Cast: The caring person who wants to hear all about your day, played by Grumpy Cat
Google updates the Penguin algorithm very, very rarely. So it’s important to get things right when building links. The last update was October, 6 months ago. Google keeps telling us another one that is really bad is on it’s way. I don’t think they are misleading us, it might just not be passing their internal QA tests right now or they are waiting for something else to launch the new update. Why do I think this? Last year at this time Google had announced 13 big changes, this year? Just 2… and both are Panda updates which is now in ‘everflux’. So what are all those Googlers doing? Besides playing with driverless cars and working on a shotty social media platform. My guess is that big update Matt warned about, and now that there are now anti-trust fears… well.. They kind of have free reign to do what they want for a while.
If you’ve already been hit, I’m sorry but Grumpy Cat isn’t, he probably thinks you knew it was coming when you were buying all of those links and making everything exactly match the same keyterm every single time.
Not really Grumpy Cat, stop trying to misguide people. Link networks are a big don’t in the Post-Penguin world.Here’s a bunch more don’ts. Some are common sense, some are not.
Don’t: Use Xrummer Don’t: Use Scrapebox Don’t: Use SE Nuke Don’t: Use link networks like Build My Rank Don’t: Use all exact match anchor text Don’t: Do “Article Marketing” Don’t: Spam AuthorRank Don’t: Use a directory link building service Don’t: Have multiple links with the same anchor text on the same page. Don’t: Use domain authority alone to decide where to place a link. (read my post, The Rebecca Black Dilemma: http://wrightimc.com/blog/2012/06/12/which-blog-can-i-take/) Don’t: Get links from websites that look spammy. Don’t: Use anchor text in blog comments, use your name or company name Don’t: Buy Links Don’t: Use the same copy on your website and another website (this is panda, but still.. Don’t do it ok? Have we made this clear yet? Developers, I see those dev sites getting indexed, stop it. stop it now.) Don’t: Use the same keyword in your title, H1, H2, H3 and all over your page. This is the new stuffing and some webmasters reported getting hit due to this at the same time as Penguin rolled out.
Link networks are bad m’kay?This is the first page of Google for the search “Link Network” above the fold it’s all bad stuff. Hmmm it’s kind of like they are trying to tell us something…
Own a small business? Get a contract that states no Link Networks or similar services will be used without your permission.
Creating quality content is a MUST. If you’re not paying your SEO firm to do content marketing and instead are paying for just “Link Building” then you’re missing out on great link building opportunities and putting a bullseye on your head for the Penguin to hit.
Make quality content like Videos, Infographics, Illustrations, Guides, Parallax websites, etc..
Your first move should be to place that content (carefully) where it might get picked up. Infographics go to Infographic websites, etc.. Place the content on your blog and distribute it in social media If you’ve done your job right this is the point in time where you select a few media types and hit them up. Aim your sights high and have confidence in your work.
Pro tip 1: look at ViralSearch by Microsoft: http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=185452
Pro tip 2: check out http://www.microlancer.com/ a new Envato marketplace. It looks great for low cost, custom content work
Beyond being visually appealing, to get the most out of an infographic it should be:
compelling - something new, different, unique. if it's mentally compelling to read or the figures really paint a picture that was unexpected powerful - it bolsters an argument, you can use it to back you up and defend yourself geeky - sci-fi / tech / space / games / gadgets / science
Pro tip: Look at the main infographic websites or websites for whatever content you are creating. See what the critics, like Randy Krum, are talking about and see what the users on their site are reacting positively too. Don’t just focus on your industry, but every industry and find a way to associate yourself and make it relevant.
Grumpy cat isn’t alone. Lots of CEOs, CMOs, and VPs often doubt the power of a blog. It can be difficult to convince them that blogs are worth putting time and energy into. However, the residual effect of a blog is that it lasts as a linking opportunity. As long as your images are either copyright free or owned by you and your content is unique, then the blog can serve as a great way to get rankings in image search as well as in Google Blog search. It also serves as a great way to communicate long form messages to your social media followers.
In a 2010 survey 91% of bloggers and 68% of online journalists said that they used blogs for research with 35%-38% of traditional media journalists also using blogs for research.
Pro Tip: If you don’t anticipate having much/any duplicate content on your blog, make sure that it’s located on you ROOT DOMAIN and not a SUB-DOMAIN. This will allow you to put unique, authoritative content on your domain and gain new links helping boost the link profile of the whole website. Minimize the internal linking TO the blog and maximize the internal linking AWAY from the blog to the other pages.
Super Pro Tip: If Journalists use blogs for research then try to engage with them. Find out the ip addresses of workplaces where you think you’ll be covered (scour your server logs and see who has visited you in the past). Set a custom message as a modal or highlight box to notify potential incoming journalists about your content and how to connect with you.
