linkbait

Burger King’s Twitter Hacked = Link Bait Goldmine

1 Comments
February 19  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

burger king twitter hack

So we often hear that no press is bad press and in the case of Burger King’s Twitter hacking they certainly will come out on top. While a lot of nefarious things were mentioned and done on the account no one will really care, so in the end Burger King will definitely enjoy the buzz.

The reason I hope they don’t care? No one will remember this in a week and during that time, I imagine the will get thousands of links and social followers because of it…so what’s the big deal? Let this sink in and be a lesson on how to turn a bad thing into something good.

If I were them, I would also try and get interviews from highly authoritative places about the incident and perhaps talk about brand image and or social media security…it’s kind of a snooze fest but I imagine a lot of publications are looking to talk to someone over there while the news is hot.

Just take a look at the social buzz via Topsy:

burger king hacked twitter
 
News sites were also picking the story up like crazy:

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 8.30.32 AM
 
So you get the idea eh?

Tagged , , ,

Stop Building Links And Start Attracting Them

5 Comments
October 5  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

Since the year is getting close to being done, I thought another large link building post is in order – although we could have called it “Attracting Links in 2013″ just as easily. To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot of new information out there so I’ll do my best to recap on everything that’s been working great for our clients. It has been the craziest year for inbound marketing companies, mainly due to all the hype surrounding Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. While I still see link spammers ranking even faster and higher post-Penguin, there is a clear and strong signal coming from the link profiles of brands that haven’t felt a pinch of the flightless bird.

For us here at Linkbuildr, not much has changed in regards to our strategies as our mentality has always been “Think Beyond The Link”. While our name suggests we just build links, that could not be further from the truth. We tend to focus on content marketing that attracts not only links but social followers as well, thus helping to establish our clients as leaders in their vertical.

I will go into what we see – and mainly what I think – but as with any advice from “SEO Gurus”, do your own research and check everything. I’m not always going to be 100% correct or even 80% correct, for that matter… I don’t know all of the secrets of Google’s algorithm (no marketers do), so all I can do is take note of what’s worked for us and focus on doing things that get great results for our clients.


Skip My Ranting And Jump To Part 2: What We’re Doing To Attract Links

What Link Analysis Has Taught Me

Those illuminated in the ways of ranking well know that large numbers of anchor text links have been the major reason a site will rank for said keyword. Not everyone will agree with me on this, but I don’t really care nor am I in the business of NOT ranking clients’ websites. You can go to any car insurance, payday loan or Viagra SERP result and see 2-page websites ranking in the top 10 that have gotten there in a matter of weeks. I literally just went to the first 10 Google SERPs for “payday loans” and ranking high in the results was spam… Actually half of the listings are there because of link spam. Remember how I also mentioned link spammers are ranking faster than ever? Check this:


Pardon my language but this is a complete f$#%ing joke. Penguin does absolutely nothing against this for at least a few months, and mission critical results needed by people are not being met. Matt Cutts and the search quality team obviously know about this and I imagine Penguin or another update will factor in new elements to put a stop to this. Perhaps my F-Bomb was a little harsh, as I imagine making the tweak to the algorithm so that it doesn’t bowl over a million other legitimate websites in the process is probably quite tricky, but still: this problem needs to be addressed by Google.

Stop Caring About Anchor Text Completely

Stop now… Seriously! Since our first week helping clients, we’ve always stuck to not caring at all about what anchor text they got. Our main focus is on creating amazing content that attracts links naturally. It’s not a cheap strategy and usually we like to think that “slow and steady wins the race” when it comes to building a brand. Obviously, a viral marketing campaign is going to flood in natural links from all types of places, and while that’s all fine and dandy, it’s not going to make you rank for everything after one go. That’s the type of content you need to be doing every month for as long as your business is running with its feet on the ground.

