What Are the Best Link Building Strategies for 2018?
Christoph: The best strategies for link building are actually no new link building strategies.
It starts with the important information that link building doesn’t change every year.
So building your own PBNs works better than buying links from PBNs.
A lot of people think they can shortcut by going to a link building company and then buying backlinks in some network.
And if one link gets caught, everyone gets caught.
So the strategy here is to develop your own PBN.
To some people PBN sounds very dodgy – only casino and payday loans have PBNs.
You have this even in very usual niches. Actually, it can be a part of white hat link building strategies as well.
If done right, a PBN is a private part of the internet, a private blog network. That’s where it comes from.
So if I develop some nice blogs powered by some expired domains the right way and I control all of that, that will be a true value.
The strategy here is the second important point I discussed today.
What should you do if you have a cat site (a site about cats) but you sell credit cards or diet products?
If there are thousands of links about cats to the website, simply changing the content to something else will lead to short-term success. MAYBE.
But if someone clicks on those links about cats and he finds your diet pill stuff, he’ll immediately realize something is wrong and remove them.
We put you to Google.
And if none of your competitors does that for many weeks or months, then Google will find it.
So the story of the link must remain for any type of the link. Any link story needs to be okay. If the link doesn’t have a story, it will be a problem. That’ what you should keep in mind if you’d like to buy backlinks.
And this is not new.
I talked about the story of a link in 2005 already.
Why does a Canadian university links to an Austrian company?
You need a story.
Those are two important elements. So building your own part of the web and understanding that there are no shortcuts especially in 2018.
Another guy asked me: “You know I only want to sell links. What can I do to sell links?”
Of course, you can buy some domain, put some content on it and sell links.
But this will get you into trouble. For instance, in link research tools, there is a functionality to analyze if a link will cause a problem before you get it.
We call this “link opportunity review” or “time machine for links.”
So analyzing a link in its current state when it exists is what link leaders can do.
The opportunity review simulates that the link is there and then we don’t look at a source page or the target page.
We combine them together so a link can be good or bad depending on where it’s going. That’s the definition of a link.
And that’s what a lot of SEO guys forgot about or in the past we only looked at the Page Rank which was a metric for a source page also. Not for a link. Not for a target page.
And some people talked about relevant link building and the relevance of links, which is kind of okay and connects to the story idea.
You want to have story. Not for the engine only. Not for the search algorithms. But for your competitors. Yeah.
And yeah, going back to the time machine for links.
Since 2012 when we introduced link risk simulation and link risk calculation some of our clients buy credits for these functionalities every week.
This is I would say a secret treasure, hidden knowledge whereas if you’d like to purchase backlinks, you get a list of hundred links.
Every link is one hundred dollars. Okay. So your budget is 10K.
If I tell you which 10 of those links you should buy, your budget is thousand per link.
And, of course, you don’t go to thousand. You pay 300 or 500.
But these are the links that would really help you. So you get better links and you don’t have to clean up those bad links in the future.
And with the extra money, you can ask the link seller to say: “I want this exclusively. None of my competitors should get it.”
Yeah, this is what it’s about. So we can tell you which of these paid links will help you in the future and which won’t. Of course, with the profitability.
This is a link building strategy that has been around for years.
But I think a lot of people don’t know it. You don’t have to see Ahrefs. You don’t have to see SemRush. You don’t have to see Majestic.
It’s none of these tools or link databases. There are linked databases for us.
We connect to them we suck in the data if you give up the key, but link research tools is a tool that was built for building links.
I built it to develop my own PBNs. I built it to do my own link building, to find my own link prospecting.
And that’s I guess the difference. All this knowledge is in there for these use cases. Yeah.
Me: Ok, great. Thanks, Christoph. What do you think?
Does Guest Blogging Still Work? Is It a Good Option to Put Efforts into in 2018?
Christoph: Well, guest blogging. There are many people complaining that guest blogging doesn’t work.
And actually, Google said that guest blogging is dead or something like that many years ago.
Most people understand guest blogging in a way when you just buy links on a website in a post. The name for that was paid links. Then it was sponsored posts.
Then it was article marketing or content marketing.
So many agencies that sell content marketing to their clients do article link building.
They do something and then they buy some of these guest blog links.
However, if it’s that easy and you can simply by the placement, then you don’t need to create great content.
It works the other way around. If you want to do guest blogging, you first need to have the great post.
And then you need to talk to a legit site and suggest that. I mean you can give them a draft. Yeah, and do an outreach.
We integrate it with a product called Pitch Box.
Link research tools can show you where you want links. Pitch box helps with emailing them for outreach.
But you have the content first.
And the important part is this is where most people stop. They stop trying.
So the follow up is one and then when you have the post they also stop doing something about it.
If you have a great blog post where you spend a lot of time putting it somewhere, you can then build some links to it.
Building links to the links that you have is key because that’s what happens on the web anyways. Normally, if there is some great article, it gets some links.
Maybe it happens automatically because your awesome content is so great that it attracts links.
But if it’s not that awesome, but awesome enough that it’s realistic that it gets some links from the forum, from the blog, then you give it some links.
