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  • rbr2garcia

    11 Lessons Learned from Failed Link Building Campaigns

    1 weeks agoReply
    We’ve created more than 800 content campaigns at Fractl over the years, and we’d be lying if we told you every single one was a hit.

    The Internet is a finicky place. You can’t predict with 100% accuracy if your content will perform well. Sometimes what we think is going to do OK ends up being a massive hit. And there have been a few instances where we’d expect a campaign to be a huge success but it went on to garner lackluster results.

    While you can’t control the whims of the Internet, you can avoid or include certain things in your content to help your chances of success. Through careful analysis we’ve pinpointed which factors tend to create high-performing content. Similarly, we’ve identified trends among our content that didn’t quite hit the mark.

    In this this post, I’ll share our most valuable lessons we learned from content flops. Bear in mind this advice applies if you’re using content to earn links and press pickups, which is what the majority of the content we create at Fractl aims to do.

    1. There’s such a thing as too much data.

    For content involving a lot of data, it can be tempting to publish every single data point you collect.

    A good example of this is surveying. We’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of not only sharing all of the data we’ve collected in a survey, but also segmenting the data out by demographics — regardless of whether or not all of that data is super compelling. While this can give publishers a large volume of potential angles to choose from, the result is often unfocused content lacking a cohesive narrative.

    Only include the most insightful, interesting data points in your content, even if that means tossing aside most of the data you’ve gathered.

    One example of this was a survey we did for a home security client where we asked people about stalker-ish behaviors they’d committed. The juiciest survey data (like 1 in 5 respondents had created a fake social account to spy on someone — yikes!) ended up getting buried because we included every data point from the survey, some of which wasn’t so interesting. Had we trimmed down the content to only the most shocking findings, it probably would have performed far better.

    Furthermore, the more data you include, the more time it takes for a publisher to wade through it. As one journalist told us after we sent over an epic amount of data: “Long story short, this will take too much time.”

    Consider this: It shouldn’t take a publisher more than 10 seconds of looking at your project to grasp the most meaningful data points. If they can’t quickly understand that, how will their readers?

    2. Turning published data into something cool doesn't always yield links.

    If you’re going to use data that’s already been reported on, you better have a new spin or finding to present. Journalists don't want to cover the same stats they have already covered.

    A great example of this is a project we created about the reasons startups fail. The majority of the data we used came from CB Insights’ startup post mortems list, which had performed really well for them. (As of the time I’m writing this, according to Open Site Explorer it has 197 linking root domains from sites including BBC, Business Insider, Fortune, Vox, CNBC, and Entrepreneur — impressive!)

    It worked well once, so it should work again if we repackage it into a new format, right?

    We used the startups featured on the CB Insights list, added in a handful of additional startups, and created a sexy-looking interactive node map that grouped together startups according to the primary reasons they went under.

    While the content didn’t end up being a failure (we got it picked up by Quartz, woo!), it definitely didn’t live up to the expectations we had for it.

    Read full article here:
  • rbr2garcia

    How Google's New Project Owl Update Can Affect Brands

    3 months agoReply
    Last week Google announced they would be implementing changes in an effort to combat inaccurate information and hateful search results from their search engine. In this article I'll cover the possible pros and cons of this update and how it can affect brands.

    What is Project Owl and how it works

    Project Owl is Google's update gives users the ability to report information they may deem inappropriate, inaccurate or offensive.
    Let's see how it works:

    1 A new link to a feedback form will appear underneath Google's suggested searches;
    2 A new link to a feedback form will appear underneath "Featured Snippets;"

    These changes have been implemented after Google has been scrutinized for sharing some questionable content. In December of 2016 the number one result for the search query "did the Holocaust happen" was linked to a pro-Nazi site. Other missteps include featuring Breitbart for a top science or news story regarding the Great Barrier Reef.

    Project Owl is Google's reaction to combatting these problematic results. Whether it's inaccurate information or offensive search queries, Google wants to ensure that what we receive is reliable and relevant information.

    Read full article here:
  • rbr2garcia

    Local SEO Spam Tactics Are Working: How You Can Fight Back

    4 months agoReply
    For years, I've been saying that if you have a problem with spammers in local results, you can just wait it out. I mean, if Google cared about removing spam and punishing those who are regular spammers we'd see them removed fast and often, right?

