Link Building looks at one of the most fundamental and yet challenging aspects of search marketing: Building and nurturing those all-important inbound links to your web site. Columnists offer insights and tips for effective link building and discuss controversial techniques like linkbaiting and buying links.

Are You Building Links Or Building A Business?

Build a Brand I think many of us can agree that the great thing about this industry is that it's constantly evolving and new elements are continuously being added. For example, I love the role social is playing in helping companies connect with customers and the effect it has on search (links, mentions, content generation, etc.). However, I think many of us would also agree that this evolution has its downside…and its name is Google. Now, I'm not a Google hater. I don't believe that they are out to get SEOs or ruin businesses. But I do think there is a problem happening around links at the moment th [...]


The War On Links

shutterstock_104739881-fear-of-links In case you didn't notice, we are waging a war over links. Some would say that SEOs are at war with search engines, but I disagree. Search engines and SEOs have a symbiotic relationship; and without meaning to, we've killed the value of the link. The link, once a simple connector from one site to another, has become the subject of intense scrutiny by SEOs, Google, and even the US Copyright Office.  Do you remember what it was like to really "surf" the Internet? The way you could bounce from site to site simply by following blogrolls and webrings? The rush of energy and excitement that [...]


How To Repurpose Content Without Looking Like A Total Jerk

recycle-shutterstock When content first hit the search scene, search marketers wanted to produce as much content as humanly possible. That's a lot of work -- so much so, in fact, that it's ushered in wave after wave of crappy content. The great news is that you don't have to create a lot of content to rank well and reach your users. You just have to better use the content you already have by repurposing it. First, let's make a key distinction: Spinning content is rewriting your content just enough (usually with the help of some automation) so that search engines think it's a new article. This includes thi [...]


Link Building Fundamentals To Future-Proof Your Online Business

shutterstock_178290377-chain-link-old-text Google launched in 1998 and has grown steadily to become the most popular search engine in the world. Over 2,161 billion searches were run on their engines in 2013, and the company corners a 67% share of the global search market. As it grows and evolves, Google search is well and truly on its way to becoming humanity's most treasured "personal assistant," helping users find answers to their questions, discover solutions to their problems, carry out research and even get feedback, recommendations and suggestions from friends and trusted advisors. As consumers increasingly use search e [...]


How To Massively Scale Ethical Link Building FTW

shutterstock_105475358-chain-links

The linkbuilding toolkit is broader than most commentary suggests, and once the concept of quality and appropriateness (AKA relevancy) is truly embraced (and not just paid lip service to), then the dynamic, cutting edge solution to linkbuilding in 2014 is obvious: scale your processes that generate high quality targets and content opportunities for linkbuilding across the spectrum of all types of linkbuilding.


Google Takes Action On Seven Link Networks In Japan

google-japan-featured Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced on Twitter this morning that Google has "taken action" on seven different link networks in Japan. Over the past several months, Google has not only been manual taking action against link networks or link schemes in the US, but they have been widening their efforts across the world. Google's Cutts said the action they took on the seven Japanese link networks happened over the past "few months." How would you know if your site was impacted? Well, it likely only impacts Japanese related sites that participated in link networks within that [...]


Adopt A Contingency Search Marketing Plan Before You Get Dinged

shutterstock_101441059-emergency-preparedness What if you were penalized or deindexed in Google? What if you accidentally blocked everything in your robots.txt file? What if you didn't know you had done something wrong, and you were hit with an algorithmic update that crushed you? For every one of you who sees it coming, there are a ton that don't. Loads of people will tell you that doing poorly in Google would crush their business completely. Are you in that position? If so, have you made a contingency plan for how you'll keep moving if the worst happens? What If You Got No Traffic At All From Google? Imagine that, for whatever reas [...]


Still Newsjacking For Links? Forget That, Make The News Instead!

business-insider We all know that Google frowns upon trying -- in any way, shape or form -- to get links (they're serious, guys). Yet, links still play a very large role in determining SERP rankings. If you can't ask for or chase down high-quality, authoritative links, what's a marketer to do? You have to earn them. In this case study, I'll share with you the spectacular story of how I earned a ton of fantastic press coverage and links from massive publications -- and got the CEO of Groupon fired in the process (ok, perhaps I can't take all the credit, but...). 1. Finding The Right Story For Your Indust [...]


Webmasters Getting Creative With Their Link Removal Requests & It Works

idea-creative-unique-600 The new link building is link removal as some would say. Especially with all the craze around links and how they can get you penalized, link removal requests have become a thing all too familiar to anyone who runs a web site. The challenge, like with link building requests, is to get the webmaster you are sending the request to, to actually read your request and then remove the link. That challenge is nothing new to those in link building. Adding a link is just as hard for webmasters are removing a link, but removing a link may be more insulting and perceived as negative. One company, a [...]


Five Days Later, It Looks Like Google Has Penalized Web Design Library For Selling Links

wdl-tmobile-link-tweets We all saw this one coming: Web Design Library, the website that was using Twitter to renew paid links last week, appears to have earned a Google penalty. While I was researching last week's article, I saw the site ranking at No. 8 for the term web design. Today, I'm seeing it at No. 48 for that same query. But the more obvious indicator of a penalty is that the site no longer ranks for its own name, Web Design Library. If you missed the original story, someone using the name "Vince" and tweeting from the @vitaliykoloswdl account was reaching out via Twitter to renew paid link agr [...]