And you know, in the black hat SEO, this is called tiered linking or link pyramid or stuff like that.
But it’s just how the normal web works.
If you don’t have that, if you get all these guest posts and none of them gets a link, it means that they are bad.
They are so bad that they don’t attract a single link. And that’s the thing that is very easy to spot.
I can do that. Bigger searchers can do that. So Google will certainly be able to do that.
That’s where some people say: “These are posts without traffic.”
No, they are not posts without traffic. The quality of content is bad.
So I would give the posts some links and improve them by second tier link building. Then the penalties will maybe go away or not even come.
Me: Ok, thanks.
It Works if You Put Efforts into Content First, then Do Outreach
Christoph: Yeah, exactly. That’s what a lot of agencies and companies have done. The simple exchange articles with other people I would say is dangerous to do.
It’s easy to do because of that. However, it’s dangerous to do.
Because simple article exchanges are always in the same network.
But if you have your friends, it gives the list of these domains into the link opportunity revenue I tell you exactly which of those you can do and which you shouldn’t.
This is what the link research field was made for. This is what I would do first before I do any outreach.
Me: So, the quality content should come first in guest blogging…
Christoph: Yeah. But only for the domains that you know they are good for you.
Me: They are good and they have good metrics like DA, trust…
Christoph: Yeah, the trust. In Link Research Tools, we have trust and power. Power is similar to PageRank or Citation Flow.
But there are other two metrics that are the most important.
The link velocity trend which tells you how the link growth goes on the website.
If the website didn’t earn new links for five years because it’s it expired domain, that’s unnatural.
This and many other factors including the machine learning and user ratings where we crowdsource quality control for six years now go into link detox risk.
Link detox risk is the one metric that everyone can look at to understand if this link already is a risk or can be a risk in the future.
And then it doesn’t get better than that. Yeah, this is a metric of metrics if you want.)
Me: Ok, I see. Thanks.
What Content Marketing Strategies Can You Suggest for 2018?
Christoph: Strategies for content marketing…
Me: Yeah. There are such current trends as video marketing, influencer marketing, creating high-quality long-form content.
Christoph: I don’t like any of those. If you have someone who can write proper copy, a real copywriter, not a content writer, a real copywriter, the headline sells and the intro sells than the rest of the content sells.
If you create that great content and you pay that guy good money for his work, then the content will be successful.
The text content will be successful.
Of course, you can add some images here and there, but I’ve seen articles where the images have nothing to do with the content, with the text. Terrible!
Christoph: Or I have seen people standing in front of a camera and reading a script bla bla bla bla bla.
If there is no passion in the video, screw that. You can delete the video already before you upload it somewhere.
So maybe we can summarize this in any type of format is good as long as you have someone who’s passionate about it.
The word content itself is sick. What’s content? Everything is content.
And content marketing is also a sick phrase because marketing was always using some kind of content.
So what we really talk about here is getting into people’s mind and making them do stuff. This is copywriting. Call to action and action.
And if the people who create that content are unable to do that, they’re the wrong people, the wrong sources.
And I would say that is a general problem in content marketing. People are trying to scale marketing. Scaling of marketing is hard.
I would do less but really exciting than a lot.
Me: Ok, thanks.
What’s Your Role Model in Business?
Me: I think that every successful entrepreneur or businessman has a role model that he tries to model. What’s yours?
Christoph: That’s tough because I’m excited about many different people for different reasons.
But in my book, of course, I do a lot of quotes from Steve Jobs who inspires a lot of people, I think.
Being able to inspire people is something important anyway.
Many people say that he was rude about some problems. But on the other hand, someone has to make the decision.
If the head of the company is also a weak person, nobody will make the decision.
So that’s what I like about the Steve Jobs, let’s say, leadership here. However, there’s a lot of new leaders coming up. I think the type of Ellon Mask, a marketing leader almost where he pushes a lot of stuff out and seems to be a very fast learner.
I think if we take leadership, in the future will be people that love learning. I love to learn.
The reason I’m still doing SEO after 15 years is because it always changes. I loved it.
Me: Cool. Great.
Why Link Building Is Important for Businesses?
Christoph: Because the Internet has 2 components: content and links. If you don’t have links you just have content, that’s what happened in the eighties.
It was called multimedia. We had text, video or sound on CD ROMs. And a big innovation in 1989 was to take hyperlinks and connect all of that together.
That’s called the web or Internet.
And a link is a connection from A to B bringing people from one to the other.
A link will always be there.
I don’t care if it’s a text link or some other type of link.
That’s what the web is.
That’s essentially a component. This is why search engines need to understand how users consume content.
If they understand how users consume content, they know which content is more important.
Take the links out and you’ll have that information missing. That’s how link building works.
Me: Thank you, Christoph. It’s very helpful.
I hope this interview has given you lots of insights and a better understanding of how to build links.
Your own PBNs give you the control of what’s happens with your links. Guest blogging still works really well if your content is awesome.
Links and content are mainly 2 things you should focus on if you’d like to get higher rankings for your site.
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