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An SEO’s job can get monotonous when ideas run dry. Submit a guest post here, a press release there. Email bloggers and hope they respond. Draft up an article and try to get influencers on board. These techniques can offer reliable and sustainable results, but it’s the big ideas, the uncommon approaches, that are the real game changers.
Here are seven techniques you’ve probably never heard of before. They will bring you success if you use them wisely. Hopefully, they will also get the creative juices flowing, so that you can come up with your own uncommon techniques.1. Free or Cheap eBooks
Have a linkbait idea you are particularly proud of, but aren’t quite sure how to reach a big enough audience? An eBook could be the solution. There’s a pretty decent amount of articles out there on how to use eBooks to monetize a site that already has exposure, but eBooks can actually be just as effective as a method of gaining exposure in the first place.
The thing to realize about marketplaces like Amazon and Barnes&Noble is that they aren’t nearly as saturated as the Google search results. Your high-traffic search term might have been eaten up by impossible competition in Google, but there might not even be a book with that particular title. Get an eBook listed in these marketplaces for a low price (or free), and make it good enough to get four- or five-star ratings, and you can expect a decent readership to develop rather quickly.
Get your website on the cover and in the pages of the book, and links will almost certainly follow.
Amazon and Barnes&Noble don’t allow you to price your book below $0.99 through their native interfaces, but if you distribute through SmashWords you can get your book listed for free if you want to.
If you don’t think you have what it takes to write an eBook, keep in mind that a free or cheap eBook could be as long as five blog posts, or even shorter, without too many complaints.2. Hire Established Bloggers
If you think hiring an established author is outside of your budget, think again. There’s no need to put them on your payroll. Without a product of their own to sell, even somewhat high-profile bloggers aren’t exactly rolling in cash. Try reaching out to a few bloggers with a freelance opportunity and see what they’re willing to work for. You might be surprised.
It’s pretty natural for a blogger to link to an article that they wrote for you, especially if you didn’t ask them to write anything they might consider damaging to their integrity (probably best to avoid product reviews). Just doing this once in a month can be a great source of solid links from genuine influencers.3. Interview an Influencer
You might not be able to interview Brad Pitt or the President, but if don’t think you can get an interview with somebody noteworthy, you’re selling yourself short. Heavy twitter users, book authors, and bloggers love exposure just as much as you do. Offer to interview them and many of them will respond positively.
Certainly, many of them will think your blog is below them, but many of them will not. These influencers are only promoting themselves by linking to the interview afterward, so it’s not too difficult to pull this off if you know how to ask.4. Commission an Artist or Photographer
Once again, if you think this is outside of your budget, you are mistaken. Artists and photographers are just as hungry for freelance work as bloggers, and you can easily pay them fairly without draining your budget. There is an incredible amount of talent out there, and most of it is underpaid.5. Offer Free Work for an Influencer
Hopefully, it’s clear that you shouldn’t simply offer a product or service to an influencer and ask for a link in return. However, offering to provide them with a service that they need can be a great way to launch an online relationship that can be leveraged to build links down the road. Whatever product or service you produce, there is almost certainly a type of blogger who would be happy to receive it for free.6. Be the First to Break a Story to an Influencer
Established bloggers and tweeters love being the first to announce a breaking story. A good way to establish a relationship with an influencer is to let them know about an important story before they say anything about it. Being in front of a good story, instead of behind it, is something that they will thank you for and remember.
Clearly, if you are sitting on insider information that people will find irresistible, you’ll probably do best by simply posting the information on your own blog and contacting your network to let them know. If, on the other hand, it’s a piece of news from an established source that simply hasn’t hit the twitter-sphere and blogosphere yet, it’s worth it to reach out to influencers with the information instead.
A good way to stay on top of information like this is to subscribe to press release sites and other “raw data” sources that report on information before it hits the New York Times or the rest of the Web.7. Mine Quora and Yahoo Answers
Check out the top questions on Q&A sites like these and look for questions that you can answer better. Write a blog post on the subject and compile as much helpful information as you can, presenting it in a comprehensive, appealing, and easy-to-navigate format.
