Blogger Influence

Blogger Influence

A crucial part of getting as many visitors to your content as possible is getting influential people to share it. Getting just one influential person to share your content can lead to a big ripple effect, as lots of their followers will also share it. So, even if a blogger doesn’t appear to be associated with a particularly strong domain, don’t discount them before you’ve checked to see how influential they are on social networks.Again, you can simply go to their social profiles one by one to find out how many followers they have, etc. Remember that we used Followerwonk to search for potential people to reach out to? Well, Followerwonk will also give you metrics about each person, such as how many people follow them and what their influence score is.

Simply sort by this column to see which of the people on Twitter are most influential. These are the people you probably want to target first because they have the ability to share your content with a large number of engaged followers.

Likelihood of Linking

This is where your manual research comes back into play. As you browse the potential link targets, you should try to assess how likely they are to link to your content. There isn’t a tool that can do this for you and you will need to come up with your own way of defining this. One simple way could be to score them on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being not at all likely to link and 5 being very likely to link.

Questions you should ask yourself when giving them a score are:

Have they shared external content before?•Are they super-relevant to my content (i.e. a cupcake blogger should score higher than a generic food blogger)?•Is their blog active; i.e. have they blogged within the last month?

These questions should give you an indicator of how likely they are to link to you.Once you’ve gathered all this information, you should sort it all so that you have a list of bloggers who:

These are the websites that you should contact first and with messages that are highly customized and tailored to them. Take another look at their website and try to pick up clues that can guide you in what to include in your email. This will help your message look genuine and avoid coming across as just another outreach email that isn’t personalized.

These websites also have the power to “seed” your content. This means that other websites will also become aware of your content, perhaps even removing the need for you to make any manual contact with them. At this point, you should have a nice list of quality websites which are likely to be interested in the content you’ve created or the campaign you’re running. You have their contact details and have prioritized which ones are most important. Now it is time to start contacting them.

Outreach

Now we need to actually take the plunge and start telling people about our great content or campaign. You should start with your high-level targets because they can not only get you good results if they respond well, but you can then use them as social proof later on when you outreach to smaller websites. If smaller websites see that an influencer has liked a piece of content and shared it, they are going to be much more open to you when you contact them.You’re Contacting a Real PersonThere is not some machine behind the website you’re contacting which chooses whether or not to reply to you. It is a real person who, in reality, probably gets lots of outreach emails if they have a popular blog. They are a real person and they deserve to have a bit of your time to make them realise you’re not just another spammer or automated email program. We’ll talk about a few specific ways you can do this later in the guide but, for now, remember that you are contacting a real person. Ask yourself how you would talk to this person if you met them in real life. You’d have a real conversation with them, not the same conversation you’ve had with other people you met that day.

Also, I don’t think a single blogger wakes up in the morning with the thought, “Hmm, who should I link to today?” They never planned to link to you; they have other stuff to work on which likely takes priority over what you have to offer them. For this reason, you should not assume that a blogger owes you anything; it is your job to tell them why you deserve their time, attention, and help.If the idea of contacting a real person and telling them about your content makes you a bit nervous, then do a gut-check and be sure that your content is as shareable and valuable as you think it is. While overconfidence can be a mistake, you should feel confident enough in your idea to believe that real people will react well to it. If you walked up to someone in the street and showed them what you’ve been working on, would they react well? If not, you probably have more work to do before you start outreach.

How to Craft Your MessageRemember that the bloggers that you’re contacting are probably very busy people, even more so if they run popular blogs with big followings. Your message needs to be detailed enough to explain why they should care, while being short enough for them to read everything and not get bored or delete the message.

Here are some points to bear in mind for crafting your message:

Tell them why they should care about you• Tell them what action you’d like them to take• Show that you’re genuine and not a spammer

Tell Them Why They Should Care About YouIf you’re at this point with your link building campaign, you shouldn’t be stuck on writing this. If you’ve been working on a piece of content, right at the start of its creation you should have determined the answer to the question, “Why would anyone care about this enough to link to it?”

