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The provider of affordable website hosting presents - High-Quality Directories and How They Add Value to the Web
I am in the industry long enough to have witnessed both the growth and decline in the popularity of “web directory” phenomenon.
Web directories emerged prior to search engines as the means to help people discover websites online. During Google times, web directories were used to build backlinks and extra visibility for a website. Then they became popular among link builders – from where the concept abuse started.
There is an argument that link building hasn’t killed web directories. What happened instead is that directories were no longer needed (search engines did the job) but is it really so? To me, it’s the same as to say that Wikipedia is not needed thanks for Google Knowledge Graph (yes, I realize the knowledge graph is being built based on Wikipedia, hence the sarcasm)
The difference between web directories and search engines is that high-quality web directories are heavily moderated. The purpose of today’s web directory is to provide the well-structured database of high-quality websites.
Hence good directories can still be useful:To build your site co-citation signals To put your site in the most relevant immediate contest To build more brand name mentions and awareness (to help build digital footprint)
Below I am listing selected directories that are still driving value to your website (if you are listed there) but more importantly, provide valuable user experience.Featured sites:
Requirements to be listed
Why is it here?
No “mirror” and non-original-content sites”, no sites with illegal content, no sites with mostly affiliate links
The fact that Google still trusts Dmoz enough to show “anchor text or listings from” it is pretty self-explanatory.
“Sites must serve as a resource for businesses or business professionals”. They actually have very strict guidelines listed here
Listing your site there actually drives traffic and brings trust. Note: I did find a few a bit forced “exact-match anchor text listings there” which I’d avoid if I were them
No sites with broken links, only family-friendly sites, sites with cross-browser support, no sites with pop-ups,
Each site has a separate page listing * some stats, helpful links as well as description and most useful pages from that domain. That could become a powerful brand name asset! They also offer free webmaster tools and have a separate “local” directory
“Our users expect relevant results with appropriate ratings”: sufficient content and contact info (for business websites) are required
I actually LOVED the site search feature ** showing different features of each website: It shows the site is very-well curated!
Cross-browser support, no sites with “under construction” pages
It’s hard not to mention Yahoo when talking about directories. They say it’s too expensive to justify it though.
No pharmacy, affiliate-only, redirected sites (The guidelines are rather vague: “it is difficult to name the exact websites we reject”)
Best results are labeled. Category pages have lots of content beyond links. They provide 100 / 300-word review for each site (So they write the copy themselves: Neat!)Abilogic
No websites with illegal or pornographic content, no affiliate or MLM sites, no mirror and non-original sites
The site overall is very user-friendly. I liked the individual listing pages: They have “related articles” and the ability to comment and rate
I actually couldn’t find clear quality guidelines on their submission page (I can assume it’s located elsewhere)
Positions itself more as a “human-empowered” search engine (they claim to have a crawler of their own), has a great focus on community
*Dir Journal listing screenshot:
**JoeAnt search results:Honorable mentions:
I wasn’t able to find any arguments pro or against the below directories (or something worth noting in the “Why is it here?” column above), so I am just listing them because I know they have a very good reputation:Aviva directory: One of the oldest, best-known directories out there. They say it’s trusted and can even drive traffic. Alive Directory: Interestingly, it shows number of clicks on each link (A good sign it’s actually able of sending traffic) Skaffe: I like that they show Google Plus button and have “Address” and telephone. I wish they supported that more (most listings provide no telephone; I couldn’t find a zip code that would have any search results)
Further reading:Lots of local directories are listed here Web App Directories to Promote Your Startup by Justin McGill @jus10mcgill Major Search Engines and Directories at Search Engine Watch.
What are your thoughts about web directories nowadays? Please share your thoughts!
The post High-Quality Directories and How They Add Value to the Web appeared first on SEO Chat.
Source: SEO Chat | High-Quality Directories and How They Add Value to the Web | 8 Sep 2014, 2:49 pm
The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Effective Branding: Utilising The Power Of Branding In Content Outreach
People listen to advice from people that they like and trust. In the digital age, often the people that are most trusted are those who we have never physically met. Think of your favourite tech or hotel review blog and how invaluable their advice is. I, for one, would not dare to buy a new device without first checking with tech radar to see how it measures up against the competition and if it is worth spending a premium to upgrade.
Bloggers blog about every topic under the sun and bring with them a cachet and built-in audience that, if handled correctly, can be tapped into by the use of content outreach. Content outreach is the process of finding a partner outside of your business through whom you can get your message out to the public. By choosing the correct outreach partners, you can increase your profile and credibility by borrowing theirs, but charm is key.
