A Snippet of My Thoughts on Link Building

The past year has been an interesting one in regards to link building. Hell, it’s been a crazy ride for anyone who works with the Google behemoth. Some good, some bad, some forcing us to question their and our sanity. For a very long time, link building rode on tactics that scaled well and effectively moved the needle. It was clear what the trends were based on blog posts being published (or weren’t) and what was talked about at conferences. Well, after the death knell of larger scale guest blogging, things certainly got quiet. Not as much innovation occurring for good old offsite SEO, and I’m not hearing as much about it.

Is it because links are dead? No. Is it because this, that, and the other? No, I just think no one really knows what they’re doing, and, for those that do, they’re holding the cards close to the chest. Should I finally arise from my blogging slumber, I hope to expound on what link building should look like today when done correctly. Don’t misunderstand; the old, whitehat tactics still exist and work. Whenever possible, get links from resource pages, directories, local citations, image reclamation, and infographic embeds – quality, obviously, emphasized when prospecting and qualifying. But what else? How do I scale links that matter? If Coca Cola is my client, why the fuck am I talking to them about links?

I solemnly swear (note: there will probably be lots of swearing) to try my best not to spout theoretical and philosophical bullshit.


Link Builder’s Guide to SEER Interactive’s SEO Toolbox

SEER Interactive. The Search Church. Chris Le. Wil Reynolds. A trend? Total ballers. These folks are the OG’s, and they proved themselves last week to be even more bad ass than previously foretold. I am a sucker for transparency, and I go weak in the knees when I get to use new tools – especially Google spreadsheets (ImportXML is delicious). So, they were like, “hey, why do we not just share one of our coolest tools ever with the public because we are legit like that?” And they did. What I intend to do here is come up with a list on how a link builder can use the SEER Interactive SEO Toolbox. Spoiler alert: a majority of the toolbox is primarily useful for on-page and Analytics, but some of the efficiency hacks make it useful for everyone so they will be mentioned. Also, note: even though I might say something does not have “practical use,” that means that I would not use it when I am link building; it might work for you in some other capacity.

Press “Make a Copy” Before Collecting $200
Make a copy of the SEO Toolbox here: http://www.seerinteractive.com/seo-toolbox/. Click the big blue “Get Started” button. File > Make a Copy. Name it whatever you want (e.g. Handy Man’s Rad Toolbox, SEO All in One Spreadsheet Toolkit, Yes These Are Real Spreadsheet of Awesome, etc.). When you have your own copy, go to the Settings sheet. In the Settings sheet, you are going to put in all API keys that you need for the document. The instructions on the SEO Toolbox page are more than enough to get what you need here, and, frankly, if you cannot get past finding and putting in API keys, the tool is not for you.

Feature by Feature I Will Be Your Teacher
Google Analytics
What you will find with the Google Analytics function is nearly all reporting hacks. I could not find any practical uses for link building.

Use this to find Twitter targets for your outreach. What you do is grab a copy of the doc here http://www.johnfdoherty.com/link-prospecting-with-twitter-tools-and-apis/. Go over to Followerwonk and grab a whole load more of influential people. Now that we have extra metrics in Followerwonk, we can cross reference with the Klout metrics. If you would like the extra metrics, you have it, and you can create your own measurement for what types of people you want to target.

Another way you could use the Klout is to use the built-in Google Scraper (see below) and use site:twitter.com with your related keyword. From there just use the Klout function to get maximum exploits.

I used the Majestic functions, and I could not even blink before the data was before my eyes. If it is not approaching the speed of light, it is beating sound for sure. At the moment getMajesticBackLinks is acting a little wonky for me so I will come back and fix this paragraph once I have it working. But, if I had to guess at what it will show, it is going to give you a list. Combine your list of Majestic data with Linkscape data and do all of the magical de-duping that you can from there. Pull desired metrics, and reduce your lists even further. Chills. Super chills. I love link building!

