Discussion on Latest Link Building Strategies with Marketing Experts



Discussion on Latest Link Building Strategies with Marketing Experts

When we talk about getting success from our SEO Efforts nowadays, a sense of doubt takes place in our mind. Regular updates in Algorithms by Google has not only covered the scope of SEO by dark clouds but the declaration of some of the strategies as Spam has put a big question mark on the Scope of SEO.

In order to accomplish the mission from the SEO Efforts, I decided to gather the Ideas of a group of SEO Experts on an  Interview Portal about some of the most disputed questions related to SEO and their responses are summarized as follows:

Philtrate

Philtrate

I am 61 years old and have seen a lot of life. I have been online since the beginning of the Internet and blogging for most of that time

lifestyleultimatum

lifestyleultimatum

I am an Blogger on the Italian and English market. On the italian market I built a stable income and now I live in Costa Rica since two years, where I decide to start my new adventure on the English market with my italian experience.

Carlo Rosales

Carlo Rosales

– 6 years internet marketing – SEO, Social Media, PPC, Re-targetting, CRO

faziscorpion

Faisal Rehman

Faisal Rehman is a freelance copywriter and Google Adwords Certified Marketer with over 6 years of experience. He is a regular contributor at examiner.com, and lifehack.org.

Brandon Shrair

Brandon Shrair

Run a content marketing agency for online businesses + small businesses.

Samuel Scott

Samuel Scott

Former journalist turned digital marketer.

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt is the chief SEO (search engine optimizer) and writer. He is also the chief marketing strategist.

Cormac84

Cormac84

Content Marketer and SEO Link Builder

Questions we’ve been discussing:

Q. What are the link building techniques you are using for small businesses?

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

I don’t build links for SEO, page rank or anything of that ilk. I build links in the hope that people will follow those links to my site and be interested in what I have to say. I submit high quality guest posts and leave genuine comments on blogs that interest me.

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

The two strategies I find most useful are…

1) Participating in discussions, especially meaningful contributions that other people will want to build on.

2) Thought leadership articles, or at least articles that go beyond what everybody else is writing.  People link to the best, not to the”me-too” articles.

These are the types of links that drive traffic, and if they drive traffic, they are also likely to have long-term search value.

A. Faisal Rehman

Giveaway something (valuable) for free:

A couple of years ago when I was working for a webdesign company, We built a few wordpress themes and released them with a link to our targeted site.This stretegy helped us getting a lot of  relevant back links. I admit that  a number of people removed our link but we ended up ranking number one in Google for a few of our competitive keywords. This strategy is still effective to get attention and back links.

A. Andrea (A lifestyle Blogger)

What link building strategy I use really depends on the niche I am working with. There are cases where I need to setup a Private Blog Network and create my own links, other where with just an email I can get a good link from a great website.

I think that leaving apart when you are doing your own network or you automatize stuff, if you are focusing on a long-term business and you don’t want to get penalized in future you should focus on relationship.

Social network are great place where entertain people in conversation and this create audience.

From there you can get in touch with other blogger and build “digital friendship” where you can earn some links, citation and likes.

Also a great way is to find who is already linking your competitor and get in touch in some way with them exposing your content, sending an email, or again via social.

Sometimes it need hundreds of contacts before to get a link, but those people will not forget you if you have done a good work so as part of the strategy you should create great quality content.

A. Carlo Rosales (Internet Marketing Strategist)

No two link building campaigns are the same. Our link building methodologies would depend on the client’s business model, niche and current standing. From there, we can get a baseline of where to start, how to approach link acquisition and what audience to target. But techniques like guest posting, infographic distribution, and evergreen content are almost always part of the big picture.

Other techniques would really depend on the actual business. Nowadays, content marketing has become a standard but not everyone knows the recipe to success. Feel free to reach out if you would like more information on that.

