Such an enlightening post! Thanks for revealing those sources, Brian. This really has opened up my mind to the new ideas. I have read many articles about SEO, especially the ones in my country, most of them don’t really tell how to increase your presence in search engines. But today I found this page, which gave me much more valuable insights. Definitely going to try your tips..

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We have to remember that Google’s $ model+bots to scour the web have to tow the same line so they can optimize their own pocketbook, balancing a free and open resource – ie. the www, all while taking money from the natural competition that arises from their market share. On the one side, its all about appearing fair and the other, to drive competitive output.

When would this be useful? If your site has a blog with public commenting turned on, links within those comments could pass your reputation to pages that you may not be comfortable vouching for. Blog comment areas on pages are highly susceptible to comment spam. Nofollowing these user-added links ensures that you're not giving your page's hard-earned reputation to a spammy site.
Matt, in almost every example you have given about “employing great content” to receive links naturally, you use blogs as an example. What about people that do not run blog sites (the vast majority of sites!), for example an E-Com site selling stationary? How would you employ “great content” on a site that essentially sells a boring product? Is it fair that companies that sell uninteresting products or services should be outranked by huge sites like Amazon that have millions to spend on marketing because they cant attract links naturally?
After adding your main competitors into Monitor Backlinks, use the metrics provided to determine which links are worth replicating. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to replicate all of them. All sites have bad links, even Wikipedia. You should only replicate the links that have a good authority. While not always the case, usually the more complicated it is to get a backlink from a website, the higher value it will have.
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Baseline ranking assessment. You need to understand where you are now in order to accurately assess your future rankings. Keep a simple Excel sheet to start the process. Check weekly to begin. As you get more comfortable, check every 30 to 45 days. You should see improvements in website traffic, a key indicator of progress for your keywords. Some optimizers will say that rankings are dead. Yes, traffic and conversions are more important, but we use rankings as an indicator.
The field is replete with terms that might confuse and perplex the average individual. What is a squeeze page? What's a sales funnel? What's a CPA? What's SEO? How do you setup a good blog to filter the right type of relevant traffic and get your offer in front of eligible users? What's a massive value post (MVP) really mean? Clearly, there are an endless array of terms, some of which you might already know or might not depending on how much you presently know about the field.
I am not worried by this; I do agree with Danny Sullivan (Great comment Danny, best comment I have read in a long time). I will not be changing much on my site re: linking but it is interesting too see that Google took over a year to tell us regarding the change, but was really happy to tell us about rel=”nofollow” in the first place and advised us all to use it.
Great post, it is very valuable info indeed. I just want to ask, I am trying to market a business to business website, I find it quite hard to market the website in the appropriate categories as it is specialized. Many of the websites I am designing are FCA regulated so when it comes to advertising or giving advise, I am limited as to what I can and can’t do/say. What business to business websites do you recommend for backlinking specialist websites? I find that I am also limited in the social media area and its just LinkedIn that helps

When an Internet user starts searching for something, he/she tries to solve some particular problem or achieve something. Your prior aim is to help them find a good solution. Don’t be obsessed with search volume only. Think about the user’s needs. There is no difference between 40,000 and 1,000 word posts and articles when we speak about their value. Try to create high-quality content and don’t pay any attention to certain stereotypes.
“There may be a miniscule number of pages (such as links to a shopping cart or to a login page) that I might add nofollow on, just because those pages are different for every user and they aren’t that helpful to show up in search engines” – it doesn`t make much sense. If a page isn`t helpful and should not show up on search results, the best option is to meta-noindex the page and disallow it on robots.txt.
What are "backlinks"? Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website. Also knows as Inbound links (IBL's). The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.
If you’re using SEM as a strategy, you’ll need to test and evaluate your keywords. A good rule of thumb is that for every 100 clicks you get, you’ll get between 3 and 10 enquiries. So, to conduct an efficient test, you’ll want to test around 1,000 clicks. That means setting your budget for Adwords at 1,000 times the cost of the click. If you find that this is going to cost too much, you’ll need to find other keywords or a different marketing strategy.
A disadvantage of digital advertising is the large amount of competing goods and services that are also using the same digital marketing strategies. For example, when someone searches for a specific product from a specific company online, if a similar company uses targeted advertising online then they can appear on the customer's home page, allowing the customer to look at alternative options for a cheaper price or better quality of the same product or a quicker way of finding what they want online.
On a blog the page rank should go to the main article pages. Now it just gets “evaporated” if you use “nofollow” or scattered to all the far flung nooks and crannys which means google will not be able to see the wood for the trees. The vast majority of a site’s overall page rank will now reside in the long tail of useless pages such as commentors profile pages. This can only make it harder for google to serve up the most relevant pages.
Thank you, Brian, for this definitive guide. I have already signed up for Haro and have plans to implement some of your strategies. My blog is related to providing digital marketing tutorials for beginners and hence can be in your niche as well. This is so good. I highly recommend all my team members in my company to read your blog everytime you published new content. 537 comments in this post within a day, you are a master of this. A great influence in digital marketing space.
I like that you said you let PageRank flow freely throughout your site. I think that’s good and I’ve steered many friends and clients to using WordPress for their website for this very reason. With WordPress, it seems obvious that each piece of content has an actual home (perma links) and so it would seem logical that Google and other search engines will figure out that structure pretty easily.
The better you learn and understand SEO and the more strides you take to learn this seemingly confusing and complex discipline, the more likely you'll be to appear organically in search results. And let's face it, organic search is important to marketing online. Considering that most people don't have massive advertising budgets and don't know the first thing about lead magnets, squeeze pages and sales funnels, appearing visible is critical towards long-term success.
Digital marketing's development since the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing.[2] As digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life,[3] and as people use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops,[4][5] digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent and efficient.
The third and final stage requires the firm to set a budget and management systems; these must be measurable touchpoints, such as audience reached across all digital platforms. Furthermore, marketers must ensure the budget and management systems are integrating the paid, owned and earned media of the company.[67] The Action and final stage of planning also requires the company to set in place measurable content creation e.g. oral, visual or written online media.[68]
The PageRank algorithm outputs a probability distribution used to represent the likelihood that a person randomly clicking on links will arrive at any particular page. PageRank can be calculated for collections of documents of any size. It is assumed in several research papers that the distribution is evenly divided among all documents in the collection at the beginning of the computational process. The PageRank computations require several passes, called "iterations", through the collection to adjust approximate PageRank values to more closely reflect the theoretical true value.