GetMajesticindexItemInfo is working perfectly for me though, and it is fantastic. If you ever need the fastest snapshot ever of what a competitor or your client’s site looks like in Majestic, you have it with this function. What I will probably end up doing is building a mini-report out of the function because it is so easy and scalable to use. Basically, the function is going to save you a trip from Majestic and pull all of the linking information about that URL, root domain, or subdomain.

The Raven functions are nearly all about rankings and grabbing keywords from a page. I could not think up any uses other than a quick scrape for where your Raven data. If you are in a pinch and dying to know what anchor text would be decent for you, you could check rankings in the spreadsheet.

Holy (insert obscure noun here), Batman! GetLinkscape is here, and you are loving it. There have been other places where you can scrape Linkscape data, but the reason why I think people should do it here is because it is all in one place. You will not have to toy around with too much. GetLinkScape basically grabs it all. As I scream, shout, and prance about later on, you will be able to curate which columns show up so you do not end up pulling obscene amounts of unneeded data. Being able to grab Linkscape data at faster speeds means less time waiting on reports and more time cleaning up your prospect lists. Imagine a world where you throw in a list, and you can instantly apply your qualifying and quantifying rules – you will have much nicer lists.

The getTwitterSearch function could be extremely useful if you are building links for a client who publishes fresh content. Say, for example, they published a blog about the meteorite crashing down into Russia soon after it occurred. Pull up a list of people talking about a topic with the getTwitterSearch function, and you might get a list of prospects for your content. You could get clever and use more specific columns like “geo” to find prospects only located in specific areas.

As if the stalking presentation from Wil Reynolds was not enough, we have another way to find out more about our prospects using getTwitterUserLookup. Using getTwitterUserLookup feels like using the Facebook Search Graph. If you need to find some people with exactly what you are looking for, put in as much information and as many columns as you need, and you will finld exactly who you are looking for… the link givers.

Google Scraper
Here we go! One of the winners of the bunch for linkl building, and it shines so beautifully to me. The GoogleScraper pulls up 10 pages from the SERPs at a time. You can specify which TLD you would like and where in the SERPs you want to start. You could pull up quite a decently large list if you type in your functions correctly. Once you have that sexy list of prospects, do some quantifying with the data functions you can do with OSE and Majestic! LINK BUILDING, FUCK YEAH!

On-Page Analysis
Not really too much use for link building here. The functions in the toolbox include telling you the text, word count, and code on the page.

Need a quick rewrite for your .htaccess file? You can write it out with speed using the createHtaccessredirect function. Not entirely useful for our link building efforts, but it is nice to have around like… a cat.

If you use Google spreadsheets and list out a lot of URLs, use the getDomainName function. It works every time and is crazy good because it pulls out easy to read root domains.

If you have subdomains and you want to keep them in a list of URLs, stripURLScheme is another fun hack so that you can maintain the subdomain. Another useful attribute of using stripURLScheme is that it can save a bit of time because text to columns does not always make for nice looking work in Excel.

Arrays and Cells
When you have nasty looking data and everything is in different columns, combineRange is disgustingly powerful. CombineRange pulls data from a table and combines it vertically or horizontally; the function has lots of potential when messing around with huge lists that might not be so attractive.

filterColumns is the MOST important function in the toolbox to use it effectively. Using all of the APIs is so tasty, but, holy shit, do you need all of that data every single time? No, you do not, and, if you think you do, you might be a little mad or get too happy (see: data boner) about the numbers. filterColumns allows you to pick and choose which columns you pull from. For example, if you are using getLinkscape to pull SEOmoz data, you can limit the output to the title, mozrank, and page authority data. You save time and money. Both are as nice as pie. No cake. The cake is a lie.

removeFirstRow is going to be extremely helpful when working within this document because several of the APIs populate the headings. Whenever you do not want a heading to appear, you can use the removeFirstRow function to remove it and combine it more easily with other data.

Hash Calculations
I will be honest in that I do not have the fullest clue about what the hell this even means. After reading up on hash tables, I cannot see any immediate use for it in link building unless I am completely out of the loop.

