link building

What is the future of link building?

Link building is without doubt the most often misunderstood part of the digital marketing mix. 

Frequently you’ll hear advice that link development is dead, that you no longer need links to rank, that having great content builds links organically, Google no longer uses links, or often any combination of the above.

Digital PR: A guide to choosing & reporting on KPIs

Outreach. Link building. Media relations. Promotions. Digital PR. Whatever you want to call it (let’s go with Digital PR), you need it.

SEO alone can’t build your brand and PR alone can’t make your website rank. When you blend the two together, you get better, more measurable PR.

What is off-page SEO and how can you use it?

Before we begin to understand what ‘off-page SEO’ means and the various methods that relate to it, let’s have a quick recap at what ‘on-page SEO’ means.

On-page SEO (or on-site SEO) refers to all the elements on your web page that you can control in order to make it visible to search engines. 

For instance: internal linking, using a clear navigation with a naturally flowing hierarchy, search engine friendly URLs that have relevancy to the content, fast loading pages, submitting regularly updated XML sitemaps or remembering to tag your images and videos properly. 

On-page SEO can be considered a technical job, although there’s nothing particularly complicated to learn if you want to carry out the basic techniques of good SEO. It’s about adopting a routine or having a checklist in place that ensures you remember the tasks that benefit your page’s visibility.

Off-page SEO requires a different discipline or skillset from the above, but the desired outcome remains the same.

SEO

Planning and strategy for SEO: what should you be thinking about?

If you fail to plan, plan to fail. It would be hard not to apply this to SEO.

That’s why in compiling our SEO Best Practice Guide (which has just been majorly revised), we made sure we went to the experts in this area, so that people can get their organic search efforts off to the right start.

I caught up with some of the contributors to this section to ask them some questions about planning and strategy. They provided me with a huge amount of valuable information.

We’ll stop building links when they stop adding value

We’ll stop building links when they stop adding value”. This seems to be the motto around at the moment and it’s probably due to the high value that gaining links still offers to sites.

Within the industry we are always striving to keep one step ahead of the curve, to ensure that our client’s rankings continue to progress whilst keeping ourselves afloat within the search engine results pages (SERP’s), and link building is still a very powerful tool. 

I believe that this is changing and that Google will devalue the power of links over the next few years, defending against the manipulative optimisation trends and habitual forms of online marketing taking place.  

Bearing this in mind, I believe that now is the best time to start adapting your search engine optimisation (SEO) for this change if not already.

Links

Link building: what’s the right way to do it?

Our SEO Best Practice Guide is always one of the most popular reports on Econsultancy, and last month we posted a significant update to the guide.

To keep our guides the best they can be, we go to those working at the coalface of search marketing to get their contributions so they are relevant and up-to-date.

Following on from our blog posts on mobile SEO and on-page optimisation, I caught up with one of our contributors Nichola Stott from theMediaFlow to ask her about link building today. Her thoughts are below…

What your website can learn from Google’s Rap Genius ban

Thanks to a 10 day ban from Google, the lyrics website Rap Genius saw an 80% plummet in its daily traffic over Christmas.

The site has now been restored to the Google SERPs, but at what cost? Here I’ll take a look at what Rap Genius did to incur such a punishment from Google and what lessons or warnings your website can learn from this?

I’ll also answer the question, what the hell is Rap Genius?

Using black hat SEO techniques in a white hat way

Black hat SEO involves using marketing techniques which are against the search engine’s guidelines. Employing these tactics can result in your site being penalised or banned from the index. 

The scary thought of being banned from Google often results in people rejecting black hat methods outright without taking the time to think if these methods could be modified in an acceptable way.

By using black hat ideas and then altering them to stay on the right side of the search engine guidelines, it is possible to benefit without as much risk.

How to bring your PR in-house. Part one: the network

Looking to start some of your own PR or influencer relations in-house? Read up on tools of the trade and best practice in this four part series.

For years PRs (or publicists) operated in specific areas of industry with little fanfare or name recognition for the field. To find a job description, one would have had to look to the fashion, publishing and entertainment industry.

Large corporations kept public relations heads, but typically this role was a defensive position, rather than a proactive part of any marketing strategy.

How to spot a bad backlink

The SEO industry has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years, with the focus shifting from building links by any means necessary to an appreciation of the power of quality content.

However links are still the fuel that drives Google’s algorithm, so building and maintaining a strong, clean link profile is central to the SEO’s job description.

At Brighton SEO last week Paul Madden from Manual Link Building detailed the steps that search marketers can take to identify bad links.

As a self-confessed former professional spammer Madden knows a thing or two about bad links, but he now uses his skills for good rather than evil.

11 simple link building tips for SEOs

Building links to your site is quite easy if you’re willing to resort to dodgy tactics, however thanks to Google’s Penguin updates it’s becoming less likely that these links will actually benefit your SEO in the long term.

Interflora is a high profile example of what can go wrong if your linkbuilding strategy isn’t whiter than white.

So to avoid being exiled from Google, SEOs need to direct their efforts into building sustainable links.

At Distilled’s LinkLove event on Friday Hannah Smith ran through a series of tips and tactics for building valuable links that your site can be proud of and that Google will look kindly on…