#Ravenchat wrap-up: May 2012 with Ross Hudgens

#Ravenchat wrap-up: May 2012 with Ross Hudgens

For our May #Ravenchat on Twitter, in which we’re joined by some of smart friends of Internet marketing, we got to hang out with ross-hudgenslink builder extraordinaire Ross Hudgens.

Ross is SEO Manager at Full Beaker Inc. and a well-known blogger and speaker on link building and Internet marketing topics.

We asked him about link building in the post-Penguin world, talked top tools and resources and even got some of your questions answered. Read on for a recap, and be sure to join us for the next #Ravenchat on June 27 at 3 p.m. Central!

#Ravenchat May 2012 with Ross Hudgens

Our May Ravenchat focused on sound link-building strategies in light of Google’s Penguin update, aided by special guest Ross Hudgens of Full Beaker.

Storified by Raven Tools · Wed, May 23 2012 18:46:59

OK all, it’s time to start May #Ravenchat! We’re happy to have awesome SEO and link builder @rosshudgens as our guest. Hello, Ross!Raven Tools
@RavenTools Thanks for having me! Excited to be here. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
SEO news and trends
Let’s get started w/ Q1: It’s been a really eventful time for SEO lately. What news and trends are you focused on? #ravenchatRaven Tools
Q1: Penguin has been a huge focus. But moreso, I’m thinking how to keep and get my websites to where Google will be in 3 years. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
A1: Dont we all want to be where google is LOL #RavenchatStuart Lieberman
But there is a balance between short-term profitability and long-term sustainability that makes "forecasting" not always easy. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
If your site has the potential for inbound channels other than organic, and you aren’t using them, you will lose long term. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Most importantly because those other inbound channels will now very concretely impact the organic channel. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens How do you think they’ll "concretely impact"? #ravenchatArienne Holland
@RavenArienne Social signals, links from relevant targets inform a relevant link profile and also traffic. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Obviously SEO isn’t the see all end all and blending channels should be the norm to get max benefit #ravenchatCraig Addyman
SEO = The science of luck at times. Who knows what curveball G is going to throw next #RavenchatStuart Lieberman
Post-Penguin advice
@rosshudgens What advice are you giving to folks hit by the Google Penguin update? #ravenchat cc @funcostumesRaven Tools
Q2: Nobody knows for sure the answer to the Penguin update. But "sit there and do nothing" forever is also terrible advice. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
To combat Penguin is get "Clean" links in my opinion…Social is the "New" link building I think #RavenchatStuart Lieberman
More than most things, a pattern I’ve noticed is "singular" SEO – that is, an overemphasized strategy, getting a site hit. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
That means 1 set of anchor text, 1 linking strategy, 1 page getting links – if you are too heavily leaned, you got hit. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Varying anchor text is SEO 101 and things people should have been doing from day one, not scrambling back now bc of Penguin #ravenchatChris Stocker
My best SEO advice for these websites: modify these heavy leans towards balance, then move forward with controlled SEO chaos. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens Kinda like not keeping all of your eggs in one basket, right? Diversity is key. #ravenchatJon
Be smarter about anchor text variants. This is my process: http://bit.ly/h3l99A #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
How to Unnaturally Naturally Vary Your Anchor TextSomething you’ve undoubtedly heard, if you’ve done SEO, if you’ve built a link, if you have a pulse – is that you should naturally vary y…
Setup overoptimization alerts. 1 anchor over a certain % threshold? Get an email notification. Bad ULD/total links ratio? Ditto. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Aged link indexes aren’t good enough. Stay up to date with instant data from Ahrefs, Majestic. Know your CURRENT profile. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens What do you use to set those alerts? #ravenchatArienne Holland
@RavenArienne Still building something scalable stuff myself, but currently use Excel to get a weekly picture of changes. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
RavenTools’ link manager is a perfect way to monitor REAL backlink velocity and anchor variation. The complete snapshot. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Wait for the next refresh. Hold your own list of sites you know that won/lost last time. Learn from new losses/recoveries. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Google and the future of SEO
One more Google-centric question for Q3: Where do you think Google is headed with Panda, Penguin & Knowledge Graph? #ravenchatRaven Tools
Google wants to know about you. I think they will get better about blending your interests/data into the SERPs. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens won’t Google be focused on relevant content in 3 years? instead of ppl playing catch up on algorithms just create good content.Chris Stocker
@Chris_Stocker They will, but in order to get links to that relevant content, you’ll need to use additional inbound channels. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@Chris_Stocker If you don’t, you’ll lose to people that will. IMO you can coast without it, but you won’t *win*. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens agree 100%. If the content is there, people will share, but content needs to, "be in it to win it" if you will #ravenchatChris Stocker
