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Our Take From The Latest WBF From Moz

Tom Caulton
Digital Marketing Executive, Pay-Per-Click Expert, SEO Specialist and CRO Adviser at dijitul.

the rules of link buildingHi there dijitul fans, I want to go over the latest edition of Moz Whiteboard Friday which one of our favourite industry experts Cyrus Shepard starred in, the topic for this week was ‘the rules of link building’ a great topic that couldn’t have come at a better time for all of us marketing guys and girls with so many people out there blindly and wrongly announcing the death of link building.

The first and most important thing that anyone should have taken from this weeks WBF was that you should never abandon your link building practices, simply alter the way you go about it, if of course you need to change of course, you might not and if not awesome!

The #1 point of Cyrus’ DONT’S of link building is the ‘beware links you control’ this is an area we agree with, we believe that you can often be your own worst enemy in the link building world. When given free reign it’s easy to decide to dive for some extremely commercial anchor text straight away, however you should never over optimise your external links with the same keyword, just as you wouldn’t your own website. That way the big ‘G’ will begin to take action and soon send you spiralling down the rankings. However, one point we had to question is that this is all on the basis that Google knows exactly what links you control, but how do they know this exactly? There have been many times i’ve not asked for a link and yet have ended up with a link pointing back to us with anchor text, will Google know that the publisher of the website put that link in naturally, or will it assume I ‘demanded’ that a link was placed in the post/review etc? One to definitely keep an eye on, and thankfully with Moz’s great Open Site Explorer tool we can track who is linking to us for which anchor text.

Cyrus’s third point also raised an eyebrow, I do completely agree with him, never specifically ask for anchor text, as like he says ‘it raises red flags’ and if you don’t ask and you get some from the external website, it should hopefully leave you with a greater natural link profile. But, that takes me back to my previous point, with Google seeing anchor text on websites that aren’t yours, will they think that’s a spammy link? And then give you a penalty? If this is the case would we have to go back to some of those websites that have linked to us with anchor text and ask them to remove it simply because of a case of mistaken link identity?

The #4 point – Don’t link externally in the footer – like Cyrus states, Google clearly has zero tolerance on websites that carry on performing these practices, it’s a blatant rankings focused reciprocal that won’t do you any good, so just stop wasting your time and get rid!

Now, lets talk about the Do’s! Cyrus hit the nail on the head when he talked about focusing on the distribution of your content. Take your link building tactics and slightly change them to focus on ways that people will get other web users viewing your content, and that way the more people you will get naturally sharing your content, its a 2 way street after all, the more links good quality links that you get should boost the amount of traffic which see’s your content, and in return, the more traffic you get the more natural links you should find rolling into your site.

The other DO I would like to talk about is the ‘link value = traffic quality’ concept. Absolutely spot on, you have to think long term, if a link on any slightly relevant website is all you’re after then this may not apply to you, however, if you are bothered about fulfilling your websites rue natural potential, then you will only go for the best links possible, that aren’t just going to look good to search engines, but actually bring people to your website. He makes a great example “If you run a mechanic shop and you want good leads from those links, you would want other mechanic shops or auto part stores to link to you. A link from an SEO blog probably doesn’t have a lot of value because it’s not very relevant.” not only is it not relevant but if someone sees your website on an SEO blog they aren’t going to click through and make a purchase, because that isn’t what they are after, they want to find out about SEO, not get their car repaired. You can have all the links in the world but if your conversion rate is low or even 0 then you’re going to fail.

These are just some of the many things we have taken from the latest Moz WBF, and you may have some other notes taken from it, and we would love to hear them, so get in touch via the comment form below or send us a tweet @Dijitul or get in touch via Google+ to get the conversation started.

To watch the video in full then click the following link http://moz.com/blog/the-rules-of-link-building-whiteboard-friday

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