After posting the article, summarize your answer in a response on Quora and reference your blog post in the process. If the answer does well and is seen by enough people, it will be a steady source of traffic and links for the new article.
Innovative link building techniques may not be as predictable as tried and true methods, so they shouldn’t necessarily replace them entirely, but they are what separates you from the competition and allows your site to prosper on the Web and in the search results.
Can you think of other uncommon but powerful link building tactics? Don’t forget to pass this along if you thought it was helpful.
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As long as search engines shroud their algorithms in secrecy, the industry will continue to be rife with spam and myths.
I’d argue this encourages businesses to pursue the wrong strategies rather than strategies that work.
That’s why some people have lost faith in the value of SEO. This limits opportunities more than it creates new ones.
As you read through this chapter, you’ll notice a number of popular myths that cast a negative light on link building and leave people scared of pursuing manual link building practices.
This is understandable from where the industry has come from.
But I’d argue that this leaves us blind to good link building opportunities.
Do search engines justify links by their ends (value) or by their means (practice)? I’d argue the latter.
But the point here isn’t to argue ethics. It’s to showcase value.
Here I’d like to dispel seven popular myths and misconceptions about link building that are causing more harm than good.
Once we’ve busted these myths, we can deliver our clients more value by better understanding the core basics of link building.Myth 1: Backlinks Are a ‘Top’ Google Ranking Factor
This myth dates back to a Google Q&A, when Google Search Quality Senior Strategist Andrey Lipattsev stated that links, content, and RankBrain were Google’s top three ranking factors.
But if this were true, it would ignore a vast majority of signals, such as user experience, query intent, and hundreds of other ranking factors to prioritize pages by the amount of backlinks they have.
John Mueller even clarified this.
Google’s ranking factors are dynamic, employing different algorithms when determining the results of different queries for different user intent.
But countless correlation studies have shown that pages in the top three results tend to have an huge number of backlinks.
The question is:
Do these pages rank high because of their backlink profile – or do they have so many backlinks because they are ranking high?
It’s all relative.
We don’t know. So we shouldn’t limit our strategy.
Does this mean that backlinks aren’t an important ranking signal?
Of course not.
The influence of links may be more substantial in first-page search results when most other factors remain equal.Myth 2: The Penguin Penalty
Penguin is an algorithm, not a penalty handed out by Google.
The distinction is important for two reasons.
Google won’t warn you when your site is devalued because of its backlink profile.
Recovery from an algorithmic devaluation offers simpler solutions.
Despite promises from Google that Penguin 4.0 does not trigger negative sitewide ranking actions, countless case studies have proven differently.
Check out these case studies here and here for more proof.
Recovering from negative SEO caused by spammy link building only requires disavowing those links that qualify as obvious spam.
Generally, you shouldn’t worry about Penguin if you’re pursuing good linking strategies and avoiding links farms and networks.
Even if Penguin does catch some malicious links, which every site has, then I still wouldn’t freak out because chances are Penguin won’t even register those individual links.Myth 3: Link Quality Can Be Defined by DA or PA
How do search engines define link quality?
We aren’t sure.
So how should you define link quality?
This might be considered more of a misconception than a myth.
Third-party metrics, such as Domain Authority (DA) and Trust Flow, are merely barometers or guesses for how well a site compares to others.
DA is neither a ranking signal, nor does it give us complete insight into how qualitative a website is for link building.
I’ve run into so many sites with a high DA that were either abandoned or just obvious link farms.
This isn’t to trash DA specifically. The problem is relying on a single proprietary metric to justify junk link campaigns and charge clients.
So let’s take a stab at determining what a good link is:
Linking domain offers content relevant to your business.
Linking domain has high traffic value.
Anchor text is contextual.
Linked-to page offers value to users.
The website has an editorial process in place for content.
It’s really that simple.
