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  #1  
Old 08-03-2013, 11:43 AM
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Link Strategies After Penguin 2.0

I see a lot of discussion, confusion and downright wrong information about what the good and bad characteristics of a site's link profile are. So I thought it would be a good idea to provide some clarification of what we've found to be the case.

This can deal with things like:
  1. The kind of sites you don't want any links from;
  2. The portion of your link profile that can come from a particular class of site (such as forum signatures, blog comments, social media platforms, user profiles, contextual copy, etc.);
  3. The kind of anchor text you can use safely, and to what extent;
  4. The kind of links that are the safest;
  5. What a healthy link profile looks like.
There are other things to consider too, but let's start with those. I think it would be interesting to begin by getting some of your thoughts, first.



So who wants to start? Give us your opinion on any or all of the above, or toss in another consideration you think is important.
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:22 PM
johnsmith2 johnsmith2 is offline
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For better linking you may focus on
1) relevancy of link
2) social media
3) how frequent you are to getting links.
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith2 View Post
For better linking you may focus on
1) relevancy of link
2) social media
3) how frequent you are to getting links.
John-

  1. relevancy is certainly a very important aspect of linking. Would you care to explain the ways you think relevancy comes into play? Site to site? Page to page? Both? Anchor text to destination page content?
  2. As for social media, do you think some platforms are better than others, for Google to be aware of the links?
  3. Frequency - are you talking about link velocity, which is a measurement of how fast links to your site accumulate? If so, do you think there's a "safe" frequency? What would you base that on?
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:03 PM
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while getting link you should keep in mind what is talking about on page or what the page is about and for getting maximum out of it always important your anchor text (call to action).
yes google prefer some sites always base on number of users out their. Social media is a tool where you build community and in your community it's up to you how you utilize your community members for your benefits.
yes i am taking about link velocity. Google prefer consistency in links but their no amount idea it's only base on your evaluation of your project.
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:20 PM
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2013, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith2 View Post
while getting link you should keep in mind what is talking about on page or what the page is about and for getting maximum out of it always important your anchor text (call to action).
yes google prefer some sites always base on number of users out their. Social media is a tool where you build community and in your community it's up to you how you utilize your community members for your benefits.
yes i am taking about link velocity. Google prefer consistency in links but their no amount idea it's only base on your evaluation of your project.
Yes, you're right about relevancy, John. I often find links that clients have had placed that totally miss this. It's important that the source and destination pages are relevant to each other, and hopefully, the two sites, as well. And of course, the anchor text must be not only "natural" in the flow of the content, but also relevant to the content being linked to.

As for different social media platforms, I'm talking about how much benefit can be derived from them. For instance, although Google no longer has access to the entire Twitter data-pipe, as far as links in a tweet are concerned, they can track it back to a particular tweet, and return that tweet in the SERPs, even taking into consideration who tweeted the link (as authority [AgentRank] begins to have a greater effect, this will be increasingly important to sites and individuals).
With links coming from Facebook, on the other hand, Google is only able to track some of them back, depending upon where the link was placed. Facebook has effectively locked Google out of their feed.

Link velocity is something that is impossible to quantify, but evidence indicates that it's different within different niches. But your use of the word "consistency" is very appropriate, I think... as a rule of thumb, any site that suddenly sees a big upward spike in the number of incoming links (and even a downward spike) is a prime candidate for Google issues.

Thanks for your contributions, John.

Last edited by DocSheldon; 08-03-2013 at 01:28 PM.
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DocC View Post
Yes, you're right about relevancy, John. I often find links that clients have had placed that totally miss this. It's important that the source and destination pages are relevant to each other, and hopefully, the two sites, as well. And of course, the anchor text must be not only "natural" in the flow of the content, but also relevant to the content being linked to.

As for different social media platforms, I'm talking about how much benefit can be derived from them. For instance, although Google no longer has access to the entire Twitter data-pipe, as far as links in a tweet are concerned, they can track it back to a particular tweet, and return that tweet in the SERPs, even taking into consideration who tweeted the link (as authority [AgentRank] begins to have a greater effect, this will be increasingly important to sites and individuals).
With links coming from Facebook, on the other hand, Google is only able to track some of them back, depending upon where the link was placed. Facebook has effectively locked Google out of their feed.