From my thousands of hours pouring over backlink data I’ve noticed one very important aspect to ranking really well and staying that way for years: anchor text ratios. Sites that are doing what Wil Reynolds from SEER has coined “real company shit” are not getting caught up in Penguin or any other link issue. This is what their link profile looks like, and if you go to any of the top 10 search results for any big keyword, you will notice this too. This is what a proper anchor text scenario should look like:

Not All Hand Built Links Are Bad

I’m quite active on all the SEO forums, LinkedIn, Reddit.com/r/SEO and other places and I see a lot of fear in regards to building links without earning them. 99% of the time these folks have been doing nothing but spam anyways, but definitely don’t think that just because you built a link yourself that you’ll get penalized for it.

Going back to anchor text abuse yet again, you’ll want to avoid picking any anchor text besides your brand/site name or something that makes sense… Don’t be spammy. This means you’re not influencing your own ranking for a targeted keyword. You may not get the best result (sorry to say), so working on everything other than a spam blast of anchor text links will be needed to earn it. While I may be just giving link spammers the idea to blast blog comments, forum profiles and junk directories with brand anchor text, it won’t work for long. I mentioned that Google knows their faults and as we’ve seen in a Google patent, that junk link detection is coming and it’s going to be nasty.

Depending on what type of company you are, what kind of products you have, and the type of content you’re producing, you need to figure out which unique link opportunities will most require your attention. I think the major difference between you going out and building low quality links and – say – listing your public company on Yahoo Finance is the reason why. Junk links blasted out in the thousands from private blog networks, blog comments and forum spam not only waste people’s time, but its soul purpose is to inflate your own rankings.

A tech startup should be listed in Crunchbase.com, a skateboarding company should be in a skateboarding directory, your iPhone app should be listed in app sites… See what I’m getting at? Now that I’ve explained that, let’s take a look at real examples so we all get a better idea of a proper and naughty hand (or robot) placed link.

Ze Robots Attack!

Automated link spam is a huge problem and mostly resides in two scenarios in the wild. Firstly, affiliate marketers trying to earn gobs of cash are always throwing down with the likes of Scrapebox, Xrumer or any service you’d find in a SEO/Webmaster forum. The second scenario, and the one that bugs me the most, are SEO companies who utilize these tools and other junk like paid blog posts on clients who have no idea what they’ve just paid for. That’s partly the fault of the company not doing its research beforehand, as well as Google displaying bad marketing at the top of the SERPS. If you do a quick search for “white hat link building” right now, all the ads are selling low quality services that will get you in trouble eventually.

** A note to the Google webspam team as of 09/21/2012 that if we get an unnatural links penalty for this I’m going to be pissed :)

I don’t want to out anyone so I won’t, but use our other site Luxury Branded as an example of Scrapebox and Xrumer at work. Why that site? Well, we first started it off running BuddyPress and soon learned that automated spam bots were too much to handle and we had to kill it and go back to standard WordPress. I started noticing huge jumps in our backlink profile when we had been doing nothing but content marketing. The worst part is that one of the spammers was trying to rank for “preeteen underwear model porn” that’s WAY ILLEGAL and so disgusting that I had to send our logs to the FBI cybercrime division.

Xrumer At Work

So the spammer’s member profile page had a bunch of spam links and dupe content dropped on our site, and from there they spammed that page all over the place. After that happened, we then noticed Scrapebox going to work and it was dropping comments all over the place to the member page and all the other spam hubs this person had set up. It was just the start of the spammer’s efforts, so they weren’t quite ranking just yet.

I tracked the spammer back to their “money site” and saw a shining example of link spam, although it was very diverse in regards to the types of links and anchor text being employed. I think it’s pretty safe to say they’re most likely a member of Blackhat World or Warrior Forum, as the link profile looked like a service you see offered all the time in those forums. Here’s some ad copy from one of those services:

Spammy Links

 
A Natural Link



 
I’ll continue on with a tech startup as an example, and since I’m not outing anything but a normal good link that will send referral traffic and some link juice, I’ll give the example company a natural link. I cannot think of a better place to get all the benefits of a mention for a tech startup than Mashable’s Startup section. On the front page today is Soldsie which launched on Wednesday (read our post on launch bait) and they got some huge coverage.