A. Brandon Shrair

One of the best techniques for smaller local businesses is creating location-specific resources for the community, in the form of blog posts, and then reaching out to writers, bloggers, and other local websites for links. If the small business is a bike equipement store, for example, you could create a detailed guide to biking in your city. To take it a step further, you could do this for mountain biking (and off-road trails) and maybe even turn that into an infographic. If you take the time to create an awesome resource, people will be glad to share it on their site + with friends over social media.

A. Samuel Scott (Senior Director of Digital Marketing at The Cline Group)


Public relations and publicity. Don’t ask this: “How can we build links to our website?” Ask this: “How can our company get coverage from reporters and bloggers?” The best links will then come as indirect results of the coverage. Plus, this method is completely 100% natural and earned, so you will never have to worry about getting penalized by Google. We need to stop talking about links and start talking about publicity. PR should mean “public relations” to us and not “PageRank” — PageRank is meaningless today.

I actually write and speak on the integration of SEO and PR a lot. Here are three resources that may help you and your readers:

Moz webinar with the associated SlideShare Another Moz post on PR 101 My talk at SMX West

A. Cormac84 (Ego bait works well)

We’re looking at a number of different ways to help build links for our small business. One we’re using involves a tool called Wikigrabber. You simply place a loose term into the tool’s search box and it returns data on related pages that need citations and where there are broken links. If you have or are willing to create a really high quality piece of content for the client’s blog that is useful as a citation or helps fill in the gap where the broken link is left then you have a nice link from Wikipedia.

 

Q. What anchor text rich strategy you like the most?

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

I do NOT use rich anchor text AT ALL. That way lies death by Google, a very painful way for a business to die. My content is good, my links are in plain sight and are mostly my name or the name/URL of my website. That’s all I want. I do not want to rank for a keyword today and hare my site de-indexed by Google tomorrow.

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

I like to keep it natural.  If it makes sense to include a keyword, so be it.  If it doesn’t make sense, so be it.  I do like to make it clear to even newbie users what they’ll find at the other end of the link, and that they can click on it.  So I often have keywords in the link and I sometimes also have “click here” or something like that in the same link.

I do make a big difference between a link that I just throw in, in case a reader wants further background (in which case the anchor text might just be a word or two), and a link that I encourage people to go to for further reading, in which case it might be a whole sentence (“Click here to read what I wrote on this topic at Bob’s Blogh.”).

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

After the Penguin, everything is changed.

You cannot more use an exact match anchor text, so I try to get my link surrounded by content related to the keywords I am trying to spot.

Then I focus my main keyword in my internal linking. However sometimes I choose to use wide sentences anchor that includes also my keyword.

A. Carlo Rosales (Internet Marketing Strategist)

Thanks to our continuous efforts in testing, we found that there is a right formula to your use of anchor text. Selecting one and going with it isn’t the best way to approach anchor texts. Google see’s your link portfolio and checks its link diversity and a huge part of that is your anchor text diversity. Meaning, too much of one thing is a red flag waiting to happen.

What you want to do is create a portfolio that is diverse enough to make it appear natural. The more natural your links appear to Google’s search engine robots, the better the link portfolio and impact it’ll make on your search engine rankings.

A good formula would be:

30% brand

10% – 25% Exact match

14% – 24% Partial match

10% – 16% Naked URL

5% Generic

This will diversify your anchor text for search engine robots.

A. Samuel Scott (Senior Director of Digital Marketing at The Cline Group)

None. We do not ask for any specific anchor-text. It’s the only strategy that is 100% future-proof and will never risk penalties. In the rare cases where we can choose anchor-text for ourselves and/or clients, we use the company name or brand name. While keyword-rich anchor-text can provide short-term benefits today, Google is getting smart enough so that anchor-text will play less and less of a role in its algorithm soon.

A. Cormac84 (Ego bait works well)

We don’t really encourage it to be honest aside from focusing on long tail links now and again, we like to stick to just being as natural as possible. We find using Hitail can help a lot as it shows us some of the long tail links that get some decent traffic.