Many established and wanna-be established brands seek to identify marketing partners, but a major fault is finding a partner who is a less than ideal fit. For the big boys, money can sway opinion; but for those of us who are working with limited resources, research and finesse are required to build relevant, mutually-respectful and beneficial partnerships that can succeed. Below are some tips on identifying and partnering with content outreach partners.Identify your brand
Know your company’s strengths and what your differentials are, or at least what you would like them to be. Think through who your target audience is. Are you marketing a mass market product that is going to be adored by all? Unless you are selling ice cream, the answer is probably no. What’s your niche market? Are there any obvious blogs that you know catering to that market? Are you confident in your product or service? If not, this is the stage to start becoming confident about it. If you do not believe in what you are offering, how are you going to be able to convince others of the value of your offering?Get to searching
The first thing that you need to do is identify a blog that is likely to have an audience which is interested in your product. To give a ridiculous example, there’s no point hooking up with a vegetarian website to try to promote your new range of livestock burgers. The importance of research cannot be understated. Once you’ve identified what your brand means and who your likely audience are going to be, get to Twitter and Google and try and find out where they go and who they respect. Scribble down any names that seem relevant so that you can come back to them later. At this stage you are looking for breadth rather than depth in your searches. Brandi offers some tips here on what to look out for when thinking about which bloggers to reach out to.Go Sherlock
Once you’ve identified the key mavens in your field, dig into their lives. Find out about the blogger, they are people just like you and usually with a great passion for the often thankless task of writing. If they’re hosting a blog then they probably have a public Facebook and/or Twitter page. Follow them and learn about what makes them tick, what are their interest, what piques their attention and what causes meltdowns. This information is going to be invaluable at the next stage.Houston, We Have Contact
Once you know what colour socks your target wears each Wednesday, it is time to get in touch. This is where your personality needs to come into force. People do business with people they like and you are asking for a fairly big favour. You want this person to put their own credibility on the line to help you out. This stage is essentially a sales pitch, yet it is unlikely that money is going to change hands. Reciprocity and synergy are the key words here. How can the two individuals who are interacting benefit each other, where is there crossover and how does this person pointing people in your direction benefit him/her? These are things you need to have ready in advance, although you do not need to jump straight in with the pitch.
By all means take some time to engage in chit chat, build up a friendship and it doesn’t have to be a fake one. If your audience is the same then there is a good chance you have shared professional interests, if nothing else. Seek advice and consult over an issue which makes the other person feel like the voice of authority. Show them that you respect them and let things grow organically from there. It shouldn’t feel forced.
If you believe in your brand and know your audience then there is a logical symbiosis to the promotion of your product. Should you be a company that makes something, send it over and let the blogger try it out. They’ll appreciate the gift and if you believe in your product, then you are going to get a good review, too. For other services you can point to records of success, or even offer a free sample, perhaps some web development services if you are a web developer, for example.Other means of contact
While emails, Twitter conversations and Facebook messages are the easiest way to get in touch, they may not be the most beneficial. There is very little that is better than a face-to-face meeting for building lasting relationships. Brian Zeng offers some useful tips here on alternative ways to make contact with the bloggers you have targeted and these are golden. Find out what functions they are attending, networking events, etc. I am not saying you should stalk them, but an accidental meet up and bonding over canapés is a great way to build a lasting relationship. Here’s a post about the relationship between Brand and Blog and how you can maximise this tie-up.Some examples of successful outreach
Of course, paid content is guaranteed to get eyeballs, but they may be wasted. Sponsored Buzzfeed lists have drawn some attention recently, and this is definitely an example of one way to guarantee a big audience. However, a cost benefit analysis may well show that there are cheaper and more creative ways to reach your audience that focus on the human to human connection that is essential to content outreach.
A benefit of doing this outreach method is boosting your brand and services by being mentioned in your partners’ websites. One good example of outreach is to write about informative and creative ways to promote your niche and product. This should appear on your blog.Char-Broil – The Outdoor Cook’s Favourite
One of the major outreach success stories is that of Char-Broil. They partnered with the best of the bunch when it comes to outdoor cooking bloggers and these partners get access to products to review, mention and even get to write blog posts on the Char-Broil site. The relationship is fully synergized as both sides get extra content and exposure. This is the very model of the reciprocal content outreach partnership. Char-Broil do pay some of these bloggers, but the process of identifying the best fit really is the key takeaway message from the Char-Broil example. Methodical and targeted, partnerships developed organically.Going Further with Ford
Ford’s approach shows great confidence in their product and is the model for open engagement with the public. While a newspaper advert telling us about the latest Ford may capture some attention, it’s a passive experience and one in which suspicions may be running high due to the public’s increased advertising literacy and awareness of when they are clearly being sold to. The content outreach approach blends advertising with social media and Ford encourage their content outreach partners to be as critical as possible with full transparency.
The approach puts everything out in the open and comes across as a more sincere and authentic form of engaging with the public. Ford also gets to really see how people feel about its products and make changes to their approach moving forward. Again, finding key mavens is important and ensuring that your bloggers are professional and of sufficient quality is a must, but the Ford model shows the kind of transparency that is becoming more expected with consumers in the digital age.Micro-Level Love for the Smaller brands
My wife loves shopping. I don’t. Online shopping then makes us both happy. She gets to experience the shopping and I don’t have to leave the house. Either way my pockets hurt anyway. I started to notice recently that my wife likes to buy from independent retailers who run their businesses through Facebook. I have no idea about their legal position on taxes, etc., but that’s not my concern here. It is clear that at this micro-level that there is a desire to get the name of the vendor out to the biggest possible audience, often by having somebody with some existing kudos showing them some love through a ‘like’. The best option would be to have a celebrity customer, but if not then a positive review from a well-respected blog would do the job just as well. As you have hopefully garnered by this point, relationships are key and partnering with those who have an interest in your product as well as a ready-made audience for you to tap into works, even if you are a tiny fish.Getting up close and personal
Relationships are key to success in business. No man is an island, but that doesn’t mean that all archipelagos are even. There are no short cuts to success, but there is little substitute for methodical research. You must know your product and understand why others will be interested in consuming it.