Link velocity is something that is impossible to quantify, but evidence indicates that it's different within different niches. But your use of the word "consistency" is very appropriate, I think... as a rule of thumb, any site that suddenly sees a big upward spike in the number of incoming links (and even a downward spike) is a prime candidate for Google issues.

Thanks for your contributions, John.
Agree with your points. Social media is the best tool to generate traffic i don't think to consider it as Backlink generation tool just take it as your business developer agent.
Thanks you to share your knowledge DocC.
 
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2013, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith2 View Post
i don't think to consider it as Backlink generation tool just take it as your business developer agent.
Thanks you to share your knowledge DocC.
A good way to think of it!

I can never pay back the folks that taught me over the years, so I try to pay it forward, instead.
 
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2013, 01:49 PM
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Another characteristic of links that many people seem to be confused about is if there's value in a link whether it carries the nofollow attribute or not. While links with the nofollow attribute don't pass PageRank, they still have value, for a few reasons:

  1. First of all, when links are gained "naturally" (in other words, earned, rather than "built"), it's only natural that some will be nofollow and others won't. If you deliberately acquire links that aren't nofollow, it appears unnatural and will probably get you the sort of attention from Google that nobody wants. A mix of both is a much safer approach.
  2. Even links that have the nofollow attribute can still have value as a citation, if the right anchor text is used. For example, in my signature here, the anchor text is the title of the page on my site that is linked to. It's also my company name (company=entity, in Knowledge Graph lingo). So even though a link passes no pagerank, it can still aid in building authority.
  3. Finally, nofollow or not, links can attract traffic... 'nuff said, there.
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocC View Post
Another characteristic of links that many people seem to be confused about is if there's value in a link whether it carries the nofollow attribute or not. While links with the nofollow attribute don't pass PageRank, they still have value, for a few reasons:

  1. First of all, when links are gained "naturally" (in other words, earned, rather than "built"), it's only natural that some will be nofollow and others won't. If you deliberately acquire links that aren't nofollow, it appears unnatural and will probably get you the sort of attention from Google that nobody wants. A mix of both is a much safer approach.
  2. Even links that have the nofollow attribute can still have value as a citation, if the right anchor text is used. For example, in my signature here, the anchor text is the title of the page on my site that is linked to. It's also my company name (company=entity, in Knowledge Graph lingo). So even though a link passes no pagerank, it can still aid in building authority.
  3. Finally, nofollow or not, links can attract traffic... 'nuff said, there.
Yup agree with you. the only difference between dofollow or nofollow is that the dofollow links transfer link juice and nofollow links are not. but both links are count as your backlinks...
If you have a exact match keyword as your domain name and you use as a anchor text also cause a problem. what you think?
I have a question did 0 Page rank links has any value for your website?
 
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2013, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith2 View Post
Yup agree with you. the only difference between dofollow or nofollow is that the dofollow links transfer link juice and nofollow links are not. but both links are count as your backlinks...
If you have a exact match keyword as your domain name and you use as a anchor text also cause a problem. what you think?
I have a question did 0 Page rank links has any value for your website?
EMD (exact match domains) is one of those things that just a few short years ago, Google (Matt Cutts) specifically said was a great way to select a domain name. Now they've reversed their position, mostly because so many people heard that, and went overboard with it.
Tens of thousands of domains appeared, like buy-******-cheap.com (<that was a little blue pill that got edited out by our spam protection), make-money-online.com and buy-your-stupid-stuff-here.com (I don't know if that last one really exists, but I'll bet the first two do ), all using their domain name terms as their anchor text. It was so abused that brand new sites with little to offer began to outrank really good, established sites, just because of the domain name. Google had to do something about it to level the playing field again.
So my shorter answer would be: if you want to use an exact domain name for your main key term, do so with caution. Use that term sparingly as anchor text, in order to avoid being penalized.

Pages that haven't yet been indexed will show a TBPR (toolbar pagerank) value of unranked. As soon as a page is indexed, it immediately is shown as PageRank 0. That isn't actually zero, because any page that is indexed is assigned a very small amount of PR (nobody knows how much, but it's a very small amount), because the ranking algorithms won't work with a true value of zero.
For the reasons I stated earlier, EVERY link has value. But a recently indexed link that only has that tiny token amount of PR assigned to it will have very little PageRank value to a site it links to. It's important to remember, though, that PageRank is only one of more than 200 ranking factors that contribute to a page's ranking for a key term. Even without any discernible amount of PageRank, a link can still convey value for ranking in the SERPs.
 
