Is Link Building Dead?

SEOs have been Hunters for links

Are We Hunters or Are We Farmers? This past week had two major events of note. These included Google's banning of MyBlogGuest and assessing a manual penalty on Portent, Inc. The penalty on Portent now appears to be lifted. What are we to make of all this? Is Google seriously turning up the heat? This is something that I predicted in my 6 SEO Predictions Post for 2014 post for Search Engine Watch. I think that we can safely say that Google is turning up the heat. Actions by Google are an outcome of ... Read More >

My Top Posts for 2013

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2013 was a big year for the industry, as well as for Stone Temple Consulting, and me personally. So much happening so fast, and it looks like the pace will only accelerate going forward. With this post, I want to take a moment and review the top posts (based on total social media "events"), that I put out in 2013. Each of these posts received at least 1,000: 1. Link Building is Not Illegal (or Inherently Bad) With Matt Cutts Publication Date: 7/10/2013 Tweets: 1497 Google Plus: ... Read More >

Majestic SEO – Open Site Explorer Shootout!

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There are a number of tools available in the market today that provide backlink data for websites. The two most well-known ones are Open Site Explorer (OSE) and Majestic SEO. But which is better? I decided to dig in and try to get an answer to that question. It then occurred to me that the best way to do that was to get Rand Fishkin (SEOMoz's CEO) and Dixon Jones (Majestic's Marketing Director) to help me out. Hey - great to offload some of the work, right? So with their help, we built out ... Read More >

Link Pruning is the Key to Addressing Penguin

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With today's post I am happy to announce the launch of the Stone Temple Consulting YouTube Channel. And, we are kicking that off with a video interview I did with Bruce Clay on a hot topic - link pruning. As you probably know, Google's recent Penguin update focused on lowering rankings for sites that use questionable link building practices. This is a hot topic! If you have been hit by Penguin, or are worried about future variations of the algorithm, this is a video you can't miss. In ... Read More >

Interview with Wordtracker’s Ken McGaffin

Back in June Wordtracker announced their new tool: Link Builder. Not long after that I interviewed Ken McGaffin to learn more about the tool, and their partnership with Majestic SEO. You can see a full transcript of the interview with Ken McGaffin here. There are a few things that I find particularly interesting with Link Builder and Wordtracker's approach: Wordtracker has a large community of existing customers. They should be able to mine many sign-ups out of that customer base. Link Builder ... Read More >

Briefing by Majestic SEO

My latest briefing of companies in the link building tools business was with Dixon Jones of Majestic SEO. In the near future I will publish a briefing about Wordtracker Link Builder. One of the things that distinguishes Majestic SEO is that they have a huge data set - more than 1 Trillion links are cataloged by them. They have also built in to the tool ways to process that huge mound of data so you can more easily extract meaning from it. Check it out! ... Read More >

The Disproportionate Value of Deep Links

The impact of a few deep links appears be greater than what you might first expect. In today's post I am going to explore why that may be the case, and how to leverage it. First let me go into my theory on the matter. For this example, let's assume we have a high PR home page (PR7, 8 or 9). Let's say it has 3 layers of content, consisting of an upper layer (categories), a 2nd layer (sub-categories) and a 3rd layer (detailed content). If we apply the traditional PageRank algorithm, even the 2nd layer ... Read More >

Distribute Your Link Sources

Imagine you want to establish yourself as a true leader in your market space. However, the market space has been around for a few years, and there are other sites that have already established themselves as leaders. A natural thing to do is to backlink those leaders (i.e. use a tools such as LinkScape to get a map of who links to your competitor). The next thing that people often do is to start contacting people at the best sites (with the most link juice) that link to the competitor. No question that ... Read More >

Trust and Link Building

One of the things that is evolving in my philosophy of SEO is how I look at the role of trust. Trust was not something that was important during AltaVista's hey day, when keyword density was king, or even during the early days of Google when PageRank in its purest form ruled the day. Another big thing in my mind these days is that the number of factors, and the importance of each factor, involved in ranking algorithms has changed. When the PageRank paper was published, you pretty much had a blueprint ... Read More >

Profile Your Own Links

One of the first things we do when we take on a new client is analyze their link profile. You should always do this in the very beginning of an SEO effort. Let's look at a few situations in a bit more detail: A site has 10 thousand links and has a Google Toolbar PR of 4. This is a sure sign of a site that has a lot of low quality links. Note that I did not say "bad" links, but there are very few authoritative links in that stack. You need to go get some. A site has a thousand or more pages and 10 ... Read More >