Link Building

Jayson DeMers

How to Use Competitors to Your Advantage in SEO

But what if you could use your competitors to your advantage in SEO, rather than letting them climb over you?...

Jayson DeMers

7 Strategic Decisions You'll Need to Make for Your Link Building Campaign

Link building is one of the most effective ways to improve your rankings in search engines, passing authority to your domain and making your site seem more trustworthy to Google. ...

Jayson DeMers

7 Types of Blog Posts That Earn The Most Inbound Links

These seven types of content carry the potential to attract inbound links more than their counterparts....

Mike Moran

Enterprise marketers must tightly choose the focus of their website

Are you responsible for a big company's digital marketing? You might not be the CMO, however, so that whole website isn't your problem. You are only responsible for a small piece -- maybe one product line. Or a single country. Or maybe a product line within a single country. Maybe your responsibility is even narrower than that. But do you actually know which pages on the website are your problem? Often I find people aren't exactly sure....

Jayson DeMers

5 Link Building Tactics to Avoid (and Modern Alternatives)

Few SEO strategies have changed as dramatically or as consistently as link building. Despite some occasional claims to the contrary, link building is still a necessary element if you want to earn any significant rankings in search engines....

Chris Warden

Backlinks Aren't Dead - The Way You're Building Them Is

Chris Warden, of Spread Effect, is back to discuss your SEO and link bulding strategy. The death of the backlink has been greatly exaggerated. It often feels like SEOs from all over the world are running around with tinfoil hats while proclaiming that their backlinking efforts not only aren't working, but they're getting themselves, and their clients penalized....

Brian Dean

How to Get More Links From Every Piece of Content That You Publish

Last month I attended Distilled's SearchLove conference in Boston.The speaker list was a who's who of SEO pros, like Neil Patel and Rand Fishkin...But there was one speaker I'd never head of in my life: Abby Covert. The reason I hadn't heard of her? She wasn't in the SEO field (gasp!).Why would the Distilled team invite someone who didn't have a clue about link building or canonical URLs to an SEO conference?Because she knew something most SEOs don't: how to create a stellar user experience for users....

Chris Warden

Your Guide to Local SEO 2013

"What is Local SEO? Why is it important? What can it do for my business?" This guide will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Analytics and Tracking"

"What is Local SEO? How do register analytics? How do I track my traffic sources? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors.......

Nick Stamoulis

Is it a Good Link or Not?

At the end of the day, the best way to tell if a link is "good" or not is to ask yourself if you would ever link to that site. If you're not willing to link out why on Earth would you want them to link in!...

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Citations & Linking"

"What is Local SEO? How do use "links" to my advantage? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Brian Dean

4 Untapped Link Building Opportunities for Startups

If you're like most start ups, link building is at the bottom of your overflowing to-do list. Fortunately, you don't need a full-time hire or a pricey SEO firm to bring your site the search engine traffic it needs to thrive. In fact, you only need to set aside a few hours of work per month to take advantage of these these quick and dirty link building opportunities....

Brian Dean

3 Twists That Take Traditional Link Building Strategies To The Next Level

When it comes to building links......you've probably heard it all.That's why I'm not going to show you any "secret" or "underground" link building strategies today.But what I will do is teach you how to take tried-and-true link building techniques -- like guest posting and broken link building -- into hyperdrive.In short, you'll learn how to get more links with less work....

Nick Stamoulis

4 Tips for Getting into the Right Link Building Mindset

Over the years I've found that's it easy enough to explain to someone what they should do with their link building campaign--the types of links they're looking for, how to build a 12 month strategy, how to evaluate the quality of a link and so forth--but where a lot of site owners and marketing managers get hung up isn't with the actual building of links, it's usually because of the attitude and mindset they have when they start their link building campaign. Getting into the right mindset before you even build you first link is critical. Here are four things...

Nick Stamoulis

How Much Longer Will Your "Easy" Link Building Tactics Really Work?

I know that it's very easy to get tempted to invest in some of those "easy" link building tactics because, after all, if it worked for that guy and he's getting away with it why can't I, right? But in my experience those sites that "get away with it" tend to be the exceptions, not the rule. In my opinion it's not a question of will those guys get caught; it's really only a matter of when....

Nick Stamoulis

When Is Link Worth More Than a Link?

I think a lot of site owners are leaving valuable SEO and brand building opportunities on the table because they are still looking at a link as just a link, but in reality the right link can be worth so much more....

Mike Fleming

True Professions of an Inbound Marketer

A few years ago, I went ahead and got myself a nice liberal arts education.  You know, the kind that's supposed to "prepare you for the real world" by affording you the opportunity to take courses in communications, science, budgeting, psychology, etc.  I must say that it's a good thing too, considering I landed in the profession that I did.  I was recently working on something and feeling a bit "stretched" out of my comfort zone when I realized just how many hats inbound marketers are called to wear throughout the daily trappings of their careers....

Nick Stamoulis

Look Outside Your Niche for Link Building Opportunities

No niche has an infinite amount of link building opportunities so sooner or later you're going to have to take a step or two outside of your vertical and get a little creative with your link building....

Nick Stamoulis

Why Aren't My Competitors In Trouble for Their "Bad" Links?

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year you've undoubtedly heard more about the Google Penguin update than you ever wanted to and how it was designed to target sites that were guilty of web spam tactics and those that had shoddy link profiles. But I've heard from more than one client and numerous prospects over the last year that their competition (who they felt was in flagrant violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines) wasn't getting whacked by Penguin at all. Why were some sites getting away with having bad links and others were getting caught?...

