Recap of the LinkLove Conference London 2012

Last Friday the 30th of March, the yearly event ‘Link Love – The Advanced Link building Conference’ took place in London. As predicted it was completely sold out, being the most renowned link building conference in Europe. With eight international top speakers it was a full and inspiring program. There was a good balance between the latest developments in search engines and a glimpse of how international link building is being done. Some slide decks are missing, these will be added as soon as possible.

Content Strategy vs. Linkbuilding – Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin from SEO software developer and community SEOmoz started the day with an intense statement: “F#$&! Link Building. Content marketing FTW!” People need a wakeup call: the traditional way of link building is very time consuming and not effective in the long term. Because of the labor intensive nature, link- and blog networks have emerged into places where you can buy hundreds of links for little money. But usually the effects of this way of building links don’t last very long and the consequences are what we have seen in recent weeks: Google manually removed some networks from the index.

The focus should be on marketing your product through your website by making use of content in the broadest sense of the word. So you should generate shareable content, because 66% of internet users uses a social medium. Build a community and brand loyalty, look beyond links and operate as an online brand. Of course SEOmoz was used as an example, who receives an average of 400 linking domains per blog post. This shows that a long term strategy using good content can be very successful.

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Quantifying Outreach – Michael King
Based on nearly 300.000 outreach link building e-mails, Michael did some statistical analysis in order to find out what the best combination of features is. A disadvantage here is that these analysis were made in vacuum, which means the conclusions are not tied to external parameters. In real life, they differ for each niche. Nevertheless an interesting presentation which included a small glimpse of the link building process.

Over the course of a year, 14 million pages were crawled, which subsequently were filtered by an algorithm. First of all the 5000 major websites of this list were removed, because it simply would be impossible to receive a link from these type of sites. After this, the list was compared with an internally created black list. Sites who were featured on the black list (badneighourhoods etc) were also removed. Also some other SEO metrics were taken into account: sites which didn’t meet these specific metrics were removed from the list. In the end, this resulted in a final list of 600.000 websites. An internal assessment team brought back the list to a 112.000 potential link partners who were contacted one by one.

The conclusion from the analysis of link outreach:

Gender: Women get a higher response rate, the close rate is in favor of men
Opening salutation: personalization is the key to success. If not possible, “Hi” and “Hey” works best.
Day of the week: Emails sent on Tuesdays yielded the highest rate of links, and weekends have the highest opening rate because it’s when people receive less e-mails
Time of the day: 9AM has the highest response rate, but it is better to send these emails in the night because prospects will come across these e-mails first things in the morning.
Number of e-mails: Be persistent without getting abusive: outreaches of 6 e-mails and beyond proved to be the most effective.
E-mail length: E-mails with more than 1000 characters performed better
First touch via twitter: figures were not statistically significant, but 37,5% response rate is worthy of further investigation
Phone vs no phone: emails without phone numbers got more responses and more link closes.
Logo versus no logo: Including logos leads to a drastic increase in link closes.
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Social sharing in combination with SEO – Branko Rihtman
Everyone constantly speaks about the effect of Social Media on the SERPs, but Branko emphasized that in this moment there is no evidence a website can rank having just social “votes” (likes, tweets) and no links. However, Google is capable of making an estimation based on partial social data. In the years to come this will definitely turn around so it is important to focus on ‘social link building’.

It is recommendable to invest in research to discover what your audience is sharing in all sorts of media and to not rely solely on logic and intuition. Make a distinction between social metrics and look for the most influential people. These are the people who can help with a campaign. Based on the use of various APIs (Topsy, Facebook, Twitter, G + and Majestic) and Excel, Branko showed us how an easy analysis within a niche can be made. With these analysis it is possible to visualize the relationship between the number of social shares and the final inbound links in a graphic. His presentation ended with the conclusion that at the moment only the inbound links can cause a top position in the search engines. As stated before we should consider all developments and follow Google’s advice: “Try to be there where the search engines want you to be”.

