Guest: Jon Cooper (@PointBlankSEO)
Jon Cooper (@PointBlankSEO) is an SEO consultant from sunny Tampa, Florida who can’t get enough of link building. Jon has built links for companies of all sizes & continues to absorb every linkbuilding post, pdf, article, forum, & book known to man. Jon strives to think differently, learn from others mistakes, and experiment with things on his own. He currently owns & operates 3 niche sites & a linkbuilding blog (http://bit.ly/GIDAXj) to constantly test and retest new ideas.
How do you balance creativity and efficiency in developing & executing linkbuilding strategies?
The first links you build should focus on efficiency, since competitor research doesn’t require much creativity. But as you start to hit that infamous link wall and opportunities become scarcer, creativity becomes the priority. In the end, efficiency is what gets you in the conversation, but your ability to pioneer new opportunities is what separates you. Link wall? It’s a judgement call. When you start coming across the same prospects, blogs, people.
@LeydaHernandezV: Hmm…What do you feel like is the biggest challenge when it comes to broadening?
@PointBlankSEO: Broadening your prospective search. I.e. if you do fireplaces, think home decor. Get broader, identify synonyms. Knowing which broadened terms are & arent worth your time; they might be relevant, but some don’t present any opp.
@BrettASnyder: Google’s “~” search and related queries has always been a good tool for ID’ing those synonyms.
@scotttdodge: That, and @GarrettFrench ‘s Link Prospector! He does all the work for you.
@PointBlankSEO: A great guide to the tilde (that’s what they call it) is here: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2157219/The-Link-Prospectors-Guide-to-the-Tilde
@kmullett: I am surprised by how many guys don’t mention or use blekko for research.
@BrettASnyder: @PointBlankSEO wrote about Blekko in this post over on his blog http://bit.ly/GIGuvg
@LeydaHernandezV: What do u guys feel like is the best Social Media platform for Follow links? Saw a post on SEOMoz saying Tumblr. Thoughts?
@JadedTLC: I believe tumblr’s the only soc network still with followed links.
@michaelkovis: Posterous has given me some excellent links as well.
@ashbuckles: For a platform, Tumblr is great. But don’t forget that blogs are networks of their own and provide tons of value.
@kmullett: Posterous and Friendfeed SERPed better than tumblr, but yeah, nofollow.
@ashbuckles: Nofollows matter too. It’s about your whole portfolio and not just your immediate campaign.
@RSGmike: Does a scummy directory link profile hurt you or no penalty?
@PointBlankSEO: I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about “Google Bowling” (deliberately hurting a competitor’s profile), which leads me to believe that as time goes on, it really won’t hurt you, rather just be ignored.
@calindaniel: Do you have any tips for link building in boring niches? For example, scaffolding or carpet cleaning.
@PointBlankSEO: Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEup7jKNGB0 .
@anseocompany: Your order of link importance?
@PointBlankSEO: 1. Neighborhood 2. Relevancy 3. Authority 4. Placement 5. Anchor text 6. PageRank.
What scalable linkbuilding strategies do you expect to see in coming months?
I think this is the year we finally scale targeted content. I’ve talked about targeting natural linkers here: http://bit.ly/z9ieeJ . But I don’t think we’ve broken down these types of strategies into a scalable process quite yet.
As we start to see a lot of once-great shady tactics start to be sniffed out by Google (i.e. private blog networks). SEOs will be forced to build links naturally, and as a result, targeted content will start to become more scaled. The reason: targeted content is the most automatic & predictable form of natural linking.
@AlanBleiweiss: Only asshats ever tried for more than 1 – 2 links. Unless you are a regular blogger on someone’s site, lots of links from 1 domain are RED FLAGS.
What is the biggest struggle you’ve encountered when building links and how did you overcome it?
By far it’s determining which prospects are & aren’t worth my time. I battle with it everyday.
@BrettASnyder: What do you look at to evaluate prospects?
@PointBlankSEO: Are they relevant (they need a reason to link), are there similar outbound links (would they actually say yes). Are they in a good neighborhood, and would they pass any authority?
@scotttdodge: What does everyone think about 2nd or 3rd order linkbuilding?
@BrettASnyder: Definition: Building links to sites linking to you.
@PointBlankSEO: We normally think of it as spammy, but @RossHudgens shows it doesn’t have to be: http://www.rosshudgens.com/second-tier-link-building/
@anseocompany: @seobook did a review on @jimboykin new broken links tool http://www.seobook.com/review-jim-boykins-free-broken-link-tool-0
What linkbuilding tips do you have for the SMB owner with limited time & resources?
For all you SMB owners, I feel you. I really do. I consult with a lot of you. What I can tell you is that you have to give to get.
Out of the following, you can only get 2 of the 3: Time, Money, and Quality. If you’re not willing to spend money on links or if you’re not willing to put in the time, you’re going to lack in quality. So understand just like any other part of your business, you’ll have to make time or spend $ for SEO. If you want the results you desire, and there are no two ways around that.
@scotttdodge: Do you have a specific cocktail of link types that you like to use? i.e. 25% guest blogs, 50% paid, 25% etc?
@PointBlankSEO: Not really. Every niche is different. To win, all you have to do is be better than your competitors, so copy them, then out do them. In the big picture, it’s that simple.