How to rank your Proz.com profile – or most other translator directory profiles for that matter…
Today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite SEO things: PARASITE RANKINGS!!! Bhuaahahahhaaaaaaa
Behold, the Majestic Tape Worm plushie
A parasite ranking is when you take a page from another website and optimize it so that it appears in the search results for your keyword. There are a lot of ways to do this, the most common of which is creating content on a web 2.0 site (a website that allows/encourages users to create site content instead of creating it themselves), like WordPress.com, Blogger, Weebly, Wix, TheOpenMic.co, YouTube, and in this example, Proz.com.
The reason that we do this is that websites gain authority over time and with strong backlinks. These sites happen to be much stronger than one that we build fresh, so they’ll appear faster and higher in search results. The downside is that we don’t have very much control over the site if any at all. Also, you’re limited to the content that the host site allows. Blogger is very open and works great, but Proz only lets you really mess around with the “about” section of your profile. You can’t add blog posts, new content or anything else. There’s one more little part of the backlink and authority thing I mentioned: the kinds of websites that provide backlinks will influence what kind of keywords the site will rank for. You probably won’t see Proz appear if you’re searching for glue factories, but it will appear for anything and everything related to translation – simply because those are the backlinks, the anchor text that’s being used, and the type of traffic that it receives. That’s why we’re using Proz in this example.
Now, if you plan to use a different platform, you want to confirm two things before you get started: First, you want to see what kind of metrics the site has. For this, I would recommend copying the site URL and going to majestic.com. It’ll show you the site Trust Flow, which represents the quality of backlinks it has, and Citation Flow, which represents the number of backlinks it has.
Stick the link to your own website in there and see how it looks… Here’s www.tagtranslations.com
See the difference? They have almost 2 million backlinks and I have 5. Proz kicks my butt, metrically speaking, so they’re going to rank WAY higher than I would for the same search terms. If using a different platform, you want to make sure that their metrics are high enough to be competitive. Basically, the higher these numbers are, the better.
The other thing that you want to double check is that the profile page that you create is indexed by Google. Some website owners know that people are using their sites this way and don’t want it to continue, so they tell Google that they don’t want certain pages to appear in the search results. They do this by marking those pages as “no index” which simply means that those pages are not added to Google’s index of websites. We can see if a site indexes these pages or not with a simple Google search. Go to Google and type in the following: “site:yoururlhere.com” obviously, you replace the “yoururlhere” with your URL… right there. Proz would look like this: “site:proz.com” or my site would be “site:tagtranslations.com.” This will show all the pages of the site that appear in Google’s index. If you want to see specific pages, you simply paste the full URL. To see if my Proz profile is indexed, I enter: “site:proz.com/translator/1280944”
We want to make sure that the page in question appears in the results. You might see a lot of pages, or just one or two. As long as the one you’re looking for is in the top few results, you’re good. Technically speaking, if it shows up, then you know that it’s been indexed. This also happens to be a way that we check for website penalties. If there are a lot of other websites that show up before the one we want, then the site may be penalized and your parasite ranking is useless. Google normally shows up #1, so don’t worry about that. If you think your site has been penalized email me at Triston@utahseo.ninja and I’ll take a look.
Now, I know that’s a lot of legwork, but if you use Proz, you don’t have to worry about any of this because I just did all the work for you.
Almost 800 words into this post and we haven’t actually done anything to our Proz profile yet…
Let’s look at those search results again
There are two parts here that we want to pay attention to:
Our name and our description
Our names are pretty easy to figure out. If you’re using a fake name or some kind of nickname on Proz, I would advise that you use your real name. This is a business and people need to be able to find you if you expect to get any work. You can use your business name if you prefer. I see a lot of people saying that they worry about stalkers or whatever. But, if you expect to find clients like this, putting “Don Trisquite de la Mancha” as my username is not going to help me. Would you work with a company called “PuppyLover777”?
Anyways, ranting aside, you’ll notice that the site description, the part that appears under the name and URL, comes straight from my About Me section
That little snippet is something that you usually edit separately, but in the case of most of these parasite profiles, it takes the description from your “about me” section. Now, what we put there is very important. In fact, I need fix mine because it could be better. You want to make sure that the search term that you’re targeting appears at the beginning of your about me and that you support your claim with some enticing information. I would change mine to read “Spanish to English translation. Legal, Business, IT, and Immigration translator in Utah | 10 years of experience” You only have so much space to use there, so be efficient and direct. You only have 150 something characters to convince your client that they should click on your link and not someone else’s.
If you need help finding a search term to target you can hire someone to do the keyword research for you.
This whole process is called on-page optimization. You do the same thing to your own website, or video, or whatever. This is typically enough to rank for low to semi-competitive keywords. I would suggest targeting a language pair + location keyword (Spanish to English translator Utah) since that’s typically easier and you can take over an entire area. You may get fewer clients at first, but you’ll build up a reputation for being THE BEST TRANSLATOR EVER and you’ll get referrals. If you get work outside your language pair or expertise, you can outsource. We’ll talk about that in another post.
If you’re feeling devious, target a language pair + industry (Spanish to English video game translator). It might be more competitive, but I’m about to show you how to beef up your parasite. This is great because you can find clients that are specifically looking for you and your services. They just won’t be local.
Now, ranking for more competitive keywords like this is possible, but it’ll cost you some money. You can take your profile and send additional backlinks to it. This is technically a gray area in Google’s terms of service. They don’t want us to “buy links” however, you can buy an article on another website and they’ll place a link to your parasite. The risk, if you want to call it that, is that you purchase a lot of poor quality links in an attempt to game the system, you could receive a penalty on your site. Now, Proz is such a HUGE site that even if you were to do something crazy/stupid and buy 20,000 links, it probably wouldn’t actually hurt anything. It’s a question of ratios, and Proz has almost 2 million backlinks. An extra 20,000 would only be 1% of what it already has. Hardly enough to end the world. If you were to attempt this, I recommend buying your articles from Konker.io. Sure, there are other platforms, but if you wouldn’t buy a translation from Fiverr, why would you buy support for your website?
A common question related to all of this is if the site owner will be upset that we’re using the site in this way, especially if we decide to purchase additional links to help it rank better. The short answer is no. Those backlinks actually make the site stronger as a whole, not just your one page, so they’ll grow and rank better as a result – and that usually means more money. The additional traffic is helpful for them as well.
The last thing that I wanted to mention is that these techniques are not instantaneous. Depending on the site, it could take anywhere from an hour to a couple months for Google to find your new profile or to find any updates that you’ve made to that profile. You can help speed it along by going to Google and typing “submit URL to google” in the search bar. Copy/paste the URL of your profile, confirm that you’re not a robot, and press confirm. It’s significantly faster to do it this way, but still not instant.
Doing this for the right search term can bring a lot of traffic and new clients to your business. Like everything else in business, you need to set aside the time and resources necessary to complete this process and to allow time for it to grow. Make sure to keep your eyes on your analytics to see what’s working best – giving you the best return on investment.
Pro Tip: make sure to include a link to your own website on these profiles. They will count as backlinks and your site will get stronger as a result. Not all of them will work, but I explained all of that in this post here.
That’s how it works, now go do it. No one’s going to do it for you… Well, you could get someone to do it for you, but you’ll have to pay them.