Off-Page SEO: Taking Your Website Out To The Wild


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While on-page SEO takes care of making your content visible to search engines, you’ll still need to get through to other online entities to earn the authority to vie for the most rewarding search terms. Sure, you’re able to solve problems for your prospects via high quality content, but such off-page SEO techniques as link building and social media can be way more effective. Competitors may try and weaken your rankings, but with proper off-page efforts, you’re guaranteed to have your voice be heard. Keen to get started? Then read on for some rock solid strategies!

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Off-Page SEO: Taking Your Website Out To The Wild

  1. 1. OFF PAGE SEO The 80% of search. David: Hi guys, David Jenyns here from Melbourne SEO Services. In this video we’re going to talk about off page SEO. Now when you break up everything that needs to be done, maybe on page and off page for your SEO campaign, if you were to compare as a percentage out of a hundred how much off page makes and how much on page makes, you’d probably say that off page SEO makes up about 80% of search. It really is where the most important focus needs to be spent. It’s important to make sure you get your title tags right and your descriptions and your on page optimization. But that said, you can still rank a website if you get your off page SEO right. So we’ll dive straight into it. Understanding Google I think the first thing you need to understand is the way that Google works. You see it’s not magic, it’s not just making search results magically appear, it’s a machine. There is a set of rules, it’s an algorithm that is followed to compute and analyze a whole lot of things within Google’s index to determine what is the most relevant result for the end user, based on what it is that they searched for. So what is it all based on? Now if you don’t know, the whole Google algorithm is based on the way that research reports work. For a research report in any industry, when it’s .launched or when it’s released, the point at which it really starts to gain weight in that industry or considered a very important work, is the point at which other people start to reference that research report. Once that research report starts appearing in people’s articles, on other people’s websites, maybe it’s mentioned in speeches, maybe it’s mentioned in radio or maybe when it’s even referenced in someone else’s newer, later research report and it references that original research report, that is basically a whole lot of people saying, hey, that research report is good enough and the information is quality that I want to then take that research and include it in something I’m doing. 1
  2. 2. Effectively that’s like people voting for that research report, saying yes, it’s important. That’s ultimately how research reports and research gains importance within a community. It’s once other people start to recognize it. Now the whole Google algorithm is based on this idea. So if you link it back to websites, once your website starts to get referenced and other people are recognizing your website on their website, then that’s when your website will start to gain weight in Google’s eyes and then start to appear higher up in the search engines. I’ll give you another metaphor in a moment to help you understand that. But how does it work? I did want to just break apart the two components of what Google actually does. There’s an index software and some query software. Now the index software is where the spider is involved and you might have heard people talk about the world wide web. The reason they call it that, is this idea that there’s a spider that crawls around and this spider, this search engine spider crawls around all of the different websites and it basically follows links from one website to another. That’s how it makes the jump, that’s where the web is if you like. The point at which the web intersects with another piece of web is where the website is. I’ve actually done a little picture here for you to try and explain it a little bit better. You can see here, if you imagine that this dot here is a website and all of these smaller dots surrounding it, let’s say they’re sub pages, so they’re internal pages of this website. These arrows are just links. So basically on this web page there’s a link to the homepage. Now this website ends up linking over to this website and this website links out to a couple of extra websites. You can see this website down here has got quite a few internal pages, then it’s got these external pages. You can kind of see the way that a web is starting to be created. It is created when one page links to another. This little guy, this spider down here follows those links, that web, crawls around to try and discover new pages. Once it finds a new page, it throws it back to Google’s index software and Google doesn’t do any computation at that point in time. All it does is it’s just cataloguing everything that this spider can find. So it’s having a big catalogue of all the websites that Google’s ever found over the years and then that’s getting added into the index. 2
  3. 3. I suppose an important thing to note there is, the only way that Google is going to be able to find a page that you create, is that you’ll need to link to it at some point. If you think about the way the spider is going to be crawling around the web, it is going to need a link to get to a page. So anything you don’t want found, just don’t link to it and Google is not going to be able to find it. But if you want it to be found, it needs to have good linking structure. That’s an important thing to note here. That’s why in one of the previous videos with on page optimization, I talked about the importance of internal linking structure. There are some other things that you can do by submitting Google Sitemaps and things like that to alert Google to the pages you do have but it’s very important that you get that on page internal linking structure correct. Now once the spider throws all of this information over to Google and they build this index, the next step is the query software steps