The "Big Easy" Guide to Google-Friendly Link Earning

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The days of link building are over. Now's the time for link earning! Browse 9 classes of links that local site owners can still use confidently in a Post-Penguin world.

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  • -Mention 2/20 Google Webmaster Help Cutts video and 2/28 Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin.
    Are Links Losing Value in Google's Algorithm?
    - So what does this mean? Invest in “link earning”
  • Google has declared a war on link building.
  • What do all of these have in common? You can AUTOMATE most of them. And further, almost none of them require editorial approval. There is no gatekeeper at the other end to physically approve the link.
  • What do all of these have in common? You can AUTOMATE most of them. And further, almost none of them require editorial approval. There is no gatekeeper at the other end to physically approve the link.
  • The average social media user sees 285 content pieces a day. That’s over 50,000+ words of content and/or 400+ minutes of Video. That’s like reading multiple novels or watching the Twilight Series every day (good God who would want to do that!!!)
    So how do you get your content to stand out? By publishing high-quality, long form content pieces that have a “hook.”
  • Example of “pull marketing.” Clearly this stuff doesn’t happen in vacuum and even the BEST content pieces need a push.
  • Good quality links from VanityFair.com and Motorcycle Magazine among others.
  • Personally, I like Piktochart because it allows those of us with no design experience to put together some pretty slick looking graphics. $30/month will get you access to about 100 different templates you can modify.
    - Even better is that if you are an Education or Non-Profit you can pay just $40 a year.
  • Peter Bray of Moz just launched a pretty cool Twitter Influencer research tool called ZoomProfiler.com. Check that out!
  • Evergreen content can be any of the following: articles, How-to Guides & Tutorials, Resource Lists, FAQs, Industry Definitions, Interviews, etc.
  • Local Links (Citations, Local Sponsorships, Awards, Media Appearances, etc.)
  • Bastyr University is a Regional Accredited Natural Health and Sciences college with campuses in San Diego and Washington State.
    San Diego Food Trucks - http://sdfoodtrucks.com/ (for commercial link)
  • You can also pull in local links by specifically blogging about local people, events and businesses.
  • Chambers of Commerce, Local Sports Organizations, etc.
  • Scholarship pages are LINK MAGNETS and still an underused resource. This page for Silver Cross went live less than 1 year ago in early April, 2013.
  • Scholarship pages are LINK MAGNETS and still an underused strategy
  • Scholarship pages are LINK MAGNETS and still an underused strategy
    Pro tip: It's not only about giving students financial assistance. Think about what you want to get out of this as a business owner too. For example my colleague Brendon, while executing this for one of his clients, suggested that they require students to write and submit an online marketing strategy of 1,000 words or less. In another example, a client asked students to write and submit a DIY tutorial complete with photos and the client will use those entries as content for their blog over the coming months. Get .edu backlinks and original content for your website. Double the bang for your scholarship buck!
  • To find these opportunities, you can do a variety of different online searches such as sponsor + your city, “become a sponsor” + your city, “thank you to our sponsors” + your city, and so forth. These searches should lead you to many different sponsorship opportunities in your local community, some of which may even fit your industry perfectly!
  • Mention the “editorial” component here. In many ways these are “paid links” as there is a clear something for something “consideration” arrangement here. Yet these links are everywhere and they still have very high value.
  • Profile links doesn’t necessary mean “forum” links.
  • Who doesn’t want multiple dofollow links from a DA 100 domain. Most profiles accumulate PageRank quickly. This one is a PR 5!
  • Image links still count as links. And more importantly it’s an image link from a HIGH-TRUST site. More importantly these show up very highly in Google search and are invaluable for reputation management purposes.
  • Profile links can have big algorithmic bang!
  • Now, I covered Technorati and Storify as examples today. Both of them and hundreds of others can be locked up with KnowEM.com. KnowEM.com is the market leader. Stay away from ClaimBrand.com – they hijacked some of KnowEM.com’s code on their site and they have terrible customer support.
  • Matt Cutts announced last week at SMX West that a “well-known” Guest Blogging network would be hit.
  • Reference the Matt Cutts Tweet about Guest Blogging…review the SEN article on Guest Blogging. Reference some guest blogging examples.
