Eric Ward

Eric Ward


About Eric Ward

Eric Ward founded the Web's first services for announcing, linking, and building buzz for Web sites, back in 1994. Ward is best known as the person behind the linking campaigns for Books,, The Link Exchange, Rodney Dangerfield (, the AMA, and His services won the 1995 Award for Internet Marketing Excellence, and he was selected as one of the Web's 100 most influential people by Websight magazine. In 2009 Eric was one of 25 people profiled in the book Online Marketing Heroes. Eric has spoken at over 100 industry conferences and now publishes LinkMoses Private, a subscription based link opportunity and strategy service. Eric has written linking strategy and advice columns for SearchEngineLand, MarketingProfs, ClickZ, Search Marketing Standard, SearchEngineGuide, Web Marketing Today, and Ad Age magazine. Learn more about Eric and his content publicity and link building services at

Eric Ward's latest articles


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

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, […]

Google algorithm updates

Food For Thought About Link Building: Some Tasty Tidbits

Presented for your consideration, below are a number of linking-related comments, thoughts, ideas and other notes that I believe you’ll find thought-provoking, interesting, or at least somewhat helpful. Bittersweet Vindication? On April 30 of 2007, almost exactly seven years ago today, I wrote The Coming Link Apocalypse. This was before Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Buffy, Dewey, Vince, […]


When The Best SEO Move Is To Kill The Site

The contents of the following column are based on real circumstances. Certain elements have been changed to respect the privacy of each site. Imagine there are two websites. Here are their basic profiles: Site One is an e-commerce company and website launched in 2013 that sells nutritional supplements, based in Atlanta, Georgia. They sell to […]


How SEO Greed Can Ruin A Perfectly Good Linking Strategy

By now, you are likely aware of the Rap Genius “Tweet In Exchange For Anchor Text” link scheme, hencefore to be known as TieFating. Barry Schwartz reported last week on John Marbach’s exposé of the popular music site, Rap Genius, which had started an “affiliate” program in order to get links pointing to their website. After it was exposed, […]


Link Building At The Speed Of Natural

“Natural link building” has long been a sore spot (some would call it an oxymoron) among many in the online marketing community. The general argument goes something like this: “Any link that comes about because you pursued it cannot be considered natural.” or “The very act of seeking links makes any link you obtain unnatural.” […]


How Will Google Hummingbird Impact Links? Here Are 6 Ways

So you have a question you would like answered, and that question is: “How Will Google Hummingbird Impact Links?” It’s still way too early in Hummingbird season to fully understand the impact of the new algorithm, but I’ve spotted a few clues, and the title of this column is a direct result of those clues. […]


Changing Course In The New Linking World

In the wake of the Great Google Massacre (i.e., everything that’s happened over the past couple years since Google got serious), there are many sites that survived the carnage but aren’t as successful as they used to be — and they’re looking for ways to get back to where they once were. The scenario most […]


Understanding Google’s Latest Assault On Unnatural Links

Without much fanfare or publicity, Google quietly updated the Link Schemes/Unnatural Links document inside the Webmaster Tools section of their site last month. If not for the excellent work of Barry Schwartz, many of us would have missed it. (I have a page change tool app set up for that exact URL, and it didn’t catch […]

Link building

Where Have All The Linkers Gone?

A unique combination of factors is having a profound effect on the “link graph” being created today, with many implications for those of us in the content publicity/link building field. First and foremost among these factors is the “device effect.” The device effect means that a huge number of us are now consuming our content […]


9 Netiquette Reminders For Today’s Link Builders

For many years, email was one of just a few ways you could share a URL with another person. And, people were far less accepting of link request spam than they are today. So, for today’s column, let’s talk about the ancient concept of net etiquette and link building. In many ways, it’s come full circle and […]


The Link Shrink Is In: 3 Crazy Linking Assumptions

Building on last month’s column, Five Linking Myths That Need To Go Away In 2013, one of the best and worst things about the Web is the never-ending supply of absolutely horrifying bad information that must be clarified. This helps keep people like me in business. I feel like a link doctor. A Link shrink. […]

Link building

Five Linking Myths That Need To Go Away In 2013

Goodbye 2012, hello 2013. For my last column of the year, I’m selecting five link building myths that I hope go away completely in 2013, and giving my rationale as to why they should be gone. The only reason I’m picking five is because it’s the day after Christmas, and if I had written about […]


The Competitive Linking Analysis Trap

Several years ago, the search engines began to slowly turn off the fire-hose of linking data they freely gave anyone familiar with the link: operator. That operator became just about useless as a method for detecting competitor links, potential link targets or competitive intelligence, etc. I have a vivid memory of speaking at one of […]


Link Building Scam Alert: When Links Are Held Hostage

On November 1st I reached the 19 year mark as a content publicist/link builder. Nineteen years. I won’t bore you with how we went after links back then by rubbing two sticks together and sending up smoke signals. Smoke signal spam was not a big problem yet. I poke fun at myself but at the […]

Google algorithm updates

What 65 Google Changes May Mean For Your Link Strategies

About a week ago, Barry Schwartz put together an awesome piece detailing the many search algorithm and quality changes (65 in total), Google made during the months of August and September. If you haven’t read it, have a look: Google’s August & September Updates: Panda, Knowledge Graph, Page Quality & SafeSearch. When Google announces changes, […]


