It’s been a little frustrating for me having to read the majority of SEO blogs lately – everyone’s talking vaguely about content.
“Want links? Create great content!”
But honestly, 95% of the type of content you’re being told to create does not guarantee links in any way; sure, we get reminded that “nothing is certain” and that we need to take risks, but you know what? Screw risk. Let’s take that out of the equation with our content when it comes to link building.
So I’m going to break down how some of the top most ranking sites are getting links as a result of fail-proof content; content created for the purpose of getting links, and as a result, arbitrage is no longer a piece of the puzzle. So without further adieu, here’s the first (and very cut & dry) edition of the Point Blank SEO podcast!
Below are links mentioned in the podcast, as well as the topic matter written out. I do not have ANY affiliation with the examples being mentioned.
The first example in the podcast deals with this article by MortgageLoan.com. It’s a home & loan mortgage/buyer’s guide for people with disabilities.
This is a perfect example of fail-proof content because they already identified multiple high authority pages on the Web linking out to various web resources on this topic (ex. 1 & 2); all they had to do was create content on the topic, conduct some outreach, and collect their winnings.
The key, however, to it being perfect is the fact that it found the sweet spot between authority & relevance; for example, that website creating content on chemistry might qualify for links from academic websites, but it’s not at all relevant. On the other hand, creating another loan/mortgage resource might be highly relevant content, but it doesn’t fit the mold of subject matter that you can easily conduct some outreach & get links to.
The second example in the podcast deals with this halloween costume retailer. They created fail-proof content on the following topics:
While this fail-proof content does fits the mold in terms of authority (there are plenty of university websites linking to content on the Byzantine Empire and the Renaissance), it’s not particularly relevant; sure, this content works and will continue to get the results they want, but they run the risk of creating irrelevant content, which won’t lead to the desired results (i.e. Google sees them as experts, but on a different topic).
The potential downfall of fail-proof content is two-fold; (1) webmasters catching on and seeing commercial sites creating a lot of mediocre content on topics they link out to, and (2) Google potentially not giving as much weight to those links ONLY IF the content is irrelevant enough (people gaming solely for authority).
Being that it was my first podcast, I knew I’d forget something. What I forgot was this example that articulates a VERY important rule of thumb when creating fail-proof content. Here’s the link:
At first glance, this section of their website looks like garbage, but in reality, it’s genius. To understand why, compare this with one of their product or category pages; on one side, you’ve got commercial intent everywhere (they’re trying to sell you products), and on the other hand, you’ve got a very simple page template with just text.
Notice that there’s no commercial intent on this section of their site; they use it when pitching for links, because they don’t want people to not link as a result of them being a business. They know this because they look at what they’re already linking to (most university resource pages with hundreds of links look like text was slapped on to an ugly HTML template), and that’s the key; just see what high authority sites are linking to (both topic matter and page layout) and replicate that.
As mentioned in the podcast, here’s a link to my link building course.
The main takeaway of fail-proof content is that the equation “targeted content + targeted outreach” is what makes up a highly successful manual link building campaign (again, not talking about “viral content marketing”, because it’s not a sure thing). Also, this type of link building should compliment your overall strategy; it shouldn’t BE your strategy.
Thoughts? Takeaways? Extremely upset because I used real examples of sites, and possibly gave away their secret sauce? I’d love to here them in the comments below. Make sure you follow me on Twitter @PointBlankSEO.