Nick Stamoulis

Google's Disavow Link Tool is Not a Reset Button for Your Link Profile

Google recently introduced a new tool to disavow links and many site owners (especially those who were impacted by Penguin) jumped for joy. I have to admit that I am also really excited at the prospect of being able to tell Google "hey, I didn't build/don't want this link, please don't consider it when ranking my site." So the disavow link tool should be a godsend to websites of all shapes and sizes, as well as SEO providers, right? Not necessarily....

Dave Cosper

Google+ Local: Competing for Visibility

Google's shift to Google+ Local has been indicative of a more democratized local algorithm. Further evidence is Google Map Maker being increasingly relied on as the back-end for Google+ Local. Looking ahead, edits/updates/reporting will likely be wholly integrated into Google+ Local dashboard with Map Maker serving as the back-end "mapper-driven" verification tool....

Robert Clough

Learn from the Link Building Master

Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing has posted his interview with link building expert Eric Ward. Read it to find out what his favorite link building tools are or what link building tactic is headed for a smack down from Google....

Nick Stamoulis

Links Can Vanish; Will Your Portfolio Disappear with It?

The "new and improved" Digg launched the other week. And while I'm not going to get into the pros and cons of the new design, one very important thing to mention is that all the old links from Digg's past, approximately 14 million of them, are gone. I had been wondering for several weeks in the time leading up the Digg revamp what was going to happen to those old links and now we know. While I can hope that they'll be "reinstated" down the road, the loss of 14 million links (essentially overnight) got me thinking--what would happen if...

Nick Stamoulis

How Many Inbound Links Should You Build Each Month?

When it comes to link building it's hard to give an exact number of how many inbound links in a given time period is the "right" amount....

Nick Stamoulis

Don't Just Build Links, Become a Thought Leader

The content you are creating for your SEO, content marketing and social media marketing campaigns can serve a much greater purpose than just link building---it can turn your brand into a thought leader....

Stoney deGeyter

You're Not an SEO Unless You Read This Post

There are hundreds of "parts" that can play a role in an effective optimization campaign. Google looks at more than 200 "signals" alone, each with varying degrees of value and necessity. Most people who start out doing SEO soon realize there is a lot to keep up with, and it's better passed on to more capable hands.

Stoney deGeyter

Good SEO Starts with Smart Purchasing Decisions

When it comes to purchasing an SEO or SEM strategy for your online business, there are two things to consider: How many hours does it take to meet your expectations, and how much are you willing to pay for each hour that goes into meeting those expectations?

Stoney deGeyter

15 Questions That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO Forever

There are a lot of factors that go into a successful SEO Campaign. There is content, keywords, titles, descriptions, usability, architecture, and link building. All of these play a significant role and cannot be ignored. But, to narrow this down into a single thing that is THE most important element to make a campaign successful is tough. We will start here with 5 of the 15 questions to help break it down.

Stone Reuning

5 Ways you Can Use Blog Comments to Obtain Organic Links

If you run a blog, you no doubt see many comments that have no use whatsoever. They're simply spammers out there fishing for links. While it may seem counter intuitive though, you can obtain strong organic links by commenting on other people's blogs. Continue reading for 5 ways you can get useful links through commenting on blogs. ...

Stoney deGeyter

Silos, Architecture, and Linking...Oh My!

The optimal time to start consulting with the SEO on a new website is at the very beginning. And, I mean the VERY beginning... when the website is just a sparkle in it's dreamer's eye.

Mike Moran

Is it time to reassess your linking strategy?

I wrote a post in this space over a year ago that advised small businesses on how to attract links to their Web sites. In that article, I offered the somewhat contrarian advice that spending lots of time begging sites to link to you might be time better spent building content that entices them to do the same thing, but without you having to ask....

Stone Reuning

A Brief Intro to Link Building for Small Business Owners

Linking is the mechanism that connects all the pages on the Internet. You've got links throughout your web site to let people navigate their way around your own site. You may have links going out to other web sites that you think will be useful for your visitors. And hopefully you have links coming into your web site from independent sources.

Dave Cosper

Google Places Now Allows Custom Links to be Displayed in Profiles

Google has begun to allow custom links to be added to a business's profile in Google Places. Up until now, only a single website link was permitted. Google's initial stance was this single link provided should be the best online representation of that company....

Garrett French

Link Building with Content: 29 Queries for Content-Based Link Builders

Content-based link building is all about RELATIONSHIPS. In particular, blogger and media relationships. Whether you're writing guest posts for publication on leading industry sites or conducting massive group interviews and surveys you need to know ALL the bloggers and other media creators in your industry....

Stoney deGeyter

SEO 101 - Part 16: Everything You Need to Know About Building Links

There are a lot of different approaches to building links. Like most things, quick-fix solutions rarely ever provide excellent long-term value. That's not to say quick fix solutions aren't sometimes needed or warranted, but they rarely make a good long-term investment.

Stoney deGeyter

SEO 101 - Part 15: Everything You Need to Know About Linking

Links come in all different shapes and sizes. Some good, some bad, some are just there. There are a lot of things to consider when looking at the value of the link. Here we'll look at how links between two sites are valued.

Stoney deGeyter

SEO 101 - Part 14: Everything You Need to Know About Link Anatomy

Over the years what gets analyzed as part of the link has changed in order to provide better search results to web users. Things have come a long way since then. Today's link analysis factors are far more complex.

Sage Lewis

Matt Cutts Calling for Link Spam Reports

Matt Cutts has recently put out a post calling for us all to turn in link spam. Learn what he and Google are up to. This has interesting implications for you to consider....

Charles Lumpkin

How to Get Links From .edu Domains Using the Skew Method

In this video, Charles Lumpkin shares an easy and practical way to get links from valuable .edu domains....

Aditya Mahesh

A Guide to Pitching Bloggers

From an SEO standpoint, the blogosphere is a goldmine. It provides the opportunity for marketers to build targeted natural "in-content" links which are not only great for increasing search engine rankings, but also can drive significant amounts of targeted traffic...