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Which links do make the difference? – Jane Copland
Because of the fact that everyone is checking each other’s links, everyone is collecting the same links. In order to be successful you should be unique in your working method. A website needs golden links in order to score and it is only possible to receive these type of links by looking at where the competition is missing out. Jane showed this with the example of Michael Winner, who is willing to pay the 60GBP fine for driving on the bus lane. A fine is no reason for not doing it, this price gives you the possibility to do it. No 700 million budget for advertising at the Olympics this year? Just pay the 20.000 GBP fine for streaking and everyone will remember you , with news papers linking to you from their authority websites.

Based on several successful campaigns for specific sites or product pages, which received both great amounts of links and social shares, Jane showed that thinking out of the box pays off. Even influential tweeps brought free publicity. For example, The Zombie Boot Camp page got linked from the BBC website. So be unique in your content strategy and the links will come automatically!

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Pick a victim, start working on a relationship and fix a link! – Wil Reynolds
In a playful way, Wil accompanied the audience with his quest for a digital friendship with Dharmesh Shah, founder of Hubspot and owner of a Twitter account with more than 120 thousand followers. People have got to stop begging for links, it’s useless and will get you hardly any results with serious link value. If you want attention, you have to stalk your target. In this case stalking equals helping.

With help of an iGoogle dashboard Wil showed how you can add RSS feeds from several websites to monitor your victim continuously. By constantly being the first who reacts to questions, tweets or comments you will build a natural relationship. Who are the people who follow your target? Try to be like them. This increases the chance this person will start following your account as well. Once there is a connection, you can go a step further with your ultimate goal: getting that link.

In a practical way it is a great case but hard to use for link building. But the underlying idea is one that should be kept in mind: link building is easier if there is a relationship.
» Download the slidedeck

Does Google still trust links? – Tom Anthony
In 1997 Google proudly presented their new way of organizing websites: based on the amount of links referring to a website. Soon SEO’s started abusing this. Logically this leads to the question whether Google still believes in this way of admitting value to a website. Unfortunately spamming links with keywords in the anchor text still works. Based on a few examples Tom was showing that it is easy for a human being to discover an unnatural link profile, but that it is almost impossible for a computer until the moment artificial intelligence will be used.

That is why Google will start focusing more on the human factors for now. In the meanwhile Google for example added author statistics to their Webmaster Tools. AuthorRank is one of the priorities of the biggest search engine, where it will become more important who (the author) links instead of what links (the website). Links from a website with a trusted and well known author will have more value than a link from a blog network with automatic generated content.

Do what others don’t do! – Martin MacDonald
According to Martin, who has more than 10 years of experience in both black hat and white hat SEO, linkbuilders have a two major problems:

We work alone, the average link building team consists of 5 people
We do exactly the same as the rest
There are a few simple solutions:

Do everything different, because it is very easy to do exactly the opposite of others
Make use of other’s communities, then you won’t have to do it alone but with thousands at the same time. Spam or not, it works!
Make use of simple incentives scuh as coupons
Scale your link building activities by for instance developing a widget focused on a specific niche.
Utilize affiliate links. Is there an affiliate network in between which gets link value? Start your own network!
Another thing Martin showed is how he used a discussion in which he participated, then wrote a blog post about it and subsequently got re-tweeted by a few influential tweeps. This resulted in several top positions on generic keywords without too much effort. An interesting detail was that it hardly resulted in any incoming links but a huge amount of social shares. His conclusion was clear: “If you follow the rest you will make friends, but it won’t get you any links”

From average to great link building – Will Critchlow
A different presentation compared to the others was the presentation by Will Critchlow, one of the founders of the organizing company Distilled. He discussed the process and the strategy behind link building. Why doesn’t our link building campaign work? Ask yourself a why question for four or five times and then hold on to the following four steps:

Discover: Look for your weaknesses and the aspects on which you can still gain progress
Pitch: Pitch your ideas for link building, also to customers
Experiment: look for improvements and convince your customers
Investing and up scaling : with a combination of evidence and experience

By using a systematic approach you can discover the weaknesses of your website, your strategy or your way of working. Linkbuilding doesn’t differ from other business processes.

Placing Remarketingtags will cost less work!

Before you start an AdWords remarketing campaign you first have to place the remarketingtags. These tags will provide customers with a cookie which Google needs to recognize them in the Display Network.