What’s dangerous about this line of thinking is that chasing DA leaves you blind to opportunities right in front of you.
This includes ignoring relevance, new websites, and even low-hanging fruit in the fruitless quest for DA.Myth 4: Asking Someone for a Link Is Spammy
As we’ve all heard, asking someone for a link or exchanging a link between sites is spammy.
But reclaiming citations or manually reaching out for a link from a relevant directory or publication should not be grouped into the same category as link exchanges.
If so, it would mean that broken link building and resource link building should be avoided.Myth 5: High Link Velocity Contribute to Manual Penalties
Many people fear that building tons of links to a single piece of content could negatively impact its keyword rank.
As impressive as search engines are, their ability to index the entire web and identify trends like this would be nearly impossible.
Besides, it makes sense that a highly original and valuable webpage would generate backlinks exponentially on its own.
Every time somebody links to your content it increases its visibility and gives it the opportunity to acquire additional links.
If this increases keyword rank enough, this effect significantly compounds.
It’s the very idea of organic link building.
That said, if you acquire a ton of low-quality links from content networks and spammy directories, then you could be slapped with a manual penalty or significant link profile devaluation.Myth 6: Guest Posting Negatively Contributes to Link Building
We’ve been hearing about how guest posting is dead for years.
These statements, like many from Google, were later rescinded or clarified.
Why would search engines punish you from guest posting in a highly relevant and trafficked publication to market your business and thought leadership?
Obviously, contextual links are valued higher then homepage links in your byline, but spamming your contextual links with keyword-rich anchor text could be self-defeating.
Guest posting just to build links misses the point of link building.
Guest posting, and even acquiring nofollowed links, could have indirect benefits on your digital marketing from increasing your brand visibility across the web to your flow of traffic from these sources.Myth 7: Link Building Is All About Links
Link building can:
Increase your brand’s visibility across the web.
Increase traffic to your domain.
Showcase your brand’s authority and value.
Primarily, manual link building should be more about building relationships with other websites for marketing opportunities than simply acquiring a link.
I compare it to brand building in many aspects.
With that said, link building does have an obvious direct result in your rankings, but it also offers many positive indirect results that go on behind the scenes.Conclusion
The moral of the story?
Avoid spam, but don’t avoid low-hanging fruit and good opportunities in the pursuit of DA or appeasing a penguin god.
As with everything online, digital marketing is just as filled with facts as it is fallacies.
Know how to spot the truth and follow the best practice of link building for the best results for your marketing campaign.
Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita
This is a continuation of the article Link building structures: hunters and collectors. What I’m doing is looking at web traffic control from a graph theoretic perspective. This is article is hypothesis, though I believe you can use the principles in reality.
Look at the diagram below. There are a number of different types of graph networks and clusters.
Overall graph shows nodes and clusters of mixed connectivity
The green node is a hub site.
not show links from each of the blue nodes to the green node. Instead, this is shown in shorthand visual notation using the larger circle encompassing each cluster.
Peach nodes are traffic “collectors” – they get traffic sent to them by the hub.
The curved green lines show traffic flow, from blue to green to peach nodes.
How can we use this link structure to send traffic from blue nodes to peach nodes? One possible scenario is as follows:
Blue nodes are part of separate blog network clusters. Their fully-connected link nature likely means high traffic for all nodes. That’s assuming, of course, that each network has high authority. Ownership is different for each network, and unrelated to the peach and green node network.
The strategy would be to get links on to the blue sites so as to draw traffic to the green site. Possible ways include:
Purchased text links on-site or in-feed.
Targeted articles and linkbait on the green site to draw links from blue sites.
Guest articles on blue sites.
The green hub node could be some sort of general or portal site, with the peach nodes being niche domains.
The traffic redirection from green to peach is done through a number of methods:
By placing strategic articles on the green site, with links to peach sites.
The next article will discuss a traffic-building strategy that I’m trying for a client, using some of the concepts discussed here.