Eric Brown

Can You Manage 5000 Blogs a Day

There is a product that has launched recently, which is aimed currently at the multifamily, apartment owner/operator space, but may well also extend into additional industries, such as Travel, Hotels, Wine and the like, that is worth taking a look at. I expect that some of the readers and followers of this blog may be skeptical, but I am interested in hearing your feedback....

Manoj Jasra

Matt Cutts on Directory/Paid Links

Google's Webmaster Central team has started an excellent YouTube channel and in this week's video Matt Cutts Answers: "Will Google consider Yahoo! Directory and BOTW as source of paid links? If no, why is this different from another site that sell links....

Diane Aull

Go Link Yourself!

Why do webmasters and site owners spend so much time obsessing over external links, and so little time even thinking about their internal site navigation?...

Stoney deGeyter

Q&A: A Few Things You Need to Know About Links

Some of the best link building strategies you can employ are those involved in building quality content and improving your site for your visitors. These things alone can do wonders in getting people to link to you.

Diane Aull

Taking my Pet Peeves for a Walk in Linking Park

A mini-rant on the subjects of linking, the game of "telephone" and site optimization techniques....

Mike Moran

How do I get links to my Web site?

The owner of a Web site that sells ski and snowboard equipment contacted me recently with a burning question, "How do I get links to my Web site?" His e-mail was filled with lots of geeky search jargon about reciprocal links and PageRank effects--enough that I suspected I wasn't dealing with someone clueless about search marketing. Instead, I think this business owner had done a lot of research on search marketing and was asking me about what he'd been told. He was gearing up for a big link campaign, targeting ski resorts and any other place he could find. I...

Debra Mastaler

Guilty (in a good way) By Link Association

If you're looking for ways to increase the visibility of your small business and build links, submitting videos to your local government cable channel may be an option.  Local cable as well as network television affiliates look for content filler at certain times.  Here's a couple of ways you may be able to take advantage of those needs and expand the reach of your small business!...

Jennifer Laycock

Understanding Site Wide Links and Social Media Links

Debra Mastaler has a great post over at Search Engine Land today that follows up on some questions posed at the Link Building Bootcamp at last week's SMX East conference. Debra fielded questions about both side wide links and the "quick links" that sometimes come with exposure on social media sites like Digg.

Jennifer Laycock

The Easiest Links You'll Ever Get for Your Link Building Campaign

Anyone who has ever spent time on a link building campaign knows how much work it is to create content, build a pitch list and contact people to see about getting the link. Nonetheless, links are essential currency in the land of search engine optimization. I'm willing to bet if you had a chance to pick up links without much more than a friendly email you'd jump on it, right?

David Wallace

Link Building - SBM Unleashed

Need links? Of course you do! In order to rank well and successfully promote your online business, you need an effective link building program as part of your over-all SEO strategy. Link guru Debra O'Neil Mastaler of Alliance Link walks attendees through the world of links. She reveals why search engines rely so heavily on links, where to find links and why a good link can send sales through the roof....

Diane Aull

Let Your Thank You's Do Double Duty

When a customer orders from you, does your confirmation email just say thank you? Did you know those emails can also help increase sales, get you more blog readers or help you improve your products and services? Here's how to make your thank-you's do double duty....

Bill Hartzer

6 Unique Ways to Get Instant Links to Your Site

It seems as though everyone wants something done quickly, or nearly instantly. We want success quickly. We want to be successful online and we want to get links to our web sites quickly. We want traffic to our web sites quickly.

Debra Mastaler

I'll Take Links And 11 Gold Medals Please

Do you do any link building planning?  Planning as in mapping out locations you want to get links from and developing strategies around upcoming events? If you're not, you may want to take a look at what one company has done to capitalize on anticipation.  The goodwill, media attention and inbound links they generated from one small commercial is priceless and worth it's weight in gold....

Sage Lewis

Earn Your Links!

Sage responds to a link exchange request from SEOdepth.com. He walks you through the process of understanding why these emails are generally spam. After showing that his link would not even appear on the SEOdepth website but on a completely different custom software development site, Sage warns people to be wary of who they are linking to, and he encourages these link spammers to at least have something of value to offer. Earn your links!...

Manoj Jasra

Interview: Michael Gray on Link Building and SEO Intervention

Search Engine Strategies (SES) San Jose is less than a month away and is always one of the biggest and most popular search marketing conferences all year. One of the speakers that will be featured at SES San Jose includes Michael Gray, President of Atlas Web Service. I had a chance to catch up with Michael to chat with him about a few of the topics he will be speaking on at SES San Jose, link building and SEO Rehab & Intervention...

Debra Mastaler

Grab Your Profile Link Before Some Jerk Does

Online, reputation is everything. It drives you professionally, personally and algorithmically. Have a good reputation and your efforts will be rewarded through growth and customer loyalty.  Develop a bad one and you'll spend precious time and resources trying to recover lost market share. While it's impossible to monitor every venue open to public opinion, you can work to protect your reputation by registering your known brand/name with as many social media, forums, and discussion sites as you can, especially the popular ones in your niche....

Stoney deGeyter

Directory Links = Paid Links. Or do they?

One of the areas of confusion that many have regarding paid links is knowing when a paid link is really a paid link, and when is a paid link penalized. in their attempt to eliminate all forms of paid links from affecting their natural algorithmic search results Google has left one giant loophole in the paid link witch hunt: paid directory links.

Jennifer Laycock

There's No Shortcut for Link Building: A Case for Relationship Building

When it comes to building links and generating coverage of your web site and products online, there's a skill that often gets overlooked. Relationship building gets a lot of lip service these days, but I sometimes wonder how many small businesses really, truly understand how much work goes into it. Relationships go beyond reading a single blog post or scanning a Facebook page...it means investing time in someone.

