TopRank Online Marketing

Link Building


Lee Odden

Is Your SEO Firm Outsourcing Your Work?

Lee Odden on Apr 3rd, 2008     Business of SEO, Link Building, SEO

It’s pretty common in the interactive, advertising and PR agency world to outsource components of an engagement where the lead agency does not have specific domain expertise. Those scenarios are often structured by the client who is already working with other vendors or the lead agency bringing in outside expertise.  For the most part, it’s pretty transparent what is outsourced and what is not.

Is this the same in the search marketing and especially, the SEO industry?  The variety of creative, technical and social expertise required to excel and succeed with today’s online marketing programs makes it a formidable challenge for any search marketing agency to staff accordingly. The “cowboy” mentality prevalent in the SEO world makes employing some of the best at their craft unlikely.

Lee Odden

Beyond Linkbait with Media and Blogger Relations – SES NY

Lee Odden on Mar 19th, 2008     Link Building, Online Marketing, Online PR, Public Relations, Search Engine Strategies

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On Thursday I’ll be presenting on a panel, “Beyond Linkbat: Getting Authoritative Mentions Online” with Chris Boggs and Sally Falkow. Sage Lewis will be moderating. I think this type of session is very timely as search engines begin to put more and more emphasis on higher quality and editorial link sources and less on sources that are easier to manipulate. Increasing competition online also means online branding and influence increase in their importance.

Online PR is a perfect solution for a topic that shines less light on tactics du jour, althought linkbaiting still works well, and more on leveraging the media and centers of influence online. I’ve written about how SEO and Online PR can work together in the past, but in this presentation I’ll be focusing on the Do’s and Don’ts of media relations and blogger relations.

Lee Odden

Session: Beyond Linkbait Getting Authoritative Online Mentions

Lee Odden on Feb 21st, 2008     Link Building, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

Alan Webb Brian Turner Mikkel deMib Svendsen

SES London 2008 – Beyond Linkbait: Getting Authoritative Online Mentions

Link building is crucial, but linkbait tactics that worked this year may not be as effective next year. This session focuses on the underlying quality as well as ingenuity needed to get other websites to link to you early and often. It will also explain how you should approach journalists, bloggers and other authoritative sources to enhance your company’s online reputation, whether or not you get links.

Moderator: Anne Kennedy, Manager, Managing Partner, Beyond Ink
Speakers: Alan Webb, CEO, Abakus Internet Marketing, Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Creative Director, deMib.com and Brian Turner, Director, Britecorp, Ltd.

First up is Alan Webb from ABAKUS.

Link building is a chicken/egg situation. To get the links you need content but to get the content found and linked to, you need the links.

Lee Odden

The Currency of Social Networks

Lee Odden on Nov 26th, 2007     Link Building, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Social Networking

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About 2-3 times a day a pitch comes in via email, Facebook message or other means asking for a mention or a link. Some are cut and paste pitches from PR reps, some are from companies trying to promote their own message and some are from industry associates that feel they have something special to share.

Even when an announcement seems interesting, more often than not a post won’t be created for it since Online Marketing Blog doesn’t really cover industry news. Unless it’s a topic that’s spot on and can help fortify a post that’s already in the works, there’s little if any chance of getting covered. As much as I’d like to give a mention and a link, I normally don’t. However if it’s really good, I do something much better.

TopRank Online Marketing

Session: Linkbait – Chumming for Traffic on Social Media Sites

TopRank Online Marketing on Oct 16th, 2007     Link Building, Marketing PR Conferences, Search Marketing Expo, Social Media

Linkbait session

Drop a viral video into a sea of young and old, democrats and republicans, men and women and voters of all ages (with access to the internet, of course) and you have one of my favorite linkbait videos of the year.

So what is linkbait anyway? Cameron Olthius, CEO of Factive Media, defined it for the audience as content or a feature on a website that compels others to link to it from their website.

Linkbait can very quickly increase brand awareness and can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website. In order to do this, however, you need to make sure the content you are about to promote is link-able.

Lee Odden

Making Sense of Linking and Site Promotion

Lee Odden on Sep 12th, 2007     Link Building, SEO

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The OG’s of link building like Eric Ward are full of reasons why acquiring inbound links without consideration of direct effect from search engines is a sustainable and worthwhile marketing tactic. The ongoing SEO services many search marketers offer is often short sighted with a narrow emphasis placed on link acquisition and not on the broader importance of ongoing web site promotion through multiple channels.

