6:55 … Most link builders hate link building, yet are realistic about the lack of rare ingredients that might be combined to form a “secret sauce.” Arnie assures us that he is not here with one. Tortilla chip rattle as the bags are stowed under seats.
7:00 … Content is found through both social media and search engines. Smart, clever and descriptive titles will go a long way in both spaces. The same goes for META descriptions, etc. But inbound links are where it’s at, and anchor text is the prow of the ship.
7:05 … Bad links include, but are not limited to,
- multiple links from the same page
- links from pages that have PPC (porn, pills and casinos)
- links from sites with spammy footers
- links from from link-building networks (Google is laying down the search smack)
- links from pages that are filled with links
- links coming from comment spam
- links that have too much exact anchor text (too much of a good ping)
For the most part, Arnie and his team are only interested in links that come from content.
7:10 … Some things to consider if you’re trying to build good links:
- internal links (don’t need an invite to this party!)
Crowd Question: How many internal links are too many, or too little?
Arnie Answers: Don’t go overboard. Link to pages you want to drive traffic to, or pages that make good sense, but don’t over-optimize internal links.
- blog and forum participation
- ask your clients and suppliers for links
- write articles or blogs for other sites
- purchase or rent links, but … be wary of purchased or rented links – think of it as advertising, but be careful not to treat it too casually
7:15 … Google’s Discussions in search (Look for it on the left!) are a great way to both gather content ideas and find areas to participate.
7:20 … Some options for manual link building:
- link recovery and reclamation (But be alert … Google might be onto post-published link additions.)
- competitive research
- widgets and badges (still good in some situations!)
- use search operators to find opportunities, like “hiking boots guest blog post writer”
Arnie Reality Checks: You’re thinking that this sounds very time-intensive, very manual – well, that’s because it is. And Vertical Measures does a lot of it.
- guest authoring, and you’ve got to dig for it – try a lot of different searches, mine different ground
7:25 … How can I stimulate link attraction? Create really good content! We all know content is king, but seriously, content is king. And not every piece of content has to be a homerun. Solid singles will overwhelm and surpass the fickle slugger. (Insert: “Moneyball” reference)
7:30 … Videos attract links. Interviews attract links. Free eBooks attract links. Contests attract links. Infographics attract links. Useful resource lists attract links. Solid blog posts attract links. Make it worthwhile and easily available. The potential for payoff is limitless.
7:35 … The sexy link sweet spot, according to SEOmoz (at one point), is between 1800 – 3000 words.
7:36 … Let’s talk about social! Link mentions and shares are signals to search engines, but the ability to promote content quickly and efficiently is the biggest boon stemming from social channels. In general, backlinks are great, but provide short term value.
7:40 … In summary:
- Be patient and keep producing engaging content.
- Don’t count on the viral effect. You can’t force it.
- Think long-tail and solve your customers’ problems with your content.
- Back links and social mentions are critical to search rankings.
- Try splitting your efforts between manual link building and link attraction via content
- Optimize, optimize, optimize
- Engage, Engage, ENGAGE
Crowd Question: Do you find “how to link to us” pages valuable?
Arnie Answers: Not so much, as far as it encourages pattern.
Crowd Question: Back links are great, but are you getting traffic from them?
Arnie Answers: You should always intend to have your links followed. That’s not always what happens, but you should always strive for it.
Crowd Question: If a link to your site from a respected blog is scraped by a bunch of crappy sites, how would you handle it?
Arnie Answers: You do what you can, but don’t spend too much time worrying about it. Google is smart.
Arnie Advises: Check out Google Hangouts On Air. You can broadcast live to the world, creating a virtual expert panel if you so desire. (cough*content*cough)
8:10 … And now we transition from links to drinks! Or more links with drinks, realistically.