Scott Allen

SEO is a Fusion of Relevance and Authority

With all the hot topics in SEO these days, it's easy for newcomers to miss out on the basics, or for those more experienced to forget about them. As long as there is a need for search engine optimization, the core elements will always be Relevance and Authority, and it's important for us to understand what these mean.

Jennifer Laycock

Deep Links: Web Users Want What They Want and They Want it Now!

One of the most common mistakes I see being made by folks who are new to search engine optimization is a lack of focus on attracting deep links. These people will work hard to gain new links to their sites by submitting to directories, joining organizations and filling out profiles on social networks, but they often fail to focus on getting good quality links to the inner pages of their web sites. But new data released by Jacob Nielsen shows just how important those deep links are.

Mike Moran

More Journalism, Less Marketing

I read a recent interview with marketing guru Guy Kawasaki by Lee Odden, where he said he didn't know anything about search marketing except to "write good stuff." It sounded almost apologetic, but you should know that producing content that people want to spend time with is, in fact, the most important part of search marketing. And small businesses will be happy to know that it doesn't cost much more for lousy content than it does for good stuff—although it does take more talent and more time. So, what is a small business to do about creating good content? My...

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Beat Competitors With Better SEO And Backlinks

This week we are taking a look at GolfAsian.com, an agency that plans golf vacations in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. With a well-organized website and great customer service, they are poised to become a leader in the golf vacation industry - with a few website tweaks and online marketing strategies....

Debra Mastaler

Bee's Do It. NonProfits Do It. Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Link Love

There are parallels between traditional linking and social media promotion. While I agree the two entities are different animals and call for seperate strategies, the bottom line is the same for both... to increase traffic and inbound links. With some people holding SEO to the fire for exploiting social media, I thought it might be interesting to focus on those parallels and look for common ground....

Scott Allen

What We Can Learn About Link Building from the TV Show Friends

Recently, I had an epiphany, and realized that there is a lot you can learn about link building from the TV show Friends. I'm sure you're asking, "What exactly does a TV show have to do with search engine marketing?" Well, a lot more than you might think....

Debra Mastaler

Dull, Boring And Cheap Means No Links For You

Have you tried to hire an SEO professional or a link builder and been turned down repeatedly? Is your site not performing to your expectations? Do you like the color beige? If you answered yes to any of these questions read on....

David Wallace

SBM Unleashed: Link Building

Need links? Of course you do! In order to rank well and successfully promote your online business, you need an effective link building program as part of your over-all SEO strategy. Link guru Debra O'Neil Mastaler, Owner of Alliance Link walks attendees through the world of links. Find out why search engines rely so heavily on links, where to find links and why a good link can send sales through the roof....

Jennifer Laycock

Trying to Get a Handle on Building Links?

If so, Adam Audette has you covered. He has put together an exceptional (and incredibly comprehensive) post called "The Fundamentals of Link Building" over at his blog. The post is about a month old, but if you haven't already spotted it, it's well worth a read. Adam breaks link building down by topic and includes dozens of links to tools and resources aimed at helping you through the process.

Debra Mastaler

Use What's In Front Of You To Attract Links

If you have an offline store supporting an online presence or even if you exist only online, it makes sense to expose your URL's and special promotions at every opportunity. Doing so helps to build credibility and natural inbound links.

Sage Lewis

Video: Stoney deGeyter, Link Baiter Extraordinaire!

Professional and comedic props go to Stoney deGeyter of Pole Position Marketing this week for his article "The Anatomy of a 12-Month Link Baiting Campaign." Stoney clearly defines his step-by-step process for becoming a "household name" over the span of a year. His humor and bares all attitude make the article both amusing and informative....

Jennifer Laycock

Missed the Early Bird Price on Unleashed? No Worries!

No doubt some of you looked at your calendars last week and realized you'd missed the $850 early bird price for our upcoming Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Houston. Don't sweat it, we've got you covered. We've spent the last six months building the perfect conference for you. We know how busy you are. Do you think we'd let you miss out on this great show just because you forget to set an alert on your calendar?

Stoney deGeyter

Think Beyond The Link: How Exposure Building Trumps Link Building

Getting links is great, but as search marketers we should be looking far beyond that. We should not be so much as trying to get other websites to link to us (that's certainly a welcome result) but we should instead be working on getting exposure, in whatever format that comes in.

Stoney deGeyter

The Anatomy of a 12-Month Link Baiting Campaign

Last February (2007), I had a diabolical plan to become a household name in the SEO community. Here I was, a guy who has been in SEO for almost ten years and remained a relative unknown. Sure, I made a few friends here and there and have been slowly building my reputation, but who would of thought 12 months ago that I would be able to snag an interview with one of the biggest names in the SEO. And that's not me interviewing the big name, mind you... that's the big name interviewing me!

Sage Lewis

Video: Ask and Ye Shall Receive, Except on Flickr

This week's "In the News" brings disappointment to the SEO world as Flickr goes Nofollow with its links, preventing the use of Flickr for personal link gain. Ask.com uses Compete to add new pop up stats when you roll over the binoculars on their website, and now you can ward away boredom by watching other peoples' lives at Play.blogger.com....

Mack Collier

The Art of Creating a Post That Draws Traffic and Links to Your Blog

Most, if not every blogger, wants to write posts that are popular with their readers, and other bloggers. And while there are no foolproof ways to guarantee that others will be interested in what you write, there are several things you can do to greatly improve your chances that others will talk about, and link to your posts.

David Wallace

Do Directory Submissions Still Hold Any Value?