    While there are instances where spam has been removed, it seems these are not fast fixes, permanent fixes, or even very common. In fact, they seem few and far between. So today I’m changing my tune a bit to call more attention to the spam issues people employ that violate Google My Business terms and yet continue to win in the SERPs.

    The problems are rampant and blatant. I've heard and seen many instances of legitimate businesses changing their names just to rank better and faster for their keywords.

    Another problem is that Google is shutting down MapMaker at the end of March. Edits will still be allowed, but they'll need to be made through Google Maps.

    If Google is serious about rewarding brands in local search, they need to encourage it through their local search algorithms.

    For some people, it’s gotten so bad that they’re actually suing Google. On January 13, 2017, for instance, a group of fourteen locksmiths sued Google, Yahoo, and Bing over fake spam listings, as reported by Joy Hawkins.

    While some changes — like the Possum update — seemed to have a positive impact overall, root problems (such as multiple business listings) and many other issues still exist in the local search ecosystem.

    Read full article here:
  • rbr2garcia

    How to Use Hosted Blog Platforms for SEO & Content Distribution

    1 years agoReply
    Where do you host your content? Is it on your own site, or on third-party platforms like Medium and LinkedIn? If you're not yet thinking about the ramifications of using hosted blog platforms for your content versus your own site, now's your chance to start. In this week's Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores the boons and pitfalls of using outside websites to distribute and share your content.

    Video Transcription

    Howdy, Moz ( ) fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're going to chat a little bit about blog platforms, places like Medium, Svbtle — that's Svbtle with a V instead of a U — Tumblr, LinkedIn, places where essentially you've got a hosted blog platform, a hosted content platform. It's someone else's network. You don't have to set up your own website, but at the same time you are contributing content to their site.

    This has become really popular, I think. Look, Medium and LinkedIn are really the two big ones where a lot of folks are contributing these days. LinkedIn very B2B focused, Medium very startup, and new media as well as new creative-focused.

    So I think, because of the rise of these things, we're seeing a lot of people ask themselves, "Should I create my own content platform? Do I need to build a WordPress hosted subfolder on my website? Or can I just use Medium because it has all these advantages, right?" Well, let me try and answer those questions for you today.
  • rbr2garcia

    Why Manual Link Building Will Never Be Obsolete

    1 years agoReply
    Contributor and link building expert Eric Ward discusses why manual link building will stand the test of time, despite popular predictions to the contrary.

    I recently read an article titled, “SEO Practices That Will Become Obsolete By The End Of 2016” on (what is normally) a highly respected site. The author is someone I read and respect, but he made the claim that in 2016, manual link building will become obsolete. He has since edited the article and changed “Manual Link Building” to “Bulk Link Building.”

    This seemingly minor edit (which I greatly welcome and appreciate) is actually at the crux of a much larger movement that seems to be permeating the SEO community. That movement is based on the belief that doing anything one at a time, or “manually,” is a waste of time, because the sheer mass of the web and link graph makes it impossible to impact it without resorting to automated or mass tactics.

    Wrong. Manual link building will never be obsolete.

    I agree that there are many more ways to build links today than there were when the web first caught fire. And I also agree that it is technically possible to conduct mass outreach.

    The problem is that quality suffers, and I’m not just saying that as an opinion. I see it every day in my own inbox when people send me link requests that seem so perfectly crafted and personalized, yet you can tell they are not. They were sent in bulk, and worse, they are dishonest. Dishonest how? Dishonest because these outreach emails always say things like

    “I was reading such and such on your site.”


    “I noticed you are interested in online marketing and wanted to…”

    Lies. All lies, and any of you reading this have probably received similar emails and thought the same thing. What a great way to begin your relationship with me — by lying to me. It’s the modern day version of spam; more sophisticated mail-merge with just enough added personalization to make me feel special.

    Except I don’t, and it’s not working. We all delete them. Bragging about a 2.5 percent success rate is laughable.

    People Still Need People

    Certain aspects of the link-building process have already proven to be pointless and obsolete. But one thing that will never change is human desire to connect with other humans, to share, cultivate, curate and collect useful, valuable and helpful pages, apps, or whatever the digital content is, with each other. If that wasn’t the case, there would be no Twitter, which is tailor-made for link sharing.

    Real-Life Example: I conducted an outreach project for a large international hearing aid manufacturer. This is a subject that I care about deeply because my 13-year-old is deaf. The client’s goal was to bring attention to their newly relaunched site and content areas — and yes, their hearing aids, and yes, they make money on them. (I get it.)
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