20211130 SEL Brief

Posted by on Nov 30, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 20211130 SEL Brief

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Diagnosing ‘no return tag’ errors in GSC when hreflang, on the surface, looks optimal…

Posted by on Nov 30, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Diagnosing ‘no return tag’ errors in GSC when hreflang, on the surface, looks optimal…

Bio | Annaleis is currently working as an SEO Consultant at Brainlabs. Her experience lies in digital marketing, with a specific focus on search engine optimization (SEO), in developing and executing SEO strategies for a variety of global accounts, in varying industries. She is building her specialty in luxury, e-commerce clients. Prior to this, Annaleis worked in digital marketing for a conference company that runs search & digital marketing conferences.

We’ve all been there – you’re looking over a client’s hreflang; everything looks alright, nothing alarming is jumping out. You then go across to check Google Search Console and see month on month hreflang errors increasing. Sorry?! 

Hreflang is one of those areas of international SEO that looks deceivingly straightforward (John Muller tends to agree), but as soon as something doesn’t add up, it becomes a minefield of rabbit holes.

Luckily, I experienced this recently and was able to identify a few issues that were occurring site-wide, across multiple international sites that were the main cause for the increasing “no-return tag” hreflang errors. 

Firstly, what is hreflang?

Hreflang is a specific markup code that tells Google and other search engines which geographical location and language a specific page is targeting.

When do you need it?

Hreflang is needed for any site that has international equivalents. For example, you have a website that is, which is for people in the United Kingdom, who speak English. 

However, you also want your website to be accessible and available to people in Italy, who speak italian. You can’t serve them with the English site, as that wouldn’t serve the users well, instead, you’d want to create a site that is for Italy, and the content is in Italian. 

You would need to tell Google that whilst the content is the same, and it’s the same site, it is serving a different purpose and audience. This is when hreflang is used. 

Why do you need it?

Hreflang tells Search Engines that a site does not have duplicate content, however, this content is targeting a specific country & language.

This helps search engines better understand the language and country preferences for those particular pages and understand the relationship between web pages in alternative languages.

Search engines use the hreflang information to decide which version of your website to display in their search results, depending on the country and language the user is searching in. For example, a user searching in Spain will want to see the Spanish version of the page, compared to a user searching in Germany, who would want to see a German version of the same page.

What are some best practices?

The hreflang attribute should be placed in only one location. This can be in either the on-page markup, the HTTP header, or the sitemap.

Every hreflang link should have a return link → corresponding pages need to point to each other, acknowledging the different versions.

Hreflang requires a country and language code. Google supports the ISO 639-1 format for language codes. This hreflang generator can be useful to test your hreflang setup. 

Set up an x-default hreflang attribute value to signal to Google’s algorithms that a page doesn’t target any specific language or locale, and is the default page when no other page is better suited. 

What are “no return tag” errors?

The errors discussed in this piece are from Google Search Console, and are labeled “no return tag”. This is when the original URL and the alternative URL don’t have return tags. 

A return tag is when one page (Page A) has hreflang set up and points to Page B as a language/country alternative. 

But Page B doesn’t point back to Page A. 

Therefore there is no returning hreflang tag.

Return tags are important to prove to search engines that you, as the webmaster/SEO, have control over both page variants and that they are correctly associated with one another.

Get the data 

Step 1: Go to google search console

Step 2: Scroll down the left-hand side menu 

Step 3: Under “Legacy Tools and reports”, go to “International Targeting” 

Source: Google Search Console

The screenshot below shows the dashboard within International Targeting. 

We can see the list of errors, sorted from most to least, occurring across the various international sites. 

Source: Google Search Console: International Targeting

We will use “en” no return tags to explore. Click through to one of your issues. 

Source: Google Search Console: International Targeting

Step 4: Check the hreflang set up on the issue page. There are some great guides showing you the key steps; see Screaming Frog’s guide and Moz’s guide

Weird and Wonderful Issues Found:

Issue 1: Are your redirects & canonicals causing no return tags?

