This section contains link building articles, covering advanced link building tips, tricks and strategies. Also in this section are interviews with some of the Web's most prolific and well-known link builders.
Link Juice Guide: Link Juice Draining Process Find Internal Prospects Add Keyword Links Record Results Case Study Bonus Link Juice Pages One of the biggest, missed opportunities I see in SEO is wasted link juice. SEOs and link builders alike are in relentless pursuit of high value links and the equity and semantic relevance that those coveted links carry.
However, the irony is they often overlook vast, untapped reservoirs of concentrated link juice on the very Web properties these SEO link builders control: their own or their client's sites. So when I visit a site and see page after page of equity-rich pages that haven't been "milked" of their juice properly, I get a little glum :(. So if you are sitting on lagoons of link juice, how do you drain these equity reservoirs? That's pretty ea... > Read more
Previous SEO techniques used to mainly involve buying links, as many as you could afford to get, as you knew that if you bought enough of them your website would rank highly. Link buying still takes place and there is still a significant link buying economy. However, because of Google’s penalties and threats thereof, link buying is in decline.
I don’t think it will ever vanish, but anyone with something significant to lose tends to think twice before they go on some link buying spree. I personally don’t have an ethical or moral issue with paid links. However, we as an SEO company have stopped doing it for our clients, as I don’t think the rewards outweigh the risks. The ROI of paid links is in decline too as Google’s algorithm gets more efficient at filtering them out, so you nee... > Read more
If you have a website, I'm sure you’ve put a lot of hard work and long hours into making it a valuable resource for your visitors. But if your links aren't working, it can derail all of your hard work. Broken links on your website can be harmful in two ways: They make for a bad user experience – When users click on links and reach dead-end 404 errors, they get frustrated and may never return.
They devalue your SEO efforts – Broken links restrict the flow of link equity throughout your site, which impacts rankings negatively. To avoid these potential pitfalls, you should periodically check for broken links on your entire website. If you’re wondering how to do this, you’re not alone. The good news is we’ve done this work before and we’ve documented everything in a step-by-ste... > Read more
Today Garrett and Ben over at Ontolo launched their Link Building Toolset to the world. We got a chance to catch up with them and get a sense of what their tool does and how it's different from the industry standard for backlink prospecting: competitor backlinks. Note: To thank early adopters during the launch of their new Link Building Toolset, Ontolo is offering a 25% discount that ends today (4/27/2010) at 9 p.
m. PST. They've let us know that they will never offering this service at this low of a price again, and that the pricing is good through all future upgrades, price changes, etc. First off, here's what it does, in their words: "We start with your targeted SEO Keywords. Using these we deliver, each and every week, new link prospects to you that have been crawled and analyzed by ove... > Read more
Go to any SEO forum and you’ll find the obligatory post from a confused, link building noob wondering, "How do I create amazing backlinks?"In the post, the frustrated linker claims they’ve tried everything to build quality backlinks: free directories, profile links, article submissions, comment spamming, etc.
But nothing works. Despite all their low value efforts, they can't leapfrog their competitors in the SERPs, so they're pleading with others to share their secrets to building amazing, stupendous, superfantastic backlinks.Trouble is, those secrets don't exist.There are no magic shortcuts, no highly classified insider hacks to getting quality links for your website. Building amazing backlinks takes work. But that's the last thing the forum vagrants want to hear. They want a quick fi... > Read more
A while back we interviewed a handful of link-building experts (Garrett French and Ben Wills, Wiep Knol, Debra Mastaler, and Julie Joyce) on everything from what features they'd want in their ultimate link-building tool to how to brainstorm linkbait. Here, you can find all of their answers to eight key SEO link-building questions in one place.
What factors go into a quality link?Which link building tools do you recommend?What features would the ultimate link analysis tool include?What are some strategies for brainstorming and creating linkbait?How does social media change the link building game?How should marketers go about making link requests?If I engage in link buying, how can I avoid being caught by Google?What's a better link: one from an authoritative website, or one from a high... > Read more
For the link-building search nerd, little matches the joy of scoring a really great link. About a month ago, a post on my personal blog got a link from The Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan's blog, which is ranked #12 on Technorati's Top 100 Blogs and has a Toolbar PageRank of 8. Now, I'm pretty sure Andrew Sullivan doesn't subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter (to be fair, I don't follow him either).