Selling Links To A Big Brand? Here’s Why You Don’t Tweet About It

quiet-shhh-600 Here's a lesson in how not to sell links. As Search Engine Roundtable pointed out this morning, someone named "Vince" from WebDesign.org is using Twitter to contact companies about renewing paid links that are about to expire. You can look at the @vitaliykoloswdl account and see numerous conversations about selling or renewing paid link agreements. The most notable conversation seems to be this one with T-Mobile, which started in February and has continued into this month (there are more tweets than shown on the screenshot below): At one point, "Vince" tells T-Mobile that there's [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts Implies MyBlogGuest Publishers Will Receive Penalties

matt-cutts-featured Google has taken action on a large guest blog network that we believe is MyBlogGuest.com. In fact, the owner of MyBlogGuest.com, Ann Smarty confirmed last night she received a penalty. Yesterday, there was confusion over if those publishers who participated in MyBlogGuest.com would also be penalized. I suspected they would be and it seems that is the case. We have Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, tweeting that it is likely and we have several publishers from the network claiming they have manual action notifications in their Webmaster Tools accounts as of yesterday. Here is Matt [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: We’ve Taken Action On A Large Guest Blog Network

google-flyswatter-penalty-600 Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced really early this morning on Twitter that Google has taken action on "a large guest blog network." Cutts previously warned the webmaster and SEO community that guest blogging is done, at least for SEO and link building purposes. Well, it might not have been done -- it obviously still had and has some impact on Google's algorithms for Google to have gone after and taken action on a large guest blog network. Here is Matt's tweet: Today we took action on a large guest blog network. A reminder about the spam risks of guest blogging: htt [...]


Turning Old Content Into New Links

old-new-hardware-600 It’s no secret that in order to build good links, you typically need to build good content. The problem is creating good content takes time and resources, and after the piece has gone live and been promoted, it’s often forgotten about. What a waste! One great way to put that content to good use and build new links is to revisit and repurpose. After all, if a piece was successful once, it probably was successful for a reason. Take advantage of what you already have. Audit Existing Content Before you can start repurposing your content, you have to identify what content should be repurpo [...]


Manual Spam Action Revoked! A Case Study

road-to-recovery-featured Checklists of how to get out of a Google penalty abound. Five things you should do, five things you shouldn't do, etc. But the number one thing you shouldn't do is ignore it. I want to tell you the story of a two-year long penalty, the steps we took and how something we never thought would work… finally did. No Impact On Organic Traffic The client was a purveyor of a highly competitive retail product -- one of the top in the world, with over 10 million visits per month. Back in July 2012, the client received the first notice that there were "unnatural links pointing to the site." But the c [...]


Google Penalizes Italian & Spanish Link Networks

google-cop-busted-featured As promised, Google has taken manual action to penalize link networks in Italy and Spain. It was just four days ago that Google warned webmasters in those two countries about its rules on paid links and willingness to take action against websites that violate those rules. The penalties were announced separately on Friday by Google employees outside the U.S., and later retweeted by Matt Cutts, the head of Google's webspam team. First up was Giacomo Gnecchi, a member of Google's search quality team based in Dublin, who tweeted the news (in Italian) about the Italian link network penalty [...]


Google Penalizes Two German Link Networks; One Being efamous

google-flyswatter-penalty-600 Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts, announced on Twitter today that they have penalized and taken action on two additional German link networks. He mentioned one by name: efamous. efamous looks like a typical ad network, but I guess they passed PageRank through their link network, which is against Google's guidelines. Cutts also said they went after another "German agency network," but did not disclose which one that was. Here is Matt's tweet: Today we're taking action on a German link network (efamous) and a German agency network that violate our guidelines. — Matt Cutts (@m [...]


Yandex Begins Purging Links From Its Rankings For Some Moscow Verticals

yandex_eng_logo-360 (1) Yandex chose the Bynet Week conference in the city of Minsk in Belarus to announce that they have "Started to remove links gradually" from the Yandex MatrixNet algorithm for commercial queries in just the Moscow region. Alexander Sadovsky, Head of Web Search at Yandex, made the announcement yesterday following on from his original explanation in December. Alexander Sadovsky explained to me when I interviewed him last year that Yandex has seen an increasingly diminished value in the signal derived from inbound links to the point where it was not adding to the quality of Yandex results. This [...]


It’s Conference Season! 5 Ways To Build Links At Events

relationship building pyramid Spring brings more than just a (long-awaited) reprieve from this intense winter we've been having. It means conference season is upon us, which means a (much-needed) break away from our computer shackles for some good ol' fashioned networking. It's also a perfect time to build links. Yes, conferences are a fantastic opportunity to build links. How? Meet People I know. This seems obvious, but I can't tell you how many people I see at conferences who don't make an effort to actually talk to the people they're sitting next to in a session. Or worse, don't break away from the people they trav [...]


Google Now Targeting Italian & Spanish Link Spammers

google-links-featured Less than a month after Google targeted Polish link spammers and German link spammers, Google's head of search spam, Matt Cutts announced that the company is targeting more countries. Cutts announced warnings to Spanish and Italian webmasters and SEOs not to use unnatural links to promote their sites. He posted both announcements on Twitter and the localized Google Webmaster Blogs. Here is the Spanish warning on Twitter and it links to the Spanish webmaster blog at Google. A reminder (in Spanish) about unnatural/paid links and that we're willing to take action on them: http://t.co/uTBdJ [...]


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