Here is a scenario:

An e-commerce retail website has many pages, ranging from product pages to category/head pages. Because of the nature of the product offering, product pages often have many variations due to filters being applied (such as colors, sizes, etc.). Products are also known to go out of stock or become no longer available / sold. 

With these two issues, canonicals can be used to help crawlers focus their attention on the important pages we want to rank. 

For example, we would want the category page of “women’s bodycon dresses”, 

To rank over a parameterized page that has filters applied, such as “women’s bodycon dresses, in blue, size M”; 

Similarly, when products are sold out or are no longer offered / available, companies have various ways of dealing with this. A couple of ways are to either 301 redirect the page to a relevant main category page (if this product is never coming back), or keep the page and make it clear it is out of stock. You can then add a canonical tag to that page pointing to a more relevant page you want to rank. 

Some useful resources for handling out of stock pages include: 

How to Handle Temporarily Out-of-Stock Products for SEO

How to Handle Out-of-Stock Products on Ecommerce Platforms

For pages that have been 301 redirected; you should add in the hreflang annotation to the final URL showing the content, not the page that is 301 redirecting. If the hreflang annotation is on the redirecting page, this could flag a “no return error” in Google Search Console. This is because the crawlers can’t read that the hreflang is on that page as it is being redirected to read the new page. 

Action: Removing the hreflang annotations from the redirecting page and adding them to the final destination page will reduce the number of “no return tag” errors occurring in Google Search Console (GSC). 

For pages that have been canonicalized; you should remove the hreflang annotation from any page that is canonicalizing to another page. This is because all of these pages are canonicalizing to the primary / clean version of the product page, so any search engine crawlers will abide by that directive and treat the canonical URL as the page from which to follow instructions (which has the hreflang on it). If the page that is canonicalizing has hreflang annotation on it, it will appear as a “no return tag” error as it is being directed to not read that page’s HTML. 

Action: Removing the hreflang annotations on pages that canonicalize (not to itself), will reduce the number of “no return tag” errors occurring in GSC. 

Issue 2: Googlebot is being blocked

Is your site-blocking Googlebot from crawling? We have found instances where large websites will block Googlebot (both desktop and mobile) from crawling.

You may be wondering, why would you ever block Googlebot?

Preserve crawl budget and ensure that Google isn’t crawling lots of low-value pages (which can happen with large, product-based websites) 

Prevent pages from appearing in the search results, such as sensitive information

Protect server load to prioritize user navigation (especially common for larger sites)

What can happen when you block Googlebot? It can affect Googlebot’s ability to crawl and index a site’s content, which can lead to a loss of ranking in Google’s search results (as it can’t find/read the content to index) when used inappropriately.

Here is the scenario.

The same e-commerce retail website is experiencing increasing “no return tag” errors in Google Search Console. This was identified by going into Google Search Console and looking at the International Targeting data. 

Once a country and language list were downloaded, we ran both the “originating URL” pages and the “alternative URL” pages in two separate Screaming Frog crawls to identify their status codes. 

This process was repeated across multiple different countries & language websites. 

Numerous pages were returning a 403 status code. However, when these pages were checked manually, these pages were 200 status codes and both the originating and alternate URLs had corresponding hreflang annotations. 

A number of pages were listed as 200 status codes, both also containing corresponding hreflang annotations. However, these pages were pulled from Google Search Console, which meant there was an issue occurring with the returning hreflang tags. 

The screenshot below shows that when we look at the page from the Googlebot Smartphone user-agent, it comes up as a 403. To do this, you right hand click on the page: Inspect element → click the 3 dots at the top right hand corner, select More Tools → Network Conditions. 

Source: Client website: Inspect Element 

Then under User Agent, click the drop-down menu and select your crawler of choice (we selected Googlebot Smartphone as our client’s site was mobile-first indexing). As seen above. 