Once upon a time directories provided value to webmasters who were either looking to get new sites indexed or increase their site's link popularity or both. Now I am seeing a trend where directories are not as helpful in these two areas as they once were. Add to that the rising costs of submission fees and it is easy to see why the small business owner should approach directory submissions very carefully....

Mack Collier

How to Write Blog Posts That Will Grow Your Readership, and Your Business

When a business starts blogging, there is usually a huge temptation to use this newly-minted blog as a tool to directly promotion the business and its products and services. Unfortunately, this is the quickest way to guarantee that your blog will be totally useless and irrelevant to visitors. So what should your blog focus on? Providing value to your readers, of course!

Jennifer Laycock

Understanding the Value of a Link

With all the talk about link these days, it's no wonder folks get confused about what types of links they should go after. From reciprocal links to directories to the Google nofollow controversy, it's getting tough for the average web site owners to know what makes up a solid link building plan. With that in mind, Debra Mastaler offers up a great post at Search Engine Land called "There's No Such Thing as a Worthless Link."

Jennifer Laycock

Five Link Building Challenges to Overcome

Last year brought about quite shake-up to the way many sites were used to building links. Google's decision to take on link buyers left quite a few folks feeling a little paranoid about both seeking links and linking out. With that in mind, Justilien Gaspard tackles the Top 5 SEO and Link Building Challenges for 2008 in a column at Search Engine Watch today.

Jennifer Laycock

Search Marketing Bootcamp: How To Tell if a Link is NoFollowed

We've seen a couple of posts popping up in our Small Business Ideas forums asking if links from a specific site are being nofollowed or not. With that in mind, I thought a quick tutorial on how to find out if a link is nofollowed might be handy for some of our readers.

Jennifer Laycock

Get Up to Speed on the Paid Links Debate

Last fall, the paid links debate was raging across the Internet as nearly every industry blog and forum focused in on what Google was demanding and how it would impact everyone's bottom line. I wrote a five part series on the nofollow controversy to bring small business owners up to speed. There's been even more news since then, so you may want to check out an excellent recap by Vanessa Fox over at Search Engine Land.

Sage Lewis

Video: Building Links by Making Videos

While Hollywood writers strike you can jump into the void and create your own original content to build links and increase awareness of your company.

Jennifer Laycock

When Social Networks Go Senile

With social media sites coming online at a rate of eleventy billion a minute, it's only a matter of time before we start to see some...well, interesting communities popping up. So what would happen if you not only got a bunch of senior citizens together (and I don't mean the "just turned 60 club," I mean the 80+ club) and built a Facebook type social networking site? And what if those seniors had a great sense of humor?

Debra Mastaler

Building Links By Making Videos

According to a recent survey, people are planning to turn to the Internet for content as a way to keep themselves entertained during the writers strike. If there was ever a time to create a library of videos and publicize the heck out of them as a way to attract more inbound links, it's now!

Debra Mastaler

Here's Why I Won't Quit My Link Building Job

Are you thinking about outsourcing your link building work or do you prefer to keep everything in-house? There's been a lot of discussion on this issue lately, let's take a look at the pro's and con's of each.

Jennifer Laycock

Linking Out: What's In It For Me?

I've had a few conversations in the last few weeks from folks who want to build more incoming links but seem to be having trouble getting a positive response to link requests. While I'm a big fan of linking out and encourage site owners to link out generously to relevant resources, it's important to understand few sites will link simply because you ask them to. Wiep Knol calls this type of link building "push link marketing" and offers up a very simple piece of advice on how to turn those requests into links.

Sage Lewis

Video: Buying Links Gets Riskier

If you are running a link building campaign that includes purchasing paid links, Sage has provided some insight into why this is becoming more and more risky.

Jennifer Laycock

Google Finally Spells Out Their Paid Link Policy Crystal Clear

I'm just returning from a well-earned, extra-long holiday weekend away from the computer, so I managed to miss Google's sneaky little update to their webmaster guidelines late last week. Thankfully, Search Rank's David Wallace was on the ball as usual and got a great post up noting the change. While the new guidelines did include mention of the nofollow tag if you went hunting for it, the new ones do a pretty good job of explaining exactly what Google expects from site owners who buy or sell links.

Jennifer Laycock

What the Heck is Reputation Link Bait?

Debra Mastaler knows and she's more than happy to tell you. Her latest column on link building over at Search Engine Land is a gold mine of information for anyone having a hard time building links a really competitive niche. Always ahead of the curve, Debra looks beyond the standard link bait and aims to help site owners learn the value of using a public relations style campaign as a link driver.

Debra Mastaler

Can I Get You To Tattoo My Company On Your...

How well do you know your customers and what makes them tick? Well enough to know they'll permanently tattoo your logo on themselves in exchange for your products? Do you know which hot trends to take advantage of to promote your business? What does this have to do with building links anyway? Everything...

Jennifer Laycock

Designing the Perfect Small Business Marketing Conference (Houston, Texas 2008)

In the last five years, I've attended dozens of marketing conferences, events and seminars. During each of those shows, I've spent time talking to the small business owners who've come to try and learn a little more about how to market their business online. Time and time again, the message I hear is the same. "The information is incredible, but I have no idea where to start!" It was that line that caused Robert and I to sit down several months ago and brainstorm all the things we'd do if we were planning a marketing conference for small business owners. It was Stoney deGeyter who said "so why don't you do it?"

Jennifer Laycock

Floundering in Blog Obscurity? Join the Conversation!

One of the most common complaints I hear from small businesses who have launched blogs is how difficult it can be to get on the radar. After all, it doesn't matter how great your content is if no one can find it. One of the best ways to build up your reputation in this situation is to leave quality comments on other blogs. Caroline Middlebrook offers up another fantastic post this week discussing this very topic.