 

Q. Does web directory submission still work? If yes, then How?

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

I have submitted to web ditrectories in the past but the links brought very few visitors even ten years ago. The main purpose of directory links was to build page rank and authority. I do not think they ever did that and they certainly do not do it now. The only people who benefit from directory submissions are the directory sites themselves when click on an ad somewhere on the page.

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

Nobody seeks information from directories anymore and the search engines know this.  I think local ones can still work, because they help act as location-specific filters and people still do use the directories (after a Google or Bing search that brings them there).  For that reason, the local directories might also have some residual SEO benefits,.  If nothing else, a few directory listings in local directories can help the search engines establish a location for the business, as well as associate it with similar buisinesses.  I don’t think many other directories are worthwhile, though, unless they come with some additional benefits.

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

No for what is my experience, directory submission is not more working. Or better even if they still work, no make sense to spend time on this strategy because you can use the same effort to get lot more benefits from social strategy.

It can be some cases where make sense to be in some directory, but maybe this is more because it is good to differentiate the profile link than for the benefits you can get out of this link.

A. Carlo Rosales (Internet Marketing Strategist)

Directory submissions are still relevant. Not in the same way it used to be though. The only time you should be putting in effort in directory submission is for local directory listings for local seo campaigns and major directories such as yahoo and dmoz. For these main directories, only a few are left that bring value to your campaign as far as link juice goes.

There are three things to think about when it comes to directory submissions:

– Am I submitting to directories for link juice?

If this is what you are after, select major directories and don’t waste time trying to build thousands of directory listings. Most of these directories will harm your website rather than do it good.

– Am I submitting to directories for traffic?

If you are in it for traffic, go to directories that actual people use for reference and information.

– Am I submitting to directories for local visibility?

Use local directories or local listing aggregators.

Don’t rely on just directory submissions and only use reputed directories.

A. Samuel Scott (Senior Director of Digital Marketing at The Cline Group)

No. Why should Google give you credit for a link that you give yourself?

The only exception is what I call “human-curated lists.” Say a real person in Boston is a wine expert and has a website all about wine that lists local wine stores, then you do want to be on that list. But a random, global directory that accepts all listings? Nope.

The key question to ask yourselves: “If Google did not exist, would you want this link? In other words, would this listing provide valuable, real, referral traffic?” If the answer is “no,” then don’t go after that link.

A. Cormac84 (Ego bait works well)

Yes, to a degree, though like any form of link building it only works for the long term if it’s done with a honourable intent in the first place. When a lot of directories were killed off a few years ago, it seems that the cream of the crop rose to the top and among all the spun article site rubbish there were some gems. If people can use these in a responsible manner, yes it still has its place in my opinion.

Q. Are the efforts put on the Broken Link Building Strategy worthy enough?
A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

That depends how you do it.  I suspect for the time spent, there is probably a positive ROI, and since it is something that helps “clean up the web”, it is not something that should ever land a website in trouble with the search engines.  The key, as with all link-building, is to ask yourself if that is a site/page you really want a link from.  If yes, then go for it.

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Yes broken link strategy still work great. You also need to be good on spot place where co-citation can be applied so there you can play your game.

If you spot a place where someone is linking resources not more available, why don’t send not only your link, but also a list of high quality competitor with the solution in them.

This will turn in an article with two or three good links on it and your link among them. It will gives you link juice, but also co-citation, and appears more natural for the blog owner, like you are not trying to take advantage from his contents.

A. Carlo Rosales (Internet Marketing Strategist)

If by efforts you mean you would have a dedicated person or team scout the web for broken links, I would say it isn’t. However, if you come across one, it’s always a good idea to do so. The reason is, tracking broken links can be difficult. There are tools like Domain Hunter Plus to do this but it takes a big chunk of time to actually go through the process. Once you find one, there isn’t a guarantee of link placement. If say for example you are an affiliate site, 9/10 you won’t get published/linked to on a reputable website.

