Guest Blogging is Spammy? Let’s Get the Facts Straight

In the world of internet marketing, the word “spam” gets thrown around quite a bit. Spam is an unfortunate reality of the world we live in today. But is guest blogging as a way to promote your website considered spammy?

Let’s look at guest blogging from another angle before we fully condemn it as just another part of the evil spam empire. Imagine that you walk into a steak house and order a t-bone cooked medium rare. If the steak is later presented to you well done, do you say to the manager, “Your stove doesn’t know how to cook a steak!”?

Of course you don’t. The stove is simply the tool that a cook used to prepare the steak. It’s the cook’s misuse of the stove that resulted in an overdone steak. Similarly, guest blogging in and of itself is neither spammy nor non-spammy. It is simply a tool. How that tool gets used is up to those who create the content.

The truth is that, while some bad eggs are filling up the blogosphere with spam, guest blogging can and is being used as a highly valuable tool to help professional organizations derive a great deal of value. But, with so much blog spam out there, how does one prevent their guest blog post from being marked as spam?

The short answer is, “Don’t write spam.” For the longer answer, consider what follows.

Create Professional Content

Spammers are lazy. Their goal is to create as much content as possible in the shortest amount of time. This often means poorly written posts (often spun) that provide little-to-no value which makes grammar nazis want to cut their own eyes out.

A professionally written, informative post that hasn’t been overdone (unlike the steak we mentioned earlier) is much more likely to be found useful to its readers and unlikely to be mistaken as spam.

A few ways to ensure your content remains professional and doesn’t risk crossing into the realm of spam are to:

  • Avoid promoting your business or website and focus on providing great value to the reader.
  • Have your content copy edited by someone else to ensure it is free of grammar errors and misspellings.
  • Avoid beating the figurative dead horse — keep your content unique and original

Avoid Spammy Blogs

Blogs that accept just any old content are likely to be filled with over-spun articles containing subject matter that has been done to death. Professional chefs don’t serve their food out of fast food joints with good reason. Your professional content shouldn’t be caught dead alongside something put out by someone who sounds like they failed third-grade grammar.

We are often judged by the company we keep. Even if your blog post is professional, original, and highly useful to its readers, posting it on a blog full of spammy content could result in people — or worse, search engines — believing that you are one of “them.”

However, blogs that provide value to their readers will be appropriately judged by all — as will your guest blog post.

About the Author:
Kevin W. Phelps is a seasoned SEO professional that owns GuestBlogPoster.com. To view more about what he and his company are doing, check out: http://www.guestblogposter.com

How To Be A Lazy SEO with Brett Snyder (@brettasnyder) on #seochat

On Thursday January 12, 2012 Search Marketing Weekly will be hosting an #seochat on Twitter. Brett Snyder will be our guest answering questions about how to be a lazy SEO & let link opportunities come to you.

Details:
Starts at 7:00 pm Mountain Time
About 1 hour long
Use hashtag #seochat

Host: Greg Shuey

About Brett Snyder

brett snyder seo chat photoBrett Snyder is an SEO Consultant with @SEERInteractive an SEO company in Philadelphia. He is a converted PPC guy looking for any way to apply Excel and crunch data in search. He love the day-to-day of being knee deep in SEO but true passion comes from training new team members, friends, and family about the ins and outs of our industry. He’s a displaced Phillies fan and struggling East Coast Raider fan.

Scalable Link Building with Ross Hudgens (@RossHudgens) #seochat

On Thursday,June 23, 2011 Search Marketing Weekly will be hosting another #seochat on Twitter. Ross Hudgens (@RossHudgens) will be our guest answering questions about Scalable Link Building.

Details:

Starts at 7:00 pm Mountain Time
About 1 hour long
Use hashtag #seochat
Host: Tim Biden (@TimBiden)

About Ross Hudgens

Ross Hudgens SeoChatRoss is the SEO Manager at Full Beaker Inc. He is an opinionated blogger, humorist and productivity enthusiast. He has driven millions of targeted users to some of the biggest websites on the internet. He specializes in the development of scalable link building strategies. You can read Ross’s blog at http://www.rosshudgens.com.

Optimizing for Google News with Kaila Strong (@cliquekaila) #seochat

On Thursday, May 12, 2011 Search Marketing Weekly will be hosting an #seochat on Twitter. Kaila Strong (@cliquekaila) will be our guest answering questions about Optimizing for Google News.