  • So what’s happening is MASS guest blogging is on the outs. Especially guest blogging opportunities that reference dofollow links within the article body content.
  • Bottom line: quality guest blogging is still just fine.
    And for #5, whichever is NOT hit by Google is my recommendation. (SMX West shoutout)
  • These are just possible high-quality, editorial links back to your site or the site of your client that are just WAITING for you to reach out and grab. Now, it’s worth noting that Google
  • These are high-quality, editorial links back to your site or the site of your client that are just WAITING for you to reach out and grab.
  • The MOZ tool allows you to set-up and run 10 different keyword queries at the Pro Level.
  • -The MOZ Tool only covers the last 4 weeks. But you can set-up alerts and be notified on a daily or weekly basis going forward!
    -The MOZ tool allows you to set-up and run 10 different keyword queries at the Pro Level.
    - Other Paid Tools include the Ahrefs.com Mention Tracker and the Web CEO “Web Buzz” Tool.
  • -Mention 2/20 Google Webmaster Help Cutts video and 2/28 Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin.
    Are Links Losing Value in Google's Algorithm?
    - So what does this mean? Invest in “link earning”
  • The "Big Easy" Guide to Google-Friendly Link Earning

    1. 1. Presented by Casey Markee Lead SEO Consultant/Head of SEO Support SearchEngineNews.com President of www.MediaWyse.com @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    2. 2. Connect with me Online @ Today’s Presenter is… Become a Fan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Planet.Ocean Follow Casey on Twitter: http://Twitter.com/MediaWyse Connect with Casey on Linkedin: http://www.linkedin/com/in/caseymarkee Circle Casey on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+CaseyMarkee Follow Casey on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/CaseyMarkeeMB A
    3. 3. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    4. 4. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Google Link Building Targets & Victims: Directory Submissions Blog Comments Mass Guest PostingArticle Directories Advertorials Reciprocal Links Social Bookmarking Widget Links Spun Content Paid Links Anchor Text Rich Links Design by Links Press Releases Web 2.0 Links Forums
    5. 5. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Google Link Building Targets & Victims: Directory Submissions Blog Comments Mass Guest PostingArticle Directories Advertorials Reciprocal Links Social Bookmarking Widget Links Spun Content Paid Links Anchor Text Rich Links Design by Links Press Releases Web 2.0 Links Forums
    6. 6. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee So what does Google want?
    7. 7. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee The 4 Tenants of Google-Friendly Links: 1. Does the link provide clear value to the user? 2. Is the link niche-relevant and worthy of Google consideration? 3. Does the link actually get clicked and send some measureable form of trackable analytics traffic?
    8. 8. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee The 4 Tenants of Google-Friendly Links: And most importantly…. 4. Was the link given or “earned” freely?
    9. 9. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    10. 10. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    11. 11. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 1. Link Bait Type Content “Content that is GREAT and Shareable!”
    12. 12. What does Link Bait Look like? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee http://bit.ly/1dqGYHg
    13. 13. How about Infographic Link Bait? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee http://bit.ly/1dqJzRE
    14. 14. How do you Create Infographics? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    15. 15. Link Bait BEST Practices: @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 1. Generate quality link bait ideas with the following: Portent Content Idea Generator: http://www.portent.com/tools/title-maker/ HubSpot Blog Topic Idea Generator: http://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator Content Forest Title Tool Generator: http://titletool.contentforest.com/
    16. 16. Link Bait BEST Practices: @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 1. Find Topics that are Buzz-Worthy: PopURLs.com, RadURLs.com, BuzzFeed.com, Klout. 2. Make it Shareable. 3. Outreach: in-house, client emails, Follower Wonk, ZoomProfiler etc. 4. Promote: Paid Stumbles, Facebook Ads, Promoted Tweets, Google Adwords 5. Syndication: Outbrain, Taboola, Zemanta – “Pay for Awesome” - eyeballs
    17. 17. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 2. Evergreen Content “Does your content have an expiration date?”
    18. 18. What is “Evergreen” Content? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    19. 19. Why Choose Evergreen Content? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Image Credit: Business2Business, All Rights Reserved.
