Links and Content You Should Stop Doing

Links and Content You Should Stop Doing Vizion Interactive Reading Time: 8 minutes

Video Transcription

So I’m supposed to write a super post for Vizion, and frankly, I just don’t have the time to do it. It’s easier for me just to record a video, get the transcripts and upload it. And bam, I’m done. So, what I want to talk about today is old link building tactics that I’ve seen over the past, like, three or four months, and why we need to stop doing those and what we need to be doing instead.

Back in November, I was doing a link order for this client. And one of the things I found was they had a bunch of links coming from this mommy blogger site like coupons and things like that. And when I first went through I thought, “Man, these are really, really old links.” Because I remember when my wife, you know, she had her own mommy blog site years and years ago, and she would get offers all the time for people asking her to review things. And they would send her stuff and she’d, you know, write this review about it, put on her side, she’d give them a link back and it was nice. And probably back then, I wanna say, maybe a third of her wardrobe came from all these different sites that did this. But when I checked the dates on the articles for this new client we were working with, they were dated in 2018.

2018, some agency, whoever they were working with who did this initiative, nobody really knew when we asked a question about it was when these had been obtained. And I just had the same, you know, Robin Williams kind of meme, you know, “What year is it?” And I said this to another SEO [inaudible 00:01:25], he had the same reaction like, “Why are they doing this now?” When the Penguin link penalty first came out, that was one of the first things that kind of got hit was all these mommy bloggers sites. If you had links coming from those and there was no relationship, no relevancy, it was just a place you could get links from, those heavily got penalized.

I remember when that first came out, my wife got probably 80 or 90 emails saying, “Hey, would you please remove our link and cancel it from your site? These new penalties came out, we need you to remove these down.” And I laughed, and laughed, and laughed because it was hilarious because I knew why they were asking her to take it down, and I had to explain to her why they was doing that. And then she was just freaking out going, “Did I do anything wrong?” I said, “No, you didn’t do anything wrong. Google just kind of caught on to the scheme that was going on and they wanted to put a stop to it.”

And so, she took them down, she got to keep everything she had gotten and it was fine for her. But seeing that recent, I’m just gonna go I just don’t understand why people are still doing that. But at the same time, it must still work for some people and that’s why they’re still doing it. But on that same token, you know, if you’re gonna reach out and ask people to review or give you a link for something like that, make sure there’s some kind of relationship.

I remember when my wife was getting email from people asking her to review something or review a product and she would say, “You know what? I don’t really like that. It’s not really my style. So, I’m gonna have to say no.” They would email her back and say, “Well, we’ll send you more of the product. You can have it and you can even share with your friends and have them review it too.” And she would again say, “Hey, this isn’t really my style, but, you know, I can pass you on to someone else.” She would get a third, a fourth email of them begging her to, you know, review it and do something. And eventually, she would say yes, because, one, it’s free stuff for her. And second, you know, she wouldn’t even contribute that much. She would wear the product or check it out and she would say, “Hey, this is nice, not really my style, but go check them out here.” And they would get a link and they were happy for it.

If you reach out to somebody and they tell you, “No, it’s not my style, I don’t like this,” just leave it alone. Just leave it. I mean, they’re gonna leave you with like a little default review like that, and the link is probably not gonna be that great in the first place. So haggling like that, I just don’t see it. If there’s a relationship or there’s some kind of sponsored opportunity, I think that’s fine. You know, if you’ve got a good relationship and it makes sense, then that may go a long way for you. But if it’s, you know, a mommy blogger site, and this was this…they were more like the fuel industry than anything, it made zero sense for them to have a link on this site.

And it wasn’t that many links, it was probably 40 or 50 or so which I guess, depending on how many links you get in your profile, that could be a lot. But so we just said you know what? You need to maybe not do that anymore. And, you know, all the links you’ve got, let’s just try and get those removed if you can. Not that they warrant any kind of penalty, but let’s just get rid of that.

The other thing that I’ve been seeing a lot of recently has been these expert pieces that have been coming up. And these are just…some of them are great, some of them are fantastic, you know, everybody has an ego and everybody likes, you know, tugging on that ego to get them to share it and talk about it even link to it. But for us, and for me especially when we recommend it to clients and talk to them to do, we only recommend, you know, a handful of people to contribute to it. Because I can see the appeal to having more than, you know, 15 or 20. And even some of our own, you know, the search industry, the digital marketing industry, you know, everybody has some kind of ego.

And when I see these posts that are like, you know, 50 experts have contributed to the latest trends in 2020. But all those trends are like, you know, one or two sentences. And more than likely, all of those trends have been written about or talked about in a presentation the same people have done last year or the year before, so there’s nothing really new this change. We’re just kind of reiterating what’s been done. And we tend to do that not only in the articles we write, but even our presentations. You know, Dallas Digital Summit for crying out loud, their vision goes through every year. And it’s a great summit. I’m not bashing in the least bit, but there’s one guy for three years had the same presentation every single year.