Details:

Starts at 7:00 pm Mountain Time
About 1 hour long
Use hashtag #seochat
Host: Greg Shuey

About Kaila Strong

As a Campaign Manager at Vertical Measures, Kaila works directly with clients to evaluate and analyze their overall Internet Marketing needs, creates sales proposals and recommendations. In addition she regularly reports on client rankings, gives SEO advice to brands in a variety of industries and manages client expectations.

Kaila develops Internet Marketing campaigns for clients, gearing a variety of efforts toward the overall goal of increasing search engine rankings, brand recognition, traffic, and conversions. She is most skilled in utilizing a mixture of content marketing and social media marketing to help the Vertical Measures clients due to her background in social media marketing, link building, SEO and content marketing.

In addition to her client work Kaila is a regular author on Search Engine Watch writing about social media topics, and has guest blogged on Wordstream’s Blog, Bruce Clay, Stay On Search, The Social Robot, and many others. Her book “Facebook For Business: A How-To Guide” is available now in the Vertical Measures store. She also loves to present webinars on topics related to Internet Marketing for Vertical Measures.

Summary: Link Audits with Tom Critchlow on #SEOchat

Guest: @tomcritchlow of Distilled: http://www.distilled.co.uk . We’ll be discussing Link Audits. @tomcritchlow is responsible for managing the Distilled team and writing killer blog posts. He is also a Distilled evangelist and speaks at various industry conferences. Tom makes Excel look easy and passed his GAIQ exam in 2010.

@tomcritchlow: I’m normally responsible for managing the @distilled SEO team but right now I’m in Seattle working with @seomoz for a few months. I’m also a fan of science and an all round data geek.

Why should you perform link audits and how often should you do them?

This entirely depends on the size of site and industry you’re in. Smaller/nicer industries can get away with less often. But it’s important for everyone to do at least one! @willcritchlow wrote a great post here: http://dis.tl/gc9nS0. The principal is that you should always do an audit before starting with with a new client. To be sure there are no surprises!

There’s a great intro to link audits here: http://www.click2rank.com/2010/11/29/5-questions-to-ask-when-doing-a-link-audit/. This is a little old but a good one from @vanessafox too: http://dis.tl/ibbDd9. I know some SEOs in super competitive industries who have people dedicated to auditing and monitoring their own site’s links.

@kmullett: Would this be company link audits, competitive link audits or both?
@tomcritchlow: We’re mainly talking company link audits rather than competitive link audits here I think.
@ashbuckles: My question was all link audits but it’s important to segment as well.

What are some of the obvious bad signs to look for when looking at your backlink portfolio?

Obvious things to watch for: too much anchor text, not enough diversity, obvious paid links or any kind of footprint. I think link diversity is super important. Directory links are good for example, but bad if you ONLY have directory links. So you need to balance the profile. If you work with a brand who only has brand anchor text, throw some keyword rich links in! For manipulative/negative/malicious links (e.g. from copmetitors) are harder to spot though. In that case you need to go deeper and start looking at the linking IP blocks, see if you can find low quality link farms etc. Largely I just see links being devalued rather than sites penalised. That said, as soon as it becomes public (e.g. jcpenny) you can get slapped pretty hard.

@kmullett: We do client + competitive audit. If you don’t do an audit you can’t show gain in reports. :)

@kenjansen: How much is too much anchor text?
@shuey03: I think it all depends on what’s normal for a particular industry or niche.
@kmullett: Too much duplicate anchor text which is especially common across multiple site footers.

@jasonmun: I use Open Site Explorer to check for link diversity. Great tool!

@ashbuckles: How much is too much anchor text links? Doesn’t that depend on the competition? I see some #1 ranked companies with 99% anchor text, for example.
@tomcritchlow: yeah @ashbuckles makes a great point. This is all relative, so you have to balance your link profile vs competitors.
@jasonmun: Open site explorer is a good tool If the top 10 links are anchor text links, you know you are in trouble.

@shuey03: Do you see manipulative/negative/malicious links often?
@tomcritchlow: Nope – I don’t see manipulative stuff too often (not that works anyway) but I have come across it and it’s nasty.

@shuey03: Any good tools to help find linking IP blocks?
@tomcritchlow: Best tool for analysing linking IP blocks is majestic: www.majesticseo.com

@beyondcontent: What about getting balance between link diversity and links Google would class as unrelated/not suitable? Grey area..
@tomcritchlow: When I say diversity i’m mainly talking link type (e.g. directory, blog). I don’t think Google looks much at thematically related links…. #controvesial!