Remember our hooks from earlier:• News•Funny•Controversial•Data visualization• Competition•Ego-bait•Long-form, detailed content

Does your content fit into any of these? If not, is there anything else unique about the content that may make someone care about it?The blogger you’re contacting is probably active in your industry and will know a lot about the subject matter of your content, so take a look through their recent blog posts and, if possible, relate these to the reason you think they should care.As an example, if you’re contacting a blogger who is a big movie fan, they may have blogged recently about a film they really like. If your content involves films and includes the film that they blogged about, mention it! This not only tells them why they should care about your own content, it also shows that you’ve taken the time to read their blog, rather than just sending them a templated email.

Tell Them What Action You’d Like Them to TakeMany outreach emails skirt around the subject of what the sender actually wants. Some may not dare to mention the words “link” or “SEO” in fear of the blogger flagging the email as spam. However, we do need to actually find a way of getting the blogger to take the action we’d like. Sometimes, the action may not JUST be about a simple link. It could be about a number of things, including:• Sharing your content on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+•Embedding your content if it is an infographic or widget•Accepting a guest post from you, relating to your content and linking back to it•The blogger writing an opinion piece on your content and linking to it

These are just a few examples, but you can see pretty quickly that there are different levels of actions and the barriers to each one are different. For example, the blogger taking the time to write their own piece of editorial content about the topic and linking to your content is a big ask. By contrast, simply sharing on their social networks will probably take a few minutes, maximum.You should take account of this when crafting your message and be aware that the more you’re asking of a blogger, the more compelling and interesting your content must be.The actions above are not mutually exclusive, either. You may experience great results if an influential blogger links to you AND shares a link with their social network. At the same time, you can also use a subtle tactic if you receive a slightly negative response. For example, if the first action you try to get the blogger to take is to write an editorial piece on their site and they say no, but they like what you’ve done, you could follow up and ask for a tweet instead. This is particularly useful if you’re contacting an influential blogger who many not budge once they’ve said no, but who likely has a large social following with whom they wouldn’t mind sharing the content.Another follow-up to this scenario could be that you offer to write a guest post for them. This is a good solution if they like the content but do not have enough time to write about it. Typically, you’ll want to save this kind of follow-up for very strong websites because it does require extra time and resources from you in order to make it happen.

Show That You’re Genuine and Not a Spammer This is all about personalizing your message so that the blogger doesn’t immediately reach for the spam or delete button. Remember that popular bloggers will receive many outreach emails, so it is worth taking the time to make yours a little different and customized to them. There are many ways to do this without adding too much time to your process or compromising on quality. Here are a few of these ways:

Use their name• Use a good subject line• Mention something specific about their work• Use a proper email signature•Use a genuine email address•Use your location (if relevant)

Use Their NameSounds simple and straightforward enough, but a lot of people do not take the time to do this despite it usually not taking that long. It can truly make a big difference and get you that extra bit of attention you need in order to get your key message across.

Here are a few tips for finding someone’s name:

Check the about page• Check the author name under blog posts• Click through to their social media accounts to see if their name is listed on there• Enter their email into a tool such as Rapportive (Gmail) or Xobni (Outlook) which looks for additional information connected to an email address

If you absolutely can’t find their name, using something like “Hi there” is fine but do avoid using things like “Hi Webmaster” or “Hi blogger” as these have traditionally been used by mass email spammers and you want to avoid being associated with that!Use A Good Subject LineBefore they have even opened your email, the blogger will see the subject line. If they don’t like what they see here, then chances are that you will be deleted straight away and they won’t even bother to open the email. This is the worst that can happen because you don’t even get a chance to speak to them or get feedback at all.There is something else important to remember here: A bad subject line may also trigger spam filters and result in your email being flagged as spam. At this point, you’re relying on the blogger actually checking their spam folder (many won’t) and seeing your email as genuine. Either way, this isn’t a good place to be.Here are some tips for writing a good subject line:

Keep it short and to the point• Mention the name of the website if you can• Avoid overuse of capital letters• Mention something specific about their site (like the name)• Avoid things like “link exchange” or “link request”

Mention Something Specific About Their WorkThis is really important if you want to show that you haven’t sent the same templated email out to loads of bloggers. Mentioning something specific about the blogger you’re contacting or their blog can really help show that you’ve taken the time to do your research before sending the email. This also gives you a great opportunity to introduce your own content and the concept of why the blogger should care about it.