Source: Client website: Inspect Element 

For pages that we’re returning a 403 status code from the crawl, we identified that these were not being read/found by Googlebot (desktop or mobile), due to it being blocked from crawling them. This was confirmed by the client, that they were blocking Googlebot due to crawl budget issues. If the crawler can’t read the page, it can’t identify that there is hreflang set up on the page. 

For pages that we’re returning a 200 status code from the crawl and had reciprocating hreflang annotations, we determined these too weren’t being properly accessed or crawled by Googlebot. This was confirmed by the client, as they had crawl budget issues. If they had been properly crawled, they wouldn’t be included in the list of pages that had a “no return tag” error. 

Action: To unblock Googlebot crawlers (both desktop and smartphone) from crawling the site (as long as these pages didn’t need to be blocked for other reasons, which in this case, they didn’t), as this is causing an increase in hreflang errors, as well as having the potential to affect pages to not be indexed. 

If it can’t be unlocked for other reasons, increasing the crawling capacity could help identify more pages & hreflang, and therefore help decrease the number of errors. 


Hreflang can be very useful and important when it comes to international websites. If set up properly, it can run smoothly and be left alone. However, as with most sites, pages are added/removed, site structures change, and ranking importance for pages shifts; which is when hreflang can cause issues. 

While these hreflang scenarios are rather specific, hopefully, they can shine some light on the idiosyncrasies that hreflang can have and help others investigate and solve similar issues occurring with their sites. 


Here are some resources I’ve found useful for the wider explanation of hreflang and how it is implemented. These also include the ones I’ve linked to throughout the post. Thanks!

Hreflang Tag

Hreflang: The Easy Guide for Beginners

hreflang: The ultimate guide

How To Audit Hreflang Using The SEO Spider

How to Handle Temporarily Out-of-Stock Products for SEO

How to Handle Out-of-Stock Products on Ecommerce Platforms

Tell us if you are planning to attend in-person events in 2022

Posted by on Nov 30, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Tell us if you are planning to attend in-person events in 2022

Since the pandemic started we’ve been tracking how COVID-19 has affected the way marketers attend conferences and other business events through our Event Participation Index. And, as you’d expect, overall comfort with attending in-person events has grown since vaccines became available and activities like dining and movie-going have resumed.

But with the Delta variant wave having caused major spikes across the country, and the new Omicron variant sparking fresh concern, we thought it would be a good time to check in again about your attitudes toward in-person events. The data we gather helps organizers to better make plans and accommodations.

So, please answer this quick, 3-minute survey and tell us how you are feeling about attending conferences in the coming year. We will publish the results here in the next few weeks.

Click here to answer our survey.

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Google Merchant Center now automatically displays badge eligibility for products

Posted by on Nov 29, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Merchant Center now automatically displays badge eligibility for products

Google Merchant Center is now automatically showing retailers when their products are eligible for badges, a Google spokesperson has confirmed to Search Engine Land. Available badges include, but are not limited to, the “sale price,” “price drop,” “amount off,” “percent off,” and “buy quantity, get percent off” badges.  

Tip of the hat to Kirk Williams, who first posted about this new feature.

Image: Kirk Williams.

Why we care

Badging isn’t new. However, the column showing which badge your products are appearing with is new and it can help merchants understand how potential customers are seeing their ads, without needing to manually figure it out for themselves. This can help retailers identify the types of promotions that are (or aren’t) working out for their business.

The latest shopping search news

Google introduces new ‘Deals’ features for the Shopping tab and Merchant CenterGoogle to enforce unique product identifiers on free merchant listingsMicrosoft Bing expands Shopping options for users, gives retailers more options to reach shoppers

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Find your Google paid search path to success in 2022

Posted by on Nov 29, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Find your Google paid search path to success in 2022

Find your Google paid search path to success in 2022

Marketers spend billions of dollars in paid search deployed across tens of thousands of local campaigns. The challenge is dealing with all the complexity that creeps in while managing those campaigns across multiple locations alongside multiple affiliates, media partners, and agencies.

