EXPERT CHALLENGE: What link building strategies will work after latest Google algorithm change?

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SEO CHALLENGE: FOR ALL SEO THOUGHT LEADERS...What link building strategies do YOU think will work after the latest 3/29/2012 Google algorithm change?

NOTE: My hope is that the responses left on this thread will ultimately benefit all members of the community and give recognition to the true thought leaders within the SEO space.

That being said, my challenge is a 2 part question:

1) With the 80/20 rule in mind, and in light of recent algorithm changes, what would YOU focus most of your SEO budget on if you had to choose? Let's assume you're in a competitive market (ie #1-5 on page 1 has competitors with 20,000+ backlinks - all ranging from AC Rank 7 to 1). How would you split your total monthly SEO budget as a general rule? Ex) 60% link building / 10% onsite SEO / 10% Social Media / 20% content creation? I realize there are many "it depends" factors but please humor us anyways.

2) Link building appears to have become harder and harder as google releases more and more algorithm changes. For link building, the only true white hat way of *proactively* generating links (that I know of) is creating high quality content that adds value to customers (ie infographics, videos, etc.), guest blogging, and Press Releases. The con to these tactics is that you are waiting for others to find and pick up your content which can take a VERY long time, so ROI is difficult to measure and justify to clients or C-level management.

That being said, how are YOU allocating your link building budget? Are all of these *proactive* link building tactics a waste of time now? I've heard it couldn't hurt to still do some of these, but what are your thoughts and what is / isn't working for you?

Here they are:
A. Using spun articles edited by US based writers for guest blog content
B. 301 Redirects
C. Social bookmarking
D. Signature links from Blog commenting
E. Directory submissions
F. Video Submissions
G. Article Directory submissions
H. Press release directory submissions
I. Forum Profile Submissions
J. Forum signature links
K. RSS Feed submissions
L. Link wheels
M. Building links (using scrapebox, senukex, etc.) to pages linked to your money site
N. Links from privately owned networks (I spoke to an SEO company that claims to have over 4000 unique domains which he uses to boost rankings for his clients)
O. Buying Contextual Text Links


All Expert opinions are welcomed and appreciated
#algorithm #building #challenge #change #expert #google #latest #link #seo #strategies #work
  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    A little off topic, but I don't really think that a LOT has changed. It's always been about diversity and pointing the quality links at your site. Save the automated / low quality links for your tiers.

    I think most of the people that got hit hard were those that were relying heavily on one or two methods. If one, or both, of those methods are slapped by Google, well, they're out of luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author Francois du_Toit
      Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

      A little off topic, but I don't really think that a LOT has changed. It's always been about diversity and pointing the quality links at your site. Save the automated / low quality links for your tiers.

      I think most of the people that got hit hard were those that were relying heavily on one or two methods. If one, or both, of those methods are slapped by Google, well, they're out of luck.
      I agree.

      1) Links should look natural, e.g. diversify anchor text and try to obtain links from many different sources.

      2) Post only quality content on your site and make sure that your visitors have a good experience, e.g. not too many ads (and not above the fold), user-friendly site navigation, etc.
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    • Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

      A little off topic, but I don't really think that a LOT has changed.
      Yes I would agree with this. It's still the same game. Links to your site with some diversity. That's the key to SEO.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hossain
      Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

      A little off topic, but I don't really think that a LOT has changed. It's always been about diversity and pointing the quality links at your site. Save the automated / low quality links for your tiers.

      I think most of the people that got hit hard were those that were relying heavily on one or two methods. If one, or both, of those methods are slapped by Google, well, they're out of luck.
      +

      All the eggs are not within same basket so Do deep linking.
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  • Profile picture of the author UpzeeDotCom
    I'll take a stab at this.

    (1) I would spend 80% of my time/money on creating QUALITY content and the other 20% on social advertising and interacting within the community in which my business operates or is targeting.
    • If your business is registering exact match domains and trying to rank them, I'd be looking for a new business model.
    • If your business is selling dropship products where there's thousands of other websites selling the same products, I'd be looking for new products that aren't being promoted or a new business model.
    • If you're in a niche blogging about something that you're not absolutely passionate about or you're not knowledgeable, I'd be looking to start a new website where you're both knowledgeable or passionate.

    Google's algo changes are revolving around user intent. If a user is searching for a product and you're not the exclusive retailer of said product, it's going to be tough. If you're pumping out low quality informational sites, you're not contributing value or fulfilling user intent in the best way possible - it's going to get tough. If you're blogging about something that you're not passionate or knowledgeable on, you're not fulfilling user intent.

    People used to look at links as they were the determining factor in what should be ranked in search engines. For example, if you search for "Who is Wayne Gretzky", your 350 word article has as much business being the #1 result compared to a lifelong dedicated fan who has put together a comprehensive website about his favorite hockey player. Google has shifted that balance away from links, to user intent. I believe they will continue to do this. This is why it's absolutely essential to follow through on user intent, and no amount of backlinks will increase fulfilling the user intent. User intent is satisfied exclusively by content.

    With that being said if you have a unique product or service and DESERVE to be #1 for your keyword, based on what users would find useful according to the keywords you're targeting, then what you need to do is establish yourself within your industry as the a go to source. How do you do this? Going back to the 20% time you need to establish yourself in social communities. Old school like message boards, (manually) commenting on blogs, guest posts, etc while also not-so-new-anymore-school like facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.

    If you have top notch content that you've invested a lot in, or at least invested more in than your competitors, plus you also have a stranglehold on the industry where you're front and center, you'll naturally be dominant in the search engines as well. Of course having proper on page optimization is also a must so that Google can properly categorize your site.

