Link Building

Link Strategies that Stand the Test of Time

This week, we pay a special tribute to the late SEO pioneer Eric Ward. His link strategies formed the foundation of many of today's smartest approaches to links, and in this Whiteboard Friday, Rand covers several that are as relevant today as they were when Eric first started talking about them.

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An in-depth guide to Google ranking factors

In SEO, Google’s ranking factors are the stuff of legend.

There are rumored to be more than 200 signals which inform Google’s rankings (although this statistic originated in 2006, so it’s probably safe to say things have changed a bit since then), and the exact factors which make up this list, as well as their order of importance, is the subject of perennial debate.

While we at Search Engine Watch can by no means lay claim to a complete list of Google ranking factors (and anyone who says they can is lying to you – yes, even if they’re from Google, probably), we’ve delved into the subject a fair bit.

Last year our intrepid editor Christopher Ratcliff wrote a ten-part series examining a number of important Google ranking factors in detail. This guide will summarize the key insights from that series for your referencing convenience, with links to the full explanations of each ranking factor.

From content freshness to content quality, internal links to backlinks, we’ve covered off the major points that you need to hit for a solid Google ranking, and how to hit them.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Jump to:

Part 1: On-page factors

The first part of our guide to Google ranking factors looks at the simple, technical elements that Google uses to rank your page: title tags, H1 tags and meta descriptions.

These are all elements that you have total control over, and have a significant effect both on how Google ranks your site and how your site appears in the SERP. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to learn how to optimize them properly.

Some key points on how to optimize your title tags, H1 tags and meta descriptions for search:

  • Include any keywords you want to rank for in the title tag. The closer to the start of the tag the keyword is, the more likely that your page will rank for that keyword
  • With that said, make sure your title tags are written for humans – that means they still need to make logical sense and not just be stuffed full of keywords
  • Don’t duplicate title tags across your website, as this can negatively impact your visibility
  • Your target keywords should also be in the H1 tag, but your H1 can differ from your title tag
  • You can generally only use one H1 tag per page, but H2 and H3 tags can be used to break up your content further
  • While meta descriptions are not strictly a ranking signal, a good meta description can vastly improve click-through rate, so make sure you use it wisely!

For even more depth on how to write title tags and meta descriptions for SEO, check out our two separate guides:

Part 2: Keywords

Part 2 of our ranking factors guide looks at that eternal subject of SEO discussion: keywords.

Although the role of keywords in SEO has changed greatly since the early days of search, with the evolution of long-tail keywords and natural language search, the humble keyword is still one of the fundamental building blocks of search optimization, and an important Google ranking signal.

But as we covered in the last section, just because keywords are important doesn’t mean you should stuff them in like crazy. Here are some highlights from our guide to Google ranking factors about how to use keywords wisely:

  • Keyword relevancy and placement is far more important than frequency. Your keyword or key phrase should appear in the first 100 words of your page, if not the first sentence
  • Google prioritizes meta information and headers first, then body copy, and finally sidebars and footers
  • Try to ensure the key phrase is an exact match to what the searcher will type into a search engine. This means phrasing your keywords in a conversational fashion if you want to optimize for natural language search queries
  • Excessive repetition of keywords, and using keywords that are irrelevant to the rest of your content, are likely to earn you a penalty
  • Having keywords in your domain URL can also give you a small SEO boost.

Part 3: Quality content

You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “quality content” thrown around as a way to get your blog or site ranked highly by Google: “Produce quality content”.

Well, that’s all very well and good, but what does it mean in practical terms? How can you know if the content you’re producing is high-quality enough for Google?

In Part 3 of our guide to Google ranking factors, we give 14 tips for gauging the quality of your content, covering everything from spelling and grammar to readability, formatting and length. Here are a few of our pointers:

  • As we’ve covered previously, make sure your content is written to appeal to humans, not just algorithms, and don’t saturate it with keywords
  • Check the readability score of your content with the Flesch reading ease test, and aim to get above 60%
  • Keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and break them up with line breaks (white space makes much for a much nicer reading experience on mobile) and subheadings
  • While you want your sentences and paragraphs to be short, your overall content can be as long as you fancy – in-depth content is a big indicator of quality.

Part 4: Content freshness

Continuing with on-page content signals, how recently your webpage was published is also a ranking signal – but different types of searches have different freshness needs, such as searches for recent events, hot topics, and regularly recurring events.

Google’s algorithms attempt to take this all into account when matching a search with the most relevant and up-to-date results.

Last year, Moz published a comprehensive look at how freshness of content may influence Google rankings, which forms the basis of our insights in Part 4 of the guide to Google ranking factors. Some key takeaways include:

  • A web page can be given an immediate “freshness score” based on its date of publication, when then decays over time as the content gets older. Regular updates to the content can help to preserve that score
  • An increase in the number of external sites linking to a piece of content can be seen as an indicator of relevance and freshness
  • Links from “fresh” sites can help pass that freshness on to your content
  • The newest result isn’t always best – for less newsworthy topics, an in-depth and authoritative result that’s been around longer may outrank newer, thinner content.

Part 5: Duplicate content and syndication

When is it acceptable to republish someone else’s content on your website, or to re-use your own content internally? The SEO community has a shared horror of accidentally running afoul of a “duplicate content penalty”, and advice abounds on how to avoid one.

To be sure, stealing and republishing someone else’s content without their permission is a terrible practice, and doing this frequently is an obvious sign of a spammy, low-quality website. However, as Ann Smarty explains in her FAQ on duplicate content, there is no such thing as a “duplicate content penalty”. No-one from Google has ever confirmed the existence of such a penalty, and nor have there been any “duplicate content” algorithm updates.

So what are the dangers with publishing duplicate content? In short, they concern search visibility: if there are multiple versions of the same post online, Google will make a call about which one to rank, and it will likely have nothing to do with which was published first, but rather with which site has the highest authority.

In the same vein, if you have multiple versions of the same internal content competing for rankings (this includes separate desktop and mobile versions of the same site), you can wind up shooting yourself in the foot.