Unfortunately, you need to tag for each page. This will cost a lot of time, especially for those companies which depend on other departments or businesses. That is over and done with! Last week, Google accommodated the remarketingtags through which you can place the same tag on all pages. On the basis of this tag you can make different remarketinglists based on the URL’s.

Remarketing will be a lot easier to start with. But what does this mean for companies which have already started with remarketing and have created large cookiepools?

According to Google it’s advisable to start with this new feature immediately. There are different possibilities for existing users to place the new tag. In our belief it’s handy to follow the steps mentioned below. This way you will prevent ending up with a lot of different tags on your website and it takes the existing cookiepools into account.

Add the new tag to all pages on your site.
Create new remarketing lists based on URLs.
Wait for those lists to be populated with site visitors. When your list is set with a 30-day duration, wait for 30 days. This way the new list will have the same amount of cookies.
Change your existing campaigns to target these new lists.
Remove the old tags.
Close the old lists.
At the end of this summer you will also be able to create marketinglists by Google Analytics. You don’t need to tag your pages twice and your cookiepool will fill rapidly with visitors from different sources. So, if you use Google Analytics please wait for this function before you continue your remarketing.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t receive the results they hoped for. If you need any help with remarketing campaigns don’t hesitate to contact us. We are willing to help you.

Parents’ Corner Keeping Your Children Safe

Your child’s physical integrity and good health are not the only aspects you, as a parent, need to worry and show concern about. Below you will find a series of tips and advice any parent should be well-aware of t ensure a safe environment for his precious child.

Online Safety Advice

Children are used to social networks suck as Facebook and Instagram from a fragile age if you allow them to access these networks or post pictures of them. And this type of behavior has the potential of attractive pedophiles and abductors, especially if your profile is made public to everyone and you are generous in giving away details regarding your address and daily schedule. At times, revealing too much wishing to stay connected with your friends and family has the potential of harming you and your family, with special emphasis on your small one. Not few are the cases when homes were robbed because the intruders knew exactly when the owners were vacationing. No one says you need to become over-obsessed by online safety and stop publishing family photos and so on – but we do recommend you pay more attention to details that could prevent a tragedy form happening. As for the physical safety aspects you should worry about, here are a few things you should put into practice.

Safety At The Playground
Pick out Rubber Mulch product as it is prone to last longer and save you important amounts of cash and valuable time. If your child has a small backyard or front yard playground or play area, use our GroundSmart Rubber Mulch by clicking on the ‘Store Finder’ button used for fast identification of the nearest retail store in your area. You can also take a look at our online store for faster solutions – as we also handle home shipments. Prevent serious head, brain, or sine injuries caused by often times occurring falls and play accidents on the playground by creating the safest playground safety surface you can.

Safety Aorund The House
Keep all toxic substances that can be ingested by your small child away from them using locks on drawers and cupboards and get in touch with an expert technician who handles rekeying locks as a regular, daily task. Get in touch with an authorized locksmith in your area – use the locksmiths-search database to make your pick out of thousands of verified and trustworthy locksmith spread all throughout the US. Use your city name or zip code to perform quick searches and expect to find the cheapest, most experienced locksmiths possible and have all the locks around the house repaired to make sure you child is safe and sound at all times.

New Posts on GWT Something Is Happening At Google

We have all witnessed the modifications made by Google to their algorithm in recent years. We understand that these changes are always intended to benefit the user and, above all, the websites that, in terms of optimization, faithfully carry out the directives of the search engine. Search results have to be as reliable, efficient and effective as possible; that is what we all want and what Google works towards.

The First Messages: March–June 2012
In pursuit of constant improvement, during the months of March and June Google dedicated itself to sending warning messages, to many webmasters, relating to unnatural links they had identified. The message was as follows (in Google Webmaster Tools):

Web masters tools links

These messages, according to the explanation from Google, were sent because they had detected violations against their quality guidelines. It is important to mention that at the time, Google said these messages had been sent after detailed analyses of the websites which, in turn, recommended the execution of changes to the site and the removal of unnatural links.

Nevertheless, the receipt of this message does not mean that the site was penalized. In fact, one had to consider other factors (specifically a fall in traffic during this period) in order to draw conclusions about whether the site had been penalized or whether it was simply supposed to be a warning to take into consideration.

