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20 / 01 / 2017
Channel Image09:55 What Links Can You Get That Comply with Google's Guidelines? - Whiteboard Friday» Moz Blog

Posted by MarieHaynes

If you've ever been the victim of a Google penalty, you know how painful it can be to identify the problem and recover from the hit. Even if you've been penalty-free thus far, the threat of getting penalized is a source of worry. But how can you avoid it, when it seems like unnatural links lurk around every corner?

In today's Whiteboard Friday, we're overjoyed to have Google penalty and unnatural link expert Marie Haynes share how to earn links that do comply with Google's guidelines, that will keep your site out of trouble, and that can make a real impact.

Links that comply with Google

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey everybody. My name's Marie Haynes, and today we're going to talk all about links. If you know anything about me, you know that I've done a lot of work with unnatural links. I've done a lot of work helping people with Penguin problems and unnatural link penalties. But today we're going to talk about natural links. I'm going to give you some tips about the types of links that you can get that comply with Google's guidelines. These links are sometimes much harder to get than unnatural links, but they're the type of link that Google expects to see and they're the type of link that can really help improve your rankings.

I. Ask

Number one is to ask people. Now some people might say, "Wait, that's not a natural link because I actually had to ask somebody to get it." But if somebody is willing to vouch for your website, to link to your website, and you're not giving them anything as an incentive in return, then that actually is a good link. So you can ask family members and friends and even better is employees. You can say, "Hey, if you have a blog, could you mention that you work for us and link to us?" Now, if they have to hide the link somewhere to make it actually happen, then that may not be the best link. But if they legitimately are happy to mention you and link to your company, then that's a good natural link that Google will appreciate.

II. Directories

People are probably freaking out saying, "Directories are not natural links. They're self-made links." I'm not talking about freelinkdirectory.com and other types of spammy directories where anybody in the world could create a link. I'm talking about directories that have a barrier to entry, a directory that you would expect that your business would be listed there, and a directory perhaps that people are actually using. A good place to get listed in these directories where you expect to see businesses is Moz Local. Moz Local can really help with the types of directories that you would expect to see your site listed in.

There are sometimes also, though, niche directories that perhaps you have to do a little bit of searching for. For example, let's say that you're a wedding photographer. You might want to be listed in a local city directory that tells people where to find musicians for their wedding and venues for the wedding and also wedding photographers. That can be a really good link, and it's the type of link that would bring you traffic as well, which is another indicator of a good link. A good way to find these opportunities is to search for your competitors' phone number. You can do a search for the phone number minus their site, and that should give you a list of directories that Google actually thinks are good examples of links to your site. You can approach those directories and see if you can get a link to your site.

III. Industry connections

Most businesses have connections with suppliers, with vendors, with clients, and with partners. These are places where you would expect to see that your business is listed. If you can get listed on these types of lists, then that's a good thing. A good way to find these is to find out what lists are your competitors on, take a look at their link profiles, and see if there's anything there where you should be listed as well.

IV. Unclaimed brand/name mentions

This is a place where somebody has mentioned your business, mentioned your website, perhaps mentioned your name, but they haven't linked to you. It's perfectly okay to reach out to those people and say, "Hey, thank you for mentioning us. Could you possibly link to us as well?" A lot of the time that can result in a link. You can find these opportunities by using Moz Fresh Web Explorer. Also, I think every business should have set up Google Alerts to tell you when somebody has mentioned your business.

However, even with these set up, sometimes some things get missed, and so I recommend every month that you go and you do a search for your brand name and subtract out your website. You might want to also subtract out sites like YouTube or Facebook if you have a lot of those listings as well. Then, set the date back for one month and see what new mentions have happened in that last month. You may be able to reach out to some of those businesses to get links.

V. Reclaim broken links

A way that you can find broken links to your website is to go to Google Search Console and look at the crawl errors. What I'm talking about here is a place where somebody has linked to your website but perhaps they've misspelled the URL. What you can do, there are two ways that you can reclaim these. One is to reach out to the site and say, "Hey, thanks for linking to us. Could you maybe fix the typo?" Number two is to create a redirect that goes from the misspelled URL to the properly spelled URL. When you do this, you lose a tiny little bit of link equity through the redirect, but still it's much better than having a link that goes to a broken page, because a link that goes to a 404 page is one that doesn't count for PageRank matters.

VI. Be awesome

Journalists are always looking for stuff to write about. If you can do something with your business that is newsworthy, then that's fantastic. Something you can do is create an event or perhaps do something for charity, and journalists love to write about that kind of thing.

A good way to find opportunities to do things like this is to do a Google search for local and your profession. Let's say you were a hair salon. You could do a Google search for local hair salon and then click on news. You'll see all sorts of news stories that journalists have written about. Perhaps a local hair salon has offered free haircuts for veterans. That gives you an idea of something that you can do as well. That also gives you a list of the journalists that are writing these types of stories. You can reach out to those journalists and say, "Hey, our business is doing this awesome thing. Would you consider writing a story about us?" Generally, that would include a link back to your website.

VII. Get press? Get more!

If you're getting press, do things to get more of that press. I have a story about a client who had a product who went viral. What he ended up doing was contacting all of those people who had linked to him and offering himself as a source for an interview. We also contacted people who mentioned the product but didn't link to him and said, "Hey, could you possibly link to us? We'd be happy to do an interview. We'd be happy to provide a new angle to the story." So if you're doing something that is going viral, that is getting a lot of press, often that means that people are super interested in this aspect of your business, and you can usually, with a little bit of work, get more links out of that process.

VIII. HARO

...Which stands for Help A Reporter Out. HARO is an email list that connects journalists with businesses, with professionals as well. These journalists are looking for a source. For example, if you're a dentist, there might be a journalist who's doing a story about teeth whitening. That journalist might want to use you as a source and then link to you. A tip that I can offer is, if you're using Gmail, is to set up filters in Gmail so that you only see the HARO requests that contain your keyword or your business. Otherwise, you can get up to three of these emails a day, and it can be a little bit overwhelming and fill up your inbox.

IX. What content is already getting links?

A good way to do this is to go to Google Search Console, Links to your site, Most linked content, and click on More. This is going to give you a list of the URLs on your site and the number of domains that are linking to those URLs. If you download the list, you'll also be able to see the exact URLs where the links are coming from. If you have content on your site that actually is already attracting links, then this is the type of content that you want to promote to other people to get more links. You can also contact the people who did link to you and say, "Thank you so much for linking to me. Is there something else that we could produce that would be useful for your customers, for your readers?" Often that can give you good ideas for creating new content, and the links are right there if those people are willing to give you ideas to write about.

X. 10X Content

This is creating content that's 10 times better than anything that's out there on the web. This doesn't have to be expensive. It can just be a matter of answering the questions that people have about your product or your business. One thing that I like to do is go to Yahoo Answers and search for my product, for my profession, and see what kind of questions people are asking about this profession or product, because if people are asking the question on Yahoo Answers, it often means that the answer is not easily available on a Google search. You can create content that's the best of its kind, that answers any questions that people might have, and you can reach out and ask for links. If this is really, truly 10X content, it is the type of content that should attract links naturally as well.

So these are 10 ways that you can get links that will comply with Google's guidelines and really should make a difference in your rankings. These are going to be harder than just going to a free link directory or using some spammy techniques to make links, but if you can do this type of thing, it's the type of thing that really moves the needle. You don't need to be worried about the Web Spam Team. You can be proud of the types of links that you're getting.

Thanks for watching. I'd be interested in seeing what types of links you have gotten by creating great things, by doing things that Google would expect businesses to do. Leave a comment below, and I'm sure we'll have a great discussion about how to get links that comply with Google's guidelines.


For more educational content and Google news from Marie, be sure to sign up for her newsletter or one of her new course offerings on SEO.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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19 / 01 / 2017
Channel Image22:00 SearchCap: Cutts resigns, DuckDuckGo surges & clickthrough rates» Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: Cutts resigns, DuckDuckGo surges & clickthrough rates appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Channel Image21:33 Study shows search terms with the very worst (and best) click-through rates» Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing
A new study uncovers a slew of search terms that aren't earning their fair share of clicks in the search engine results pages. The post Study shows search terms with the very worst (and best) click-through rates appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Channel Image19:05 DuckDuckGo surpasses 10 billion searches, with 4 billion happening in 2016 alone» Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing
The privacy search engine says it had its biggest day already this year, with 14M searches on January 10. The post DuckDuckGo surpasses 10 billion searches, with 4 billion happening in 2016 alone appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Channel Image18:11 Matt Cutts officially resigns from Google» Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing
Matt Cutts is the new director of engineering at the US Digital Service. He has been on leave with Google since 2014 and officially resigned at the end of 2016. The post Matt Cutts officially resigns from Google appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Channel Image16:05 Relaunching your website? Don’t forget an SEO audit!» Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing
Columnist Janet Driscoll Miller outlines the steps you should take pre-launch and post-launch to ensure a smooth transition to a new website. The post Relaunching your website? Don’t forget an SEO audit! appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Channel Image13:00 How to Identify Your E-commerce Product Page Keywords Using MozBar» Moz Blog

Posted by BrianChilds

A common challenge when doing SEO for e-commerce sites is deciding how to choose keywords for product pages. When it comes to e-commerce in particular, there's always that question on a page-by-page basis of “Which keyword is right for this page?” Especially for existing sites that need an SEO update, finding time to do page-specific keyword research can be burdensome. But product pages deserve every ounce of SEO they can get. Today, I’ll show you a way to make your e-commerce product page keyword research a lot easier.