How can you avoid all of this? Part 5 of our Google ranking factors article covers how to manage duplicate and syndicated content to make sure that Google only indexes your preferred URL. Some points include:

  • Setting up a 301 redirect if you have duplicate content on your own site, to make sure Google indexes your preferred page
  • Using a responsive website instead of a separate mobile site
  • Using a rel=canonical tag or a meta noindex tag on syndicated content to tell Google which article is the original.

Part 6: Trust, authority and expertise

We know that websites with a high level of authority carry greater weight, particularly when it comes to link-building campaigns. But exactly how does Google evaluate your website’s levels of trust, authority and expertise?

In Part 6 of our Guide to Google Ranking Factors, we examine the factors that make up your site’s Page Quality Rating, as well as how Google calculates authority, trust and expertise. Some key points include:

  • Content quality, content amount, and website information are all factors in your Page Quality Rating
  • A logical site architecture can help with a higher level of authority
  • Starting a blog can help showcase that your business is relevant and trustworthy – as well as helping with content freshness
  • Negative customer reviews won’t necessarily impact your Page Quality Rating, particularly if you have a high number of total reviews. Google tends to check reviews for content, rather than the actual rating.

 

Part 7: Site-level signals

Moving away from on-page content, Part 7 of our Guide to Google Ranking Factors looks at site-level signals.

 
 
 
 

What factors does Google take into account at a site level that can affect your ranking? Here are a few…

  • HTTPS: Google announced in 2014 that it was starting to use HTTPS as a “very lightweight signal”. While it’s unknown whether it has strengthened since then, using HTTPS is also just good practice generally, particularly if your website handles financial transactions
  • Mobile-friendliness: Mobile-friendliness has been a significant factor in Google search results ever since the initial “mobilegeddon” update of 2015, and the signal has only strengthened since then
  • Site speed: Take the time to assess and optimize your site speed, particularly on mobile, and you are likely to find that your search ranking improves.

Part 8: Internal links

Parts 8, 9 and 10 of our ranking factors guide all deal with the nervous system of the internet: links. How do different types of links help your site rank well in search?

First: internal links. According to Jason McGovern of Starcom, internal linking is one of the few methods we can use to tell Google (and visitors) that a particular page of content is important. So how should you go about linking internally to other pages of your website?

Part 8 covers off how internal links can help your site improve its metrics and user experience, including “hub pages” and how to build them.

Once you’ve digested the important points, be sure to check out our full guide to Internal Linking for SEO: Examples and Best Practices.

Part 9: Outbound links

Outbound, or external, links are links pointing outwards from your site to another website. They pass along some of your own site’s ranking power (without any detriment to you, unless the links go to a super spammy website) to the site you’re linking to.

But how does this benefit you? Why should you be giving out what are essentially link juice freebies to other sites?

In actual fact, as we reveal in Part 9 of our Guide to Google Ranking Factors, outgoing links to relevant, authoritative sites benefit your ranking. Other key points about outbound links and SEO include:

  • Pagerank retention is a myth – it’s not possible for your site to ‘leak’ link juice by having more external than internal links
  • In fact, outbound links count as a trust signal – if you’re linking to references to back up your data and research, you’ve clearly done your work properly and can be trusted
  • Affiliate links are also fine, but make sure you use a nofollowmeta tag in accordance with Google best practice.

Part 10: Backlinks

Why are backlinks (links from a third party back to your site) important to SEO? Well, as we just covered, external links from your own site to another website pass along some of your ranking power – so the reverse must also be true.

Links back to your site from elsewhere online are an important way to improve your search ranking; in fact, as revealed by Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, last year, links pointing to your website are one of the top three ranking factors.

Small wonder, then, that there is a booming trade around link-building in SEO – both in advice on how to build links, and in buying and selling links themselves. However, paid link-building is considered black hat SEO and is likely to incur a penalty.

Google has clamped down on different types of paid links, such as links on blogs exchanged for free gifts, at various times. This has made many SEOs wary of the practice of link-building altogether. But Google has nothing against link-building in principle – on the contrary, Google relies on links to know what websites are all about, and how much preference to give them in certain searches.

So how can you go about earning backlinks the right way? Here are some pointers from Part 10 of our Guide to Google Ranking Factors:

  • Needless to say, the number of individual domains referring to your website is an important factor in Google’s algorithm – but so is their authority. Having fewer, authoritative backlinks is worth more in terms of SEO value than having lots of low-quality links (except in local SEO, as Greg Gifford will tell you).
  • Backlinks from relevant sites in your niche are also worth significantly more than irrelevant sites or pages
  • Links from a diverse range of websites are good, as too many links from the same domain can be seen as spammy
  • Links within long-form, evergreen content are also more valuable than links in short, news-based posts.

BONUS: RankBrain and SEO

While not an official part of our Guide to Google Ranking Factors, I thought I’d include Dan Taylor’s excellent guide to RankBrain and SEO as part of this round-up, as Google has officially named RankBrain as one of the three most important signals that contribute to a website’s ranking.

In his guide, Dan Taylor breaks down and untangles how RankBrain works, as well as what machine learning is, and the concepts that underpin Association Rule Learning (ARL).

He then explains “optimizing” for RankBrain (hint: it’s not as complicated as you might believe) and how RankBrain differs from “classic algorithms” like Panda and Penguin.

Improve Your Link Building Reach with Social Media

There are no shortcuts in link building, but extending your reach and recognition is vital to promoting link-worthy content. Social media is a great platform for building a network and sharing your content.

Take it away, Michael.

Building natural high-quality backlinks is hard. You need a whole lot of resources to build backlinks.

Imagine if you could multiply your link building efforts. Better yet, what if that was possible without spending money on expensive tools?

You can use social media to multiply your link building efforts. Statistics show that social signals can have an impact on search engine rankings (although Google continues to remain firm that social signals are not part of their ranking algorithm).

