SlideShare a Scribd company logo
F#$%! Link Building.
      Content Marketing FTW.


Rand Fishkin | CEO




             http://bit.ly/mozcontent2012
Classic Link Building
Discover Link Opportunities




http://www.seomoz.org/labs/link-finder/index.php
Brainstorm Acquisition Tactics




Travelpod built an embeddable quiz that universities use… What can I do to get .edu links?
Pound Head Against Wall




Feel free to use this high quality link acquisition email. Effectiveness not guaranteed 
Keep Pounding



                       But, I really
                       want a link!




test
Damage Brain




Manual link building has a surprising amount in common with stuffing crayons up one’s nose.
Earn Links… Painfully




1-2 links per hour of link building is fairly common, particularly if you don’t have a great site to work from.
Give In to the Dark Side




http://www.bloggingtips.com/2012/03/22/link-authority-review-the-next-buildmyrank-alternative/
Buy Some Links




Always a fun time: http://fiverr.com/gigs/search?query=links
Go Overboard




Once you’ve gone to “supreme link pyramid elite,” you know you’re desperate. http://www.wickedfire.com/links-
seo/154095-supreme-all-one-seo-solution-only-28-proven-results-dominate-google.html
Get Burned




http://www.seomoz.org/blog/unnatural-link-warnings-blog-networks-advice
Retreat and Try Again




BTW – If you need a simple meme generator: http://imgflip.com/memegenerator is pretty solid
Why Links Are in Danger
Links Were Never Really Votes

                                                 Does the author mean
                                                 to endorse this page?
                                                 Does he mean to say it
                                                  should rank better for
                                                 “a very similar thing?”




Search engines found links useful as a proxy, but most of those linking on the web don’t intend to contribute to the link graph.
The Algo Wasn’t Intended to Benefit Marketers




http://marketingland.com/is-googles-over-optimization-penalty-its-jump-the-shark-moment-in-web-search-8633
But SEOs Are Better at Links than Everyone Else




And worse at karaoke… via http://www.distilled.net/jobs/seattle/search-marketers/
WebSpam Struggles to Keep Up




http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-google-makes-liars-out-of-the-good-guys-in-seo
Sharing on the Web Has Evolved


                                                                                It used to be that
                                                                                  the “Linkerati”
                                                                                   controlled the
                                                                                  web’s sharing.




http://www.seomoz.org/blog/21-tips-to-earn-links-and-tweets-to-your-blog-post
Today, the “Linkerati” are a Far Bigger Group




Via http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/PewInternet/022612-nfais-newnormalpdf/6 (Pew Internet & American Life Project)
Google’s Clearly Trying to Move Beyond Links



                                                                                      Individual link
                                                                                    metrics have lower
                                                                                     correlation over
                                                                                    time, while social
                                                                                       signals rise.




Via http://www.seomoz.org/blog/facebook-twitters-influence-google-search-rankings
Many Links are a Thorn in Search Engines’ Side




An enlightening example of spammer mentality: https://www.google.com/search?q=build+my+rank+alternatives
Tactical SEO
I Want to Rank Higher For This Query


                                                         Ranking here
                                                         will bring me
                                                        more customers




https://www.google.com/search?q=custom+kitchen+knives
Decision Time


                 OPTION A:
     Create lots of great content, start
                                                   OPTION B:
     a blog, shoot some videos, build
                                              Point some @#$%ing
        up a community via social
                                                links at my page.
      networks, participate in forums,
         try to earn some press…



Option A sounds like a lot of work…
Most SEOs Make the Obvious Choice




                               YEE-HAW LINKS!!




Option B can certainly work.
Strategic Marketing
What Really Matters to a Business on the Web?