So how did this come about? Via domino effect: Over the course of about 15 days, I accumulated a series of inbound links, including a few quality links early on, one of which was clearly the tip-off for the Daily Dish link. This very high-authority link (which, sadly, went up over a weekend) sent a big spike of traffic and led to a mini-long-tail of links from sites and blogs with mid-range... > Read more
Last week I landed a spot in the most watched television broadcast on the planet. The International Olympic Committee estimated that 450 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the Women's Figure Skating Finals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics – more than the population of the entire US – and I was in the TV coverage! How did I do it? By applying a variation of Ken's link baiting strategy! Goals of My Link Bait Campaign One of my more ridiculous objectives in life is to achieve TV fame.
Now unfortunately I don't have any acting talents, great looks, or anything else remarkable for that matter – so I figure my only hope to achieve my goal is to ride someone else's coat-tails to TV stardom. (Yes, I know, this is pretty sad). And I don't want to be a guest on some d... > Read more
Arnie Kuenn is the president and founder of Vertical Measures, LLC, as well as the founder and president of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) and has presented at SMX Advanced, AMA Phoenix, Pubcon and many online webinars. Follow him on Twitter: @ArnieK. Can you tell us a little about Vertical Measures and your role there? Vertical Measures is a full-service internet marketing and link building company in Phoenix.
We help our clients gain more business from their websites by providing internet marketing solutions using innovative and ethical strategies. We achieve this by developing expertise across multiple disciplines while constantly adapting to current trends. The company is comprised of a group of individuals with backgrounds in internet marketing, social media, we... > Read more
Recently at WordStream, we launched our first link bait campaign. By our standards, the campaign was successful, and we thought we'd share the details on how to build a linkbait campaign. How to Get Links from New York Times: A Case Study In a nutshell, we attribute the campaign's success to setting clear objectives, creating killer content and aggressive marketing.
What resulted from our hard work, planning and execution was a link from one of the most trusted sources on the planet: The New York Times. Case Study Contents: Planning Phase Goal Setting Link Bait Creation Link Bait Promotion Campaign Results How did we do it? Read on and find out how to get a link from the New York Times. Link Bait Campaign Intro: Before You Start, Have a Plan! You may be wondering how to start link baitin... > Read more
As part of my SEO services for clients, I build links. Most SEOs agree that manually building and begging for links is tedious and even loathsome, but a necessary evil. Without links, you don't rank. It's that simple.Like many link builders, I've discovered what I call "link equity wells:" prime link juice target sites that pass trust, equity and aren't impossible to acquire links on.
Now, I'm not talking about low value article directories or forum signature links. These are solid, moderate value links that I tap for juice to client sites as needed. Downside is, revisiting the same link wells again and again is not only laborious, it's inefficient. Face it, link building on its own sucks, but having to repeat the exact same link activities on each new client site can be mind-numbing. It's... > Read more
As the link profile of WordStream.com continues to grow and grow, we realized it was time to purchase software that would assist us in managing our ballooning link database. Up until now, we'd been tracking all of our link acquisitions and link outreach efforts in Excel. But Excel has serious limitations, due in part because it's not built for link management.
As active link builders, our goal was to find a product that was designed specifically for our link management needs. And as Garret French espoused in Link Building Trends for 2010: "2010 will be the year of “link relationship management” software, and more and more link building firms will shift away from spreadsheets." I wholeheartedly agree. Why do you need a link management tool? If you're serious about link building and... > Read more
Julie Joyce is the cofounder and director of operations at the link development firm Link Fish Media, Inc. Headquartered in Greensboro, NC, Link Fish Media specializes in building links for the most competitive industries. On the Link Fish site, you talk about the importance of "managing your links." What does link management entail? Oh dear, you looked at that site? Ha! We've ignored it, we're trying to agree on how to redo it, and generally I just can't bear to look at it.