By building out inbound channels, you create those channel relationships through Twitter/G+ they want to surface. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
This concept means that building network effects into your SEO strategy is important – connect to user interests. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
That said, if "inbound" is not possible for you (such as, say, insurance), this doesn’t matter. Build good links. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
RT @GaelBreton: I think next is refresh of social understanding using algo to understand relationships, topics expertise #ravenchatCourtney Seiter
How important do you think google + plays in SEO #RavenchatStuart Lieberman
@OptwizardSEO Google wants to use it, badly. It’s not gigantic right now, but since they badly want to use it, pay attention. #RavenchatRoss Hudgens
G+ is SUPER important in indexing #ravenchatIan Hough
@RossHudgens @OptwizardSEO Some evidence that rel=author to a G+ profile matters. See http://raven.im/IYFAhM & dwnld spreadsheet #ravenchatArienne Holland
Almost 1 Of Every 5 Google Searches Shows Rel=Author In Top 100 Results, Study ShowsWhat began as an experiment 10 months ago is now showing up in nearly one of every five Google search results. I’m talking about authorsh…
Link building tips and strategies
Q4: Is link building still as important to SEO as it has been in the past? #ravenchatRaven Tools
RT @RossHudgens Q4: Yes – I love what @gregboser said at SMX Adv, "the web will always be about how it connects itself" #ravenchatKelsey Libert
Whether through links, tweets, social signals – it is that web that will almost certainly always inform ranking. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Whether it’s through the traditional "hyperlink" or not, who cares. That "web" concept of link building will always exist. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RavenTools Forced links – dying. Link Acquisition – alive and kickin’ #ravenchatTyson Stevens
@rosshudgens Follow-up link building question: Are you changing anything about your strategy these days? #ravenchat #ravenchatCourtney Seiter
I know it’s a buzz word, but as I’ve mentioned here, if inbound/non organic channels are possible, I’m working towards them. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Relationships with influencers, blogging, social signals, direct traffic – all of these things Google has to like. I do too. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
But do it to drive sales AND links. Work it together, or burn through time and money. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Before, the ROI wasn’t there in terms of time in/money out (for me). Now, the pendulum has shifted. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
We’re burning through the Qs to get all of @rosshudgens’ expertise! Q5: What are a few of your best link building tips? #ravenchatRaven Tools
Post Penguin, many people will struggle to shift away from their tried and true gray stuff. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
RT @RossHudgens: My recommendation is start light – text based relationship building. Start a blog and rely on proven UGC, now. #ravenchatTyson Stevens
Interview people in your vertical. Make the questions good. Connect back to building Twitter, FB, G+ profiles. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Start pushing the ball up the mountain. Links will come easy now or in the future. That’s not hard to do. EASY wins. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
The people who immediately try crazy infographic/other linkbait will likely bomb due to lack of experience. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Not that they shouldn’t bomb and iterate through that bombing, but if they expect to succeed, they’ll likely see few links. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens RE: links – Low hanging fruit + building for the long term, right? Makes sense. #ravenchatJon
@halfbrown Yes sir, you got it. You can’t instantly shift to a new LB machine overnight. Takes time. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens That’s exactly the kind of process I’ve always felt is the best way to get the best results overall. #ravenchatJon
Top SEO tools
Q6: What are some of your favorite SEO tools? #ravenchatRaven Tools
RT @RossHudgens: Q6: My favorite new tool is Scrape Similar. http://rossh.gs/MHHyXS Scrape stuff easily in Chrome. #RavenchatGianluca Fiorelli
ScraperScraper is a Google Chrome extension for getting data out of web pages and into spreadsheets.
Citation Labs toolset is a must for every link builder. Link prospecting, contact finding, etc. http://citationlabs.com/tools/ #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
ToolsWelcome to our tech lab! Here’s where you can find the tools we made to make your large scale link building life a whole lot easier. > Th…
Backlink data is a must: http://Ahrefs.com for quick data and profile analysis, SEOMoz for in-depth. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Ahrefs Site ExplorerAhrefs Site Explorer shows links, anchor text, referring domains and more. Index is updated every hour. Free to try.
@RossHudgens http://Ahrefs.com is my go to for backlink mining. Looks like I’ll be using Moz a little more in this regard. Thx #ravenchatTyson Stevens
@RightHatSEO I think we always need two backlink data sources. No one is comprehensive for every need. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens @RightHatSEO Don’t forget @RavenTools’ Backlink Explorer and Site Finder, which use Moz/Majestic data. #justsayin ;) #ravenchatArienne Holland
