A few days ago I looked at LinkWheel, a service which helps you increase your search engine presence using links from Web 2.0 websites. Today I will be reviewing another service which aims to increase your presence in the search engines through link building.
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BackLinkBuild offer a variety of back link solutions to help you increase the PageRank of your blog. All links are added manually to blog posts, articles and social media sites that they work with. Unlike some services which charge for text links on a monthly basis, BackLinkBuild links will be there permanently though they cannot guarantee Edu links will remain live, they only guarantee them for 30 days.
I don’t want to talk too much about whether this is the right way to market a blog as the subject has been discussed on BloggingTips on many occasionalys. Google have been very vocal about purchasing links in order to increase your PR. However, manually adding links into existing keywords is pretty difficult for Google to spot and there is no denying that link building using services like this are effective and will help you increase your PageRank. They will also help you rank higher for your chosen keywords.
Just be aware that it is against Googles policies to market your blog in this manner and there is a chance you could get slapped.
Back Linking Solutions
BackLinkBuild offer you three different ways to market your site. You can purchase links on relevant sites, on Edu sites and there is also a social bookmarking package. Let’s look at each option.
In the relevant links package your links will be embedded within unique articles, which are written specifically for your site. The articles are optimised for SEO and your site is linked using your chosen keywords.
The guarantee that the article will be written on a blog with at least a PageRank of 3. However, this does not mean that your article will have a PR of 3. Blog posts within a blog usually have PageRank which is one or two lower than the home page. There are exceptions to this though as great articles are linked more and will therefore have a good PR.
However, I doubt that a blogger writing an article specifically for adding keywords is going to spend a lot of time on it so it’s unlikely to be linked by other sites much, therefore the articles PR will likely come internally from the blog it is on. Just be aware that your link will definitely be on a PR3+ blog, but the article your links are on may not.
There are 4 packages available. All links within packages are do follow, one way and permanent. If any links are removed by the blogger within 6 months then BackLinkBuild will replace them on another blog.
- Basic ($189): 12 links over 4 domains plus one PR5 link. Usually completed within 6 days
- Advanced ($315): 21 links over 7 domains plus three PR5 links. Usually completed within 7 days
- Professional ($476): 34 links over 12 domains plus three PR6 links. Usually completed within 9 days
- Corporate ($915): 60 links over 20 domains plus eight PR6 links. Usually completed within 11 days
Slightly more expensive is the Edu link package, which will place links to your site on influential education domains. The links should be permanent though if they are removed they do guarantee that the link will remain live for at least 30 days.
Unlike the relevant links package, each link within the Edu links package is placed on a unique domain.
- Basic ($119): 7 links plus one PR5 link. Usually completed within 3 days
- Advanced ($295): 20 links plus three PR5 links. Usually completed within 5 days
- Professional ($495): 34 links plus three PR6 links. Usually completed within 7 days
- Corporate ($980): 70 links plus eight PR6 links. Usually completed within 9 days
Social Bookmarking Service
Another option is the Social Bookmarking Package. This costs $119 and guarantees that your blog will be submitted to over 1,000 bookmarking sites within 3 days.
The results will then be provided to you via Excel highlighting what URLs were submitted to what sites.
This package will probably not help your search engine presences as many bookmarking sites attach nofollow tags to their links or use redirection scripts in order to track clicks. However, it could provide a good traffic boost to your blog.
BackLinkBuilds prices are pretty competitive, particularly when compared to monthly text link advertising services such as Text Link Ads. There are other alternatives to consider when marketing a blog however link building remains a tried and tested way of increasing your ranking for key terms.
The one thing that does concern me though is the note at the bottom of their site which states that they also use dofollow blog commenting. The blogger could remove the comments at any time if they look spammy or make all comments no follow so I wouldn’t be happy with blog comments being included in any package I used.
Blog comments on dofollow blogs are also likely to pass very little PR juice. Even if the article in question does have a PR of 2 or 3, there will be so many outgoing links on the page the PR being passed to each linked site will be minuscule.
