How to generate and track backlinks for your Active Rain profile - A few basic SEO tips

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249
http://activerain.com/droplet/4wM4

 

The first comment I made on Active Rain was August 5th, 2007.  Since then, I have amassed 7404 comments made over the past 182 days.  That means that I am averaging 40.68 comments daily here.

I could write (and have written) posts about the friendships that began as stray comments on AR, or the referrals that I have received (also covered that a few times in posts).  However, I wanted to point out that the "Google juice" is a phenomenal side benefit of commenting that you may not have realized

What am I talking about?

Well, it's really quite simple: The more you comment on posts, the more links you will have pointing to your Active Rain profile. 

As you know, when you submit a comment, it automatically includes your signature line, which links back to your profile page.  For example, my personal automated signature line says:

Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate

 So, EVERY TIME I write a comment (if the post is public and not "members only"), this link has the potential to be seen as a backlink for my profile page, which links to my primary website, so it actually benefits both of them.  My link "anchor text" (actual title of the link) includes both my name and my primary keyword.  To change your signature, you must edit the first and last name fields in your profile.  (EDITED: Tom Lyons produced a companion piece to this post in the form of a video tutorial about how to change your signature: Changing your Signature File in Active a Video Tutorial)

HOPEFULLY UNNECESSARY NOTE: Please do not take this as a license to write 50 inane comments on random posts each day.  Try to add something of value.  If you do cut-and-paste comments, you will not only make yourself look ridiculous, you might just get banned from the site altogether.

If you are only using your name and no keywords in your signature, I would urge you to consider editing this to include something that a consumer might actually type into a search engine.  Currently, my AR blog is on the third page of Google and slowly moving up for the term "Austin texas real estate", which is our most important keyword.  My primary website is #5 for this term on Google.  On Yahoo, we are at #2 presently.

 

The reason that "Members Only" posts do not produce backlinks is that the entire post is automatically tagged in HTML with "noindex", meaning that these pages will not be included in the search engine results.  That is one reason that I try to limit my "Members Only" posts to those items that will not have interest beyond this network, such as contest announcements, or specific features of Active Rain.  Everything else just gives me an extra chance to be found by the consumer. 

 

Currently, my AR profile is showing 239 backlinks on Google, and 1,780 backlinks on Yahoo.  That is more than a respectable number considering that almost all of those are comment links from my signature.  It certainly makes you think about what your signature says, right?

I have been learning and practicing SEO for our site since 1998, and the algorithms are always changing.  In fact, when I started, there was no Google at all.  It is important to stay on top of the trends as much as possible.  Content development and blogging seem to be the new frontier for SEO these days.

 

 You may be wondering how I even checked my backlinks on Google in the first place.  That is also very easy to do.  Just go to Google, Yahoo, or whatever search engine you are curious about and type the following as if you were going to run a search:

link:http://activerain.com/your profile name goes here

So my specific command looks like this:  link:http://activerain.com/jasoncrouch

This command will cause the engine to display the number of backlinks, along with the sources.  Please note your profile name may not be the same as your real name, so yours may look different.  Also, Google takes a LOT longer to update their backlinks than Yahoo, and it always shows less links than Yahoo.

 

As a side note, if you are attempting to develop inbound links on other sites or forums, you will want to make sure that they are not tagged with "nofollow", as these are utterly useless to your cause.  "No follow" means that the search engine spiders will not even follow that link.  Since you clearly want the spiders to find your page, for SEO purposes you don't want to bother placing links that will not be followed.  Clearly, there may be other reasons to comment besides SEO (see second paragraph of this post).

Here is a normal link within the source HTML from one of my AR comments (you can click View--->Source while on a webpage to see this yourself):

Jason Crouch, Broker -  Austin Texas Real Estate

If Active Rain used "nofollow" tags for the signatures, which they DO NOT USE (thank God!), the link would begin like this instead:

Active Rain does use the "nofollow" tags for the actual body of the comments, in order to prevent rampant comment spamming.  So, placing a link within your remarks will not help you here.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and this post was inspired by something I read earlier by Kay Frenzer.  I used her premise and expanded on my own experiences, as I thought this might be helpful for my friends here to know. 

Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this one.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me anytime.  I am always happy to help when I can. 

Copyright 2008  Jason Crouch

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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

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Rainmaker
89,605
Cliff Johnson
Solid Source Realty - Stone Mountain, GA

Jason,

   There are some great ideas. Thanks for sharing this information.

Jun 15, 2010 12:43 AM #422
Rainmaker
89,605
Cliff Johnson
Solid Source Realty - Stone Mountain, GA

Jason,

   There are some great ideas. Thanks for sharing this information.

Jun 15, 2010 12:43 AM #423
Rainmaker
89,605
Cliff Johnson
Solid Source Realty - Stone Mountain, GA

Jason,

   There are some great ideas. Thanks for sharing this information.

Jun 15, 2010 12:43 AM #424
Rainer
88,897
Troy Funk
Allison James Estates & Homes, Sarasota 941-957-3737 - Sarasota, FL
Broker / Associate

Changed my signature line tonight, because of your Wisdom ... Thank you for sharing!

