Panda squashed bad content. Penguin froze low-quality links. And now, did Hummingbird eat link building? Hummingbird wasn’t just another algorithm update. It was more a re-tooling, behind-the-scenes adjustment to make Google faster and smarter. And it most likely opens the door for a lot more change to come. Let’s take a look at what Hummingbird means for the future of link building. What Is Hummingbird To Online Marketers? It’s a new engine, not a new paint job. It was in effect for 30 days, and we all missed it. It affects 90% of search results. And it’s designed to deliver more relevant results to every user, faster. Danny Sullivan summed it up best: In general, Hummingbird — Google says — is a new engine built on both existing and new parts, organized in a way to especially serve the search demands of today, rather than one created for the needs of ten years ago, with the technologies back then. Unlike other algorithm updates, Google didn’t … [Read more...] about Did Hummingbird Eat Link Building?
Quality link building
Let’s face it: you might have a business or product that is simply not sexy, and it will always be difficult to “build links.” In fact, it might be downright impossible, or just cost prohibitive. For many sites, it’s hard to build links from clients and prospects. And there may be few or no industry blogs to speak of. So, where does one get links? Can every site, regardless of niche or industry, find quality link building opportunities? I’m sure there are some that are truly stuck, but I have seen pretty unexciting sites do some really exciting things that earned links and drove the right traffic. Where do you go when you need to brainstorm some really creative link building ideas? Start by getting as far outside of the box as possible. Start With A Category Map The key to crazy creative link building brainstorming is to get every possible idea on the table. You never know what strange idea might lead you to the link building “gold mine” hiding … [Read more...] about Creative Link Building Ideas For Really Boring Websites
I’m all about systems and processes. That’s the only way to scale. You could be the best link builder in the world, but how are you going to scale that? Until you remove the bottleneck — namely yourself — from the system, you can’t achieve true scale. (At least until human cloning becomes a reality.) Low quality link building is easy to scale (e.g., mindless robotic scripts that send out email spam to webmasters, or huge offshore link building firms), but that’s the path to destruction in the form of Google penalties. Building high quality links — editorial links that are earned by merit — requires high-quality human interaction. After all, bloggers and social media influencers are smart folks, and they relate to their own kind (i.e., other smart folks), not to scripts, bots, or link farming sweatshops. So, how do you scale human interaction? (I’m not talking about Mechanical Turk here or link building sweatshops, either!) … [Read more...] about Scaling & Systematizing Your Link Building
The principles that apply to good marketing are the same principles that apply to good link building. The process to secure links might be unique, but the guiding philosophy should be grounded in traditional marketing. Some think that link building is a magic bullet for SEO, or some sort of “traffic faucet” they can turn on and off as needed. In reality, link building is the manual promotion of an asset to a targeted audience — also known as marketing. The same fundamental philosophies that drive effective marketing drive effective link building: Audience development: Research which sites, communities and online platforms are popular with your audience in order to know where to secure links. Niche research: Analyze linking environment and current market position to strategically pursue links. Competitive analysis: Evaluate competitor backlinks and strategies to set expectations and achieve results. Targeted promotion: Find relevant and valuable opportunities to … [Read more...] about Link building is (specialized) marketing
Content is nearly synonymous with link building these days (or link ‘earning’, depending upon who you talk to). Even Google recently changed their user guidelines, which now imply the need to invest in content: “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.” This is a shift from their previous guidelines, which read: “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.” And, with the proliferation of content marketing (not to mention guest post link building), content has seen more emphasis today than ever before. That’s without even mentioning Penguin, which strictly enforces link quality over link quantity. Seemingly all of the non-content strategies have been abandoned in favor of long term investments that take a lot of time, money, and resources to pull off. But, there are still … [Read more...] about 5 Link Building Opportunities Minus the Content