (and the ones you list are) you should be fine with posting your site as your signature so long as you don't go overboard. If you are posting hundreds or thousands of times per day on multiple boards, you may see some form of pushback as that looks spammy.

One thing to check before you worry is the source code of the boards where you post. Many sites make their user-generated content pages either noindex and/or nofollow and if that's the case, then you really don't need to worry.

Otherwise, the algorithms are fairly well-tuned at this point and typically don't spike you for "normal" web activity. If you are just posting your link in your sig and not trying to keyword bomb it, you'll be okay.

tl;dr:

Just behave naturally and you'll be fine. If you overthink this or overdo it, you'll be nailed.

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"noindex and nofollow links"? Are you sure? –  GDav Jan 24 '13 at 8:47
    
Sorry, meant check for noindex and nofollow on the page. Will edit to make clear. –  JCL1178 Jan 24 '13 at 15:10
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Forum signatures are not to be counted as "votes" in PageRank and similar systems. They are no different from the author homepage link you find in blog comments. As such, they should be nofollow. Any forum that isn't doing this is going to attract spammers and be penalized for it.

Likewise, unvetted forum posts should generally be nofollow unless it's a very close knit community with an abnormally high post quality. But even sites like Slashdot still nofollow all links posted in discussions, even if the comment is rated +5 (AFAIK).

Frankly, looking for forums where they don't have proper nofollow protection for unvetted links is the behaviour of a spammer. At best, you're gaming the system by building a bunch of PR-passing external backlinks. Those backlinks aren't actual organic votes for your page by the online community—especially if it's a forum signature rather than an actual inline link in the post content because the linked page has relevant information to the discussion—so they deserve to pass no PR to the link target.

However, if your interest isn't in gaming PR, and it's solely to promote your site to a relevant audience in a truly respectful way, then this would be a perfectly valid approach. The site needs to have proper nofollow protection in place, or you should manually insert nofollow into your essentially advertising links. If you follow these rules, then Google shouldn't penalize you.

What they will penalize you for is if you go to a spamtrap like sites well known to not nofollow their unvetted UGC links. A site with such a reputation will quickly become known to spammers, which will generate very spammy link networks to sites that Google will likely correctly identify as spam. Throwing your hat into such a community, even if you're not a spammer, would probably get you categorized as one and similarly penalized.

But, then, the above communities/sites tend to very 0 usefulness to regular visitors or regular website promotion. When every other post is by a spammer, who is going to stick around and put up with that long enough to have a useful discussion? So there's no reason to promote there anyway, unless you're also just looking to spam your own pages.

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Getting too many backlinks for a low page rank sites is not the actual problem. But if you are getting too many low page backlinks from the sites that is no where related to your site content, like if you are getting backlinks to your restaurant sites from a technology forum/blog that that is the serious issue. Google consider it as that you have paid for the links.

Things you can do:

1) Get backlinks from different blogs/forum. But the sites should be related to your sites.

2) If you want to write articles for Hubpages, Squidoo that is totally fine, I would suggest also write as guest post in other sites also.

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Well i just spoke to a chap in a company global IT in sydney australia and he says there is no more value to have backlinks any more rather focus on content. Well given these days i have been blogging and writing aritcles will this help me.

I like what's said in this and makes lot of sense is there some one disagreeing to what i said given by the SEO company please let me know

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Backlinks certainly aren't what they once were but they aren't devoid of value. I wouldn't seek them out or make them a focus of strategy but links from reputable sites don't hurt. –  JCL1178 Mar 7 '13 at 4:23
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4 Words Diversity, Relevance, Quality, Less

Google looks mostly at Diversity of your linking profile and how relevant those links are to your own. To be honest almost every link regardless of what people say in some way of another helps.

Diversity

The risk of building your own links is that your linking profile becomes unnatural since many will create links on abusable systems and that means you don't have a Good linking profile. For example if you create 1,000 blog comments and then 20 on forums because they are harder then this means that your profile is at risk.

Forum Signatures, Blog Comments, Article Directories, and all the other things people are saying to avoid since Penguin is simply untrue. These types of platforms can help your linking Diversity. Now its impossible to know exactly what % you should have on each but in small amounts its absolutely fantastic but the most important thing is to not go overboard. Matt Cutts has said on many times that these platforms can help and the best way is to give back to the community. Start using blog and forums that are in your niche, not only will you get more links that are relevant you may even get direct traffic back. Golden rule when creating links is try to give back to the community.

Link Platforms:

  • Article Directories
  • Web Directories
  • PDF Directories
  • Slide Directories
  • Niche Directories
  • Software Directories
  • Citation Directories
  • Question and Answer Sites
  • Showcase Sites
  • Blogrolls
  • Blog Comments
  • Forum Signatures
  • Forum Profiles
  • Forum Replies
  • Link Exchange
  • Paid News Releases
  • Guest Blogging
  • Web2 Sites
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg

Etc Etc, the list goes on and on.

Anchors

In this day and age Anchors are not that important after all many people still don't know how to use anchors on forums and stuff. Using 90% of a keyword 10% of your brand/website name is just bad SEO. You should aim for

35% Brand/Website Name 50% Text Links 10% Keywords Anchors 5% Just Text, Yes NO LINK! Not all site uses and its Good to have a mix

Also you need to think about dofollow and nofollow, Don't worry if they are nofollow or dofollow! they are both as good for diversity since 100 dofollows and 0 nofollows is a Footprint and unrealistic. I imagine the real figure is about 80% nofollow, and 20% follow or even less. Generally I don't bother, if the community is good just like Stack Exchange I use it and give back.

Relevance

There is little point in making links on sites like pet forums if your site is about cars, so avoid putting links in useless places - Google doesn't like it and most webmasters of those sites don't like it. Going back to what I said in previously golden rule is to give back to the community so join sites that you can share your views, comments, and knowledge within your niche and give back while you receive.. If comments, threads and so forth are GOOD then people link to those and the inner pages of the site with your link increases and passes more juice to your more - this is less with more which I'll talk a bit about later.

Sub Niches

If your site is about Pets then a site about Cats will pass some juice but a site about all pets will pass even more juice. etc etc.

Quality

Quality is everything if your putting your link somewhere that has hundreds of links outbound in comments and so forth you can bet all your money that Google knows that page is untrusted and in fact can lead up with you with a Slap. Google monitors these types of sites and it leaves a footprint of all the spammers. Again if your giving back to the community you ain't gonna be using a site that is spammed to hell or a rubbish site.

LESS

The best way of making your own site increase in rankings with Google slapping you is what I said in every section of this page.. Give back to the community in your niche. Once you have say 100 links or so then why not back link those links? After all if your creating quality content its only natural that the content on other peoples sites gets linked too. By doing so your keeping your link network cleaner while helping others plus! its way more natural! and your rankings will rocket.

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