In this webinar, join Adthena and learn how to drive performance from your campaigns while reducing waste through ineffective local campaigns. And as a bonus, do it in less time with more confidence. You’ll hear about the challenges that Adthena customers have faced and the steps they took to forge ahead.

Register today for “2 Lights to Guide Your Google Paid Search Path to Success in 2022,” presented by Adthena.

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Google says it values all local reviews, both positive and negative

Posted by on Nov 29, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google says it values all local reviews, both positive and negative

Google says it values all local reviews, both positive and negative

Google has updated its reviews help document page in the Google Business Profile support area to say that Google values all reviews, not just positive. Now Google says it is “more trustworthy” to see a mix of both positive and negative reviews on the business profile.

What is new. Google has added a bullet point to the document that reads “Value all reviews: Reviews are useful for potential customers when they’re honest and objective. Customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy. You can always respond to a review to show the customers that you care and provide additional context. If the review doesn’t follow our posting guidelines, you can request to remove it.”

Here is a screenshot:

Ranking impact? This will probably not impact rankings in any way but it might be a sign that if a business has 99% all positive reviews, maybe – just maybe – Google will flag that business and manually audit the reviews of that business. It is simply not natural for all customers to only leave positive reviews on a business online.

Why we care. If you manage local businesses and some of your customers feel anxious about having negative reviews on their business listing, then show them this new update to the Google help document. Maybe that will alleviate some of the anxiety around getting negative reviews?

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Cyber Week may be giving way to Cyber Month, according to Adobe

Posted by on Nov 29, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Cyber Week may be giving way to Cyber Month, according to Adobe

Online consumer spend in the U.S. came in at $5.1 billion on Thanksgiving Day, showing flat YoY growth, and Black Friday generated $8.9 billion, which is slightly less than the $9 billion it generated in 2020, according to Adobe. Thanksgiving weekend sales also failed to outperform last year’s figures, although consumer spend is expected to achieve 10% YoY growth for the overall shopping season.

Adobe’s data comes from analyzing direct consumer transactions online. Projections are based on an analysis of over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 product categoriess.

Why we care. Cyber Week sales are struggling to meet last year’s levels, but that might be okay because, “With 21 days in November driving over $3 billion in spend, what we know as Cyber Week is starting to look more like Cyber Month,” said Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights. For reference, last November, only 8 days topped $3 billion by November 28, 2020.

Supply chain issues, labor shortages, new consumer behaviors and even a Google core update the week before Thanksgiving — many variables could be affecting how retailers performed this Cyber Week. Because of these factors, businesses may fall short of their Cyber Week goals. However, Adobe still expects the full season (November 1 to December 31) to reach $207 billion (10% YoY growth). With that in mind, it may be better to assess sales over a longer period, perhaps beginning at the start of November, to get a clearer picture of how your campaigns and promotions did this holiday season. This may also enable better YoY comparisons since customers seem to be shopping much earlier this year.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Actual Thanksgiving and Black Friday online consumer spend came in at the low end of Adobe’s predictions: Consumers spent $5.1 billion on Thanksgiving Day (the same as in 2020). On Black Friday, consumers spent $8.9 billion, which is actually less than in 2020, when consumers spent $9 billion.

For reference, Thanksgiving Day drove $4.2 billion in online spend just two years ago (2019). However, this is the first time Adobe has reported decreased spending on major shopping days since it first began reporting on e-commerce in 2012.

Thanksgiving weekend. Online sales slumped even harder over the weekend than they did during Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: On Saturday, November 27, consumers spent $4.5 billion online, down 4.3% YoY. On Sunday, November 28, they spent $4.7 billion online, which was also down YoY but by a much narrower margin, 0.5%. 