Once this is done, think about your favourite blogs and what makes them successful. You may be lucky and find that the perfect partner is already somebody you subscribe to and have a relationship with. If not, get to finding out who fits best and target them. You don’t want to have too many partners, but a few well-positioned bloggers with decent readership and kudos are going to help you out an awful lot.
An example of how you could reach out by email is shown here. This email style has been successful in establishing a relationship with a blogger. It comes out natural but most importantly, it comes out as personally as it can get.
My name is Denise Connors and I am a big fan of your blog ukstylishblogs.com because I also love everything about fashion and trends. I follow you in Facebook, Twitter (@janestyles) and Google+.
I love reading your Facebook posts about the latest style trends and retweeting your Twitter posts. I just recently read your blog “How to be Stylish Without Really Trying” and it definitely made me a fan. I see a lot of similarities with our tastes in fashion and couture.
I’d like to know if you accept contributions from fans of your blog. I am willing to contribute wholesome and creative content relating to fashion trends.
At the contact stage you need to sell without selling. Partnering up should seem like the most natural thing in the world for your outreach partner to be doing, but you also will need to incentivise things somewhat, either with samples, reciprocal marketing or advice. Take your time considering your approach. There is no universal piece of advice on this, but being polite and charming never hurt in any walk of life. After that, hopefully you’re good to go and both parties can thrive.
Remember, there are thousands of other companies like yours, having the same ideas as yours, doing the exact same processes as yours. Make yourself stand out by focussing on the essential element – the personal element.
The post Effective Branding: Utilising The Power Of Branding In Content Outreach appeared first on SEO Chat.
Source: SEO Chat | Effective Branding: Utilising The Power Of Branding In Content Outreach | 26 Aug 2014, 4:44 pm
The provider of affordable website hosting presents - 7 Best Presentations from ClickZ Live San Francisco (Available for Download) #CLZSF
August 11 we were enjoying ClickZ Live San Francisco. I did a few live coverages including one with Jim Boykin and Chris Boggs.
Today, for everyone who has missed the event or who wants to download the great presentations discussed there, here are the 7 Slideshare uploads from the event:1. Analytics Swiss Army Knife by @thomcraver of Internet Marketing Ninjas Analytics Swiss Army Knife from Thom Craver
Mentioned tool: SpyFu2. PPC Peak Performance: The Definitive AdWords Audit Framework by @LarryKim from @WordStream Larry Kim’s Presentation at ClickZ Live San Francisco August 2014 from Internet Marketing Software – WordStream
I have also been live-tweeting this session:
#CZLSF an example of an ad that triggers emotion= WIN / ads jackpot! – @larrykim pic.twitter.com/VSYP8IoBLc
— Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) August 13, 20143. Mobile Advertising in the Marketing Mix for AT&T by @gregstuart ClickZ Live in SF – Mobile Advertising in the Marketing Mix for AT&T from Greg Stuart 4. Leveraging Events for Triple Digit SEO Gains by David McClellan @HesDave from CBS Interactive Leveraging Events for Triple Digit SEO Gains – David McClellan CBS Interactive from David McClellan 5. Boosting Social Ad Results with Audience Segmentation: Nowspeed and Hitachi Data Systems by @SharonHDS Boosting Social Ad Results with Audience Segmentation: Nowspeed and Hitachi Data Systems from Sharon Crost
Why Advertise on Social Media?Huge Audience: Billions of People Strong Momentum: Projections to double annual ad spending from from $4.6 billion in 2012 to $9.2 billion by 2016. Advanced Ad Targeting: Targets consumers with interests that match the virtues and values of their products. Multiple Engagement and Conversion Opportunities: Generate engagement, likes and followers, as well as traffic, leads and sales. Mobile: with the social consumer on-the-go for proven social ROI (70% of FB users are mobile) Low Cost per Click and Cost per Conversion 3 6. Using linguistic analysis to break through the noise by Benjamin Spiegel @nxfxcom Using linguistic analysis to break through the noise – #CLZSF – Benjamin Spiegel from Benjamin Spiegel
Mentioned tool: Rapidminer7. Driving Revenue Over Leads by Bizible CEO Aaron Bird @birdstweets Driving Revenue Over Leads #CLZSF from Bizible Marketing Analytics
Best resource mentioned in the presentation: Use this simple checksheet to determine the alignment between marketing and sales from both a team and data point of view
Also read: 30 tweet-sized insights from #CLZSF
Register at ClickZ Live Chicago!