If you are actively building links as part of your SEO efforts, you are probably tracking your metrics, but are your metrics helping you? You should be actively watching KPI’s to ensure your link building is heading in the right direction. This begs two questions two questions: What KPI’s do I track and how do you record these metrics so that they are actionable?
The second question is pretty easy – you should be tracking your KPI’s in a dashboard. This is great because it allows you to see trending data for your important metrics that should be shaping your link building efforts. I have made a link building dashboard template that you can download here.
So what metrics should you be tracking? You should be watching KPI’s that indicate the results of your efforts so that you can reshape your link building efforts as needed. The following are the metrics that I track, as they impact how I focus my time:Total Links
This is pretty straightforward – How many external links are pointing to your entire domain. If you want to create a competitive intelligence dashboard, you can also include your competitor’s links. I recommend using Google Webmaster tools data for this KPI – Don’t forget to subtract internal links as Google includes this number in WMT.Number of Linking Domains
While it is good to know the number of links pointing to your site, the number of linking domains has a higher correlation with good rankings and is vital to track. This is really good to watch alongside your total links graph as it will help you understand if you are getting a lot of contextual links or if you are getting less valuable links, like sidebar links.Number of Linking Domains Gained
How successful are your efforts? How many linking domains are you gaining each week? This is a good number to look at to judge the scalability of your efforts in order to help evaluate your effectiveness. If you are putting a lot of effort in but are only getting a few mediocre links, then you should probably look into a different tactic.Number of Phrase Match Anchors
I like to know the number of links I am building with targeted anchors. I track how many links use phrases containing the anchors that I am targeting. While the raw number is helpful for seeing the effectiveness of your efforts, it is really important to look at this as a proportion of your links. You want to make sure you don’t have 50% of your links being targeted anchors as this is indicative of targeted link building efforts that could easily be detected by search engines.Number of Branded Links
How many links contain your brand name? Create a percentage of the number of branded links compared to your entire backlink profile. You should know your competitive landscape and what the branded backlink portfolio of your competitors looks like.Links to the Homepage
How many of your links are pointing to your homepage? You want to create a dashboard that will show you the ratio of links going to your homepage. Compare this ratio against that of your competitors and the top ranking sites. The purpose of this is to make sure that you are still building links in the appropriate ratio to corresponding pages so that your backlink profile doesn’t appear unnatural.
I created a template that you can download and put your own data in that you can download here.
While there are a huge number of other metrics you can track, and that you should probably look at, these are the KPIs I track consistently. As this is for a dashboard, you want to only include the vital metrics that give you a quick overview of the performance of your link building; you should be able to tell if something looks off and needs further investigation.
Steam Link no Sound: 7 Ways to Get Your Audio Back
Steam Link is a great way to stream your PC games from the Steam library to any supported devices, including smart TVs, computers, phones, and tablets.
If you experience no audio issue on the menu or gameplay, it may be because of some unintentional changes in the configuration.
To get back sound on the Steam Link, you can very the settings mentioned in this article.
INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE
Try Outbyte Driver Updater to resolve driver issues entirely:
This software will simplify the process by both searching and updating your drivers to prevent various malfunctions and enhance your PC stability. Check all your drivers now in 3 easy steps:
Download Outbyte Driver Updater.
Launch it on your PC to find all the problematic drivers.
OutByte Driver Updater has been downloaded by
readers this month.
Have you encountered the Steam Link no sound issue? If yes, you can go through this article to get the most effective solutions and some vital information.
Steam Link is a fantastic solution to enjoy Steam games on any supported devices in your home using the local network.
It is almost like a cloud gaming solution. The difference is one of your devices is the server, and you play it on the home network, which gives you the smoothest possible experience due to superfast connection speed.
However, the smoothest experience often gets worse for unwanted errors. It can be that Steam Link is not working or not recognizing the controller. But, this article is about the no sound issue. This problem affects almost every device that supports Steam Link. It includes the following:
The no sound issue on Steam Link may occur in different ways. Some users may experience no sound problem only with the menu. Some may get it only during the actual gameplay.