in. This is basically what serves up the results. It’s the algorithm, it’s what calculates what to serve up, based on what the user has typed in. We’ve got here in this example, it’s probably a little bit small for you to see, but it just says, free trading systems. Now Google then goes through all of its huge catalogue of websites and then analyzes those websites to determine what is relevant to serve up. So now I suppose I’ve got a metaphor here for you to try and explain how Google then determines what is worth serving up. I gave you a little bit of a hint about it when I talked about the way that research reports work and that is ultimately how Google’s algorithm is built. Google metaphor… On a more simplistic level, Google is just one big popularity contest. Let’s just say the aim of our game was to make me, David Jenyns as popular as possible. The first thing when it comes to being popular, I can sit their, I can wave my hands about, I can jump about and say, hey, I’m popular, look at me, I’m awesome, I’m fantastic. Everybody would just see that as egotistical and you don’t just listen to one crackpot who says, hey, I’m the best. The point at which I start to get other people agreeing with what I’m saying and also saying, yes, Dave is the best, that is the point at which my popularity starts to grow. It’s once other people start to say, yes, Dave is popular. 3
  4. 4. If we have a look at old man Joe over here, old man Joe is starting to say, yes, Dave’s really cool, Dave’s really cool. So that’s starting to increase my popularity. Because old man Joe here probably isn’t very well known, it’s not going to increase my popularity hugely because no one has really heard of old man Joe. It’s better than me sitting there waving my hands saying that I’m awesome. At least I’ve got someone to back me up now and I’m not a complete crackpot. So that’s the first stage, getting someone else to say, yes, I’m popular. Now there is a difference between link popularity and I suppose reputation. Popularity here, when we get old man Joe to say I’m cool, he doesn’t come with any sort of reputation. But let’s say we’ve got someone like Brad Pitt. Now Brad Pitt worked building up his popularity and he’s got lots of other people, if you just imagine these little dots here as other people, they’re all saying, yes, Brad Pitt is cool, Brad Pitt’s cool. That is automatically increasing his popularity. Then some of the people saying Brad Pitt is cool also have a whole lot of people saying that they’re cool. So they’ve got a little bit of reputation that they’re putting on the line to say that Brad Pitt is cool. Then there are a lot of people who just stand alone. If you imagine just one of these stand alone ones here, that might be like old man Joe. We’ve got all these people saying Brad Pitt is cool. So his popularity now has increased. He’s got a very good reputation. When he now says that David Jenyns is cool, because of all of that reputation that he then passes on to me, it’s almost like I get a halo effect. I become pre approved by someone who is already pre approved by a whole lot of other people. That is instantaneously going to increase my credibility and my popularity a great deal more than just old man Joe. Now it’s important to make sure that I get a variety of both old man Joe and also Brad Pitts to say that I’m cool because that’s what happens in nature and how basically popularity is built. 4
  5. 5. I'm popular but… Now I’m just going to link that back to the search engines again. When it comes back to search engines, the way that you determine your popularity is that the more links that you have, the higher your popularity. The more people that say you’re cool, that your website is cool, the cooler your website becomes. Now the way that someone says that you’re cool is by voting for your website by linking to you. Effectively a link to your website is like a vote for your website. I hinted at these two different things here. I talked a little bit about link popularity versus link reputation, but I’d like to break it apart so there is a little bit more of a distinction there. Link popularity is to do with the quantity of links that you get, so the number of people saying my website is cool. It doesn’t matter who it is, the more the merrier. That’s link popularity. Now link reputation has to do with the quality of those links and what those links actually say about us. So if we think about link reputation, when I get a very popular website to link to one of my websites, that has already become pre qualified by a lot of people saying, yes, it’s a great website. When they link through to me, they’re passing that reputation. It’s also important that when they pass that reputation, they’re saying the right thing about us. If I’ve got a website, let’s say my website, if I’m trying to rank for a particular keyword, it’s important that when people link to me they link to me saying this is about trading systems. I’ll give you a quick look at anchor text just to make sure. This is something you’re probably familiar with but I’ll just make sure. Now I’ve got quite a few sites in my network. Let’s have a look at this one here, Now I actually have quite a large network within the stock market niche. As I mentioned, one of my websites is the which we’ve talked about. 5
