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.

Google’s Matt Cutts Regrets Not Acting Faster On Paid Links & Content Farms

matt-cutts-google-regrets In Google's Matt Cutts latest video, he answers a question I personally asked about what he regrets, what decision he regrets making in the past related to webspam. My question specifically was: Was there a key moment in your spam fighting career where you made a mistake that you regret, related to spam? Matt answered it in than four minutes explained he regrets not acting sooner on (1) paid links and (2) content farms. Google's Paid Links Regret Matt explained that several years ago at a search conference in San Jose, a well-known SEO told him that paid links are too common and there [...]


Bing On Links: You Should Never Know In Advance Where A Link Is Coming From

bing-links-600 Duane Forrester from Microsoft's Bing team wrote a blog post today on the official Bing Search blog named 10 SEO myths reviewed. There are many good and obvious points Duane makes in the post but one point he makes about links is very revealing. Duane wrote: You should never know in advance a link is coming, or where it’s coming from. If you do, that’s the wrong path. That obviously means you should not buy links, but it also goes as far as saying that you shouldn't ask other webmasters to link to you. You shouldn't do any action at all, that you know, for a fact, will lead to you get [...]


Actually, We Don’t Think Google Hates HARO Links

google-links-featured Despite the buzz going through the SEO industry today, we don't believe that Google is specifically targeting links that are earned via the popular Help a Reporter Out service. That's one of the claims from SEO consultant Bill Hartzer, in an article he published yesterday, Google Targets Help A Reporter Out, Press Release Links as Bad Links. In his article, Bill says he's cleaning up a client's links to remove a Google manual penalty. After submitting a reconsideration request, Bill says Google replied by pointing out three example links that continue to violate Google's guidelines. Two [...]


How To Amp Up Your User Engagement (And Get More Links)

shutterstock_105475358-chain-links People like to link to content that shows signs of life. If you have an active community, people are more likely to return often -- and that increases the chances that when they need to link to something, it might be to you. In this era where we're all terrified about who's linking to us, having relevant users who are your true audience linking to you seems like it would be a good thing, doesn't it? We talk a lot about creating good, useful content. We talk about socializing it. What we don't talk about as much is user engagement with that content. So, let's dive into that and see how it [...]


How To Get Your Content Linked To From Top-Tier Websites

shutterstock_180324497-links Creating great content that other websites will organically and editorially link to is a core part of a modern-day SEO campaign. In premise, it sounds simple: you create a piece of content that is relevant within your niche and holds a certain level of value, then other websites will see the content and mention it on their website or share it across social media. In reality, it doesn't always pan out like this. I speak with tons of business owners that say the same thing to me: "Matt, we're creating a load of articles on our company blog, but nobody seems to read them, never mind link to [...]


Reigning In Content & SEO — The King & Queen Of Online Marketing

king_queen_shutterstock_179151986 Years ago, SEOs proclaimed, "Content is king!" Yet the full potential of content as the catalyst for everything we want to accomplish in SEO was not realized. Even back then, SEOs wanted to measure their efforts. Fast-forward to 2014, and we're facing more choices in our marketing with more ways to measure than ever. We have multiple ways to reach customers and mountains of data to sort through; and within all this is the need to confirm that what we're doing is driving business outcomes. At the top of every SEO's mind right now is content -- and SEOs and brands have a burning need t [...]


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 [...]


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