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The Rules of Link Building – Whiteboard

The Rules of Link Building - WhiteboardThe Rules of Link Building – Whiteboard:

Much of marketing, especially SEO, has shifted from a game with very few rules to a game that Google is fairly strictly refereeing. With their old tactics eliciting penalties, many marketers are simply throwing in the towel.

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus Shepard calls a time-out and shows us the new strategy we need to come out on top.

Rules of link building:

Beware links you control

First of all, I want to start off with some things that we want to avoid when link building. If we look at what Google has been targeting, there are usually two common factors in links that they target. They are, first of all, links that you control. When we see Google crack down on guest blogging networks, on widget links, signature profile links, they all have that one element in common: that you control the anchor text. That’s exactly what Google is looking for. I predict any new link penalties that happen in the future will also follow this pattern. It will be links where you control the anchor text.

Be cautious with links that scale

The same thing goes for links that scale. Again, we’re talking about widget links, author bio boxes. When you combine these two together, those are exactly the kind of links that you need to be extra special careful with and not scale, not do too much anchor text manipulation because they will always be subject to those penalties.

Link value = traffic quality

One thing to always keep in mind that when we’re looking at links and how we judge them, the value of the link equals the quality of the traffic that it can drive you. Meaning that this is kind of how Google judges links. It’s not necessarily the quantity of the traffic that the link can drive you, but the quality. If you run a mechanic shop and you want good leads from those links, you would want other mechanic shops or auto part stores to link to you. A link from an SEO blog probably doesn’t have a lot of value because it’s not very relevant.

Focus on distribution

One thing I would emphasize doing is shifting from actively building links to more of a focus on distribution, because the more eyeballs that are on your content, the more natural links you’re going to earn.

Don’t ask for anchor text

One rule that I’ve been following for years, I got this from Eric Ward, the very famous link builder: Never ask for anchor text. When you’re doing outreach, when you’re talking to other people, when you’re guest posting, asking for the anchor text is going to raise a lot of red flags. That’s what kills it for you, because when you start asking for anchor text, your brain starts working. You think, “Well, I need this keyword. I need this keyword.” You create patterns. You create over-optimization. No matter what the temptation is, if you don’t ask for anchor text, you’re going to get a much more natural link profile.

Don’t link externally in the footer

A couple of other rules that I see people violate all the time that Google has made painfully clear in the past few months: Don’t link externally in the footer. Just don’t. I’m not going to go into the reasons. Just don’t do that.

Avoid site-wide links

By the same token, except for navigation, avoid site-wide links. This is something that we’ve known for years. If someone links to you externally, site-wide, in the side bar, that’s ripe for Penguin-style links.

Again, these are best practices. There are always exceptions to the rules. But, generally, following these rules is going to help you out even if you have to break them sometimes.

Keep doing link building!

On the “do” side of things, one thing that I want to emphasize is do link building. Don’t give up just because Google is imposing these rules and penalizing people. We still need the people who are actively out there building links. They still have a huge opportunity to win. So don’t give up on this as a part of your practice.

The Future of Google Search: Mobile, Authorship & Quality Search Results

The Future of Google Search: Mobile, Authorship & Quality Search ResultsThe Future of Google Search: Mobile, Authorship & Quality Search Results

On the future of search, he again stressed the importance of mobile site usability. YouTube traffic on mobile has skyrocketed from 6 percent two years ago, to 25 percent last year, to 40 percent of all YouTube this year. Some countries have more mobile traffic than they do desktop traffic. Cutts reiterated, “If your website looks bad in mobile, now is the time to fix that.”

Google is also working on machine learning and training their systems to be able to comprehend and read at an elementary school level, in order to improve search results.

Authorship is another area where Google wants to improve, because tying an identity to an authorship profile can help keep spam out of Google. They plan to tighten up authorship to combat spam and they found if they removed about 15 percent of the lesser quality authors, it dramatically increased the presence of the better quality authors.

They are also working on the next generation of hacked site detection, where Cutts said he is not talking about ordinary blackhat, but “go to prison blackhat.” Google wants to prevent people from being able to find any results for the really nasty search queries, such as child porn. Cutts said, “If you type in really nasty search queries, we don’t want you to find it in Google.”