  6. 6. I just wanted to show you here, I’ve basically built up this website. Now it’s not a Brad Pitt style website, but it’s a little bit more than an old man Joe website as well. I’ve already sent some links and done some promotion to this website. Now this website will link through to my website. So you can see here I’ve used my anchor text free trading systems. So free trading systems links to my website and if you keep your eye down here, you can see when I move my mouse over the top, it’s linking through to my website. Now the anchor text is the actual text that you link through to your website with. So it’s important that you make sure that you get this right both when you’re building links off page and also building links on page for your internal reputation. I suppose this is where we start to talk about reputation. It applies no matter where the link is coming from. So on our own website, it’s important when I link through to pages to make sure that I’m getting my internal reputation right by linking to the pages with the keywords that I’m trying to rank for. That’s what led me to talk a little bit about the no follow tag in the on page optimization presentation. Hopefully that helps clarify that a little bit more. Now we’ll just head back to Keynote here. I talked a little bit about what anchor text is. I wanted to talk a little bit about Google bombing and this will explain why I’ve got the picture of George Bush over there in the corner. A good few years ago some people went out there and basically they did what is known as Google bombing. That’s where you build a whole lot of links with anchor text for a particular keyword to a page and you try and make that page rank. As I mentioned at the start, you can make a page rank even if you don’t have the on page optimization done correctly. If you just send enough links at it with the right text, Google starts to say, hey, this page is about whatever you’re sending those links about. There was a situation, a very well known case where if you typed in ‘miserable failure’ into Google, the White House and George Bush would appear. What had happened was, you had a whole lot of people who banded together and said, alright, let’s do a Google bombing and let’s link to the White House website and George Bush’s page with the keyword ‘miserable failure.’ What ultimately ended up happening was he ended up ranking for miserable failure even though there was no on page optimization. If you want to find out more about it, just head over to Google and type in miserable failure and you’ll find on Wikipedia there’s a story that explains it in more detail. 6
  7. 7. Just another personal example to show that you can rank a website without having your on page optimization. When we first launched Melbourne SEO Services, and I suppose this is a bit of a whoops considering that we’re a search engine optimization company, my web guy, when he set it up, he actually put a special tag into the head tag information of the html. I know that’s a bit gobbledygook, but basically he told Google, he put in a no index, no follow tag. This tells Google not to index it and we talked a little bit about no follow as well. Basically, ignore everything that is on this web page. Now we didn’t actually notice that this happened and my web guy just did it by accident as he installed the website. We started our link building campaign for Melbourne SEO Services. What is strange is that we managed to get the website to come up page one on Google in position number one for our keyword. When you looked at the listing it was just coming up Melbourne SEO, there was no meta description. I’ll show you, we’ll head over to Google here and I’ll type in Melbourne SEO Services. Ok, you can see it’s number one there. Now when we had the no index, no follow turned on, it actually just said Melbourne SEO Services as the title here because that was the anchor text for all of the anchor text we were building to the website. There was no description here either. It was purely just the keyword that we were building for and the URL. So that just goes to show you can rank a website if you send enough links to it. It is important if you’re going to make things easier for yourself, just make sure you get your on page optimization. Suffice to say, we noticed what the situation was, we fixed it up and then our websites popped back up in Google and started performing really well. 7
  8. 8. What it takes to win So what does it take to win when it comes to ranking websites in Google? The fact of the matter is it just comes down to more anchor text links than your competition. If you have a look at what your competition has and how many links that they’ve built back to their website, if you beat them with both link popularity and the link reputation, so getting good quality links back to your website, you’ll ultimately end up winning. You can rank for any page that you want as long as you reverse engineer what your competition is doing and then basically do the same. You need to do a calculation with return on investment. You need to decide in your head is it going to be worth my while to go out and fire however many links I need at that website, is it going to actually pay off? Let’s say you look at something very competitive like mortgages. Let’s say if you wanted to rank number one for mortgages Australia or something like that, a very competitive term, you’d look at what your competition is and you’d see, wow! they’ve got a great deal of links. If you’ve got a mortgage business, or maybe you’ve just got an e book where you’re selling a $29 e book on how to select the best mortgages, you’ve got a case there where you’re going to try and drive traffic to a website that is just going to make you $29 on that e book sale. When you compare that to someone who is actually selling mortgages, when he sells his particular product, he might get $2000 or $3000 for a mortgage or even more depending on how much it is. He has a much higher client value than you do, so he can afford to go out and spend more money. That’s why some niches and keywords are more competitive than others, typically because there is more money involved in that niche, so people can go ahead and pay to get links done and link building and employ SEO companies to help build that position. Yes you can rank for any link that you want, you just need to determine whether or not it’s worth the effort for you going after that link. There are some other things that we can do and we’ll talk a little bit about this when we do our keyword research module about selecting the right keyword. You can go for a little bit more of a stealth attack so to speak, where you go for some longer tail keywords, some less competitive keywords and you can build up to those more competitive phrases over time. 8
