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Advanced Link Building Strategies for Affiliate Sites - Patrick Atloft
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Advanced Link Building Strategies for Affiliate Sites - Patrick Atloft


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    Patrick Altoft
    Director of Search, Branded3
  • 2. Affiliates & SEO
    Big advantage because sites can easily be edited & optimised compared to big organisations
    Big disadvantage because affiliates struggle to get natural links unless they are brands
    An SEO savvy affiliate can always get rankings if they have the right strategy & can think big
  • 3. Search Engine Optimisation
    Most people think SEO is about
    Page titles
    Meta tags
    Site structure
    On-site optimisation is enough to rank for very uncompetitive keywords
    When all your competitors sites are well optimised who gets to be number 1?
  • 4. Links are the most important ranking factor
    Links are what Google uses to differentiate between similar websites
  • 5. Links and PageRank
    This isn’t new......
    Since 1998 links have formed the basis of the Google algorithm
    PageRank is a probability distribution used to represent the likelihood that a person randomly clicking on links will arrive at any particular page.
    The pages that have the most incoming links are deemed more important.
  • 6. PageRank≠ rankings
    PageRank is quite inaccurate – a higher PR does not necessarily mean higher rankings
  • 7. Research & Analysis Toolset
    Yahoo Site Explorer for quick checks (from SEOmoz)
    Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel
  • 8. Majestic SEO
  • 9. Competitor analysis
    Identify 20 target keywords
    Record domains ranking in top 20 search results for each keyword
    Remove duplicate sites
  • 10. Competitor analysis
    Export all links to Excel
  • 11. Competitor analysis
    Repeat for all competitors to create one giant Excel document
    Remove duplicate linking domains
    Sort by Domain Authority or Page Authority
  • 12. Competitor analysis
    Use filters to find valuable links
    URL contains , .edu , .gov , .nhs
    Anchor text contains target keyword
  • 13. Visualising your link profile
  • 14. Case study – “mobile phones”
    Competitive keyword
    Good mixture of brands & affiliate sites
    Sites have lots of links
  • 15. Anchor text visualisation
  • 16.
  • 17. T Mobile
  • 18.
  • 19. Phones 4U
  • 20.
  • 21. Dial-a-Phone
  • 22. O2
  • 23.
  • 24. Carphone Warehouse
  • 25. Carphone Warehouse
    Pivot table
    Find top 10 anchor texts by count
  • 26. Brand link authority
  • 27. Link authority
  • 28. Carphone Warehouse Link Profile
  • 29. Unnatural Link Profile
  • 30. Unnatural Link Profile
  • 31. Brand Links
  • 32. Keyword links
  • 33. Is this a fluke?
  • 34. The importance of brand links
    We tested 30 highly commercial UK keywords
    Every single keyword followed the same pattern: sites with large brand link authority rank higher
    Non-brands are using branded anchor text links to make Google believe they are brands
  • 35. What about anchor text & paid links?
    Most people think that paid or unnatural links are devalued based on the site that they are placed on
    For example if the site is openly selling links and putting groups of paid links in sidebars or footers...
  • 36. Naturalness
    What we found is that Google appears to be doing the opposite
    They are devaluing links based on the “naturalness” of a sites link profile
    Sites with very natural link profiles can use obvious spammy or paid links with immediate positive results
    The same links pointed to a site with lesser brand authority are devalued and have no effect
    Very obvious if you do reputation management
  • 37. Implications
    To succeed in Google a site needs to have a high amount of “natural” links with more brand authority than competitors
    If you don’t have this authority already you need to create it
    Once you have brand authority you only need a very small number of anchor text links to rank
  • 38. Good news
    It’s a lot easier to get brand anchor text than keyword anchor text in links
    Very few people know about this so you can get a head start on your competitors
  • 39. Easy 4 step strategy
    Analyse industry & find out how much brand authority the leading sites have
    Find out how much keyword anchor text link authority they have
    Analyse your link profile and build up your brand authority so it’s higher than your competitors
    Then build your keyword authority until you hit the top
  • 40. Content syndication
    When looking for brand anchor text this is highly effective
    PR News Wire
    Article syndication systems
    Blog networks that syndicate content
    Guest posts
  • 41. Replicating competitor links
    Think about why each link was given
    Is it a paid link?
    Did the company attend a trade show or event?
    Is it from one of their business partners?
    What are your chances of getting the link?
  • 42. Link QA process
    Some links are better than others
    If we’re paying for a link is it worth the money?
  • 43. Link QA
  • 44. Exchange links
    This still works very well
    Try not to use links pages
    Set up partnerships with bloggers where you link to them and they link to you once a week
    Do this with 10 people and you get 520 links per year
  • 45. Making contact
    Speak to people over the phone
    Send personal emails, one by one, to people who run relevant websites
    Make sure it doesn’t start with “Dear Webmaster”
    Ask about advertising
    Ask bloggers if they accept guest posts
    Every time you get a link ask the site owner if they have any more sites
  • 46. Design
    Invest in stunning design
    Design makes a site more linkable
    Improving linkability dramatically increases the efficiency of your campaign
    Allows the site to be featured in CSS galleries
  • 47. Content
    People don’t generally link to commercial content
    Informational content attracts lots of free links
    Think about added value
    Good content improves linkability
  • 48. Paying for links
    Google is against buying & selling links
    Any links that appear to be paid are likely to be devalued unless you have brand authority
    This is risky & delivers low ROI
    If you choose to buy links sure they appear 100% natural
    Be wary about using high profile link sellers......
    Always try to get permanent links
  • 49. Don’t become a headline
    Buying links is a risk, do it right or don’t do it at all
  • 50. Infographics
  • 51. Graphs
  • 52. Tips for linkbait
    Make friends with all the bloggers in your industry
    When you have a good article email each one of them individually
    Highly effective
  • 53. Tools for link building
  • 54. Tools for link building
  • 55. Some final points
    Link-building is a very difficult task
    Results can take a long time to deliver
    Analyse the industry and your link profile to understand what type of links you need
    Don’t rely on natural link-building in the hope that you will get to the top eventually - you won’t
    Don’t assume that your big brand competitors who are using paid links will be penalised – they won’t
  • 56. Learning more
    Read - UK’s largest blog about SEO with over 10,000 daily readers
    Email for free SEO advice
    Visit our website at