Does anybody else hear R.E.M. (video autoplay) playing in their heads every time they open a post about link building? Link building as we knew it is changing drastically; and seriously folks, it’s getting hard to write about. What’s the latest breaking news? Spammy guest posting for links is dead now! No surprise there — that’s been a long time coming. (My magic eight ball says infographic links have been on the chopping block for a while now, too… along with nearly everything else we used to call “link building.”) I think we are watching SEO practices dissolve into the broader framework of content marketing and inbound marketing — and this is a good thing for everybody. It’s good for Google because converting SEOs to content marketers means less spam to fight. It’s good for users since content marketing focuses on giving consumers what they want, not stuffing keywords to deliver annoying ads. And it’s good for … [Read more...] about 4 Content Marketing Strategies That Still Build Links
We’ve talked recently about the overlap of SEO and Public Relations, and as companies continue to shift away from old link building tactics toward more outreach-focused tactics, the landscape becomes even blurrier. While SEO isn’t taking over PR any time soon (or ever, for that matter), we are increasingly working more closely with our marketing brethren. For search marketers, this means having a better understanding of how we can best work with PR and communications teams to get results, avoid overlap, and make the client (or your boss) happy, specifically when it comes to link building. I spoke to a couple PR professionals to get a better idea of how they currently work with SEO teams and to get any suggestions on how PR and SEO teams can collaborate. Here’s what they had to say: 1. Be Aware Of Boundaries It’s really important when working with other marketing firms to establish, understand and respect boundaries. Companies — especially PR firms — … [Read more...] about 5 Tips For Working With A PR Firm To Build Links
There are a hundred and one tasks in today’s marketing world designed to improve your online visibility: social media, PPC, content marketing, retargeting, blogging, email marketing, on-site and on-page optimization, content strategy, contests, partnerships, etc. etc. Why bother with link building? Isn’t link building dead? The fact of the matter is, if you’re working to improve your online visibility in 2014, links should be a consideration. Here are six important reasons why: Link building is still the best way to improve search visibility Links aren’t going away anytime soon, and might in fact be the litmus test for future signals Building links can increase brand exposure Link building naturally goes hand in hand with other online marketing activities Link building can help create and propel new relationships Links send positive signals to Google, and can help improve a bad backlink profile. Let’s look at each of them in detail. 1. Link Building Is … [Read more...] about Why Build Links? 6 Reasons You Should Be Link Building in 2014
In other words, every single link you build should be intended for your audience. If you ever find yourself obtaining links you wouldn’t want your audience to find, you’re likely being manipulative — or, at the very, least building worthless links. Sometimes, link builders focus too much on how Google values links. I’m not suggesting you forget Google when you build links — everyone is well aware of the power links have in Google’s algorithm — but rather that you pursue links with an audience-centric focus. There are several tangible benefits to approaching link acquisition with an audience-first mindset: Focusing on your audience creates additional marketing value. An audience-first mentality guides link prospecting. Centering your link strategy around your audience leads to better links. When you focus on acquiring links for your audience, you’re doing real link building, and real marketing. Focusing On Your Audience Creates … [Read more...] about Building Links For Your Audience
Link building isn’t some mystical SEO hack. Building links is straightforward: find relevant sites that have a reason to link and convince them to link. Why would another site link to yours? For a variety of reasons: because a relationship already exists; because they’re talking about your business/products; because you’re a valuable resource for their audience; or because you’re involved in the same community events. These are other reasons, of course. Links represent a relationship and connection online. If you want to build links without creating content, then you should be looking for opportunities created by existing relationships and connections. Providing value is essential to earning links. You’ll never secure meaningful links unless there is value in the link for the other site—value for them, their website and their audience. Any link-building tactic (including content creation) can be abused, and you shouldn’t build relationships and … [Read more...] about How to build links without creating content: 5 examples