  9. 9. Another point to note here I’ve got is, big sites win. A big part of that is that internal linking structure. If the aim of the game is getting as many inbound links as you can to the pages that you want to have ranked, it only makes sense that the bigger the site, the more linking opportunities that they’re going to have. Obviously you’re not going to rank, or you can rank just by having a whole lot of internal linking. But on more competitive phrases, you do still need external linking because otherwise it’s just like me standing there waving my hands saying, I’m cool, I’m cool. It’s not until the point at which we get other people to validate that, that then becomes true. That said, for bigger sites, they do get the opportunity for higher internal linking. We’ll just head over to Planet 13 and again. I showed a little bit of this in the on page optimization so I won’t really spend very long on it. We’ll just scroll down here. What I’m talking about, just down the bottom here, you can see we’re building links to specific pages that I want to rank. Both on the individual product pages again, I even send links to other pages. It’s just a way to let that link juice flow and making sure that I’m sending links to the pages that convert and are going to make me the most amount of money. So we’ll come back here. We talked a little bit about building those links and I just now wanted to touch on the idea of making sure that when we do build these links, we replicate what happens in nature. That’s ultimately what Google is wanting to do. It wants to serve up websites that are popular because people are voting by sending them links. They don’t want to put up a website for someone who has figured out how to game the search engines and build a whole lot of links. Basically they’re trying to replicate what happens in nature. Whenever we do anything in SEO, we want to make sure that we’re doing what’s natural. Well, follow those good standard rules of thumb. We also want to make sure that we replicate what happens in nature. That’s partly why I don’t give very hard and fast rules, because when you do that and you create a formula so to speak, that’s when Google can start to reverse engineer what you’re doing and say, hang on, he’s trying to game the search engines here. 9
  10. 10. Talking about that, when we’re building links, and going back to the George Bush example, this was, I suppose, a few years ago and Google’s algorithm has now evolved. Back then, if you were to send links and you were building links to a particular website, you would make sure that all of the anchor text for those links were exactly the same. If we were building links to the White House website and using miserable failure as that anchor text, we’d just build every link that we could under the sun to that website with the anchor text ‘miserable failure.’ Google’s algorithm has evolved over the years and this comes back to the idea of replicating what happens in nature. Google has realized that there needs to be link variation. It’s not natural to have every link pointing to a website with exactly the same anchor text. Now what we need to do is make sure that we vary the anchor text when we build links. A good example is when we think about the homepage to a website. Thinking about what happens in nature, how do people link to different websites? It wouldn’t be natural if I linked to my website with just the anchor text trading systems. In nature, a lot of people link to websites with the full URL as well. So they might actually link to my website with That’s why, when you build links especially to the homepage, it’s important you build links with variations. When I’m building links, I’ll build links at least for the homepage for, I’ll build trading systems because that is a keyword I’m trying to rank for, free trading systems. I’ll link trading system as well. This comes back to, you know when we talked about on page optimization and making sure you optimize each page for one keyword and a couple of variations. You noticed with all of those variations that I mentioned then, for the trading system website, there were still components and elements of that primary phrase that I was trying to go after. So I’m still making sure that I’m targeting those links but I’m just making sure that there are variations. So when someone looks at it, if a human editor were to come to review my website, they’d say, yes this is natural here, there is a variation. 10
  11. 11. Now it doesn’t matter so much when you’re building links for internal pages to link to a page with the URL. When building links to an internal page, it’s not as common for someone to link to you with the full URL. You still should do it a little bit but don’t stress as hard. With the homepage, usually, and these numbers can vary, but I like to make sure I’m building 30-40% of the links back to the homepage with the URL. Then I’ll maybe do another 30% or thereabouts with the keyword in the anchor text and then the remainder will get made up with variations. That’s another reason why it’s important, if you can, to get your primary keyword within the domain name. So even though I’m building links back to the website using the full URL, I’m actually still increasing that link reputation because I’m getting links back to my website with the URL and it’s got the keyword in it. So I’m still getting the inbound links with the keywords there. So that’s a little bit on link variation. The other thing as well to note is not all links are created equal. Obviously to get a link from that Brad Pitt website is going to be a great deal better for my website because he already comes with all of that reputation. But it’s also, typically speaking, going to be harder to build some of those really higher quality links. So what you need to try and look for, we create a system to find the balance between an ease of getting the link versus the worth of the link. So typically speaking, the easier something is to get, the less worth it has. The harder it is to get that link, as it requires more work, the better. If I wanted to get a link back for my website, if I wanted to get a link back from CNN or one of the Yahoo! charts websites or the Australian Stock Report or something like that, these higher quality websites, I’m going to have to build up a relationship with them, prove myself to them before they’d end up considering linking to me. So that’s going to be more effort than it’s worth. We’ll also look at some easier to get links and with those, we can get a lot more of them, so we’ll get a higher link popularity but the link reputation won’t be as high. 11
