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  1. #1
    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
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    Default GPWA Times Magazine: Links are dead: Long live links

    You can no longer rank on links alone. But here's the catch: You still need links to gain visibility. Nick Garner explains the why and the how.

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    Read this article in the July 2018 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine.

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    Links certainly don't seem to work as well as they used to. One of the best ways that really works is social media marketing. There's a lot more competition and it's harder to stay in top position in the search engines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vtyunby65 View Post
    Links certainly don't seem to work as well as they used to.
    I'd rather say that only good links keep working like a charm. Then we can discuss what makes a link good
    In theory i'm a SEO. In practice i solve problems. A bit like Winston Wolf.

    Akamust

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    Quote Originally Posted by vtyunby65 View Post
    Links certainly don't seem to work as well as they used to. One of the best ways that really works is social media marketing. There's a lot more competition and it's harder to stay in top position in the search engines.
    Social media? Youtube gambling accounts are being closed, Facebook groups are being closed. Don't know if social media is really the place to be...

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    Yeah links dontwork pfff.. I wonder why so many brands still buy **** ton of links from me.
    oh yeah and SEO is dead as well.
    LoL

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    Nickg is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Nick Garner, author of this article here. From what I can see, social media works if you really understand that niche. I have a Bitcoin casino called Oshi and we regularly get twitch streamers pitching us for example.


    In Russia, social media is huge because gambling sites are blocked by the Russian government and these sites do something called domain hopping, where they change the web address frequently to avoid the Russian firewall.


    The best way to find out where the newest casinos are is to follow these Russian social media casino affiliates. As a result these individuals are very powerful and can drive huge traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nirmeister View Post
    Yeah links dontwork pfff.. I wonder why so many brands still buy **** ton of links from me.
    oh yeah and SEO is dead as well.
    LoL
    The problem with links is the cause and effect relationship is very loose. So, if you're a good salesperson and you've got links which satisfies someone preconceived idea of what a good link should be, there are going to buy!

    I'm as guilty as anyone for selling expensive links that I don't believe work. However they wanted them, we had them and there was profit.

    These days since I'm busy with my casino, I don't do link selling so much. But people keep asking...

    And on 'SEO is dead' , it depends on your definition of SEO. If you're talking on-site optimisation, it's as alive as it ever was. If you're talking about gaming Google because of its vulnerabilities, that's largely dead in my view.

    The new game is 'gaming humans' into clicking on your page, giving them what they want and being clever with conversion. Then you rank because users want you there and you make money because you know how to convert them.

    In my view too many affiliates are living in the past when it comes to ranking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by must View Post
    I'd rather say that only good links keep working like a charm. Then we can discuss what makes a link good
    Nick Garner here, writer of that article. For what it's worth, I think a good link is one that is:
    - used at the right time in the ranking cycle. I.e. when a domain needs to be ranked so it can be auditioned by Google (read the article so you understand what I'm on about)
    - from a domain that Google trusts that has lots of other trustworthy sites linking to it. In other words, the site ranks.
    - A link that has good internal page rank. I.e. it's on a prominent page within the site


    A bad link IMHO is:
    - one that uses any metric like trust flow, Citation flow, domain authority and so on. These are an attempt at emulating the 'power' Google assigns to a link. I've done numerous data crunching exercises and never found a meaningful correlation with any of these third-party metrics.
    - A link that is used at the wrong time. When a webpage from a domain has been auditioned on Google search results and users don't like it, that page starts sinking. Enough weaker than expected user satisfaction and the whole domain starts to sink in the rankings. You can pump up a domain with links, but every time you do it's going to have less and less effect. You either start a new domain or sort out the fundamental problems with your user engagement.
    - Links on domains that have been hawked around numerous link sellers

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    Here! Here! Couldn't agree with you more on this Nick.

    Been saying for a while the only tool worth looking it is SEMrush (or similar) ie does the site rank (ideally for relevant terms in the relevant country or at the very least terms with a relevant connection, which of course you get from Rush & similar). Sod all other metrics. Although I would say majestic is still useful if you want to go as far as checking it's link profile.

    But relying on these metrics, (from my experience) was basically something agencies used to do to give juniors an easy barometer so we didn't have to check their work quite so much. The problem is these juniors became seniors without anyone actually explaining to them the use of these metrics, which was basically just to write of the bottom of the barrel garbage not as the be all and end all. Then they taught the next generation and so on......

    That said I'm pretty sure we've had this conversation before :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickg View Post
    Nick Garner here, writer of that article. For what it's worth, I think a good link is one that is:
    - used at the right time in the ranking cycle. I.e. when a domain needs to be ranked so it can be auditioned by Google (read the article so you understand what I'm on about)
    - from a domain that Google trusts that has lots of other trustworthy sites linking to it. In other words, the site ranks.
    - A link that has good internal page rank. I.e. it's on a prominent page within the site


    A bad link IMHO is:
    - one that uses any metric like trust flow, Citation flow, domain authority and so on. These are an attempt at emulating the 'power' Google assigns to a link. I've done numerous data crunching exercises and never found a meaningful correlation with any of these third-party metrics.
    - A link that is used at the wrong time. When a webpage from a domain has been auditioned on Google search results and users don't like it, that page starts sinking. Enough weaker than expected user satisfaction and the whole domain starts to sink in the rankings. You can pump up a domain with links, but every time you do it's going to have less and less effect. You either start a new domain or sort out the fundamental problems with your user engagement.
    - Links on domains that have been hawked around numerous link sellers
    Good article Nick, didn't agree on every point (When does that ever happen to be fair) but overall, very solid!