               Competitors Tactics:                          Avg Cost of Acquisition:
                                   Paid Search             $95.00

                      Banners & Display Ads                $150.00

                             Brand Advertising             $Unknown

         Television, Radio & Print Media                   $180.00

                                Contextual Ads             $115.00

Paid forms of acquisition are easier to measure, optimize and invest in. Management’s comfortable with them.
The engines/platforms make it easy to buy them. Why wouldn’t you use paid acquisition?
What Really Matters to a Business on the Web?

                    “Inbound” Tactics                                Avg Cost of Acquisition:
                                    Organic Search                 $15.00

                        Social Media Marketing                     $35.00

                                         Blogs & RSS               $60.00

          Community / Forum Participation                          $20.00

                                       Video Content               $70.00


If you invest in inbound tactics, your cost of custom acquisition can be dramatically lower than the competition’s
What Really Matters to a Business on the Web?



                                                                             COCA / CLTV = This
                                                                             Ratio. Strength here
                                                                            means you have more
                                                                            to invest in every other
                                                                             part of the business.




Thanks to Cascadia Capital for the chart: http://www.cascadiacapital.com/
Decision Time


             OPTION A:                                             OPTION B:
       Content + SEO + Social +                               Point some @#$%ing
         Community + Press                                      links at the page.




                                             Which one of these truly
                                             results in lower COCA?

This time, Option A looks a lot more appealing.
Five Reasons I Invest in
   Content vs. Links
#1: I Want to Invest in Multiple Channels at Once

                                               More Long
      Higher                                                                    More Brand
                                                Tail SEO
  Conversion Rate                                                                Visibility


  Higher Organic                            CONTENT!                               Stronger Social
 Search Rankings                                                                      Following


     More Direct &                        Bigger Fanbase &                        More Referring
   Bookmarking Traffic                       Community                                Links

Content, by its very nature, creates multi-channel marketing opportunities and wins.
#2: I Want to Be Proud of My Work




Am I making the Internet a better place?
#3: I Want Strategies that Last No Matter What




         If this is the future, I
      better build a memorable
       brand that has positive
        signals of every kind.




I want marketing that will last even if Siri replaces Google, social replaces search, apps replace the web, etc. (note: I don’t
actually believe any of those things will happen, but I do like to be prepared)
#3: I Want Strategies that Last No Matter What




Who knows, maybe DDG is really on to something: http://duckduckgo.com/traffic.html
#4: Content Builds Links While I Sleep




                                                                                             Virtually every link here is
                                                                                              editorially-given because
                                                                                             of content we’ve produced




https://www.google.com/search?q=seomoz+-site:seomoz.org&tbs=qdr:h (qdr:h at the end of the query narrows to results from just 1hr)
#5: Content Builds Brand Loyalty & Trust




http://thisismadebyhand.com/film/the_knife_maker play 4:45 - 5:45
OK. What Content Should I Make?
Don’t Limit Yourself to Content About Your Subject



                                                    This blog might work for
                                                   them, but IMO, it’s far too
                                                    topically specific and not
                                                   “interesting” enough to be
                                                   consistently share-worthy.




http://www.theofficesuppliessupermarket.com/blog
Discover What Your Audience Shares




Three tools: http://followerwonk.com, http://topsy.com, and Google’s Discussion Search
Brand Your Content to Align with Your Business/Products




Fiskars Scissors (fiskars.com) runs the amazing Fiskateers blog (http://www.fiskateers.com/); a great example of alignment.
Though, for SEO, I wish they’d gone with fiskars.com/fiskateers or fiskars.com/blog
Or Brand Your Product to Align with Your Content?




                                                                                 Coudal Partners is a
                                                                              fascinating example of this.




This is basically what we did at SEOmoz – created a product that fit with the content + audience we’d built
Remember, Content Can Mean:




   Actual Content                      Community                           Products                      Platform/Data


The “content” you produce and market can be much more than just a blog (though blogs are pretty awesome at this)
10 PRO Tips to Do
Content Marketing Right
#1: Dollar Shave Club’s Video Launch


                                   Expose everyone to your
                                  great content; don’t hide it.




http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/
#2: Every Time Zone Visualized




                               Suggest links! And
                                make it painless.




http://everytimezone.com/
#3: FeeFighters’ Brilliant Blog




             Make your tagline give
             you great anchor text




A smart move from http://feefighters.com/blog/
#4: The Economist’s Graphics Blog



                                                                            Hmm… I wonder if a blog
                                                                            all about charts & graphs
                                                                             will get lots of links and
                                                                                     embeds?