Put Your Hand On That Wall, Trooper!
Spread your arms, stretch out a bit. Feel good. Fingers back on the keyboard… ready, steady… go, go, go! As with any tool that comes out, your mileage may vary. Take it and use it however you can and will, but I think there are gems in the spreadsheet that are useful for everyday use even if just for the productivity hacks. All credit and gratitute to the Chris Le and the great people at SEER Interactive. We are the lovers of links, and we will do anything to satisfy, Lady/Dude (whatever tickles your fancy) Linkalot.

Calibrating the Juice: Solutions to Scaling Link Building

Calibrating the Juice-Solutions to Scaling Link Building
O, link building, how I love thee but the challenge of scalability… it ails me! And it seems to crucify plenty of other people’s link building efforts as well. I have a few solutions that I think can help a tiny bit and take you farther in getting the juice flowing towards and around your site. There is one certain fact about scaling link building: you are going to work with enough people or on a large enough scale that you are going to most likely compromise some of the quality of your work. Now, let’s crack some codes.

EZ PZ Wins Feel So Good Internally

Everyone loves easy wins, and, hey, everyone’s a winner – yay! Internal links, bro. You need them. You are missing a huge boat if you are not putting in internal links on your site. Good grief, what are you doing without putting anchor text on your blog posts, you fiend?! If someone is reading your post, they might want to read something related to what you have going there and click through to some other pages. Hell, isn’t that why we’re here? The user! All right, let us be real with each other – we are here for the links. Internal links are super sweet because you get to control everything about them. You know where they are going, and you can point them to where you need them with what anchor text.

Sail the Seas of Your Site

It is all too easy to overlook the navigation and footer of the site. If your web team has run out of things to do (very unlikely), check out improvements you can make on the site. There is always something you can change up. Redesigning your navigation to include more or less links could help your site. If you want to emphasize a particular page and it makes sense, that page can get a quick internal sitewide link from your navigation or footer. It might be way down there, but a link is a link is a link (see Boyd Norwood).

0110100 0110000 0110100 Errors

If you have pages that are throwing up 404 errors, fix them as soon as possible if they have links. This is too easy to do not to take care of it. You are going to get link juice out of it, and your site is friendlier to everyone – user and search engine alike. There really is not much more to say about it – DO IT, broheim.

Redirect the Juice to the Party

When you have a large site, you have probably accumulated links to pages that you might not need any more, or, bless your heart, your content was not evergreen and there is an updated version on the site. Whenever it is applicable, you want to 301 redirect those old, decrepit pages to the youthful, beautiful pages that deserve all the juice in the world. No longer shall we live inside of a network that allows old pages . Do note that if your page has a lot of authority, it does not always make sense to redirect it. Having good, old pages is a great part of a site, but, when you need the juice, squeeze the ball and pull the band around the arm… inject link juice. Too much? Yeah, I am a little tired!

Once Friends, Twice Friends

We have to get into the nitty gritty now; at this point in time, I feel like you have done what you can with onsite SEO to scale and recover as much juice as you can. Everyone has their favorite tools for pulling backlink data for their site. I do not care how you get it, but you get it fast. What we are going to focus on here is cleaner prospecting. Guess what you are going to do with all of that backlink data? Get the contact information by using a program that pulls bulk WhoIs info or the Citation Labs contact finder. Why do these matter? Because you already have a link there! You have already staked your claim on that site. It is always harder to get through the first trial. Going back and asking for some more might not be as bad. Plus, you can show them that you added value to their site by that time. If you did not before, ask yourself how you can improve that. You, sir/madame, already have a good list of prospects in your own backyard.

Gotta Have Booty to Get Booty

How is your linkable asset inventory? Don’t have shit? Your site is probably shit. Create some damn content! Everyone gets it; you are not going to pump out award-winning content every time, but that does not mean you should not try occasionally. Do not think creating a piece of content automatically makes it viral or good. It is so incredibly volatile, and we are at the mercy of the user here. The reason why SEO loves content marketing and promotion so much right now is because, in the end even without links, you end up with a great piece of content that might be linkable to another community down the road, and it could be useful for your users. There are so many wins in creating solid content it is sad to see sites not making it. To do it properly though can be a bit of an art. If you have not been practicing up on your outreach e-mails, this is as good a time as any. Before you even create your content, make sure you know who your community is and some people who might be interested in pushing it for you. Oh, yeah, here is a thought: ask those people before you even make it. It could save you time and money. “Hey, Jack Mehoff, does this infographic about self lubricating oil interest you or your followers?” “Why, yes, it does! I love stroking!” There you have it. Jack is on board with the project, and you are at least creating more avenues of success.

