• http://www.JoeRega.com/ Joseph Rega

    Great article Julie, I love #11

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    Link and anchor audits are so important, even more so since Penguin. You need to know what is going on “under the hood” of your site. Did that SEO firm you hired two years back build links that could land your site in hot water? Are you relying too heavily on one keyword phrase as anchor text (that isn’t branded)? Where are their holes and opportunities in your link building efforts?

  • juliejoyce

    I think you need quality content no matter what. Good SEO can help you rank but without a good site, I doubt you’ll get the conversions you want.

  • http://www.daddysbroke.com/ Craig

    This is officially on my favorites list on my browser! Thank you so much!

  • http://www.authoritybuzz.com/ Authority Buzz

    Great list Julie. I scheduled it for my Twitter stream. In the current SEO landscape, would you say social signals are as important as link building?

  • http://twitter.com/StoreCoach Store Coach

    You definitely touched on some core skills and bits of knowledge that all link builders should have, but rarely do.. Excellent post & a great resource!

  • juliejoyce

    thanks! That’s a great question but I think it’s difficult to answer it. I think social signals are not yet AS important as traditional links but that’s because of the importance of links in Google’s algorithm. I think that social signals are a better indicator for great content than links are though. To me, great content with great social signals has more potential for sending converting traffic to a site. If you look at links as being strictly used for boosting rankings, I think they’re still more important than social signals, but for traffic, I am liking social signals more and more. Sorry to give such a convoluted answer…that could be its own blog post!

  • http://www.authoritybuzz.com/ Authority Buzz

    Thanks for the reply. I think I just gave you your next guest blog topic for Search Engine Land.

  • MK Tantum

    Fantastic post! I will definitely be referencing this list again. I’m curious — do you have any guides for conducting a link audit? What is your process? Thanks again for this post!

  • http://twitter.com/chizcurlz10 JC Carlos

    Exceptional post Julie. Would love to see future blog posts of yours regarding scalable link building, broken link building, brand link building, etc.

  • http://www.onqmarketing.com.au Quentin Aisbett

    Good stuff Julie! I’ve noticed a few times on Quora, people asking how best to go about learning SEO or teaching yourself SEO. If I see it again I will refer them to your post here.

  • http://twitter.com/NaderAhmadnia Nader Ahmadnia

    I have a question in regards to #29. I was under the impression that a page’s link juice is spread evenly among ALL links on a page, nofollow included. What this would mean is that in example B, each link would only receive 1 point of link juice, not 2. I know i’m not the only one to think this, as it’s pretty widely circulated i.e.

    So I suppose my question is, has there been an algorithm change that’s reverted the nofollow back to a non-link passing tool, or does a no-follow link actually still partake in splitting up the link equity?

  • http://twitter.com/SearchRocks Stanislav Dimitrov

    Great post as usual, Julie! I’d love to see some of your favorite link building tools mentioned as well. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/kerryjadejones Kerry Jones

    Hi Julie, great article, really helpful. Going to keep this by my side at all times!

  • juliejoyce

    Great question…and I intentionally worded that bit the way I did because of conflicting information everywhere. Here’s a quote from Google’s Webmaster Tools support page: “In order to prevent paid links from influencing search results and negatively impacting users, we urge webmasters use nofollow on such links.” To me, that says that a nofollow should function in the way I described. That doesn’t mean that it does all the time of course, but I don’t have any personal research to say whether it works that way or not.

  • juliejoyce

    Thank you! I’m very partial to Link Research Tools for analysis but I also use Majestic (I love the backlink history), Open Site Explorer, and ahrefs.

  • juliejoyce

    great ideas!

  • juliejoyce

    Thank you! To be honest, depending upon why I’m doing an audit, that does change what I look at because someone might come to me saying they’ve been hit by Panda or Penguin, for example, and that makes it easier for me to narrow down what I look at. As far as an overall general audit strategy, we have an internal process that’s way too long to go into here, but maybe a future post?