The post 7 Best Presentations from ClickZ Live San Francisco (Available for Download) #CLZSF appeared first on SEO Chat.
Source: SEO Chat | 7 Best Presentations from ClickZ Live San Francisco (Available for Download) #CLZSF | 25 Aug 2014, 4:18 pm
The provider of affordable website hosting presents - The Best Pinterest Analytics Tools, According To @Brandwatch
Pinterest analytics are still in their infancy, compared to other social network data tools. Considering how new Pinterest is, that is to be expected. While there are plenty of tools out there to choose from (we looked at five here), there has never been a breakdown of the best from all of them. Until now.
Brandwatch has put together a report releasing information on nine different analytic tools for Pinterest, comparing them based on features, strengths, weaknesses, and their overall usefulness as a data gathering platform. It is the most comprehensive look at Pinterest analytic services that has been published.
Their findings were fascinating. Let’s take a look at what they had to say about each of the services they examined.Services With Owned Profiles: Pin. Web Analytics, Ahalogy, Curalate, Cyfe, GoPixel, Piqora, Tailwind, ViralTag, and Viralwoot. Services With Multiple Users: Ahalogy, Curulate, Cyfe, Piquora, Tailwind, ViralTag. Pinterest API: Pin. Web Analytics, Curulate, Piquora, Tailwind. Services With Free Plans: Pin. Web Analytics, Cyfe, GoPixel, Tailwind, Viralwoot. Top 3 Platforms By Features
The three platforms that had the most features were Curulate, Piquora and Tailwind. All three also achieved 4/5 star ratings from Brandwatch on quality of their platform.
Of all of the services, Curulate was the only one that had all features scored, though it did not provide a free plan. It does have a free plan for users interested in trying out their application.
Both Piquora and Tailwind have all but one feature scored, the first missing Keyword Listening, the second missing Promoting Pins/Advertising. All three held up much better than Pinterest’s own analytics dashboard, which scored only a 2/5 rating. While it is free, it only has a small handful of features, and no advanced data.Bottom 2 Platforms By Features
The two lowest rated platforms in the report were Viralwoot and Piquora, both gaining only a 1/5 rating.
With Piquora, the low rating seems to be due to the price versus the missing features, which would otherwise justify the $1,500+ per month price tag. It doesn’t provide Historic Data or Competitive Data, and all other features can be found for the same price or less from better platforms.
Viralwoot, on the other hand, misses most key features. To be fair, this is due to the new release of the tool, as it is still a startup being developed. As it is free, you can’t complain too much about that. But it doesn’t allow you to see any Pin Metrics, Website Traffit/Referrals, and you have to build a community. It also doesn’t offer Historic Data or Competitor Analysis.Conclusion
This is a great report written by a knowledgeable company that did their homework. Every tool is analyzed deeply, and you can get a real feel for how they work long before you try them. If anyone is considering spending money on a monthly plan from one of the better tools, it is a good idea to look through this report to find what fits your needs and budget best.
The post The Best Pinterest Analytics Tools, According To @Brandwatch appeared first on SEO Chat.
Source: SEO Chat | The Best Pinterest Analytics Tools, According To @Brandwatch | 14 Aug 2014, 9:49 pm
The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Google Updates (Panda and Penguin) Explained by @Boggles & @JtKoene at #ClickZ
We are at ClickZ this week reporting some of the most interesting panels. And we start from one of the most popular topic: Google’s updates and penalties
Chris Boggs is first on the stage talking about the history of Google updates as well as the differences between Panda and Penguin updates
Fist Google algorithm was Boston followed by Panda in 2011. Penguin came out a couple of years later.3 “Ps” of Google updates: Panda hitting weak and (nearly) duplicate content Penguin hitting unnatural links Pigeon hitting local businesses
You can refer to both Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to identify what kind of the penalty hit your site. Google Analytics is good for identifying algorithmic penalties (refer to the actual dates they were introduced and see if you got hit on that specific day). Google Webmaster Tools notify you of any manual penalties.
When analyzing your traffic drop, don’t forget to pay attention to the seasonality, site updates and downtimes, etc which can result in natural traffic spikes and drops without Google’s actions having anything to do with it.
Be proactive (track your backlinks, identify your on-page content issues, monitor your traffic) with identifying possible site issues (which can result in penalties) but don’t go crazy.
Jordan Koene formerly of eBay and now of Search Metrics is on stage next talking about his experience with Google’s updates.
Pigeon is a unique animal because it allows Google to adapt to our behaviors.
Trip Advisor is the biggest Pigeon winner!Penguin vs Panda:
Penguin = drop of traffic and it’s an isolated event.
Panda = may be a slow decline (not as harsh) + tons of fluctuations (this behavior is also similar to a partial penalty).What is Google Looking for?
Relevance and Quality
They need human reviewers to tell if they are doing a good job at providing both.
eBay has gone through many updates and filters.