@RightHatSEO I need to use Majestic more, stupid me didn’t know it was under my @RavenTools nose the whole time. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens @RavenTools I forgot that Raven has that. So, I need to utilize Raven tools more :) #ravenchat http://raventools.com/blog/new-features-raven-updates-majestic-seo-link-metrics-and-adwords-metricsTyson Stevens
Raven Tools favorite features
Raven Tools is my go-to for compiling all of my links in one place. Easy to track growth & anchor text. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens what tool do you use most from RavenTools. #ravenchatWesley Exon
@WesleyExon The link manager is #1 by far. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens FYI Link Manager Link Record changes you’ll like are coming soon… very, very soon :) #ravenchatArienne Holland
I’m also a big fan of their one-off tools like Research Assistant that makes keyword research easier. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Raven also has a spiffy new social CRM that can help you start developing those inbound channels correctly. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
@RossHudgens Which metrics do you look at most in @raventools and which in SEOMoz? The same metrics? or specific in each tool? #raventoolsTyson Stevens
@RightHatSEO PA, DA, ULDs to TL ratio, anchor text ratios. Raven is good for a "quick capture" of the links and tracking.Ross Hudgens
@RossHudgens Nice. Time to use more @raventools metrics. Should help. Thanks Ross! #ravenchatTyson Stevens
A few more link building questions: Reciprocal links and no-follow links
Here’s a Q from FB "Reciprocal links haven’t been great source of links in past. Are they REALLY bad idea now w penguin & panda?" #ravenchatRaven Tools
RLs can still be good. If your sites are both capable of organically passing traffic back to each other, it’s a good idea. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
If you have to ask yourself whether or not that’s the case, then it’s probably a pretty bad idea, and manipulative. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
I would aim to get reciprocal links to/from every influencer in your vertical. That relationship is BIG if you can do it. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
A lot of the time, that relationship is initially built from promoting a reciprocal link environment. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
That relationship is far more valuable than the 1 link they can offer you. You want the 20 links from people influenced by them. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
1 more FB Q "Theres been a lot of debate over the value of ‘No Follow’ links and if they’re worth anything – what do you think?" #ravenchatRaven Tools
The only reason you should care about nofollow is if you are buying a nofollow link hoping it passes value. Prob a bad idea. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
If you are buying a nofollow link because it can pass traffic, then yes it’s worth something. Probably a lot. Do it for traffic. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Similar to using Twitter for leads and links, great if it passes a bit of SEO value. But you MUST have that combinatory effect. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
At least to think about it from an SEO perspective at all, that is. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Essential Internet marketing resources
It’s our final Q! What are your essential Internet marketing news sources and resources? #ravenchatRaven Tools
RT @RossHudgens: My favorite "internet marketing" news source is Hacker News. http://bit.ly/2AOjDh #ravenchatMack Web Solutions
Hacker NewsLists | RSS | Bookmarklet | Guidelines | FAQ | News News | Feature Requests | Y Combinator | Apply | Library
Not known for that, but it helps inform my marketing in so many ways. Great for generating ideas, improving work. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Second is http://Inbound.org. Both surface the most relevant stuff for the industry immediately. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Inbound.org – Community-curated Marketing News | Inbound.orgCommunity-curated news and content from the world of inbound marketing: founded by Dharmesh Shah and Rand Fishkin
Ooo a new targeted Twitter list to follow! RT @RossHudgens Third is my "read everything" Twitter list. https://twitter.com/#!/RossHudgens/read-everything #ravenchatKelsey Libert
Twitter / @RossHudgens/read-everythingGet updates via SMS by texting follow RossHudgens to 40404 in the United States Codes for other countries Two-way (sending and receiving)…
These people give me info I need to read. Great tweets can get lost in noise, I find the best (IMO) here. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Wrapping it up
This has been one of my favorite #ravenchat sessions…Jon
Thanks to everyone who participated and @RavenTools for having me! Email me at my name at gmail with Qs. #ravenchatRoss Hudgens
Big thanks to @rosshudgens for hanging with us today. Check him out on his blog http://www.rosshudgens.com/ #ravenchat #ravenchatCourtney Seiter
Ross Hudgens – Authentic MarketingStumbleupon Advertising is a truly powerful tool for link building. It puts your content at low cost in front of a large audience, and as…
@RossHudgens thanks for taking the time to respond to all of the questions! #ravenchatWesley Exon
If you weren’t following @RossHudgens feed for #ravenchat, I strongly recommend you take some time to check it out. GREAT advice. #SEOBrian Stacey