Despite all the social media signals frenzy good old authority links can still propel your site to top rankings. Also despite all the talk about how rankings do not matter anymore, I indeed said it myself already years ago, they sadly do for many of us. That’s why
I’d like to recall how I got my highly relevant authority links from well known and respected search and marketing publications.
I will show you based on my own blog, SEO 2.0. It has been there for quite a few years by now so it’s about time to get all those links you may argue but I got most of them in the early years already.
My SEO 2.0 approach is more organic than most traditional SEO and I won’t talk about it much here, I will translate my findings into old school SEO techniques you can use too without having to repeat what I did.
I will explain how I got links from
Search Engine Land
I think I don’t have to introduce SEL here. Danny Sullivan is probably also the most trusted independent search marketing personality. SEL and Marketing Land are of course not one man shows. They employ whole teams of bloggers, many of whom are also well known and trusted search industry veterans. Most of them have their own blogs too. I read or at least have read those in the past when I was writing for only one blog.
Now that I write all day I spend less time reading myself but that’s exactly how I got my first links over at SEL, by reading.
I’ve read the blogs of people who later became SEL editors. I think they weren’t yet when I started reading and engaging with them but I kept on doing it after they got employed by SEL. They knew who I am and my blog too: I kept publishing exceptional posts and so one day one of them ended up in the in their weekly search recap which is curated by one of my online friends from back in the days.
I have regularly read the blogs, commented and spread the word about their posts. I didn’t do it to get the links but got them anyways, that’s SEO 2.0. It’s about building trust and relationships. By now many consider it also part of SEO altogether.
Even the fact that you comment somewhere makes the blog author look you up sooner or later.
As they actively search for new articles to link to it’s not that hard to catch the eye of the editors. Also in essence the way I did it was far too long and indirect. In case you are the old school SEO person you’d rather try to build a reputation and then to approach the SEL team with a guest post. I’m not sure this is faster but at least you don’t have to nurture all the relationships with countless hours of engagement.
OK, It’s called Moz now but I think you know who SEOmoz was in case you are not completely new to SEO. Last year I finally got a link from Rand Fishkin himself with an article that was egobait to some extent I guess but I got an editorial link from SEOmoz many years ago already. It was of course from the so called YouMoz section.
As a SEO 2.0 I didn’t have to write for YouMoz myself. Someone who liked me enough to mention me in their article did though.
Again it was due to my networking and social media engagement. As a traditional SEO you can skip that part and simply submit a flagship content piece to YouMoz and hope it gets promoted to the main site.
Graywolfs SEO Blog
For many years Graywolfs SEO Blog has been the top ranking SEO blog for the keyphrase [seo blog] on Google.com. It was often on #1. Michael Gray is very conservative and critical of Google. So he didn’t engage on Google+ at all while everybody else did. Now he doesn’t rank anywhere anymore. I don’t argue that Google got rid of him because he is a dissident but that like myself he didn’t care enough for that ranking to keep following Google’s ever-changing rules of the game.
Let it be said that a link from Graywolf was both very high authority and very hard to get for years
as Graywolf didn’t support my SEO 2.0 stance on linking out at all. He argued that it rather hurts you and only very sparingly linked out. Nonetheless I got a link from his blog due to my SEO 2.0 philosophy. Someone else has written a guest post there and included a link to my blog on that post.
As an old school SEO you most probably do not want to wait until your engagement results in someone liking you and your content so much and instead want to apply for a guest posting opportunity. Graywolf seems to be still in very hight demand with his consulting work so that he doesn’t publish new posts very often. I guess he will be glad to feature some high quality resources from third party bloggers. A link from Graywolf, a decade+ old authority domain is still very powerful.
Now this is a really cool story. I got a link from the Hubspot blog 6 years ago already. Hubspot wasn’t as huge back then as it is now, and inbound marketing was still a pretty new idea, one similar to SEO 2.0 I attempted to popularize at that time. I published a post on my SEO 2.0 blog about how I have to deal with inspiration overflow instead of writers block and let my readers choose which article ideas they’d like to read most as I couldn’t write all of them.
Dharmesh Shah of Hubspot himself approached me to write for Hubspot in my comment section.
It was back in 2007. I did a few posts for Hubspot and in one I elaborated on one of my ideas I explained on my blog so I linked back to the article in question. I stopped writing for them because I started writing for SEOptimise regularly (as I did for four years until they won the UK search award for best SEO blog).
I think I have approached Hubspot twice ever since to write for them, shortly after SEOptimise dropped me and recently when I decided to blog for other sites as well again but these days Dharmesh is a super-busy person with all the millions of venture capital his company got. So the first time I’ve send a post but it didn’t get published as far as I remember and the last time I didn’t even get a reply. It was an email to several recipients though. I can imagine that Hubspot still accepts guest writers because just recently an online buddy of mine, Larry Kim, who doesn’t work at Hubspot as far as I know has written an article there.
Top Rank Marketing Blog
Lee Odden of TopRank was one of the first high profile influencers who has noticed me and acknowledged me back in 2007 by simply commenting on my blog. The reason is I used his definition of SEO 2.0 as one of my proposed ones at the beginning of the SEO 2.0 blog so I mentioned him linked out to TopRank and his looked me up.
Lee hasn’t used the term SEO 2.0 much ever since and indeed it took two years I think until he linked back to me but you must understand that I didn’t care that much.
I didn’t write it down on my to do list to “get a link from TopRank” so it came naturally one day
when Lee added me to TopRank’s big list of search marketing blogs. The list still exists but I’m not sure it still gets updated as often as in the past. I guess it’s still possible to enter that list by simply performing exceptionally well with a trustworthy blog of your own.
Search Engine Journal
One of my peers from the early international blogging days, you probably know her, Ann Smarty started to write for Search Engine Journal back in 2008 I think. As we were blogging a lot in those days and linking back and forth a lot as well one day she linked out to me from SEJ as well. I think I got like three more links that way but I had to write link worthy content first of course. Ann had a keen eye for high quality content curation back then already so she linked to one or two of my all time evergreen posts.
These posts that got links from SEJ still get traffic not only via SEJ and search (despite my ban on Google).
Last November I got asked by the new editor-in-chief to contribute to SEJ regularly but it was on Facebook and as I didn’t use FB for half a year I didn’t even notice and when I did it she wasn’t even working for them anymore. Still SEJ is not a difficult blog to get a guest post published. I see guest writers publishing there all the time. Of course you can take a look whether one of your friends isn’t writing for them anyway and try to suggest a valuable resource to speed things up in case you don’t like the slow and natural way of mine.
Search Engine People
SEP is the premiere Canadian SEO and search marketing blog. I think the first time I got a link from them was when Ruud Hein, who is responsible for the blog interviewed me about SEO in Germany. It was in 2009 when I was already a pretty know figure due to my extensive blogging and social media participation in the search marketing industry.
SEP is run by a company that offers SEO services itself so I’m not sure everybody can guest post there
but they publish a lot of third party writers too. So in case you have published high quality content on your own blog or guest posted elsewhere it should be not a problem to come up to Ruud and ask for a guest posting opportunity. They sometimes also seek out regular writers.
So you see, it’s not that hard to get authority links when you are a good writer and somehow trustworthy. You don’t even have to meet the editors in person. I’m writing from home and do not fly around to conferences all the time. Guest posting speed things up in most cases but yo get links sooner or later organically when you build relationships and blog regularly.