Cutts’ current advice (again) to webmasters is that it’s important to get ready for mobile. He spoke to the convenience for website visitors when you utilize their auto-complete web form annotations, to make it easier for people to fill out forms on your site. The mark-up to add to the forms is easy to do, and will be available in the next few months.

The next generation of the algorithm will look at the issue of ad-heavy websites, particularly those with a large number of ads placed above the fold. This is really not a surprise, as it makes for a bad user experience and Google has previously announced that their page layout algorithm is targeting this. But sites using JavaScript to make it appear to Googlebot that the ads aren’t above the fold should look at replacing the ads before the algorithm impacts them.

Matt Cutts Q&A

During Q&A, Cutts discussed links from press release sites. He said Google identified the sites that were press release syndication sites and simply discounted them. He does stress that press release links weren’t penalized, because press release sites do have value for press and marketing reasons, but those links won’t pass PageRank.

The problem of infinite scrolling websites was raised, such as how Twitter just keeps loading more tweets as you continue to scroll down. He cautions that while Google tries to do a good job, other search engines don’t handle infinite scrolling as well. He suggests any sites utilizing infinite scrolling also have static links, such as with a pagination structure, so bots can have access to all the information if their bots don’t wait for the infinite loading of the page.

Someone asked about whether being very prolific on blogs and posting a ton of posts daily has any impact on search rankings. Cutts used the Huffington Post as an example, as they have a huge number of authors, so logically they have many daily posts. However, he says posting as much as your audience expects to see is the best way to go.

In closing, Cutts said they are keeping a close eye on the mix of organic search results with non-organic search results and says he would also like to hear feedback on it.

While no new features were announced during his keynote at Pubcon, Cutts packed his presentation with many takeaways for webmasters.

How to retrieve your website and improve your keyword search result?

 The entire SEO analyst those who are managing websites would like to escape from Google Penguin and Panda update but it is not at all possible. Even though Google has been adding strength to their algorithm and updating frequently, negative SEO is not decreased.

improve your keyword search result

Google Penguin 2.0 Update:
Google Penguin 2.0 Update focus on the web sites that follows link farming methods and poor inter/cross linking strategy. The websites that are getting irrelevant Backlinks is the main target in this update. Matt Cutt announced that 2.3% of English-US queries were affected in this update, not only English queries but other languages also. Hundreds and thousands of web sites were affected in this update.
How to retrieve your website?
Now all of the SEO peoples wondering to know the ways to retrieve their web site. I can easily say the ways but the process is really hard. These are some steps that you have to follow.
Step 1: Check all your incoming Links. Search in google as link:http://www.yourwebsite.com or Go to Webmaster tool click Traffic and select Links to your site. Here you can find all your inbound links. Analyze all the links and Disavow the links which are not related to your website’s theme.
Step2: Check all your outbound links and remove all low quality links. Go to your website and analyze each and every page for irrelevant and bad links. Check your footer, Side bar also.
Step3: Generate Quality Links from High PR sites. Because Google now concentrates mainly on number of quality Backlinks and not on quantity of Backlinks i.e. 1000 Back Links from irrelevant site is not at all good for your site but getting single backlink from relevant high pr site is good. Try to get backlinks from .gov site and .edu or .org site. Submit your sites in directories like DMOZ and Yahoo Directories which are the top most directories in the world. All try to submit your websites on Boing Boing and Huffington Post etc.
By doing all those things you can retrieve your website in the next Penguin update. Please don’t try to use reconsideration Request. Because google didn’t manually penalize your site but it is an algorithm Updation so wait until next Updation comes.   

Using SEO for Reputation Management

Using SEO for Reputation ManagementFirst, to understand how negative press can get to the top of the search engines results pages (SERPs), let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit the old urban legend of Pop Rocks and Coke. Amidst all the excitement around the popular fizzy candy, in the late 1970s stories began to spread around school playgrounds that, when mixed with soda, Pop Rocks could cause a mini-explosion in your stomach. Teachers overheard and passed on to mothers. The worried mothers then escalated the news to the press, and soon General Foods, the creators of Pop Rocks, had a reputation problem on their hands.

This telephone game of word-of-mouth is replicated online via link-building. First, someone publishes negative comments about your company. As others read the comments, more people start linking to it in blogs and discussion groups. Friends forward to friends, who forward to friends and so on. Next thing you know, the bad press is at the top of the search rankings.