    Short answer:
    80% on content AKA fulfilling user intent
    20% on establishing your business as a leader in the industry

    (2) That does seem like an exhaustive list with few exceptions, but sticking true to the message of my answer to #1 I think the above mind frame of link building is becoming outdated. I do believe that it still has some value on some levels that are still profitable, however I don't think their value will be as strong in 2013 and even less so in 2014. If you're building a lasting business I would recommend people focus on very core link building to launch new websites that includes:
    • Press Releases - Any time you launch a new website or you launch a new feature, product line etc - you should do a press release. This gets real human visitors to your website and can also give you a foundation of initial links to put your site on the map.
    • Web Directory Submissions - A lot of people think this is out dated, but it's not. I'm not saying you should pay some company to submit your website to 10,000 directories - I am saying you should seek out quality directories, have a handful of 25 human edited directories that are both niche specific (your niche) and general and submit to those solid 25 directories. These links will help search engines understand the nature of your website and they will also provide a good variety of links. Again, stay away from the low quality directories.
    • Social Bookmarks - Similar to directories, you can submit your site to 10-15 quality social bookmark sites. Don't bother submitting to 2000 or 3000 in an automated effort.
    • Guest Posts - If you have something relevant and useful to your industry that you'd like to share, reach out to similar blogs and ask them if you can use their platform to get your word across. Don't make guest posts just for the sake of making guest posts. If you view guest posts as a way of getting your thoughts/ideas/stance on the industry in front of new eye balls, you're going to increase your company/business's reputation, which is the point of our link building campaigns going forward.
    • Manual Commenting on Blogs - This is just a good way to get your website out in terms of networking. If you're involved in the discussion then people will know about your business and again, you're increasing your business's reputation.
    • Manual Posting on Forums - Exact same thing as manual blog commenting.
    • Asking for links - Sometimes it doesn't hurt to simply ask for a link. If you're in a niche where there's government resource pages on the subject, ask them for a link. Same goes for military. Go through DMOZ and find some old websites built on free hosts that have link pages that were built by enthusiasts, tell them you've got an amazing resource for anyone on their site and ask them to put a link to your site on theirs, if you've invested 80% of your time in delivering top notch content, you'd be surprised how many people will link to you without wanting anything in return - aside from a thanks.
    • Create Second Tier Properties - I saved this one for last but it's very important. If you're in a niche, say for example - you're selling selling widgets. Within your knowledge base you have an article on every single aspect about these widgets, from how to chose the right widget for you to how to maintain and care for your widget. Let's take the latter example of how to maintain and care for your widget. Let's assume this article was written with a general perspective, but there could be a sub perspective that you could pick up on. For example "how to maintain a widget in winter climate", if you can write a useful article that is a sub perspective of your premium content on your website, put that up on a second tier property like Squidoo and link to your main site. Interact in the Squidoo community and get eyeballs to your lenses over there. The point being put up quality content that isn't redundant to your website's offering(s) on second tier properties and have a little more control over your backlinks.

    I hope that was helpful and I don't sound TOO much like Matt Cutts :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Julia Baby
    I even don't know when Google changed it's algo now but I was surprised to see today my site got #1 spot out of 1,090,000 site outranking amazon and Google's own products listings. That's the beauty of my secret seo strategy.
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    • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
      Originally Posted by Julia Baby View Post

      I even don't know when Google changed it's algo now but I was surprised to see today my site got #1 spot out of 1,090,000 site outranking amazon and Google's own products listings. That's the beauty of my secret seo strategy.
      Google seems to be focusing heavily on content. I'm guessing yours is pretty strong.
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      • Profile picture of the author howto
        Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

        Google seems to be focusing heavily on content. I'm guessing yours is pretty strong.
        Sounds to me like they are just looking for PM's from people going "OMG please tell me your secret" so they can flog them their products :p

        I could be wrong though however.
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  • Profile picture of the author orpaz191
    Google will keep de-valueing some types of backlinks and de-indexing networks, so the only way to play safe and get results consistently is to divers links as much as you can.
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  • Profile picture of the author zabalex
    was there really any update on 3/29/2012 ?
    How many more forums you are going to post the same (word by word)?
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  • Profile picture of the author dp40oz
    Everything works the same as usual just replace public high pr blog networks with private ones and rank to your hearts content.
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  • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
    What exactly has changed? The methods that worked well before everyone jumped on the blog network wagon still work today.

    You speak about white hat linkbuilding... LOL! Don't you think if a "white hat" link can help your ranking then the system is still wide open for manipualtion

    ~Ash
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    Always make sure you build a wide variety of links with a huge IP diversity, and build some real strong backlinks on top of that. That way it's close to impossible to get penalized. Additionally make sure you target multiple url's at the same time, it's not natural to have all your links pointed to your homepage. And don't forget to vary up your anchor txt.
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  • Profile picture of the author jinx1221
    #1 - make quality, unique, user friendly content on your site your #1 priority
    #2 - build as natural looking backlinks as you can, on several layers of tiers, over a natural timespan (ie not 1000000000/day)
    #3 - build contextual backlinks within useful content (free of grammar mistakes) on sites that the general public can actually see (hence why bmr and others are over with)

    I would also be careful about blasting your tiers.. sure, they may be disposable, but really you should think of those as commodities, worth just as much as your own site. Google is detecting and discounting unnatural backlinking to any site, not just your money site. So if one link in the chain gets discounted, whose to say that all links within that chain dont get discounted as well, including your main site? Just remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Just a few thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author zoldusta
    links should come from different ip,
    links should come from different sources,e.g blogs, forums, webdirectories
    don't build your links fast
    links should come from both high and low PR sites
    Links should come from sites with similar niche to that of your site
    use different anchor text for the backlink
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