I don’t know about you, but 68% is a kind of big deal to me.. And traditional journalists? Well if they can’t link to you why be so concerned as to how they find information? Unless Google announces “Google Print Scan” a service that buys a copy of and scans each newspaper and magazine in the world, traditional media (at least for link building purposes) are not very important.
Think you created great content? Put your money where your cat nip is. Use the following to help promote your content and gain links for your efforts. Don’t be afraid to test them all out and tweak to find which ones work best for your content and your website.
Paid Discovery on Stumbleupon is incredibly inexpensive ($0.10 / view in most cases) and can get your content into view of people who want to talk about it.
In a recent case study I purchased 500 stumbles for an infographic. In the end the infographic received 580 stumbles, and garnered at least 1 link at a total cost of $50
Stumbleupon paid discovery gives you a score between 0% - 100%. A 100% score means your content is awesome.
Organic stumbles occur when someone who was paid to stumble your content promotes it within the system and their friends / others view it from that.
With the organic stumbles the cost per view effectively dropped to $0.086 instead of $0.10.
The infographic was found to be on websites with good to really good domain authorities such as Site 1: DA 33 Site 2: DA 64 Site 3: DA 45 Site 4: DA 54
Charities often accept corporate sponsors. Find a charity or a few that match your ethical stances and support them with monetary donations, volunteer work, etc.. This will give you excellent topics to blog about, post in your social media, and send out press releases for. It may even land you links from local news media, the charity themselves, and websites that curate content about the charity world. Pro Tip: If you really want to beef this up join CSRWire.com, a press website dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility. Get to where you are able to send out a CSR release once per year about the previous year’s activity and future goals for your charitable giving.
Super Pro Tip: If you host a charity fundraiser etc.. at your place of business make sure to keep that page live and get links to it from event listing websites, press, and the charity you are benefitting as well as thought leaders in the area that you are benefitting. If the event is annual make a main page and try to get links to it for each year.
Seriously, download this. The bulk of the link building strategies were courtesy of Jon Cooper at PointBlankSEO.com. Check out his big post of link building strategies here: http://pointblankseo.com/link-building-strategiesPro Tip: Use his page to get deeper, fuller descriptions of some of the strategies and compare to the Penguin risk factor in the spreadsheet.
Pro Tip 2: Look up Wil Reynolds “Real Company Sh**” or RCS. The age of easily scalable link building is dead.
Research done independently by myself and several other SEOs has shown a clear indicator of getting hit by Penguin is to have lots of exact match anchor text. When the “over optimization” penalty was first announced I surmised this in a comment on the SEOMoz blog to which Rand exclaimed “YES!!!!”. If you think like a search engine, then you can think like someone who wants to stop the worst of the SEOs. Panda was bad content, Penguin was bad link practices.
Pro tip: don’t use spammy link building tactics to try and diversify your anchor text, they are still spammy links. Refer to the spreadsheet and avoid site-wide links on low quality sites, theme links, and low quality directory links.
So everyone tells you to diversify your anchor text, but there isn’t a lot of guidance on how to do that. For my own website and my own clients I try to stick to the following (at least for now): Branded – 30% Exact match – 20% Related / Semantic keywords – 15% Phrase / Long tail keywords – 15% Head term keywords – 5% URL variations – 10% Spam keywords – 5%
Ok that’s a lot, did you download that spreadsheet I told you to? Check the “Credit” tab and read Geoff Kenyon’s piece on the 7:3 Ratio, it’s a bit easier to do than my more exact approach and will likely still keep you clear of the ranking demotions that come with Penguin.
These are all maxes. If you have too many URL variations, try building some more brand terms. If you have too much exact match and spam keywords, you need to make some serious adjustments before you get hit by Penguin on it’s next update.Pro tip: Use an SEO tool like Open Site Explorer to check anchor text of your top competitors. Map the anchor text type they are using to the website they got it from instead of just tracking that they got a link from that website.
Congrats you just beat / avoided Google Penguin. Time to get ready for the next level.
Make it so.
and now we wait for the next Penguin / major Google update
For more on the services I offer:http://www.joeyoungblood.com/dallas-seo http://www.joeyoungblood.com/ http://winnerwinnerchickendinner.co/
The Grumpy Cat Guide to Link Building in a Post-Penguin World
The Grumpy Cat
Guide to Link Building
in a Post-Penguin
An SEO tale
• Reading this on Slideshare? Download the deck for all
of the notes.
• Tweet me w/ Questions: @YoungbloodJoe
• 203 Link Building Strategies with potential risk of Penguin rating from low to high
• 5 Anchor text Strategies with rankings impact and Penguin risk factors
• Resources to do your own research
• Penguin Link Building Spreadsheet: