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Link building 2015

     
11:01 pm on Dec 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Trying to look like the rest of the 'I don't do SEO' trees so I can hide in the forest continues to be my strategy. Except now the forest in my industry are big multi-national corporations/brands. So here's what I'm thinking for the new year:
1) Joining big dollar organizations that have a directory of membership. Not BBB stuff, industry orgs that petition government regulators - associations that costs thousands to join. that places me in the link circles of the brands. 2015 will be the first year where I will pay substantially for links like this.
2) continued with the media. I might beef up my media page to make me more discoverable in searches. For me, media links are the new '.edu'.
3) Continued guest blog posting, but only on blogs in my industry (so the entire blog content is in my niche, and their backlinks are also from my niche).
4) free products/services for people in my industry. Linkbait targetting my competitors. I have a few competitors who link to me, even more use my site.

You?
3:38 am on Dec 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Citations not links. This is what people will be blog posting and making conference presentations about in 2015 through 2016.
7:53 am on Dec 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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1) Brand citations seems to gain alot of SEO adepts, in some situations beeing considered more valuable than links themeseles.

2. Social media: G+, FB, Tweeter, Linkedin - involving in communities development, where should be an influencer and need to be followed by important people from your area.

About free products/services, see this point from the guideline:
"Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link" - from here: support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en.

On the same page there are also a few words about guest posting:
"Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links".

So, must be carefoul with these things.

Good luck!
2:05 pm on Dec 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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In context/locality links - links from sites that are in the same niche or locality or follow the same theme as the site. Sooner or later the people in Google might develop enough Search sentience to realise the importance of these links instead of faffing around with AI as a cover story for the increasing bogosity of their SERPs.

Regards...jmcc
2:29 pm on Dec 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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"sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link"

Would it be worthwhile pursuing this for brand citations instead of a link?
3:09 pm on Dec 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I don't believe in brand citations. That's a limited concept created by someone who couldn't understand what unlinked citations are. It's an unfortunate characterization that has misled people.
3:53 pm on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The concept of Brand Mentions is completely and 100% bogus
Here is more on the concept of "brand citations"

Bill Slawski on the two articles about brand mentions, the Moz article and subsequent Forbes article that parroted the Moz article:
“It's hard reading patents, and both those guys failed to do it even half-assed with this patent.”


https://twitter.com/bill_slawski/status/495995459383463936 [twitter.com]

And here is an article written in August 2014 by Bill Slawski about Brand Mentions in which he dismisses the concept. Brand Mentions are Not the New Link Building [seobythesea.com]

There is more to be said on this topic but the above links should suffice.
4:51 pm on Jan 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There might not be a patent that specifies brand citations but I don't think the concept should be discounted altogether.

Back in 2008 I sat down to do a proper analysis of Google's local results across a few niches in the UK that I was interested in, and try to reverse-engineer what I was seeing, because what I was used to then as thinking of 'popularity via links' didn't match what I was seeing when it came to who was winning and who was losing in local.

I noticed that there were businesses ranking in the A-H listings that didn't even have a website. So obviously there had to be other factors involved, and what I saw correlated with what I read on forums and blogs about the concept of 'citation'. For local that would be address and telephone, but it made me think that perhaps Google might apply that concept to their non-local algorithms too, if the brand/entity was distinct enough.

Applying what I'd learned demystified and unlocked local for me, so I'm a firm believer in citations now.

Yes, local and web results are completely different algo-wise, but Bill himself uses the word 'entity' - and that encompasses brand too. I'd be pissed if someone plagiarised me without a hat-tip, but isn't it splitting hairs a little to rubbish the idea of brand citations when you're espousing the idea of entity citations? (no disrespect meant to Bill, it's an awesome site and I'm a subscriber)
5:43 pm on Jan 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Well, FranticFish, you are absolutely right. Thanks for bringing this up because it's a very important clarification. :) Here's the background for those who may not remember. When local listings first came out many, many years ago the citations used to be listed right there on the Google Local page about the business. Many of the citations were web pages listing the phone and address, not links.

That's a bit different than Brand Mentions, though. Brand Mentions are basically when a site publishes the name or URL of your company in a non-link fashion. No address. No phone number. Furthermore the concept of Brand Mention is explicitly tied to ranking in the main SERPs.

What Bill Slawski (and I) are referencing is outside of the context of local search. So while you are 100% correct wrt to non-link address/phone number citations and local search, so is Bill. Which means we can all have our cake and eat it, too. :P
7:02 pm on Jan 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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:)

I'd be very interested in your thoughts on (and whether you had a any good references on) the whole concept of citation and getting cited.

When I crunch link profiles I've started to record genuine mentions that include a link (forum, comment) separately, and I note that MOZ have a (subscriber) tool to track entity mentions.

It was one of the topics in Whitey's thread on 2015 trends, and I don't think we're completely OT to include it here.

If we're talking about next-gen link techniques then maybe the discussion should include citation techniques too, and I'd be really interested in hearing your take in this as it impacts general search.
2:26 am on Jan 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Regarding "citations"... the word is being used in several ways on the forums right now, and perhaps needs some clarification. One of the most important meanings is that a citation is a recommendation. This is the original meaning that Google attached to it when it built a citation-based search engine, patterned after the model of academic citations.

There's a superb short article about citations (written by martinibuster, this forum's moderator) which has been getting great reactions over the past month in the blogosphere, and which is conspicuous by its absence here. The article is...

Acquire Links or Cultivate Citations?
Roger Montti - December 8, 2014
[martinibuster.com...]

What the article does that is particularly important, I feel, is clearly and simply to distinguish between "citations" and "links"....

Links connect. Citations recommend. Links aren’t as important as citations. Citations matter because they are recommendations.

This simple distinction might raise some questions about the statistics and "how can they tell?", but I think the article clarifies much more than it raises questions.
4:05 am on Jan 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Build outward things around positive signals found in Analytics. If what you want to target things that are not positive in your Analytics, build inward.

In short don't try to promote areas within your site that show poor performance. It's a waste of time. Promote what your site is good at and if you want it to be something else, make it something else.
7:30 am on Jan 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just to follow up on Robert Charlton's post...

He says that there are several meanings of "citation" floating around in the SEO world. The other common meaning is in local SEO where it commonly refers to an unlinked mention of your business, typically a "NAP" citation - Name, Address, Phone number.