This kind of link has lead to them being re-blogged a ton, as well as receiving a plethora of social buzz which has shot their Twitter follower number into the thousands. It’s too early to grab a link graph even from Ahrefs, but we can take a look at who’s covered their launch via an easy and quick Google search. Either way, they’re off to a great start and business should be booming for them in the coming month, so kudos and good luck to the team @Soldsie.

Down the road I imagine they’ll be listed with a Wikipedia page, an Aboutus.org page, in Tech Crunch an all over naturally… Some of which they might have to build themselves. So long as they don’t try and influence their anchor text keywords, they’ll do just fine. You can refer to some of our older posts which cover tons of link building ideas that you have to do by hand, but you need to be a legit business to benefit from it. I recommend you read:


Read Part 2: What We’re Doing To Attract Links

Tagged , ,

Repairacar’s Dream Job Is Awesome Link Bait

No Comments
April 12  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

I just love it when I get a chance to cover awesome examples of link bait in the wild, and this time it wasn’t really intended to be link bait. I’m a daily reader of Autoblog.com and came across this post about how Repairacar.co.uk’s latest job offer is a dream position that is going to become reality. The job is basically picking up and returning people’s amazing exotic and luxury cars to and from the shop. What gets even better, that might require him to drive to all corners of Europe! I’d literally pack up and move over there for the job, and I imagine most of you fellow car nuts would as well.

Because of the high-liability nature of the job, Repairacar is being very particular about whom it will hire. Ten years’ experience with high-performance driving is a requirement of the job, and showing up for your interview in a Civic with a fart pipe will likely get you automatically disqualified.

Now I’m sure a lot of you have used a job/hiring process into your companies link building plan, but how often does a job go viral? I already mentioned the Autoblog post, as well Carscoop wrote about it and now they’ll have dozens of other sites doing the same. These are amazing, niche related links and it would do you some good to pay attention to how it all plays out. They’ll surely be getting a lot of Twitter traffic, and I hope they really pimp this on Facebook because it could result in a lot of new followers.

How could Repairacar keep things going in the marketing department? Well if I were them, which I clearly wish I was, I’d do the following to maximize this exposure.

  • Video document the first client’s “trip”
  • Offer a discount for the first client
  • Create a video podcast with the best cars/trips
  • Hold a driving test and release the candidate videos online
  • Press release for more exposure
  • Repeat the process again when they need a second drive(or just hire me)

It’s also nice to see some link bait that isn’t a lame infographic, nor a top x list or anything of the usual sort. I also offer my congrats to whomever manages to get this job, but I also secretly hate you. If you folks see anything like this ever, give us a shout via our contact form, Twitter or Facebook so we can blog about it!

Tagged , ,

Hennessey Performance: Cadillac Wagon vs GTR R35

3 Comments
March 16  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

While the auto world has been chatting up a storm over a video put out by the fine folks at Hennessey Performance, they’ve been lapping up the exposure. While you folks are in for another motorsport marketing example from me, and this won’t be the last but I’ll at least keep it short. They pitted their latest beast of a creation, their Cadillac wagon vs my personal favorte, the Nissan GTR. They ran the car on slicks against last years Nissan which is what has most people bickering about all over the web. Moral of the story? A little controversy that pits people against people will always drive traffic and branding your way. The story has been picked up on Autoblog.com and Jalaponik, two of the biggest auto industry blogs there are. Not to mention that, but Twitter and just about every related car forum is linking and chatting up a storm. All I can say is, way to go Hennessey and keep up the great work! Our CEO is saving his pennies for your Venom GT and he has very sexy dreams about that car every night!

Tagged , , , ,

3 Places To Launch Your Link Bait

3 Comments
January 25  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

In this day and age it is becoming increasingly more difficult to go viral. This is especially true for companies to overcome the feel of spam which means creativity is your only weapon. Comedy is usually the best weapon, and creating the content isn’t the easiest of tasks. Old Spice obviously hit the nail on the head with their commercials and ran with it just long enough to keep the brand in the minds of millions. They’ll most likely never be able to duplicate that amount of buzz again, but take a look at just how much traffic they got blasted with;

For most of the companies out there trying to get a piece of the pie, they’ll most likely not have the option to just launch viral right from their website. Getting that extra push will require the help of the social web, and while getting hot on Digg just isn’t as easy these days, there are other places to turn your attention to. Keep in mind you cannot just jump on these sites and expect to go viral, it could happen but most likely not. Building your social fan base is key, and for this we recommend building up a couple months of fans and social participation on these sites.