My secret weapon?

MozBar.

By the end of this post, you'll discover how you can easily:

  • Look at the results for keywords related to your topic and get a sense of which words deliver the most similar results
  • Get a sense for how search engines might see your term versus others
  • Find related topics that deliver similar results, note those words, and then use them on your page
  • Save time identifying what represents a good keyword and whether the results match your expectations

Let me show you how.

What makes a good SEO e-commerce keyword?

Since e-commerce pages often have direct competition from other websites, you need to go above and beyond when it comes to optimization. You'll want to make sure you take into consideration not only the search intent of your desired customer, but also verify that the keyword you choose is actually delivering similar results in the SERP. When people search for products, you want to measure how narrow you have to go before a search result page starts displaying products similar to what you have.

For this example, I’ll use an e-commerce site that sells macbook and car decals. Think of all the different variants of those two broad search terms. There are 12 different subcategories of car decals alone.

One category is family decals, which allows a person to pick and choose amongst individual icons to create a customized family to display on the back of your minivan.

For this family decal segment, there are dozens of different individual product pages, so the goal is to make sure we optimize not just for a broad term like “car decal” but for a more nuanced term like “family car decal.” And then for the products themselves, dig into modifying terms relevant to the features.

Use MozBar to save time researching SEO e-commerce keywords

A common way to figure out what's showing up for a search term is to just run a search query. But when you have thousands of pages, this can take forever.

This is where the MozBar Page Optimization feature really helps you get the job done. It allows you to stay on the website to do analysis without jumping between tabs to run search queries.

Let's go through the steps.

1. First, of course, download the MozBar extension for Google Chrome (I’ll wait).

2. Next, go to your product page and activate your MozBar extension by selecting the icon until it turns blue (there are three statuses, FYI — on, DA mode, and off).

mozbarmode.gif

3. Then, select the Page Optimization icon near the top-left of your browser window. The icon looks like a little page with a circle in the corner:

4. A small text box window will appear. You'll want to have a list of terms ready to go, so if you haven’t done your keyword research yet, head over to Keyword Explorer and use the "Suggestions" tool to get some preliminary ideas. I usually enter a broad category-level keyword, then select “Optimize":

mozbaroptimize.gif

In addition to all the normal great stuff that MozBar provides, such as Domain Authority and Page Authority, the Page Optimization tool also gives you a quick overview of how well this individual page is optimized for the term you're researching. This is similar to the information you'd get in the Moz Pro Campaign tools, but here you can see it for any page without having to have Moz open in another tab.

5. Once you've entered your search term, select the “On-Page Content Suggestions” tab:

The On-Page Content Suggestions tab shows you a list of keywords that the search engines typically associate with the term you entered. Think of this as other planets in the same constellation as the keyword you entered. You can use these generally to understand what additional words to put on your page, but you can also use them to identify the target keyword for the page overall.

Here's where this gets awesome. Prepare to shave minutes off of your normal workflow.

Aligning search intent with e-commerce keywords

Starting with your highest-value products, navigate to the product page, open up MozBar, enter in your broad target keyword for the associated category, and then select the On-Page Content Suggestions tab.

Then, look for the keywords from the list that appear most aligned with your specific product. In this example, we're looking at a family car decal product that exists in a broader category of car decals.

The question to ask is: Which keyword displays products that are most similar to your product?

If you can find results that align closely with your product, then you can understand something about how search engines are interpreting the term and have a higher chance of optimizing for the right keywords.

To see which pages are ranking for a given suggested keyword, simply select the “See top ranking URLs” dropdown. It will display the URL and rank position of sites delivering content similar to your initial target search term:

mozpartopurl.gif

Using this example, you can interpret that “family stickers” definitely delivers results closely aligned with this product. Note that this correlates to the blue "Relevance" bar associated with that suggested keyword.

Make a note of the terms that are providing highly aligned search results pages, and then move onto the next product page. Once you have your list compiled, you'll be able to be more selective and informed with your page optimization choices.

I hope you find this e-commerce keyword trick helpful. Let me know in the comments section of this article!

Bonus tip for making your life easy:

When doing this kind of research, I recommend saving yourself some time down the road by copying the URLs that show up in the On-Page Content Suggestions tab into a new spreadsheet or document. You can compile and research these URLs later using Open Site Explorer.

When it comes time to think about building links to my optimized pages, you'll have a ready list of competitors to analyze. Look at their Inbound Links, Top Pages, and Anchor Text in Open Site Explorer in order to create a list of potential linking sites and content ideas.

Get started with MozBar for Chrome

If you're interested in more keyword research strategies, consider signing up for a Keyword Research Workshop in the Moz Training site. For a deeper dive on MozBar, sign up for our January 24 webinar!


Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!