The more people you have on board beforehand the higher the chance your content will succeed. After your content goes live, do everything in your power to make sure it gets in front of the right people at the right time. No sugarcoating and bull shit here – template your e-mails, do whatever you have to do. Use canned responses. Getting it done somewhat okay is better than not doing a damn thing.

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

What the rest boils down to is prospecting by list building. USE ADVANCED SEARCH QUERIES. If you do not know them, you shalt learn them now, and you shalt practice them for eternity (or be lame and use the excellent query generator at Ontolo). You have to become a prospecting master at this point in time. You need to be able to create a list of tens of thousands of prospects. Okay, not too shabby except for the fact that a majority of the list is trash. From there you can use Excel to filter out exactly what you want, and you have a cleaner list. One way I like to clean up lists in Excel is to use conditional formatting and sort by color. If the Excel route is not an option, you still have a backup – ADVANCED SEARCH QUERIES. Your query just blew ass. When you practice using queries enough, you learn the patterns behind the types of links that you want. After seeing repeating words or specific niche-related words, you can include them in your query and specify where it should appear on the page (e.g. title, anchor, etc.). You can clean up lists so well with advanced search queries it is a crime not to use them.

Reaching out to these prospects varies because you could be reaching out to them for hundreds of reasons. Tweak your template or e-mail, whatever, and message it appropriately. Do whatever you can to get the link. So, say, I want to get a guest post on the Bob Loblaw Law Blog. I am going to send a different e-mail to them than I would to the Seymour Butts blog where I want to post a contest. Essentially, you end up basing the e-mail on what you are offering the site owner.

Note: if you do not have a way to open a massive amount of links in your browser at once, Ontolo provides.

One Size Fits All Hats

I will reread this post when I am more awake and probably need to take it down. In the mean time, we can review our link building efforts. Scaling link building is a bitch. I mean, it is a force of nature in itself. With link building, you can do the “normal” stuff for pretty much everybody, but each niche has funny quirks that you need to know about. Agencies need to better understand the industry of their client, and in-house SEOs have no excuse. Get out there and talk to the communities and clients. The links are waiting.

The Fantastic Art of Getting Shit Done

The Fantastic Art of Getting Shit DoneYou know what I like about each new day? More stuff to do. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I like to do stuff, and, even more than doing it, I love the feeling of getting it done. It is like, “hey, you do that thing.” “Oh, yes, it is done.” And it feels delicious. Sometimes getting things done is more of a challenge on some days which is okay. I want to discuss a few of the problems and a few methods on how to change our situation to the more productive route. See the bottom for the “GSD Version of this Post.”

The Common Offenders and Perpetrators

The number one enemy is the internet. Turn off your social networks while at work unless it is part of your job. Social media is a complete waste of time while at work. There is nothing that could not be said a few hours after it has been tweeted, shared, liked, licked, eaten, blown up, exploded, etc. Get rid of it. We are obese content consumers. We eat it up; content is so damn tasty. Nom nom nom! I fall privy to this problem and try to cure myself a little bit every day. As much as I love Reddit and similar sites, they are not for the good of the productive.  Also, Lifehacker is a horrible waste of time. Do not do it. Any of those articles can be summarized in a tweet.

Fear is another motivation for procrastination, and you must defeat it. You must set it ablaze with your courageous attitude of getting shit done. If you are afraid to do something, get it done faster. Take the shot in your arm, leg, butt, and roll with it. The faster you address a problem the faster it goes away. Several of the dudes I like to follow (e.g. Tim Ferriss) frequently talk about confronting your fears by just doing it. If you are fearful of something, it is most likely irrational so stop thinking about it and kill it with completion.