Now, it’s great for refresher and, you know, just keeping up the day, maybe something you missed the year before, I understand that. But one year, he forgot to even change the year in his presentation. And his response was, “Oops, well, as you can see, this is the same as last year, I just forgot to change the year.” And that was it. So, if you’re going to ask people to contribute an extra piece you’re doing, make sure it’s fresh and maybe something that hasn’t been heard before, or if it’s a good refresher that you want it to be there. But I mean, get people that are gonna want to care about the topic and people that are passionate about it.

You know, I think we’re at the point now where expert pieces can still work, but I like to see the internet as a whole go away from 50 or 100 experts and let’s get more quality into it. Let’s give people some substance not, you know, one or two sentences, or we can call our mom about and be like, “Hey, mom, I contributed sense to this article, can you print this out and put it up on the fridge for me?” That’s how I see a lot of these 100 experts contributing, that’s what it kind of sounds like. It just doesn’t have a lot behind it.

Another thing that I’ve been seeing quite a bit of has been just these fun but completely off-topic and off-keyword blog posts and articles. And I know this talk with content marketing, content marketing has been, “Oh, content marketing is great, content marketing is king.” You know, that’s what the new promotion and stuff is. And that’s fine. But if you’re gonna do this, make sure that the content that you’re creating, even if it’s fun content, is at least somewhat related. We had this furniture client a few years ago, and one of my favorite pieces that we did was we came up with just a bunch of different creative ways to build forts out of couch cushions and sofas. It was related to them, something that families can relate to, and it was very shareable. It was a fun topic. It was focused. I mean, it was just a fun piece. And me my kids even built some of them. I mean, it was just a lot of fun.

And while I don’t wanna drag anybody currently under the bus for stuff that I’ve seen, I will say that years ago, I do remember when Outspoken Media invited a Joe Hall to write a topic for their blog post. And he mentioned the word poop several times in the blog post. And not long after that, Rhea Drysdale wrote a follow-up post about being careful about what you let written on…guest posts written on your site. Back when Google…before Google closed the keywords and not provided came out, I saw keywords start to show up that were poop-related.

And so, they effectively ended up removing his blog post from their site. So, when it comes to having fun with content and fun with blog posts you’re having written, just make sure that it’s related, that it’s relevant to your field, relevant to the industry, relevant to the client’s industry. I mean, you can have fun blog posts. I mean, nobody’s saying you can’t. But when you have topics that are that far off and your site stops getting referral traffic for that, organic traffic for that, you may need to rethink your content strategy. And that’s gonna be a big impact on your site.

Well, I’ve been rambling long enough and you’re probably sick of hearing my voice over the past 10 minutes or so if you’ve made it this far. And if you have, I apologize that my voice is gonna be embedded in your brain for the next hour or so. But at least it’s me.

So, to recap real quick. If you’re gonna reach out and ask people to review a product you’ve got, then make sure that the product and the review are gonna make sense with the content that’s gonna be on their site. I know mommy blogger sites get a bad rep, but honestly, if there is relationship there, that is your target demographic and audience, then, by all means, make sure that they’re not selling links, that it’s not a spammy site, and you should be fine.

And likewise for other stuff, if you’re gonna ask for reviews from someone else, make sure that there’s a relationship, that it makes sense for the review to be there. When it comes to, you know, expert pieces, let’s try and strive for quality over quantity. You know, let’s look for things that are gonna make people go, “Huh, that’s an interesting point.” Or, “Wow, I never knew that before.” Let’s try to put more quality behind instead of just a mass number of people.

I mean, I get the idea behind it, you know, having 50 people contribute, that’s 50 people that can share it and their audience can share that and amplify and amplify. That sounds fine. But I think we’re at the point in time where we just need to focus on quality. Let’s try and educate people instead of just trying to reproduce redundancy over and over again. I mean, I would rather have quality pieces get shared and get links from something that’s substantial, instead of just the same thing we’ve heard for the past 10 years.

When it comes to content, content marketing, you know, that kind of stuff, be creative. But again, like everything that we’ve been talking about, there’s kind of consistency with what’s going on with what I’m saying is that make sure it’s relevant, you know. I think we’re getting away from… I think some of the old stuff that’s been done can still be used today, but I think that we’re trying to be too much outside of the box and not trying to keep everything on point.

So, like with, you know, Joe Hall’s post at Outspoken Media and some stuff I’ve seen from other client sites, let’s just make sure the content is relevant and that it makes sense to be there. I mean, we’re gonna have fun content that’s there, but let’s just, you know, keep it consistent. You know, let’s make sure that we’re educating people in the right manner and that we’re having fun at the same time.

That’s been my, you know, 10 or so minutes. I’m looking at my timer now. So, yeah, I should be about the 10-minute mark. Hopefully, this was a great first video super post for you guys. And we look forward to create more of these. We’ll see you guys later.

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