You also may notice no sound at all when you are using the Steam Link.
No matter what is the type of the problem, you can always fix it by yourself. However, we would like you to go through a few more things to help you with the best solution and information about the troubleshooting steps.How do I install the Steam Link on a PC?
We also have a guide on connecting Steam Link to a PC. That may help you to learn the process better.How can I fix Steam Link no sound issue? 1. Restart
If there is no sound on Steam Link, you should restart both the host and remote devices. In many cases, it fixes the problem and saves the time you would spend trying other methods.2. Check if the audio device is enabled on the host computer
Now, try to play games again using the Steam Link on the remote device and see if it has fixed the no sound issue or not.3. Verify Streaming settings 4. Check Host audio settings
It will solve Steam Link’s no sound issue for both the game and menu.5. Advanced host option 6. Make sure the connection is stable
Also, make sure you have a stable WiFi signal. If possible, use Ethernet instead of wireless communication.
You may also be interested in reducing input lag on Steam Link.7. Reconnect the device
7.1 Unpair the remote device
7.2 Pair the remote device againCan I use the Steam Link on my TV?
You can use the Steam Link on your TV if it is a supported model. Many supported smart TVs let you enjoy your Steam library via your home network.
If you want to know about the list of Steam Link-supported televisions, look at the list given below.
Sony smart TVs
Samsung smart TVs
Hisense smart TVs
Xiaomi smart TVs
TCL smart TVs
Any TVs with the Android operating system.
If you have an unsupported TV brand like LG, Sharp, etc., you should not worry. Because you can easily use Steam Link using Apple TV, Android TV box, etc. There are even dedicated TV boxes for Steam Link.
Chromecast users can enjoy the Steam library using some technical steps. However, if you have Roku, unfortunately, it doesn’t have a Steam Link app yet.
How do I connect my steam link to my smart tv?
Go to the app store of your smart TV.
Download the Steam Link app.
Open the app and pair your controller.
Select the host device when it finds after scanning.
Pair it using the authorization code that appears on the screen.
Let it finish the speed test process.
Now, it should be all OK. You can start streaming your Steam games on your smart TV.
Still experiencing troubles? Fix them with this tool:
Some driver-related issues can be solved faster by using a tailored driver solution. If you’re still having problems with your drivers, simply install OutByte Driver Updater and get it up and running immediately. Thus, let it update all drivers and fix other PC issues in no time!
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To those of you who are still wary of allowing your ideas and stories to traverse the web, this one’s especially for you.
Today I’ll let you in on a story of a visionary-procrastinator who finally decided to breathe life to his dreams of getting his thoughts and ideas out on the web—welcome to my story.
In this article I will run you through three aspects that both hindered and helped me start with writing and creating my online identity, namely branding, blogging, and link ponds—all of which when understood and utilized properly can help you build and optimize your brand literally from the ground up.
Mind you that the primary goal of this article is to call on to those of you blogcrastinators out there to stand up and be creative beasts, to move out from the shadows and scare us with your great ideas! 🙂On Branding: “Should it be about MEH!?”
Branding can be a problematic aspect as sometimes you can end up branding for the sake of branding, and honestly that can’t lead to anything but wasted time and effort. Instead of just thinking outside of the box, why not consider creating something people didn’t know was missing? In that manner, you can shift your mindset from creating something that didn’t exist to creating something that needs to exist, hence a practical motivation to get you going.
This was my first stumbling block; I didn’t know exactly what to write about. Coming from the above mindset of creating a need, I knew I had to dig deeper. Aside from listing down all of my interests such as SEO, social media, experience design, and philosophy, I had to find a way to formulate an equation that can give me a proper brand—a thesis statement with a solid research domain that I was very much interested in. After a lot of introspection and research I came up with a brand that would talk about finding meaning and happiness amidst the intricacies of SEO, the chattering within social media, and the lack of common sense behind design and usability.