Choosing a linkbaity content style is a smart move: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail
#5: Zemanta’s Blog Links Tools
      Puts your images and content in front of
       800K+ bloggers while they’re writing




Try out the demo here: http://www.zemanta.com/demo/ (no, I’m not affiliated with them in any way)
#6: Twitter Stories




                                                                                       This is basically just
                                                                                        content curation +
                                                                                          unique design




Unique visualizations make for remarkable share-ability: http://stories.twitter.com/
#7: Slate’s Partnership with Q+A Site Quora




                                                                      Emerging content platforms
                                                                     desperately need visibility and
                                                                        monetization; you need
                                                                        content. Make it work!




Description of the partnership here: http://www.quora.com/blog/Quora-Partners-with-Slate
#8: Koozai’s Viral Blog Post Via Google News



                                                      Use every weapon in the
                                                      arsenal – News, Video
                                                      Rich Snippets, Rel Author,
                                                      Schema, etc.

  It’s naturally assumed great content will fall flat without link building. However
  this post had no outreach but journalists and authors found it on Google News
  and linked to it, which sparked a debate that got us 473 backlinks from 106
  domains (without doing outreach).
                                                                   - Mike Essex, Koozai
Via http://www.koozai.com/blog/search-marketing/are-ebooks-the-new-content-farms-2901/
#9: See Jane Work: Demographically Targeted Office Supplies




Harnessing the power of an already-united group can yield tremendous results
#10:

                                                           This strategy, which I’m
                                                           calling “pridebait,” is just
                                                                    cheating.



                                                             Even more effective?
                                                            Nominating/mentioning
                                                            those who have HUGE
                                                               social followings.



http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2107952_2107953_2109626,00.html
#10:

                                                           This strategy, which I’m
                                                           calling “pridebait,” is just
                                                                    cheating.



                                                             Even more effective?
                                                            Nominating/mentioning
                                                            those who have HUGE
                                                               social followings.



http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2107952_2107953_2109626,00.html
Rand Fishkin | CEO


@randfish
www.seomoz.org/blog
rand@seomoz.org

       http://bit.ly/mozcontent2012

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F%$#! Link Building. Content Marketing FTW

