Tag Archives: link building

What a Balanced Link Profile Should Look Like in 2015

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Balanced Link Profile

Link building for your website gets trickier with each passing year and each Penguin algorithm update. The tough part, is that even if you have been abiding by Google’s mandate to acquire links naturally, performing completely ethical webmaster outreach to secure backlinks for your site, you may still put yourself in harm’s way (if you’re not doing it right). Penguin seems to get more sensitive as it grows and refreshes. While it appears to be making improvements, this sensitivity can even hurt websites that have not bought into any link schemes whatsoever. With the algorithm expected to update more often in the future, online businesses need to be extra cautious when it comes to building “natural” links. Today I’m providing you with some honest advice on how to tread lightly when securing links around Google’s algorithm, making sure that your website remains safe and SEO-prosperous in 2015.

5 Best Practices for Balancing Your Website’s Backlink Profile in 2015 and Beyond

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Uncovering the SEO MAFIA to Keep Your Website Safe

The SEO Mafia

I’m putting myself at risk by writing this article but someone needs to speak up. Someone needs to protect the innocent. You see, there’s an underworld out there, a gangland roamed by search engine marketers looking to prey on the unsuspecting small and medium businesses who hope to improve their website performance. Sometimes you can spot them a mile away, but too often they arrive with a nice tie and a big toothy grin, promising to take you to the promised land of Google Page One. They use fancy technical lingo to trick you into thinking that their explanations are over your head, and that you should simply trust them. They show you what you believe to be immediate results to get you hooked, which causes you to open your wallet further. A year later your website is left on blocks in the back alley of search engine results pages (SERPs) with no new customers or ROI to show for any of it, and no clear path back to where you began.

Today I’m uncovering the tactics used by the slickest of the SEO mafioso, the ones that often slide under the radar, the ones most SEOs won’t tell you about. I may have to watch my rear while walking down dark streets for the next few months. I may have to sit with my back facing the entrance of every Starbucks that I sit down at to write this blog. But it doesn’t matter, I have a responsibility to you, the business owner, above all other concerns. You may call me a martyr one day of you wish (savior has a nice ring to it too) but all that I ask is that you heed the advice below and watch out for the SEO mafia in your neighborhood.

4 Deceptive Tactics Used by the SEO Mafia

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How to Identify and Avoid Link Building on Private Blog Networks

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How to Identify and Avoid Private Blog Networks

The beginning of autumn 2014 has seen a wave of blog networks fall at the hands of Google. This week reports are coming in from all over the SEO industry indicating that Google has been doling out manual penalties to private blog networks (PNBs). A PNB consists of a group of blog sites that are connected to one another under one network, the network often being owned and operated by a single company. They serve three purposes. One is to promote the other blogs on the network and increase opportunity for advertising revenue. Another is to try and monopolize search engine results pages (SERPs) for one set of keyword terms creating a false sense of choice for searchers. The last and likely most common purpose is to sell links to websites hoping to boost their PageRank and improve their SEO.

Now you as a business owner managing a website likely do not own a PNB. So you may ask why I’m addressing the issue here in this internet marketing advice for businesses blog. The reason is simple. If a private blog network has received a manual Google penalty then the sites that have backlinks on this network are targets for a penalty themselves, a penalty that comes from participating in bad link building practices. You may follow-up with another question, inquiring about how your website may have ended up on one of the PNBs if you yourself had not gone out and paid for it. The answer here is also simple – you may have inadvertently hired a black or grey hat SEO in the past or present that has put you in harm’s way. So here comes your next question – how do you identify a PNB? I’m glad you asked.

5 Ways to Identify a Private Blog Network so That You Can Avoid Having Links to Your Website Placed on Them

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What is Link Scheme? How to Identify, and Avoid, a Link Buy

What is a Link Scheme

It won’t always be this obvious…

A link scheme includes any method used to unnaturally manipulate the Google algorithm known as PageRank. PageRank, in essence, factors in the number of quality links (from other websites) that you have pointing towards your site. The higher the number of quality links, the better your website performs on Google search. For years shady online marketers known as “black hat SEOs” have been promising clients Google Page One glory through the purchase of links. Google of course has publically denounced this practice and vowed to condemn any website that has reaped, or attempted to reap, the rewards of improved PageRank via unnatural link building. While any webmaster that has done so with full knowledge of this practice garners what they sow, there are many “innocents” falling to Google penalties because they did not realize they were a part of a link scheme. It is not always an obvious “link in direct exchange for money” transaction. To help you avoid link schemes in the future I have put together this list of what to look out for, and avoid.

