With Google Panda and Penguin updates, the word link building has become a "bad word" because the rules surrounding building links are becoming more and more strict. BUT, link building is not necessarily bad--there are plenty of white hat seo options. We know there are a LOT of people out there who want to get in on building links but are scared and unsure of what they can and can't do. Today we address some tips and tricks on how to do white hat creative link building.


Hello, and welcome to our Creative Link Building video. I'm Chad Hill, and I have Adam Stetzer here with me today.

Good afternoon, Chad. Welcome to your new office. Looks good down there. We're talking about link building today, and I want to address this issue of building links that seems to have popped up.

With these Google updates, the word link building almost seems like a bad word these days, because things are getting tighter and tighter and the rules surrounding building links are becoming more and more stringent on Google's end, in terms of what they consider an earned link and what they consider high quality. So I know there's a huge appetite out there, and I want to address for our viewers today some tips and tricks on how to do creative link building. Of course, all white hat, all things that Google would approve of and see as adding a positive contribution to the internet. So what can we offer our viewers today?

Well, I think the umbrella that we typically talk about the right way to do link building is talking about content marketing. So we've been talking about content marketing for over a year, and really been doing it for even longer, before it was even called content marketing. But there's a lot of different things you can do and weight the way people go about getting links. And so the things that are out that you talked about are going and getting directory submissions and sort of low-value links that don't really add a whole lot to the web and to the experience of people on the web.

And so when you talk about content marketing, there really are a number of different things you can do. You can start, obviously, with an article that answers a question or that explores a topic that people are looking for. So that could be simply writing an article on the three things to do when you have a leaky faucet before you call a plumber. So that's one place to start.

And then when we talk about creative link building, though, that really, for me, gets into some of the newer, more fun things, like creating interesting videos that answer the same questions but bring a video component to it. Maybe even working on infographics and even some of the new topics like we talked about the other day, with newsjacking, trying to use the news and get your topic in as part of the news cycle.

Right, but before you go there, let's back up one second. So you're saying, point one, content marketing is a creative link building tactic. But can we talk about that for a second? Because you then said, well, you write an article and you put that somewhere.

So many people may be seeing that, saying, wait, wait, wait. Article marketing? That's not creative link building. That's been around forever. And so I'd like to ask you just to clarify.

And then let's talk about those exciting new creative ones after. But is content marketing and article marketing, are they the same thing? What are you actually proposing there?

Well, I think content marketing, to me-- I think content marketing, to me, is a broader idea of creating compelling, useful information for end users, not for search engines. And then placing it on websites where people are going to find that information. So rather than placing it on a website that has 100 different topics on it and is sort of a free-for-all, you put it on a website, you find a website that's category-relevant that already has traffic and has rankings for key words that are related to your subject matter. So I think that's what I would call contact marketing.

OK. And that's great. Because article marketing has taken on a totally different connotation and is not creative link building. In fact, it's been around for a long time. And what the article marketers tend to do is produce very, very low-grade, low-quality content that doesn't really serve any purpose other than to influence search engines, so it's considered manipulative. And then they mass-distribute, sometimes spinning their content to try to mask and hide their tracks. And they also put them on what Chad said, on sites that have very low value, do not have an audience, that are very broad and are not focused on a specific topic.

So I think, don't get confused. When we say, you want to do content marketing. The first thing to do is write a great article-- that's very different than doing what's become known as article marketing, which we would argue is not a good way to go.

But let's transition, then. So how can you get really creative in your content marketing, to really land those great links? And I think that you were starting to get into some of these advanced topics beyond the broad category of content marketing.

Yeah, right. So really, it's just like taking some of the newer technology and techniques-- so, for example, video. And there's a mass audience out there that likes to watch things and not read things or look at pictures. And so if you can create a video that answers those same types of questions, you're able to take that video and, again, place it on-- find websites, or maybe even YouTube in certain examples. But find websites where you can then get a link, where you can place that content where the audience will see it. But also, you can get a link back to your website as the creator of that content or the publisher of that content.

Excellent. Yeah, and video is an awesome new medium. And then infographics are also very visually appealing, right? So same idea there. You're using an alternative medium to communicate your message. You're creating something of value. You probably have some research and some stats that went into that infographic. I mean in a short sentence, what is an infographic?

Yeah, an infographic is really any time you take, like you said, a number of facts, and rather than presenting it as a bolded list of facts or a table, you try to think about, how can I create, how can I visually communicate these facts? And you put it into a graphic.

And so we've all seen them. They usually start with some broad stat, and then it narrows down and shows you how a number of different elements are related. And they're usually kind of fun to look at. And they're interesting because a lot of people like to place them in other content that they write and then reference back to them, because it looks better and it's more interesting to read.

Right, and if you've spent the time to do the graphic design and create this artwork, to me, you've really earned that link. And if others want to use it, that's excellent. It sort of goes viral. So that's an excellent technique.

And there's a whole number of sites out there that specialize in infographics and aggregating infographics. So if you create a video, you can't get your infographic on a video site. But if there's a good site that you're interested in and they accept infographics, then you can basically create a very interesting infographic, put it out there, and then of course, you want to promote it as much as possible.

Excellent. Well, those are two great pearls for creative link building. I think the last one we'll maybe touch on today is this newsjacking idea. I wrote a blog post on it at Search Engine Watch. We've been video-blogging on it. What is newsjacking?

Newsjacking is finding ways to insert yourself into the news cycle. So if there's already people interested in a topic because they hear about it on the news, and they start to search about it and learn more about it, what you're trying to do is sort of insert yourself into that discussion, either by adding something that wasn't in the initial story or by interpreting information.

So if you're an expert in a field and there's some-- searching and marketing is a great example. Google releases some big change to their algorithm, and if you can add value or interpret what that means for businesses, or even for a category business, that's actually newsjacking. You're sort of attaching yourself to a big news story and then adding your part or your component, your brand, to that story so that people can find you and find your information.

Excellent. Well, those are awesome creative link building tips. And we look forward to your feedback.