The newest member of Team Hallam, Chris Gage, makes his inaugural blog post with a review of Paddy Moogan’s newly published Link Building Book, aimed as a single point resource for anyone engaged in linkbuilding for SEO
My verdict: If you are new to link building, at $37 this e-book is highly recommended. And if you are an experienced SEO, you will find his comprehensive and logical explanations, practical examples and checklists a real time saver.
Having several years ‘client side’ experience, I understand the importance of inbound links and always made sure to cover the essential bases, although the continuing in-house pursuit of links I found difficult to achieve. Investment in link building with an ethical approach is more important now than ever, since Google is becoming increasingly intolerant of websites it deems as having a low quality ‘link profile’.
Considering that even household names like Interflora have fallen foul of Google, with no doubt a significant impact on sales revenue, the importance of taking the correct approach to link building has been clearly underlined.
So Paddy Moogan’s Link Building Book could be a timely addition to your library. It’s new, comprehensive and aimed at SEO’s at all levels.
Start at the beginning
In the first few pages, Paddy outlines why inbound links are so important to any website; that online trustworthiness is largely measured by the quality and quantity of inbound links, and the more trustworthy a site is in the eyes of search engines, the more likely that the site will rank well organically. Just take a look how much value is attributed to links in this Search Ranking Factors pie chart from SEOmoz:
Paddy goes on to explain that Google’s relentless pursuit of high quality content to serve users has resulted in much more sophisticated analysis of link profiles within Google’s algorithms; shortcut methods of obtaining high volumes of links with scant regard for quality or relevance are now worthless, or worse still, possibly harmful to a website.
A step by step approach
Having set out the aims of achieving trust, relevance and diversity of a website’s link profile, Paddy discusses planning and executing campaigns, starting by identifying what tangible business goals are to be achieved, such as defined increases in traffic, enquiries, or sales.
He then sets out a step-by-step process for establishing a client website’s current link profile, identifying and dealing with any potentially damaging link elements which could otherwise negatively affect the outcome of a new campaign, for example, by looking the anchor text of inbound links for unnatural keyword weighting:
When talking about new links, Paddy examines in detail how to determine resources for creating ‘linkworthy’ content and covers identifying potential sources of links, including tools for assessing target sites’ link profiles and filtering results for relevance. He asks us to think like the people we are approaching; what content would they link freely to? Is it informative, thought-provoking, helpful?
Throughout the book, there are external links to other helpful resources, such as organisational tools, browser plugins and nods to other influential marketers. He even profiles the ideal linkbuilder as an individual, suggesting what to consider when outsourcing linkbuilding services. The latter part of the book is devoted to a comprehensive list of link building tools, a selection of Paddy’s own case studies and an A – Z glossary, supplemented with people worth following for inspiration and further reading.
What I liked
There is a huge amount of information here. Paddy’s writing is easy to follow, with plenty of evidence from his research and graphics to keep you interested. Each topic follows a logical sequence; a thorough explanation, example techniques and checklists of things to do.
This is a live reference manual that can be easily dipped in to for guidance, thanks to the clear content structure. For those new to link building, it could save hours of trawling the internet for verified information.
My Summary of Paddy’s tips for link building campaigns
- There are no shortcuts – good quality organic links have to be earned
- Assess the current situation, from which to measure results that matter to your client/boss/company
- Analyse the current link profile and clean up as necessary
- Do your homework on potential link sources, try to understand what would be of interest to them. Make your approaches as unique and as compelling as possible
- Don’t burn bridges when you get rejected - you might have something more interesting for them next week
- Allow plenty of time to do the job and see results – it takes time for the benefits to filter through
If you are responsible for link building in-house, this book can help you decide whether you really have the time to engage in such campaigns, or whether to entrust this service to a professional agency. If the latter is the case, then you have the means to establish if they have what it takes to make a positive contribution to your business.
If you work within the SEO industry, you should know much of what I have discussed above already. Even so, recent well-publicised ranking penalties show that as Google continues to raise the bar for organic search positioning, the methodologies employed to achieve results also need to continually evolve. And Paddy expects to update his e-book regularly.
For me, The Link Building Book sets the benchmark process for achieving quality inbound links through building rapport with real people, employing a variety of tools and techniques. This holistic approach, whilst still requiring significant effort, ultimately offers greater reward with reduced risk of future penalties. Recommended.
The Link Building Book, by Paddy Moogan.