Is backlink outreach a myth? I have just done my first campaign, spent hours crawling through my competitions backlinks, writing a custom template and adding unique points to my pitches.
Had a good response so far but everyone wants money off me to put a link in their article!
This is of course against Google's TOS.
Are my competitors just using shady techniques or am I silly thinking outreach can be done the white hat way?
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Not so much a myth as corrupted by people throwing money around. Outreach works best with people who know you.
I've started writing complimentary articles on sites that's allow do follow but I know I need a variety of links so know I need to do this as well.
Martinez 🎓 » Charlotte
Don't obsess over links. There are better uses of your time and energy.
Charlotte ✍️ » Martinez
I need them if I want my articles to rank though. My website is less than a year old, when I compare my SEO with my comp my articles aren't ranking I guess because Google doesn't see my site as trustworthy
Martinez 🎓 » Charlotte
No, you don't need them if you want your articles to rank. THAT is an SEO myth.
The frenzy over link-building arose from the realization (sometime around 2003) that artificially increasing a backlink profile (via a process called "Google Bombing") would give people an advantage.
Such links violated the search engine guidelines. But many Web marketers invested the next 10-12 years in various strategies to boost their backlink profiles.
It was all spam. And of course it helped – until Google figured out how to render the links ineffective. And many thousands of Websites received manual penalties. After the Penguin 1.0 algorithm rolled out in 2012, the "manual penalties" declined in number but Penguin still hurt thousands of sites.
Writing guest posts for so-called "do-follow links" also violates search engine guidelines. Google began systematically cracking down on the practice in 2013.
It's okay to write guest posts but if you're only doing it for links that boost search rankings you're setting a time bomb that will eventually hurt the site.
When it comes to links, you should look at your site (and every site that you optimize) with 1 question foremost in mind: "Why isn't anyone linking to this site?"
Answer that question and you can begin focusing on creating the kind of site people link to.
And, believe me, people will naturally link to just about any topic on any kind of site as long as they think it's useful to do so. No guest posts required. No budget required.
I earn links every year. It becomes easier to do as you earn more links – and that rightfully feels unfair to most people. But you can share your content on social media and, frankly, well-written content does rank on its own for many less competitive queries.
Some people never build links any more. They just produce a lot of good content that earns a little bit of regular traffic. They build their audiences and their Websites and they don't obsess over links.
Every article you write for someone else's site is 1 less article for your own (client's) site.
Charlotte ✍️ » Martinez
I guess it's because my site is so new.
I have been following Neil Patel and Brian Deans articles and they all are saying that no matter how good content is if no one can find it then it doesn't matter.
It's so confusing 😂😂
I have 38 articles so far they are not short articles but in depth 2500+ but not much organic traffic so I figured i need to spend more time on promotional outreach 😕
Martinez 🎓 » Charlotte
"they all are saying that no matter how good content is if no one can find it then it doesn't matter."
They're wrong. You have to earn recognition and visibility but the search algorithms give you more than one chance to do so. And it's much easier to do that now with social media than it was to do it with just a Website 10-20 years ago.
Paul » Charlotte
turn your article into a video and rank it on first page of Google, link it to your blog
No, not a myth… Before SEO users started calling it "link building," publicists just called it "my job." The money thing is just a sad par for the course these days (that also reveals your competitors are paying for links!)
I'm chuckling a little at the idea that outreach would ever be 'white hat'. You see, the definition of white hat isn't what we SEO users think is okay, but rather what adheres to the search engine guidelines. Google have expressly spoken against manipulating links, and begging for links, many times.
I outright said "There is no such thing as White Hat Link-building" in the past, and the fastest like was from John Mueller. If you are doing anything that can be termed as link building (other than redoing your own navigation, of course) then it is a little too active, a little too manipulative, to be fully 'white hat'. It's gonna be grey at best.
The 'white hat' way to get links is to build stuff that attracts links – be that articles, infographics, apps, podcasts, interviews, or whatever else. Pitching, begging, paying, swapping, bribing, etc. all tend to fall toward 'manipulating' to a Google engineer.
Why that makes sense, and why all the main SEO users go for content-driven, link-attraction methods, is what you are seeing. People charge for links, unless they already want to link even if you never asked, and if they want to link without being asked, you don't need to waste time asking.
The only reason this isn't the only widely used way to build links is very simple – most SEO users (on the global 'works for an SEO company, or sells services as an SEO 'expert') are lazy and not particularly bright or creative. They look at the product, service or company they have to promote, look at the pages already there, and think "Nobody wants to link to that unless I beg them or pay them, or spam links myself".