  • 1. F#$%! Link Building. Content Marketing FTW. Rand Fishkin | CEO http://bit.ly/mozcontent2012
  • 4. Brainstorm Acquisition Tactics Travelpod built an embeddable quiz that universities use… What can I do to get .edu links?
  • 5. Pound Head Against Wall Feel free to use this high quality link acquisition email. Effectiveness not guaranteed 
  • 6. Keep Pounding But, I really want a link! test
  • 7. Damage Brain Manual link building has a surprising amount in common with stuffing crayons up one’s nose.
  • 8. Earn Links… Painfully 1-2 links per hour of link building is fairly common, particularly if you don’t have a great site to work from.
  • 9. Give In to the Dark Side http://www.bloggingtips.com/2012/03/22/link-authority-review-the-next-buildmyrank-alternative/
  • 10. Buy Some Links Always a fun time: http://fiverr.com/gigs/search?query=links
  • 11. Go Overboard Once you’ve gone to “supreme link pyramid elite,” you know you’re desperate. http://www.wickedfire.com/links- seo/154095-supreme-all-one-seo-solution-only-28-proven-results-dominate-google.html
  • 13. Retreat and Try Again BTW – If you need a simple meme generator: http://imgflip.com/memegenerator is pretty solid
  • 14. Why Links Are in Danger
  • 15. Links Were Never Really Votes Does the author mean to endorse this page? Does he mean to say it should rank better for “a very similar thing?” Search engines found links useful as a proxy, but most of those linking on the web don’t intend to contribute to the link graph.
  • 16. The Algo Wasn’t Intended to Benefit Marketers http://marketingland.com/is-googles-over-optimization-penalty-its-jump-the-shark-moment-in-web-search-8633
  • 17. But SEOs Are Better at Links than Everyone Else And worse at karaoke… via http://www.distilled.net/jobs/seattle/search-marketers/
  • 18. WebSpam Struggles to Keep Up http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-google-makes-liars-out-of-the-good-guys-in-seo
  • 19. Sharing on the Web Has Evolved It used to be that the “Linkerati” controlled the web’s sharing. http://www.seomoz.org/blog/21-tips-to-earn-links-and-tweets-to-your-blog-post
  • 20. Today, the “Linkerati” are a Far Bigger Group Via http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/PewInternet/022612-nfais-newnormalpdf/6 (Pew Internet & American Life Project)
  • 21. Google’s Clearly Trying to Move Beyond Links Individual link metrics have lower correlation over time, while social signals rise. Via http://www.seomoz.org/blog/facebook-twitters-influence-google-search-rankings
  • 22. Many Links are a Thorn in Search Engines’ Side An enlightening example of spammer mentality: https://www.google.com/search?q=build+my+rank+alternatives
  • 24. I Want to Rank Higher For This Query Ranking here will bring me more customers https://www.google.com/search?q=custom+kitchen+knives
  • 25. Decision Time OPTION A: Create lots of great content, start OPTION B: a blog, shoot some videos, build Point some @#$%ing up a community via social links at my page. networks, participate in forums, try to earn some press… Option A sounds like a lot of work…
  • 26. Most SEOs Make the Obvious Choice YEE-HAW LINKS!! Option B can certainly work.
  • 28. What Really Matters to a Business on the Web? Competitors Tactics: Avg Cost of Acquisition: Paid Search $95.00 Banners & Display Ads $150.00 Brand Advertising $Unknown Television, Radio & Print Media $180.00 Contextual Ads $115.00 Paid forms of acquisition are easier to measure, optimize and invest in. Management’s comfortable with them. The engines/platforms make it easy to buy them. Why wouldn’t you use paid acquisition?
  • 29. What Really Matters to a Business on the Web? “Inbound” Tactics Avg Cost of Acquisition: Organic Search $15.00 Social Media Marketing $35.00 Blogs & RSS $60.00 Community / Forum Participation $20.00 Video Content $70.00 If you invest in inbound tactics, your cost of custom acquisition can be dramatically lower than the competition’s
  • 30. What Really Matters to a Business on the Web? COCA / CLTV = This Ratio. Strength here means you have more to invest in every other part of the business. Thanks to Cascadia Capital for the chart: http://www.cascadiacapital.com/
  • 31. Decision Time OPTION A: OPTION B: Content + SEO + Social + Point some @#$%ing Community + Press links at the page. Which one of these truly results in lower COCA? This time, Option A looks a lot more appealing.
  • 32. Five Reasons I Invest in Content vs. Links
  • 33. #1: I Want to Invest in Multiple Channels at Once More Long Higher More Brand Tail SEO Conversion Rate Visibility Higher Organic CONTENT! Stronger Social Search Rankings Following More Direct & Bigger Fanbase & More Referring Bookmarking Traffic Community Links Content, by its very nature, creates multi-channel marketing opportunities and wins.