  12. 12. Link building methods Let’s have a look at some of the different link building methods. Now when we actually get into my SEO Method 2.0 presentation, I will give you a step by step system that you can follow. That really is the way that we build links and we build links for our own websites and our clients as well. I wanted to talk about some of the types of links. This is more in general terms and you will find most of the link building strategies will fall into these different categories. I’ve ordered them in, I suppose, the order in which I think you should probably be building them, if you are going to be building them. The best links you can get are natural links, building good quality articles, making a video or creating link bait. When people actually view it they say, this is good quality material and I want to link to it or I want to re publish it because it adds value to the end user and this is something I want to give to my clients. Another way is through guest blogging. You can build up a relationship with some people within your community and they allow you to come and post on their website. This is all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. It is an excellent way for building links and it has been a little bit under the radar for a while now. It really has started to emerge as an excellent way to build links. Getting out there and getting involved in your community as well, going posting comments on different blogs is another way. You should really look at setting up Google Alerts and targeting keywords or putting Google Alerts on keywords that are relevant to your community so that you can get alerted to that and then head over to blogs and make comment to those. 12
  13. 13. I’ll give you an example. If you haven’t actually seen Google Alerts, it’s probably something that you should check out. I’ll head over here and I’ll just type in Google Alerts. Now we’ll just sign into my account so you can see. I’ve got this one here. I deliberately didn’t put too much in it just so you don’t know what I’m going after. You can see here, it’s quite simple. All you do is you can create a new alert and you put in the keyword of what it is that you want to be alerted to. So here we’ve got David Jenyns. I’m now notified every time, by email, at the end of the day, once Google indexes a new page with my name in it. What that means is I can analyze when I’m getting mentioned and then I can head over to those blogs and add comments and add value: ‘hey, thanks for posting about me, thanks for the feedback. You might want to head over here to get more information,’ adding value to whatever the blog post is about. Imagine doing that for all of the keywords that are important in your community and getting notifications on those and then really actively being involved. When you head over and you make comments, you’ll get twofold benefit. One, you’re contributing to your community and you’ll get people follow you back. Even if those links are no followed, sometimes they’re going to be no followed, sometimes they’re not. Even if they’re no followed, you still get people coming over. There’s still a benefit for it. Search engines like Bing and Yahoo! don’t interpret no follow quite the way Google does and there is a benefit for those links. In addition to that, there are going to be a lot of different sites that don’t do the no follow. So that’s the first lot and probably the best lot. When it comes to link building and what we’re doing with SEO, we’re really all about building up enough momentum to get your website to a point at which SEO comes naturally. Once you start generating a good enough amount of content and you’ve got your website in the spotlight and you’ve got a good number of people who keep checking back to what it is that you’re doing, that’s the point at which SEO will take over naturally. We just want to build you up to that point. The best way is building natural links. 13
  14. 14. Then we’ve got manufactured links. Manufactured links are something we’ll talk a little bit more about in The SEO Method 2.0. The way that we manufacture links is through building our own network and building our own what’s called feeder sites. These are just sites, rather like that website that I just took you over and showed you. That is part of my network of sites and I use that to link back to my website to help build it, so effectively controlling our own links. There are few other ways to manufacture links. There are things like blog networks. You need to be careful which blog networks you get involved in because you don’t want to join some spam blogs that Google has identified as just trying to game the search engine. There are a few exceptions to the rule and I’ll make sure I identify those for you. Then we’ve got paid links. Paid links as I talked about, Google doesn’t like paid links. They’ve gone out and openly said this. There are two types of paid links, you’ve got the overt and the covert. The overt ones are the ones that go out and say, hey, we’re selling links. You don’t want to get a link back from that website because that could be considered a bad thing in Google’s eyes. Basically they’ve said, yes, we’re selling links and Google has said, we don’t like those links. That said though, that’s not to say paid links are bad because if you go for covert links where perhaps you approach a blog or someone who is bigger in your community or someone who has a very popular website and say, hey, if I give you $20 a month, $50 a month, can you link back to my website with the appropriate anchor text. That’s definitely a good way to boost your website. Then we’ve got link exchange. I have such a huge network, we’ve got over 580 websites in a whole variety of niches. Initially we put up a little thing where we said, we do link exchanges but in hindsight now, we don’t even bother with them. We still get a lot of link exchange requests but we just don’t bother. It’s not really worth, in my eyes, the time and effort. A lot of the people doing the link exchange websites don’t have very high quality sites. The effort it takes me to go through and have to put the link up and let them know and verify my link, it’s just a little bit too much backwards and forwards, so we don’t really do it. 14