Search engines often use the number of backlinks that a website has as one of the most important factors for determining that website's search engine ranking, popularity and importance. Google's description of its PageRank system, for instance, notes that "Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B."[6] Knowledge of this form of search engine rankings has fueled a portion of the SEO industry commonly termed linkspam, where a company attempts to place as many inbound links as possible to their site regardless of the context of the originating site. The significance of search engine rankings is pretty high, and it is regarded as a crucial parameter in online business and the conversion rate of visitors to any website, particularly when it comes to online shopping. Blog commenting, guest blogging, article submission, press release distribution, social media engagements, and forum posting can be used to increase backlinks.
“What does mean relevancy?”, – you may ask. Let’s imagine that you have blog about website building tips, but you have found an authoritative site about makeup trends. According to Google, this source won`t be a perfect one for you, because high authority sites should be closely related to yours. In other cases, it won’t work. The same thing goes for the content around which your link is inserted.
This is what happens to the numbers after 15 iterations…. Look at how the 5 nodes are all stabilizing to the same numbers. If we had started with all pages being 1, by the way, which is what most people tell you to do, this would have taken many more iterations to get to a stable set of numbers (and in fact – in this model – would not have stabilized at all)

Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.
Jim Boykin blows my mind every time I talk to him. I have been doing SEO for 15 years and yet I am amazed at the deep stuff Jim comes up with. Simply amazing insights and always on the cutting edge. He cuts through the BS and tells you what really works and what doesn't. After our chat, I grabbed my main SEO guy and took him to lunch and said "you have to help me process all this new info..." I was literally pacing around the room...I have so many new ideas to experiment with that I would never have stumbled onto on my own. He is the Michael Jordan or the Jerry Garcia of links...Hope to go to NY again to Jim's amazing SEO classes. Thanks Jim! Michael G.

