Google has been penalizing Web sites it thinks are unethical in link building for search-engine optimization. Why? Google wants authenticity and quality in its search results.

Unfortunately, the search-engine’s algorithms might be emulating a witch hunt – an over-reach that punishes Web sites.

So it’s vital that you backlink with authoritative, credible sites. Some might be obvious to you, others might not.

Here’s a checklist:

1. Register with sites

If you’re in retail or have a location to receive visitors, consider registering with Bing,, CitySearch, DexKnows, FourSquare, GoogleMyBusiness,, Manta, MapQuest, MerchantCircle, Superpages, Topix, White Pages, Yellow Pages and Yelp.

Note, however, Yelp has been surrounded by controversy: Will Court’s Bad Review and Studies Slap Yelp into Using Best Practices?

2. Social media profiles

Establish social accounts. That would include Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Include Pinterest if you’re in retail or B2C. You have about 300 social media sites to consider.

Use an AddThis or ShareThis widget so users can easily your pages with their followers. My preference for WordPress is SassySocialShare.

3. Bookmarking sites

Also depending on your type of business and whether you have a blog, consider setting up accounts on Delicious, Reddit, ScoopIt and StumbleUpon.

4. Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Consider the BBB. You’ll enhance your reputation among the clutter of competitors. Put the BBB’s logo and link on your home page.

5. Your local Chamber of Commerce

Consider joining a chamber, especially if its Web site has a membership directory with links to members’ Web sites.

6. Press releases

There is disagreement over whether a public-relations site is valuable for search-engine optimization. My sense is that the right PR sites are beneficial, if they have a Page 6 ranking or higher. If you have a lower Page Rank, a higher ranked link to your site can only help you with ranking and an increase in visitors.

Also submit a press release to your local newspapers via e-mail and make certain your site’s domain name is in anchor text in every press release.

So it’s vital that you backlink with authoritative, credible sites. Some might be obvious to you, others might not.

7. Leverage your suppliers and vendors

Ask your vendors to mention you on their sites. There’s a couple of ways – whether they blog or publish testimonials – get them to link to your site.

8. Submit your blog to blog directories

Good blog directories include: Alltop, Bloggapedia, Blogorama, OnTopList and Technorati.

Technically, LinkedIn is not a blog directory.  But it is a great place to insert a blog. Better yet, insert a link of a blog on your Web site.

9. Consider inserting on Web 2.0 blogs

These blog sites are bland but they still provide valuable links. They include:, Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.

10. Sponsorships

Every business has an opportunity to sponsor community events. Consider sponsoring events within your sphere of business, a local college or nonprofit, or consider the potential of cause-related marketing, which can increase your sales by double-digit percentages.

Include your domain name in every piece of collateral and signage, and make sure the organization’s site links to you.

11. Directory submissions

Consider submitting your domain to, Directory World, R-TT Directory, and So Much.

12. Videos

Establish a YouTube account and insert well-produced videos. Remember great e-mail marketing must include social media and videos. Do it yourself videos are OK, but get help if you aren’t a pro.

13. SlideShare

Get added utility and value from your business/sales presentations by inserting them on SlideShare. The more informative they are the better.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant articles:

For Strong Local SEO Performance, Avoid 6 Errors — A key strategy to make your cash register ring is to have a strong Internet presence. That means strategizing for strong local search-engine optimization (SEO). With strong local SEO performance, your business will have online top-of-the-mind awareness in your community. You want to be easily discovered by potential customers.

SEO and Other Strategic Tips for a No.1 Rated Blog – To own your blogging niche, you must understand the evolving process — important basics in search engine optimization (SEO) and other strategies. If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know success doesn’t keep come automatically.

4 Best Practices to Enhance Your Google Ranking with Digital Content – There are four best practices if you want strong ranking from Google’s search rank algorithms, higher click-through rates and more social sharing from your content and press releases. That’s according to the Ranking Factors Study from Searchmetrics. The study shows the four practices improve message visibility and campaign results on the Internet.

 “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.”

-Wendy Piersall


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.