The last day at Pubcon Las Vegas saw an interesting start with the keynote by Scott Stratten. The late morning session on "Links with Maximum Juice & Minimum Risk" discussed the link building strategies that would keep webmasters away from search engine penalties.
- Greg Boser
- Loren Baker – VP of Business Development, Copyblogger Media
- Jennifer Vaniderstyne – Sales & Marketing Manager, Internet Marketing Ninjas
- Kenny Hyder – Founder, Hyder Media
Greg Boser gave an interesting introduction to the session saying that "getting links is almost a criminal activity in the eyes of Google" but link building is the need of an online marketing plan.
Shedding light on the legit link building strategies, Jennifer Vaniderstyne took over the session. Raising a question "Is the juice worth the squeeze?", Jennifer made a point that not all the links or link juice are created equal, so you have to ask this question to yourself.
Other Flavors of Link Juice
- Seek for Referrals
- Maximize Exposure
- Gain Trust
- Get Author Votes
- Focus on Branding
Patterns, unnatural signals, and networks qualify as a risky linking behavior. Jeniffer said, "the bottom line to risk is money. If it's paid for directly, it's risky". There's a growing bias towards big brands and Name Recognition is a more important component of trust. To get most of your juice, you need to follow the rules.
Listings, press releases, and guest blogs/blog posts are your sources to obtain link juice. You need content, blogs, promotion, in-depth articles, and an audience to get juicy links.
And while you are aiming to get most out of your juice:
"Don't just ignore the Expiration Date…It's there for your own good".
What are the Signs that the Juice has Turned Bad
- The linking pages are not indexed
- There's no traffic value
- Poor co-citation/affiliation signs
- Bad neighborhood
- You are not getting real value
Jeniffer shared the spiked link juice recipe, which has sites w/authorship, detailed articles, age, topical relevance, referrals, branding, and inherent TLD value.
Loren Baker believes that links are the byproduct of an awesome marketing, so you should go for branded links & semantic modifiers. Relevance, audience & engagement, and authority & trust should be your link goals when you decide upon what sites to target for links.
Loren further explained the Link Goals:
What the Links Goals Today?
- Relevance – Look for websites and content that goes in sync with your product and service offering as well as the niches you market to
- Audience & Engagement – Look for websites that have traffic and onsite/offsite engagement. Include the factors like comments, email newsletters, social votes, and other sharing capabilities
- Authority & Test – Credibility matters a lot. So, look out for sites and authors with a credible profile in their network. Do not compromise their influence and trust for money
Loren recommends that you should get teams on-board and spend time to develop a strategic foundation. It will result in corporate buy-in. An interesting observation by Loren was "We are kind of back to the pre-Google link building and are trying to get targeted traffic from links".
Loren on Link Repo:
- Learn the art of link reconciliation
- Look around for Google queries and alerts for the title of your work
- Reach out to sites that have value and ignore the ones in bad neighborhoods
- Asking for exact match won't work always, so ask for proper citation
- Consider Google Image Search to be your friend
Since, there's always a risk involved when reaching out to publishers, Loren cautioned link builders to never offer money, not ask for exact match links, be transparent in what you want and what you are doing, and at last warn if your site or the product is NSFW.
Kenny Hyder rather focused on how to target, prepare, and ask for links. The initial step according to Kenny is to use RankChecker or a similar tool to find out where your keywords are landing & which one would work for you. When it comes to searching for link building prospects, brainstorm on the industries related to yours. Citing an example of brainstorming, Kenny said if your website deals in gifts, you need to target Candy Retailers, Craft Blogs, Card Retailers, Flower Delivery, and Party Supply Retailers.
Here’s an overview of Kenny’s Prospecting Points:
- Brainstorm on the industries that are related to the work you do
- Figure out how likely is the link from abc site actually beneficial in sending traffic
- Use search methods like Twitter search, advanced operators, paid tools, and blog directories
- Do not look out for resources like forums, lists, link pages, and directories
- Also consider resources like retailers, schools, blogs, and news sources
Placement of Links Should Be:
- Contextual - In reviews, advertorials, news, and guest posts
- Resource - Banners, Sidebars, and recommendations
And when it comes to reaching out to these sources, Kenny prefers picking up the phone & calling people you want the links from. He believes it is novel and also adds a more personal touch. Email templates, email addresses, budget, and spreadsheets should also be well-prepared to approach the contact. Kenny wrapped up the session saying that Links should be – High Quality, Organic, Relevant, and Permanent.Links with Maximum Juice & Minimum Risk: Session on #Pubcon Las Vegas 2013, Day 3!,