Earning Links: What Works & What Doesn't in 2014


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Blue Fountain Media SEO Marketing Manager John Marcinuk discusses how to earn links and touches on what works and what doesn't in 2014.

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Earning Links: What Works & What Doesn't in 2014

  1. 1. Earning Links What Works & What Doesn’t in 2014 PRESENTED BY: JOHN MARCINUK Marketing Manager, SEO Team jmarcinuk@bluefountainmedia.com Connect with us on Twitter: @BFMweb
  2. 2. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 2 ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS… • Would you show the link you’re going after to a customer and not be embarrassed? • Did the person giving you the link intend it as a genuine endorsement? • Do you have to make an argument to justify that it’s a good link?
  3. 3. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 3 …and The Most Important Question Would someone viewing your link have a decent chance of wanting to click through to learn about the company and, ultimately, become a customer?
  4. 4. z Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 4 What No Longer Works? Connect with us on Twitter: @BFMweb
  5. 5. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 5 LINK DIRECTORIES Link Farms, Link Directories, Link Lists – and other large repositories of links unrelated to or poorly associated websites with your website. Using this tactic will likely get a site penalized.
  6. 6. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 6 BLOG COMMENTS Commenting site links in blog articles is mostly useless, potentially detrimental. Solid blogs apply nofollow rules to comments and your efforts will be wasted. Worse, it looks spammy.
  7. 7. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 7 FORUM COMMENTING Similar to linking within blog comments, doing so on forums is a bad tactic that will surely get a site penalized. We once thought we were smart by putting keyword anchor text in our signature when commenting on forums. It turns out we’re not smarter than Google.
  8. 8. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 8 LINK EXCHANGES It’s awesome to develop mutually beneficial relationships with bloggers and influencers, but “if you give me a link, I’ll give you one” does not count. Exchanging links works when each party has something valuable to promote and when the timing is right.
  9. 9. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 9 BUYING LINKS In 2008, I bought a link to a client site at $1000/month from an .edu domain. A competitor learned about it and did the same. In a matter of 6 months, 5 competitor businesses were linking out from the domain using identical or nearly identical anchor text to their respective sites. Another competitor submitted this to Google’s Web Spam team and all sites were majorly penalized and removed from the index for buying links. Just say no.
  10. 10. z Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 10 What Works Now?
  11. 11. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 11 PRODUCT REVIEWS Developing relationships with a network of bloggers to obtain links back to product and brand pages in exchange for “Free” products and an unbiased review helps to build product and brand awareness. Both FREE and UNBIASED are vital. Micromanaging anchor text from Product Reviews will get you in trouble. Let your blogger friends do their thing. Make small requests for adjustments to capitalize on, but don’t over-optimize for keywords.
  12. 12. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 12 SWEEPSTAKES & CONTESTS • Hosting a sweepstake, giveaway, or on YOUR site and asking for bloggers and influencers to inform their readers will provide natural links back to your site. • Do not supply a blogger with the full text of the article from which the link is coming. Duplicate content off-site linking to your page looks suspect. • Contests that live on Social Media without a home on your site add zero SEO value. There is still no proof that SMM directly contributes to keyword rankings.
  13. 13. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 13 GRANTING AWARDS Choosing a handful of top players in a client’s field and granting them an award is a natural way to obtain links. Create an award image that the recipient can place on their site. An image link is less valuable than a text link, however img alt text should be included. Take it one step further and make the link nofollow. If presented effectively, the recipient will happily link to your site without you even having to ask.
  14. 14. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 14 SCHOLARSHIPS & GRANTS Setting up a scholarship or grant and promoting to universities can provide enormous traction. A link from an .edu domain, campus or community site lends massive value. Scholarships spread like wildfire across Social Media and blogs, meaning you’ll get the added benefit of site traffic. Sound expensive? Even a few hundred dollars can go a long way. Connect with us on Twitter: @BFMweb
  15. 15. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 15 GUEST BLOGGING It does still work. Inserting yourself into every possible vertical unrelated to a general theme or concept will get you unrelated links, providing no value. Being relied on as an expert in your field and receiving relevant links back from authority sites is still helpful. Connect with us on Twitter: @BFMweb
  16. 16. Provided by: Blue Fountain Media Page 16 z THANK YOU! Visit us at: www.bluefountainmedia.com Get to know us: @BFMWeb / www.facebook.com/bfmweb Speak with us: 212.260.1978 102 Madison Avenue, Floor 2 New York, NY 10016 Connect with us on Twitter: @BFMweb