  15. 15. Google is definitely analyzing exchange linking, especially when it’s direct. There are different types of link exchanges where you might do a three way link where you say, hey, can you link to this website and I’ll link to this website and there’s not a direct linking there or even more. There is some benefit to that but I personally don’t do it just because I know there are easier ways to build links through the manufactured way. Then if I’m going to put extra effort into it, then I’m going to go up for these natural links. Finally we’ve got the black hat. For those of you who don’t know, you’ll hear people throw around these terms: white hat, black hat and even grey hat. White hat are just considered SEO techniques that are squeaky clean. You’d be happy for Matt Cutts and Google to come and check out your website. You’d be able to open your website, not holding anything back and you’d be very confident that you’d done everything right. That’s white hat. Then you’ve got grey hat which I suppose are a little bit more on the cusp. There is plausible deniability as in if someone did see it, you could just say, hey, for whatever reason, I wasn’t involved in building this particular link, or I’m not trying to game the search engine here. There is enough room for you to deny you were trying to do anything dodgy basically. That’s grey hat. I suppose some of the manufactured links fall into that and some of the covert paid links also fall into that. That’s grey hat. Then there is black hat. Black hat is pretty much you’re trying to game the search engines as best as you can. You don’t care whose toes you tread on. You’re just going to go out there and be as aggressive in your link building and SEO as you can be. I don’t suggest that you do this. I have done this in the past and a lot more of it was to do with testing purposes. If you look at very competitive niches like credit cards, mortgages, gambling, porn all those types of websites, a lot of them do engage in black hat practices because it’s a lot more competitive,. But some of these tactics are short lived. You can go down that rout, but I wouldn’t be doing it on your main money site or your primary website because if that site gets de indexed because Google doesn’t like the idea of black hat, then you are in a lot of trouble. 15
  16. 16. If you are going to engage in that sort of thing, make sure that you have it on websites that are significantly distant from your website. Through some creative linking you can still get some of that benefit back but I still wouldn’t suggest it. I’m talking about things like spamming, spamming different blogs, spamming video comments, just spamming in general. You know what spamming is, basically unsolicited going out there, mass marketing, trying to produce links. Also hacking, I’d put this under black hat as well. A while ago, one of my websites system trading blog, someone hacked it, it was a WordPress blog. They hacked it, got into the back end and then managed to put a little bit of code that effectively created a whole series of links but pushed it just slightly out of frame. It moved it so you couldn’t actually see it if you visually hit the website. When Google spidered the website, it would see these links and be passing links off to other people. This was only a month or two ago, we found out. I’d been wondering what was going on because system trading blog has a huge number of pages indexed but it had been dropping in rankings. The traffic had been going down and the page rank was falling. We think it was because Google had spotted that we were trying to build links sneakily. A lot of these links were hidden. We didn’t do it, someone had hacked into our website. We’ve now cleaned it up and hopefully we’ll start to see some of those results pop back. Die hard questions Now I wanted to move into some of the diehard questions. These are the hard questions that people like to ask and a lot of people don’t like to make a stand when it comes to SEO. I’ll give you my thoughts on it and yes, you can just take them with a grain of salt. The first thing is, do you need to build links from relevant, on topic websites? This is the idea, let’s say you’ve got a website about dentistry. If you were building links to that website, is it important to build those links from websites that are related, at least in the same niche? So we might be talking about, should we be building links from teeth whitening websites, gum disease websites, dentistry board type websites and building links from sites that are at least on topic? 16
  17. 17. Google has registered a whole lot of patents that I’ve talked about and one of them was this idea that, the patent was you need to have links from relevant websites. I personally, in my testing, have not seen it. I think any link is better than no link. How can Google really analyze whether something is on topic or relevant? Sure we can talk in really general terms. Let’s say on my website, if I wrote an article about me visiting the dentist because I chewed a cherry and my tooth exploded and I want to and had a great experience. That’s coming from an off topic website and to a certain extent even the way the article is written, it could still be off topic and I’m still linking through to that website. It could be a page to do with health, listing all of the different relevant health websites and here’s a dentist. So it’s not really as on topic. It’s going to be very hard for Google to analyze that. So the long and the short of it is, in my testing, I haven’t seen this implemented. Any link is better than no link. If you can get it from on topic, you might as well do it. When we’re building links for myself and for clients, I think it’s probably something that Google would like to implement further down the track. So if you can build links from relevant sites, you might as well do it now. It’s a little bit of future pacing I suppose, just in case they do start to incorporate things. Any link is better than no link and don’t stress too hard if you’re getting a few links from off site or off topic