Funny enough, trying to become more productive oftentimes is a culprit for losing efficiency and productivity. There are so-called “hackers,” and they just go overboard on all of these tools and other crap. Guess what? You become so overloaded with your hacks that you are worse off than the guy who does not even know how to handle their personal schedule. Say you are a bowman on a castle wall! Sweet, you are an archer! You and another archer sit on the wall all day. He has his arrows just laying out everywhere and is never ready for battle. On the other hand, you spend your entire day building a machine that will shoot your arrows for you, but, when it comes time to battle, you fire off as few arrows as Sir Herpaderp down a few bricks from you.

The Wisdom of a Scribe and Their Tomes

So, I absolutely love writing things down. Nowadays when nearly everything feels typed, I write as much as I can on a pad and paper. This might not work for everyone, but, when I write things down or draw a picture, I can more easily recall it than something I read online. Try it out and see if it works for you, but, instead of scrambling for files on the internet or scouring my desktop, I have it on a page in a notebook. Recall and location is key when trying to access information that you stored for later usage. Plus, doodling in a boring meeting is a life saver (albeit not as tasty).

Cut It Up and Make a Tasty List Sandwich

Write a list of what you need to be done tomorrow. Just have it ready before the morning. If you have that list, you will always have something to go back to if you are at a loss for what you should be doing. Having that reference lets you know what you thought was important previously but may be struggling to remember. You do not even need to prioritize at this point in time. Start writing lists of stuff that just needs to get done. And do it. Do it quick. Do it as soon as possible. You will feel like the Flash. You will turn back time. You will all of a sudden have too much time on your hands. You will become so focused that nothing else will matter to you except for defeating your list. Do whatever it takes to get the list complete. Some people are into rewards and positive reinforcement. Treat yourself, sure. While I do not think negative reinforcement is as effective long-term, do it if you need a kick in the ass.

Prioritize Like a 911 Dispatcher

All right, so if you know what you need to do but do not know what order to do it in, you have to work on prioritization a little bit. I promise you though that 99% of the time it does not matter what order you do something. Completing a mission is normally more important than when you got there or how you got there unless there is a fire. If there is a fire, you address that right then and there. You get on it. You become the super hero.  Here are the rules on how to prioritize (JUST FOUR, YOU CAN DO IT): take care of the fires (in the case of multiple fires, take one minute per fire to assess its importance versus another fire and rank them), take care of tasks that are due within the next day or two, take care of the list, anything else goes on the list for tomorrow. Do one, two, three, and four, and you will be a happy person walking out that door.

Separation of Church and State

As much as I would like to address church and state here, I mean something else: home and work. You have to keep them separate. If you are working at home, then, sure, things are going to melt together a little bit. But, when you do not have to work at home, you keep work far, far away from home. You put a restraining order on that beast. Once I am in my car and headed home, I cleanse my mind of the day. The reason I do not think about work at home is because it allows me to become a workhorse the next day at the job. I am completely focused and energized. I am not exhausted from a whole evening about worrying about this client or that deliverable. No, I am ready to defeat any enemy that comes before my path. While I am not good at meditating, I have done it a few times, and it has helped me. I always lighter after a few minutes of listening to good music and not thinking about anything at all. The vice versa is the same. Yes, we have our families and business at home, and I believe, to the best of our ability, we try to keep it there. I want to appreciate the people at each of those separate entities to the maximum of my ability, and it has greatly increased my effectiveness at being a worker, husband, son, uncle, and brother.

Get the Worm for Breakfast

Breakfast might be the most important meal, but it is not near as important as it being the best time to get shit done. Most people do not seem to be morning people and that is okay. Wake up when is appropriate for you. If you are keen on working at home (and can separate the two effectively in your mind), knock out a few of those pesky tasks in the morning. Once you hit the desk at work, pound out that list. Just get on it. When you have a list of tasks already prepared, you are focused. You know what you need to do, and you immediately pursue their completion. You are the hungriest beast of delectable task completion. Headphones + your favorite music + list = success!

Use Utensils When at a Content Meal

In order to read all the “important” stuff you miss during the day, there are multiple ways to curate your own content. Make sure you are using filters on your Gmail. If you get annoying e-mails that really are not important to you, make sure you unsubscribe to as much as you can or that it goes straight to your archives.