If you’re to dissect that statement, it’s actually about my frustrations in Internet marketing and how we can find inspiration to get back up and accomplish the job. Here, my research domains would be my personal experience (sort of inexhaustible), the Internet industry (SEO, Social Media, etc.), and Taoism (a philosophy that I got well acquainted with back in the days).
Tying in your personality with your brand in this manner not only provides you with a unique identity people ought to remember but also gives you focused information streams you can easily tap into to guide you with content production.
Do a little bit of market/niche research as this will greatly help with your brand and content development. Potentially, business development?
Don’t forget keyword research, this will outline the course of your SEO groundwork for your brand and content.
Carefully study and design your visual brand identity—this should clearly represent your thesis (call a designer friend if you need help).
Make sure that your site’s visual interface elicits the right emotions and are in tune with your brand (consult an experience designer if possible).
Don’t forget site performance and usability—this greatly affects your image online.
Utilize your personal tone and character when expressing your brand—it pays to humanize your brand (well you’re human after all right?). Check out Dan Schawbel’s blog to learn more about personal branding
“I’m too lazy to write!”
By establishing your own personal brand and knowing your direction, I’m assuming that moving on to writing would be a less daunting task, though talking from experience, it can still be quite dreadful.
There are two common things that comprise the fear of writing, one would be “Would I be able to publish content regularly?” and “I don’t think my writing style is good enough!”—so much for the hassle of establishing your would be brand eh? A thing that I learned along the way that you should take note of: “If not now, when!?”
First off, take baby steps, don’t promise anything you can’t deliver for yourself and to your would be readers. When I started, I explicitly mentioned (on my site) that I would be publishing content at least once a week, which was manageable. Don’t worry about publishing more than what you’ve promised, in fact you might just find yourself increasing your publishing rate as you go along.
Secondly, nothing will start happening if you wouldn’t even dare write that opening post of yours. Just get your foot inside that door and from there use your brand identity as a guide to help you prepare your content roadmap. Are you scared of your writing style? Don’t be, as you write more and more you’ll find yourself producing better content.
Besides, take note that content production isn’t limited to writing articles, if you’re a good speaker utilize it by mixing in video posts, or if you’re good with visuals, go develop that killer info-graphic!
Aside from maximizing personal experience for your topics, make sure to utilize topic research in social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and forums)—talking about relevant content is important.
Prepare a content plan. Sometimes it pays to write articles ahead of time to create a buffer and at the same time manage constant publication of content.
Men with Pens
, are great copywriting resources.
Explore guest blogging not for self-promotion but for relationship and readership building.
Don’t tell me you’re not considering SEO when writing content? Consider SEO copywriting (as in writing-not-for-robots).
Allow your content to travel. Optimize your site to make it easy for readers to share your hard work.
Share your experiences. Be a storyteller. People recall stories better than hard facts. Perhaps this is a good way to get readers well acquainted with your brand and writing style.
On Link Ponds:
“Allow link juice to flow to your brand.”
Never heard of Link Ponds? Well, you do now. Link ponds are basically content pages on a site that are often linked to internally and externally for the priceless information that they provide. In contrast to link bait or link hook content, link ponds are permanent sections on a site, David Mihm’s local search ranking factors and SEOmoz’s search ranking factors are good examples of link ponds.
Moving forward, in light of brand building and content creation, I needed to find a way to kick start my content optimization and at the same time find an effective way to let people in the science and philosophy behind my insights and ideas—a branding and linking opportunity at the same time. This is when I came up with the concept of link ponds.
Creating theoretical frameworks or manifestos that depict your brand and thinking process can greatly help you with your branding efforts and content development strategies, not to mention your SEO initiatives.
Craft a robust
that aligns with your brand and perspective towards your niche.
Make sure to update your link pond whenever necessary. Don’t forget to update your readers about it as well—a short update post might just do the trick.
David Armano’s Manifesto
. He’s done a great job utilizing this to shape the persona of his blog.
Check out Karim Rashid’s
Check out the
SEO Taoist Philosophy
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