websites. The next one is, can you get in trouble for building certain links? People wonder whether or not you can get into trouble by having someone link to your website and your website gets canned. I’ve talked about this in the past and it’s the idea that for off site components and off site link building, anything that happens off site, I think it’s going to be very difficult for Google to implement some sort of algorithm that will penalize someone’s website. If you got penalized for off site links, again, what would you do? You’d just go to your competitors, link to them from all of these sites that you know would get them penalized, effectively get them booted out of the search engines. So I don’t think that is something that Google would implement. That said, I have heard situations, when we’re talking really bad networks like bad neighbourhoods of, let’s say, porn sites or really badly known spam blogs and things like that where it is recognized that they’re doing really bad things, I have heard that they can cause websites to drop out. 17
  18. 18. Like most things when it comes to off page SEO, all of this can be overcome by just building more links. A link is effectively a vote for your website and if you just keep on building links, Google will say over time, hey, maybe we’ve got this wrong and then you’ll just pop back in the search engine, so it’s all about just keeping building links. That said though, that’s external links. How about internal links? When I say internal links, I mean links from your website to other web pages. Yes, I think you could get in trouble for that. Let’s say again, you have your website and you’re linking through to again, a website that might be bad neighbourhood, gambling, porn, things like that that is known for doing bad things and it is recognized by Google. If you link from your website to their website, that is like you taking an action. So yes, I think it is something you can get into trouble for. You just want to make sure that you always want to err on the side of doing everything as white hat as you can, as squeaky clean as you can. I think that’s ultimately the best way to build that long term business anyway. Ok, the next question we’ve got is can you build links too quickly? Now I don’t know if you can build links too quickly. Personally I haven’t ever reached a situation where I’ve got heavily penalized for building links too quickly. I think another good example to think about is the idea of a press release. When you submit a press release, you get a whole host of these inbound links almost overnight. In the previous presentation I showed you that press release we did for Melbourne SEO Services. There were over 950 links back to our website, a lot of them with all of the same anchor text and it happened really quickly, effectively overnight. If you think of the way news happens, when news is announced, there is the potential there to get a whole lot of links. So coming back to the idea of replicating what happens in nature, I don’t know if you can build links too quickly, unless maybe if you’re building links from a specific type of link building method and then that might tend to look unnatural. Let’s say you’re manufacturing links from some blog networks and you’re building 10,000 links overnight from a whole host of just these blog networks from WordPress blogs and they’re all very similar, perhaps then, maybe. 18
  19. 19. The way that I like to do it, when it comes to doing anything natural, if you’re doing something natural, I don’t think that you can build links too quickly. If you’re doing something manufactured and you’re orchestrating that link a little bit more, then you probably want to err on the side of caution and maybe just slow down the link building, just so it ticks along. If you can have it build over time, that is really the best way to do it because again that’s what happens naturally, you build links over time. It’s not like one night you go to bed, you’ve got zero links, the next morning, you wake up and you’ve got 10,000 links. That’s not natural. You can vary it depending on what you want to try. If you kept it under a couple of hundred links a day or fifty links a day, you should be alright, at least when it comes to the manufactured links. When it comes to the natural links, go wild and try to build as many as you can, as quickly as you can. The other thing to note as well, like all things SEO, especially when you’re doing things on external sites, sites outside of your website or for these external factors, everything can be overcome with building more links, as long as you’re building these good quality links. Let’s say for some reason your website does drop out of the search engines, because the Google algorithm bounces around and sites drop in and out all the time, if for some reason your website does drop out, then just keep building links in that consistent manner, then it will pop back in. You’re telling Google, yes, this is an important website because it keeps on getting links and that will overcome. Google might say, ok, hey, we’ve got it wrong and then we’ll include it back in the index. So they’re a few of the harder questions that typically SEOers like to miss. I like to go straight for those ones. So if you’ve got any other questions that you’d like me to answer that you think might be a little bit curly, you can head over to and submit them through there and I’d be more than happy to take a look. 19