If you have some money to spare and are finding it hard to link for a given keyword, then it may be worth trying them out. I would prefer if they offered a few cheaper packages in order to test the service out without spending hundreds of dollars.
What is Thin Content and How to Fix It
I don’t want to name any names, but I saw an awful website this morning. Granted, I was looking for examples of thin content because of this post and I figured I might be able to just wander around until I found something that could count towards the description. I didn’t expect to find something this relevant, much less to such a degree that I would leave the site cringing.
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Because of tactics they had used and length of time the site had been around, they maintain a decent Google ranking in spite of having some of the thinnest content I have ever seen. But the lack of engagement on the articles, the amount of spam littered among the occasional real comment, the lack of social media shares… it all showed that in spite of being prolific in their posting habits, their content was doing nothing to help them.
Someone should let them know about the benefits of high quality content versus thin content. Though given the sheer number of ads on their domain, quality probably isn’t their first priority.
Thin Content Risks
Why is this such a bad thing if the traffic is high enough to bring them within the first page of Google results? It is the same reason that keyword stuffing is a bad idea. Sure, it will bring people to your site for a time. But eventually Google’s algorithm is going to catch on and while they claim they don’t penalize, we all know that isn’t true. If you try and skirt around the system you are going to get flagged.
Not only that, but it is damaging to a brand.
What is the use of being on Google’s first page if people realize the moment they click onto your site that you have nothing worth viewing? They will be gone within seconds and over time your rank will go down along with the lack of interest or brand trust.
The Legend of Fred
Now there is a more direct threat to your business. But then Google came out with updates, all named under one collective term “Fred” which focused on battling thin content:
Basically, if you publish high quality content that is highly cited on the Internet – and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, crap like that.
Fred caused quite a ruckus when it was first released in 2017. It came from the Black Hat sector, aimed specifically at spam links and suspected spam links.
Of course, we know from past statements and experiences that Google is also targeting backlinks and trying to discourage the practice which may be why so many sites that were well established and not at all spam saw a 90% decrease in traffic seemingly out of nowhere. It sparked panic across the web as site owners and brands scrambled to figure out what was happening and came back with rumors of “Fred”.
The good news is while a percentage of sites hit were valid ones that might not have deserved it, most did appear to be low rent content hosters using shady practices to boost traffic and so ad revenue. But that was little relief for those bigger sites who were impacted by the release of Fred.
Since then Google has got even smarter at identifying and fighting thin content, so in case you have some older lower-quality content on your blog, fixing it may cause your overall rankings increase.
How to Fix Thin Content on Your Blog
Step 1: Identify and Enhance Articles That Bring Traffic
- Go to Google Analytics Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages
- Enable it to show 5000 rows (this is the maximum)
- Export the whole report and check if any of those articles can be called “thin”, generally:
- Number of words is fewer than 500
- There are no structure (subheadings, images, etc.)
- There’s no “substance”, i.e. some unique tip, facts, etc. that a reader can take home.
TextOptimizer is a great tool for that: It will run your target query in Google, extract search snippets and then apply semantic analysis to identify related concepts and entities to implement in your content to expand it.
TextOptimizer will also generate popular questions on your topic for you to answer in your content and make it better:
While editing your old content, think if there are any content re-purposing opportunities, like creating a whitepaper or a blog series. Use the checklist to ensure higher quality for each of your content projects.
Step 2: Identify and Get Rid of Articles That Bring 0 Clicks
Now, go ahead and check all the articles that didn’t get into your above list. You may double-check again to make sure any of them are not really driving any clicks. Once you are sure, go ahead and:
- Use 301 redirect to redirect any of those articles to their updated or closely related versions
- If there’s no related content to redirect to, simply delete old thin articles
- Here are great plugins that will help you with both the steps above
For more information on this tactic, check out this case study on how this process increased one blog’s traffic by ~1000%
Have you been thinking about fixing low-quality thin content? Please share your tips!