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How can social signals affect SEO? AJ Kohn does a fantastic job explaining it in this post.

So how can you use social signals to boost your link building efforts?

 

Follow the six steps outlined below.

1) Creating the Right Mindset (Value)

What is your goal? What’s your objective?

If your primary objective is to build links from social sites, you’re moving in the wrong direction.

Instead, your objective should be to acquire leads or to increase revenue. Treat social media as the platform it is, rather than using it only to manipulate SEO.

Create the right mindset and avoid using spammy tactics.

Social media is a fantastic platform to build an audience and interact with your community. Yes, social signals can influence ranking factors, but you shouldn't go out and spam Facebook with links to your landing page. This is more likely to have a negative impact. Instead, you should work to engage with your community and deliver real value to your audience.

Here’s a post detailing examples of good and bad social media posts.

What makes a social media post bad? What is a bad social media strategy?

Any social media strategy that revolves around pushing products, telling people to buy. Remember, people use social networks to socialize and engage, not shop for new products.

Your social posts must deliver value to engage your followers, create brand affinity, and build an audience.

Your social posts don't need links to impact SEO. It's the ability to amplify your message that makes social media valuable -- and can actually lead to inbound links.

If your objective is to generate leads and increase brand awareness, you don’t have to spam your social network accounts with links. You’ll earn more links by engaging with your social fans. Just give it a try.

2) Track and Monitor Trends

Use trending topics to craft irresistible content that your social fans and influencers will feel obliged to share. For example, when I searched for “landing pages” in Google Trends, here’s the trend:

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As you can see, the trend is pretty static (although with a slight increase in 2016). You could create content on this topic, but ideally, you want related searches.

So just scroll down the Google Trends results page, and you’ll find the “Related queries” section. This will show topics related to your head term, which in this case is [landing pages].

Any of these queries will guide the next content topic. Why? Because they’re rising in popularity. Take a look:

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Reach out to people interested in the trend (almost everyone in your field), and they will feel excited to join the movement.

The simple steps you can take are:

  1. Use Google Trends to find latest trends in marketing (scroll down the page and pick any of the related queries).
  2. Create a blog post around the trending topic. Make it 10x better than what’s already out there.
  3. Use the appropriate hashtags to find people who will be interested in your post.
  4. Reach out to influencers and share your latest post. If you connect with 30 influencers and gain 5 links, isn’t it worthwhile? I would say so.

When iPhone 6 Plus was released, everyone was busy discussing its usability flaws and how some people ended up breaking their phones, KitKat posted this awesome tweet.

It’s funny, but because the right hashtags were used and the topic was trending at the time, the post generated nearly 26K retweets and 13K likes.

You too can use the same strategy to create brand awareness and increase the possibilities of getting more inbound links naturally.

3) Find Viral Content

Viral content usually generates the most social shares. And the potential for getting more links from viral content is high – you just have to leverage the sharers (people who shared the viral post).

When you find viral content and understand the psychology behind content virality, it means that you can also create content with the same format, style, and even target the same keyword – and get tremendous results.

Using the Skyscraper technique, you can make your own content better – then reach out to those who participated in the viral content and respectfully nudge them to share it on social networks.

Here’s how to do it.

Use Buzzsumo to find the most shared content in your industry. For example, I entered “user onboarding” into the search box and clicked on the “Go!” button at the right side, here are the results of the most shared content on that topic (not keyword):

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At a glance, you can see that the first content on Swrve.com generated well over 4,000 social shares on the major social media networks. The title of the post is:

The Swrve Guide to Onboarding and First-Time User Experience

You’ll notice that the power word used in the title is “Swrve,” and not “ultimate” or “definitive” as you would expect.

Adding your brand name in the title for long-form content helps effectively brand your viral content.

Therefore, if I were to create similar content on the topic “user onboarding,” it’d be wise for me to add my brand. Here are fresh titles that I can write on:

  • The Backlinko Guide to User Onboarding and Engaging First-Time Users
  • The Linkarati Guide to User Onboarding and Converting First-Time Users
  • The SaaS Guide to User Onboarding and Retention Rate

We use this same approach to develop irresistible titles before creating content that we plan to build links with. However, before we create the content, we want to know who shared the content, which we can learn from Buzzsumo.

It’s a simple process. Just click on the “View Sharers” link at the middle between the content title and share statistics.

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Once you click on “View Sharers” you’ll see the headshots of those who shared the content on Twitter.

These are the people (the majority of them will be micro-influencers) whom you have to connect with and share your new post, with the hope of getting them to share it and link to it.

Of course, if the content is 10x better than the previous content they shared, it shouldn't prove too difficult.

4) Leverage Trending Hashtags

You have seen the list of trending hashtags in your Twitter account, right?

You should leverage trending hashtags to multiply your link building efforts by joining the conversation.

According to Buddy Media, tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than tweets without hashtags.

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Earning and building more links is a result of the number of people you reach and how much they value your content.

Participating actively in trending hashtags will amplify your reach. You have another opportunity for more people to find you – while they’re busy hashtagging.

Ideally, you could create content around a trending hashtag. To find these hashtags, you can use Twitter or Tagboard.

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After creating content based on trending hashtags, you can connect with micro-influencers (i.e., influencers that have 1k - 100k fans) and people who have already shared similar content around trending hashtags.

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No one is going to share or link to your content if there’s no value in it for them.

For instance, if SEO is a trending hashtag, writing a review of the top SEO companies in your state won't persuade others to share and engage with your content. Rather, create a data-driven article on the psychology behind SEO pricing and why brands should invest in it.

Create content that focuses on audience value. The truth is, if you can get people to think, then they will read, share, promote, and link back to your webpage.

5) Join the Conversation

Perhaps the easiest way to multiply your link building efforts through social is to join the conversation. 