  • MK Tantum

    I’d love to know: how you typically start a new client link audit, if you have a basic checklist that you follow with any client, what questions you try to answer in the audit, and what tools you use along the way. Thanks again — Looking forward to the post!

  • juliejoyce

    that would have a been a good one, very true! And no, I don’t use Markov content. I see it very often when we’re doing discovery though, and I know that if you just quickly glance at a site using it, you won’t always catch it. It’s clever stuff at times.

  • John

    2nd day reading this excellent article and I think I’m going to need one more to finish it and get my conclusions ;-J

  • Julian Beams

    Yikes. as someone very new to linkbuilding my head is spinning and my eyes have crossed over. No wonder most would rather pay. I say “new to linkbuiding”, but not new to blogging, WordPress or #2, #5 and # “lots of them”. Great blog, once my eyes uncross I will have learnt a bundle :-P

  • http://www.ArticulateVentures.com/ Vance

    Holy geeze this was a comprehensive post! From someone who learned about linking on the fly, I wish I had your article a long time ago.

  • http://trucklicense.net/get-cdl Freedom Jackson

    Thanks for sharing this post very well put together. I wonder about SEO these days though. With so much emphasis on social how can SEO remain as much a priority?

  • cheese

    “either speak or or shut up and deal with it.” great words of wisdom…

  • juliejoyce

    People have said the same about links…but you raise a great point. I think SEO will still be extremely important though. Someone only skilled in social isn’t going to be able to diagnose a technical problem most likely. Social can lead you to sites but you’ll still need people to understand usability, conversion optimization, and analytics so that one you lead them to a site, you can benefit from it.

  • juliejoyce

    Hi Elizabeth,

    That is common robots language for a wordpress site and simply tells them not to crawl the admin and includes directories, which is fine. You just don’t want to block robots from the entire site, which is what this code does:

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /

    If that was all you had, you’d be blocking robots from the whole site but when you list folders as is the case with your file, that only blocks robots from those listed folders. Does that make sense?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002656997072 Emily Jones

    Great piece of work. thanks for sharing! @laamash

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002656997072 Emily Jones

    I loved your post, thanks http://www.laamash.com

  • juliejoyce

    The whole idea of PR sculpting is a strange one for me. Why even provide the functionality of nofollow if you can’t use it to do that? I know people who swear they use it effectively but then we’re told that it doesn’t work. It is nothing I work with personally or try to do so I can’t speak from experience…only included it here because I think those are important concepts for a link builder to understand, even if it’s on a rudimentary level.

  • helpstring

    “HTML Code For Text & Image Links” is missing the mandatory alt-attribute. So it is not that easy, right? ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/pageonepower Page One Power

    Love the post Julie. As a full time link building firm we sometimes take it for granted that our publishers have a handle on “best SEO practices”. This list will carry those who are learning and those who need a brush up.

  • http://twitter.com/tomriddle92 Anirudh Bahadur

    Thanks for explaining how to read the robot.txt. :D

  • juliejoyce

    Ha! Yes apparently oversimplifying things (and not re-reading carefully) really is easy for me at least. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • http://www.sarojnayak.brandyourself.com/ Saroj Nayak

    Nice Post. Learnt some new things from this post.Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/sharithurow sharithurow


    I am aware that many, many SEOs disagree with me on point #19. If the content no longer exists? 404 it. Making people/searchers look for content that no longer exists is just a poor user/searcher experience…regardless of the “link juice” argument.

  • seoboom

    I think all points are important, but overall I consider that the ability of negotiating with people is most important because those links are usually the most valuable

  • juliejoyce

    very valid point there…and in the end it’s all about users really.

  • http://twitter.com/LeadPublisher LeadPublisher

    Yes I do agree there are great ideas to post links. Please advise if you have any pointers for http://leadpublisher.com we are trying to increase inbound links. Thanks in advance.

  • http://www.national-autotransport.com/ Auto Transport

    Thanks Julie Joyce for your nice post. I am appreciated by it. I think all tips of this article are very important to a link builder. Waiting for your next post.