In order to be a data driven agency, we foster a culture of inspired marketing entrepreneurs that collaborate, innovate, and are constantly pushing the threshold of marketing intelligence. Our analytics team is well versed in mathematics, business analytics, multi-channel attribution modeling, creating custom analytics reporting dashboards, and performing detailed analysis and reporting for each client.
Another excellent guide is Google’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.” This is a free PDF download that covers basic tips that Google provides to its own employees on how to get listed. You’ll find it here. Also well worth checking out is Moz’s “Beginner’s Guide To SEO,” which you’ll find here, and the SEO Success Pyramid from Small Business Search Marketing.
The whole thing is super user friendly. The UI is insanely great and intuitive. The Dashboard really does give you all the information you are seeking in one place and is perfectly built to show correlation in your efforts. I also like that I don't have to use 3 different tools and I have the info I need in one place. Competitor tracking is definitely a plus. But if I had to pinpoint the biggest USP it would be the use experience. Everyone I recommend this tool too says how great it looks, how easy it is to use, and how informative the information is. You guys hit the mark by keeping it simple, and sticking to providing only the necessary information. Sorry for the ramble, but I love this tool and will continue to recommend it.
No PageRank would ever escape from the loop, and as incoming PageRank continued to flow into the loop, eventually the PageRank in that loop would reach infinity. Infinite PageRank isn’t that helpful 🙂 so Larry and Sergey introduced a decay factor–you could think of it as 10-15% of the PageRank on any given page disappearing before the PageRank flows along the outlinks. In the random surfer model, that decay factor is as if the random surfer got bored and decided to head for a completely different page. You can do some neat things with that reset vector, such as personalization, but that’s outside the scope of our discussion.
Google's founders, in their original paper,[18] reported that the PageRank algorithm for a network consisting of 322 million links (in-edges and out-edges) converges to within a tolerable limit in 52 iterations. The convergence in a network of half the above size took approximately 45 iterations. Through this data, they concluded the algorithm can be scaled very well and that the scaling factor for extremely large networks would be roughly linear in {\displaystyle \log n} , where n is the size of the network.
Great article and writing in general. My company just published a 5,000 word Keyword targeting best practices guide for PPC and SEO, and we linked to your article “10 Reasons You Should Use Google Trends for More Than Just Keyword Research”. http://vabulous.com/keyword-research-targeting-for-ppc-and-seo-guide/ I would love if you checked it out and possibly shared it if you like it.
I just did a consult and opinion letter for an extremely large 200,000+ page corporate website that had been forced to temporarily remove their html sitemap due to some compromised code that overloaded their server and crashed the site. A number of individuals at the company were concerned at the potential, negative SEO implications of removing this page, loss of page rank equity transfer to sitemap targets and a feeling that this page was providing the robots with important pathways to many of the orphan pages unavailable through the menu system. This article was helpful in debunking the feeling that a page with 200,000 links off of it was passing any link juice to the targets. PS. XML sitemap in place.
Most people who used the Google Toolbar probably never went through the effort of enabling the PageRank meter, which Google offered as an incentive to web surfers, a way for them to understand the quality of pages encountered when browsing (and a way for Google to understand what people were viewing beyond Google itself). But one group was very inclined to make the effort: SEOs.
PageRank was influenced by citation analysis, early developed by Eugene Garfield in the 1950s at the University of Pennsylvania, and by Hyper Search, developed by Massimo Marchiori at the University of Padua. In the same year PageRank was introduced (1998), Jon Kleinberg published his work on HITS. Google's founders cite Garfield, Marchiori, and Kleinberg in their original papers.[5][18]
As of October 2018 almost 4.2 billion people were active internet users and 3.4 billion were social media users (Statista). China, India and the United States rank ahead all other countries in terms of internet users. This gives a marketer an unprecedented number of customers to reach with product and service offerings, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The interactive nature of the internet facilitates immediate communication between businesses and consumers, allowing businesses to respond quickly to the needs of consumers and changes in the marketplace.
Brand awareness has been proven to work with more effectiveness in countries that are high in uncertainty avoidance, also these countries that have uncertainty avoidance; social media marketing works effectively. Yet brands must be careful not to be excessive on the use of this type of marketing, as well as solely relying on it as it may have implications that could negatively harness their image. Brands that represent themselves in an anthropomorphizing manner are more likely to succeed in situations where a brand is marketing to this demographic. "Since social media use can enhance the knowledge of the brand and thus decrease the uncertainty, it is possible that people with high uncertainty avoidance, such as the French, will particularly appreciate the high social media interaction with an anthropomorphized brand." Moreover, digital platform provides an ease to the brand and its customers to interact directly and exchange their motives virtually.[33] 

For Search Engines, backlinks help to determine the page’s importance and value (i.e. authority). Historically, the quantity of backlinks was an indicator of a page’s popularity.  Today, due to the way backlinks are evaluated based on different industry-related ranking factors, it is less quantity focused and more about the quality of sites from which the links are coming.

A key benefit of using online channels for marketing a business or product is the ability to measure the impact of any given channel, as well as how visitors acquired through different channels interact with a website or landing page experience. Of the visitors that convert into paying customers, further analysis can be done to determine which channels are most effective at acquiring valuable customers.
To prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and others linking to a different version (this could split the reputation of that content between the URLs), focus on using and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages. If you do find that people are accessing the same content through multiple URLs, setting up a 301 redirect32 from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL is a good solution for this. You may also use canonical URL or use the rel="canonical"33 link element if you cannot redirect.
There are plenty of guides to marketing. From textbooks to online video tutorials, you can really take your pick. But, we felt that there was something missing — a guide that really starts at the beginning to equip already-intelligent professionals with a healthy balance of strategic and tactical advice. The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing closes that gap.
Keeping up with the latest trends is a must for any business, but ignoring technology trends in the digital world is the matter of staying in business. Unfortunately, those trends (while easy enough to find mentioned online) are rarely explained well. There seems to be this mistaken idea that anyone who has an interest or need in the practice will just magically get the jargon. As we all know, that is one superpower that doesn’t exist in the real world.
If you are serious about improving web traffic to your website, we recommend you read Google Webmasters and Webmaster Guidelines. These contain the best practices to help Google (and other search engines) find, crawl, and index your website. After you have read them, you MUST try our Search Engine Optimization Tools to help you with Keyword Research, Link Building, Technical Optimization, Usability, Social Media Strategy and more.
But I also don’t wanna lose PageRank on every comment with a link… If I can give PageRank and lose none, I wanna let the comment there, even without nofollow. But if I lose PageRank on every link, even inside original post, EVEN MORE if nofollow also takes PageRank out of me, I may just start using JavaScript or simple text without anchor for links… I definetely don’t like this idea, but I dislike even more losing PageRank on each outlink on my site. I’d just link top quality sites that I actively wanna vote for Search Engines.
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