Nicholas Chimonas provides comprehensive coverage of the 2015 SMX Keynote, Danny Sullivan’s interview with Gary Illyes during the AMA with Google Search.
Hello and welcome to our complete list of link building resources.
Here at Linkarati we eat, breathe, and dream link building. We work around the clock to continually produce useful link building content, and share office space with Page One Power, our link building agency brethren.
The fact is link building and SEO are quickly evolving industries. Google’s only been around 15 years. Penguin has only been around for two. And yet each has fundamentally changed links on the web.
Since we’ve invested so much time into learning and sharing everything possible about link building, it only makes sense to make a complete resource page. It’s taken many, many hours, but today we’re finally ready to release this previously internal resource to the public.
This is by no means done. If we’ve learned anything through our years of link building it’s that there will always be change. We’ll continue to update this resource month over month, year over year.
Suggestions, comments, feedback (and shares!) are welcome. Simply email me (Cory) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Google’s algorithm changes up to 500+ times a year, according to Google. Of course many of those are minor changes that are all but impossible to notice. Some are larger changes that are hard to define. To help better track and understand Google’s algorithmic changes multiple third party companies have built algorithm change monitors. These tools track thousands of different search results and are able to notice minute changes. All SEOs should keep an eye on a few of these algorithm change monitors.
Human creativity is the number one link building tool, without question. When you’re working to build quality links that matter, remember that.
There are of course hundreds of other tools that will help improve your link building efforts, every stop of the way, from prospecting, outreach, tracking, reporting, monitoring, and everything in between. Tools shouldn’t be underestimated in the power they grant a link builder, but don’t forget that great links come first from human care and effort. Tools will only help – they can’t replace that human element.
Outreach is one of the most important aspects of link building as nothing can be accomplished without effective outreach. Outreach will set the tone for your entire link building campaign, and through successful outreach you can cultivate valuable relationships as well as links. However, outreach is time consuming and can become convoluted without proper organization. Fortunately, there a number of helpful outreach tools to choose from.
Link prospecting is the act of finding sites worth building a link from. Due to the amount of noise and websites available, link prospecting can take up a healthy amount of time within the overall project. Luckily there are tools specifically designed to help you increase your link prospecting efficiency.
The human brain is truly incredible and can do absolutely remarkable things. However, it can’t always do it alone – tools that provide more data can help drive creativity and understanding. Site analytics are absolutely essential for better understanding the performance of your own website.
Links can provide numerous benefits, including traffic, branding, authority, relationships, and of course search visibility. It’s that last one – visibility in search – that really propels the majority of link building within SEO. And as a primary goal you should absolutely be tracking your website’s search visibility. How? With rank trackers, which will empower you to track hundreds or even thousands of search results and see where your website ranks.
On-site SEO needs to be addressed before you begin building links. Otherwise there is a very real possibility that no matter how many links you build, your site won’t perform the way it should. The good news is that on-site SEO can be easy to address, particularly if you’re working out of WordPress or another common CMS. The following are plugins specifically designed to maximize ease and efficiency when it comes to common on-site SEO issues.
What’s more convenient or efficient than a tool that lives in your browser? The following list of tools are all browser extensions that will help with your link building efforts, all accessible without having to switch away from your browser.
Although social media has no direct influence on search rankings, social is still quite valuable in terms of SEO and link builder – particularly for amplification and outreach. Here are some of the best social tools on the web to increase your link building efforts.
Outreach is a fundamental process in building links that matter. And because email is the preferred method of outreach 90% of the time, email tools can greatly improve your outreach abilities. The following are a variety of tools that offer a variety of options – knowing when your email was received and opened, scheduling follow up emails, and even seeing your contact’s social media profiles.
The world of SEO and link building is ever-changing as Google’s search algorithm is constantly evolving. In order to stay on top of best practices and avoid falling behind it is important to keep up with industry news. Here are the leading news sites within the industry.