@kmullett: Have you tried any of the http://ontolo.com/ tools?
@tomcritchlow: Yep. Folks @distilled use them.
@shuey03: @kmullett does @ontolo have any tools to help with link audits?
@kmullett: @shuey03 @ontolo yes, they have many.

@beyondcontent: Unrelated links came up in @econsultancy article this week, newspaper sites selling footer links, blatantly spammy. The case against article marketing by @econsultancy http://goo.gl/PxZaU

What does a ‘healthy’ link portfolio look like?

I think I largely answered this in Q2 actually – basically a good diverse mix of links. Not relying on any one type too much. Here’s a good post on analysing a link profile to spot unnaturalness: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/advanced-link-analysis-charts. I don’t know how effective article links will be after the panda update. My analysis here: http://dis.tl/hPcgt1. This is a gem from @justinrbriggs http://dis.tl/e9b48x.

@jasonmun: What are your thoughts on blog commenting and forum link? I personally dislike them.
@tomcritchlow: Blog commenting is filthy IMHO. That said, I know folks who do it and it’s still highly effective. Sad in 2011!
@shuey03: I believe blog commenting and forum linking is valuable as long as it is on industry related sites and you provide value.
@ashbuckles: I still believe blog commenting has a place, socially. But not spammy, quick, pointless comments.
@JoshuaTitsworth: When you comment to just get a link and not to add to the blog post it falsifies the community.
@ashbuckles: Correct. I only comment when I ‘really’ have something to say.

@shuey03: If you have enough diversity, do you still see plenty of value in spending time building directory and article links?
@tomcritchlow: yep – article and directory links are still effective as part of a healthy balanced diet, I mean link profile.

@ashbuckles: So if you say Google doesn’t care as much about themed links, what are more important factors? i.e. branded links, etc.
@tomcritchlow: I think Google doesn’t look at themed linking because it’s too hard/noisy as a signal. Sites get links from all sorts of sites. Strong/trusted/diverse links are more important than themed links.

@jasonmun: Can you give us an example of how we can leverage social media for links?
@shuey03: Infographics are a great way to build links socially – Great post from @seomoz on infographics here: http://bit.ly/fV6eHp.

@saffyre9: re: Themed linking – do you have any examples/data on that?
@tomcritchlow: Not really I’m afraid. Gut feel/experience.

@tomcritchlow: Hey, while we’re here can I give a shout out to the @distilled Link Building conference we’re running: http://dis.tl/hBoY5q :)

@kmullett: Check linkback speed to index by typing in exact match phrase in Google then select latest to find when it hits the index.

What are some steps you should take to correct a poor link portfolio?

Correcting a link profile comes in 3 forms really:

  1. You got a penalty. If you get a penalty you need to clean up. Take down ALL the links you can that are even borderline. Then file reconsideration.
  2. You are unbalanced. If it’s just that you have an unbalanced profile you can usually just use that to drive your link building strategy going forward.
  3. Malicious from competitor. If it’s malicious – I’d recommend reporting to Google asap. Google hates that kind of thing. You often can’t get the links down. A useful tip is to watch for link networks – so look for footprints and try and contact the person behind the network.

This is a great article about link building with low quality links: http://dis.tl/fDxuLQ.

@JoshuaTitsworth: Would you say updating links rather than implementing a 301 is a good idea?
@tomcritchlow: I’ve heard that using 301 redirects can dampen/remove link penalties but I’ve little personal experience with it. I think that’s why they might work for removing a link penalty. If link juice/effects are destroyed.
@kmullett: Well a 302 would at least make more sense wouldn’t it? Temp move.

@shuey03: Have you found that Google actually listens if you report malicious links?
@tomcritchlow: They listen but don’t respond.

@davesaunders: How do you “clean up” bad links?
@ashbuckles: Sometimes you can request removal of links, take down duplicate content, remove doorway pages, etc. Another option to kill bad links, albeit risky, is to 404 pages and move content to another URL.

@jasonmun: What are your thoughts on Google Bowling? Anyway to avoid this?
@tomcritchlow: It’s actually pretty hard to do if you have an established site. I have *ahem* friends who have tried and failed to google bowl competitors out of the index. Not impossible, but very hard.
@jasonmun: I reckon the amount of effort to bowl a site can be better used optimising your own site.
@kmullett: There are automated tools out there that exist to facilitate such crap via pligg, comment spam, etc.