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    Hi Nick,

    we met some time ago (I think it was LAC 2017)

    agree with most of your points (of course I read the article already).

    As catchingsmoke wrote already, the main problem with the metrics from tools like Majestic is that they are often followed blindly instead of being used as an additional help to evaluate the domains.

    A big part of what I do with my days is... providing links. And what I do when providing each link is:
    1) check the site itself (does it look good?)
    2) check the content in it (is it written well?)
    3) check the metrics from tools like Majestic, and the referring domains pointing to it (so to understand how the site got those metrics)
    4) check the organic traffic of the domain (is it ranking? for which keywords? how's the trend? there are signs of penalties?)
    5) get a well-written article to be published on the site, with the link to the client that will look not just natural, but inevitable (if there was no link, the user would have to go on Google and search for the non-linked site?)

    It does take time for a link like this to be built (and that's why I charge more than the usual guy sending big lists of domains with a bit of everything in it, where the client has to spend hours just to figure out if there's anything good in it), but I know it inevitably works.
    In theory i'm a SEO. In practice i solve problems. A bit like Winston Wolf.

    Akamust

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    The link to the magazine doesn't work
    Play different Worldwide Lotteries online. Visit Poland Lotto to read latest lottery news. Maybe you are interested in Philippines Lotto (PCSO).

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    looks like the whol gpwa times site is down

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    Good article, plenty of information, some black hat as the seasoning...I enjoyed reading it.

    Mind if I ask you some questions on PM, Nick?

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    Wanted to read this article, but there is some problem. The link doesn`t work.
    Hope it will be fixed soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petjah View Post
    Social media? Youtube gambling accounts are being closed, Facebook groups are being closed. Don't know if social media is really the place to be...
    That's why Twitch is on the rise

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    Hey Nick. Believe it or not what you described in the article is almost 100% identical how I evaluate sites for links. Except I've been doing it manually up until now with SEMRush.

    I tried that service you recommended there and it's crazy I can now do this with 100+ sites at the same time and be done with in just a few minutes instead of manually checking every site. Thanks for this, this is going to help me so much.

    Something that I also use to do is I visit the sites I deem "good" based on their traffic data and will look around to get the general "feel" of the site - to see if the site actually looks like a real site or if it's just spam. I'll also read a few posts to evaluate the quality of the content.

    I'll also run a few searches on the most recent posts made (last 5 or 10) for the title and one or two paragraphs. Any decent site should under most circumstances rank for it's title (provided it's not a big money term) but should definitely rank page 1 on at least a full paragraph. If this is not the case for 1 or 2 pages it's fine (it could be a big money search term as title etc.) but if this is the case for most pages (or all) out of like 10 then that's a huge red flag; even if traffic data from the various tools indicates the site is good, it may have been recently penalized.

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    While I agree with mostly everything user engagement can also be faked with a team of low paid ppl using private proxies and behaving as you've told them.

    I believe the algo is far more complex or otherwise there'd be ppl already using that method which is probably far cheaper too
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    Good article, plenty of information, some black hat as the seasoning...I enjoyed reading it.

    Mind if I ask you some questions on PM, Nick?
    Since I'm fairly new to the forum, I don't have enough posts to direct message yet, so I hope you get this.
    If any of you guys want to ping me then Skype is good: nicholashgarner

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    Quote Originally Posted by xecutable View Post
    While I agree with mostly everything user engagement can also be faked with a team of low paid ppl using private proxies and behaving as you've told them.

    I believe the algo is far more complex or otherwise there'd be ppl already using that method which is probably far cheaper too
    You're touching on a very interesting subject. I have played around with these kind of bots and I know some black hat people who were also experimenting with them.


    Using 'mechanical Turk' people and giving them 'reasonable web surfer 'instructions i.e. 'go and find this' does work.

    However... Google still win because the economics of employing these people to push results up through extra click through rates et cetera don't make sense when you're working on a competitive phrase with even moderate traffic.


    And ultimately if the content isn't good enough, you going to have to do a lot of work/spend a large amount to keep that content ranking.


    Ironically, it's probably just a lot cheaper to sort out your content:
    - do you competitor analysis and see what content ranks and why
    - emulate the winners
    - pump in some links from trusted domains i.e. ones that rank
    - do your mechanical Turk
    - rank the page
    - and let genuine user engagement keep you there


    Aside I: about the links, there is a great argument for editorially justifiable links et cetera, but if you're doing some quick fix linking, services like SAPE are very interesting/good.

    Aside II: on the theme of the algorithm being complex, Google must have extremely mature systems for identifying click fraud. It makes sense they would employ some of this tech on fighting false click bot/mechanical Turk traffic.


    Nevertheless, people are obsessed with links. To me it shows that it's very tough to do truly 'rankable' content. That's why it's so important to follow a gap analysis process when working out why some content ranks from a user satisfaction point of view.


    @Must I agree, SEO metrics are a huge distraction unless used properly

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