Robert Clough

Composing the Perfect Letter of Surrender

Matt McGee made a post on Sphinn asking us, and other publishers, to be open with our decision making process and to share what we planned to do regarding Google's nofollow stance. I think Matt had a good idea and being open with our decisions may help other publishers. So I've decided to publish some of our IM conversations to provide insight into where we stand.

Debra Mastaler

A Step by Step Plan on How to Market Your Site on Facebook

If you've heard about Facebook and understand it can help grow your business but aren't sure how to get started, read on. This article is a step-by-step outline on how to market yourself on Facebook.

Debra Mastaler

Ramblings of a Directory Groupie & Some Directory Freebies

Using directories in your link building efforts is still a viable option from several standpoints. Here's my thoughts on the subject plus a roster of the directories we use and a list of discount promotion codes. Get some links, save some money. Cool.

Jennifer Laycock

A Little Ditty on the Google Fiasco

No matter how hard I try, I couldn't get the first two lines of this song out of my head this past week. Figuring it was easier to give in than to fight it (how ironic) I had to sit down long enough to finish it off. Guess this will date me as a child of the eighties.

Robert Clough

Search Engine Guide Publisher Responds to PageRank Drop

Jill Whalen's article, Google's Paid-link Smack in the Face, presents a "get things back on the right track" opportunity for me because of the things she said about Search Engine Guide. Opinion or not, when someone with Jill's stature makes incorrect negative comments that portray our site and advertisers in a poor light, it's important to respond in order to sort opinion from fact.

Jill Whalen

Google's Paid-link Smack in the Face

The SEO world is abuzz today with Google's smack in the face to a number of websites that are selling obviously paid-for, keyword-rich text links. The gist of it is that the toolbar PageRank number has been reduced by a couple of points (or more) for many websites.

Jennifer Laycock

Anyone Have Some Boots I Could Borrow?

I spent the morning gingerly picking my way through a minefield of guk. The mess was everywhere. It was unavoidable. It was gross. Then the family and I came home from the pumpkin patch and I logged on to find the exact same type of mess waiting for me online. I'll say one thing for Google...they sure manage to keep folks talking about them.

Jennifer Laycock

Part Five - NoFollow is for Blog Spam...no Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings

After four pretty lengthy articles covering the history of nofollow and the issues at play in Google's paid link crusade, I'll be wrapping the series up today. In part five, I'll take a look at what's likely to happen if Google continues on their current course and why I believe it could make the Internet a worse place for small business owners.

Jennifer Laycock

Part Four - NoFollow is for Blog Spam...no Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings

In the first article in this series I outlined the history of the nofollow tag. In the second article, I took a look at some of the complex issues in the "are paid links ok or are they evil?" argument. In part three I explored the options Google has in dealing with this problem and why I disagree with the route they've chosen. Today, I'm going to look at why I'm opposed to putting nofollow in place, why "opinions" are fair game for marketing and what I think Google may be after with this whole crusade.

Jennifer Laycock

Part Three - NoFollow is for Blog Spam...no Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings

In the first article in this series I outlined the history of the nofollow tag. In the second article, I took a look at some of the complex issues in the "are paid links ok or are they evil?" argument. Today I'll explore the options Google has in dealing with this problem and will explain why I think they're taking the wrong route.

Jennifer Laycock

NoFollow is for Blog Spam...no Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings - Part Two

In the first article in this series I outlined the history of the nofollow tag and it's progression from spam fighting tactic to the new "necessity" if you'd like to stay in Google's good graces. In this article, I'll take a look at whether or not Google's new policies will be enforced across the board or why the fact that they "warned us" doesn't matter in the slightest.

Jennifer Laycock

Building Relationships Works for the Media Too!

More than a year ago I started pushing the idea that link building is relationship building. It's since become a cornerstone of my small business marketing advice. After all, small business has almost always been about networking and word of mouth marketing. It only makes sense to carry those concepts over to the web. Unfortunately, many small businesses limit their relationship building to business associates and social networking communities. Duct Tape Marketing's John Jantsch explained over the weekend why relationship building should also extend to the media.

Jennifer Laycock

Michael Gray on Link Baiting, Digg and the Paid Search Debate

If you aren't already reading Graywolf's SEO Blog, you need to add it to your feed reader. One of the smartest (and most quotable) folks in the search marketing industry, Michael Gray has been offering up a ton of excellent insight lately. In fact, there's a great interview with Michael covering a range of advanced linking strategies over at Link Juicy right now.

Jennifer Laycock

Michael Gray on Link Baiting, Digg and the Paid Search Debate

If you aren't already reading Graywolf's SEO Blog, you need to add it to your feed reader. One of the smartest (and most quotable) folks in the search marketing industry, Michael Gray has been offering up a ton of excellent insight lately. In fact, there's a great interview with Michael covering a range of advanced linking strategies over at Link Juicy right now.

Jennifer Laycock

NoFollow is for Blog Spam...no Paid Text Links, wait...Paid Ads...Aww Heck, Just Stop Linking and Let Calacanis Decide the Rankings - Part One

My daughter has a shirt that read "it seemed like a good idea at the time." I sort of wish they made it in larger sizes. I can't help but think it'd be a nice Christmas gift for the team at Google. After all, I'm hard pressed to believe that phrase hasn't popped into the conversation at least once or twice in the last year as their engineers sit around debating their algorithm and the impact of paid links.

Jennifer Laycock

Green is the New Black (We Said Go Niche, Right?)

With everyone jumping on the bandwagon of niche marketing, finding the topics folks are most interested in BEFORE the rest of the world knows it is key. Matt McGee over at Small Business SEM points out what many social media marketers are already learning. Green (environmentally friendly) is the new black.

Jennifer Laycock

You! With the Link! Quit Being so Darn Stingy!