Let’s look at a few ways you can mention something specific:

Look at the topics of their recent blog posts•Look at their recent tweets / retweets•Look at the comments they’ve made on blog posts•Look at their about page for personal interests•Look at their bio on their Twitter page

All of these can give you valuable information about the blogger which you can then bring into your email naturally. Here is an example of how this may actually look in an email:I noticed your recent blog post about the best movies of 2014 so far. I couldn’t agree more and would definitely put The Wolf of Wall Street at the top of my list, too. I actually wanted to share with you something related to this – LINK – it is a visualization of the top-grossing movies of 2014 along with production costs and profits. I thought, given your recent blog post and your interest in movies, it may be of interest to you.This didn’t take very long to write and was the result of looking at a handful of recent blog post titles written by the blogger I’m contacting. It would be pretty difficult (probably impossible) for a piece of email spam software to spin something this unique and specific to the blogger, so it is likely to pass the spam test.

Use A Proper Email SignatureThis is a small tip and takes no time at all. You should insert a proper email signature on the bottom of all your outreach emails which includes things such as:•Look at the topics of their recent blog posts•Look at their recent tweets / retweets•Look at the comments they’ve made on blog posts•Look at their about page for personal interests•Look at their bio on their Twitter page

All of these can give you valuable information about the blogger which you can then bring into your email naturally. Here is an example of how this may actually look in an email:I noticed your recent blog post about the best movies of 2014 so far. I couldn’t agree more and would definitely put The Wolf of Wall Street at the top of my list, too. I actually wanted to share with you something related to this – LINK – it is a visualization of the top-grossing movies of 2014 along with production costs and profits. I thought, given your recent blog post and your interest in movies, it may be of interest to you.This didn’t take very long to write and was the result of looking at a handful of recent blog post titles written by the blogger I’m contacting. It would be pretty difficult (probably impossible) for a piece of email spam software to spin something this unique and specific to the blogger, so it is likely to pass the spam test.

Use A Proper Email SignatureThis is a small tip and takes no time at all. You should insert a proper email signature on the bottom of all your outreach emails which includes things such as:

Your full name•Your job title•The URL of the website you represent•Your phone number•Your social media accounts (if work related)

So, you may end up with something that looks like this.This is another signal to the blogger that you’re a genuine person. They can go and check out your website, your social activity or even give you a call. Again, spammers would not do this.

Use a Genuine Email AddressThere is some debate on this one. Some SEOs strongly believe that you should always use an email address from the client you’re representing rather than your regular one for your SEO company. So if I were doing outreach for Zappos, I should use [email protected] rather than [email protected] This argument tends to stem from the fact that SEOs can have a bad reputation, i.e., if the blogger sees that you’re emailing them from an SEO company email address, it can instantly turn them off.However, from my own experience, I’ve never had a problem with using my Distilled email address for outreach. In fact, it can be a very good way to check that what I’m doing is good quality. I can ask myself this question:“Am I ok with outreaching to this blogger about this content, using the Distilled name?”If the answer is no, then should you really be doing outreach in the first place?Ultimately, you should test whatever works best for you. If I’m given the choice, I would probably use a client email address, but if one was not available, I wouldn’t let that stop me from doing outreach using my regular email address.One thing for which I would advise caution here is using free email address providers such as Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo. Unfortunately, lots of spammers also take advantage of these free services, making this another signal that you’re not a genuine person.