OK, so link management ... Link management is taking an active interest in your links, basically. It's understanding your link profile with the recognition that a one-size-fits-all approach will work about as well as it would with actual human beings being managed. There will be great links that send tons of qualified ... > Read more
We've been following Penn State Professor Jim Jansen and his PPC Advertising course for a while now, eagerly awaiting the outcome of his class's competition for the best performing nonprofit PPC campaign. Which got me thinking--those involved in nonprofits understand the difficulty of initiating a PPC campaign for their cause, and as much as I'd like to preach about the ease and importance of PPC for all businesses, nonprofits included, we'll save that until after Jim's results are in (mostly so we can read about the lessons his class learned and then pass them off as our own).
In the meantime, we'll focus instead on link building. In my experience, mentioning "link building" among nonprofit professionals mostly results in blank stares and disinterested looks, so we'll start slow. For a mo... > Read more
Wiep Knol is a link marketer from the Netherlands. He learned about online marketing during his study in 2004, and was hooked instantly. Two years later, he was hired to set up a link marketing service at Tribal Internet Marketing. Now, Wiep works as a partner for LinkBuilding.nl, and he runs a few other online projects as well.
Want to read more? Check out Wiep's link building blog, or follow him on Twitter. You recently started your own consultancy. What was the impetus for the switch, and what are your plans for the future? Do you want to create your own agency, or remain independent indefinitely? The main reason for me to start on my own was freedom. Being able to make decisions you want, taking on clients you 100% want to take on, and focusing on the stuff you really love to do.... > Read more
Dixon Jones is the managing director of the respected UK Internet marketing consultancy Receptional, which heads up the marketing of MajesticSEO, the world's largest open anchor text link map of the web. He has spoken at Internet marketing conferences including Pubcon, SMX, SES and International Search Summit.
To learn more about Dixon Jones, check out his website or follow him on Twitter: @Receptional. Tell us a little bit about your roles, both at Receptional and at Majestic SEO. I publicly took over the marketing role at director level at Majestic SEO in the summer, after a long discussion with Alex, who is a brilliant programmer and who – I believe – has built something absolutely world-class. I’m not used to working for someone else, as also I founded Receptional, an Intern... > Read more
Ben Wills and Garrett French are the cofounders of Ontolo, a link building agency. Check out their link building blog or follow them on Twitter: @benwills and @GarrettFrench. (Note: Also check out Ari Ozick's SEO Contrarian blog for a similar series of interviews with link building gurus Tuesdays of this month.
) What factors go into a "quality" link? Garrett: Backlink profile of prospective linker -- which sites link to the page and the site as a whole An engaged, relevant audience Distribution and reach of target site -- are they social media participants? Do they have an email newsletter? How far will your link there take you? Ben: Relevance and value Keywords used on page, etc. Quantity and quality of backlinks Relevance of entire site Relevance of entire site's backlinks Whi... > Read more
All this month we'll be interviewing link building experts on the WordStream blog. First up is Debra Mastaler. ( Does great content market itself? Yes and no. This really depends on the reputation of the person/company producing the content. Those with a good rep can publish and have content pushed forward, even if it's not so great.
Strong reputations carry tremendous power. Those without a reputation will need to work at pushing content and building their power base. Do you believe in linkbait? If so, what are some strategies for creating it? Interesting question, I've never been asked if I "believe" in something link-related before. Let's see ... I use it, I think it's effective and I think it adds diversity to your content mix which is important when trying to tap into new traff... > Read more
Link builders often talk about competitive link analysis and exploring your competitors' link profiles to find link opportunities. The logic here is a link profile that works for one site may work for a similar site. And executed properly, this can be an effective link strategy.But I'd like to share a link building tactic you've probably never read about.
It's very effective and based on the same approach and logic as competitive link analysis. Besides analyzing links on competitor sites, you should also be examining your own link profiles for link opportunities, specifically the profiles of your best performing pages. The objective here is to replicate the success of your strongest ranking page on your weaker ranking pages.Why is this link building tactic successful?If it's working for on... > Read more
Apologies for the (slightly) misleading headline on dofollow links. You won’t find something like this within this article. What you will find is a means for accumulating passive, recurring, and authoritative links to content by leveraging the popularity and search prominence of Wikipedia (which I assume probably sounds pretty good, too).
