Question 1: Jon it is great to have you on Backlinks.com.au for a quick chat about link building and you’re upcoming trip to Sydney for SMX on the 27, 28 and 29th May. What can attendants expect from your sessions?
They should expect to hear about links! I know more than a few SEOs are trying to steer their topics away from link building because of how toxic the subject is, but I won’t be. I’ll be speaking during the regular SMX on prospecting & qualification, and then I’ll be talking about advanced eCommerce tactics & strategies during the advanced workshop.
Question 2: How did you get into link building and SEO?
As with most, by chance. I got my first job in high school working for my neighbor, and she was the one that introduced me to the practice. I found it way more interesting than the other 4-5 high schoolers in the bunch!
Question 3: What Link Building Strategies are you using in 2014 with the current state of Google’s somewhat harsh policies towards Link building?
Honestly? Not much has changed for me in the last few years, it just means being more cautious and being more diligent of covering up my tracks. We’re reaching a point where there will be too many false positives if Google tries to attack certain practices (seeing that they are becoming more & more natural looking); that’s why you see a lot of manual actions. Their algorithm can only do so much. In terms of specific tactics/strategies, this is my reference for new ideas.
Question 4: What are your thoughts on using PR Web or SB Wire to supplement link building and PR efforts?
It can work, but I don’t always feel too safe doing it, so I’ve leaned away from this as a tactic. I’m more so thinking “would I want these links to be there in 5 years?” and with these links & all the syndication that happens of those press releases, it’s usually a ‘no’.
Question 5: What are your thoughts on Broken Link Building strategies are you seeing strong results?
It works well, but as with any tactic, it’s starting to go down into the dump when you’ve got crappy SEOs turning this into spam by blasting bulk emails to 1000s of sites. Keep it relevant, and don’t be cookie-cutter.
Question 6: What link building tools are you using at the moment?
Ahrefs & Buzzstream primarily. I know I should be using more than one link index, but I love Ahrefs too much. If I was doing client work on a much larger scale (I only have a small handful at this point; I spend half my time working on my own sites), then I’d be forced to, but at the current state I’m in, I haven’t. As with Buzzstream, it’s by far the best way to organize & expedite all your outreach. Nothing comes close.
Question 7: What method of link building have you had the most success with over the years?
Content marketing with a broken link building mindset. I call it fail proof content. Basically, I’m creating content on topics that I know, for a fact, that I can get links to through a lot of manual outreach.
Question 8: What are your thoughts on using social media sites for link building?
Think of social media for link building as a platform to reach people, and some of which will inevitably link. AJ Kohn put it the best. It can also be used for manual outreach, but I personally only stick to email & phone.
Question 9: If you complete link building campaigns are you highly focused on relevance of the linking domain?And what type of success metrics are you looking for from your link building efforts?
Honestly, as much as we should focus on relevance from a “do we want this link?” perspective, I focus just as much on the “can we actually get this link?” perspective. So if we can’t get it, then it’s probably not relevant. If we can get it, then it’s usually relevant. We’re asking real people to link, and if they don’t think it makes sense to link to us on that page, then they won’t add it. So the relevance part works itself out during the outreach process.
Overall organic search traffic. I more so focus on getting as many quality links to the domain as a whole, instead of targeting specific pages we want ranking.
Question 10: What do you know about Australian SEO’s? Are you looking forward to meeting any one at SMX Sydney or what Sites in Sydney do you wish to visit?
I know that James Norquay guy is someone I should avoid at all costs, but besides him, I only know of a couple that I’m hoping to meet up with. I don’t know much about Sydney, so if there’s any place that I’d want to visit, I probably don’t know about it yet!
Question 11: Where do you see link building and SEO in 5 years’ time?
I have no idea. It could go in multiple directions. You could see A) Google handling high-level spam more with manual actions and less with their algorithm, B) Google fundamentally changing the algorithm or how we search, thus decreasing the importance of SEO in some shape or form, or C) the Web work itself out by being increasingly sick of SEOs and their crap, thus making the majority of link builders less effective, while a few creative ones (hopefully you & I?) being made into more of a commodity.