A. Samuel Scott (Senior Director of Digital Marketing at The Cline Group)

If you are asking whether building broken inbound links is important, I’d say, “of course.” It’s not directly building a link; it’s helping another website. If you are asking whether this method is used enough, I’d say, “no.” Public relations and broken-link building should be used a lot more than the traditional tactics of directories and articles.

A. Cormac84 (Ego bait works well)

I’ve done some broken link building but I’m quite an impatient person by nature. I guess the Wikipedia Wikigrabber example above is a similar effort, but at the moment it’s about all the BLB that I focus on – my bad really as it’s certainly something I know some people have seen very successful results with.

Q. what should be avoided while outreaching for guest blogging?

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

Insincerity – Avoid it at all costs. Guest blogging is about personal contact, someone giving you space on their website for your thoughts. That is only going to happen if you have built up a genuine relationship with the blogger. You should be virtual drinking buddies before you send any proposal.

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

Personally, I accept guest posts almost only if I am the one requesting the guest post.  Usually it is because I really like what somebody has said somewhere, and I want them to say more about it.

A blog, which is somebody’s business, somebody’s publication.  If you are reaching out to place a guest post, what you are really asking for is advertising.  The worst thing you can say is “Best of all, this won’t cost you anything, just a link.”  Because what you are really saying is, “Worst of all, I’m not willing to pay a penny for this valuable advertising, nor for the huge amount of time’ you’ll be putting into formatting, editing, proofreading and promoting my post.”  If you can’t pay for the post, what you SHOULD say is “I know how much time it will cost you to post this for me.  I will work even harder than you to promote it, making sure that it is tweeted by at least 100 people in my network and shared on Google Plus by at least 25 people who follow me.  Your blog will gain valuable exposure and new followers because I’ll bust my butt for you.”

A. Faisal Rehman

1. Dont go without an outreach strategy.

Develop a strong outreach strategy before you start guest blogging. define your goals

i.e:

I want to increase traffic to my site.

I’m trying to rank in search for a particular keyword . (You should write content around the keyword)

2.  Avoid long and boring emails.

Bloggers are busy people, Authority blogs receive 100’s of pitches on a daily basis, so make sure your email is sweet, personalized and short (150 words or less).

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Guest blogging is the key for the success but also a difficult part of the game.

You should be polite first and try to understand that everybody need contents, but also you are entering in the house of someone, so first present yourself.

Send out a piece of content, show that you are doing your best and opened to some changes if needed.

Avoid to be jealous of your content, you are a guest and you want to turn into friend.

Especially understand that your knowledge not always is a must, and sometimes you must express in form of experience, and not a dogma.

A. Carlo Rosales (Internet Marketing Strategist)

Since the negatives are too many to mention, I’ll list things to do before pitching for a guest post instead:

  1. Research your area of interest and what topics they cover.
  2. Check the topics that were recently published. It helps to push something in the same theme or style of writing.
  3. Put in an effort to look for their guest post guidelines if they have one and follow their rules.
  4. Make sure you have sample articles that you can provide. Preferrably published by other websites and reputable ones.
  5. Customize your email by including their name, website and any other information you can. The more customized it is, the less canned it seems. One thing that should always be there is their name.
  6. Include your expertise in your email. That way, they know what to expect from you.
  7. Provide your sample titles with an outline of your idea for the post. What will you touch on? How deep will you go?
  8. Ask if they have any titles in mind or have any additions or suggestions.
  9. Follow-up when needed and don’t bombard them with emails.

A. Brandon Shrair

Avoid coming off self-centered. No one likes receiving a guest post request that is clearly an attempt at getting a free back link — with no care for the quality of the content or the benefit of the site owner. Take a minute to rephrase your outreach approach so that it’s focused on adding value to the website owner — this way will garner a much higher response to your outreach + acceptance rate for your guest posts.