Launchpad 1) BuzzFeed.com

Buzz Feed is not only a great site to read on a daily basis, it is also a great place to go viral. I’m an active user here just for the purposes of entertainment, but if you got some hilarious or strange link bait, you stand a great chance of getting attention. Keep in mind on a site like this there are thousands of other content pieces in the queue, so you’re link bait is going to need to be grade A awesome. Have your social media manager build up a strong account here beforehand and put forth a positive image of your brand. From the viral content we’ve launched here, you’ll see a lot of Facebook shares and ReTweets from the users, as well the thousands of sites that aggregate the content.

Launchpad 2) Reddit.com

Reddit is my favorite website, I’m personally a 4 year user and couldn’t live without it! Reddit is not a site you can game very easily, nor do I recommend trying to at all. Their user base is above and beyond the childish Digg user, and they can smell a spam scam from a mile away. The only advice I can give you is to have awesome content and wait for a Reddit user to submit it on their own merit. If you’re team has a good account, make sure you stick to the sub-reddits which will greatly increase your popularity. If you can get content to go hot here, you’re in for a large amount of traffic!

Launchpad 3) Huffington Post

All you right wingers out there might be scoffing at this recommendation, but the left just does entertainment news so much better. This is mainly a news site, but it does have a very popular entertainment section where you’ll find write-ups on the latest viral content going around. This site is also user powered which means you can sign up, write your own posts and participate socially throughout the site. If your link bait is hot hot hot, then you’re chances to getting it to go viral from this site is very good. This is a place you’re going to want to build an account up for as well, don’t bother just signing up for the sole purpose of submitting one piece of content. Social media is about building relationships, so keep that in mind before you try and become a one post wonder.

———————–

This is the section where I plead, beg and ask for our readers to suggest other sites that they are fond of. There are dozens of great sites to launch your link bait from so lets here em! If your company is struggling with its own viral marketing efforts then this is where I’ll offer our link baiting services.

Tagged , , ,

Interview With Jordan Kasteler On Link Bait Tactics

No Comments
January 25  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

Here’s a great interview with Jordan Kasteler of Blue Glass (formerly Search & Social) where he gives a huge list of link-baiting ideas. It isn’t easy to go viral these days, but there is more ways than one so pay close attention to what Jordan has to say. Creativity is key here, and this video interview at Pubcon certainly reminded me of the variety of options a company has to play with. Good luck and if you get stuck, you can always get our help with link baiting.

Tagged , , , ,

Linkbuildr Trademarks Use of the Word “Link”, Tries to Sue Nintendo

3 Comments
November 24  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Geoff

techcrunch logoRyan sent me a link today with a rather unbelievable headline.  According to TechCrunch, The US “Patent Office Agrees To Facebook’s ‘Face’ Trademark”. But trademarking a single word has famously been denied many a times before and why should Facebook be any different? Well, it isn’t.  Obviously, like all major news outlets, bloggers can sensationalize their titles to get people’s attention and maybe even get them a little worried about the power that some of these massive corporations wield.  As it turns out, Facebook does not own the word “face” and won’t anytime soon.  The title, however would have you believe that they do. Not unlike this post, TechCrunch’s article doesn’t really get into detail and Alexia only writes 180 some odd words on the subject.  You can’t really explain the intricacies of the US Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to accept Facebook’s proposal in 180 words and they know this.

facebook logoWhat TechCrunch is really going after is the fact that your ignorance of trademarks and willingness to overreact to a headline will translate to controversy and some activity on their website. It works too; they got a link out of me… In the 19 hours the article has been up, it has received 786 Facebook likes, and more than 1200 retweets. In reality, Facebook is going to have no legal grounds to come after you for using the word “face” and this Trademark will in no way affect your life even in the slightest. What the Trademark does do is grant Facebook the use of the word “face” in electronic and online applications offering social services. If you are trying to brand or market the word “face” for a social networking app and it has nothing to do with the literal definition of face, you might have some issues. Hell, I don’t even know how true that is. They really have played to my ignorance.