Set up Google Alerts for specific keywords using advanced search queries. I find these to be all right but less focused than I would like.  You can set the frequency of these e-mails. If your topic is talked about less, then the frequency can be slower than hot topics.

Create a Twitter account and use it like a news feed which is how I have been using my Twitter account for the most part. While I am not the most active guy on Twitter, I could easily look at my feed and see only tweets from people I know will only give me the highest quality of content. Basically, you use the leaders of your field to curate the content for you. I find this to be highly effective. Even though I have not used this method on other forms of social media, I imagine it would work similarly on Facebook (though less effectively) and Google+.

The internet is a filled up place now with lots of content. Let us say that over half of that content is utter crap. Once you have your curation methods in place, I am certain that you are still going to get some terrible, terrible posts or information in your feeds. Take your list of URLs, plop them into Ontolo’s URL reviewer (good god, y’all! That thing rules!), and open up the pages. Read the headings. That is it. Go through each one, and you can probably get through each page in less than ten seconds. If you deem it worthy of reading and need to read more than the headings, keep the tab open. Otherwise, you close that beast (CTRL+W) and move on to the next one. I do not feel like I have ever missed out on a good post using the heading-reading method (what a wretched name, suggestions?).

When watching videos, use the Wadsworth Constant always unless you are listening to music. It will work.

A Less Verbose Conclusion

There are a few things I would like to mention and might like to talk about at a later date. Batching is extremely effective, but you have to know how to batch. It is worth practicing, but you will not be very efficient when you first start doing it. Learning how to apply the Pareto Principle can help you with everything in your life. And Parksinson’s law is very real and very effective. Now that I think of it, yes, I would like to talk about those more, but I have a few things left on my list to knock out. Let’s get some shit down, brethren.

The GSD Version of the Post:

Turn off social media and ignore everything on the internet that does not help you do your job. Do it now as fast and effectively as you can. Make lists. Complete the list. Separate work and home.

The Getting Shit Done Manifesto

I, [your name], refuse to recite a long manifesto because I am now focused on my next task. I rule today and will forever.

Be an Outreach Mercenary – Target the Right Community

Outreach Mercenary

“If you build it, they will come.” Damn straight. Sometimes, my client’s content would not go as far as I thought it would. The team would look at it and think, “that is a mighty fine piece of infographic, and it deserves all that it gets.” And there were times when that might have been the case. If planned correctly, we would already have target sites for submission and target people for sharing requests. Boom, great, everything is setup and good to go. Then, it just… does not… get there. All of the expected traffic and blowing up… it was MADE it to be viral, goddammit!


No, sadly, we cannot blame this one on the internet.  Like in most instances, you try like hell not to blame your customers. In this case, we should not be blaming our content consumers. There are probably a few problems with whatever it is you made did not do its job, and that is okay. The first step is accepting that the content did not succeed at meeting the goals and to move on to figuring out why so that you can improve the what or how.

Entirely Wrong Ocean

Sure, there might be plenty of fish in the sea, but what are you doing in the wrong ocean? You could be in the entirely wrong community for all you know. This is one of the reasons why clients need to be a part of the content creation process. They know their industry better than us. They should also know where their traffic lives on the web. People use the web to talk, interact, get their licenses to become preachers, and bitch about each other anonymously. We need them to do that about our content. If you do not know where those people are talking and hanging out, you are probably wasting your time and money. Just because that dude over there says that forums are complete shit does not mean that the old fogies in your niche are not there ready to promote your content for you on some ragged-ass forum. Find them like you are an assassin. They are your targets, and your clients are paying you to be a bad ass outreach mercenary.