It completely escapes their tiny minds that they have unlimited capability to create new content, even entire new websites, on which they can put the most incredible linkable content they can imagine, and put a 'sponsored by' link to the main site. This isn't new, and it isn't unknown.
The old "Will It Blend" phenomenon is now so old that some of you may not have heard of it. But check out how many links it got. Check out how much publicity it got. And every bit of content, for something as boring and ubiquitous as a kitchen food blender, has reinforced their brand, their fame, and their domain power.
https://www.Youtube.com/willitblend/(the channel links to their website, and all their social profiles, of course).
We call this 'proxy content' as it is content that works for your main project by proxy, attracting the links that the product or company itself would be too boring and unremarkable to get.
Blendtec's Will It Blend? – Youtube
ha yes you make a good point, I think because I had seen it on Ahrefs, SEMrush, Neil Patel etc I thought it's the way things are done and the work I should be putting in.
I am under a year on my first site my learning curve is steep!
Ammon 🎓 » Charlotte
it's a HUGE amount to learn. I've always said that I had a massive advantage in starting out in this field back in the mid 90s. It meant I got to adapt at the same time the science did, rather than be presented with all of this at once.
However, the good news is that *most* of it is fairly sensible stuff when you think about it. Sure, there's some stuff that nobody but an SEO would think of at all, and thus those things are hard to guess at until you know what you don't know. But most things you can do will make sense if you think of just the right way to impress customers.
There are 3 books, none of which are actually about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), that I strongly recommend to anyone who wants to learn SEO.
The first is "Influence" by Cialdini. This talks about the actual factors that influence and persuade people to do certain things, or agree with certain ideas or proposals. It will help you really get a feel for things like social proof, portraying trust and authority through words and images, and creating the right way to frame offers and requests. It will help you have much higher conversion rates, and understand some of the signals that search engines are looking for.
The second book is "Purple Cow" by Godin. This is a marketing book, from a brilliant marketer who didn't understand SEO at the time, and still wrote what I think is the most important book for anyone who wants to be able to attract links, PR, and general attention. It is all about being remarkable, and on the internet, remarks are links and shares.
The final book is "Freakonomics", although hopefully it will inspire you to read other works about 'New Economics'. It is all about surprising correlations, and will open your mind up to being better with analytics and data generally, making less assumptions, and learning to look at data in new ways.
Charlotte ✍️ » Ammon
thanks for taking the time to write this I appreciate it!
I will definitely check those out, (just added them to my audable thanks!)
Yes I know what you mean about getting in early. Although I am finding it hard I am enjoying it, makes me want to keep going.
I think the worst part is just knowing you're using the right technique if that makes sense!
Ammon 🎓 » Charlotte
also, honestly, a lot of your competition in SEO just are not that smart. Look at the people who'll comment below that you 'have to buy links' because, just as I said above, they've never had the creativity or imagination to do anything more effective.
Literally the majority of so-called link-builders out there are selling complete garbage that real SEO users laugh at. And by majority, I genuinely mean somewhere over 95%.
Getting great links is simply a matter that you approach like any other marketing objective – with a plan, and with conviction, and with the skill to persuade consumers.
Buying links other than for traffic and exposure to an audience you couldn't reach any other way (like buying links on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page) via Adwords), is just lack of knowledge and skill.
I want to make sure that we don't overplay this one too much. Links that are generated through public relations efforts would be "outreach" and we know for fact that Google adores that kind of linking. However, I think what Ammon is trying to say is that you don't want to get weird about it and start mass emailing lists of people you don't know in the name of swiping a link from a competitor.
Ammon 🎓 » Jeff
absolutely. But with PR you are never pushing the link, you are offering them a story, something they actively need. In the same vein, it is not bad to submit your site to a directory, if they are asking for submissions.
Jeff » Ammon
Exactly, thank you.
Sharad » Ammon
Thank for great insights, its an honour to be part of group with learned people.
If you want to research anything your competitors are doing make sure it's the ideas on their site which will help to improve yours. Any genuine organic links pointing to those sites will be due to those properties, the spammy detectable links that they've paid for will eventually come back and bite them (they always do). If you want to invest money make your own site better, not someone else's.
Jarvis » Charlotte
– you have to have content so good it makes people say, "wow." I have a client that we've tried time and time again for 2 years. Finally we made a huge piece of content that answered every question, included an infographic and started to get links. You aren't going to get links unless your content is the best there is period or you're new and unique.
Outreach could be free, but it cost your time. How much time did you spent on it?
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