On November 27 and 28, the prevalence of out-of-stock messages rose 16% compared to the prior weekend (November 20 and 21). Supply chain concerns may have contributed to inventory shortages, which could help explain the sales slowdown. But, it is also possible that customers adjusted their behavior to shop earlier to avoid potential inventory shortages or to take advantage of sales earlier in the season: Between November 1 and November 28, consumers spent $99.1 billion, up 13.6% YoY. And, this season, there have been 21 days exceeding $3 billion in online sales, compared to just 8 days that exceeded that amount by this time last year.

The Cyber Monday outlook. Inventory issues and new, earlier consumer shopping patterns are also impacting Adobe’s Cyber Monday projections: Consumers will spend between $10.2 billion and $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday, Adobe predicted. If actual sales meet those expectations, then Cyber Monday will likely be the biggest online shopping day of 2021, although it may retain that title without necessarily exceeding last year’s figure of $10.8 billion.

Cyber Monday discounts are also expected to be weaker than last year. Discount levels have fallen across several product categories, Adobe said: TVs are seeing discounts of -16% (compared to -19% in 2020), apparel is discounted at -15% (-20% last year), computers are at -14% (-28% last year) and appliances are at -8% (-20% last year).

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Cyber Monday sale at Yoast: 30% discount on all products!

Posted by on Nov 29, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Cyber Monday sale at Yoast: 30% discount on all products!

Cyber Monday sale at Yoast: 30% discount on all products!

It’s Cyber Monday, and the Yoast Black Friday deals are still going strong! Did you already claim your 30% discount on any of the Yoast products? If not, hurry! Your time is running out! Ready to go green? Do you want those red bullets to turn all green and outrank your competitors in Google? And are you looking to save time and get access to easy tools and practical tips on boosting your rankings? Yes?!

Then getting Yoast SEO Premium is a must! Buy the Yoast SEO Premium plugin today with an incredible 30% discount! And if you decide to go green on Cyber Monday, Yoast will plant one tree for every order we get! We’ll go green together.

Get Yoast SEO Premium ▸Only Original price: $89 USD Sale price: $62.30 USD / per year (ex VAT)

Not convinced to go green yet? In this post, I’ll tell you all about the benefits of Yoast SEO Premium and why your site can’t do without it. Interested in one of our other plugins? Check out this post! 

Help Google to understand your site 

Google is amazingly smart. But it needs help understanding the structure of your site. Always bear in mind that Google’s bots follow your internal links. That’s the way Google crawls through your site. That means that you can’t have any dead ends, any 404’s on your site. Otherwise, Google will get lost. Yoast SEO Premium will help you to take care of all 404’s with the redirect manager.  

Posts with many will appear more important to Google than posts with little or no internal links. This means that you’ll need to optimize your internal links so that Google knows what the most important content is. Yoast SEO Premium offers practical SEO workouts that’ll help you to easily improve and optimize your internal linking structure. Also, within every post, you’ll get internal linking suggestions to further improve your internal linking structure.  

The cornerstone content workout in Yoast SEO Premium helps you to link to the most important articles

Manage the SEO of a growing website 

If you keep adding content to your website, Google will have more trouble crawling through a big site. And what to do with outdated content? You shouldn’t have old stale content on your site. How do you keep track of it all? 

Yoast SEO Premium will help you with your SEO maintenance. We will remind you to update those stale articles, and we’ll tell you if you don’t update your most important pages regularly. Our SEO workouts will help you to keep track of your SEO and solve all kinds of problems you’ll encounter if your site is getting large. If you follow the steps in our workouts, we’ll make sure to keep your website crawlable.

With the SEO workouts, we help you get the work done. We’ve made it incredibly easy to stay on top of your SEO, saving you precious time and effort.

Write the best SEO-friendly content 

In order to really stand out in the search engines, you have to write high-quality and SEO-friendly content. SEO is still king (or queen!). You need to make sure to optimize your text for the right keywords, without over-optimizing. Your text should be easy to read. You definitely should add keywords in a text, you should definitely optimize your text. You need to get those green bullets, right? However, optimizing for the search engines should never compromise the readability of your text. That could hurt your rankings. 