Bottom line: You can be a big or a small site but you should be always looking at your content and making it betterSo HOW do You Avoid the Zoo? Understand the data (review it constantly) Find the right support Build in a review process Test and learn
The post Google Updates (Panda and Penguin) Explained by @Boggles & @JtKoene at #ClickZ appeared first on SEO Chat.
Source: SEO Chat | Google Updates (Panda and Penguin) Explained by @Boggles & @JtKoene at #ClickZ | 12 Aug 2014, 7:05 pm
The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Your BEST Backlink in Your Life: How Have You Earned It?
We cannot do without links: Links are still the major part of the search algorithm; Links drive referrals and links connect our sites to the rest of the web. We are well-aware what types of backlinks we need to stay away from but how to acquire links in a way that it would benefit our rankings and NOT put us under the risk of a penalty?
Here are some of the insights from thought leaders sharing their BEST backlink they have ever earned!Expert Interview
Jice_Lavocat (Elokenz Founder)
The best backlink I ever earned was coming from W3C (not available anymore).
I got it after interviewing a semantic web Researcher about the future of web.
In addition to a W3C backlink, I got many BL and twitter citations coming from academic institutions. So, interviewing an (academic) expert was pretty efficient.
Editor’s tip: Read this article on finding experts to interview on your blog!Go with THE Trend!
Randy Pickard (Marketing Director)
Prom Dress Manufacturers Are Ready to Wage a War Against…Google?
Goal was to communicate how horribly infested Google is with counterfeiters and the damage it is doing to our industry and the naive buyers that are getting ripped off by the search giant’s aiding and abetting copyright infringers. This campaign led to article in a leading fashion industry blog.
This blog link seems to have generated a very significant boost in our rankings, which led to a 1,000 visitor per day boost in visitor traffic. Love the irony of bashing Google to improve rankings.
Adam Connell (Founder of Blogging Wizard)
A while back I was featured in an article on CIO.com about SEO trends.
Up till this point most of the SEO work I was doing was behind the scenes, managing a marketing agency – this was the first major step I took to share my insights with the Internet community.
The SEO in me was stoked to get a link from a PR8 site, while overall the link didn’t really matter to me – it was purely the fact that this was a major stepping stone to establishing myself and building visibility for my brand that was important to me.
Editor’s tip: “Catching the right wave” will always be a tricky thing with lots of trial and error involved. But tracking the trends should be an integral part of any content marketing strategy.Build Relationships
Jonathan Bentz (Marketing Manager)
One of the favorite backlinks I’ve ever earned came from simply taking the time to be friendly and act as a resource to others in the SEO industry.
Back in 2011 (while I was still at ProspectMX), Jon Payne of Ephricon was interviewed by Stephen Chapman on his ZDNet blog, “SEO Whistleblower”. In the interview, Payne was asked “What do you find to be some of the most key factors for running a successful SEO agency?” In his answer, he mentions how valuable it is to build relationships with other agencies to share advice, opinions, etc., and then mentions some of the most valuable contacts he has made.
Now, J-Payne knows a bunch of people in the industry. But for some reason on that day in 2011, he included a link builder and client campaign manager from an agency in Lancaster, PA among a list of other industry leaders and CEOs. Chapman was also cool enough to allow a backlink to ProspectMX to be included in the piece, too.
Say what you will about it not having keyword rich anchor text… but we scored an in-content backlink from a DA 96 just by being nice! I’d say that was a pretty nice win! Link to the interview3 Rules of Relationship-Powered Link Building #pubcon from Ann Smarty Digital Asset + a Very Targeted Pitch
Kyle Sanders (Head of Search)
We pitched an infographic to one of our clients (a home builder) focused on the Austin real estate market. They were in, we wireframed, designed, and delivered it only to find the CEO change his mind at the last minute. “We need to niche down,” he said.
So there we were, stuck with a city-centric infographic about Austin. Well, since we liked and the idea and office in Austin, we tweeted it at the Austin Business Journal and the University of Texas. It ended up spending nearly 24 hours at the top of r/Austin, drove ~25K views, and now we have a permanent link from UT’s College of Engineering (among many others), right in the middle of their copy under “You’ll live in one of the nation’s coolest cities.” Win.Fix Their Errors
Jacob Curtis (Digital Marketing Strategist)
While it may not be the best one I’ve ever earned, I’ll always be most proud of my first backlink.
When just beginning my blogging journey I had read numerous articles about the benefits of guest blogging for backlinks. And while I understood the advantages, I didn’t quite know where to start and more importantly who to approach as a newbie blogger.
And though I had a wish list of blogs I wanted to write for, my first guest blogging opportunity came quite unexpectedly.
As I remember it, I was on Twitter and randomly clicked-through to some blog article related to social media. After reading the article, the site’s design and energetic author, Amy Schmittaur, kept me intrigued and I persuaded me to explore around a bit. Next, upon trying to use an embedded button on her site to follow Amy on Twitter, I noticed the function was not working as intended and imagined she had no idea.
I immediately navigated to Amy’s contact form and informed her of the broken link in which she replied with her appreciation. I then used the opportunity to introduce myself and ask if I could contribute to her blog. Of course, I believe helping her first, helped in her decision to allow me to write my first guest article on her blog.