Here's the approach I recommend:

  • Find influencers in your industry that are most active on social networks especially Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
  • Follow them on social media and on their blogs, and subscribe to their newsletters.
  • Comment on their latest posts and articles. Your comment MUST be valuable if you want them to take notice and consider checking out your website.
  • Comment, like, and share their posts on social networks.
  • Build a relationship with the influencer.
  • If you're creating great content, share with the influencers whom you’ve established a level of trust with. Ask for their honest feedback during the creation process. If it's damn good they'll share and/or link to it.

6) Use Facebook Groups

Find public groups that are targeted to marketers. Join the most active groups and start connecting with other people. You can use Facebook groups to build your business and online visibility.

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In the words of Maggie Patterson:

“Business happens in real time and using a group with customers or other interested individuals gives you a convenient way to keep members informed about products and services and share information.”

When it makes sense, link to your own content that answers a question or explains a process. You can also use these groups to find ideas to create future content.

Here’s an example of a public group for Oil Painting Artists.

Public group screen shot.png

When you answer questions, leave comments, make suggestions, and use your resource post, the group members will certainly check it out.

Side note: Don’t drop your post URL for the sake of it. It must be relevant to the current thread or topic in the group.

The rule is simple: Help group members.

Deliver value by responding to their questions in a friendly manner.

Share a blog post, video, podcast, or any other content that’s relevant to user’s questions. Don't spam groups.

Deliver value to the group members and help them, they will start sharing your posts, and the next time they’re creating content, they’ll consider linking to your resource posts if it’s relevant to the topic of discussion.

Conclusion

Social platforms offer an easy, highly effective way to connect with the right people within your industry – people will be interested in “that” content you poured your heart into.

When you meet and build a relationship with influencers and marketers on a social platform they’re already using, you’re able to build high levels of interaction and engagement that could lead to natural links and improved organic search visibility.

It’s true that social signals may not impact search rankings directly, but they tell Google that your content is valuable to users.

At the end of the day, if people love your content, Google will too. Google's goal is to return results people love.

9 Link Building Resources That’ll Increase Your Search Rankings

Question: Which would you rather have — more organic traffic or better rankings?

It’s a trick question for most of us — we’d actually rather have both. That’s because we know that both search engine metrics can make a huge difference in our businesses.

As you probably already know, Google tends to rank pages higher in search results based on the authority of that page. In modern SEO, links build up the page’s authority and improve its SEO value. In the same arena, duplicate content gets penalized.

The right key word search term can mean the difference in traffic and rankings.

Recent data estimates that the link popularity of a specific page accounts for 22.33% of the components of Google’s ranking algorithm.

What if you could access the most updated resources that would help you build the right links? You’d feel like the ultimate demon of search engine power, right? What difference would that make in your investment, considering that about 37% of business owners spend between $10,000 and $50,000 per month on link building?

There is actually a submission SEO tool called Ultimate Demon to help build links to increase traffic. Do make sure you understand how a tool works because they often are a baseline that you need to tweak to get the results you really want: juice from search engines.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand that a link building campaign with useful content and quality anchor text phrases is easier than most people think.

If you can develop and document your strategy, you’ll ultimately generate more authority links for your pages. Both content marketing and link building are like those interconnected steel rings magicians use — the ones that can’t be separated.

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In this in-depth post, I’ll show you 9 link building software resources that you can tap into any time that you want to.

Download a PDF version of this 9 link building software resources that’ll increase your search ranking.

These resources provide scalable link-earning techniques, tips and best practices that are proven to work. When you implement them, your search engine rankings and site traffic will both improve.

1. Broken Link Building Bible (source)

All links are created equal, right? Actually, no.

Link building used to be easy. You could set up a few PBN (private blog network) sites and get a bunch of links that’d push your organic rankings to the top. But does it still work?

The honest guys says you shouldn’t do it. Ditch the idea of a PBN. Sooner or later, Google will catch up with you and push your rankings to page 107 or de-index your pages altogether regardless of how popular your search term is.

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Instead, to get links that’ll actually improve your search listings, increase your search term traffic and get you a higher click-through rate (CTR), you need to study the Broken Link Building Bible.

Broken link building is a white-hat and scalable tactic for getting the right kind of links

 

At its core, it’s a content-focused strategy for any link building campaign. You simply find dead (or broken) links, analyze the page for relevance and create more valuable content to replace the broken content. This helps site owners, editors and webmasters improve their site user experience by replacing broken links with a link to your page based on a search term.

With the right approach, you can create an link building campaign and automate broken link building, which will continually build momentum for your site with this simple link building software.

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As you go through the Broken Link Building Bible, you’ll discover why broken link building is perhaps the most effective white-hat link building strategy to come along in years.

 

 

However, understand this: Your success at getting the right links will entirely depend on how willing you are to research and analyze or audit different websites.

 

Broken link building is all about making an impact. It’s about helping webmasters and making the web a better place.

Webmasters are always happy to fix broken links – if they find them. They know there’s a relationship between Google rankings and links but, on big sites, finding broken links isn’t easy. 

You’ll also want to make sure you aren’t linking duplicate content.

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A dead link — that is, a link that no longer works — doesn’t do the user or the site any good. In fact, too many broken links can have a negative effect on a site. Webmasters hate doing all the keyword search term work and link building to have this happen.

Having too many broken links on a page is a sign of a neglected or abandoned site. The Google Search Quality Raters General Guidelines view broken links as one of the ways to measure a homepage’s quality. It’s one SEO tool.

According to Moz, broken link building is a strategy that constructively addresses many of the competing interests in our industry: content vs. links, link earning vs. link building and inbound vs. outbound.

2. Advanced Guide to Link Building (source)

I’ve had my fair share of SEO struggles. I struggled to get other sites to link to my posts. I struggled to keep up with Google updates. I struggled to reach the expected quantity and quality of links necessary to rank highly in Google.

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Those struggles taught me that achieving success online takes time. You have to be patient and you’ve also got to create content that’ll help people get closer to achieving their goals.

One of the best steps I’ve taken since I started blogging is the creation of The Advanced Guide to Link Building, which I shared with the digital marketing world for free. This isn’t link building software but helps you understand the steps necessary for success regardless of what building software you choose..