6 Ways to Identify a Link Scheme so that you Know When to Avoid them for the Safety of your Website

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7 Reasons Why Websites Didn’t Link to Your Great Content

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Categories: Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

Great Content for Link Building

I’ll admit that this topic may start off a little skewed. The assumption that one’s content (created for the purposes of SEO) is already “great” is a stretch. There is always much room for improvement in that respect. However, there are indeed times when your creative team has complied some truly engaging and informative content for your website yet it was not picked up by webmasters, leaving you link-less for some inexplicable reason. But there is always a place to point the finger and I can tell you right now that it is indeed found on your website. If your content is chock full of authoritative and interesting editorial tidbits while being delivered with complementary photos, videos, and graphics yet webmasters are not linking back to it then you need to look at the culprits below.

7 Reasons Why Your Great Content Isn’t Brining Backlinks to Your Website

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Link Building with Photos – Why You Should Hire a Photographer for SEO

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Retailers, architects, antique dealers, travel agents, mechanics, and everyone in between can gain links from their eye-catching photos 

I perform a backlink analysis once a month for both clients and my own personal blogs. One consistent theme that never ceases to amaze me is the amount of natural (unsolicited) attribution links attained when other webmasters “borrow” the original photos (to post on their own websites) that often accompany the blogs. Last month in particular was an eye opener. I consider myself a bit of a foodie and at times blog about eateries. I noticed that one of my sites had received a link from the Bringham Young University online student newspaper and another from a local Metro newspaper in Boston. I was ecstatic to receive links from a .edu and a reputable news resource. I scurried over to the web pages to see which brilliant article (modesty?) of mine they referenced. What I found instead were my pictures. One of an Acai bowl that I photographed before consuming while in a breakfast joint on the North Shore of Oahu, and the other of an Irish pub visited during a layover in Boston. It wasn’t my editorial accounting of these eateries that these high-value websites wanted, it was the photos that they provided linked attribution to. Today I tell you how you too can score natural backlinks with original photographs as your weapon.

5 Easy Steps to Using Photos to Get Free Links for Your Website

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When Are External Links Good for SEO?

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Don’t be afraid to use this helpful tool

SEO campfire stories like to strike fear into the hearts of businesses managing content on their website. These stories whip novice “webmasters” (your average online business owner) into a frenzy, having them think that a poorly placed comma can shut down their search engine optimization efforts. One of these supposed culprits is external linking. If you are a business owner who has received instruction on how to manage the blog (for example) on your website you may have been dissuaded from linking to other websites from a neophyte internet marketer. However by explicitly following such misguided advice you are most likely not providing your website’s visitors with a truly useful experience. Either that or you are cutting corners.

I’m here to tell you that using external links on your website is not only perfectly fine, it is both directly and indirectly good for your SEO efforts because ultimately, it serves the user – your customer.

7 Situations Where External Linking is Good for Your Website

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How to Get EDU Links – Join the Exclusive Fraternity

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EDU links represent the holy grail of links. The EDU refers to the .edu domain extension allowed to educational institution websites in the U.S.. Universities and colleges in other countries, such as Canada, may simply use a .ca but the impact is the same. Google treats these websites as the ultimate trusted resource of online information. They have a high PageRank (PR) and thus a link from one of these trustworthy websites passes on a ton of link juice to any site they link to. If you manage to have an edu link to you, your backlink profile starts looking a whole lot better and your website’s ability to improve in search rank increases. However, getting an educational institution to link to your website has long been thought of as impossible, especially for a local business. So what chance do you have? Slim, unless you follow the steps detailed below.

5 Ways to Get an Educational Institution to Link to Your Website

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Review a Business to Get them to Link to Your Site

Last week I posted an article about how to get natural backlinks to your website by proactively identifying target sites and customizing your content for them. However to keep things succinct I had to leave out one of the most effective natural link building strategies that I’ve used for clients to date – reviewing other businesses.

Many of you have been so focused on receiving online reviews yourselves that you could have never anticipated this strategy. The suggestion alone appears to make no sense. You’re not Yelp, TripAdvisor, or any other inherent curator of online business reviews. You own a business. You depend on reviews. I must be pulling your leg, right?
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5 Ways to Machete Your Bad Backlink Profile

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Outsourcing links in foreign lands is one way to build a bad backlink profile. Time to cut them loose!

I’m not having flashbacks of cutting through sugar cane fields nor making reference to Jason Voorhees when using “machete” as a analogous tool to cutting off your bad backlinks. I’m actually quoting Matt Cutts (Google) in a forum discussion response to a recent Google algorithm change that targeted websites (with a drop in search rank) that have poor quality / gamed links pointing to them. This measure has become and will continue to be the standard for which websites will be judged in the future. If you have questionable links to your website from questionable websites your online future is in question.

So how does a business owner managing a website with no SEO experience fix this problem that may have been created by ill advised online marketing practices? First you’ll want to punch your website URL into OpenSiteExplorer.org or the more simplified ranksignals.com to view a list of inbound links and associated anchor text to identify poor quality links. After that, follow my advice below.

5 Ways to Remove Bad Links Pointing to Your Website:

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