Many websites received this message and, in the sector, the issue was a point of analysis and reflection. The webmasters and those in charge of websites that received the messages began to take interest (we received many external queries about it). The seriousness of the message was never doubted and the parties involved, to a greater or lesser extent, were interested in analysing their link profile and proceeding in accordance with the recommendations of the search engine.

Controversial Messages
However, last week Google returned to send the same message once again in the form of a warning. On 19th July many sites received a message through GWT about unnatural links (links that are exactly the same, with the same words). To everyone’s surprise, Matt Cutts (Head of Google’s Webspam Team), came out to say that the message shouldn’t spread panic and clarified that it was a product of identifying some individual links that generated suspicion for them (for more information of this subject you can read more at their Google Plus account).

In conclusion, they have sent a message using the same words but to identify two different things. Before, the message was a product of a global analysis but, now, that same message is about the identification of an individual link or links that create suspicion. Previously we had to take it all into account, but now, what should we do? Do we ignore it? Something is definitely happening at Google. Something that is creating a certain degree of confusion. Danny Sullivan has some interesting thoughts on the matter in his article: Google Updates Link Warnings To (Sort Of) Clarify They Can Be Ignored (Maybe)

But there’s more. After this message, on July 23rd to be specific, the same accounts that received the above message received another message entitled Unnatural Inbound Links, which reads:

Unnatural inbound links

Here the message is clearer. They explain more coherently that they have detected some links that point to sites that may be violating the guidelines. However, they maintain their recommendation to remove any unnatural link. In my opinion, the positive aspect of this message is that (different to before) Google recognises that some links are out of the webmaster’s control. The rest of the message follows the traditional Google line.

Therefore, following the above information, we recommend conducting a link profile analysis and, more generally, analysing the possible causes of having received the message. However, if there is no change in site traffic, no change in rankings or visibility, there is really no need to be concerned as to why the message was sent. Be sure that we will have more information soon.

Make me a viral. I want you to make me a viral !!

Don’t tell me… you want a viral too? Everybody these days wants a viral for their brand or business! However let´s be honest, sometimes it’s just not possible.

Broadly speaking, there are three ways to make viral content. It’s worth pointing out that not everything can be ´viralised´ nor is everything important enough for people to share it, but for us it is the most important information in the world.

So let’s have a look at the three ways to make a viral. Of course there are variations and other strategies, but here are the ones I think are the three main ways

1. The funny one that isn’t looking for anything in return
The first is the one in which you do something stupid or funny at home, like recording your dog sleeping like a human, or recording your twins talking like adults in their own little language. You know it’s funny so you upload it, but you’re not actively looking for anything to come of it with regards to your business, and the audience knows this as well. This is what encourages people to share your content, and ultimately for it to go viral.

2. The one that doesn’t break the bank, but uses good resources and material
Another way is to create something that doesn’t necessarily require a big budget, but is something really, really original. Create content that is different and unique, something that grabs your attention as well as having an effect on your business, and you will see the benefits. An example of this is Justin Baldoni, who went all out on the creative front when he made a video of himself proposing to his girlfriend. Justin is an actor and counts a video producer amongst his contacts, therefore he has resources at hand that others of us don’t. The good thing was, with it being advertised everywhere, there wasn’t a girlfriend anywhere in the world that didn’t see the video and then show it to their boyfriend… “Look how sweet this is”.

If you’re going to watch it, you should know that it’s 27 of the most romantic and cutest minutes you’re ever going to see. You’ve been warned.

Something similar was the video Xuso Jones posted of himself singing at a McDonald’s drive-thru… something so silly that it got his name out there and ended up launching his music career. Had it ever occurred to anyone before to make up a song for ordering at a McDonald’s drive-thru? No, and that was the key to its success. (And as it’s so catchy… let’s see who can get it out of their head first…).

3. The unlimited budgets of the big firms
And finally, we turn our attention to the big companies who set aside astronomical amounts for advertising. Obviously with such a large budget and a creative team at hand, it’s possible to create virals like those seen in 2013. Get an entire airport on its feet? Mount a film set in a café? Fill the metro with music? Not a problem if you can pay for it.