What are the best (paid and free) tools for doing a link audit?

By far and away the best tool for link audits: http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ I know I’m biased but it’s great. As previously mentioned though, majesticseo is great especially for lower quality links: http://www.majesticseo.com/. I also still use yahoo http://dis.tl/dMZ75a good to get as many link sources as you can. And of course GWT is a no-brainer.

Once you have collected link URLs, analysing them is a must for serious/enterprise audits: http://dis.tl/dHghsQ. Not really a tool, but here’s some great visualizations of link profiles: http://dis.tl/8ZkUOn. Let me say it again, @seomoz’s http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ combined with excel is pretty much all you need. Speaking of excel – check this out from @MikeCP http://www.distilled.co.uk/excel-for-seo/.

@matt_storms: I have been using blekko and finding some interesting things.
@tomcritchlow: I must admit to not having used blekko too much yet.
@kmullett: It has some interesting results. They just blocked 1million domains! Blekko announcement. http://selnd.com/h0OKnE
@tomcritchlow: So blekko has pages like this: http://blekko.com/ws/distilled.co.uk+/links but is there a way to export/download them all?

@ashbuckles: @kmullett What is it about Majestic SEO (it’s a great tool) that you’re partial to?
@kmullett: @ashbuckles good question. I just think it has greater depth and I like the output.

@kmullett: Do you use many Google operators manually? allintext:, allinanchor:, allintitle:, etc Low return volume though.
@tomcritchlow: Nope don’t use them much myself. Tends to return poor quality data.

@garyjmag: Other than OSE, what is your favorite part of the SEOmoz toolset?
@tomcritchlow: The webapp is awesome too plus new Q&A section.

@tomcritchlow: One final thing, you should all follow @distilled – we have some very exciting news announcing next week :)

Link Prospecting with Garrett French

Guest: @garrettfrench. He co-founded the @ontolo link building toolset with @benwills. @garrettfrench is also a mad blogger on all of the top search engine marketing blogs (wish I had the time he did).

I started in publishing at WebProNews WAAAAY back in the day. My background is in content and in particular building links with content. I’ve got an amazingly cute 1 year old :) ~ @garrettfrench

What are the stages of link prospecting?

Inventory your linkable assets – that’s what you’re exchanging for links. http://lnkn.it/hcgH25. There’s definitely a process to effective link prospecting.

Linkable assets can include: content, cash, expert access, widgets, products for review, interns etc. For each linkable asset you determine who might care enough (be incented) to link/mention/share.

For example, asset = our link building ebook http://lnkn.it/eRCV8H Audience = link builders. Many link builders read seo blogs. Inventory your linkable assets – thats what you are exchanging for links. http://lnkn.it/hcgH25. So we want to build an seo blogger prospect list and offer a free copy for review + humbly request link.

Conduct Link Prospecting Keyword Research (more on this later). List out your prospecting phrase Roots. For example, for our ebook = SEO, Link Building, SEM, Online Marketing.

Generate your prospecting phrase stems (see http://lnkn.it/9qMEb6). Stems = terms that target particular sites or pages. For example, blog, forum, even inurl:resources. Combine prospecting phrase roots with stems targeting site and page types http://lnkn.it/hhMnai.

Query your search engine of choice and add potential prospect URLs to your spreadsheet. Hand qualify your prospects to create your outreach list http://lnkn.it/dOZD37.

Q: @tbrownseo: Are there any linkable assets that many SEOS commonly pass over when prospecting?

A: I don’t know actually – I do know I ALWAYS get ideas from client conversations. Always. Definitely helps to have a process or flow chart – that’s why we developed the asset inventory process.

Q: @garyjmag: I get Keyword roots and Keyword stems…but what’s Stem Replacement?

A: Stem replacement is to replace a variable string. Lets you put the stem inside of the root instead of after. So you can put “word [var] word2″ and the stems will go where [var] is, rather than appending to the end. For those interested in the stem replacement usage: http://lnkn.it/eUeDej and http://lnkn.it/hNGfzl.

@kmullett: For those following who need Google operator ideas, one of my favorite lists » http://bit.ly/etRPN2

Why is link prospect qualification important?