Not only did I receive a valuable backlink without having to game, pay, or plead for it, but I also gained the confidence I needed to approach other bloggers for future contributions.*Selective* high-Quality Guest Blogging
Matthew Anton (web designer / online marketer)
I have two “best” ones I’ve earned so far. One was completely organic, which was a Cnet article about the rise of social networks in the video game space. At the time, we were running CharacterPlanet (think Facebook for MMORPG games such as World of Warcraft). Unfortunately the project was under capitalized and lacked the coding knowledge to scale to the masses, but it was 2007 and we only wanted the link for publicity.
In 2011, after reading about guest blogging and seeing the success of Ann Smarty I decided to embark on a journey of reaching out to high quality blogs and writing posts personally. Even though I’m involved with online marketing, the one I’m most “proud” of comes in the form of an MMA/sports guest blog post:
Is it Time We Allow Teenage MMA Fights in the USA?One link showed me the importance of creating something unique and having a true organic growth through press, coverage and natural backlinks. The other post showed me if you provide value to someones readership, it will naturally get shared and help your core business. Both were good lessons in terms of furthering my marketing career.
WD® Gives Consumers A Cloud Of Their Own @ Teksocial
I like the way the article looks on the site, and guest blogging is proof that I’m committed to being social online, not just digital. Plus, readers like the content and advice in it, and it was very easy to cooperate with the publisher Ann Smarty. The article is a cloud article and that’s where Ann published it from, the clouds – via airline Wi-Fi! Seriously!
Editor’s tip: Guest blogging is and will be a good tactic to obtain editorial links only if you approach it properly.Use HARO
Nishadha (Freelance Digital Marketer)
One of the best links I’ve earned the link to my company Creately from this article in Inc Magazine. I got it by replying to a HARO query. I was replying to few HARO queries and was almost about to give up on the service when I got contacted for this link. Definitely a source worth considering for high quality authority links.
Editor’s tip: Read more on building media and PR relationships herePost FIRST and BEST Comments
Okay, I think it is a backlink from problogger. It was a nofollow backlink to my blog flowingevents. I was the first commenter in that post
Problogger is a famous and authority blog in this niche. So this backlink adding more value to my blog.
To get backlinks and traffic from blog commenting it is very important to comment first.Fake it Till You Make it
CharlesFloate (God of SEO)
The best link I’ve ever achieved was when I first started reading Ryan Holiday’s “Trust Me, I’m Lying” – It teaches you how to manipulate the media online via Blogs, Anonymous Emails and various other tactics.. I wanted to promote my projects YouTube channel and so I added a few fake views, subscribers and hired a VA to put together a load of comments – Making the channel look a lot bigger than it was.
I outreached to a number of Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts that were based around the Niche (a certain Video Game) I was in about this new video that I’d seen. Quickly, the video hit the frontpage of the game’s Reddit (over half a million users on that Reddit), was posted to hundreds of Facebook pages and eventually got put on the eSports magazine Kotaku, along with a Do-Follow link back to both my channel and the project’s site. All with, only 15 minutes of fake emailing and social messaging. The video now stands at over 500,000 views and my DA went from 23 to 49 in one month.
Editor’s note: Of course SEOchat would not encourage you to go and buy fake views for mediocre content but “Fake it till you make it” may still be an effective tactic as you can see (after all, that channel would NOT spread unless it deserved it!!!)
Please share your best link or your case study!
The post Your BEST Backlink in Your Life: How Have You Earned It? appeared first on SEO Chat.
Source: SEO Chat | Your BEST Backlink in Your Life: How Have You Earned It? | 5 Aug 2014, 6:31 pm
The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Is Your Authority Site Safe From Negative SEO? A Look At PRWEB And PRNewswire
[Disclaimer: Contributors' views are their own. They do not necessarily represent Devshed views ]
Last month I wrote an article about Google’s payday loan update which seemed to hit several sites but bypassed YouTube.
This month I have decided to go and take a look at two of the most popular press release sites and see if they have recovered from the penalty.
The 1st site I looked at was PR Newswire, who was getting an estimated 441,000 organic visits per month in May before the penalty. As you can see in the image below they are now driving an estimated 47,800 organic visits per month to the site after the penalty.
The 2nd site I have been monitoring is PR Web, one of the other big players in the Press Release niche. PR Web was getting a whopping 760,000+ estimated organic visits per month in May and since the penalty they are getting just over 34,000 estimated organic visits.
Due to these penalties both press releases companies have made sweeping changes to what they will allow to be covered in their releases moving forward.
For instance neither agency will allow releases to be published about HCG, Green Coffee Beans, Raspberry Ketone, Garcinia Cambogia, Electronic Cigarettes or Payday Loans.
Most of these products Google will happily to advertise for profit, as seen in the image below.
If you think about the implication of these penalties it should also make it pretty clear that negative seo can be applied to most anyone, regardless of the size, age or reputation of the site in question.