That’s why Yoast SEO Premium recognizes different word forms and synonyms. It’s able to recognize plurals, past tense, different word orders. You can add related keywords too. With Yoast SEO Premium, you’ll be able to optimize your text for SEO without compromising the readability of the text. 

An example from a text optimized with Yoast SEO Premium for [puppy training] with the synonym [obedience classes]

Learn EVERYTHING about SEO with Yoast SEO academy 

Buying Yoast SEO Premium will give you access to all of the online courses of Yoast SEO academy. And you want that! We’ll help you to get started with keyword research and how to set up an internal linking strategy, but we’ll teach you everything about structured data as well. Everything you ever want to learn about SEO is covered in one of our courses.  

Each course consists of multiple short videos, reading materials, and quizzes. We’ll share a lot of practical tips that you can put into practice right away.  

A small sampling of what’s available in Yoast SEO academy

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7 best link-building services for SEO performance

Posted by on Nov 29, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 7 best link-building services for SEO performance

7 best link-building services for SEO performance

Building links isn’t easy and navigating the link-building landscape nowadays is complicated. Many agencies and platforms out there claim to do incredible work, but it’s hard to know who to trust.

Some services use white hat link-building tactics that search engines love, and others build low-quality links using unnatural tactics.

What is link building, and why is it important?

Link building is the process of actively seeking out backlinks from another website back to yours. 

Having high-quality links to your site is one of Google’s most important ranking factors. It’s a key trust signal for search engines and an indication that people like your content and your brand.

A number of ethical, white-hat link-building strategies can be used to accomplish this, including broken link building, guest posting, and outreach campaigns to show people your incredible content.

What is a link-building service?

A link-building service is a company or platform that will help you to accelerate the number of backlinks to your website.

While that sounds great, the problem is that genuine quality link-building services are hard to come by, with many providers simply ending up acquiring low-quality links through spammy strategies which Google doesn’t like.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best link-building services to consider helping you achieve improved SEO results in an ethical, white-hat manner.

The 7 best link-building services to help improve search rankings

1) Reputable link-building company

Recommended provider:

Using a specialist link-building agency is the best overall option since they’ll use a number of different link-building strategies at their disposal to build high-quality backlinks to your website.

This option is best for those who want to outsource all of their link-building efforts entirely and depend on experts who will develop a custom link-building strategy for your website.

The quality of services out there varies greatly, and you’ll need to do your due diligence to make sure that any provider is the right fit for you.

Key considerations for hiring a link-building company:

Analysis – They should be doing detailed competitor analysis to figure out exactly how many links and what types of links other successful sites are building. This is something we place a huge emphasis on at

Bespoke link-building strategy – Make sure they’re proposing link-building tactics to build topically relevant links for your industry. Additionally, they should have a roadmap for how they’re going to structure a link-building campaign.

Pricing – Most agencies will offer a variety of link-building packages with different pricing tiers. If the price seems too good to be true versus other services, that could be a red flag that the quality of links isn’t good.

Samples – Always ask for link samples and link-building case studies. This is by far the best way to evaluate their quality of work to make sure they’re getting links from high-quality websites.

Size of the team – Often, large link-building companies see their quality decreases as the size of the team increases—the shift in mindset changes from focusing on high quality to focusing on scaling their own business.

2) Outreach platform

Recommended provider: Pitchbox or GroupHigh

Link-building outreach platforms will help you to find relevant bloggers & websites that you can email and connect with to try and earn a backlink. They are an essential game-changer for anyone serious about link building.

This service option is much more suitable for an in-house marketing professional who manages link building in-house. You’ll essentially have your own link-building CRM, which can save time on prospecting, emailing and chasing leads for link building.



“Help a Reporter” is a platform that connects journalists seeking expertise to sources who have expert knowledge in a given subject matter.

Active journalists use the platform to crowdsource insights from experts in any given field, and there are hundreds of requests every day from writers at huge sites like Shopify, Yahoo and American Express.

If you can answer their request and feature your opinion within their article, they’ll give you a source link back to your website.