Must-Have Browser Tools For Link Builders

Of all the tasks associated with content advocacy (I have never actually liked the term link building, and my business card has never included those words, plus doesn’t ‘content advocacy’ just sound better than link building?), there are a few tasks that are a genuine PITA. There have been many tools created to help manage […]

Google algorithm updates

The Unbearable Torture Of Linking

It’s been a long, painful Spring and Summer for a lot of websites and link builders. I took a month away from it all for personal reasons, but I did conduct a couple linking strategy training sessions, and kept on top of things via my iPad. In this time, I read a few hundred posts […]

Google algorithm updates

The Unintended Consequences Of Link Removal

It has to be one of the more ironic linking related developments over the past couple decades. Panicked online marketers doing complete 180’s and trying to remove links they’d tried for years to get. Even more ironic is paying the same company that sold the idea of going after those (now poison) links to go […]


Signs Of Linking Over-Optimization

With all the discussion about the soon to arrive over-optimized website penalty, what about links? Many people think of SEO as an on-site matter, even though SEO is also deeply related to external signals, such as the links that point at your site and they way they point at your site. As Barry Schwartz recently […]


4 Reasons The Social Link Graph Will Have To Improve

Those who are responsible for creating awareness of content take great pleasure seeing a shared link riding the waves across Twitter, Facebook, G+, or anywhere else the sharer wants to push it.  And rightfully so. It is rewarding to see your efforts succeed and click traffic increase. But from a search results standpoint, there are […]

Link building

Understanding Ranking Lag Time For New Links

This may seem like a simple subject, but it’s a question most link builders hear sooner or later. That question is “How long does it take for new links to help my site’s ranking improve?” Like most questions related to links and search rank the truth (and easiest answer) isn’t very helpful. That answer is […]

Link building

Linking Strategies For Google Plus Your World

With all the hoopla and hundreds of columns and posts about the launch of Google’s “Search Plus Your World”, you are likely already quite aware of what has taken place over the past week. If not, Danny Sullivan eloquently covers it in detail in his post Google’s Results Get More Personal With “Search Plus Your […]

Link building

A Few Link Building Predictions For 2012

It’s prediction time again. Before I dive into predictions for 2012, let’s take a look back at where I’ve been wrong and right over the years. I have a fairly good track record, and I like to take a few chances with these, rather than taking the easy way out with predictions like “links will […]

Link building

Thoughts On Random Link Spikes & The Events That Create Them

If you need some interesting reading material this Holiday season, try Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life. There are some interesting lessons in it that can be applied to link building, especially related to unexpected and random events that not only affect people, the economy, […]


How Not To Link To Us

Creating a linking instructions page is a fairly common technique for encouraging organic links. It’s also somewhat puzzling. Do we need instructions for this most basic Web action? Apparently, at least 2.4 billion of us do. A webpage can link to another webpage in several ways, from the basic text link like this,, to […]

Link building

A Holiday & Seasonal Event-Driven Link Building Primer

With the holiday season fast approaching, let’s run through a quick event-driven link marketing strategy primer, with a few examples. For this column, I’ll focus on the most basic of event-driven link marketing techniques. With this technique, you get out your calendar, look a few months ahead to see what’s coming, then look for ways […]


Linking Oddities That Ripley Would Like

Ahhh, the strangeness that is links. This week’s column will hopefully spark some questions, answer a few others, and also point out some weird linking related phenomena, beginning with two examples: If this search is correct, Google indexes a little over (Use Dr. Evil voice) 1 billion pages from the family of domains. But, […]

Link building

A Google Plus Primer On Links & Rank

There are a lot of questions bouncing around about Google+ links and their impact and effect on rank. I will share what I feel confident about and also give you a road map of must read articles that once read, will really help you to feel more comfortable with what we do and don’t know […]


How To Help Clients Understand Social Link Outcomes

My previous column, Key Problems With Current Social Link Graph Signals hit a nerve with a few people who felt I was too harsh in my critique of social signals as content quality indicators. See this post from bigmouthmedia for one of the more in-depth responses. It’s not that I don’t feel social signals have merit. […]


Key Problems With Current Social Link Graph Signals

With the roll out of Google +1 Buttons For Websites, almost all the key players in the on-page social button space are ready for the fight to truly be joined. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and old stallwarts Sharethis and Add-This all provide content creators with the ability to embed shareability, and signals which can be studied […]

Link building

Contrarian Perspectives On Link Building

Today’s column is not easy for me to write. I’ve resisted writing it because I don’t want to come across as a preaching. smug, I-told-you-so-LinkMoses. Then again, plenty of people already think that, so what the heck. Here goes. The overwhelming majority of websites have no business whatsoever being on the web at all. Which […]

Search features

Can Likes, Pluses & Tweets Cleanse The Link Graph?

It’s an extremely challenging time to be a link builder. Whether you see yourself as white hat, black hat, or as most are, gray, there has never been a time in my nearly two decades of being a content publicist / link builder when it was more challenging to keep up with the variety and […]

Get the must-read newsletter for search marketers.