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2013, 03:06 PM
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Hey Doc,

I'm wondering what you think about outbound links and how/whether or not they contribute to the overall link profile.

Billy
 
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2013, 03:10 PM
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Hey Doc,

I'm wondering what you think about outbound links and how/whether or not they contribute to the overall link profile.

Billy
An excellent question, Billy! Outbound links definitely have value to a site's link profile, in terms of establishing trust and authority, as well as making a link profile appear more natural.

The amount of value they add, like nearly everything that Google does, is a mystery to those of us outside of the Google inner sanctum. But there are a few reasons they add value, and Google has many times said as much.

If the link is appropriate and relevant, it adds value to the users. It can link to more information on the topic, outside references that support statements made, even opposing opinions.

Linking from your site to Temple University's collection of white papers will probably convey a greater sense of authoritative information to both users and search engines than a link to say, my site. And while a link from Temple Univ. to your site would probably be cause for a party at your house, even your link to them has value.

Think like a user for a moment. If I know that you read white papers on Temple's site, it's reasonable to assume that you're better informed on the topic than some people, right? And if the paper you link to supports your opinion, then it lends even more weight to what you have to say on the topic.

Since Google is always looking for ways to provide relevant and reliable information to users, it stands to reason that they'd take the same stance.

Of course, since it's something that some people would inevitably try to game to the point of idiocy, we can bet they pay special attention to relevancy, just like they do with inbound links. Otherwise, Temple would soon be inundated with links from spammers around the world.
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:12 PM
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Doc has done such a beautiful job of responding in this thread that I am not certain there is much I can add without being repetitive but these are my thoughts on the topic.

To me, if you spend too much time planning your link strategies, you are likely already headed down the wrong path.

IMHO the only real link strategy is to be the kind of site that people want to share with others naturally.

When you provide enough quality content that people want to share, it won't have a set pattern - some may choose to reference it on their blog or in a forum. Others may use various social media outlets. When this is done naturally (without you help) the method of linking will also be varied - some may link text within the content while others may just add a URL.

Of course it then stands to reason that if there weren't some nofollow links in the mix then it is not very likely to be a natural link profile.

As with most things in life, I think it all comes down to balance.

Just my 2 cents...
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:26 PM
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Thanks, Yer Chirpiness.

A popular term for talking about link profiles is "diverse". A good general rule is to diversify:
  • the anchor text used for links (also, mix in some links with anchor text like "Learn more about Bill Smith", "B. Smith's website" or "more about Bill", or the destination page's title, as well as raw URLs)
  • whether they're nofollow links or not
  • the type of sites they're from (forums, blogs, online magazines, contextual, etc.)
  • the destination page (don't link only to your homepage, or always to the same internal page)
Any link profile that is diverse and consistent (velocity-wise) is much less likely to be scrutinized.

And your idea of earning links by providing the sort of content people will want to link to is almost a perfect quote of what Matt Cutts has said numerous times.
 
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:10 PM
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I'm not an SEO guru by any stretch, but one thing that people aren't talking about is social networking interaction and how this will effect SEO in the future.

In my opinion, Google wants to provide the best information that people want and like.

How can they calculate that best? - By calculating the different links and websites that people share on Social Media.

Google could also incentivize Google + by having an increased link juice plugged into Google +.

(Am I insane? Maybe, but I think social media integration and linkage will have a higher and higher SEO impact as time goes on).

What does this mean for us?

Well, it means we should focus on creating awesome content, that people love, share, and appreciate.

So, the best backlinks to have? Social backlinks, from real humans who are interacting with your pages.

And of course, massive "authority" domains will continue to have a significant impact, but I think social media linkage is going to be a huge variable in the future.

How big? Who knows. The future will tell.



Just my $.
 
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:34 AM
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Only depending on social links won't be too good.. you just need to provide social signal..... however, with social sites you won't be able to build relevant links, people who are on social sites are mainly for dating, friendship etc... so how would you promote a Forex related site to them?