Years ago, I founded a link building firm based on the simple concept of only pursuing real links on real websites with a relevant audience, using a customized approach. Eric Ward was my mentor, and frankly, I felt there were a dearth of agencies taking low-quality approach. I noticed a need in the market, and believed I could help meet market demand. This was pre-Penguin, so it wasn’t the popular strategy, but I strongly believed in creating value – for humans, the web, and my clients. I never wanted to waste my time chasing junk links. This was a difficult decision and route. I often worried about the fate of my business. Spam still worked, and it worked well. But at the end of the day, building links for humans won out. As with any successful business, I have been lucky in a few respects: I was able to hire truly wonderful people who share my ethos. My timing was serendipitous. Within a year, the first version of Penguin affirmed my business strategy. I was able to find … [Read more...] about 5 Lessons I’ve Learned Building Links for Enterprise Clients
When it comes to building an online presence, many brands still believe they can take the easy way out. Although the icky days of black hat SEO and link stuffed copy have gone the way of the dinosaurs, it’s not uncommon for a new or budding company (still) to think they’ll succeed by rattling off cheap, backlink-stuffed online content. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Today, readers (and Google) are more discerning than they’ve ever been before, and the only way to build an online presence that lasts is to create content that’s designed to offer genuine value and relevance – to both of them. I’m not talking about cheap, one-off, thoughtless stuff meant to drive quick rankings: I’m talking about thoughtful, in-depth, relevant content that offers something real. Today, I’m here sharing why building links alone doesn’t work anymore, and the types of content you should absolutelybe investing in to seriously grow your … [Read more...] about Why Just Building Links Doesn’t Work Anymore
The general perception that Google isn’t effective at catching paid links (for example, JCPenney was not penalized until an article from The New York Times called out the issue), The perceived industry consensus about the use of paid links (referencing an SEOptimise survey from September 2011, polling SEOs on whether they do or would buy links), Google’s subjective definition constituting the “buying links” or participating in “link schemes” designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. Throughout the discussion, I watched as audience members with varying degrees of experience nodded, smirked, and furrowed their brows. With Google’s own webmaster guidelines indicating that site owners shouldn’t “participate in link schemes designed to increase [a] site’s ranking or PageRank,” how do you know if you’re participating in a so-called “link scheme” or simply building links to better your SEO … [Read more...] about B2B Marketers: Are You Buying Links or Building Links?
If you’re wondering what factors to consider as you build your SEO strategy for 2017, links are still the top-ranking factor for Google’s algorithm with content close behind. And high CTR is still at the core of the rankings pack as well. Earlier this year, Andrey Lipattsev, a Google Search Quality Senior Strategist, fielded questions about the top ranking factors for Google. Lipattsev said, “I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.” Recent Study Put Links to the Ranking Factor Test A recent study by Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting put links to the ranking factor test. And links emerged as powerful as ever. Previous research by Moz and Searchmetrics found a high correlation when comparing high SEO rankings and external links. However, data from other ranking factors were close behind links. For example, the Moz study found the number of external links to be rated at 0.30, but the Moz authority rated at 0.28, … [Read more...] about Building your SEO strategy in 2017: what’s most important?
In a recent Google+ live hangout, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, John Mueller, answered a common question: “Is link building in any way good?” His answer was somewhat surprising. “In general, I’d try to avoid that,” he said, indicating that link building, long believed to be an essential process in SEO, is no longer advisable. Mueller elaborated on his answer, saying that Google does take links into consideration as part of its ranking algorithm, but that building links directly isn’t the right way to go about it. He stated that your goal should be to make sure your content “stands on its own” and easy for your users to share on their own blogs and websites. He also downplayed the importance of links, insisting that the ranking algorithm takes many factors into consideration, and building links might ultimately do more harm than good for your site. Links Doing More Harm Than Good? The short version of Mueller’s response is … [Read more...] about What’s The State Of Link Building For SEO In 2015 & Beyond?