Use Your Location (If Relevant)The opportunities to use this tip may be few and far between, but if you have the opportunity, it can really help you look more genuine and sow the seeds of a good relationship.The idea is that if you’re contacting a blogger who happens to reside in the same city as your client, mention it in your email. This really allows you to work the local angle and say something along the lines of:“As we’re also based in Seattle, we wanted to take the opportunity to speak to local bloggers such as yourself and try to share some of the content we’ve been working on which may be of interest.”You can take things a step further and even meet up with local bloggers for lunch or a coffee. There is no better way to show that you’re a real and genuine person than buying someone a coffee (and a cupcake!). If you find that there are quite a few local bloggers in your area, then organizing a local meet-up could also be a great way of building genuine relationships and getting them on board with your brand.

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arudhra April 3, 2020 0 Comments

How Can Link Building Benefit My Business?

How Can Link Building Benefit My Business?

As we’ve discussed, links are a very important signal that the search engines use to determine rankings. So, we know that increasing the number of high-quality links pointing at your website can significantly increase your chances of ranking well.There are other benefits to link building, though, that may be less immediately obvious yet still worthy of consideration.

Building RelationshipsLink building can often involve outreach to other relevant websites and blogs in your industry. This outreach frequently relates to the promotion of something that you’ve just created, such as a piece of content or an infographic. A common goal of outreach is to get a link, but there is much more to it than just this: Outreach can help you build long-term relationships with key influencers in your industry, and these relationships can mean that your business becomes highly regarded and trusted. This in itself is valuable, even if we forget link building for a moment, because we are creating genuine evangelists and advocates for our business.

Sending Referral TrafficWe’ve talked about the impact of links on your rankings, but what about the impact of links on referral traffic? A good link from a highly-visited website can lead to an increase in traffic, too. If it is a relevant website, chances are that the traffic is also relevant and may lead to an increase in sales, as well. Again, in this situation the value of a link isn’t just about SEO—it’s about customers. A great example of this in action was this guest post written by Michael Ellsberg on Tim Ferriss’ blog. He also wrote a case study on Forbes explaining just how valuable this guest post was to him. “There’s a big difference between being exposed to a large audience,” he says, “and being exposed to a comparatively smaller (but still large) audience which is ridiculously passionate.” In other words, the avid followers of a single blog were far more likely to take the advice of the blogger than (for example) viewers were to pay attention to the anchor on CNN, even if the latter group outnumbered the former.

Brand BuildingGood link building can help build your brand and establish you as an authority in your niche. There are some link building techniques, such as content creation, which can show people the expertise of your company, and this can go a long way toward building your brand. For example, if you create a piece of content based upon industry data and publish it, you have a chance of becoming well known for it in your industry. When you do outreach and try to get links to the content, you are showing your expertise and asking other people in your industry to help spread the word and show others the same.

An Important Note On Link Building Vs. Link “Earning”Or, the importance of having webpages worth linking to.Before building links, you need something of value to build links to. Often it’s the homepage of your website. More often than not, though, you build links to specialized resources such as a blog post, tool, research study or graphic. Sometimes these assets exist long before you begin your link building campaign. Other times, you create these resources specifically with the goal of building links in mind.This introduces the concepts of link earning and “deserving to rank.” All link building campaigns must start with something worth linking to. It’s very difficult to build links to low-value webpages, but when you begin with something truly valuable that people find useful or share-worthy, link building is a much easier endeavor.

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arudhra April 1, 2020 0 Comments

What Links Mean for Search Engines

What Links Mean for Search Engines

There are two fundamental ways that the search engines use links:1) To discover new web pages2) To help determine how well a page should rank in their results