  • 34. #2: I Want to Be Proud of My Work Am I making the Internet a better place?
  • 35. #3: I Want Strategies that Last No Matter What If this is the future, I better build a memorable brand that has positive signals of every kind. I want marketing that will last even if Siri replaces Google, social replaces search, apps replace the web, etc. (note: I don’t actually believe any of those things will happen, but I do like to be prepared)
  • 36. #3: I Want Strategies that Last No Matter What Who knows, maybe DDG is really on to something: http://duckduckgo.com/traffic.html
  • 37. #4: Content Builds Links While I Sleep Virtually every link here is editorially-given because of content we’ve produced https://www.google.com/search?q=seomoz+-site:seomoz.org&tbs=qdr:h (qdr:h at the end of the query narrows to results from just 1hr)
  • 38. #5: Content Builds Brand Loyalty & Trust http://thisismadebyhand.com/film/the_knife_maker play 4:45 - 5:45
  • 39. OK. What Content Should I Make?
  • 40. Don’t Limit Yourself to Content About Your Subject This blog might work for them, but IMO, it’s far too topically specific and not “interesting” enough to be consistently share-worthy. http://www.theofficesuppliessupermarket.com/blog
  • 41. Discover What Your Audience Shares Three tools: http://followerwonk.com, http://topsy.com, and Google’s Discussion Search
  • 42. Brand Your Content to Align with Your Business/Products Fiskars Scissors (fiskars.com) runs the amazing Fiskateers blog (http://www.fiskateers.com/); a great example of alignment. Though, for SEO, I wish they’d gone with fiskars.com/fiskateers or fiskars.com/blog
  • 43. Or Brand Your Product to Align with Your Content? Coudal Partners is a fascinating example of this. This is basically what we did at SEOmoz – created a product that fit with the content + audience we’d built
  • 44. Remember, Content Can Mean: Actual Content Community Products Platform/Data The “content” you produce and market can be much more than just a blog (though blogs are pretty awesome at this)
  • 45. 10 PRO Tips to Do Content Marketing Right
  • 46. #1: Dollar Shave Club’s Video Launch Expose everyone to your great content; don’t hide it. http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/
  • 47. #2: Every Time Zone Visualized Suggest links! And make it painless. http://everytimezone.com/
  • 48. #3: FeeFighters’ Brilliant Blog Make your tagline give you great anchor text A smart move from http://feefighters.com/blog/
  • 49. #4: The Economist’s Graphics Blog Hmm… I wonder if a blog all about charts & graphs will get lots of links and embeds? Choosing a linkbaity content style is a smart move: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail
  • 50. #5: Zemanta’s Blog Links Tools Puts your images and content in front of 800K+ bloggers while they’re writing Try out the demo here: http://www.zemanta.com/demo/ (no, I’m not affiliated with them in any way)
  • 51. #6: Twitter Stories This is basically just content curation + unique design Unique visualizations make for remarkable share-ability: http://stories.twitter.com/
  • 52. #7: Slate’s Partnership with Q+A Site Quora Emerging content platforms desperately need visibility and monetization; you need content. Make it work! Description of the partnership here: http://www.quora.com/blog/Quora-Partners-with-Slate
  • 53. #8: Koozai’s Viral Blog Post Via Google News Use every weapon in the arsenal – News, Video Rich Snippets, Rel Author, Schema, etc. It’s naturally assumed great content will fall flat without link building. However this post had no outreach but journalists and authors found it on Google News and linked to it, which sparked a debate that got us 473 backlinks from 106 domains (without doing outreach). - Mike Essex, Koozai Via http://www.koozai.com/blog/search-marketing/are-ebooks-the-new-content-farms-2901/
  • 54. #9: See Jane Work: Demographically Targeted Office Supplies Harnessing the power of an already-united group can yield tremendous results
  • 55. #10: This strategy, which I’m calling “pridebait,” is just cheating. Even more effective? Nominating/mentioning those who have HUGE social followings. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2107952_2107953_2109626,00.html
  • 56. #10: This strategy, which I’m calling “pridebait,” is just cheating. Even more effective? Nominating/mentioning those who have HUGE social followings. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2107952_2107953_2109626,00.html
  • 57. Rand Fishkin | CEO @randfish www.seomoz.org/blog rand@seomoz.org http://bit.ly/mozcontent2012