Outreach and relationship building is the long, tedious and most valuable part of link building. Qualifying link prospects PRIOR to outreach, instead of AS you outreach makes outreach smoother and faster. Qualification based on target’s Authority/Trust ensures that you’re spending your outreach time effectively. Qualification can also save you the anguish of accidentally contacting competitors or esteemed colleagues.

Always qualify by available stats/numbers first, then by-hand second. Remove duplicate hostnames (not URLs) from your prospect lists with this nifty tool: http://lnkn.it/gF4KkW. Qualification is all about actionable lists that you can pass off to PR or execute on yourself.

Q: @JadedTLC: How do you send out emails? LinkedIn? Contact us?

A: @clientdomain.com is usually best. “I always had the best luck sending out emails from the client domain. Gmail etc. not so much.” – @dan_patterson. Agreed – lower trust. Have heard of people emailing with celebrity names, and of course womens’ names.

Q: @AndrewKolyvas: Do you automate 1st contact with form mail or is it personalised?

A: Not automated, but definitely templated. First P customized though. “Automated email inquiries for links are very easy to spot (and delete).” – @AnnieCushing

Q: @JadedTLC: Do you write to webmaster or find their SEO through linkedin?

A: I usually try to get in through the editorial door and rarely if ever reveal that we’re SEOs. Our toolset collects email addresses and contact urls so we start there.

Q: @tamrajh: What do you say you are if not an seo?

A: “I usually contact as an in-house PR Associate.” – @garyjmag.
“I like “content coordinator” or some such.” – @TomDemers.
“I disagree with contacting as a PR Associate – I’m an SEO . They can search and find out I’m not – bad self form.” – @JadedTLC.
“I contact people currently as someone in marketing, search marketing. Usually works pretty good.” – @dan_patterson.

Q: @nuttakorn: What do you think about traditional PR approach and also digital PR agency to work on approaching?

A: I’ve seen PR folks go ape over what I first thought of as link prospects… PR see the brand/publicity value clearly.

Q: @lyena: Why do you think revealing that you are an SEO is a bad idea?

A: We often approach guest posting ops… we find there’s a great deal of suspicion around SEO in general.
“Because webmasters HATE seos.” – @shuey03.
“Because most think they are SEOs.” – @arniek.
“Tarnished brand image.” – @garyjmag.

How is link prospecting keyword research different from SEO keyword research?

There’s an illustrious school of thought for SEO Keyword Research and next to nothing for link prospect keyword research. SEO Keyword Research finds opportunities based on a market’s info and $$$ demand. Link Prospecting Keyword Research finds opportunities based on a target prospect’s unique language usage.

Conducting link prospecting keyword research requires a keen eye for these unique “foot prints”. @MelanieNathan talks about “foot prints” here: http://lnkn.it/fcOxKD. I began outlining a “school of thought” here http://lnkn.it/b1xNBg, but have a lot more work to do.

When looking for great foot prints I look first at the SERPs, in particular the snippet titles. Google’s suggested searches often provide great ideas for prospecting phrases. I also look for any on-page foot prints of a “definite” prospect page or site. This kind of foot print thinkery: http://lnkn.it/csFl4b led to the local citation finder tool http://lnkn.it/hi1p6e.

Note that effective research also includes looking for intitle and inurl usage of language! There are no tools specifically for prospecting phrase research – it’s all by hand right now.

Q: @tamrajh: I’m sorry but I don’t know what you mean here…footprint?

A: Simple foot print example: blogs usually call themselves blogs, and use that word on the page. Here’s an interesting footprint: .gov sites usually use the word “Preparedness” on their disaster resource pages.
“For footprints, consider language patterns. ie “Leave a comment” = blog comment footprint. “add your site” = directory footprint.” – @benwills.

Q: @TonyVerre: What’s you’re feeling on Wonder Wheel? I like that to find adjacent/related terms to the KW?

A: I honestly have not used it yet – I usually get what I need straight from the SERPs. I will check it out though!
“I love Soovle. Queries multiple search engines at once. http://ow.ly/3LGu3.” – @AnnieCushing.
“I love Soovle for blogging ideas.” – @shuey03

“Standard SEO Keywords help you find competitors. Link prospects, not so much.” – @garyjmag.

What is a linkable asset and how does it relate to link prospecting?