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If you’ve struggled to build the kind of links that Google loves, the way I did in the beginning, you should study this guide. It’ll show you:

  • How to go about finding and getting those “perfect links”
  • The right way to create epic search term content that’ll help you build relationships with the leaders in your industry
  • How to identify and approach the authority sites you can get links from in just a few minutes
  • The hidden secrets to getting hard-to-come-by .edu and .gov backlinks
  • The step-by-step method of link-building outreach that walks you through the process of initiating and building a relationship with influencers and pro bloggers

3. Using Educational Linkbait to Get Valuable .Edu Links (source)

This resource was written way back in 2011, but it’s been consistently updated to match modern SEO best practices. It’s not your typical long-form post — it’s pretty short, actually — but it’ll show you:

  • Why educational links matter
  • How to create content that attracts .edu links
  • How to build relationships that help you get these links

Link building has evolved significantly since 2011. Lots of tactics that used to work have since fizzled out — e.g., article directories, duplicate or barely-rewritten content, etc.

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But educational sites have remained a viable source of high-quality links for any site.

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Incoming links from educational websites are often perceived as the most powerful links you can get and getting a bunch of these links can skyrocket your search rankings.

It’s true that .edu links aren’t the only kind of powerful incoming links. There’s no proof that Google rates them universally higher than all other kinds of links. John Mu, a webmaster trends analyst at Google Zürich, clarified the issue:

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However, educational backlinks are powerful — just like links from any other high-authority domain would be.

Educational backlinks are hard to get. Your link building software can only help if you have high quality, respected content. According to Felix Tarcomnicu,

The harder it is to get a backlink, the more value it will have.

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Sites with .edu domains typically have high authority as they’ve been around for a long time and have many trusted quality sites linking to them. 

That’s why many of these sites are viewed as authoritative by Google. Therefore, getting links from these authority top-level domains improves search performance.

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Wordstream’s guide on using editorial linkbait to get .edu links is a must-read. It uses anecdotes to explain the relevance of educational links and to show how you can create .edu link bait.

Link bait is simply content on your site that other sites link to willingly because the content solves a problem. This is the type of content people will tag with a social bookmark.

When people link to your content page on their own initiative, it means you’ve created a linkable asset. The intersection between link bait and linkable asset is your sweet spot for converting your prospects into customers.

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It can be a blog post, a viral podcast, an infographic or a helpful ebook. Ultimately, you want people to view your site with the same authority and want to tag it with a social bookmark as well. 

How to get educational backlinks: High quality links make the difference.  After Google launched Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithm updates, quality became the defining factor of a link, as opposed to quantity.

It’s no longer a question of how many links you need to rank. The challenge that most SEOs and site owners face is actually getting these quality links (e.g., .edu links). This is where high quality, easy to use, link building software makes life just a bit easier.

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The vast majority of educational sites from top universities and colleges don’t accept guest posts. The ones that do accept guest articles are stricter than you can imagine. You can’t just write any post you want and get them to publish it.

Also keep in mind that guest blogger or contributor content may be available through various domain names as it could by syndicated. Check links to make sure it isn’t duplicate content you are using and making a social bookmark with.

 

 

So, guest blogging is perhaps not the best or most effective way to get .edu links. But there are other ways that are proven to work.

 

You can use advanced search modifiers to find education sites in Google. Your goal is to narrow your results down to educational results pages. Some of the search strings you can use are:

a).  site:.edu – shows you search results containing educational result sites only

b).  site:.edu “blog” – returns search results for educational blogs only

c).  site:.edu “forums” – if you want to participate in an educational discussion board

d).  site:.edu “comments” – for educational blogs with comments sections

e).   site:.edu “log in / create account” – returns .edu blog extensions that allow you to sign up as a user for the purpose of commenting or other kinds of participation

f).   site:.edu inurl:blog “seo” – for educational blogs that understand SEO and would be interested in learning more about search engines

Let’s try one of the search strings:

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As you can see, the search result contains only educational sites. But, it’d be difficult to get links from those sites. It’s much easier to get a link from a blog than a static web page. This is the nature of almost any link building campaign. 

So let’s drill down our search to focus on blogs:

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These results are more specific to educational blogs related to marketing. If your site is related to sales or marketing, those educational blogs are your targets. 

Broken link building is the easiest way to get your links from educational portals. All you’ve got to do is find dead links on these blogs and suggest better content — your own — to replace it.

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Broken link building works. For example, Michael Chibuzor, founder of contentmarketingup.com, generated 27 links from .edu domains in 90 days.

Brian Dean has taught broken link building and his students are seeing great results. Recently, one of his students, Emil Shour, set out to rank for his most profitable search engine keyword.

He leveraged the skyscraper technique and created an in-depth, long-form article in the employee wellness niche, entitled “121 Employee Wellness Program Ideas for Your Office.”

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Richard researched industry blogs that are relevant to employee management, found broken links and sent outreach emails to all of them.

By doing this, Richard was able to push his post into a number #1 ranking and generated $100,000 in revenue. Richard also boosted his organic traffic by 348% in just 7 days.

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So how do you find dead links on educational blogs that you can capitalize on to get incoming links?

 

 

It’s easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

 

i).   First step: Go to Google and search for educational resource pages. These pages contain lists of links to external sites and contents.

This time, let’s find educational resources for small businesses.

The search string I used is “site:edu “resources” + blogs + small business

And here’s the results screenshot:

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You can see that the search results are relevant to small businesses only. This makes them viable. 

ii).   Second step: Choose one of the resources and click on it. Here’s the page, with all of the resources:

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Some of the outgoing links on this page may be dead, but you can’t tell just by looking and clicking on all of them one-by-one will take lots of time.

Instead, use a tool designed for checking dead links …

iii).  Third step: Go to deadlinkchecker.com. Copy the resource page address as it appears on the browser.