We can see in the Volkswagen and Nivea campaigns below, just what amazing things can be made if the necessary means are available. As well as the millions of Youtube views it brings, through people sharing it thousands of times and uploading it on their own channels etc.

That’s not to say people with more modest budgets cannot achieve the viral they perhaps deserve. It just means we have to think a little bit harder given the limitations, and to try and come up with something that our audience has never seen before.

Before investing resources into a viral video, it’s best to stop and think to yourself: is what we’re to going to make interesting, fun or useful? In what format are we going to present it? And what strategy are we going to implement in order for it to catch fire? Only then can we ensure that it’ll be successful.

Local SEO tools – 7 great tools for optimizing Google Places listing

Optimizing your Places listing is very important in order to appear in searches. There are many factors in play that you can check out in David Mihms Ranking factors , some of the main points that you need to pay attention to are:

Associate your business with the proper categories;
Get a significant volume of structured and unstructured citations;
Get a significant volume of reviews of the business;
Optimize the description of the listing with the product or service keyword
Crawlable address matching Place Page Address
Now, how can I add the perfect categories to my listing or where can I find sites where I can add citations or reviews that will matter to Google?

Here is a list of some of my favorite tools that provide information for optimizing your Google Places listing and more:

Getting Categories right
Google Places Category Tool: Mike Blumenthal created this great tool which helps you search and choose the most relevant categories for your Google Local Business listing.

It is important to add as many categories as you can that are actually related to your business, but I do not really recommend making up these categories. So, it is important to find out what Google has already predefined as valid categories and make sure that we use those to describe our business. The problem is that Google doesn’t really tells us what the categories are. Here is where this useful tool comes in. Type in a word that describes your business and the tools tells you what are the predefined categories you can use, like you can see in the example below for the search “gym”:

Finding the citations and review sources:
Now that I have my categories defined, I need to get some citations. But what exactly are citatations? Citations are defined as “mentions” of your business name and address on other webpages, even if there is no link to your website. Citations are a key component of the ranking algorithms of the major search engines; they are the equivalent of links to organic rankings. Other things being equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer citations.

Here are some great tools to find sources of where you can get those mentions:

Whitespark Local Citation Finder: Excellent tool that finds citations for top-ranked businesses for specific local queries in Google:

Local Search Toolkit ( This great free tool, that not only provides you information about where your competitors are getting their citations but also information about the categories they are using and the number of reviews they have, the site’s title tag, number of photos, videos, whether it’s claimed and distance from city center for a query:

BuzzStream for Link Building is another great tool that that performs several searches in Google in order to find directories, or sites with guest post opportunities and product reviews.

Google: There is a great post by Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz where he gives examples of searches in Google ( that can help you find citations:

Discussion Search + Local Keywords (
Image searches for: (
Competitors’ Business Names,
city + business type,
products/services + city and
All of the above with neighborhood names instead of city
Events Calendars, Sponsorships + Donations
City + events calendar
Local sponsorship + city
City + donations
City + Business Type + Listings / Businesses / Results

Crawlable Address that matches your listing
Schema Creator: Schema creator is a great and easy tool that you can use to create rich markup that will help localize your content. You can display your business address in format so that it is easier for search engines to understand and interpret that information:

General Analysis of your listing gives a score to your listing from 0-100 depending how effectively your business is taking advantage of free listings at the major search engines and gives you recommendations on how to improve. The only information you need to provide is your business name and Zip Code:

Observation: Unfortunately this tool does not work as great for businesses with listings outside the United States

I hope you enjoyed this post and find these tools useful. If you want to add other tools to this list you are welcome to suggest more local SEO tools in the comments. Also if you want to give your opinion on any of these tools and share your experience you are welcome to do so. I hope you enjoyed this post and find these tools useful.

Internet Advantage weekly sum-up week 50

This week we have another sum-up of the most important online marketing news. Read here the most interesting SEO-, linkbuilding and SEA-news of week 50.

What the world was searching in 2012
The year 2012 was the year of Gagnam Style, Whitney Houston, the Ipad3, and Hurricane Sandy. At least that’s what the Zeitgeist-report of Google says. This report lists the most searched subjects of 2012. The report can be narrowed down by country, or worldwide.

