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Link Building 2014: Shun the Shortcuts to Improve Search Rankings

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Presenting this presentation on how to be a catalyst for organic links for white hat link earning at the IRCE Focus SEO Day Monday, February 10, with David Cluka from Briggs and Stratton.

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Design

Link Building 2014: Shun the Shortcuts to Improve Search Rankings

  1. 1. Linkbuilding: Shun the Shortcuts to Improve Rankings Bryson Meunier Director, SEO Strategy Resolution Media David Cluka Director, Digital Marketing Briggs and Stratton 1
  2. 2. AGENDA What are bad links? How to find and purge bad links Finding your niche The only way to measure link effectiveness • The right way to get links • Case study: link building strategy for Briggs and Stratton • • • • 2
  3. 3. GOOD LINK BUILDING 3
  4. 4. BAD LINK BUILDING 4
  5. 5. MOST BAD LINK BUILDING NOT HARD TO DETECT • “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hardcore pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. [Emphasis added.]” —Justice Potter Stewart, concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 U.S. 184 (1964), regarding possible obscenity in The Lovers. 5
  6. 6. BAD LINKS FALL IN TWO CATEGORIES Anything that seeks to exploit loopholes in Google’s ranking algorithm Anything that’s paid but made to look as if it’s earned 6
  7. 7. ADVERTORIALS Anything that’s paid but made to look as if it’s earned 7
  8. 8. PAID LINKS Anything that’s paid but made to look as if it’s earned 8
  9. 9. PRESS RELEASE SPAM Anything that’s paid but made to look as if it’s earned 9
  10. 10. • Widgets or footers with overly optimized anchor text • Low quality directories • Blog comment spam • Article marketing • Automated linkbuilding Anything that seeks to exploit • Excessive reciprocal links loopholes in Google’s ranking Full, evolving list at algorithm https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en 10
  11. 11. IF YOU HAVE BAD LINKS 11
  12. 12. IF YOU HAVE BAD LINKS 12
  13. 13. GET THEM IN GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS 13
  14. 14. SOFTWARE/SERVICES FOR REMOVING BAD LINKS: REMOVEEM 14
  15. 15. SOFTWARE/SERVICES FOR REMOVING BAD LINKS: LINKQUIDATOR 15
  16. 16. USE SITE EXPLORERS TO UNCOVER OVER OPTIMIZED ANCHORS • Open Site Explorer • Majestic SEO • AHrefs 16
  17. 17. LOOK FOR UNNATURAL PATTERNS IN HISTORICAL LINKS 17
  18. 18. DISAVOW & REQUEST RECONSIDERATION 18
  19. 19. AVOID MAKING MESSES AND THERE’S NOTHING TO CLEAN UP 19
  20. 20. There are no shortcuts to link building for SEO. 20
  21. 21. The best link builders earn links by building relationships and creating content that people are compelled to share. 21
  22. 22. FINDING YOUR NICHE • Mine competitor links, shares and mentions for relevant content • • • • BrightEdge OpenSiteExplorer FreshWebExplorer FollowerWonk • Sort BrightEdge backlink performance report by # of competitors with backlinks from this domain for more relevant links 22
  23. 23. SET STANDARDS FOR LINK TARGETS •No directories that don’t fit the brand •No guest blogs that don’t fit the brand •Only sites that qualified searchers actually visit 23
  24. 24. MODELING AUDIENCE NEEDS FROM BIG DATA 24
  25. 25. LINKBUILDING FOR SPECIFIC PERSONAS 25
  26. 26. The only way to measure link effectiveness is… 26
  27. 27. QUALIFIED SEARCH AND REFERRAL TRAFFIC 27
  28. 28. FORGET THESE LINKBUILDING KPIS • Domain Authority/Trust • Page Authority/Trust • PageRank • Organic search rankings • Number of links acquired 28
  29. 29. ASK THESE QUESTIONS INSTEAD • Would my target audience feel compelled to share the content I’m promoting with their social circles without outside prompting? • Do all my partners link to the content I’m promoting? Why not? • Would a link from this site create referral traffic that might visit the site I’m promoting more regularly? 29
  30. 30. If the answer to any of these questions is No how do you turn it into a Yes? 30
  31. 31. CONTENT = ≠ 31
  32. 32. BEETLE.COM WINS WEBBY FOR QUALITY SITE • And yet is not visible in search… of traffic from non-brand keywords, December 2013* *Source: SEMRush, 1/30/2014 32
  33. 33. THIS IS CONTENT Found on https://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/fighting-spam.html, 1/31/2014 33
  34. 34. INFORMATIVE AUTHENTIC USEFUL EMOTIONAL CONTROVERSIAL UNIQUE COMPREHENSIVE DARING + = King/crown picture ACCESSIBLE CONNECTED USING SEARCHER QUERIES IN PLACES WHERE GOOGLE UNDERSTANDS THEM 34
  35. 35. BRIGGS & STRATTON Linkbuilding Strategy Case Study 35
  36. 36. Would my target audience feel compelled to share the content I’m promoting with their social circles without outside prompting? 36
  37. 37. FOCUS ON CUSTOMER PERSONA’S NEEDS 37
  38. 38. FOCUS ON CREATING RELEVANT CONTENT WITH BLOG 38
  39. 39. CREATING RELEVANT CONTENT WHERE CONSUMERS ARE 39
  40. 40. USING GOOGLE TRENDS TO FIND NEW CONTENT OPPORTUNITIES 40
  41. 41. IMPROVING AUTHENTICITY WITH AUTHORSHIP 41
  42. 42. Do all my partners link to the content I’m promoting? Why not? 42
  43. 43. AVOIDING FORM LETTERS 43
  44. 44. REAL PEOPLE BUILDING REAL RELATIONSHIPS Chris Kovac Marketing Manager - Digital Channel and Mass Lawn & Garden at Briggs & Stratton 44
  45. 45. CONTENT SUGGESTIONS TO PARTNERS Under Lawn Mower Buying Guides, consider adding an article about the importance of an engine in outdoor power equipment The page should: • Call out which lawnmower engine brands are available in products at Home Depot • Link to those engine brands
  46. 46. REAL COLLABORATION WITH PARTNERS • Proposed co-branded Hangout with large retail partner • Suggested an engines matter page to another large retail partner • Value add for both businesses, and for searchers 46
  47. 47. Would a link from this site create referral traffic that might visit the site I’m promoting more regularly? 47
  48. 48. OLD ARTICLES DON’T GET MUCH RELEVANT TRAFFIC 48
  49. 49. SEO AND PR INTEGRATION 49
  50. 50. CREATING RELEVANT CONTENT WHERE CONSUMERS ARE 50
  51. 51. FIND RELEVANT INFLUENCERS ACCORDING TO PERSONA INTERESTS 51
  52. 52. ENGAGE FIRST SOCIALLY BEFORE SENDING EMAIL 52
  53. 53. MEASURE REFERRAL TRAFFIC 53
  54. 54. THANK YOU! Bryson Meunier Director, SEO Strategy Resolution Media bmeunier@resolutionmedia.com www.resolutionmedia.com David Cluka Director, Digital Marketing Briggs and Stratton www.briggsandstratton.com

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