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The Power of Link Building

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In SEO, internal and external links help establish site authority and trust. The question is, are all links created equal? Join us as we explore the different types of offsite authority building and look at ways to strengthen internal pages of a site.

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The Power of Link Building

  1. 1. Search Influence’s mission is to help customers successfully market online by developing tools, technologies, and the Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence experts who support them.
  2. 2. ABOUT ME MEGAN LINDSEY • University of Louisiana Lafayette Mass Communications / Media Studies Grad • Search Influence Senior Account Manager • Influencer for 3+ years • Google AdWords + Bing Adwords Certified Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence
  3. 3. THE POWER OF LINKBUILDING Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence
  4. 4. LINKBUILDING 101: Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence • WHAT IS LINKBUILDING? • Process of getting external pages to link to a page on your website • WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? • Google’s primary ranking signal • Seen as a “vote” • Builds page authority • HOW DOES IT IMPACT SEO? • Trust factor • Quantity of backlinks • Quality of backlinks • Anchor text • Referral traffic • Social signals
  5. 5. ALGORITHM UPDATES &LINKBUILDING Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence
  6. 6. PENGUIN UPDATES: Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence Penalty Reasons: 1. Low Quality Links 2. Overly Optimized Anchor Text 3. Keyword stuffing 4. Blog Spam 5. Exact Match Domains How to Overcome? 1. Natural Anchor Text 2. Contextual Thematic Links 3. Pruning The “Rogue” Links Who Benefited? Websites with variety of quality back links PENGUIN: April 2012 • Adjusted a number of spam factors, including keyword stuffing • Impacted an estimated 3.1% of English queries PENGUIN 2.0: May 2013 • Arrived with only moderate impact • Exact nature of the changes were unclear, but some suggested that it was more finely targeted to the page level PENGUIN 3.0: October 2014 • Appeared to be smaller than expected • Impacted <1% of English queries • Timing of update was unclear, and Google claimed it was spread out over “weeks”
  7. 7. = But, not all links are created equal Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013
  8. 8. GOOD LINKS VS. BAD LINKS Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence
  9. 9. GOOD LINKS Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 What does Google really want? @searchinfluence • Strong, authoritative links • Relevant links • Industry specific • Location specific • Natural links • Brand signals
  10. 10. Bad Links: What Makes a Link Bad? Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 Structure • Overly optimized “anchor text” • If all the links pointing at you are on the exact same keyword, Google sees that as a sign that a website may be trying to “manipulate” the search results Source • Completely unrelated or loosely related website • Not good: Mommy blog in Michigan linking to a steel maker in New Jersey • Appropriate link: Mommy blog in Michigan writing about and linking to vacation rentals in Alabama • Website linking to many different industries without real context or purpose • (established directories are still good)
  11. 11. Common Sources of Bad Links • Poor blog commenting: – Comments providing Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 no real input – Comments on unrelated blog posts – Commenter’s name is clearly a keyword • Low, low quality directories • Unrelated “link network” type sites
  12. 12. PENALTIES FOR BAD LINKS Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence
  13. 13. Site rankings can be affected 1 of 2 ways… Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 Manually Algorithmically
  14. 14. Diagnosing • Action plan to “fix” varies based on the type of penalty… Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013
  15. 15. Google Webmaster Tools: Manual Actions Notice Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013
  16. 16. Algorithmic • If traffic dips in Google Analytics coincides with a Google update, but no “manual action” in WMT, then the site’s rankings were adjusted by the algorithm, not manually Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013
  17. 17. Addressing the Issue Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 • Manual action • Perform aggressive link cleanup, document, “disavow” and submit Reconsideration Request • Algorithmic Update • Perform aggressive link cleanup, document, and “disavow” bad links • No easy cure for toxic links • Can take multiple tries • Most cases are different • For manual actions, recovery will take place after next Penguin refresh or update
  18. 18. EVALUATING BACKLINKS Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence
  19. 19. Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 INBOUND LINK REPORT • Evaluates the quality and quantity of inbound links pointing back to the site • Reviewed to determine: • Presence of “bad” links • Baseline of current links • Areas of opportunity to increase quality backlinks @searchinfluence
  20. 20. GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence • Evaluates and Identifies sources of high and low quality backlinks • Notifies if there is a significant number of low quality backlinks that result in Manual Action
  21. 21. COMPETITIVE BACKLINK ANALYSIS • Identifies the sites that competitors are getting links from • Goal: Obtain more authoritative links to your site that your competitors already have • Examples: Industry directories, hyper-local directories, manufacturer/product websites, partnerships, etc. Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013
  22. 22. OFF-SITE LINK BUILDING Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence
  23. 23. Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 LOCAL DIRECTORIES Organize listings by NAP information (by location). PRIMARY BENEFIT: Citations
  24. 24. Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 CATEGORICAL DIRECTORIES Organize listings by business category rather than location. PRIMARY BENEFIT: Links
  25. 25. Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 NICHE DIRECTORIES Relevant, Industry/Location Specific PRIMARY BENEFIT: Quality Links
  26. 26. PRESS RELEASES Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013
  27. 27. SOCIAL BOOKMARKING • Acts as 2nd tier link building • Goal: Build authority of existing links and help Search Engines with discovery of links / content • Types of content to social bookmark: • Social network URLs • Other online profiles or brand mentions (PRs, articles, niche directory listings) Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013
  28. 28. Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS PRIMARY BENEFITS: • Brand awareness • Connect/Interact with audience + influencers • Share valuable Content • Opportunity for virality @searchinfluence
  29. 29. HELPFUL TIPS + TOOLS • Continuous link building establishes a brand’s search presence and site authority • Monitor organic website traffic after algorithm updates • Establish expectations for potential penalties and recovery efforts • Evaluate number of inbound links to client’s site by utilizing helpful tools: • moz.com/researchtools/ose • google.com/webmastertools Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013 @searchinfluence
  30. 30. Questions? info@searchinfluence.com Thank You! Fairway Group in Partnership with Search Influence 2013

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