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Then paste the site address into the search bar and click the “check” button:

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Out of the 142 out-going links analyzed by the dead link checker tool, 8 of them are dead. Those are the links that return any of these error messages: 404 not found, 400 bad request, -1 not found, etc.

Next, prepare your content. Remember that since you’re concerned about small business, your content needs to be relevant to that topic. Otherwise, it might be difficult to convince the blog editor or administrator to swap out the dead link for your page. Search term research helps here to ensure it is relevant in today’s search engine realm.

iv).   Step four: Send a personalized outreach email. I’ve received several outreach emails that are obviously form letters. Sometimes, the exact same email I receive went out to 10 or more other bloggers.

Don’t do that. Instead, personalize your email subject lines when reaching out to educational blogs. This is key to better email open rates.

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Often,these people are academics and any slight error or hint of deception will result in your email being deleted without being read.

To “personalize” means that you give it a personal touch. If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, address them by their first name.

Not everyone understands how to write persuasive emails to site owners and bloggers. If that’s you, don’t worry. Just use the email templates below and add the person’s name, if you know it.

When using any email template, keep these things in mind:

  • Write lowercase subject lines – I do this all the time because I want the email to seem casual as if it’s from a friend, not a robot.
  • Be creative – emails that are boring and lack emotional appeal won’t get opened or responded to.
  • Personalize – you have to include the person’s name and the website name in the email so it doesn’t come off as spammy.

Here’s a broken link email template you can model:

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If you didn’t find any dead links on your targeted educational resource page, don’t give up. Instead of sending a broken link email, you can simply send a basic link request email.

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If broken link building seems like a lot of work, or too difficult to tackle, there are other tactics that I’ve personally used to get .edu authority links:

  • Blog comments
  • Create a case study that’s relevant to the subject matter
  • Blogger recognition
  • Leveraging alumni news
  • Local resource pages
  • University discounts
  • Improve a section of a site

As you can see, link building software may help but isn’t necessary.

You can learn how to apply all these link earning tactics in Chapter 5 of the Advanced Guide To Link Building.

4. Linking Out Instead of Link Building to Rank in Google (source)

This helpful resource shows you why linking out is a strategy, not a tactic — because when you build quality anchor text phrases to outsiie sites, you also get these benefits:

  • Enhanced awareness for your site and brand
  • Opportunities for other sites to link back to your page
  • Search engine awareness that you have a timely and useful resource
  • More helpful information for your readers

And so on…

Developing a link building strategy isn’t a cakewalk. Heck, even SEO experts sometimes fail at a link building campaign.

Link building software and tools help, but you still need to split test everything.

Outbound links or links that point to external web pages from your own site can actually impact your blog authority. Make sure the pages your links point to are relevant, useful and have good standing with Google.

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At the heart of effective an link building campaign is the concept of giving.

In other words, you link to other sites, pages and case studies willingly.

Linking out instead of link building to rank in Google” is a helpful resource that doesn’t follow traditional advice. Rather, it capitalizes on the principle of reciprocity.

According to Wikipedia, “reciprocity is a social rule that says we should repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. That is, people give back the kind of treatment they have received from you.”

For example, if you’re writing a guide to SEO, you should link out to authority sites that have addressed the topic before. As much as you can, link out to pages with high page authority – it’ll have a dramatic impact on your search performance and online visibility. Use simple search term phrases for anchor text when possible.

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Reciprocity is one of the most vital of Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion. We humans are basically hard-wired to pay back our debts, help those who offered us a helping hand and generally treat others as they’ve treated us.

I’ve applied the principle of reciprocity to grow QuickSprout to over 700,000 monthly visitors and generated tens of thousands of quality backlinks. I give away tremendous value in my content.

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When I write a post, I link out to anywhere from 5 to 20 external web pages that contain helpful and relevant content.

I don’t claim to know it all – that’s why I include the views of other expert’s in my posts. It’s also helped me earn more links and increase revenue since 2007.

Here’s one of my recent posts on neilpatel.com. I linked out to more than 20 external web pages that offer additional information to my readers.

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Linking out to relevant pages not only earns you editorial links, but it also improves your search rankings. A survey of major newspapers on the web found that those who link out tend to outperform others who don’t on several performance metrics.

Check popular sites like Digg, Reddit, Twitter & Tumblr – they all link out excessively, and yet they still have millions of visitors coming back again and again.

If you’re worried that linking out will harm your rankings, do you have any proof of that?

I’ll keep looking, but so far I haven’t seen any proof that linking out to relevant and informative sites/pages that users will benefit from actually hurts my long-term rankings and revenue.

5. Low Hanging Fruit: Linkbuilding with Screaming Frog (source)

To a large extent, valuable content makes it a lot easier to convince webmasters to link to you. According to MarketingSherpa, “53% of businesses view content creation as the single most effective SEO technique.”

There are lots of opportunities to grow your site, if you just study your Google Webmasters Tools data and pinpoint the links coming in to your site.

Go to Traffic > Links to Your Site:

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Next, go to “More”:

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Finally, download latest links (limit is 100,000):

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Getting the right links may seem difficult, especially when you’re not producing enough content.

But if you consider the impact those links will have on your search rankings, you’ll invest in content creation and promotion.

The old way of creating content and expecting customers to just show up is no longer feasible. You need to spend about 70% of your time and resources on promotion – that’s the new and better way.

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Low Hanging Fruit: Link Building with Screaming Frog” is an in-depth post that reveals opportunities for getting the right links using Screaming Frog, a premium SEO tool for link reclamation and link analysis.

Screaming Frog is invaluable as link building software for architecture research. You can also use it to initiate relationships with bloggers and reporters, among other things.

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The tool can analyze your links and show you ways to pass more SEO search term value to your web pages.

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Knowing when to increase your link building efforts or slow down with that mission is critical. This is the whole essence of link velocity, which measures the rate at which other sites link to you.

There’s no single rule on how fast you should get links to your site. SEOs have differing opinions, but Google hasn’t commented one way or the other.

The best approach is to create more content and increase your site authority. Content growth can solve your link velocity problems.

