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

8 Small Tweaks That Can Deliver Big Link Building Results

link-building-student-chalkboard-featured About this time every year I reflect on my progress thus far and start thinking about what I want to do differently in the second half of the year. Consider taking a good, hard look at your link building campaigns. Even if your strategy isn't six months old, making changes to your plan multiple times throughout the year keeps your tactics fresh. When it comes to adjusting your link building strategy (or any marketing strategy, for that matter), the biggest misconception is that you have to make these grandiose changes in order to see any sort of impact. The reality is that the smallest c [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: Link Building Is Sweat Plus Creativity

link building sweat and creativity Back in June, Google head of webspam Matt Cutts participated in the annual You&A at SMX Advanced in Seattle, an hour-long event in which he was interviewed by SEL founding editor Danny Sullivan live in front of a large audience. A variety topics were covered, including important Google news, changes, and updates. The video itself is now on SMX’s YouTube Channel, and definitely worth an hour of your time: As always, Sullivan asked outstanding questions, doing his best to ascertain definitive answers with minimal wiggle room. Cutts was as frank as he ever is, although representing a [...]


It’s Not Just Links: Why Nothing Is Safe In Online Marketing

chess-board-featured Links have been under fire for years. And while I'm someone who provides link development services, I've never thought that links are all you need. In fact, if all of my clients would let me become more involved in other aspects of their marketing, I'd be absolutely gleeful. Links, while important, aren't the alpha and the omega of SEO. I think that they serve a crucial role in online marketing, and my job is to get the best links I can. In most of the link posts that I read, there's at least one commenter who bemoans links as a ranking factor. Look at the following comments from various [...]


3 Mindset Shifts: Get More SEO Out Of Your Content Marketing

shutterstock_126540911-content Google is constantly working to provide users with a better experience, and marketers are constantly trying to adapt to these changes. Content-based SEO creates a compelling blend of authentic content and search engine eye-candy, but it also necessitates mastering both worlds (content marketing and SEO) instead of trying to rely on just one. And Google is continuing to push the SEO community in that direction. Content marketing has been gaining acceptance as an SEO practice ever since Panda was rolled out -- and with the release of Hummingbird, some content marketers have now become better [...]


How Press Requests Can Be A Link Building Gold Mine

Press Request Link Building Building genuinely powerful and authoritative links isn't easy. Sure, there are tons of ways to build links, but how many of these techniques actually enable you to gain real editorial mentions from top tier websites? The answer: not many. Getting a link from a leading publication within your industry can't even be compared to something like a link from a directory, even if that directory is DMOZ. That's because editorial links from industry-relevant publications hold so much more value than just the link equity. Such benefits include social media exposure, brand awareness, targeted [...]


Changing Existing Links: Perfectly Normal — Except When It Isn’t

Are all links supposed to be permanent? You may have recently read Links That Change Are Trusted Less By Google’s Algorithms, which was sparked by a recent tweet from a former Google employee regarding changing links: Did you know Google is less likely to trust a link once it has changed from the 1st time it was seen? — Pedro Dias (@pedrodias) July 1, 2014 [caption id="attachment_196337" align="alignright" width="300"] Are all links supposed to be permanent?[/caption] As this topic bounced around the SEO community, it took on a life of its own. Run a search on the phrase "Google May Trust Links Less," and you'll see ho [...]


5 Bad Link Building Habits To Break Now

erase-bad-habits-shutterstock For those who have been in the SEO industry for a while, you may remember the glory days of link building -- you simply submitted your site/article/address/name, etc., and had 100 links within 24 hours. That sure was awesome. Unfortunately, those days are over -- yet for many, bad link building habits are lingering. How many times have you seen an easy link and thought to yourself, "Just this one submission won't hurt my site," or, "My competitors are doing it, so I can, too"? If the answer is more than once, then you'd better keep reading. These days, link building is no longer ju [...]


The 4 Truths About Link Building

chain and lock The world of link building hasn't just evolved over the last couple of years -- it has been completely turned upside down. In essence, what in many ways was once a relatively easy business has become a formidable venture to maintain. Just a few years ago, finding sources to build links in bulk was a highly profitable business model for SEOs. Clients were willing to pay premium prices for link building and the associated benefits to their businesses’ search results. Today, however, the growing challenge of Google penalties has reduced the effectiveness of old link building activities down [...]


Back To Basics: 5 Fundamentals Of Link Building That Will Never Go Away

Back_to_Basics_shutterstock SEO is a totally different beast today than it was just a few years ago, and many would argue that link building is the aspect that's suffered the biggest beating since then. Yes, the process of link building today is nothing like how we did it in years past -- but the qualities that make a good link have remained largely the same. Amidst all the chatter of link building dying or content marketing replacing link building, we've forgotten the fundamentals. In terms of what actually makes a good link (and a good link-building tactic), it's time to get back to basics. Your Links Are Your [...]


The 10 Worst Link Building Assumptions

broken-link-featured Over the past few years, one of the biggest problems I've faced is educating clients about search marketing -- about what's reasonable to expect and what isn't in the world of link building. It can be difficult, especially in the winning-the-business stage, to admit that you can't turn lead into gold, but being honest and clear with clients to set appropriate expectations can set you up for success in the longer term. If they're the right client, they'll be smart enough to understand. When we started the company, we stayed quiet and let the clients dictate what we did for the most part, [...]