Let’s put this in perspective, both of these sites have millions of existing links pointing to them over the course of several years in the business. The behavior of a few black hat SEO’s out there caused the sites to lose rankings and traffic for keywords which resulted on up to a 90% drop in estimated organic traffic.
While it is unlikely this was an intentional negative SEO attempt the result was the same, the sites were penalized due to behavior outside of their direct control and links they did not build themselves.
How difficult would it be to replicate this same pattern of bad behavior and victimize other, smaller sites that are standing in the way of your rankings?
Matt Cutts put out a YouTube video discussing how negative seo is easily combated through the disavow tool and how webmasters might just find it a minor inconvenience to disavow links.
Below is a snapshot of PR Web’s 26 MILLION links across nearly 200,000 domains I am not sure about you, but I would think reviewing even 1% of those links to be more than a “minor” inconvenience, even if you are lucky enough to have a full time webmaster on your staff.
The point is no matter what you do it is in your best interest to regularly check your backlink profile in Google Webmaster tools and 3rd party tools such as Majestic Seo. Many times the penalty is not applied right away and by the time you figure out you have been a victim of negative SEO you may have to go back months to see where those links have come from.
What do you think; do you think Google has made it too easy to use negative SEO as a tactic?
The post Is Your Authority Site Safe From Negative SEO? A Look At PRWEB And PRNewswire appeared first on SEO Chat.
Source: SEO Chat | Is Your Authority Site Safe From Negative SEO? A Look At PRWEB And PRNewswire | 23 Jul 2014, 3:46 pm
The provider of affordable website hosting presents - How Panda and Penguin Algorithms Negatively Affect Your Website
[Disclaimer: Contributors' views are their own. They do not necessarily represent Devshed views ]
A top ranking on Google is a golden ticket to success. Companies spend fortunes on Search Engine Optimisation and Google advertising to raise awareness of their site, thus boosting their place on search results. Google is fully aware that companies are willing to do almost anything to get to number one on page one. So over the last few years, they have introduced increasingly stringent regulations to ensure that high-ranking websites are not only free of spam but also contain ‘high quality’ content.
While the delineation of quality might seem rather arbitrary, Google builds increasingly complex algorithms in order to ensure that it becomes ever more difficult to get a great ranking without spending some serious money on brand building. Google would perhaps prefer sites to spend money on their own advertising, so Google is increasingly clamping down on those wishing to get a keyword bump, creating an opaque situation that requires constant vigilance.
Google is, first and foremost, a profit-generating enterprise; and the company is second to none in that regard. Its business model from the offset has been to provide a high-quality product that seems simple to the outside world but which, obviously, reflects a highly complex algorithm under the hood – able to provide the most reliable and accurate results on a consistent basis. This simplicity of user-experience was evidenced in their meteoric rise to the top of the search engine world, eviscerating their competition in the process.
There’s not much you can Ask Jeeves these days; he has gone to the cyber afterlife due to Google’s peerless quality of search. In contrast, the very term ‘search’ has been replaced with the verb ‘to Google.’ It is certain that a company has gained ubiquity once its name shifts from a noun to a verb. The danger of such a shift is complacency, and Google has been very aware of this inherent danger in the ever changing world of tech; they have innovated in various areas, from their Android mobile Operating System to their Google Maps, Google Earth, and the multitude of G-products that we all use in daily life.
One of the major ways Google has been able to stay ahead of the game is by shifting and modifying the way they calculate the popularity of sites. The general user wouldn’t notice such a change. BBC, Microsoft, and other major corporate entities still dominate their realms as do other major niche providers, but how to decide on the popularity of a travel site, or a site selling sportswear? Their “popularity” is the general answer to the question; but dig a little deeper, and it becomes apparent that popularity is something that can be gained.
Whether it comes from having the most references to the site, having most links to it, or being the most search content matching specific search terms, there is a multitude of ways to benchmark popularity and then tailor output to fit within these parameters. The people in Google know that if they are ranking unhelpful websites on page one, then their customers will be going elsewhere for their “Googling.”Thus, they alter their algorithms a fair amount.Google Panda
Google Panda was Google’s 2011 attempt to restrict websites from being crammed with keywords and building link farms in order to increase their ranking. Quality, as ever, was Google’s priority here as they went about uprooting a whole industry that had been built up by exploiting the loopholes that were evident in the Google Search model.
Five years ago, it was possible, with some concerted effort, to put together a site that could dominate in chosen search terms and maintain a top spot with an increasing amount of links and cloned content. However, Google Panda put an end to all of that as Google started banning sites that had built up their popularity this way.
