From: Joshua Friedman

Hi Jill,

I'm pretty new to this sort of thing and there's a LOT of info out there so I'm hoping your newsletter can help me out. My site comes up great on MSN and ok on some other sites, but I'm having a hard time getting it on Google. I've been spending my days trying to get reciprocal links with good (high PageRank) Websites so hopefully that will help in the coming weeks.

I guess a quick question I would have (2 actually) is:

Roughly how long after someone adds me to their link page should it come up in a Google reverse link search? I've been on a few other sites for about a week now but the Google backlinks only show me on one site.

The second question is (and of course this is the $25,000 question): any other quick pointers for a beginner trying to get on Google? What would your 1 main point be for someone like me who has a pretty small budget but would really like a top 10 or even 20 listing on Google? I am all the way up to #3 on MSN when you search for one of my main keyword phrases, but I'm nowhere to be found on Google. I've used their AdWords a bit but would really like a ranking.

Thanks for any further help and I look forward to reading your newsletters.


Joshua Friedman

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Joshua,

Once a site adds a link to yours, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months before you'll see it showing up as a backlink in Google. If the link is on a page that has a PageRank which is less than 4, it may not show up at all. That doesn't mean that it's not counted towards your overall link popularity quotient, but you may not see it in the list of links to your site.

In regards to your second question, I don't usually take a look at the sites that people email me (cuz I'd never get any work done!), but for some reason I took a look at yours. Unfortunately, whatever advice you were previously given was very bad. Your site is basically "spamming" the search engines, and because of this it is doubtful that you will see high rankings in Google. (Kind of interesting that MSN doesn't care.)

You're focusing on way too many keyword phrases on the home page, and then you have *stuffed* them everywhere on the site where they don't belong. Your Title tag is way too long and keyword stuffed, and you have comment tags that are spammy, along with all kinds of other keywords stuffed into non-standard tags which are not even supposed to be used for search engine optimization purposes.

None of this will help you with Google, and most of it will probably hurt you.

I would remove the link to the spammy search engine optimization company who did all this for you, and start over from scratch. I hope you didn't pay them too much. It's companies like that who give us a bad name. (And they always seem to be the ones that require a link back to them too...sheesh.)

Please read through my articles and the past newsletters to learn how to do things correctly, and hopefully you'll eventually have a chance at high rankings.

Think about just 2 or 3 targeted keyword phrases per page when you optimize, and don't simply stuff them places. Have a writer create some great content based on your phrases. Professional copywriting is worth every penny!

[Jill's note: I was going to go into a bit more detail on what the spammy SEO company had done with Joshua's site, but since I emailed him this info yesterday, I see he's removed the spam already! Good work, Joshua.]

One thing I just noticed that you still have on the site is a link to a "link farm" type of site. They are smart enough to claim that they are *not* a link farm, and yet they require a link to them if you want to add your site to their directory. I would strongly suggest that you get out of that program quickly. It doesn't appear that the link-swapping site is considered a "bad neighborhood" at this time (it has a PageRank of 5 on the main page), but it could very well be penalized at some point in the future.

A better way to build high-quality links to your site would be to have something interesting to offer potential partner sites. Have you written some articles on your area of expertise? Many sites are looking for well-written material they can publish online, and will be happy to add your article (which could include a link back to your site). This is a much smarter approach, as you won't have to worry about whom YOU are linking to. Plus, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field at the same time.

Good luck!


July 8, 2003

CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.

High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm located in Framingham, MA specializing in search engine optimization, SEO consultations, in-house training, site audit reports, search marketing seminars and workshops. High Rankings has a 100% success rate for substantially improving client rankings and targeted traffic.

Jill speaks at national and international conferences and has been writing about SEO and search marketing since 2000. She's been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post. Her articles have appeared in numerous print magazines and online websites including CIO Magazine, CMS Focus, The Internet Marketing Report, ClickZ, WorkZ,, Entrepreneur, Lycos Small Business, WebProNews, SiteProNews and others. Jill has also appeared on many online and offline radio programs such as Entrepreneur Magazine's E-Biz Radio Show, SearchEngineRadio and the eMarketing Talkshow.

Search Engine Guide > Jill Whalen > When Will Google Backlinks Show?