  20. 20. 80/20 rule So I’ll just move into the final wrap up here and I just want to give you the 20% that you need to focus on that is going to give you the 80% of the results. So the first thing we talked about is the idea of replicating what happens in nature. This really is going to help you answer just about most of the questions you have when it comes to SEO. If you’ve got a hard question, just ask yourself, what happens naturally? If I wasn’t trying to game the search engines here, what would happen? That will give you some insight as to what you should be doing with that particular question. So always try and replicate what happens in nature. Is it natural for your website to have 10,000 links overnight from a whole lot of places that look very similar? No, so it’s probably not something you want to do. Is it natural that links build consistently over time? Yes, it’s natural that links build consistently, so you want to make sure that you’re consistently building links. Is it natural that all of the links linking to a particular page have exactly the same anchor text? No, so you want to make sure that you vary that anchor text. Those are just a few insights and ideas that show you pretty much what happens in nature because that’s what Google’s algorithm is looking to do. The second thing is just send links to the pages that you want to rank. It’s really quite simple. That’s what the bulk of off page SEO is all about, sending links to the pages you want to rank. The final thing I want to talk about is how to make sure you stay one step ahead of your competitor. I think if you’ve been in SEO, you’ve probably heard this joke before, but it’s a really good explanation and insight into what you need to do, what it takes to win at the game of SEO. The joke goes like this. You’ve got two guys and they’re out in the middle of the woods and they’ve found this little baby cub hanging around in some ferns. They start to play around with it, tease it a little bit, grab a branch and wave it in its face just to see what would happen. 20
  21. 21. The little baby bear was starting to get a little bit annoyed. Both guys are just laughing and having a really good time. They hear this thud, thud, thud, thud and a rustle in some of the bushes and they know, uh oh, look out the mother bear is coming and we’ve got to get out of here. One of the guys says, look, we’ve really got to start making a move. He starts running and he’s ten meters away and he turns around and looks at this friend. His friend seems to be just casually taking off his back pack, pulling out some tennis shoes and putting on his tennis shoes. He says, what are you doing? We need to get out of here, quick the bear is coming! He is just sitting there lacing up his tennis shoe and says, no, look I don’t need to outrun the bear, I just need to outrun you! That’s the whole idea that you just need to stay one step ahead of whoever is in front of you. That’s ultimately what you need to do to win. In SEO it’s exactly the same thing. I’ve seen time and time again, when people get to number one, they keep on trying to build links to these web pages, thinking for some reason they can get higher than number one. Number one is as high as you go, so once you get to number one, focus your link building efforts to other pages you want to get to ranked. You should obviously keep an eye on those keywords to make sure that you stay number one. If for some reason your competition comes in and knocks you off, that’s when you go, hey, you get back in the game, you start building links back to that website and you take your number one position back. All you need to do is stay one step ahead of the competitor. It can be as little as having one good quality inbound link. That might be enough to tip you over the edge. Just keep building links to the pages you want to have ranked. Once they’re ranked, move onto new pages. If it’s your homepage you might do a little bit of additional link building because that’s what happens naturally, but focus on going after those new keyword phrases. Let me leave you with a little tool and a tip on how you can outrun your competition and stay one step ahead. I’m just going to head over to Google here. There’s a little search string you can type in, ‘link: and the website you want to analyze.’ What this will tell you, it will give you a listing of all of the pages that Google is happy to display that you’re getting links from, inbound links. 21
  22. 22. If we have a look at this example, basically it’s telling me that I’ve got seven inbound links to I know I’ve built a great deal more links than that. Google, knowing that this helps reverse engineer their algorithm, if Google was to tell you, here are the links that this particular website has and these are the links that we consider most important, that would make it easier for someone to reverse engineer the algorithm and then get closer to uncovering it. They don’t really reveal that much as to how many links and the link sources. That said, if we head over to something called Yahoo! Site Explorer, just type it into Google here and I’ll type it in. Yahoo! on the other hand is a little bit more open in telling us. This tool here, if I type in the URL it again, will analyze how many inbound links that we’ve got and will tell us a little bit more about the site here. We can see it’s indexed 359 pages. We’ve also got, if I hit on this In Links, that will tell us how many links Yahoo! has registered that we’ve got inbound links. Now I’ve got 760, so that’s a huge difference, obviously, compared to Google’s index that they’re happy to show. Now what you can do with this information, imagine your competition is one step ahead of you and you aren’t one hundred percent sure what they’re doing. You’ve gone and done your link building. The next stage of what you might do, is analyze what they’re doing and just copy it. You can sit there and you might look through their links, drop their URL in here and go, oh, they’re building links from this directory, or they’ve made a relationship over here to get their articles republished, or maybe they’ve got a link from a .gov or a .edu and the opportunity might be there for you to do the same. It’s a really good way to reverse engineer what they’re doing and then you can go ahead and start building back links through the same way. That’s a really helpful tip. So just coming back to the presentation here, we talked a lot about off page optimization and we didn’t go into the specifics of how and where to do some link building. I gave you a few ideas and tips. When we get to the presentation on The SEO Method 2.0 I will give you the step by step plan that we follow here in the office for our websites and our team. This was more of making sure you understood the way off page optimization works before we give you the strategy. So hopefully you found this presentation useful. If you’d like to watch more presentation like this, just make sure that you head over to 22