    20. 20. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 3. Local Link “Earning”! “Sure, I’ll link to your yoga studio.”
    21. 21. Local Links can be Pulled or Pushed. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee You can “Push” for local links by finding local opportunities and requesting a link:
    22. 22. Local Links can be Pulled or Pushed. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee You can “Pull” in Local Links by Publishing Local Resources:
    23. 23. Local Links can take a lot of Different Forms @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 1. Local Meetups 2. Local Directories 3. Local Review Sites 4. Chambers of Commerce 5. Event Sponsorships 6. Local Resource Pages 7. Local Blogs 8. Local Newspapers 9. Local Charities & Sponsorships 10. Award Listings 11. Club & Organization Pages 12. Calendar Pages 13. Local Expert Interviews 14. Embedded Custom Google Maps 15. Embedded Videos w/Local Attribution Links
    24. 24. Local Links can take a lot of Different Forms @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Find Local Link Opportunities with Google Search Operator searches: <city name> + “recommended resources”/”suggested resources” <city name> + “useful resources”/”interesting resources” <city name> + “favorite resources” <city name> + “recommended sites”/”suggested sites” <city name> + “useful sites”/”interesting sites” <city name> + “favorite sites” <city name> + “recommended websites”/”suggested websites” <city name> + “useful websites”/”interesting websites” <city name> + “favorite websites” <city name> + inurl:links/resources <city name> + inanchor:links/resources Browse 10,000 URL Operator Strings here: http://bit.ly/1dvVyx5
    25. 25. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 4. Scholarship Link “Earning” “Are you disabled and live in Canada, I’ve got a scholarship for you!”
    26. 26. Scholarship Pages in Action @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Case Study: www.SilverCross.com Sells recycled Healthcare equipment in Canada and the United States. They had very few “linkable” resources on their website. So we added an Ability Achievement Scholarship that is now given yearly to one student in the US and Canada. It’s a healthy $3000 scholarship. Prospective students fill-out an Essay and meet other on-site requirements.
    27. 27. Scholarship Pages in Action @MediaWyse + Casey Markee The new page generated 2100+ visitors in 2013 and generated an average site visit of 04:07 seconds. This was 150% above the site average! Total Backlinks = 940+ Linking Domains = 100+ Page PageRank = 4 Page Authority = 45 Total Social Signals = 500+ Case Study: www.SilverCross.com
    28. 28. Scholarship Pages in Action @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Case Study: www.SilverCross.com – So how do you promote these? 1. Submit a press release announcing the scholarship through PRWeb.com 2. Send out an email to any in-house email lists. 3. Submit to scholarship pages – use Google Operator searches inurl:scholarships site:edu and inurl:edu + art + intitle:“outside scholarship” or inurl:edu + intitle:“outside scholarship” (replace “art” with whatever you are targeting) 4. Blog about the scholarship – provide a link both to your recent press release and the Scholarship page itself. 5. PPC Branding: Spend $100 on a quick Facebook and Google PPC campaign to drive initial awareness 6. Perform Backlink Research on existing Scholarship pages then submit your scholarship directly via email outreach!
    29. 29. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 5. Beneficial Link “Earning” “I noticed an issue here, say, how about a thank you link?”
    30. 30. Position yourself as an Expert in your Space @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 1. Participate in online forums, SEO groups, and Q&A services. Quora specifically is still valid. 2. Speak at local Toastmaster and Civil Group meetings on common problems experienced by your target audience. 3. Sign-up for Disqus.com and comment regularly on popular SEO news services (SearchEngineLand.com, SERoundtable, etc.) 4. Interact regularly on Twitter. Ask and answer questions of your followers. 5. Submit pitches regularly and SPEAK at conferences. Pubcon specifically is a kick-ass gig. Great audiences and super-awesome connections!
    31. 31. When you Interact Online – Links Happen! @MediaWyse + Casey Markee That’s a dofollow backlink from a 50+ Domain Authority site. That’s never a bad thing.
    32. 32. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 6. Sponsorship/Partner Building “Thanks for your sponsorship or support of our endeavors. Here’s a link!”