It’s an incredible (and free) link-building service that can help you land some extremely high authority backlinks.

4) Citation building service

Recommended provider: or BrightLocal

The fact is the vast majority of local businesses only have links from directories. Pull up the backlink profile of any local dentist or optician in your area, and you’ll notice that even websites ranking at the top of Google have a ton of directory links.

This tells us that citation links (also known as directory links) are an extremely natural type of link for local businesses. Given that most sites are ranking well with only this link type, it’s obvious that they are very effective.

If you’re a local business owner or agency owner whose clients are local businesses, I’d strongly recommend finding a good citation building service. Building out niche-relevant directory links is a real pain, and they’re going to make your life so much easier.

5) Facebook & Slack groups

Recommended Group: B2B Bloggers Boost Group

Social media & Slack provides an incredible opportunity for link building for those willing to spend the time.

There are a huge number of people out there creating amazing content for so many different brands and companies. What these groups do is leverage that into a link-building opportunity.

Here’s an example of how it works:

A group is established with vetted content writers. These may be people who work for an individual brand or freelancers who work with a number of companies.A writer announces that she’s writing a blog post for an extremely well-known SaaS company all about marketingShe asks the group if they have any sources which might make a good fit for her article.If she deems the sources to be worthy and genuinely beneficial for her readers, she’ll add the linkThe person who she linked to now owes her a link in return

So basically, the currency in this system is links. However, because these are all vetted & talented writers, they’re only going to link to great content.

What you end up with is a self-moderated system where people share links to other great stories – It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

This caveat is that this particular type of link building works best in the B2B / SaaS space. If you were looking to build links to your website about pets, you’d be better off finding a group that various pet bloggers reside in.

6) Podcast booking service

Recommended provider: Podcast Bookers

There’s an ever-increasing number of podcasts in every industry imaginable, and the podcast hosts are always looking for great guests to interview.

This is an incredibly great way of combining brand & company awareness in addition to backlinks, since the host will always link back to your site.

If you were lucky enough to land a podcast with the likes of Tim Ferris (highly unlikely), then it could literally explode your business into the stratosphere.

The only downside is that it can be very time-consuming and mentally draining to do lots of podcast interviews unless you enjoy that kind of thing.

7) Digital PR

Recommended provider: Fractl

Digital PR involves taking high-quality content and sharing it with relevant journalists who might want to cover the story.

If you can find a digital PR company that’s able to create content that gets picked up by real journalists consistently, then you’re going to be rewarded with links from some super high authority news websites, which is the Holy grail of link building.

There has always been an interesting crossover between PR (public relations) and link building since both activities often seek the same end goal. The value of backlinks is something that is becoming increasingly prominent within the PR industry.

Link-building services to avoid

This wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide if we didn’t also discuss the link-building services you should outright avoid.

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) – This is a black hat link-building technique that involves building a network of websites specifically created to link out to other websites. It’s a blatant attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. Most PBN providers will rent you links on sites that just are not going to stand the test of time.Web 2.0s – This is a very outdated link-building strategy that involves creating your own blog on blogging platform sites like Medium, Typepad and Weebly, with the idea that you can ‘piggyback’ off that domain authority. These are simply very ineffective, and most service providers will end up spamming a huge volume of links. Not good!Link Farms – These are large groups of domains often bought up by the same owner designed to fool novice link builders. On the surface, they appear to have good metrics like a high DA score and good organic traffic. However, once you look beneath the hood, we realize the website is ranking for spammy keywords and is only set up to sell links. 

Be careful investing in link building

We all want the best possible search engine rankings, and most SEOs understand the value of inbound links. That’s why it’s so important to be vigilant and careful when it comes to investing in link building, take the time to do your own research, and make sure you pick a service that will give you a positive ROI in the long run.

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20211129 SEL Brief

Posted by on Nov 29, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 20211129 SEL Brief

The post 20211129 SEL Brief appeared first on Search Engine Land.