How To Promote An E-Book Launch With A Be Everywhere Day

bullriding_shutterstock_42476785 It's no secret e-book launches are usually boring, and oftentimes dreadfully so. [caption id="attachment_193593" align="alignright" width="300"] The Be Everywhere Day: Be everywhere your market is.[/caption] This is because, well, it’s hard to be creative with yet another PDF launch -- especially if you’re in a saturated market. How can you create an e-book launch that generates some real attention? The Be Everywhere Day concept might be worth a shot -- but know that you will need plenty of planning and prep time to execute it successfully. The idea behind a Be Everywhere Da [...]


Why “Linksville” Is a Ghost Town: Link Building Is Moving In House

shutterstock_126708698-ghosttown Several years ago, I wrote a column here titled Why Link Building Must Go In-House. The main thesis of that column can be summed up with this quote: There are almost as many link building tactics as there are companies selling them. Google lists over a million. On more than one occasion, I have pretended to be in need of link building services just to engage in an email dialogue with a firm selling linking services, just to see what they did (or didn't) know. It's truly scary. Companies selling useless services that don't know those services are useless. Or maybe they do. When you can't tr [...]


Using Campaign Tracking To Measure Link Building Success

google-analytics-600 Ask any SEO what the most difficult, confounding and valuable part of optimization is, and you'll invariably get a consensus: link building. Even the term "link building" has become so controversial that many marketers are shying away from it in favor of "content marketing" or "online PR." Marketers know to log, track and report on the volume of links they are creating over the course of the campaign, but very rarely do they consider the future business implications of these links. Since externally-placed content (like guest blog posts) now must be highly authoritative and highly relevant, [...]


Why Build Links? 6 Reasons You Should Be Link Building in 2014

batman_links_meme There are a hundred and one tasks in today's marketing world designed to improve your online visibility: social media, PPC, content marketing, retargeting, blogging, email marketing, on-site and on-page optimization, content strategy, contests, partnerships, etc. etc. Why bother with link building? Isn't link building dead? The fact of the matter is, if you're working to improve your online visibility in 2014, links should be a consideration. Here are six important reasons why: Link building is still the best way to improve search visibility Links aren't going away anyti [...]


10 Questions To Ask When Creating A Link Building Campaign

link-building-student-chalkboard-featured One of the most common questions I hear related to link building is, "Where do I start?" Whether in a blog post or a conference presentation, link building experts often focus on specific tactics when giving advice. The message can sometimes come across as, "Here are some things -- go do them, and you'll be set." But that's not the case. It's important to realize that while these individual tactics are great, they are really part of a much bigger picture: a link building campaign. That's where we must start. When setting up a link building campaign, here are a few questions to ask. [...]


7 Things I Wish Execs Knew About Link Building

if-you-could-3jo8j0 Whether it's your CMO, your client or your client's boss, we've all worked with someone who just doesn't quite get search. And that's OK. We can't expect everyone to understand the intricacies behind what goes into that No. 1 ranking. SEO is easy in theory, but it's a daunting task to take on, and Google isn't exactly making it any easier on us. Still, having to explain the same thing dozens and dozens of times isn't why we got into this business. Anyone would go a little crazy if they did that. So, in an effort to make both of our lives just a little easier, here are seven things I wish [...]


After Suffering Link Trouble, Should You Second-Guess Your SEO?

broken If you've just received an unnatural links warning or have been hit with a link-related penalty (or totally shafted by the latest algorithm update), should you expand the scope of your attempted fix beyond links? Absolutely, and here's why: I've Never Seen A Link-Penalized Site That Had Nothing Else Wrong Even if it's something small, it's there. The most common question these clients ask me is, "How come I did so well before if all this other stuff was messed up?" And my answer is that sometimes links, no matter how dangerous, can hide a multitude of sins. You can't quickly rank a site with [...]


The New Emphasis On Link Building: What’s Behind It And How To React

businessman_chain There seems to be a fresh interest in link building. Why now? What do the search engines have to say? How should agencies and companies approach link building? Why The New Interest In Link Building? Why are search engine optimizers and agencies more interested in link building again? Because the search engines are getting good at rooting out unscrupulous links, and the internet is getting noisy. Link building never died, but real link building is difficult, time consuming and costly. It involves a lot of dead ends and frustration. Because advanced link building shares much in common with [...]


Negative SEO From Links — What Can You Do If You’re Hit?

Negative SEO In this post, we cover the basics of negative search engine optimization (SEO) and look at what you can do to fight negative SEO link spam. This being a hot topic in the industry, I encourage readers to comment at the end of the article. What Is Negative SEO? First, let's take a moment to define negative SEO. Negative SEO is the act of performing some type of action that damages competitors' organic search rankings. There are many ways negative SEO can be done. Someone could hack a website and riddle the code with HTML hyperlinks or inject malware. Even making multiple duplicate copie [...]


5 Tactics We Used To Build Links Last Month

Coffee is for closers. There are a lot of questions around link building tactics these days, especially when it comes to how companies can actually build links that won't get them in trouble. In fact, one of the most common questions I hear at conferences and from clients is, "How do you build good links?" The answer, of course, varies by site and company but I thought for my column this month, I’d cover some tactics that we actually used last month to successfully build links for our clients. 1. Trade Show Interviews Many of our clients are in the manufacturing industry, and while none are direct competitors [...]


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