In the session at Pubcon Las Vegas 2012, I spoke about link building, essentially revealing what works and what does not in a post-penguin world. So, what is all the “Penguin” talk anyway? What does it mean? Is it a name given to a Google algorithm update that affected low-quality links?
Here is Wikipedia’s definition of the word:
Google Penguin is a code name for a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012. The update is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, participating in link schemes, deliberate creation of duplicate content, and others.
Or in layman’s terms … It’s Another Google Assault on SEOs!
What No Longer Works
- Paid Links
- Sponsored Blog Reviews
- Article Marketing
- Comments (did they ever work at all)
Disclaimer: Paid Links & Sponsored Blog Reviews may still be somewhat effective but PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
What Does Work?
- Social Media
- Content Marketing
Now you might ask, “Is that all? Are we really down to just two tactics?” Not really! There are still a variety of ways to “earn” links. Note that I used the word “earn.” In fact the article, 101 Ways To Link Build in 2012, is a great resource on multiple ways to acquire links. However, keep in mind that most all effective post-penguin link building strategies center around these two tactics—social media and content marketing.
Links With Social Media
One effective strategy to create natural links is to utilize social media profiles to build links. Here are some tips with regards to this strategy:
- Set up as many social media profiles as you can.
- Fill in all information (i.e. real name, URL, location, bio, etc.).
- Upload an avatar.
- Post/publish content where applicable.
- Get profile URLs indexed.
Check out The Ultimate Social Media Profile Chart for a concise list of social media properties that will allow you to set up profiles. The chart includes detailed information about each property such as the amount of links that can be created, whether they are followed or not followed and more. Also, if you tend to be lazy (such as myself), use a service like Knowem who will register multiple profiles for you. You may have to go back in to each one and build them out but the service does save a lot of work in setting them up.
Types of Content Marketing
There are many types of content that one can generate and publish. Here are some of the most effective:
- Resourceful Posts (Top 10s, How-Tos, etc.)
- Guest Posts
- Memes (Ego Bait)
- White Papers
Infographic Marketing 101
Here are some essential tips on promoting infographics, one of the very effective types of content.
- Share on Facebook. Consider utilizing Facebook Ads or Promote option under post.
- Share on Twitter. Consider utilizing Sponsored Tweets.
- Submit good content to StumbleUpon. Use Paid Discovery to draw more attention.
- Post to your Pinterest, Tumblr, and visualize.us accounts. Link back to original.
- Send an optimized press release via online PR sites, such as MarketWire & PRWeb.
- Utilize dozens of bookmarking sites including infographic archives.
- Reach out to “like-minded” bloggers to see if they will re-post your infographic.
- Utilize “guest blogger” opportunities to re-post your infographics on prominent sites.
- Having a large network of followers (influential status) will help promotion efforts.
- If you lack influence, it might be wise to hire someone who does to share content.
- Include an “Embed This Code!” (http://infographicjournal.com/embed-code-generator/)
In summary, keep in mind that flying for Penguins is not easy, neither is link building—at least effective, proactive link building in a post-penguin age.
There you have it! If you would like to see the actual slides used during the presentation, please visit http://www.slideshare.net/searchrank and look for the title “Proactive Link Building Tactics” or look below.