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Link Building and Link Training by Bill Hartzer - Internet Marketer 2017 Austin

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Bill Hartzer's presentation on links and link training, including removing link penalties, recovering from a Google Manual Action because of links. Link earning and link building is also discussed. Presented at the Internet Marketer 2017 expo, located in Austin, Texas on May 21, 2017.

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Link Building and Link Training by Bill Hartzer - Internet Marketer 2017 Austin

  1. 1. Link Training Internet Marketer Expo May 2017
  2. 2. 2017 IMx - Link Training – About Me About Me • Senior SEO Consultant, • Founder, DFWSEM Association (2004) • US Brand Ambassador, • Practicing Organic/Natural SEO since 1996 • Formerly Senior VP, Advice Interactive (Advice Local) • Senior SEO Strategist, Globe Runner • Director of SEO, Standing Dog
  3. 3. 2017 IMx - Link Training - Overview Overview • Linking Basics • Using Majestic for Link Analysis • Analyzing Your Links • Google Manual Penalties & Cleaning Up Links • Advanced Linking Tips @bhartzer
  4. 4. 2017 IMx - Link Training - Linking Basics Why Use Links as a Ranking Factor? • Google has run experiments that excluded links as a factor. • Google doesn’t have a way (yet) to exclude links @bhartzer
  5. 5. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Linking Basics Anchor Text <a href="">Example Anchor Text</a> • Anchor text describes what a user will find when they click • Keyword rich anchor text still helps rankings • Too much? Algorithmic or manual penalty possible @bhartzer
  6. 6. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Linking Basics Link Placement – Maximum SEO Value • Header & content areas most valuable • 1st link counted if multiple links to same URL on page @bhartzer
  7. 7. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Linking Basics Paid Vs. Natural Links • Buying or Selling Links that Pass PageRank is bad • Google can identify Guest Blog Posts, Sponsored Posts, Advertorials • Sponsored Posts must be “nofollow” • Sponsored posts must disclosure it’s paid or sponsored (FTC guidelines) • Google knows which sections are ads @bhartzer
  8. 8. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Linking Basics Link Schemes Are Bad Google’s Guidelines: • No Paid links that pass PageRank • No Excessive link exchanges (define excessive?) • No Large-scale article marketing or guest posting • No Using auto programs or services to create links • No Optimized anchor text in articles or press releases • No Low-quality directory or bookmark links (Web 2.0) • No Forum comments with optimized links • No Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links in widgets • No Widely distributed links in the footers or templates @bhartzer
  9. 9. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Linking Basics Google Ignores Certain Types of Links • “Most” links with “nofollow” link attributes on them • Most Web 2.0 links (and other low quality web spam) • Google ignores 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. link to same URL on a page • “1 | 2 | 3” links • “Previous and Next” links • Google might ”nofollow” certain links internally even though they are not tagged as “nofollow”. @bhartzer
  10. 10. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Linking Basics Why Cloaking Links Doesn't Work • Cloaking = serving up one link to Google, another to humans • Google, doesn’t crawl links, they just “notate them” Google sees link to page.html Human sees link to page2.html • Google doesn’t crawl page to page link they did years ago… • No longer possible to cloak (manipulate) links @bhartzer
  11. 11. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic What is Majestic? • Formerly known as Majestic SEO ( • Marketing Search Engine • SEO Backlink Checker • Provides Link Intelligence Tools • Site Explorer shows inbound link & website summary data. • One of the world’s largest link crawlers • Link data provided back as far as 2004. @bhartzer
  12. 12. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic @bhartzer
  13. 13. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic Search Explorer @bhartzer
  14. 14. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic Trust Flow & Citation Flow Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow • Trust Flow = Number of clicks from seed set of trusted sites to a given URL, or Domain • Citation Flow = Number of citations to a given URL, or Domain @bhartzer
  15. 15. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic – Finding Bad Links Identifying Low Quality and Bad Links @bhartzer
  16. 16. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic – New and Lost Links Identifying New and Lost Links @bhartzer
  17. 17. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic – Compare Tool Compare Tool @bhartzer
  18. 18. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic Keyword Checker Keyword Checker • Shows how often keywords appear in the Majestic Index @bhartzer
  19. 19. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic – Bulk Backlinks Bulk Backlink Checker @bhartzer
  20. 20. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Majestic Neighborhood Checker Neighborhood Checker @bhartzer
  21. 21. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Analyzing a Link Profile Analyzing a Site’s Link Profile • Gather all of the links (Majestic, GSC, ahrefs, OSE) • Review Trust Flow, Citation Flow, Topical Trust Flow • Review anchor text, compare vs. keywords ranking • Review percentage of anchor text (brand vs. keyword text) • Review Data • Site penalized by Google Penguin in past? @bhartzer
  22. 22. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Google Manual Actions Manual Actions in Google Search Console • Partial Match – affects certain pages • Full Match – affects whole site • Unnatural links – both require link cleanup, review @bhartzer
  23. 23. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Manual Actions Manual Actions – Unrelated to Google Penguin • Unnatural link warnings not related to Google Penguin (even real-time) • Unnatural link warnings not related to any algorithmic updates • Sites affected by Google Penguin in the past should still clean up links • Manual actions are more severe, require a reconsideration request @bhartzer