I honestly thought the internet was moving past this, but I guess I'm wrong. Wendy Piersall blogs this week about web site owners who refuse to link out to any site with a low Google PageRank. Apart from the silliness of trying to hoard your link power for yourself, Wendy points out that a site's current PageRank isn't reflective of it's future PageRank. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Stoney deGeyter

Reciprocal Links Are (Still) Not Dead

A while back there was quite a bit of scare mongering going around the SEO industry about how reciprocal links were dead. I had a potential client once tell me that so-and-so-big-name-in-the-SEO-industry told them that reciprocal links were dead. I've said this before and I'll say it here again. There is nothing wrong with reciprocal links.

Jennifer Laycock

Excellent Round-up of Social Bookmarking Lists

Yesterday, I linked to a post by Chris Winfield that offered up some advice on finding the best social bookmarking and social news sites for your small business. In the comments, a reader asked where they could find a list of social media sites. As it turns out, there's a great post over at Cornwall SEO that includes more than a dozen social media lists, ordered by how recently they were updated.

Debra Mastaler

How To Pitch Bloggers and Journalists

Do you want to get your link embedded press release published on influential blogs? Then read on...

Jennifer Laycock

Finding the Right Social News and Bookmarking Sites

More and more small business owners are beginning to realize sites like Digg and StumbleUpon are not the only (or even best) game in town when it comes to social bookmarking and social news sites. In fact, I've written post after post after post about how overrated Digg is when it comes to marketing options for the average small business owner. That's why I was pleased to see Chris Winfield's social media column at Search Engine Land today.

Jennifer Laycock

A Link Building Checklist

While it can be a great idea to hire your link building out to someone who understands this type of marketing, the fact remains that most small businesses can do quite a bit of good quality link building on their own. In fact, link guru Debra Mastaler has put together a fantastic blog post that includes a monster list of link building tactics you can do on your own.

Jennifer Laycock

To Score a Link, Offer Something of Value

Despite years and years of writing and blogging about the need to offer something of value in return for a link, people still don't get it. In the past week, my inbox has been absolutely slammed with link exchange requests and link schemes. Not a single one of the has offered me anything in return, not even good content. They all just want me to link to them. On the other hand, Stoney deGeyter scored himself a link to his online marketing blog by getting creative.

Debra Mastaler

Controlling Damage on Wikipedia

Marketing Sherpa recently released the second half of its two-part series on how to get your company listed on Wikipedia. This special report focuses on damage control and what you can do when incorrect information is added about your company....

Diane Aull

All I Need To Know About Link Building I Learned From Dr. Spock

By the way, that's Dr. Spock, the baby expert, not Mr. Spock, the Star Trek Vulcan. See, it occurred to me recently that our websites are often very much like our children. (I know I've sometimes referred to my sites as "my babies".) The issues we face with our children and our "web babies" are often more pretty similar -- and so are the solutions. So what's the best way to deal with an unpopularity problem?

Jennifer Laycock

Social Bookmarking: Skip Digg and Go Niche

Aaron over at AjaxNinja has a great post this week exploring why niche social media sites are better than Digg when it comes to driving traffic and conversions to most web sites. While I've never been much of a Digg fan myself, (it's like news for the angry ADHD techie) I see true value in niche, topical social bookmarking sites. The trick is, finding the audience that best fits your content.

Jennifer Laycock

Another Perspective on the Google Paid Link Controversy

Yesterday, I wrote about my frustration with Google's crusade against paid links. While I pointed out some of the problems I see with Google's plans, I didn't go into near as much detail as I would have liked to. Thankfully, Dan Thies also put together an article on this topic yesterday and he does an excellent job of examining the FTC related issues at play in the paid link debate on his SEO Fast Start blog.

Jennifer Laycock

The Idiocy of Google's Paid Link Crusade

While the talk about paid links has been going on for quite a while now, it started reaching a fevered pitch during Search Engine Strategies San Jose last month. The show featured a heated session titled "Are Paid Links Evil?" that has generated a ton of new discussion and speculation about how Google might crack down on paid links and how site owners should (or shouldn't) respond.

Jennifer Laycock

Debra Mastaler Serves up Some Appetizing Link Advice

Link building is one of the least understood areas of search engine marketing for small businesses. Site owners know they need to build links, but they often don't know how. Many turn to reciprocal links or article writing because it seems like an easy (yet annoying) way to build links. In reality, building links doesn't need to be difficult. It's often simply another creative form of marketing. That's the message Debra Mastaler aims to get across in an excellent interview with Aaron Wall of SEO Book.

Debra Mastaler

How to Get Your Company Listed on Wikipedia, Part I

With Wikipedia results dominating the search engines, webmasters are interesting in know more about this resource site and the opportunities it may offer. The good people at Marketing Sherpa have put together the first of a two part series on how to get a company listed on Wikipedia, it's a good read for anyone serious about becoming part of this online phenomenon.

Jennifer Laycock

Was Stephen Covey a Link Builder at Heart?

Probably not, but he sure seems to know the basic principles of solid link building. At least according to Debra Mastaler's latest "Link Week" column. Debra breaks down Covey's popular book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and explains how each habit can be applied to a solid link building strategy.

Debra Mastaler

Turn "Boring" Into Links Link Links

Link building is like anything else in life, if you approach it with blinders on you'll miss all the good stuff - and look pretty silly to boot. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box and take a risk even if you're in an industry that's not known for producing punchlines....

Diane Aull

Because That's Where the Customers Are

Are you overcomplicating things when it comes to promoting your online business? It's not as hard as you think. In fact, I believe it's really not that different from marketing a brick-and-mortar business. The key is to focus on where your prospective customers can be found....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Ten

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today, in the last part of this series, I'll look at the idea of capitalizing off of your competitor's failures....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Nine

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today we'll take a look marketing the unexpected....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Eight

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today we'll take a look at the need to be able to act quickly when it comes to link bait and viral marketing campaigns....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Seven

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today, we'll look at the need for scalability....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Six

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today I'll explore the idea of using other people's resources to help you spread the word about your product or your web site....

