SEO For Photographers: Not All Links Are Created Equal by Lawrence Chan

Unlike the US Declaration of Independence, when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), not all links are created equal. In fact, some are virtually useless in building your PageRank (PR) – Google’s way of ranking websites.

PR is a measurement for a website’s influence or priority. The higher the PR, the more powerful it is. The lower the PR, the less powerful it is … or the less “Google Juice” it has.

The goal is to find relevant inbound links to build your PageRank. There are essentially two types to of relevant links to pay attention to –

topically relevant links rel=”follow” links Topically Relevant Links

Topically relevant links are links that pertain to the same content as your website. Remember that Google’s goal is to display websites that are relevant to a search term.

Therefore, if you’re a photographer, try to get links from photography related websites. It won’t help much if you have links from a bicycle shop.

Rel=”follow” Links

A rel=”follow” link is a link that tells Google or search engines that said website vouches for the destination website. By default, all links are this type.

Sometimes websites do not want to share their PR, so they will put a special code in their links that tell search engines to not follow or share their Google Juice.

An example of a “nofollow” code would look like the following:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Link</a>

The rel=”nofollow” tag in the link code does not transfer any PR to your site. This is important to consider for yourself when linking to others. If you do not want to share your Google Juice, add that code in your HTML.

An example would be sharing traffic with another website, but not necessarily sharing your PR because you’re not 100% sure of that website’s credibility. Linking to a website with negative elements (e.g., porno website) could lead to a potential ban from search engine results.

To see whether someone put a “nofollow” tag on links, you have to view the source code for the website. To do so, right click in the browser and hit “view source.” Source code is the raw content of a website. Next, search the link you’re examining and see if there is a “nofollow” tag in the code (like aforementioned).

It’s important to consider this when trying to increase backlinks. Gaining nofollow links does not help you with PR. Facebook, for example, has a nofollow tag in all of their outbound links. So, it’s fruitless to get any links from them if you’re trying to increase your PR.

Similarly, Pinterest adds a nofollow tag in their links. It doesn’t mean that they’re not worth investing time into. Traffic is still traffic.

All in all, do your research and spend your time wisely when building links!

Be found,


Other SEO articles:

Why SEO is Important to Photographers and How You Can Get Started Think You Know Where You Rank on Search Engines? Think Again. How to Get Your Images to Show Up on Google The Most Common Mistake of SEO SEO Book – Found

SEO E-Book for Modern Photographers — most comprehensive 126-pages of successfully proven strategies

Share this article with your friends and you could win big! One lucky winner that Tweets with the hashtag #foundSEO along with @pictage and @tofurious will win a copy of Lawrence’s new book, “Found- Be Discovered By Those Who Matter.”

About the Author Lawrence Chan is a marketing strategist for smart photographers. While he authora a blog, the ultimate pricing e-book, and a real book, unlike tofu, I sometimes wish I could figuratively eat a book. My propensity for eating and reading, sometimes reading about eating, has been a wonderful precursor for ideas in marketing. He so happens to be a photographer. Discover always.

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The Professional Photographer’s Facebook Strategy Handbook by Lawrence Chan by Lawrence Chan

Are you leveraging the world’s largest social network for your photography business?

Start fine-tuning your Facebook strategy with practical tips and insight from marketing strategist Lawrence Chan in this in-depth guide created exclusively for The Photo Life.


One overlooked feature about Facebook Insights is Engaged Users. I’m not talking about just looking at the number. If you click on the number of Engaged Users, it’ll show you how many people gave “negative feedback.”

A Negative Feedback is not an Unlike. It’s just as bad though. It’s when people decide to hide your posts. So, use this as a measure to see what posts work and what posts don’t.

To see your Insights, follow these instructions:

Go view Insights. Hit “See All.” Under the graph, find the fourth column – Engaged Users. Find the individual Post you want to examine and click on the number of Engaged Users. A window should pop up with the information you …

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6 Steps to Better UX Design by Lawrence Chan

*Update: Congrats to Travis Gray for winning a copy of Lawrence’s new book “Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers!”* Everything you do, wear, drive, eat, and so forth are expressions of your character. If it is you that makes you unique, then let’s talk about the storefront that’s open 24/7 — your website — and see how it’s applicable to other designs as well.

One cannot not communicate: Every behavior is a kind of communication. Because behavior does not have a counterpart (there is no anti-behavior), it is not possible not to communicate. – Paul Watzlawick

Since every behavior is a kind of communication, it would be sensible to first understand our target audience.

1. Project Usability

What is the goal of your viewers? What are they trying to find?

Be clear from the get-go (i.e., a banner that illustrates exactly what your website is supposed to offer).

Image courtesy of

Other concerns might include whether users are using mobile devices. If so, how do you serve them? Keep in mind the possibility of the fall of Flash. Also, be considerate of bandwidth issues, since 3G or 4G data speeds are not the same as broadband speeds at home.

2. Simplify

Simplicity isn’t simple. Apple does it best. Remove clutter that does not define your goal. This includes the choices for wording, color, typography, navigation, etc.

3. Prioritize Your Priorities

Part of having a responsive and simply designed website is to prioritize your priorities. You should limit your menu bar to a minimal number of buttons for navigation.


Too many choices clutter and suffocate. Ever been to a restaurant with 50+ different choices? Oh, the agony of committing to one thing, thus sacrificing the rest.



4. Synthesize a Story

Stories are powerful. Stories disarm.

Synthesize a story explaining why you do what you do and why it should matter to them. And here are some tips on creating an effective About Page.


I have multiple Advent Calendars because I cheat.

5. Define the Next Steps

After users are coaxed to explore your site or blog post, be sure to have clear calls to action. This tells viewers what to do next.


A lot of times, people get to the end of the blog post and won’t have anything to do next. So, the likely thing to happen is that they leave. Don’t let that happen to you.

6. Measure

Using Google Analytics In-Page Analytics or link counters like or can help you measure the success of your navigation efforts.


Otherwise, it’s all just a guess.

Concepts Repurposed

Taking the concepts above, you can even see how the strategies were integrated in the design of my recently published book – Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers.

Since Western Society reads from left to right and from top to bottom, I’ve created multiple calls to action based on this behavior.

Start with the blue, then follow with the red. This “Z” behavior is also used in many magazine and print designs. Pay close attention!


What’s Next?

Here’s my call to action. The Photo Life is graciously hosting a contest for a free copy of my book! To enter to win, leave a question or comment about the topic of this post before Midnight 12/13/11. A randomized winner will be picked!


Lawrence Chan

P.S. Here’s a design strategy that some malls use — in order to travel up and down a level via escalator, department stores require you to walk halfway around the store to the opposite side. The journey to the connecting escalator forces you to have maximum exposure to their products!

P.P.S. Inspired by Ellen, I’m doing a 12-Days of Giveaways starting on December 8th, 2011. Be sure to subscribe to my mailing list.


About Lawrence Chan

I am Lawrence Chan and I’m a marketing strategist for smart photographers.

While I author a blog, the ultimate pricing e-book, and a real book, unlike tofu, I sometimes wish I could figuratively eat a book. My propensity for eating and reading, sometimes reading about eating, has been wonderful precursors for ideas in marketing.

I so happen to be a photographer.

P.S. I like retro cats with lightning bolts from their eyes.

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