Perhaps you’ve heard of it, perhaps not. Maybe you’ve heard people in the SEO community refer to “ALN” and had no idea what they were talking about. Well, in this post, I’m going to shed a bit of light and offer my thoughts on this particular “link network” after having tinkered with it.
Some time ago, I blogged about the pros and cons of blog networks, and I went into some detail about blog networks in general. Authority Link Network (aka “ALN”) is basically a blog network, but it is unlike any other one I’ve ever used. The main thing that sets ALN apart from the other ones I’ve tried in the past is that along with the paid option you would expect, there is also a “free” option.
Yes, the quotation marks around the word “free” imply that there is a catch. However, it’s a pretty dang neat catch. If you want to get access to ALN without paying, you simply have to add a blog or two of your own to the network. This pretty brilliant system makes it so that fresh, quality blogs are constantly being added to the network. Naturally, there are some guidelines for sites that are submitted to be accepted.
- You can only submit sites that are built on the WordPress CMS, version 2.6 or newer. If you are running older versions than 2.6, finding a good blog network is probably the least of your problems.
- The “Hello World” default WordPress post must be removed. No brainer.
- The default blogroll must also be removed. Sorry, I know you like linking to WordPress Planet whenever possible.
- XML-RPC must be enabled. If you don’t know what this is, it doesn’t matter. Just go to the “Writing” section under the “Settings” tab in your WordPress backend area and click the box to enable it.
- The blog can’t exist in a subdomain or a subdirectory. It needs to be on the root of the site.
- You must use any theme OTHER than the default WordPress theme on the site. Don’t be lazy.
- Have multiple categories (every post shouldn’t be posted under “uncategorized”).
- The site MUST be PR1 or higher. PR0 sites are not accepted. Also, if you are submitting a site with a TLD other than any of the following: .com .net .org .info .co .ca .me .us .biz .co.uk .com.au .net.au .ws and .t, it will basically count as only half of a regular submission.
If it seems like they are a bit picky, that’s because they are. The strict guidelines help ensure that the network isn’t clogged up with a bunch of junk sites. There are some other obvious rules (you can’t remove articles/links that have been posted to your sites) and a few not-so obvious rules. You’ll have to read through their FAQ for detailed info.
If you don’t want to bother with adding your own sites to the network, there is always the paid option. The cheapest plan (called the “Basic” plan) currently costs $14.95/mo. Considering the quality of the sites on this network versus most of the networks I’ve seen/used, I think that’s an extremely reasonable price.
Click here to get started with ALN.