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A Publisher’s Rant – Why I Hate Your Byline
by: Halstatt Pires

I’m a publisher for numerous sites. I HATE many of your articles. Here’s why I hate the byline of your article and what you can do about it.


The byline of an article is your chance to pimp your site and yourself. I don’t really care what you write. There only time I would forgo using an article because of the byline would be if you’re one of those people that writes seven or eight lines of text. Please try to keep it to three lines or less.

Something To Consider

If you’re writing articles, you undoubtedly know it is a great way to build the link count for a site. Assume you put two links in the byline of an article. Assume further that 60 sites publish your article. You have effectively generated 120 links for your site, a number that would take forever if you were pursuing reciprocal link trades.

Article links are also valued highly by search engines because they are inbound only links. In the “minds” of a search engine, inbound links are far more valuable than reciprocal links. Inbound links are interpreted as an indication the site in question has highly relevant information and should be ranked high in search engine results. If you don’t believe me, give some thought to the IRS.

The IRS has an excellent site covering every tax topic you could possible imagine. The IRS doesn’t link to anyone, yet it ranks at or near the top of the search rankings for practically every tax keyword phrase. Why? Roughly 971,000 sites link to the IRS. These sites include CPA firms, newspapers and so on. All of the links are inbound. Get it?

Keywords and Bylines

When writing your byline, don’t just blabber on about how great you are and so on. You are wasting the links when you do so. If you need an ego boost, go talk to yourself in front of a mirror. Instead, the byline should contain the keywords you emphasize on your site. If you do this, the search engines will associate the links with the keywords and move the appropriate pages of your site up in the rankings.

Assume you’ve written an e-book on how to lose weight and have a site. Assume further that your primary keyword phrase on the home page of your site is “how to lose weight”. Your byline should read something like:

“Halstatt is with http://www.domainname… - teaching people how to lose weight permanently. Dropping pounds is easy to do once you learn how to lose weight.”

You’ve now correlated your inbound link increases to the keyword phrase you are trying to get ranked under. Rankings are sure to follow if you keep pounding articles.

Unfortunately, most people write bylines such as:

“Halstatt was a fat slob until he had a moment of enlightenment after eating bad sushi. While spending a miserable night in the bathroom, he found that food poising was an effective way to regain his self-respect and get washboard abs. Visit http:www.domainname to read more.”

Do you see the difference? The first byline is going to move you up the search engine rankings quickly. The sushi byline isn’t going to help nearly as much. It doesn’t even include the correct keyword phrase!

Again, I rarely discard an article because of a byline unless it is over four lines. Many of you, however, could get better mileage out of yours.

About The Author

Halstatt Pires is with the Internet marketing firm - - a San Diego Internet marketing and advertising company.

This article was posted on November 22, 2005


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