5 Ways Blog Optimization Tips for Google Ranking Success in 2019
On-page SEO for your blog articles should be a top priority. You have most likely read plenty of articles on the subject. If you are a new blogger, you probably have a domain, WordPress hosting service, a long list of potential topics and categories to write about, but what about blog optimization? This is a common misstep for new bloggers.
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If you are still wondering what the true anatomy of an optimized blog is, we are here to help. Meta-tags, keywords, image Alt Text, and the list goes on. What is the real goal of on-page SEO? Better Google rankings! And better Google rankings means more eyes on your content, since you will be ranking high on Google SERPs.
Having exceptional on-page SEO is vital to the growth and success of your business. This means bending to the hand of the almighty Google. Why? Google handles two trillion searches per year.
Let’s take a deeper look at five ways to optimize your blog for Google ranking success in 2019!
- Start with Optimizing Keywords
Whether you write for your own blog, or have an editor, all your content should revolve around unique keywords. Normally, bloggers will be given a keyword to include in their highly authoritative, actionable content in various places. You can see a perfect example here, as the article is written in a way to not only focuses on the keywords and search phrases in the title, but the content within the article breaks down even further into each of these data points and subtitles as well.
Having that keyword allows you to begin formatting your title, subheadings and text. But keyword development doesn’t necessarily end there.
You should also identify two to three supporting keywords that will be used throughout the post, in subheadings, and even in your title. You can use tools like Infinite Suggest to maximize keyword research. You can also find other supporting keyword ideas using Moz, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush.
- Do Your Due Diligence During Keyword Research
There is a bit more that goes into choosing two or three supporting keywords. You don’t want to blindly pick one. The goal is to find keywords with a fair amount of search volume, low difficulty, and high opportunity.
From the keyword tool, make a list of supporting keywords, let’s say you choose “on page SEO tactics” as a supporting keyword, but the monthly search volume seems low. What to do? Check another platform like MOZ or SEMrush to get a second keyword opinion. Remember, you want to choose keywords that your audience is actually searching for.
- Make a List of LSI Keywords
You may be asking yourself, “What are LSI keywords?” LSI keywords, better known as “long-tail” keywords, are actually becoming more important for search engines like Google. They may also help you avoid Problematic Google penalties. How do you find LSI keywords? It’s actually simpler than you may think.
Open up Google and search for your main keyword, and then scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find a nice variety of LSI keywords waiting for you. After, check the long-tail keywords you want to use in a keyword tool. It is best practice to use two or three LSI Keywords in a blog article for max value.
- Always Put Keywords in Your Blog SEO Titles
Identifying and qualifying your keywords is quite often the most difficult part of on-page SEO for blog posts. However, once you have them, things begin to fall into place for SERP results you will be happy with. How do you use them though?
Placing keywords in your SEO title is also important. It essentially tells Google that you want to rank for this or that. If “Blogger Tips” is your keyword, you’ll want to include it in the title as close to the beginning of the title as possible.
It is important to note that you want your title to still sound natural, so don’t force it. Be natural, but always think Google page one. The closer your keyword is to the front, the more weight it carries with search engines.
- Put Your Keywords in Headings Correctly
This is a common mistake many bloggers make. Sure, crafting delightful content that is worthy of the New Yorker is dreamy. However, Google ranking algorithms don’t only look at content. You essentially want to tell search engines, and your audience, where the shifts in the story are, and what each section is about.
Using appropriate header tags can make this happen. Most content management systems will automatically place an h1 tag for your post’s SEO title. WordPress does this nicely! If you are writing for a client, you may only be formatting your blog article for on-page SEO via Google Docs or Word. In this is the case, you want to ensure each heading is tagged correctly, like:
- h1 tag for SEO titles
- h2 tag for subheadings
- h3 tags for supporting subheadings
In Conclusion . . .
There are certainly a ton of blog optimization tips out there for you to dig up and use for maximum rankings on Google. However, the above five tips are among the most important. From keywords to placing keywords strategically, grow your blog by getting the most out of each post. Do you have a blogging SEO tip? We want to hear from you.
