Cemper's Link Building and SEO Podcast

Cemper's Link Building and SEO Podcast

The best of Cemper's webinars on Links, Link Audit and Link Building

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00:00:12: We're back with Cemper's link building and SEO podcast and we got another amazing guest today. His name is Dan Thies and you probably heard about him because he's been in the industry for

00:00:25: 25 years or something. Who are you Dan and what is your background and history?

00:00:30: I started doing SEO before we called it SEO. It was just a bunch of people hanging out on my IRC trying to rank number one for sex

00:00:39: on Infoseek because you could reload every 15 minutes and try again.

00:00:45: I've got SEO Fast Start - probably my most popular book might be the most downloaded SEO book ever. We don't know. We know we've had millions of downloads, but I don't know who else reads what.

00:00:55: I've been doing this for ever and it's interesting to see it evolve and how much it doesn't change though.

00:01:02: And what is your company, what is your main business or your main product that you basically make a living of? Why do you get up in the morning?

00:01:14: Until a few years ago we were called the SEO Braintrust, now we're The Marketer's Braintrust and that just reflects the fact that SEO is only a part of what we do,

00:01:23: you have to do real marketing to do real SEO these days anyway. I think our main thing right now we have a small number of clients that we do content marketing, social marketing for SEO,

00:01:36: I still run a few AdWords accounts because I like doing it, but mostly what we're doing is our Resultflow software which is

00:01:44: a process automation and even some kinds of promotion and content automation to run the kind of marketing campaigns we do.

00:01:52: That sounds exciting can you repeat the name of the product or service that you just mentioned.

00:01:57: It's called Resultflow and with any luck by the time this podcast actually goes anywhere, we will actually have a website at resultflow.com that people can see that doesn't say lorem.ipsum so much.

00:02:10: You should see a spike in traffic in a couple days already.

00:02:15: What I liked about what you just said is that is that you're doing the content marketing for the SEO. So let me let me ask you a little bit a second question.

00:02:26: What are you exactly trying to do with SEO? What is your process or what is your trick?

00:02:33: Why is it different from people just writing great content in and waiting for links to come in?

00:02:38: So I always been kind of a heretic when it comes to linkbuilding back when people wrote the first

00:02:45: building blog networks and went out buying links and stuff like that, we would do things like article marketing.

00:02:50: But the article marketing we've done was trying to get a bunch of links from the articles, we were trying to use that as a way to find Publishers that want content so that then we could go to them directly.

00:03:00: and place content on their websites. These days what we really focus on is a marketing strategy where we start at the top of the funnel on social channels like Facebook,

00:03:09: build an audience and as we build that audience, we can start to expose them to our own content, but you can literally build an audience and get enough people to get links from.

00:03:19: Just by doing social marketing and you can even do that entirely with other people's content as a starting point.

00:03:24: Which is basically what I also say sometimes in my training when I tell people to actually,

00:03:33: buy advertising for Pages linking to them or for content that they want linked or for even building links to those pages that

00:03:42: link to them. Basically giving your exposure, more exposure.

00:03:46: Yeah, the formulas pretty simple. I mean,

00:03:49: if your're familiar with the Drake equation, you know, how many planets could support life? How many aliens are out there? It's the same thing with link building. How many people can I get to the page, how many of them would want to link to it and how many could?

00:04:01: Because the number that could now, is only when I started doing this you had to know how to write code to give someone a link. Now you can do that by pushing a button and so just getting more people on the page and targeting the right kind of people,

00:04:14: We see the links build, we don't have to go out and beg, buy and borrow, but if you're going to do that, it's much easier if you got an audience where if I can send a thousand people to my website, I can also sent those people to your website for a blog post.

00:04:26: And if I ask you for a link after I've done that a few times and you can see Dan says hi in your Analytics campaigns list,

00:04:34: you're much more likely to respond favorably and want to do me favors because I'm already doing favors for you.

00:04:40: Oh wow, so you're saying you using the UTM tracking of Google Analytics or other analytics packages to sneak in your message in the Analytics?

00:04:50: Mostly I just mess with people I know.

00:04:54: You know cuz in any given week for a lot of SEOs they're not really focused on trying to drive more traffic to their site, Consultants are not doing a whole lot on their own site because

00:05:05: what's the point

00:05:06: they can only do so much work. So you might have somebody who is getting a thousand visitors a week and they get a thousand from me that says "Dan says hi" and there's a spike in there and when they dig down there

00:05:18: they're mad at me.

