Search Engine Optimization In 2014
SEO in 2014 is mainly focusing on link building and ranking. In fact, 2014 ushers in a new era of link building strategies that have been consistently pruned throughout 2013 to keep up, and comply, with the latest search engine updates. These updates drastically affected millions of websites in mostly negative ways. Decreasing the value on many large scale and quick link building tactics, other tactics massively relied upon by many sites (spam blog commenting for example) actually began to cause penalties!
Fortunately not all hope is lost and there are still a multitude of link building strategies that webmasters can employ to generate some high quality backlinks to their site. These strategies include methods such as: ego bait, interviews, seasonal content, contests, blog commenting (we’ll explain), reviews, and news. We will go into further detail hereunder so as to describe key link building strategies that are being an integral part of most SEO strategies in 2014.
Ego bait, when carefully applied, can generate some fantastic sources of backlinks. The main idea behind ego bait is to write a piece of content that appeals someone’s ego. This appeal will generally be something praising such as an article on “The Best PC Reviewer of 2013” listing that top site as the outbound link and hopefully generating a link in return from that site.
Interviews are somewhat a form of ego bait in that you flatter the person into asking their “professional opinion” or “expert advice”. This can lead to some lovely content basically written for a site if someone were to send off a list of questions via email to a blogger, director, writer, or even a photographer. Should you get a response to your questions, you can essentially have almost all of your post written already, and you simply need to proof it, add some essential HTML, and post it!
While a lot of bloggers and site owners are focused on year round content, others take advantage of the vast influx of seasonal keyword searches during specific holidays. Main present giving holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas are goldmines for affiliate marketers. Additionally, using your knowledge of upcoming holidays to create gift lists, wish lists, and idea lists, is going to be a great way to tap into that seasonal content market and get some back links from other sites to your lists!
Another way to tap into this market is to offer sales or discounts for the holidays. Reaching out to other bloggers and site owners by offering them the ability to present the discount to their customers is a phenomenal away to get some great backlinks as well as a steady stream of customers!
Contests are a fabulous way to gain backlinks because, let’s face it, everyone likes to try and win. Having a physical prize can be a massive incentive for some, while setting a competition to see who is voted the “best of something” just for the title and a featured spot on your site is another (cheaper) alternative. To get the backlink for the contest, make it either that those participating must put a post/link about the contest on their site, or have them work to refer others to vote for their name to your site!
Unfortunately getting the word out about contests can be a bit difficult. Reaching out through your social network and to those who are connected to your in your niche is a great way, but also manually outreaching to blogs, posting on forums, and simply contacting websites saying they’ve been “chosen” to enter can be a great way to start. Once you have those that enter or vote for your competition, you can use that to send them notifications about the next competition and continue to build your audience!
Previously, automated blog commenting services were a fantastic way to get a massive number of backlinks. Though they were incredibly low quality, they still provided a small bit of link juice and could be automated by the thousands. Now, however, those automated links are causing serious damage to certain sites and the only real types of comments that are bringing any positive effects are high quality manual comments.
Search for blogs in your niche that are not only high ranking, but that will allow for either html in your comment or your name. These blogs will have someone manually checking comments so don’t try any spam. Instead, write something thoughtful and specific to the post so that it gets approved.
If you are selling products or services, it is essential to your site to not only have a great number of high quality backlinks, but to also have reviews for your products/services on it and around the web. Contact customers after they’ve purchased something form you and request that they write a review either on their blog, social networking site, or even on a review site like Yelp.
Additionally, you can work to contact sites and post on forums offering your services for free (or at a huge discount) for *real* reviews. Make sure that any reviews you ask for are not fake or falsified in any way because you can lose a significant amount of credibility with customers that way.
Lastly, one way to get hundreds of high quality backlinks from a wide range of sources is to be the first to post something news worthy. Getting featured on Google News and other search engine news hubs is essential; however you can also work to get into free or paid news aggregators. Once you develop the perfect method to promote your brand new newsworthy content, then you can easily sit back and relax while the backlinks pour in effortlessly.
Unfortunately being the “first” to post a newsworthy piece of content can be difficult which is why many have taken up news jacking. News jacking is a term coined for those who essentially take a piece of news that is relatively new by setting up alerts for certain keywords and terms. Once they are pinged by those alerts they quickly either take a new approach to the news article, or post something completely controversial to it. News jacking is a much easier task and can still rake in a decent amount of backlinks for those who don’t have the means to report on “fresh” news content!
This post is written by Larry Smith, the Director of Internet Marketing at Neueseo, who is an expert in Web Development, Online Advertising, SEO and a specialist in the management of Google AdWords Advertising Campaigns.