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Since publishing this post I have discovered the below tweak that can be used as a work around for this method.
In this post, I will be showing you a simple trick that will not only strengthen your contextual tiers, improve their indexing rate but also save you system resources that many people waste on dead link types that can be put to better use elsewhere. I have previously touched on this in my ultimate guide to GSA Search Engine Ranker but I will cover it in more detail in this post.
Now before we get started I quickly want to clarify one point that I often see new users to the tool getting confused with and that’s the difference between the article platform and contextual articles when using GSA Search Engine Ranker.
Essentially the article platform is a group of engines that are based on the article directory type content management system such as Drupal, Joomla and WordPress, while some of these engines will allow users to submit articles to them many will also only allow a user to create a simple profile.
Contextual articles is a full blow article posted to a site, it will have a few hundred words, sometimes up to or over 1000 as well as the option to include media such as an image or video in the submission.
But Someone Has Already Shown Me How To Select Contextual Link Types
I can see why so many people are making this mistake while thinking they are selecting true contextual engines that will build out full articles. I believe part of the problem lies with the way SER carries out these options and I will cover this in a little more detail later in the post as well as with users making guides for the tool when they don’t understand what they are doing and have never actually ranked a site with GSA Search Engine Ranker.
Time and time again I see people posting guides and telling users to use the following navigation in the screenshot below to select contextual engines within the tool.
While this is partly correct, it is only half of the job and I am yet to see a guide where the publisher tells you the other half of correctly selecting your contextual engine types. Essentially when you run the navigation in the screenshot above the user will then be presented with the options in the screenshot below.
As you can see the user is presented with a few options when trying to select contextual engines, here is a little breakdown of what they do.
- Allow All – Keeps contextual engine types selected that can post both article and profiles on a target domain.
- Articles Only – Keeps only the engine types that can post articles to a target domain.
- Profiles Only – Keeps only the engine types that can post profiles to a target domain.
- Cancel – Cancels the navigation.
In my opinion, these options are totally useless and do not behave in the way they should when selected. There are many engines that can post both articles and profiles that are left checked no matter what option above the user selects. For this option to run correctly GSA Search Engine Ranker should also update the “Type of backlinks to creation” pane in the options tab to reflect the choice the user makes.
For example, at the time of writing say the user selects the articles only option above. They will be left with every article platform engine selected, most of the social network engines selected, all but one of the wiki engines selected as well as some random engines on other platforms.
As the tool does not auto-updated the “Type of backlinks to create” pane in the screenshot above at least 18 of the engines left selected will also be building profile links for the user as well as 6 of the engines only submitting profiles due to the “Article-Wiki” type of backlink not being selected by default in a new project.
This results in many users creating links, thinking they are actually contextual articles while many of them will only be profiles. You can go out and try it for yourself, use the navigation I show in the first screenshot in the post selecting articles only the first times and note the engines left selected. Run the navigation a second time selecting profiles only and compare the engine cross over you have while checking if the”Type of backlinks to create” pane updates.
So Whats The Big Deal With These Profiles?
Well, let’s take a look, below are three contextual profiles chosen at random from a bunch I had GSA Search Engine Ranker create for this post.
As you can see, all three screenshots are extremely thin on content, to be exact all three profiles have less than 100 words on them with no insertable media and this is about average from what you will get when building contextual profiles on any content management system.
Well, Whats So Important About Contextual Articles?
Well, let’s have a quick look at what an actual contextual article created with GSA Search Engine Ranker looks like
Although I couldn’t fit it all in the screenshot, this particular page has almost 900 words on it as well as an image that is controlled by the user. Now, what do you think has the higher chance of getting indexed by Google? A profile with less than 100 words on it, or an article with almost 900 words and an image embedded on it?
Now this next part is only my theory but I believe if a link is not indexed in Google then it offers no value and passes no link juice. My logic is that if Google sees no reason to hold the page within its index then why would it give any benefit to anything that page links to? Like I said, it’s just my theory and I currently have too much on to run a case study to test it.
So let’s say you don’t remove the contextual profile type from your tiers. For example sake lets say your tier one and tier two campaigns are made up of 50% contextual profiles and you can only get a fraction of those indexed. Just imagine how much time and resources you have wasted not only building them all but also building all of the links pointing to them that are in my opinion now useless as the page they are linking to is probably not indexed.
Okay, I’m Sold! How Do I Ditch The Profiles?
It’s simple, all you have to do is deselect the “Profile-Contextual” option in the “Types of backlinks to create” pane in the options tab, while you are at it also deselect all of the options for “Micromessage” as a few engines such as BuddyPress will make a contextual profile type link using the micromessage link type. It is almost always no follow and it has little to no content on it so will be hard if not impossible to index.
In fact, my contextual article projects only have the “Article” and “Article-Wiki” options selected as shown in the screenshot below.
I Did What You Said But I Still Get Profiles! What Gives?
Although your contextual article projects will now be set up correctly for the majority of engines there are still a few that slip through such as the article engine OSClass. Below is a screenshot of what GSA Search Engine Ranker classes as a contextual article for the OSClass engine.
As you can see, it is actually just a profile and in my opinion totally worthless. To get around this I just manually disabled the OSClass engine.
Wrapping It Up
Well firstly I want to apologize for writing almost 1400 words on something so simple as a couple of tick boxes but I rather go into detail and explain the theory behind why you do this rather than just tell you what to do as it enables you to make informed decisions in the future with your projects. That being said I hope a few of you learned something from this post and now have the knowledge to build better tiers for your projects and see some results.