One of the few reasonable comments left stated that this is very similar to how Caterpillar trademarked the use of the word “cat” when it comes to construction equipment. nobody else can make a backhoe called a “Cat” but they have no say over things like CatFeeder or lolCats. This hasn’t really ended the world.

Anyways, I’ve nearly doubled the amount of the original article so I’m going to shut up here. Just remember that if you can bring some emotion out of a reader, be it fear, hatred, sadness, or amazement, the odds that you will get a click in and a link back are vastly improved. You don’t even need to have any idea what it is you’re talking about!

Tagged , , ,

Tequila Avion + Entourage = Big Brand Linkbait

4 Comments
September 16  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

I end up watching a few shows here and there in my downtime and always enjoy Entourage for its blatant but workable product plugs. There has been a lot of talk lately about building brand links, and I thought we could dig a little deeper into that using the show. If you’ve been following the latest season, Turtle has been trying to make his next business venture with Tequila Avion. It’s a new luxury brand on the market, and has been a heavy set feature of the entire season. I took a look at the company after watching the final season and learned that it’s still in its infancy which makes it a great case study waiting to happen. Apparently, the owners are friends with show producer Doug Ellin and didn’t have to pay a dime for any marketing…makes you rethink your social networking tactics eh?

Avion Tequila LLC was formed by a group of entrepreneurs and beverage industry professionals with the sole purpose of creating and developing a tequila that defines a new standard of quality and taste. The announcement was made by Ken Austin, Founder and Chairman of Tequila Avion.

A Brand Going Viral

Breaking into the Tequila market won’t be an easy task, but done right the Avion investors should be sitting pretty. Since they’re a company with a virgin backlink profile, and a viral snowball effect that is currently hurtling towards success, I’d keep my eye on them as a shining example. Companies in the position to utilize these types of marketing channels will win big online without having to steer down a blackhat path.

If you have SEOQuake installed, load it up and take a quick look at the natural links obtained from the whole process. If you take a look at Google Blog search you’ll also see tons of sites spreading the good word. So you know that most backlink tools haven’t even caught up with the viral link effect, and I’m quite excited to check back in a month from now to see how the growth is going…so nerdy and sad, I know. No wonder my friends say I need to get out more.

Of course you’ll find this social media savvy company on Twitter and is doing a good job growing the brand from there. While everyone tends to want followed anchor text friendly links these days, they’re not all the rage anymore. URL shortening and social media networks have proven that there is more than one type of link on the block. Do a search at any given minute and you’ll see fans of the show and brand tweeting about where they got the product, that they’re drinking it now and uploading tons of their own media. You really cannot ask for a more when it comes to marketing these days. We’ll see if I’m right, and we’ll put Google Trends on my side as well..just to make me feel better.

Since blogging, social networks and apps you can bet that Avion will be featured on just about every luxury, drink, food and celebrity blog. So how is this going to really make a dent within say, the Google organic results? Well first of all, their brand name has their target keyword in the name. So this means the domain, and on-page SEO will pretty much take care of itself. There will be no need for a company like this to need targeted anchor text links…but don’t get me wrong, those links wouldn’t hurt either. As it currently stands, Tequila Avion isn’t ranking well at all for the keyword Tequila, but it’s really too early to tell. I imagine with the final season of Entourage the company will enjoy enough of a push to obtain a strong enough link profile to rank.

I’ll do my best to make the time to bring you more unique brands taking advantage of what’s going on right now in marketing. I still see so much cheesy, lame and downright terrible marketing efforts taking place these days..it’s sad really. I’ll also do my best to update this post later on, so if you see my slacking don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or send me a menacing tweet.

Read a follow up to their marketing: http://www.linkbuildr.com/tequila-avion-brand-update/

Tagged , , , , ,