All of a sudden, sites that were ranking highly started to fall off the main page and into obscurity as Google’s indexing system would blacklist sites that had a negative mark against them. This was even possible for sites that were mostly original but had hidden away from plain sight practices that were banned under the Google Panda algorithm. This update was nicknamed the Famer Update as it put an end to link farms and set a number of business models into a tailspin.Things to Watch Out for with Google Panda No nonsense! The algorithm is built from human test cases. Programmers analyse many sites and flag content that is off limits. They then build an algorithm around these test cases and work with the algorithm until it is able to function automatically. So, the most obvious lesson is don’t write nonsense. Grammatically incoherent work will get you flagged in no time at all. No duplications! If more than 90% of content on your page exists on another page on your site, you are in trouble. So be careful with your headers and borders. If you are repeating the same outline on every page, and your original content is minimal, you are in trouble. No advertisement overload! If your page is little more than an advert, you will be blacklisted. By all means advertise, but think smart. The algorithm is so advanced these days that you have to think of it in human terms. Would a human notice that you are hosting a site to link elsewhere? If so, Panda will too. No farming! Is there an overload of keywords on your site? While keywords were once the golden ticket to search engine success, now they must be used sparingly and with caution. Of course, you need to optimise your Google search terms, but if you have 100 links to ‘boost your libido,’ you are going to get picked up. No robotic content! If you have auto-generating content, you are in trouble. Panda identifies and blocks content that has clearly not been built by humans.
Cyrus Shepard’s August 2011 post ‘Beating Google’s Panda Update – 5 Deadly Content Sins’ is as relevant today as it was back then and we can see the forward thinking from Cyrus has been proven correct when reviewing the array of Panda updates since this algorithm update launch in February 2011.Google Penguin
Once rules change, new ways to play the game are quickly figured out. While Panda hit many firms hard—SEO firms, especially—it was quickly realised that with some modification, it was still possible to nail a top ranking with some intelligent application of keywords. The preferred method at this time was to position keyword heavy articles on sites, often fictitious, and link back to each other. Much of this content was humorous and whimsical, whether for travel-focused websites, dating websites, or any other industry website that it is possible to conceive of. It was rumoured that famous authors were picking up decent fees for stream of consciousness writing filled with hot topic keywords and subordinate keywords.
Before long, the ever-alert Google machine realized what was going on and decided that further algorithm changes were necessary. Thus, the reign of the Panda was not over, rather it was joined by another anthropomorphic Google algorithm.
Quality was again the catalyst for the launch of Google Penguin in April of 2012. This update targeted what it referred to as “Webspam” with the intention of penalizing sites that did not meet expected standards of quality.
Again, the topic of quality is one which seems to be defined in a rather subjective manner by Google, but overall perhaps ‘usefulness’ would be a better description. Once somebody puts in a search term, does the result they get actively address their enquiry or just point to another site that is off topic? This was the motivation behind the Penguin shift.Things to Watch Out for with Google Penguin Quality. The ever-elusive entity of quality can be measured in various ways. Is the content authoritative? Is it being linked to a variety of sources? How relevant are these sources? Is there a diversity of comments? If so, you will probably be able to pass the quality threshold. Link relevancy. Stick to your niche. If you are posting links to sites that are too different from your own, then you may be flagged. Stick to a web of interconnected sites, and you will be able to build your niche positioning. Organic linking. If you suddenly have an upsurge in links, this is likely to set alarm bells ringing. Links built up over time have more cachet and add to the perception of your site as authoritative and possessing quality content. Diversity of anchor texts. Don’t repeat the same key words in your anchors as this is a major red flag. Use synonyms or similar terms rather than repeating yourself. Link quality. Getting links from sites that are red flagged will also come back to haunt you. Be sure that when you are building your links that you are looking for link quality vs. quantity. Quality begets quality after all.
Jason DeMers recently had published yet another extremely informative guide on how to recover post Penguin 2.1 in October, Penguin 2.1: What Changed Since 2.0, and How to Recover, which should give you a good overview, but Glen Gabe’s follow up findings were also extremely insightful.How to Maximise SEO in the World of Panda and Penguin
A good place to start is to analyse your Web traffic. If you have seen a sudden dip, then there is a good chance you have fallen victim to these changes. Google publishes the dates of updates to its algorithm, so compare these with the work you have already done. If you find that you have suffered on these dates, then you need to figure out how this particular update has negatively affected you and start to make some changes.
If you can target the issue and resolve it, wait for 20-30 days and check your traffic again. If there has been no recovery, then you need to go back again and make further changes.
As ever, Rand Fishkin leads the way when it comes to all things SEO, and his presentation at the Digital Marketing summit is essential viewing for all those who wish to understand the issues facing companies who wish to dominate on Google today.
In conclusion, the key lessons to take from all of this is that Google is going to keep innovating, and it is going to keep aiming to increase the quality of search results. Expect further changes in years to come as Google seeks to solidify itself and remain top dog.
Be extra careful with anything you publish on your site. If it is a copy-and-paste job, then you risk a ban. If you are full of links that seem irrelevant, you will be banned. Low quality content can bring your site at risk of being banned. Google’s algorithm is turning into an editor which expects high-quality content if it is going to be giving front-page space on its search engine. So, keep the editor happy with clean, well-written, and interesting prose; connect with a professional SEO company, and watch your stock rise.
The post How Panda and Penguin Algorithms Negatively Affect Your Website appeared first on SEO Chat.
Source: SEO Chat | How Panda and Penguin Algorithms Negatively Affect Your Website | 20 Jul 2014, 3:25 pm