Once search engines have crawled pages on the web, they can extract the content of those pages and add it to their indexes. In this way, they can decide if they feel a page is of sufficient quality to be ranked well for relevant keywords (Google created a short video to explain that process). When they are deciding this, the search engines do not just look at the content of the page; they also look at the number of links pointing to that page from external websites and the quality of those external websites. Generally speaking, the more high-quality websites that link to you, the more likely you are to rank well in search results.Links as a ranking factor are what allowed Google to start to dominate the search engine market back in the late 1990s. One of Google’s founders, Larry Page, invented PageRank, which Google used to measure the quality of a page based in part on the number of links pointing to it. This metric was then used as part of the overall ranking algorithm and became a strong signal because it was a very good way of determining the quality of a page.It was so effective because it was based upon the idea that a link could be seen as a vote of confidence about a page, i.e., it wouldn’t get links if it didn’t deserve to. The theory is that when someone links to another website, they are effectively saying it is a good resource. Otherwise, they wouldn’t link to it, much in the same way that you wouldn’t send a friend to a bad restaurant.However, SEOs soon discovered how to manipulate PageRank and search results for chosen keywords. Google started actively trying to find ways to discover websites which were manipulating search results, and began rolling out regular updates which were specifically aimed at filtering out websites that didn’t deserve to rank.This has also led to Google starting to discount a number of link building techniques that were previously deemed fine, for example, submitting your website to web directories and getting a link in return. This was a technique that Google actually recommended at one point, but it became abused and overused by SEOs, so Google stopped passing as much value from that sort of links. More recently, Google has actively penalized the rankings of websites who have attempted such overuse of these techniques—often referred to as over-optimization—in their link building. Google’s regular Penguin updates are one such example. Knowing which link building techniques to avoid and stay within Google’s guidelines is an important subject that we’ll discuss later in this guide.We don’t know the full algorithm that Google uses to determine its search results—that’s the company’s “secret sauce.” Despite that fact, the general consensus among the SEO community (according to the 2013 Moz search ranking factors survey) is that links still play a big role in that algorithm. They represent the largest two slices of the pie chart below.

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arudhra April 1, 2020 0 Comments

What You Need to Know About Nofollow

What You Need to Know About Nofollow

Whether you’re brand new to link building or have been doing it for a while, we’re sure you’ll find something useful in this guide. The landscape of SEO and link building is always changing, and today, the importance of building high-quality links has never been higher. The need to understand and implement high-quality campaigns is essential if you’re going to compete and thrive online, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. This guide is designed to get you going quickly and in the right direction. There is a lot to take in, but we’ve broken everything up into easy-to-digest chapters and have included lots of examples along the way. We hope you enjoy The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building!

There is an attribute that can sometimes be applied to links called the “nofollow” attribute. If added, you will not notice any difference if you’re a user.

But, if you look at the code of the link, it will look slightly different:

<a href=”http://www.example.com” rel=”nofollow”>Example</a>

Note the addition of rel=”nofollow”. This tells Google not to pass any PageRank across this link to the target URL. Effectively, you’re telling Google not to trust this link and to discount it from consideration. Therefore, it should not help the target URL to rank any better.

The main reason a site might use nofollow relates to scenarios in which that site lacks total control over the links that are added to its pages. In other words, they don’t want to show Google a vote of confidence when they don’t know whether or not they actually are confident. This is more common than you’d expect; here are a few examples:

Blog comments• Forum posts• Guest book comments• Editable Wiki pages (e.g. Wikipedia)• Yahoo! Answers• Guest post signatures

Users can freely add links to each of these places, and because of their size, it isn’t really practical to moderate every single one of those links. So, in order to deter link spammers from taking advantage of a site’s PageRank, the site will often choose to apply the nofollow attribute to all links posted by other users.Another use for the nofollow attribute is for advertisers to use on links that have been paid for. So, if you buy an advertising banner on a website which links to you, Google says that the nofollow attribute should be added so that they know not to pass any PageRank across that link. The idea here is that you shouldn’t benefit in the organic results by buying advertisements that include links on other websites.More recently, Google has expanded this concept to included optimized links in press releases, article directories, and advertorials. These are all examples where the use of nofollow is entirely appropriate.In terms of your work, you should know that links that have the nofollow attribute applied will probably not help your organic search rankings as directly as followed links. That isn’t to say they’re not worthwhile. After all, typical users don’t notice whether a link is nofollowed or not, and may actually click through and visit your • Blog comments• Forum posts• Guest book comments• Editable Wiki pages (e.g. Wikipedia)• Yahoo! Answers• Guest post signatures website even if it is. That is, after all, the point of buying advertisements online. That being said, for the purposes of link building, you want most of your links to be followed and therefore counted by Google.