Well, It Ain’t the Illiad

Yeah, yeah, yeah, stats, dates, numbers, sizes, … data, data, data. We get it. Infographics have data on them. Come the hell on. You can do better than that! Create a whitepaper, a resource guide, a how-to, an original meme… something! I have faith in this interesting, and, if that last post is an indicator about how I feel about content, let me tell you: there is more bull shit being published than ever, and I think it is our duty to steer our clients away from it. Do something different. More importantly, take your awesome content and push it to a variety of communities. Be out there and test who the right users are for you. Your content might be highly complex, and it will be hard for that one blog to eat it up. They need to be able to chew and swallow the food you are giving them. If you are going around choking everybody, well, then you’re a Scranton strangler, and no one appreciates that.

I Have a Dream… of Clients Interacting with Their Community

Do not discount forums, blogs, social sites, or anything that allows you to interact with your community. You cannot let any potential group of customers go because, when marketing is done correctly, they will become your biggest advocates. Build the relationships up with the people who can help you out in the long run. When your brand is not huge enough to be easily recognized by a commonplace person, you are going to rely on the little guy. The internet might be full of douchebags, but they are your douchebags.

Wake Up Call at Stop Dicking Around o’ Clock, Please

My main motivation for writing this post is because I have fallen for most of these issues. Now I greatly enjoy seeing fresh content. Instead of trying to pump out a specific number of articles or infographic, I want to push for a specific quality of content. I want to make our clients linkable. That is what it comes down to for me. I love link building, and I love having something to reach out with to get links. I want the ammunition.

To date the most successful piece of content I have dealt with did not take weeks to create. It was not going back and forth with an agency trying to get some text fixed. It was five hours of my own time doing hilariously easy number tweaking. I published my content in the right places which, in this case, were Reddit and a video game forum. Now, it is not amazing, but for five hours it is cost effective:

Reddit SuccessForum Success

In the first 24 hours of my forum post, I had over 16000 views on my forum thread and 50 comments. These people are engaged because my content was simple, digestible, and interesting. They were the right community.

Talking with people on the forum and Reddit threads was FUN and attracted a lot of attention. Be linkable. Find the right people. Tell them about your crappy product or service that they are going to love, but you do not stand out there like a bard telling tales of your greatness. No, you sit around a campfire telling your story to people who are wildly interested in you. Then, they take your story, and they tell it in their homes and around their own fires. Damn, that kicks ass.

The Internet’s Bubonic Plague: Content Oversaturation

The Internet's Bubonic Plague-Content Oversaturation

Days of content are uploaded to YouTube in less than an hour. Blogs are published by the hundreds around the world in various niches. Infographics are plastered everywhere across the web every day. We live in an odd age. We have too much information. What is happening to the internet now is a dilemma in that we have an oversaturation of content. It is like a Christmas with divorced parents, and the children gave them the same list. They get double the presents but the same toys, and they are just stacking up on each other. That is one hell of a mess.

In the SEO world, we know that content is an extremely important facet of a website. It gives users a place to learn more about your business and its knowledge as well as provides a place for them to discuss it. Even though this is good, when we have thousands of companies who do know how to do it properly, you end up with the same or very similar content. This is a bad user experience. There are so many ways that you can screw in a light bulb, and writing different blog posts about it is not helping the user.

So, what is the solution to the internet plague of content oversaturation? Content innovation. What is going to happen is that users will gravitate towards platforms that are very simplistic and have the most diversity in content and social interaction. We already have content hubs where we recognize the thought leaders but even the content there will wax and wane. This is why Reddit is as successful as it is. Content is curated at a scalable rate, and the terrible content does not stay for long because of votes and moderators.

My argument is that content creation is good, but you are wasting your time and money if you are publishing content that you can easily find in other places on the web. You have to push your business to find new ways to market to your customers with different types of content. Don’t just do what all of the other cool kids are doing. Get your hands dirty, create some content that you are not sure will succeed in a new way, and let it fail or succeed. Properly market that content, test it out, and see if it is any good. Even if it fails, you will know something that other people do not, and you are ahead of the game. I would rather see a junky piece of content that is delivered in an interesting way than a blog post I can read elsewhere.

Social media, video, and infographics WERE great and still are very effective. But what is next? Whoever comes up with that answer is going to kick serious ass because some of us are tired of list blog posts and crappy infographics. Be that guy/gal.

I recommend at least listening to Distilled’s video on 2013 link building here.