A. Samuel Scott (Senior Director of Digital Marketing at The Cline Group)

Focus on relevance instead of Domain Authority or PageRank. If you sell “widgets,” then you want coverage and contributed articles on the websites that are read by the people who are interested in “widgets” — regardless of the Domain Authority or PageRank of those websites. If I were Google, I’d place greater value on links that come from websites on related topics.

A. Cormac84 (Ego bait works well)

If you’re going to send 1,000 emails with the exact same outreach message and little or no tailoring to webmasters, why not just add a viagra advert in there too because that sort of thing is little more than irritating spam. Read the blogs, take a little notice of the sort of thing they do and then pitch accordingly – otherwise you’re going to spam town in 98% of cases.

 

Q. How social media can help to earn links?

A. Philtrate (The Teaching Escape Guy)

Social media links are largely worthless – People who follow them are lacking in interest or focus on your content, they are just curious, just slowing down your site for those who are interested in what you are saying. Given that, images are still the best social method of earning links, images that contain your URL embedded are the most worthwhile.

A. David Leonhardt (President, THGM )

If you write something good…no, wait.  If you write something excellent…no, wait.  If you write something that surpasses anything else out there, people will share it, bloggers will build on it and the media might even pick it up.  Social media spreads the word on truly exceptional content that people want to link to.

A. lifestyleultimatum (A lifestyle Blogger)

Like I have stated before, relationship is the key.

If you get retweeted, send a thank you. Answer and get involved, give away value, not only your links and like a magic Social Networks will turn into a great place where get connection with other people.

Of course someone will be rude with you, it happens to me. I have presented a case on an income report recently and was funny, because every time that some haters will get involved in a conversation with you he is driving traffic to your blog.

If you are doing a good work, people will understand that you are doing your work also in the social.

If they didn’t understand this probably they are angry because they haven’t been enough consistent to get to their goal.

All the other people will get in touch with you in a way or another and will remember you and thank you.

This is what a social network is made for. It is not your personal space, it is a common space where everything is moving and you should be part of that movement.

A. Carlo Rosales (Internet Marketing Strategist)

Social media can do a great job in distributing content to your audience. Targetting the right demographic / audience is key here. In return, these viral shares become linkable assets and send out good signals to search engines that the webpage is:

  1. Trusted
  2. Interesting
  3. Shareable
  4. Popular

This is the way creating content that inspires social interaction should be a part of your content strategy. A good way to get a head start through social media is getting your content in front of influencers. If the influencers appreciate the post, they would not hesitate to share through social media.

Also, leveraging social media as a channel to communicate and connect is always a good thing. It’s more personal and is good for building relationships and growing your network.

A. Samuel Scott (Senior Director of Digital Marketing at The Cline Group)

“Social media” is a set of modern communications channels that transmit content to a desired audience. Therefore, it is crucial to select the right channels. In public relations, for example, reporters rarely read their e-mail or answer the telephone because they get so many pitches — however, they often check Twitter. So, Twitter can be used to communicate your article pitches to journalists, bloggers, and influencers quickly and easily.

A. Cormac84 (Ego bait works well)

Social media is brilliant for helping to earn links. From building relationships in Twitter, joining Google+ groups for chats, involving yourself on sites like Reddit or anything else you can think of – social media is a cornerstone nowadays. I recently added a little bit on Social Media Slant on outreach with Pinterest and there were some other great contributions with outreach in mind on there – check them out,

When we talk about getting success from our SEO Efforts nowadays, a sense of doubt takes place in our mind. Regular updates in Algorithms by Google and has not only covered the scope of SEO by dark clouds and the declaration of some of the strategies as Spam has put a big question mark on the Scope of SEO.
In order to accomplish the mission from the SEO Efforts, I decided to gather the Ideas of a group of SEO Experts on an  Interview Portal about some of the most disputed questions related to SEO and their responses are summarized below.

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