SEO 101 states; the more* links pointing to your page, the better. But just how long does it take to influence the SERPs?

*by more, I mean more quality links and not spammy links obtained by blackhat techniques. Kristina Kledzik, recently published an article on Moz about her findings after experimenting with some of her old posts. She started by using some of her less-popular posts on Distilled (where she works) and set about picking out 76 links pointing to pages which are all similar to each other in content, and they didn't change that content (significantly) for 6 months. She focused on rankings for target keywords with a 25–35% Keyword Difficulty Rating (A Moz metric if you're interested) and she looked at two versions of their target keywords, so she could have a bit more data. …

3 case studies showing how negative SEO works

Negative search engine optimization (SEO) can take many forms, but the most dangerous are those you never see coming. It’s not indulging in 'black hat tricks' hoping you’ll never get caught, getting lazy when defining 'quality content' or getting talked into invisible text as a means for boosting your rankings. The worst kind of negative SEO is an attack from the competition. It can be many things, but some of the most common include: A competitor buying 'bad links' and then pointing them to your site to sink your rankings Hacking websites to inflict damage 'Review bombing,' which seems like a positive thing at first, but when the competition floods review sites with glowing reviews for you it seems 'paid for' and can result in a search engine penalty Reporting you falsely to Google for participating in black hat tricks Stealing non-indexed content DMCA removal requests Unfortunately, website owners have very…

Broken Links = Missed Opportunities

It's common with the growth of website Content Management Systems that websites have multiple editors & frequent updates, so this can easily result in mistakes. An area that often suffers as a result is internal & external linking from within webpages. While easy to manually check, it is often the case that sites are just too big to go through page-by-page to check. Luckily for webmasters and marketers alike there are tools that will help you identify broken links on your website.

Why are broken links such a bad thing?

Not only are you disrupting user journeys through the website which could leave users frustrated with your brand, but you are also making search engine spiders jobs more difficult and therefore reducing your opportunity to rank well. If search engines are unable to crawl / index you site easily they will be less likely to appropriately rank it. Broken links from other sites are also an…

5 reasons you should continue guest blogging and 10 actions you should take given Matt Cutt’s latest advice affecting content marketers

Alert importance: [rating=5] Recommended link: Matt Cutts: The Decay and Fall of guest blogging for SEO If you work in SEO, the biggest development so far in 2014 is Matt Cutts of Google's clear guidance for marketers to cease guest blogging. But Guest blogging isn’t just an obscure SEO tactic, it’s used by many media sites and brands, so many businesses who practice content marketing will be affected by this. His new post this week starts with this seemingly unequivocal piece of guidance: “Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company”. He…

A step-by-step tutorial to managing Link detoxing

Link detoxing is extremely important for many reasons, including keeping your site active and penalty free. One bad link is a problem, but many bad links are a huge setback and should not be taken lightly. When you do a link detox you can either use a program or go through all of your links manually to check for any bad links. After finding bad links the next step is to get rid of them and delete them off of your profile. Questions that are often asked about this process include how do I spot bad links, should I use a program or do it manually, if I use a program which one, and how do you get penalties removed after the bad links are gone? You can find all of the answers to these questions and more below, as well as some basic information about…

Eight tips for promoting your content to help obtain backlinks for SEO

Even if you create outstanding, quality content, if you don’t promote it fully, it will not give you the full value you need from your investment. Regardless of how shareable content is, to get the most valuable, relevant links requires online promotion through a variety of different channels. You may send a few tweets about your latest blog, but if no one is listening to begin with, your content assets are likely to be lost in the ether. This is content marketing without the marketing...  There are a number of things you can do to promote your site content effectively and drive high quality traffic to your site; here I'll highlight eight.

Tip 1: Social media promotion

Social Media platforms are one of the most popular and effective methods for promoting your…

Widely expected (and useful) new tool introduced

Google have recently launched a new tool to its Webmaster toolkit, giving you the ability to identify and remove (at least in Googles eyes) unnatural or spam inbound links (from other sites to yours). Google have become more active in notifying webmasters of problems with inbound links, this now enables you to remove the offending link(s) from Google's link graph without contacting the owner of the other site. You may have received a message from Google in the past saying that they have identified unnatural, spam or paid links to your website, this usually left you having to identify the potential problem links and approaching each website to get the links removed. Not a massively effective process and neither is it a good use of your time. Bing also launched a similar tool earlier this year.

Here is an explanation of this new tool from Googles, Matt Cutts

Our review of backlink analysis software tools and web services

Link analysis has always been an integral part to search marketing efforts. As with all marketing, you need to benchmark where you are and what your competitors are doing in order to put the right work in place and also to track performance. Within the last two years this process has become easier with a wider range of tools now available to aid you.

Search specialists will definitely know all of these and many more, but this list is aimed more at client-side marketers who want to benchmark their link quality against competitors, review SEO agency performance and spot opportunities for partnering with other sites, for example blogger outreach.

Comparison of data quality of backlink analysis tools

Added references to this excellent review of data quality from backlink analysis tools from Richard Baxter at SEOGadget. Don't purchase a subscription or use…

Analysing  link effectiveness using web analytics tools

This is part 2 of a post advising on how to identify quality domains for SEO Link-building. In Part 1, I introduced an approach for identifying domains using specific link analysis tools. In part 2, I'll look specifically at using Google Analytics. Since it’s also important to turn your eye inwards and use your web analytics data to identify which domains are providing valuable links. If you aren’t already, consider start using campaign tracking codes to ensure that you are measuring the impact of each link and not just reliant on domain level information. If you rely on the referral data, you can only see landing page level detail, not individual links. Use a taxonomy for your campaign tracking (and make sure everyone in the team knows about it) so you get consistent data. For example, consider the following: utm_medium = seo utm_source= links utm_campaign = domain name utm_content =…

Using SEO analysis tools to identify linking opportunities

In the latest article in this series on how to use analytics techniques for better SEO we look at the importance of targeting relevant domains for your link building. I'll start by introducing what you should look for in quality link sources and then in Part 1 of this two part article, I'll cover how to select domains to target through link-building tools. In Part 2 I'll drill down to cover how to analyse existing links using web analytics tools.

Not all links are born equal

You'll know this! The impact of a link rests on several factors, not least the reputation of the website it resides on. Search engines place a great deal of importance on quality, relevance and trust. This is a deliberately simplified explanation, but the three signals combined make a heady cocktail of link love. My advice is that if you focus on these…

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