    33. 33. Sponsorship Opportunities are Everywhere @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    34. 34. Sponsorship Opportunities are Everywhere @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    35. 35. Sponsorship Link Building BEST Practices: @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Find Link Building Sponsorship Opportunities with Google Search Operator Searches: <city name> + “thank you to our sponsors” <city name> + “become a sponsor” <city name> + “sponsorship” <city name> + “partners” <city name> + inurl:sponsorship <city name> + inurl:partners <city name> + inurl:thank you sponsors <city name> allintitle:sponsor <city name>allinanchor:sponsor <city name>allinurl:sponsor <city name>allintext:sponsor “thank you sponsors” “sponsor links” “partner links”
    36. 36. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 7. Profile Links “Get quality links AND secure your brand!”
    37. 37. Profile Links still pass BIG Juice! @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    38. 38. Don’t ignore Social Profile Links Either @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    39. 39. Don’t ignore Social Profile Links Either @MediaWyse + Casey Markee
    40. 40. Lock-Up ALL your Profiles with KnowEM.com @MediaWyse + Casey Markee http://sen.knowem.com/
    41. 41. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 8. Selective Guest Blogging “Quality not quantity is the name of the game here!”
    42. 42. Guest Blogging isn’t Dead but…. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee It took a big hit in 2013!
    43. 43. Guest Blogging isn’t Dead but…. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee And just recently in 2014!
    44. 44. Guest Blogging Link Building BEST Practices: @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 1. Quality not Quantity: This is not a large scale SEO strategy. Doing so will get you slapped by Google! 2. Police the Author Box: It’s appropriate to have one dofollow link back to the author’s site, preferably Branded in nature! 3. Target Trustworthy Sites: Review the trust and authority of the site. Specifically with regard to whom the link out towards. 4. Conduct a Content Audit: Does the site contain low-quality content examples? Is it a Guest Blog mill? 5. Use Guest Blogging Platforms Cautiously: MyBlogGuest.com just hit this morning. Doesn’t even rank for its name. Be VERY selective!
    45. 45. @MediaWyse + Casey Markee 9. Brand Mentions “Turn regular mentions into live links!”
    46. 46. So what’s a Brand Mention? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee A brand mention is a repetition of your name or website, usually unlinked, that appears regularly on the Internet. Turn this..
    47. 47. So what’s a Brand Mention? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee We want to turn Brand Mentions into LIVE links! Into this!
    48. 48. How do I find these Brand Mentions? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Strategy #1 – the MOZ Fresh Mentions Tool (Paid) http://freshwebexplorer.moz.com/
    49. 49. How do I find these Brand Mentions? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Strategy #1 – the MOZ Fresh Mentions Tool (Paid) http://freshwebexplorer.moz.com/ Use this search to find brand mentions without triggering your own domain!
    50. 50. How do I find these Brand Mentions? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Strategy #2 – Google Alerts (Free) – www.google.com/alerts
    51. 51. How do I find these Brand Mentions? @MediaWyse + Casey Markee Strategy #3 – Google Operator Searches (Free) “my name” –site:mysite.com “my brand” –site:mysite.com “my brand” –site:mysite.com blog OR post site:org "my brand" OR "my name" site:com "my brand OR "my name" site:edu "my brand OR "my name" site.gov "my brand OR "my name" “my name” “my brand” –site:mysite.com – press –release “employee name” “my brand” –site:mysite.com –press –release “promotion” “my brand” –site:mysite.com –press –release specials” “my brand” –site:mysite.com –press –release “announced” “my brand” –site:mysite.com –press –release “infographic” “title of infographic” –site:mysite.com “quoted” “my brand” –site:mysite.com –press –release “quoted” “my name” –site:mysite.com –press –release
    52. 52. Some Final Thoughts  Links as a signal are NOT going away.  Natural Links have an Editorial Component  Freely given, Niche-related links, that get clicked, are the most valuable!  Good content earns links.  Unlinked Brand Mentions provide a HUGE link opportunity! Link “Earning” is a Marathon not a Sprint!  There are still plenty of quality link classes you can target!
    53. 53. And remember this about link building… @MediaWyse + Casey Markee

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