Linkable Assets are anything – from people to web pages – that provide an incentive to link or mention. Linkable Assets include: upcoming events, prizes for a contest, a writer, an industry expert, job openings, a widget, PDF, independent research, free data, developers, designers, product for review, and oh yes, cash etc. In short, any person, page or resource that can incent a publisher to link, mention or share. Your linkable assets determine what genuinely is and isn’t a link prospect for your campaign.

For example, no PDFs? – PDF submission sites are out then. No inhouse experts? – Soliciting offsite interviews are out then. No writing resources? – Guest post opportunities are out.

Alternately, a link opportunity inventory http://lnkn.it/fssuVo can reveal what COULD be an asset. Backlink Analysis is also highly effective in revealing linkable asset types http://lnkn.it/hQXOsf. Find the deepest pool of link opportunities based around their unique foot prints. And then go get all of them.

“I love using OSE and Majestic in tandem for comprehensive backlink analysis.” – @AnnieCushing.

Q: @garyjmag: Just started using Raven Tools for link management and prospect finding….anyone have any thoughts on Raven?
“I think raven is cool, I just started using it.” – @matt_storms.
“Raven is pretty much the shiz!” – @shuey03.
“I love @raventools too. That’s my link building command center.” – @AnnieCushing.

What are the best tools to assist in link prospecting?

  • (free) Google for prospecting phrase research.
  • (free)Talk to clients, find and read through vertical forums, trade pubs, blogs, resource lists, etc.
  • Advanced query operators http://lnkn.it/hg30oD (other list posted earlier actually better!)
  • (free + email) Link Building Query Generator http://lnkn.it/9qMEb6
  • (free) Prospecting phrase root + stem combination tool http://lnkn.it/9qMEb6
  • Your favorite backlink analysis data provider
  • (free + email) SERP dominator tool http://lnkn.it/fcLjfq (use prospecting phrases instead of SEO kws)
  • (free) URL Reviewer http://lnkn.it/dOZD37 for faster qualification
  • (free) Remove Duplicate Hostnames tool http://lnkn.it/gF4KkW for faster qualification
  • (paid) the Ontolo Link Prospecting Toolset (automates broad and thorough link prospecting) http://ontolo.com – free 2 week trial http://ontolo.com/user/register.”We do a lot of OSE reverse engineering and find that for the right client that alone can tie us up a long while.” – @ImageFreedom.Here’s my pontificating on link strategists: http://lnkn.it/dKxO7j

    Q: @garyjmag: Does ontolo help w/ link management, or are you working out of Excel spreadsheets?

    A: We are prospect discovery-centric right now.

Link Prospecting with Garrett French on #seochat

On Thursday, January 27, 2011 Search Marketing Weekly will be hosting an #seochat on Twitter.Garrett French (@GarrettFrench) will be our guest answering questions about Link Prospecting.

Details:

Starts at 7:00 pm Mountain Time
About 1 hour long
Use hashtag #seochat
Host: Greg Shuey
Transcript
Questions Answered:

  1. What are the stages of link prospecting?
  2. Why is link prospect qualification important?
  3. How is link prospecting keyword research different from SEO keyword research?
  4. What is a linkable asset and how does it relate to link prospecting?
  5. What are the best tools to assist in link prospecting?

About Garrett French

Garrett French is the co-founder of Ontolo, a Link Building Services Company and creators of the Link Building Toolset. He tweets constantly about link building and publishes link building resources at the Ontolo Link Building Blog.

SEO Spyglass

The following is a guest contribution by Tim Biden of Village Ads, an SEO service in Los Angeles.

You’ve been fighting and fighting to move up in the SERPs only to receive limited results. You have been on a major linkbuilding campaign and have tried everything you can do to get the most valuable links for your site. So why haven’t you overtaken your competitors in the SERPs? If you’re in this situation it’s time to check to see what your competitors have been doing, who links to them and then go get links from the same domains.

There are many tools that will automate the process of checking competitors’ links and I’d like to focus on one that I use, SEO Spyglass from link-assistant.com. No I am not an affiliate. This is honestly a tool I use and I am receiving no compensation for the post.

To start with, when you run the program, you have the option to choose the specific website that you want to spy on, or you can choose a keyword and then choose the Search Engine that you want the program to find a competitor from. The default is Google. The software will find the site that ranks highest and give you a report based on it.