You need to build relevant links too using those sites which have quality.
 
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:00 AM
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Hey Doc, good topic.

As I was dealing in people getting out of Penguin penalties and link spam penalties, there are two things "natural links" and "un-natural links"

Un-Natural links can be anything that passes page-rank (link juice) and built manually by you. No matter you are using Articles, Guest Posts, human edited directories so on.. These links will be questioned by Google. And you will be surprised that some of the best human edited directories are becoming victim. Recently, when I sent a reconsideration request for my client. Google said there are links that we still think against our Webmaster Quality Guidelines. These links were that I marked as good links and were coming from Guest Posts and Good directories. Surprise! Surprise!

Natural Links are those that you don't actually go out and build. The idea of natural links are that you create a "Brand" or something so compelling that people will love to link. It can be anything excellent content, wordpress plugin, or maybe a simple tool to do some stupid research (I've seen that).

Bottom line, there is no hard and fast rule for getting links after Penguin. It is not 2010 that you will do Guest Posts, Articles, directories blah blah! Yes, they will work and you may see results, but you will fall down badly if you are not going to adapt to latest changes Google is making.

Final thoughts, this might be very frustrating for new webmasters and beginners because big names can pay for compelling content (if you cannot write for your websites), they can invest in plugins, tools and so many things. So, sharpen your research and writing skills to stand out from the rest.

And reading the replies that work on social media links, I have a question.

How would your leverage Social Media Links without having a brand name? No one will Like you, Follow you or Pin You! Content in the end ;-)

Ahmad Wali

Last edited by nightcrawler; 08-04-2013 at 04:09 AM. Reason: added social media part
 
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  #19  
Old 08-04-2013, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarevok View Post
I'm not an SEO guru by any stretch, but one thing that people aren't talking about is social networking interaction and how this will effect SEO in the future.
I figured it'd eventually come up. Thanks for mentioning it.

Quote:
In my opinion, Google wants to provide the best information that people want and like.
Absolutely!

Quote:
How can they calculate that best? - By calculating the different links and websites that people share on Social Media.
The challenge there, of course, is that they only have limited access to some of that data (Facebook, for instance, that has gone out of its way to hide as much of their users' activity as possible).

Quote:
Google could also incentivize Google + by having an increased link juice plugged into Google +.
I think that might be counterproductive to Google's other efforts to reduce link-juice hunting.

Quote:
(Am I insane? Maybe, but I think social media integration and linkage will have a higher and higher SEO impact as time goes on).

What does this mean for us?

Well, it means we should focus on creating awesome content, that people love, share, and appreciate.
I won't argue with that.

Quote:
So, the best backlinks to have? Social backlinks, from real humans who are interacting with your pages.
But you say that as if having social backlinks equates to "creating awesome content, that people love, share, and appreciate." I don't think that holds water.

Quote:
And of course, massive "authority" domains will continue to have a significant impact, but I think social media linkage is going to be a huge variable in the future.
Here, I disagree. Social media is just one of the channels we can use to promote content. I've even seen it said by a few that it's the "new SEO". My opinion is that it's useful, as a part of any marketing effort, but it is already begin abused (which is likely to increase) and as a result, its effects are possibly subject to being dampened by Google in the future.

I always caution against jumping on a bandwagon and going overboard on ANY technique, at the expense of a well-balanced SEO campaign that utilizes many different channels in a balanced fashion.

Quote:
How big? Who knows. The future will tell.
True. All we can do is use some critical thinking and try to guess what will be the next positive or negative signal and act accordingly.

Thanks for commenting, sarevok!
 
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeQ View Post
Only depending on social links won't be too good.. you just need to provide social signal..... however, with social sites you won't be able to build relevant links, people who are on social sites are mainly for dating, friendship etc... so how would you promote a Forex related site to them?

You need to build relevant links too using those sites which have quality.
I agree completely, Mike. For some business niches, social media is decidedly less effective.

However, if I were managing a Forex related site, I'd focus on establishing the site as an authority resource for general investment opportunities, providing in-depth information that would be useful to users. Forex would be just one facet of that presentation. Tell them about tax reduction vehicles, blossoming opportunities, that sort of thing, in a very NON-promotional voice. Make they want to subscribe, share and link to the site.
 
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