Back in the Pop Rocks days, General Foods responded to the Pop Rocks fiasco with full-page print ads, letters to school principals around the country, and even sent the Pop Rocks inventordoor to door to attest to its safety. But what could they have done had they lived in the today’s digital world?

Begin by Examining Keywords

If an online reputational tragedy befalls you or a friend, the first step in the repair strategy should always entail keyword selection. You don’t want to continue optimizing the same keywords that are used for existing marketing purposes. Different keywords come into play in this case. Since it is likely the negative press is showing up when consumers search under your brand name or product name, you will want to focus your SEO efforts on those specific keywords. The goal is to drive brand-friendly hits up in the SERPs, while pushing the negative press down.

You do this by creating more good press and optimizing around those selected keywords. Links embedded within press releases will give sites a ranking boost while the news is fresh and the press release is at the top of the newswire. When you’re embedding the links, don’t just hyperlink your corporate domain every time. Instead, ask yourself, “Which links are most important to our situation at this time?”

Experiment with different hyperlinks to different sub-domains, and measure the results to determine which ones will drive your news up the ranks. Always make sure that links are embedded on top of, or near your brand name.

Banish Negative Press through Link Building

The second step is link building. After all, if the negative press elbowed its way to the top of the SERPs through link building, you can do the same with positive press. It is an SEO ace in the hole, and it should be a major part of any SEO strategy. To counteract the negative press, build links to optimize brand and product names.

Think outside your corporate domain. Sub-domains, including news sites, corporate blogs and other pages outside your website, can be key SEO weapons in your arsenal as they take up more shelf space in the SERPs. Optimize these through link building, and make it a practice to ensure that the content on these sites is constantly updated and is as fresh as possible.

Lastly, go directly to the source of the negative press and request they also include rebuttal links. Ideally, they will publish an additional link on that post or page to your response (on your site) to the issue in question, so that your positive messages are given more platform.

When it comes to the Internet, information is a constantly flowing stream, and it flows fast. The only real news is what’s up at the top of the search page, so use something that you know works to manage, control and shape those messages that you care about. SEO has a pivotal role inreputation management, as it can remove negatives and enhance positives on the first page of results, which is usually the only page that matters.

 

Different keywords require different SEO tactics

Getting high rankings hasn’t become easier with Google’s recent updates. Fortunately, it is still possible to get high rankings if you do the right things. Depending on your target keywords, you have to do different things to get high rankings.

Long keywords: on-page optimization has a high impact

If you target long keywords with little competition, the value of on-page optimization is very high:

On-page optimization vs link building

Say you want to be listed for the search term “the knoxville ornithologists club t-shirts” then it is enough to optimize one of your web pages for that search term because the competition for that search term is not high. You don’t need many inbound links to get high rankings for that keyphrase.

If you target more competitive keywords, you need more backlinks to get high rankings in the search results.

2. More competitive keywords: on-page optimization remains important

On-page optimization is the basis for high rankings on Google and other search engines.

By optimizing a web page for a keyphrase, you tell search engines that the web page is relevant to that keyphrase. If more than one web page has been optimized for that keyphrase (which is usually the case) then the web page with the best inbound links will get the highest position in the search results.

For example, the website www.cnn.com has very many backlinks. Although cnn.com has so many backlinks, they do not rank for the keyword “the knoxville ornithologists club t-shirts” because the website has not been optimized for that keyphrase.

3. First things first: optimize your web page content, then work on the backlinks

If you want to get high rankings for a keyword, the first step is to optimize one of your web pages for that keyword. Then work on the links that point to the optimized web page to outrank other websites that have been optimized for the same keyword:

Competitive keywords: better SEO

4. The more pages you optimize the better

When you optimize your website, optimize different pages of your website for different keyphrases. Start with longer keyword phrases that don’t have much competition and then proceed with more competitive keywords.

As soon as Google knows that your website is relevant to the topic, it will be much easier to get high rankings for more competitive keywords.

The more pages of your website you optimize for different but related keywords, the better.

5. It’s not necessary to have more links than your competitors

It’s not always necessary that you have more links than your competitors. You need better links.

Don’t focus on quantity, focus on quality. Getting hundreds of links from a link farm won’t help your website as much as a few dozen links from relevant web pages with authority.

If your website has both optimized web pages and good inbound links then it will be easy to outrank web pages that only have one of these factors.

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