Historical thoughts on linking
Link building is indeed a tactic with direct benefits via rankings traffic from search engines and direct traffic from high profile sites. However, outright link building is only a slice in the overall online marketing mix that makes up a productive web site marketing program. In the early days of marketing web sites, building links from directory submissions and programs such as web site reviews and web awards sites sent significant amounts of traffic. Then came Google.

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Session: Link Baiting – Viral Search Marketing

TopRank Online Marketing on Aug 22nd, 2007     Link Building, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

Link Baiting & Viral Search Success

Day 3 at SES San Jose found me assigned to cover the session “Link Baiting & Viral Search Success.”

Those who’ve read my previous posts should find it as no surprise that my level of excitement for this session superseded any residual aches and pains left over from last night’s “decadence based in relevance” superbash Google Dance.

(Personal Note: None of the stories you’ve heard regarding the TopRank team at this event are accurate. Except the one about how we met up with AC/DC’s tour bus afterwords and partied with them all night – that one’s true**)

This session, moderated by SES co-chair Chris Sherman included on its panel:

  • Chris Boggs, Search Strategist, Avenue A
  • Jennifer Laycock, Editor-In-Chief, Search Engine Guide
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Session: SEO QA on Links

TopRank Online Marketing on Aug 22nd, 2007     Link Building, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

SEO Q&A on Links

In this session on Day 3 of SES San Jose 2007, there were no presentations. The floor was open to all questions anyone had on links and link building and how they affect PageRank and their importance in organic SEO. There were many questions asked, and even more great answers from the panel consisting of Mike Grehan (“My name is Mike Grehan, and I do links.”), Debra O’Neil-Mastaler (Link Building Chick), Jim Boykin and Greg Boser (“The White Hat Link Builder”), with Danny Sullivan moderating. Below, I thought I’d highlight the some of the questions and answers I thought were most interesting.

1. Are there any implications or problems with run-of-site links?

Lee Odden

Session: Search Engine QA On Links

Lee Odden on Aug 22nd, 2007     Link Building, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Search Engines, SEO

The floor was open for audience questions as representatives from Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com addressed issues on the importance and value of inbound links.

One question seemed to resonate throughout the entire session. How can a search engine identify whether a link is paid or organic in nature? Shashi Thakur of Google replied that through both manual and algorithmic methods, the search engine is able to determine the nature of a link.

But why are paid links so bad? Thakur suggests that generally, purchased links are intended only to deceive search engines while adding little to no value to the user.

However, Peter Linsley of Ask.com and Sean Suchter of Yahoo agree that purchased links are not necessarily evil so long as they provide some sort of value and relevance to the user.

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Session: Are Paid Links Evil?

TopRank Online Marketing on Aug 22nd, 2007     Google, Link Building, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies

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Are Paid Links Evil? Optimus Prime versus Megatron.

As I attended “Are Paid Links Evil?” as my last session of Day 2 at SES San Jose 2007, I was glad to see that everyone there was still in high spirits after the long day of learning, blogging, networking and preparing for the Google Dance. However, I didn’t expect to see a battle of the Autobots against the Decepticons.

Are Paid  Links Evil?

First off in this battle of the galaxies was the ever-famous Matt Cutts, Software Engineer Guru at Google, stating clearly and concisely that paid links that pass Google PageRank are in clear violation of the Google webmaster guidelines. And as we all know, we do NOT want to be in violation of these. Any violation of these commandments could result in being bounced out of the Google index, which could severely impact your website traffic in a very negative way.

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Session: Link Building Basics

TopRank Online Marketing on Aug 21st, 2007     Link Building, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, SEO

Day Two coverage of the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose:  The Popular Kids Have Good Content 

Tuesday morning was the morning to learn about link building. As a linking specialist at TopRank, I knew I would learn a lot, and review what I already know, in this session by listening to Mike Grehan and Christine Churchill.

The topics we focused on this morning were ways to increase a website’s ranking, such as link requests, paid links and reputable links from authority sites.

However, the absolute basic thing you must remember before linking is that you need to have something to offer the readers. Mike Grehan asked us “Why should your site rank high?”

Lee Odden

What’s Old is New: Web Site Marketing Tips

Lee Odden on May 21st, 2007     Link Building, Online Marketing

In the late nineties, the current search marketing buzz words, “link bait”, “social media”, “search engine PR”, etc were nowhere near the lexicon of web masters tasked with promoting web sites. Sage advice of the day centered on evangelizing the internet as a channel first, and then focusing on web sites as the vehicle.

The logical question of, “How do I get people to visit my web site” from new web site owners would come up and advice often centered around using familiar marketing principles for web site promotion. For example, telling site owners to print their web site address wherever they were printing their phone number: on business cards, signage, direct mail and collateral, stationary, advertisements and even including it in hold music.

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