SEOs and link builders are well known for their love of sharing information, tactics, and ideas. Subsequently there are a plethora of SEO/link building blogs worth paying attention to. To help you find the best and most accurate blogs worth following, we’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of some of the most prominent SEO and link building blogs.
SEOs and link builders obviously spend a large amount of time online. It only makes sense then that there are quite a few well-established online communities for both SEOs and link builders alike. Here are some of the online communities where many of today’s key influencers spend time.
Link builders inherently understand the importance of niche influencers. No matter what the niche is, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the movers and shakers. Here is a list (in no particular ordre) of a number of influential people within the SEO/link building industry.
Link builders often use surveys as a form of link bait, since surveys often contain interesting data that various blogs and news outlets will analyze and report. The same is true within our own industry. The following is a list of surveys with interesting and revealing data of which you should be aware.
There are nearly an infinite number of ways to build links. You’re only limited by your creativity – any way you dream to make another website share your content, message, thoughts, beliefs, work, or ideas will typically result in a link.
The following are tactics that have proven effective time and time again, and have been largely explained by a variety of sources. Remember that you need to diversify your efforts and customize each campaign based upon your niche, industry, product, and goals. Each and everyone of these tactics can be successful, but it will vary site to site.
Broken link building is one of the most popular tactics for building links. This is because it is effective and relatively easy as it doesn’t require any content creation. Here are some great posts on the subject.
Guest blogging offers a variety of online visibility benefits: tapping into new audiences, building authority, disseminating a message, and of course link opportunities. Although Google’s head of Webspam recently called for the end of guest blogging for SEO, high quality guest blogging will never die. High quality guest blogging will continue to offer great online marketing opportunities, and that will continue to include links. Just be sure you’re creating top notch content to receptive audiences.
Link Reclamation is exactly what it sounds: reclaiming or fixing links pointing to your site. Specifically, this tactic involves finding broken, old, outdated, and generally suboptimal backlinks pointing to your site and making the appropriate fixes. These are typically an easy win at the beginning of the campaign as they can often be fixed internally.
Building links from mentions is a very practical, easy, and natural way to accrue links. The concept is exactly as it sounds: you monitor the internet and whenever another website mentions you, your product, your website, your brand, or even your URL you reach out to thank them and ask for a link as well. It’s a great way to monitor the perception of your company as well as build a few great links.
Nearly every industry has a large dedicated resource page on one website or another, if not multiple resource pages. These pages are great for a few authority links – your website is featured in good company, you’re listed as helpful resource to your target audience, and you get another link online. Due to the complications with keeping these list up to date webmasters are often grateful or at least receptive to new resources as well.
Infographics are one of the most sharable styles of content online. They have all the right elements: easy to digest, visually pleasing, interesting data. It’s only natural that online marketers would attempt to tap into this power in order to build valuable links.
When is a mention not a mention? When it’s an image. The web is a free flow of information and ideas, and it’s extremely natural for another website to use a few of your company’s images – whether it’s your logo, corporate headshots, unique graphics, etc. With reverse image searching tools all that’s left is outreaching for the link.
Competitive analysis is a cornerstone of SEO. Understanding and analyzing what your competitors are doing right–and wrong–will allow you to work more efficiently. This is absolutely true within link building. Before you launch any campaign, it’s important to understand what’s working for your competitors and how and where they’re building links that matter.
There is nothing better than when links build themselves. Although that might be a bit of stretch considering the time and effort that goes into creating and promoting link bait, that is the general concept: a piece of content that is created specifically because websites are likely to link to the content.
Participating in interviews is one of the most underrated link building tactics currently. Interviews offer the same benefits of guest blogging, including the link. And you don’t even have to write them – you just answer another person’s questions. Of course, the same quality guidelines for guest blogging should be in place for participating in interviews. Make sure you’re only participating with interviews that will be placed on quality sites relevant to your business.
Local links are another underrated tactic, especially for their effectiveness in local search. Often local businesses have spent years developing local contacts before investing into local online visibility. This offers a breadth of opportunity that can translate into campaign success.