Jun 28, 2010 03:52 PM #425
Rainer
191,358
Virginia Cheezum
F. C. Tucker Company - Indianapolis, IN

This Active Rain info just keeps on going!  It's turned into an exciting new venture, and I appreciate your tips.  Will check into this more today. 

Sep 08, 2010 06:41 PM #427
Rainer
883
Ben Munson
Newdigs.com - Rochester, NY

I edited my signature to link back to my real estate website.  For some reason, the signature did not seem to take.  For one, it still points to my activerain profile.  Also, the actual body of my signature does not appear to show up.  It looks like a default signature.  I made sure to hit the update and save buttons where necessary.  Is this because I'm not paying activerain nearly $500/year to have my blog posts appear in search engines (rainmaker)?  Paying for rainmaker seems crazy when any other FREE blog software on the web is searchable.  What's up?  I could use some help.

Thanks, Ben

Sep 26, 2010 02:33 AM #428
Rainmaker
237,866
Donna Paul
Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast - Dix Hills, NY
Long Island Home Specialist,All About Real Estate

Thanks Jason.. I just came across your post. I  can't believe that I missed it. Now, I have to make sure follow through on your tips.  

Oct 06, 2010 07:40 AM #429
Rainmaker
237,866
Donna Paul
Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast - Dix Hills, NY
Long Island Home Specialist,All About Real Estate

Thanks Jason.. I just came across your post. I  can't believe that I missed it. Now, I have to make sure follow through on your tips.  

Oct 06, 2010 07:40 AM #430
Ambassador
1,239,315
Joni Bailey
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

Missy sent me here! Thank you for the information!

Oct 19, 2010 04:05 AM #431
Rainmaker
372,956
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

Wow not sure how I missed this post years ago but I just got here through Missy's post.  Glad I found it.  I'm going to check out my backlinks now.  Hopefully I'm understanding all of this.

Thanks.

Oct 21, 2010 02:48 PM #432
Rainmaker
372,956
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

Wow not sure how I missed this post years ago but I just got here through Missy's post.  Glad I found it.  I'm going to check out my backlinks now.  Hopefully I'm understanding all of this.

Thanks.

Oct 21, 2010 02:48 PM #433
Rainmaker
372,956
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

Wow not sure how I missed this post years ago but I just got here through Missy's post.  Glad I found it.  I'm going to check out my backlinks now.  Hopefully I'm understanding all of this.

Thanks.

Oct 21, 2010 02:48 PM #434
Rainmaker
596,862
Jim Hale
ACTIONAGENTS.NET - Eugene, OR
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Jason -

Is this information still current?  I'd really like to know.

Nov 09, 2010 07:37 PM #435
Ambassador
1,195,134
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Jim - Everything here should still be accurate and up-to-date.  :)

Nov 10, 2010 02:13 AM #436
Anonymous
Bank Instrument MTN-CMO-BG.com

I really like your post and appreciate you sharing it with me. I have signed up for your RSS and hope to read more great posts from you. Thank you. I would appreciate you approving my comment and letting me add my link to your great site and build a great base of constant visitors for us both. Here is my RSS link if you would like to signup for mine as well.

Bank Instrument RSS feed: http://www.mtn-cmo-bg.com/feed/

My site also has a lot of great information regarding bank instruments for intermediary / Broker Education to help you succeed. See you around.

Thanks MTN CMO BG

Jan 17, 2011 07:30 AM #437
Rainmaker
174,018
Wendy Richards
Keller Williams Realty - Charlotte NC Home & Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
at "NCCharlotteHomes.com"- Charlotte NC Home & Real Estate Search

Thanks to the Texas Dude on a great post once again! I even added my website as a middle name... see below.  :-)

Jan 24, 2011 09:42 PM #438
Rainmaker
413,959
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

Jason, when I clicked on this Post,

Aloha Jason, when I clicked on this Post, How to generate and track backlinks for your Active Rain profile - A few basic SEO tips, even though I'm on Road Runner, Cable, it took a bit of time for it to come on the screen because of so many comments.  That's a good thing!  I'm going to implement your ideas here on Oahu.  There probably some longer term ActiveRain Rainmakers here already doing it.

Dec 14, 2011 06:28 PM #440
Rainer
72,454
Lang Premier Properties
Lang Premier Properties - Clawson, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Group

Thanks for the tips Jason! Glad I found this...I will definitely be implimenting your ideas!

Jan 31, 2012 03:54 AM #441
Rainer
11,987
Khrystel Melendez
Doral, FL
Realtor at Realty World Doral

VERY HELPFUL, THANKS

Dec 17, 2012 07:55 AM #442
Rainmaker
2,560,183
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Hi Jason.  I had read this a few yrs back and found it very helpful.  However, at some point (maybe a year or more ago) they changed the comment link to no follow.  I remember being very surpised by that.  (Bill Gassett had pointed it out to me).  Anyway, now, I'm checking this again, and it looks like we no longer have links w/ our key words at all, given the latest upgrade.  Rather, there is a link from the photo.

Feb 07, 2014 05:26 PM #443
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