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For example, it doesn’t matter how many links Moz.com or HubSpot.com generate this week; Google won’t view those links as manipulative, because both sites have good authority and thousands of pages already.

6. Your Link Reclamation Sucks Like Irene’s Dyson (source)

Link reclamation is the easiest way to earn editorial links to your pages from referring sites that mentioned your brand but didn’t link to you.

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Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, there are three sources of links you need to reclaim:

i).  Brand mentions: This means aspects of your brand such as your site, events, courses, etc. Other sites could be mentioning your site, without linking to it. Brand mentions are the future of link building. Through link reclamation, you can request actual links be added to mentions that already exist.

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ii).   Product mentions: Several sites, media portals and discussion boards could be mentioning your product without linking to your sales page or homepage.

If you’ve got a great product, I can almost guarantee that you can reclaim 10 or more unclaimed links today. You don’t need link building software for this. You can use the Rank Tank’s brand unlinked mentions finder tool to find these product mentions across the web. 

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iii).   Personnel mentions: What about your team, your name, your nickname or your professional title?

All of these provide another opportunity to reclaim unlinked personal mentions and boost your search rankings based on your company or you being the search term. You want people to view your site with the authority to use you as the social bookmark.

If you want to dominate social media and claim brand mentions easily by building relationships with social media power users, site owners and bloggers, this guide — “Your Link Reclamation Sucks Like Irene’s Dyson” — will help you.

In an earlier Whiteboard Friday video, Ross Hudgens showed that that you can reclaim links from brand misspellings, brand monitoring and moving links to primary domain, etc.

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7.  Ultimate Guide to Link Building (source)

Without a doubt, links connect the web together. Links exist because there are websites, pages and portals that need to share information with users, rank pertinent content, push the drivel aside and prevent plagiarism or duplicate content where possible. That is the job of search engines and every SEO tool must play in their realm.

Who links to your site and how they link to it are more important to Google than virtually any other Google ranking factor. Data from Searchmetrics suggests that the number of backlinks is the third most important factor in the UK Google ranking factors.

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In this book, Ultimate Guide To Link Building, Eric Ward shows you:

  • How to build links
  • How to gain authority and credibility for your website
  • How to increase your site traffic and rankings

Ward teaches with a deep understanding of link profiles, what makes them good and how to maximize the quality of links that point to your site. Understanding this means you won’t need expensive link building software but you may still take advantage of tools to make you more efficient.

Ward uses illustrated case studies, expert interviews and helpful resources in this book to drive his message home. You’ll find that getting backlinks can actually be fun, once you master the art of networking with bloggers.

Using some of the outlined whitehat backlink techniques, Dom Wells, founder of Human Proof Designs, built 59 quality links to his new site in 10 weeks.

And Inflow used email outreach (a tactic for connecting with site owners and getting them to reference and link to your page) to gain 96 links from 43 domains.

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8.  Link Building for Startups – Find Unlinked Brand Mentions at Scale (source)

Most startups waste time trying to get the right links when there’s a far more accessible opportunity right under their noses.

More links will improve your search performance, increase leads to your business and increase your revenue. If you don’t get links to your site, your search rankings, traffic and leads will suffer. Your startup will fail.

If you’re a startup entrepreneur, you’ll agree with me that you need to contend with a lot of competition.

According to Club Z, about 80% of startups fail to see projected return on investment, frequently due to a lack of planning and experience.

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Before you can drive targeted visitors from Google and benefit from your site, you need to build quality links to your pages.

Guest blogging is a viable and free way to do just that. As you contribute to industry blogs, you can speed up your rate of getting links by simultaneously reclaiming your brand mentions.

For example, I could cite your domain name (e.g., dodocase.com) without linking to it. Before someone can visit that site, they’d have to copy and paste it into their browser or look for it via a search engine.

But if the domain name was hyperlinked, when someone clicks on it, they’ll visit the startup site.

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If you’ve been consistently creating fresh and useful content and promoting your site through social media, there’s no doubt that other sites are mentioning your brand name. Don’t let these mentions be a waste; reclaim them and be your own best search term.

A

Deeper Prospecting with Backlink Analysis

If you’ve built links before, then you know about the inevitable brick wall that you hit once you’ve run out of link prospects.

One of the two main ways of finding prospects, backlink analysis, yields some really low hanging fruit, because you’re finding pages that you already know are linking to the same / similar thing as you. But the well runs dry far too quickly.

However, a spark lit in my head recently that completely changes how I look at this part of prospecting; not in a way of improving what I’m already doing, but instead, being able to do more of it.

The Concept

The reason you look at your competitors first when prospecting for pages is because you already know they link to someone who does the same thing. That same reason is why most of us don’t look at broader industry resources, just because if they link to them, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll link to you.

But what if you knew that a page linked to two general resources, that are equally distant in relevance that you are to them? That would mean their scope of relevance would allow for you to also qualify for that page.

So let’s give an example. Let’s say you were a niche eCommerce retailer that sold truck parts. You might come across other retailers that sell Jeep parts, but if you look at all their links, there’s a good chance that a lot of them might be linking to them because they’re Jeep-specific.

But you also come across those who sell SUV parts, and you run into the same issue. Sure, you could look through ALL their links, but what if you wanted to more quickly find the ones that you know have a high chance of linking to you? Or what if you wanted to do this with sites that have MUCH more links than a few niche eCommerce retailers?

Here’s what you’d do:

  1. Find all the links to all retailers who are specific to Jeep parts. Combine them into a single spreadsheet, and remove duplicates.
  2. Find all the links to all retailers who are specific to SUV parts. Also combine them into a single spreadsheet, and remove duplicates.
  3. Use a COUNTIF formula in Excel to see if any of the Linking From pages are found in BOTH ranges (meaning: they link to both a SUV & a Jeep parts retailer).

What you find is that these will be much more likely to link, because you know they’re not linking specifically for SUV, or specifically for Jeep parts on that page.