12 PPC lessons from someone with 12 years of experience
Smart people learn from their mistakes, smarter people learn from the mistakes of others. Read here what Jeff Allen learned from his mistakes in his 12 years of PPC campaigns.

How to plan a linkbuilding campaign.
Linkbuilding can be very difficult. You never know for sure if your hard work and dedication will be rewarded with valuable links. But if you stick to your linkbuilding-planning, you will know that at least you have done everything to make it successful.
Paddy Moogan describes the best preparation of a linkbuilding-campaign.

The search for dead links
“Broken link building” is a linkbuilding tactic in which you contact the webmasters of other websites to indicate some dead links on their website. You then obviously give them an alternative link to your website. Russ Jones explains very well how to carry out broken link building.

Should you buy paid links?
Google punishes more and more websites with an unnatural linkprofile. Sometimes this is deservedly because of the purchase of links, but there are also a lot of cases of punished sites that didn’t purchase any links. Julie Joyce wonders how linkbuilding will develop in 2013. Is it wrong to buy links or should you actually do it?

Don´t leave the second biggest search engine unused.
If you consider the search function of YouTube as a search engine, it is, after Google, the world’s largest search engine. Therefore, a good YouTube Channel can generate a lot of traffic to your website. In this article on Search Engine Watch they describe the 7 basic steps for YouTube success.

Rumours in the SEO-world.

There was a lot of discussion going on this week in the SEO-world. A blogpost on from Paul Boag about the (un)importance of SEO really annoyed Yoast (Joost de Valk). Yoast dedicated a new blogpost to his vision of SEO and gave some sturdy feedback on the article of Paul. A lot of SEO´s then commented on the article of Paul. This is a very interesting read for SEO’s!

New: Mobile advertisements for people with ‘fat fingers’.
Google made a big change in the functioning of mobile advertisements. The so called ‘fat fingers problem’ is now solved. Read all about it on the Search Engine Journal.

Internet Advantage weekly sum-up week 49

A new week, a new weekly sum-up! Read our selection of the most important articles and updates here!

Nielsen social media rapport 2012
Last week research institute Nielsen presented their annual social media report.
This report shows that the use of social media on mobile devices exploded in 2012. Not only because there are simply a lot more smart-phones, but also because the use of special apps and mobile websites increased. Facebook remains the largest social media platform worldwide, but Pinterest emerged as the fasted growing social media (+1047%)

3 Holiday PPC Tips for Ecommerce Advertisers With Thousands of Products
With the holidays coming closer, it is time to become more critical about your AdWords campaigns. In this post David Jaeger is giving some tips for e-retailers that they should using for the holidays. He talks about the procedure of reporting, how to target Long-tail product names and matching keyword landing pages vs. category landing pages.

Don’t build links, build bubbles…
This article describes how you can use Google+ to spread the content of your website through the Google search engine. In the article they explain very well what the consequences are for the personal searchresults if somebody gives your website a +1 or if they follow your company on Google+.

Trust and SEO
Unlike other marketing channels, it is very unpredictable what the revenue of turnover or ROI percentage will be from SEO channels. That’s why it is important to gain trust from your client and their employees. Claire Thompson listed a couple of factors to take into consideration: Earning the trust of the search engines and beyond.

The future of SEO in 2012
The year is almost over and that means it is time for the typical ‘predictions-for-the-new-year’ lists. Even in the SEO-World they are making these lists. At they asked a great host of SEO´s for their opinion regarding the SEO developments for 2013.

Breaking Down the Mormon SEO Strategy
Distilled made a nice analysis of the SEO strategy that is behind the website of The Chuch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Based on this analysis they give some useful tips. As we could expect, links are the main factor for this site, but it is nice to see how they used their community to gain this large amount of links.

SEO dead?
Every once in a while there is an online marketer who claims that ‘SEO is dead’. These statements always provoke a lot of discussion, and can thus work as great linkbait. But from this infographic we can see that nothing is what it seems; SEO is still growing, and the general budget for SEO is increasing dramatically (60%).
Your 2013 Enterprise SEO Campaign
Google put a lot of effort in the integration of different factors, among whom the influence of social media on websites. Jin Yu outlines what his view is on Enterprise SEO (not related to the size of the enterprise), and which channels and data you can use for this.