Debra Mastaler

Linking In A Real World

Trying to figure out the best and most lucrative linking strategy for your website isn't easy, some are better than others and some are best avoided. Over the next several weeks we'll take a look at both the traditional and more controversial linking tactics as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions about links. We'll also look at what the published search patents tell us about linking, discuss linking comments being made by the search engine reps, look at the linking tools available and ask a handful of industry experts to weight in on their topics of...

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Five

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today, I'm going to look at the issue of building relationships and why relationships are necessary to launching viral marketing and link baiting campaigns....

Debra Mastaler

The Quest for Authority Links.

No matter what type of link building you implement, securing relevant links from "authority" sites is the one variable all linking tactics share and recommend for success. If you're buying links, dangling linkbait, submitting to directories or swapping shrubbery, links from authority sites are considered the Holy Grail of linking and what everyone looks for....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Four

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today we'll find out how to use existing networks to make sure the word spreads to the right audience quickly....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Three

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today, I'll be helping you understand how to find and exploit motivating factors in order to get more people interested in your product or service....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Two

Today, I'll be talking about the need to make your campaign easy to spread. While the benefit of both viral and link baiting campaigns is that they tend to take off and spread on their own, it's still essential to make sure that you've put plans in place to help things spread....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part One

Two of the most popular buzz words in the online marketing realm right now are link baiting and viral marketing. These two tactics are a great way to build links and to build branding when constrained by small marketing budgets, but there are several things you need to remember when planning these types of campaigns....

Stoney deGeyter

Link Request Flattery

The problem with most link emails is that there is never any real effort involved in getting the links. Just some generic crap about how they "really liked your site!" Wow. That's awesome! When I was contacted about getting the manuscript I was flattered that somebody wanted me to read their book and blog about it. Flattery is effective....

Stoney deGeyter

The Googlebomb Conspiracy: The Truth is Out There (Somewhere)

It doesn't take much to get the SEO industry from driving straight to Kooksville with their conspiracy theories and predictions of doom and destruction. After Google blogged about their algorithm change to combat Googlebombing, some in the SEO community came up with the theory that this will allow people to Googlebomb other websites out of top positions. That's not going to happen....

Todd Mintz

How To Create Your Own Wikipedia Page

Many of you likely have tried to place your website link on a Wikipedia page. What most probably happened is a zealous Wikipedia editor likely removed your link very quickly because the prevailing view is that appending your external link to the bottom of a previously created page adds little to the community and likely only benefits you....

David Wallace

Directories: Love 'em or Leave 'em

I firmly believe that directories can be foundational for building link popularity and a very important reason why a web site owner should make sure they are included in them. It is a step in your marketing that you can easily control....

Scottie Claiborne

How Image Links Can Help Build a Better User and Search Experience

There are webmasters out there who believe that good design, usability, and SEO can't co-exist in the same site; that effective SEO will ruin usability or design elements....

Eric Ward

Link Popularity and the Myth of the Guestbook Link

The real question here is do search engines know about this scam yet, or do they count guestbook links as additional links for poplarity rankings?...

Scott Buresh

Building Link Popularity Improves Search Engine Ranking

A properly executed link building campaign will help boost your ranking with many search engines, but this is only part of the benefit. The quality sites that have agreed to link to you will also send you highly relevant traffic....

Kimberly Krause Berg

Warning!! Link Farm Ahead

Are you sick and tired of receiving "I just visited your website. I linked to it on this page. I would love it if you would link back to mine" emails? The gig is up....

Eric Ward

Linkability - Why do some sites have it while others don't?

I've found that most brand web sites fail to provide the type of content that engenders, inspires, or encourages other sites to link to them, or online editors to write about them. I call this concept 'linkability'. Some sites have a lot of it, others have very little....

Eric Ward

Build A Free Link Clipping Alert Service

Imagine this scenario: Anytime a new link to your site is found, you receive a private email alerting you to it and showing you the exact page where the link to you can be seen. Now imagine this fabulous service not only exists, but also is free. With a little ingenuity, you can create such a service on your own, right now, in five minutes....

Eric Ward

Linking Legalities...What You Need to Know

There have been several high profile cases where owners of one web site have sued or threatened to sue owners of another web site for linking to them. I know on first glance this sounds crazy, and to be honest, it *IS* crazy. After all, if links are illegal then every search engine, every directory, and every link list is illegal, and would have to be shut down....

Eric Ward

Potpourri of Linking Facts and Fiction

Here's a collection of linking related tid bits you should be aware of....

Detlev Johnson

Link Analysis Can Help (Or Harm) Your Site

The quality and number of Web sites that link to yours can influence its standing with the search engines. Why? Because they use link analysis to determine which sites get top ranking in their indexes. So how do you get your site plugged in? Here's what you need to know....

Eric Ward

A Technique for Selecting Sites for Link Requests

You know you should have more links pointing to your site, but you're not sure what the best approach is to pursue them. One of my favorite approaches is to use the search results for terms that are important for my site....

Eric Ward

Using Google to Identify High Quality Link Targets

Did you know you can use Google to identify the sites you need to have links from? Learn how to use Google to evaluate link targets for your site....

Eric Ward

Link popularity: The deeper the link the less it helps

Unless the links to your site exist on the first or second directory level of the linking site, they likely won't impact search engine rankings....

Eric Ward

Automated Link Generators - Not Worth The Trouble

Automated link generators are useless. Not because the software behind them is flawed, but because hundreds of novice web marketers are using them indiscriminately....