But even if they’re not already mentioning anything Truck parts-related, there’s a good chance that they’d be open to it given the scope of relevance of what they’re currently linking to.

Taking It Further

The above was just a simple illustration, and chances are, you may want to look through all their links anyways, given how closely related those sites are to you. But in much more broader cases, this becomes a practical way of finding tons of new opportunities, especially ones that your competitors don’t find.

Just think broader. Go up & up the hierarchy that your site falls in, and do this with sub-niches that are equally distant in relevance. No, these pages won’t be super-relevant to your business, but using link metrics you can easily sort out the ones that are still going to have a huge impact.

Did that make any sense?

I hope it did. This isn’t a typical post here, just because I usually like to lean on longer, more in-depth pieces, but I thought this concept was worth highlighting for the more advanced crowd.

Thoughts are appreciated in the comments below! I’m traveling this weekend for a conference, so I may or may not get back right away, but I almost always do eventually. Thanks for reading!

25 UK Business Directories That Provide Google Backlinks – For Free

As we all know in the SEO trade backlinks are an important factor in how your site is ranked – and submitting to business directories is one part of the process for building your website’s backlink profile.

Not only do most business directories provide a link to your site but they also help with citations – search engines (especially with Google) get to recognise your business, it’s location and the niche of your business.

Below is a list of UK business directories which come back as backlinks within Google. All loved and quickly indexed once submissions are live.

Plus, what’s more they’re free. So enjoy!

Remember, when submitting to these directories always search and find if your business is already listed. It saves everybody’s time.

Applegate www.applegate.co.uk
Pinbud www.pinbud.co.uk
City Listings www.city-listings.co.uk
Scoot www.scoot.co.uk
Cylex UK www.cylex-uk.co.uk
BizBuzz www.bizbuzz.com
Qype UK www.qype.co.uk
Local Data Search www.localdatasearch.com
Touch Local www.touchlocal.com
Biz Wiki UK www.bizwiki.co.uk
Hotfrog UK www.hotfrog.co.uk
192.com www.192.com
118.com www.118.com
LinkedIn www.linkedin.com
Yelp www.yelp.co.uk
Yell www.yell.com
BrownBook www.brownbook.net
Opendi www.opendi.co.uk
FreeBD www.freebd.co.uk
B99 b99.co.uk
Enter UK www.enteruk.co.uk
UK Local Search www.uk-local-search.co.uk
Look Trade www.look-trade.co.uk
Business Line Directory www.businesslinedirectory.com
Yalwa UK www.yalwa.co.uk

Tricks To Get Free doFollow Backlinks Get High Page Rank

Getting dofollow backlinks is easy but getting high-quality backlink is not that much easier as you think. Today I’m going to reveal 9 awesome high quality do follow backlink tricks that no blogger said before.

9. Get Free dofollow backlinks from comments

Getting backlink from comment section is old trick but it still works I’m not saying to get backlink from post whatever you see, find the website where comment section is enabled with do follow.

8. Submit your post to Directories.

Submit your blog post in Directories find only rich directories which has high page rank example PR 4+

Example: https://www.somuch.com, http://www.allthewebsites.org/

7. Find the do follow forum and submit your blog post.

You can find the forum and answer for the question with your website link to your site.

Note: Don’t use signature in forum because Google will easily find out that you’re a spammer.

6. Submit your link to Dmoz.com

Dmoz is a very old blog submission site it’s pretty tough to get backlink to your site, if you get a backlink from DMOZ then your site will rock it for sure.

Step 1: Visit DMOZ.com and select the categories which is your website is about.

Step 2: Select the inner category, you can also find your competitor link over there.

Step 3: Then click suggest URL from top menu finally enter your URL, Title, description and click submit that’s it all done.

5. Do follow backlink from onemission.com

This website is pretty old one but getting backlink to your website is very easy and you can access the whole site once you get the editor roll.

Step 1: Visit the site choose category.

Step 2: Register for Editor Roll here.

Ex: http://onemission.com/d.pl?dir=/Computer&action=neweditorrequest

Step 3: once you complete then all done you can add your backlink to onemission.com easily.

4. Use Inbound.org to get massive do follow links.

Inbound is really fantastic marketing community, this website will really help you to boost your website you can also get do follow backlink from this website easily.

Method 1:

Step 1: Sign up for inbound account

Step 2: setup the basic information and your profile.

Step 3: write your biography and about section with your website link.

Method 2:

Whenever you share a post in inbound.org simply add a link in your post description, this will help you to get do follow link from your every post you share in inbound.org

You can do 26 things in inbound.org find here

Participate in other groups and community increase karma, create your own group and add members then automatically your website will become popular.

AlsoRead : 

How to Hide WordPress Theme Name From Source Code

How to Make Google Chrome More faster?

[ltu]

 

3. Infobarrel.com for huge do follow link

This website is a free content submission website where you can share about any 370+ content and get 2 free backlink to your website on every share. Addition to that you can also get a backlink from your biography page.

2. Use Microsoft Answer website

Answers.microsoft.com is a really good website to get do follow backlink easily.

Tips: You can drive traffic to your website easily by finding solution for the problem, there are bunch of problems waiting and it need to be resolved. Choose a problem and find the solution post a blog in your website then submit that link in the question.

Also read Forum Website to Get Better SEO

#1. Get Free dofollow backlinks from your Google plus account.

get free dofollow backlinks

get free dofollow backlinks

Google plus is a powerful website we can easily get do follow link from google plus profile. If you have google plus account already then follow this step, if you don’t have simply sign up now and follow this below steps.

Step 1: Go to your Google plus account and edit about section.

Step3: Edit about section with few text along with your website link.

There is no restriction to add link in your about section you can add many backlink as much as you want.

Bonus tips:

  1. Before getting backlink to your website make sure that you can edit your given backlink any time.
  2. Do not build much backlink to your home page, try to get maximum backlinks to your inner post and page.
  3. Build your backlink campaign slow and steady you can’t build a home in a single night.