With SEO Spyglass you can see information about each link including

  • Which search engine listed the link
  • What page it is linked from
  • The page title
  • Is there a reciprocal link
  • What anchor text was used (if any)
  • What URL is being linked to
  • The PageRank (though there is debate as to what that is worth these days)
  • How many external links are on the page
  • Total number of links on the page
  • An approximate value for the link
  • The domain linked from
  • The server’s IP address
  • Domain PageRank
  • Does the domain have a DMOZ listing
  • What country is the server located in
  • Does the domain have a Yahoo Directory listing
  • Alexa Rank
  • The domain age
  • And much more. There are probably 25 different factors available to check.

One search recovers all those factors for thousands of different links and you can sort based on any of them.

What are you looking for, high PR sites that link to your competitors? Rank them from highest to lowest. Are you wondering which domains didn’t require a reciprocal link? That’s easy. Do you want to know what anchor text they use? You can even sort by that.

This software creates a road map for your domination of the SERPs over your competitors.

There are 2 versions, free and paid. I personally use the paid version because I bought the entire SEO Suite, but for most people reading this, it isn’t necessary. Having the paid version may help you if you want to create a PDF or HTML report. Otherwise you can just open the program and start running down the list. The vast majority of the paid report is completely unnecessary for most of the people who would be reading this article but gives exact instructions for the n00b in SEO. It is made up of sections telling where to get links from, describing what a link and anchor text is, a list of press release sites, telling you what PageRank is, and well, you get the picture.

So get the free version of SEO Spyglass to spy on your competitors’ strategy and beat them in the SERPs.

Repurposing Old Content For New Link Acquisition

I think we all can agree that one of the easiest ways of building links is by writing high quality articles and submitting them to article directories such as EzineArticles.com.

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome with article creation is the time it takes to produce the content. For every article that is written and prepared for submission, you either have to spend considerable time, or pay someone else to create it for you. Who says you are only limited to a few links per each piece of content that you create? I say repurpose it and get more links in less time.

So, let’s dive deeper into how this is done…

Turn Your Old Content Into Video

Despite popular belief, creating video and distributing it to all of the major video engines is a piece of cake! Using software like Windows Movie Maker and Jing, you can easily turn that old article into a video and not only get additional links back to your website, but often times drive loads of targeted traffic.

There are a few ways to create a video from your old content, but my favorite, is by taking what you said in an article and turning it into a Powerpoint. You can then take your Powerpoint, shoot a screen capture, and then upload to your favorite video site. If you want to do something a little different, you could even do a screen capture of you showing the home page of your blog or website while going over the content of your article.

Once you have your video file, you can send it to YouTube, MetaCafe, and Viddler. My favorite is definitely YouTube (despite the no follow links) because I can drive tons of traffic and usually rank well in the SERPs in less competitive niches. Uploading to Viddler (followed links) and other do follow video sites is a great way to get those juicy, credible links back to your site.

Turn Your Old Content Into Slideshows

As mentioned above, taking your old content and turning it into a Powerpoint presentation can be a great way to get additional links. In addition to turning those Powerpoint files into video, you can just upload them to sites like docstoc or slideshare and collect some additional backlinks to your website. These too are very credible links due to the credibility of the domain… and as those links age, they will become even more credible.

Turn Your Old Content Into PDF’s

Now that I have brought up docstoc in my last example, another great way to get links back to your website using your old content is by taking the actual article and turning it into a PDF. Before PDFing it, you should create hyperlinks within the document and then upload it to docstoc and other document type websites. When those PDFs get indexed, the links within them will also get crawled, indexed, and count toward your link count.

Turn Your Old Content Into Audio

Lastly, you can turn that old content into audio files and upload it to podcast directories. Using programs like Ivona text to speech, you can easily have your content turned into English audio with either a male or female output. When uploading to the podcast directories, you will be able to add links back to your website, thus giving you yet another way to get links from your old content.

Repurposing your content is smart and not a lot of online marketers are doing enough of it. I’m sure that these are just a few of the ways to repurpose your content to get some additional links without a ton of additional work on your part. Please share if you have other ways or other services that work well in making these processes easier.

What’s Hot On Sphinn Today

There are some really good posts today that are HOT on Sphinn right now. Just so you don’t have to jump over there… here you go:

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Blog On Trending Topics To Get Noticed & Get Ranked

Your blogging style is up to you. I for one usually shy away from newly hot and trending topics for various reasons: firstly, I am not based in the USA and thus I am slow in learning what everyone says, secondly, seeing great coverage, I usually have hard time finding what to add.

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