  24. 24. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Manual Actions Revoked Getting Manual Actions Revoked Unnatural Links? Clean up links, document everything. • Identify all links to site • Combine GSC, Majestic, Ahrefs, OSE links • Manually review links (Link Research Tools can help) • Identify links to remove • Contact site owners, document emails, contact dates, etc. • At least 3 attempts to contact site owners ( can help! • Disavow links not removed Request Review: include letter, spreadsheet with data proof (link to Google Drive spreadsheet) @bhartzer
  25. 25. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Find All Links Finding/Combining All Links to Site Find every link to your website possible, even old links. • Google Search Console • • • Open Site Explorer ( • Download all links, put into MS Excel Spreadsheet • Remove Duplicates @bhartzer
  26. 26. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Link Cleanups Upload Links to Link Research Tools Take combined links, put into list in .csv file, upload to Link Detox. • LRT’s Link Detox evaluates every links to site • Assigns level of risk for each link @bhartzer
  27. 27. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Link Cleanups Identify Links to Remove in LRT Remove Toxic links, Review Suspicious Links to site. • Every link assigned a reason why it’s toxic, suspicious, etc. @bhartzer
  28. 28. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Manual Action & Link Cleanups Contact Site Owners Email contact is best option, phone call works very well too. • Use whois data for most accurate email address Sending Emails: 1st Contact - short, concise email. Few words, but personalized. 2nd Contact - longer, still concise. More descriptive, still personalized. 3rd Contact - “action required” phrase in subject. Descriptive, yet personalized. 4th Contact - Very stern, “action required”. Personalized. Link Removal Requests should come from email at domain being cleaned up. @bhartzer
  29. 29. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Email to Site Owners Emails to Site Owners Sample email, first contact: Subject: Question About Hi, Recently when we reviewed all of the links to, we noticed that your website is linking to on this page here: I'm wondering if you would remove this link on your website to Thank you, Bill @bhartzer
  30. 30. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Disavowing Links Disavow Links After at least 3 contact attempts, disavow certain links (domains). • Assign every link a status in spreadsheet - Link Removal Sent, 2nd Request, 3rd Request, 4th Request - Unable to Contact, Refused to Remove, Requested Payment - No longer Links Back, Successfully Removed • Spreadsheet includes all emails and contact with site owner. • List URLs and Domains of Unable to Contact, No Response, Refused to Remove, and Requested Payment • Prepare Disavow File, upload text file to Google, Bing @bhartzer
  31. 31. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Reconsideration Requests Filing a Reconsideration Request Google wants to know that you suffered in order to clean up links. • Prove to Google that you went above and beyond to clean up links • Provide spreadsheet with status of every link, and emails @bhartzer
  32. 32. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Reconsideration Requests Example Reconsideration Request @bhartzer
  33. 33. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Reconsideration Requests Sample Manual Action Revoked • 52,252 Total Links to Site • 217 referring root domains • 693 Healthy Links • 709 Inorganic Links • 569 “live” inorganic links to remove After three attempts over 3 weeks to contact site owners via email: • 296 site owners responded • 12 sites refused to remove the links • 257 links were successfully removed based on our email requests • 27 links – site owners requested payment to remove the links • 2 links – we were unable to contact site owners • 274 links – site owners were completely unresponsive after 3 contacts • 256 links were removed as a result of our link removal efforts @bhartzer
  34. 34. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Reconsideration Requests Sample Manual Action Revoked • Kept track of all URLs, Status of URL, Dates, and emails • Added all data into spreadsheet • Uploaded spreadsheet to Google Docs • Wrote letter explaining process, linked to Google Drive Spreadsheet @bhartzer
  35. 35. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Getting Google Trust Getting Google to Trust Your Site • Majestic’s TrustFlow highly correlates to rankings • Trust bulletproofs site from Google slaps and Algo Updates • On-Page Trust Optimization • Trustworthy Domain Info • Trusted Links @bhartzer
  36. 36. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Getting Google Trust On-Page Trust Optimization • Link out to Authority Sites when appropriate • Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, Disclosure pages on site • Bounce Rate, prevent pogosticking • Blocked Sites (users can block your site via Chrome browser) • References and Sources (at end of articles) • Schema Markup (local sites’ contact matches local citations) @bhartzer
  37. 37. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Getting Google Trust Trustworthy Domain Info Could Help • Register your domain for 2+ Years • Make it public (don't hide with privacy whois) • Put whois info on your contact page @bhartzer
  38. 38. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Getting Google Trust Get Links From Trusted Links, Seed Sites • Closest you can get to having a link from trusted seed site the better @bhartzer
  39. 39. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Getting Links Untapped Link Sources • Donate to Charity • HARO Help a Reporter Out • • Expired Domains • Blog Aggregators (Alltop) • Broken Link Building • Perform Research, Socialize Results • Find Content w/links, Better Content @bhartzer
  40. 40. 2017 IMx - Link Training – Example of a Manual Penalty Less Than 10 links: Manual Penalty @bhartzer
  41. 41. 2017 IMx - Link Training - Contact THANK YOU Contact Bill Hartzer SEO Consultant Email: Phone: (214) 236-4378 Web: Twitter: @bhartzer Facebook: