AskPat Episode 131 Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 131 of AskPat. Super stoked you're here. As always, I'm here to help you answer your online biz questions five days a week. Today we have a question from Joel who got some advice from a teacher, and I'm going to be responding to this teacher and Joel's question in just a second, but before that I want to get to today's amazing sponsor which is FreshBooks.com/AskPat.
FreshBooks.com is awesome because it's the cloud accounting software that you can use to help organize everything related to your finances and your business, and I am always kicking myself because I wish that I had found this sooner. I was using Excel and just keeping shoeboxes of receipts and all that stuff. FreshBooks has made my life so much easier. The sooner you start using FreshBooks, the sooner you can actually start organizing what's going on in your business and focusing more on the things that you need to be focusing on and not just trying to organize or play catch up during tax season. So again, if you go to FreshBooks.com and enter the show name, “AskPat,” in the “How'd you hear about us” section, you can start a free trial right now.
Now let's get to today's question from Joel.
Joel: Hey, Pat, I recently had an internet marketing class. I'm working towards my bachelor's in marketing. In my class, professor said that you should never in any circumstance have links from your website to other pages on your website. She says that doing this will make search engines think that you're trying to game the system to rank you higher, and they'll basically shut you down and not link you at all. However, in a recent SPI podcast, you said at the end of blogs to link to other blog posts you've written to keep the conversation going. Is there a trick to make sure that you aren't sending the wrong signals to Google? Thanks for the response.
Pat Flynn: Hey Joel, thanks so much for this question. I'm curious to know, and you don't have to tell me about, but I'm just very curious about who's giving you this advice because it is terrible advice that you've gotten. You should absolutely be linking to other parts of your blog or your website within your own site. It's called interlinking, and actually, Google looks for that and favors sites who do that. Think of Wikipedia. They're always at the top of every single, almost what it seems like every single search term out there and they link, and the reason for that is they link to so many other parts of their site. Things related to that search term, sources and citations, all those things are links to other parts of the site. So whoever's telling you this is, I don't know if I would continue to learn from them because unless it was just a misunderstood tip, it's just wrong. You absolutely should be linking to other parts of your own site.
I mean, think about it from a user's perspective. If I go to a blog post and I read it and it's great, and I want to get more information, it would cause me a headache not to have something convenient to click on. Google wants to reward the most user-friendly, highest value websites out there. And in order to be user-friendly and provide and continue to provide people who come to your site, you need to link to different parts of your site. Absolutely. I mean my site, I mean . . . I link to as many posts that I've written in the past related to my current posts or podcasts as possible. You should be linking to other sites outside of your site as well, one that would provide value and add value to the particular post or piece of content that you're writing. I honestly don't know what the deal is here, but beyond that, so now that you know that that's my answer, I am going to go over some specific back linking advice and tips for you too, because there are some other things involved with linking specifically, not just on your own site but outside of your site that you can use to your advantage as well. So this is some education beyond just what the question was about, but I think this is important.
So backlinks are important. These are links coming from other sites pointing back to your site because in Google's eyes, that sort of counts as a vote that your site is worth paying attention to. Now for the longest time, people knew that and they were gaming the system. I even did it myself a little bit with SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com when I did Niche Site Duel 1.0. You can get more information about how I built that site and how I got it to number one at NicheSiteDuel.com. To do that, I created other sites manually, myself, and linked back to my main site at SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com and that was sort of gray hat stuff and that sort of stuff, like creating articles and submitting articles to other sites, that just simply are there to link back to your site, that stuff doesn't work anymore. I mean, it still works, but you can be penalized for that, so I wouldn't take risk. It still works, a lot of people are using the same strategies and are seeing success with it, but I feel like it's dangerous. It's only a matter of time before Google finds everybody, but obviously they have a lot of bigger fish to worry about. But I wouldn't play that game with them.
So there's legit ways that you should be focusing on to get the most out of your work and efforts through backlinking. It's going to sound obvious and you've probably heard this before, but I'm going to reiterate it for everybody. So number one is you want to create massive value on your site. The more value your site has, the more people are going to link to it, just naturally. I think that's what Google wants. They want people to naturally link to sites, not force and game the system but actually have people for real link to the site because they feel its value, and it's something they want to share with their audience or their followers who have you. You want your content so good that they can't help but share it because it is just everything that they need. So what goes along with that is understanding all the problems, the issues, the pains and the wants and the needs of your audience. So really understanding what it is they're looking for, talking to them, having them understand what, or having you understand what it is that they would like to see written about or videos created about or podcast episodes created about, and just delivering that and going over-the-top so that people will thank you for it but also share it, like it, you know, retweet it, all that good stuff. All that stuff matters in terms of search engine rankings.
Second thing you can do is you can connect with other influencers. These are people who have the same target audience as you, and you can do guest posts. So you write a post that is again, high massive value, and you give it to that person who has this audience that you're trying to get in front to, and they post it on their site. Then at the end it says, “Hey, this is written by Joel, here's his website, here's a link to his website,” so not only are you getting the direct traffic coming from that site, but you're getting a back link as well. Now Google recently has said, Matt Cutts from Google has said, that the guest posting stuff doesn't work as well anymore, or it's not going to work at all in terms of backlinking and SEO rankings but still, it's really important to know that you will get direct traffic and you are getting exposure in front of an audience that is not your own, potentially a lot of brand new eyes and ears on what you're providing, and those people can share and retweet and potentially link to your site as well. So you're not getting the immediate backlinking benefit like people used to get. That's why people would go on these huge guest posting runs and guest posts on, like, five sites a day. That for the purpose of a backlink doesn't work as well, but I still think it should be done. There's nothing bad that can come out of it. You won't get penalized for guest posting, you just don't get the benefit that you used to get.
Here's a cool thing that I've been seeing lately: guest videoing. Because there's something about YouTube. YouTube is obviously owned by Google. When Google sees integration with websites, they rank them much higher. So not only should you be creating YouTube videos for your self, so taking that blog hunt that you have and perhaps creating a sort of summary or an addendum, more of an addition in a YouTube video explaining something or showing tutorials or whatever the case may be. Putting an embedding those videos onto your blog posts with the same title, that'll help with SEO for sure, but have you ever thought about doing a guest video? A guest video. If you've taken the time to do a video and it's high quality, and you give it to somebody else and say, “Hey, I want to give this to you and your audience, and I just have a small mention at the end to have people come to my site, but it is something I found I think that would be useful for your audience,” more than likely they're going to at least consider it because you've at least taken the time and you've mentioned that it was for them.
Caleb Wojcik from DIYVideoGuy.com did this for my audience. He was coming out with a book, and he actually gave me one of the tutorials in the book to put on my YouTube channel to show people how to do something that I haven't yet taught my audience how to do. That was a video on how to go through Screenflow. That did really well for me and my audience, they all liked it, but then they all went to Caleb's site and many of those people bought his book, and he did really well with the launch of his book. So Caleb, if you're listening to this, awesome. And lastly, a third thing you could do, a lot of these gray hat things, like I said, they still do work, but I wouldn't play that game myself, but I'm just mentioning this because it does work for some now.
And I would recommend following Glen Allsopp from ViperChill.com. He talks a little bit about this. Alex Becker is another person who does a lot of this stuff, creating things like private blog networks. Those things, you risk your site if you do that. If you're building a business, you don't want to all of a sudden wake up and be like, “Oh my gosh, Google penalized me for this work that I did, and now I don't have a site anymore, all my income's gone.” So that's why I like those first two strategies, connecting with other influencers but also focusing on the content and the value that you're providing to your audience. If you do that, those are things that are always going to be ranking high. You're going to have a good shot at getting to the top and providing value and having a winning website.
So Joel, I hope that answers your question and then some, which I think you did, and yeah, so thank you so much for your question, I really appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially future to hear on the show as well just like Joel did, head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on the Speakpipe widget on that page. You can use your internal mic or whatever mics you have laying around.
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Thanks so much, and as always, I'm going to end with a quote, and this is a quote from Jay Abraham, and he says, “No one ever succeeds without the help of others.”
No one ever succeeds without the help of others. So true. Cheers, thanks so much, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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