00:05:19: Was this your cool takeaway to share your tip with people doing SEO, link building, link audits and marketing or do you have a second surprize for me?

00:05:32: I think the biggest thing people overlook is that a manual link building and stuff like that, going out and trying to solicit, trying to get anchortext for this or the other thing. That's just not

00:05:42: scalable or really a reasonable approach for a small business. What you really should be doing is producing content and then promoting the heck out of that content and that's what we do for our clients.

00:05:54: We're typically dealing with startup small businesses.

00:06:05: Trying to build your brand and build your name and don't just get traffic because the cost of just getting traffic, the cost of ranking on short tail keywords no matter how you do it, is much higher than the cost of just getting more traffic

00:06:18: that ends up converting.

00:06:21: That's a good point and I think when you say you start with building out that great content, and promoting the heck out of it, the result would be links but getting the audience that is interested in the content is what you really want and when you

00:06:37: have that landing page that would be a blank page having all the traffic you would have won nothing even if you could rank number one still.

00:06:51: We think of this as being sort of if you think about your customer Journey, your sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, they don't know who you are.

00:07:00: We're targeting them by interest and everything else, we know what kind of stuff they want, we like to think of what we're doing is we're producing sort of a digital lifestyle magazine for whoever that ideal customer is.

00:07:12: That allows us to build an audience, an email list. IOne of the easiest ways to get link to something is to email a link to it.

00:07:21: You've put up a new blog post about Penguin three months ago and you emailed it.

00:07:28: And I would be shocked if you didn't get hundreds or thousands of links as a result of that email. So all marketing is really SEO.

00:07:38: If you handle the on-site site stuff correctly, which is a lot of people don't, the rest of it is just marketing.

00:07:46: A good point. This is where the online in marketing goes away and when people talk about you know this or that specific,

00:07:56: way of doing it either linkbuilding or social or SEO in general doesn't work. This is usually when some specific tactic they used

00:08:05: stopped working.

00:08:06: Why aren't my rankings going up? I don't know. It could be the blog network you're in. With tools like yours

00:08:18: you can spot people in a blog network so easily. Imagine how easy that is for Google. It's just a matter of them deciding to do it.

00:08:24: You can't hide it because you have to have them find the links at if they can find the links, they can see the rest of it.

00:08:29: Yeah, we specialize in that.

00:08:32: I've noticed, yes.

00:08:33: Even you've used Link Detox.

00:08:34: Yeah, it's been a few years since we've done clean up stuff ourselves, but when we were

00:08:42: LinkResearchTools was one of the few that really sort of did a good enough job of identifying bad links that it save this time. We still did Manual review on everything.

00:08:55: can't decide on removing a link without looking at it. But the biggest thing is, we're trying to lift a penalty, we want to work on the worst links first.

00:09:07: And the ones of the best candidates. The coolest things that you do, is you actually sort them into types which sometimes it's forum links. I know what the answer that is going to be from the forum owner that my client spammed, right? Go away!

00:09:22: Stop emailing us spam report, right?

00:09:25: But if it's a Blog where there's comments telling him "hey there's bad comments and all those bad comments have these words in it or they were posted by this name"

00:09:36: give them the short link to the search URL in WordPress so they can find it, those you can get cleaned up and removed faster. So being able to sort and categorize them was something that we didn't have that ability to do, other than doing my hand but you do a lot of that automatically.

00:09:48: Yeah, exactly that's what it was all built for: saving time. It's something that just gets more important now that we have this recent update what we finally can crack on the hundreds or multi hundreds or even,

00:10:01: billions of links.

00:10:03: It definitely has the feel of a tool that was built by someone who was going to use it first.

00:10:09: We finally got there. I mean we got there five years ago. It was 2012 already. Do you know that Link Detox was actually meant to be as a free leadgen tool where we just put together all the data that we had,

00:10:23: to show off what kind of data we could get by combining all these different pieces of the data puzzle? I only realized months later that this is actually a business by itself.

00:10:33: It was free, but that was good for us too.

00:10:40: Yeah, I love free tools, but at some point I think a lot of us try and get too far on a free tools without recognizing that sometimes you just gotta pay somebody to work for you and,

00:10:52: when you got a tool like this that's being actively developed and someone's always trying to make it better, you should be paying for that.

00:10:58: That's something that

00:11:02: we more or less have in the markets now. I think this free attitude is something that

00:11:08: even I started with. I made a big mistake spending a month actually writing software for a PageRank crawler until I bought a $100 tool in December 2003 or so from some Chinese guy

00:11:22: and basically I wasted some weeks of my life,

00:11:25: developing stuff myself back then. I think everyone starts out with this free thinking, with the thinking okay all this information is free. Look at all these blogs, all these great training material and I'm going to learn from that.