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arudhra April 1, 2020 0 Comments

Weighting of Thematic Clusters of Ranking Factors in Google

Weighting of Thematic Clusters of Ranking Factors in Google

Domain-Level, Keyword-Agnostic Features(e.g. domain name length, extension, domain HTTP response time, etc.)

Page-Level Link Features (e.g. PageRank, TrustRank, quantity of link links, anchor text distribution, quality of links sources, etc.)

Page-Level KW & Content Features (e.g. TF*IDF, topic-modeling scores on content, content quantity/relevance, etc.)

Page-Level, Keyword-Agnostic Features(e.g. Content length, readability, uniqueness, load speed, etc.)

Domain-Level Brand Features(e.g. offline usage of brand/domain name, mentions of brand.domain in news/ media/press, entry association, etc.)

User, Usage, & Traffic/ Query Data(e.g. traffic/ usage signals from browsers/toolbars/clickstrean, quantity/ diversity/CTR of queries, etc.)

Social Metrics(e.g. quantity/quality of tweeted links Facebook shares, Google +1s, etc.)

Domain-Level Keyword Usage(e.g. exact-match keyword domains, partial-keyword matches, etc.)

Domain-Level, Keyword-Agnostic Features(e.g. domain name length, TLD extension, domain HTTP response time, etc.)

It is generally accepted that if all other factors are equal, the volume and quality of links pointing to a page will make the difference between rankings. Having said that, with recent moves from Google, including the release of Penguin updates and its push of Google+, there is speculation that the impact of links is being reducedand replaced with social signals such as tweets or +1s.For now, though, there is little doubt that if you get high-quality links to your website, it will help you rank better and get more traffic. We’ve mentioned “high-quality” a few times, now, and there’s a good reason: The focus on quality is increasing as Google becomes ever more sophisticated at filtering out low-quality links. This directly impacts SEOs, as they need to make sure the link building techniques they choose focus primarily on that quality.

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arudhra April 1, 2020 0 Comments

What is Link Building & Why is It Important?

Whether you’re brand new to link building or have been doing it for a while, we’re sure you’ll find something useful in this guide. The landscape of SEO and link building is always changing, and today, the importance of building high-quality links has never been higher. The need to understand and implement high-quality campaigns is essential if you’re going to compete and thrive online, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. This guide is designed to get you going quickly and in the right direction. There is a lot to take in, but we’ve broken everything up into easy-to-digest chapters and have included lots of examples along the way. We hope you enjoy The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building!

Definition of Link Building

Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites. There are many techniques for building links, and while they vary in difficulty, SEOs tend to agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their jobs. Many SEOs spend the majority of their time trying to do it well. For that reason, if you can master the art of building high-quality links, it can truly put you ahead of both other SEOs and your competition.

Why is Link Building Important for SEO?

The Anatomy of a Hyperlink

In order to understand the importance of link building, it’s important to first understand the basics of how a link is created, how the search engines see links, and what they can interpret from them.

1. Start of link tag: Called an anchor tag (hence the “a”), this opens the link tag and tells search engines that a link to something else is about to follow.2. Link referral location: The “href” stands for “hyperlink referral,” and the text inside the quotation marks indicates the URL to which the link is pointing. This doesn’t always have to be a web page; it could be the address of an image or a file to download. Occasionally, you’ll see something other than a URL, beginning with a # sign. These are local links, which take you to a different section of the page you’re already on.3. Visible/anchor text of link: This is the little bit of text that users see on the page, and on which they need to click if they want to open the link. The text is usually formatted in some way to make it stand out from the text that surrounds it, often with blue color and/or underlining, signaling to users that it is a clickable link.4. Closure of link tag: This signals the end of the link tag to the search engines.

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arudhra April 1, 2020 0 Comments
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