How to Optimize Your Blog for Voice Search
The new year has come and we are just twelve months away from the year 2020. Why is that important? Because by 2020, nearly all searches are predicted to be voice, rather than text searches.
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In fact, Gartner found that 30% of those searches are going to be done entirely screen-less. Here are a few more numbers in case you are not convinced:
- 13% of households used voice search in 2017 and this number is expected to rise to around 55% by 2022. [Source]. Smart speakers have created an industry of their own and are easily integrated into American household. As the software becomes more streamlined and more applications are introduced, this could cause their adoption to grow even more.
- 72% of current voice search users claim to use it as part of their daily routine. (source: Google). Looks like searching voice easily becomes a habit! It’s definitely here to stay!
News organizations, radio stations, and websites have begun intensively marketing toward owners of smart speakers. Daily news, music, finances, your calendar and the like can now be read to you as you herd your kids to the car and off to school or before heading in to work.
In other words, voice search queries are going to be taking over the search world.
While voice-activated technology started making its way into our lives quite some time ago, the recent smart assistant technology boom caused the actual voice search revolution. Major brands are quickly investing in voice search optimization.
Is your website ready?
Adapting to the Algorithm
To see how important voice search is going to be we have to look at how Google in its current incarnation really works. When I first started in the SEO world, it was all about simple search keywords. But the exploitation of keyword stuffing pushed Google to further the benchmark and make things more complex.
Now when we look at keyword analysis and optimization, it is a completely different process than what it used to be. Not only have keywords become more varied, the way that Google sifts through the noise in order to provide answers for their users is amazing.
That is what has kept Google on top for so long; competitors like Bing just haven’t been able to develop a framework that is as effective and dominating.
Voice search is underlining this fact in ways that weren’t as clear before. When we type a search phrase we are more careful. We think through what we are going to say, we get phrase suggestions that might help us narrow down or change our language and we get a page of results that lets us refocus if needed.
Spoken words are more spontaneous and harder to predict. It’s not always possible to understand what the searcher really needs. Somehow, Google’s algorithm still works with this format, as long as the content providers are properly optimizing on their side of meet the demand.
So, how do we do it?
Think of Search Queries as Speech
A popular meme lately has been, “This is so sad. Alexa, play Despacito“. While tongue in cheek, it shows the way that speech is taking a handle in search and how we might use it properly.
Imagine you are sitting around talking to your friends. You decide to ask them a question, like, “What movies are showing this weekend?” It is a natural way to speak for you. But if you were to type in search terms, it would be something more like, “Showtimes Century 16”.
Searching by voice presents a new challenge to search engine optimization professionals: Optimizing for all possible ways a user can speak your query.
Optimizing for related terms, synonyms and neighboring concepts is more important than ever. TextOptimizer helps you do just that by running your query in Google and using semantic analysis to extract related topics and neighboring context to optimize your page for:
[TextOptimizer extracts related topics for your important keywords helping you optimize for a wide variety of queries]
The general concept here hasn’t changed, as you still want your page to appear on top of Google’s search result pages: It’s a fact that Google’s users seldom ever scroll past the first page.
Voice search is going to gravitate towards the simplest, top results for the user.
Once upon a time, that meant getting on the front page. Now it means making sure your content is set for featured snippets so you can go above the actual page results and gain priority in Google’s ranking.
Featured snippets are selected search results that appear on top of organic search results in Google and Bing. Featured snippets are what gets read to a user in response to a search query.
Articles, tables, images, videos, bullet lists… there are plenty of forms of content that appear in featured snippets.
To better target featured snippet opportunities, use Ahrefs: It allows you to filter search queries to those triggering featured snippets and lets you preview actual search results:
While Schema.org officially doesn’t help you get featured, a lot of SEOs have found that playing around with structured markup actually makes a difference. In any case, that won’t hurt, especially given it’s quite easy to implement using a variety of WordPress plugins.
/HowTo schema is predicted to be used by Google soon (since it’s already being implemented in some of the search experiments), so I’d start there. To show you the markup in action, try running this page through Google’s structured data testing tool:
Do you have a strategy to add? Let us know in the comments!
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