Google founded their search engine on the concept that links are a vote of confidence online. Testimonials are quite literally a vote of confidence. If you’ve already provided another website or company with a testimonial, and they feature it online, they will typically link back. This makes it clear who’s providing the testimonial, and gives you a valuable link. If you’ve granted a testimonial, or have reason to, don’t forget about the link.
As Rand Fishkin famously said “my link building tool is my publish button.” This is the concept of building links through your community – you’ve managed to establish an audience. All that’s left is to encourage and promote shares and links.
Everyone loves something for free – but of course there’s no free lunch. What’s the compromise? Give something away for free, but encourage links in return. This is the concept behind contests and giveaways. Just be careful you don’t cross the line into paid links – it’s a slippery slope.
Links are a common form of online currency. Websites understand that by linking out they’re promoting another website to their visitors. Despite the fact that links take place online, there’s no reason you’re limited to pursuing links only through online means. In reality there are quite a few opportunities to build links offline, as well.
Few link building tactics offer the opportunity that reporting and newsjacking do. If you’re able to get major news outlets to pick up your story you’re all but guaranteed a large dose of high authority links, along with traffic, visibility, and branding. Of course, it’s easier said than done. But there are methods to help improve your success rate.
Links from EDU domains are often often highly sought after. EDU links are prized because they’re typically very authoritative and trusted. However, EDU sites are usually very particular about where they link. Fortunately, there are some proven and effective strategies for EDU link building and these posts will explain them aptly.
Badging can be a very effective technique for building links on prominent blogs/sites. By rewarding best-in-class sites with badges honoring their quality, you can build links while also recognizing the leading sites in your niche. However, there is a caveat with badge link building as you need to be an actual authority within your niche or your badges will be meaningless. Here are some helpful articles that cover badging.
Long gone are the days of mass submitting links to giant and irrelevant link directories. This does not mean all directory link building is useless, however. The key to effective directory link building is to focus on niche specific and local directories. As always you want to build links real humans would click. Here is a list of available resources covering this topic.
Businesses naturally form partnerships over the course of development and growth. Partnerships are essentially an offline link between two businesses, and often result in an online link as well. Here some resources that could be helpful when checking for partnership link opportunities.
Sponsorships are a wonderful way to give back to your community. They can also strengthen branding and build valuable and lasting relationships. If you already have existing sponsorships, it may be worth looking into pursuing links as well. Here are some guides to help ensure you get the links you deserve.
Being part of a professional association or organization can provide numerous benefits for a business such as credibility, networking opportunities, lead generation, etc. Along with all these benefits, any associations that have websites may also present link opportunities. Here are some guides on how to go about pursuing association links.
The world of SEO/link building is full of nuanced strategies, technical terms, and complex techniques. However, the industry is also very open and there are a number of helpful guides and resources available. Here is a list of useful educational materials available on the web.
Blog posts are great, but perhaps you would like a change of pace or formatting. Sometimes it is easier to understand a given topic or subject by watching an educational video or listening to a podcast. Here are some of the most prominent series worth following.
Sometimes a topic is so large or broad that a simple blog post will not do it justice. Or perhaps you are looking for in-depth analysis or coverage on a wide range of related subjects. In this instance, a comprehensive eBook can provide you with the information you need. Here are some of the most informative eBooks published regarding link building.
Case studies are uniquely valuable in providing and understanding real world data. The insights that can be gained are extremely helpful in terms of guiding decisions and strategy. Here are a number of relevant case studies from within the SEO/link building industry.
Industry events and conferences offer a great way to not only learn more about the industry, but also network and connect with influencers. Conferences are particularly significant within the SEO/link building industry as they offer a way to gain insights from the biggest influencers in the space and learn of major changes within search. Here are some of the most prominent conference/events within the industry.
SEOs and link builders tend to have a great sense of humor – we enjoy a good joke just like anyone. Because the industry changes so rapidly, it attracts a large proportion of creative people. Thankfully, a lot of the humorous individuals in the trade find some time to tell their jokes.