Quality Link-building Strategy: Define a Query Set Find Heavily Trafficked Pages Create A Resource Insert Link Appropriately Wikipedia is Where Research is Being Done There are a number of bloggers, journalists, students, and others in control of Web content who rely on some combination of Google and Wikipedia to research a topic. This can be evidenced by a couple of handy graphs. Lots of people visit Wikipedia, Compete puts the estimate at somewhere ... > Read more
Photo courtesy of House of Sims Article Submission Table of Contents: Best Practices Top Websites Managing Article Submissions Salvaging Article Links Article submission and syndicate services are an effective way to build anchor text links to your deeper pages. Building deep links can be one of the most difficult parts of SEO, especially for product pages.
The effectiveness of article submission for inbound link building and ranking is often debated in the SEO community, but I’ve seen plenty of instances of ranking changes that I can attribute directly to syndicated article submission links. But as with everything in SEO, it's best to test the theory yourself. One of the other benefits of article submission is the articles themselves can rank on the first page on Google, often for mi... > Read more
The MadeUpCompany Link Building Kit This is an “internal link building template.” One best practice for companies hoping to attain high search rankings is to get company employees to link to your site. This document attempts to give a brief run-down as to how to go about requesting that your employees link to you.
The main things to note here are that: It’s too long – This could be considerably shorter. One reason it’s too long is that, personally, I would rather have one link from someone who had been properly instructed than ten from people who have a vague idea of what they should be doing. The potential for seeing four pages and not reading a word is definitely there, though, so keep that in mind. It’s not terribly specific – You could tailor this more to your industry, ... > Read more
Link building is often boring, time-consuming, and can be expensive. Not only that, but your website is usually ripe with low-hanging link fruit that you should be picking before you run around contacting every blogger who makes the mistake of offering up a bit of contact information. BUT that doesn’t mean you get out of it entirely.
Unfortunately, link building is one of these eat-your-veggies sort of search marketing activities: healthy but annoying. Luckily, there are ways of outsourcing your link building that don’t cost a dime. Outsourcing Link Building: Free of Charge There are a lot of great resources that will tell you how to build links, but we’ll focus on an easy one you may be overlooking: Let everyone else in the company do it for you! Getting Free Links The Easy Way So h... > Read more
It’s the Holy Grail of link building: deep links from authority websites. And link builders far and wide know that getting these links is difficult. The belief espoused by most SEOs is that if you create remarkable content people will naturally link to it, which is both true and untrue. If you've got a blog and you're publishing topical, informational or solutions pages, then having great content is a natural link magnet.
But what if you're publishing content around product pages on an e-commerce site? Forget about it. No matter how good the content, product pages simply don't attract external links. Heck, I could author this great page about window shades, with in-depth, insightful content and beautiful photos of my product. Trouble is, there's nothing notable or link-worthy about wind... > Read more
Most articles about link building focus on quality, quantity and relevance of links, and they generally draw the same conclusion: that value and relevancy trump volume. But rarely do I see link builders discuss link diversity for creating a "natural" link portfolio. Certainly, link quality and quantity (to a lesser degree) play a big role in keyword rankings, but so too do the variety of links in your portfolio.
Link diversity impacts a number of different factors related to your site: Sphere of influence – more links from a range of websites signals more trust and authority Traffic mix – links from a variety of sites create new, different traffic opportunities for your site Broader visibility - more links across a range of sites exposes your brand to a wider audience Authenticity - ... > Read more
As a search marketer, one of my goals is to engage visitors and keep them engaged. I want searchers to find my sites, spend time reading content, click around, go deeper in the site, exhibit certain behaviors and convert. Two key performance metrics I rely on to measure visitor engagement are bounce rates and page views.
Having a site with a high bounce rate and a low page views indicates a negative user experience –a sign there’s something wrong with the website. Factors that contribute to high bouncing and low views range from poor content, to slow load times, to confusing site architecture, to a lack of proper visual cues. Bounce rate also correlates closely to dwell time, another important metric. Yet another culprit may be a shortage of inline links: in-sentence or in-paragraph, c... > Read more