I was tempted this week to simply post this link – http://moz.com/blog/beginners-guide-to-link-building – and leave you all to it!
It’s not the shortest read so I’m sure you won’t thank me for the size of your reading list this week; nevertheless, the scope and detail in the guide is, frankly, breath-taking and in some sense deserves not to be diluted by any other recommendations in this week’s digest.
If you’re a beginner, it will give you a clear, explicable and robust understanding of what is required and even if you’re not, you will find so many insights into how to sharpen up your processes.
Consistently (both from the Industry in general and from DSM in particular), you will hear the appeal to produce high quality – that is, authoritative – content. However, only occasionally does this come with any guidelines on how to judge whether something is, objectively, authoritative. And, naturally, without a benchmark, it’s hard to improve your output so this article is invaluable in making those assessments.
Recently, there’s been a lot of talk over the (SEO) benefits of transferring your site to https. And, naturally, the waters have become muddier, the longer the conversation has progressed. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Google believes maximising site security is a good thing. With that in mind, this webmaster guide, whilst a little, ahem, technically dense, is an excellent primer on the steps you need to take to future proof your site (and, arguably, benefit from an algorithmic boost into the bargain).
Part of the naysayer attitude to this development is, to my mind, part of a broader cynicism towards Google – an attitude I broadly share, to be honest. However, the understanding that Google is a commercial operation should not colour ones assumptions to the extent that you conclude that Google is always trying to screw you over. On the contrary, this approach would be counter-productive in the long run and Google does, on the whole, seek to maximise its returns by giving customers good services (and, by and large, profitable ones).
I was thinking this when a small furore arose around the fact that Google will be universally applying close variants keyword matching. Some people, like the vocal – and very amusing – Barry Adams (@badams) saw this as Google dialling up the clicks surreptitiously for greater profit. To my mind, this is nonsense. The reality is that virtually everyone is now using the close variant settings anyway and it’s almost always a benefit.
That’s not to say it doesn’t require some fresh thinking when you’re managing your PPC account(s) – but those happen all the time and I believe is important in maintaining iterative focus. On that note, here’s a good article on some considerations in that refocusing.