00:11:40: The reality is you know there's only so much detail that you can get them in free training, right?

00:11:45: Yeah, well actually I was delivered a lot of training over the years. That used to be my primary business.

00:11:52: I used to have a rule that I wouldn't teach anything that that couldn't be done entirely with free tools, even if it might be a lil bit more convenient. But it's past the point where that's even possible. If you want to run Facebook ads and you're not using something like AdEspresso,

00:12:06: you're literally burning money because AdEspresso can can get your campaign started a few minutes faster and that actually makes a difference in

00:12:16: the engagement because of recency. It's kind of passed the time when you when you can use free tools, but there are lot of good tool that don't really cost that much when you do the math on the time they save.

00:12:27: That was my question before which channels are you advertising to and targeting and and segmenting people. I'm hearing it's Facebook mostly.

00:12:36: Mostly it's Facebook. Facebook and Google.

00:12:39: Our campaigns help us identify the people that are interested in particular kind of contents. The engagement analysis on Facebook which they just launched, is awesome for us.

00:12:51: With Google we harvest clicks out of display ads and things like that.

00:12:56: And then those remarketing audiences feedback and other campaigns. So we can really talk on the health of our campaign based on how many people are in the different remarketing pools that kind of represent different stages down the funnel or different

00:13:09: groups of people moving up the funnel. It can be people who like dogs over here and people like cats over there. They're all going to buy dog and cat food in the end.

00:13:16: Yeah that's some fun stuff and eventually a cat sitter or how to stop my dog from barking info product..

00:13:26: If there's an interest, the market will provide, right?

00:13:30: That's so exciting to hear about all these different

00:13:36: ways of marketing that you also employ. We do a lot of this stuff on the side so to say, just to promote our products LinkResearchTools or Link Detox.

00:13:49: I love the complexity and this ever-changing new opportunity that is so more.

00:13:59: Yeah, your geek shows shows out in your posts for sure.

00:14:04: He's all excited about this weird complicated way that he helped identify this certain kind of spam link.

00:14:11: Yeah, yeah.

00:14:12: There's 8 of us that are really even go to understand this it on any level and the rest of us can go out: cool they got a new thing. Let's see what it does.

00:14:18: Oh, yeah.

00:14:21: That's the price you pay for being a software developer, aside from paying developers.

00:14:25: Exactly, exactly alright.

00:14:28: Thank you very much for this. So we're actually at minute 14 now and I want to keep it short and sweet for the audience. Do you have some final statements, some final hidden tricks, tools, something you wanna talk 50 seconds?

00:14:41: Now just I think what you want you're doing here is cool. You kind of got sort of like a murderer's row started up with the guest list, so happy part of it.

00:14:49: Excited to have you and I look forward to polishing this, as soon as possible.

00:14:57: And if you want an automated transcription solution, let me build you one.

00:15:01: I have that already. I didn't tell you? It's all automated. I could go live today, but that is why I actually asked on Facebook whould one per day be enough for you or you want more. But, well, that is my geek.

00:15:16: I'm going to have to try this casting out cuz I'm getting ready to start a podcast and I want it to be is as simple as possible. If I have to edit it, something's wrong.

00:15:25: There's actually 3 more tools involved in the plan, So Cast is just doing the recording here, but so far it was really cool. The other one that you want is Auphonic, actually an Austrian company and the other thing works together with

00:15:40: Zapier

00:15:42: I got it all set up between the different products and when I push the button, this thing gets produced,gets uploaded to YouTube, to SoundCloud, to our podcasting service and my team gets a Slack message that we take

00:15:57: your headshot. Well, the image for the cover we still do manually.

00:16:06: Thank you very much, Dan. I hope I could have you again when we're through the list for another update. because I really enjoyed this and it feels like I want to do this,

00:16:20: for the rest of my life.

00:16:22: Okay you'll get tired eventually. So take breaks in between sessions.

00:16:26: Alright. Thank you very much. Bye, bye everyone.

About this podcast

Christoph C. Cemper is a well-known and distinguished expert in SEO who started link building for clients in 2003, building the LinkResearchTools since 2006 and marketing it as SaaS product since 2009. When the famous Google Penguin update changed the rules of SEO in 2012, Christoph started Link Detox, software for finding links that pose a risk in a website’s backlink profile. He introduced ongoing link audits and risk management to the market in early 2011.

by Christoph C. Cemper

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