Connect with us

SEO

Broken Link Building: The Complete Guide

Published

on

Broken link building is one of the most popular link-building tactics around. It’s the fifth most widely used tactic according to Aira’s annual state of link building report, which crowdsources opinions from over 250 digital marketing professionals.

But it’s not entirely foolproof, and there’s some nuance to doing it well.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to get backlinks from broken link building.

But first, let’s cover the basics.

Broken link building is where you find a dead page with backlinks, create a similar page, then ask people linking to that page to link to you instead. The idea is that they’ll swap the link because they don’t want to send visitors to a broken resource.

It would be fair to say that SEOs are somewhat divided when it comes to this question.

In one video, Mark from Authority Hacker said:

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s an almost pointless tactic, and you shouldn’t waste your time with it.

If you dig through the comments on that video, one stands out:

YouTube commenter blaming Ahrefs for making broken link building sound so easy

Let’s set the record straight:

Broken link building isn’t easy. Sometimes it works well. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Is this because there’s something inherently wrong with the tactic?

No. It’s because link building is hard to execute well—whatever tactic you use. The better you understand the tactic, the more likely you are to have success.

Broken link building is a four-step process.

  1. Find broken pages with backlinks
  2. Vet the backlinks
  3. Create a replacement page
  4. Do outreach

1. Find broken pages with backlinks

It’s impossible to find highly-linked broken pages without SEO tools. Even if you find dead pages manually, you’ll need a backlink checker to see how many links they have. You can use Ahrefs’ free backlink checker for this, but life is much easier with full access to Ahrefs.

Keep this in mind as we go through the tactics below. You’ll need Ahrefs for ¾ of them.

Here are the tactics:

  1. Look for your competitors’ broken pages with backlinks
  2. Look for broken pages about a topic
  3. Look for broken links on competing websites
  4. Look for broken links on resource pages (doable without paid Ahrefs)

a) Look for your competitors’ broken pages with backlinks

Many of your competitors will have at least some dead pages because everyone moves, deletes, and reorganizes content over time. If they forget to redirect old URLs when doing this, their backlinks will point to broken pages.

Here’s how to find dead pages on your competitors’ websites:

  1. Go to Site Explorer
  2. Enter a competing domain
  3. Go to the Best by Links report
  4. Filter for “404 not found” pages
  5. Sort the report by Referring domains from highest to lowest

For example, there are 134 dead pages on Content Marketing Institute’s website, and some have backlinks from over 50 referring domains.

The Best by Links report in Ahrefs' Site ExplorerThe Best by Links report in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Your job is to sift through these pages for topics that make sense to create content about.

For example, the first page about “what is content marketing” makes sense for us because we have an entire blog category about content marketing. It’s the kind of topic we want to build links to.

If you don’t find a relevant broken page on one competitor’s website, repeat the process for others.

TIP

If you’re unsure who your competitors are, enter your domain into Site Explorer and go to the Competing Domains report. This shows other websites ranking in Google for the same keywords as you.

Competing Domains report in Ahrefs' Site ExplorerCompeting Domains report in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

b) Look for broken pages about a topic

Broken link building has traditionally always been about the method above. The disadvantage of this method is that you limit yourself to finding opportunities on a handful of sites.

The ideal solution to this problem would be searching the web for broken pages with backlinks about a particular topic. The only tool we’re aware of that allows you to do this is Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, a searchable database of billions of web pages.

Here’s how to use it to find broken pages about a topic:

  1. Enter a broad topic
  2. Switch the search mode to “In title”
  3. Hit search
  4. Filter for broken pages only
  5. Filter for pages with at least 20 referring domains

In the example below, there are 188 broken pages with at least 20 backlinks about content marketing:

Broken pages with 20+ referring domains in Ahrefs' Content ExplorerBroken pages with 20+ referring domains in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

To confirm a broken page, click the title to open it in a new tab.

Example of a broken pageExample of a broken page

TIP

Eyeball the “Page traffic” column to find pages that are more likely to have high-quality backlinks. If the page used to have traffic, its backlinks might have been helping it to rank.

Broken page that had organic traffic in the pastBroken page that had organic traffic in the past

If the page never had traffic, the backlinks might not be great.

Broken page that didn't have organic traffic in the pastBroken page that didn't have organic traffic in the past

c) Look for broken links on competing websites

Most websites frequently link to pages on other sites, and some of these will break over time. That means your competitors are likely to link to broken pages.

Here’s how to see broken pages your competitor is linking to:

  1. Go to Site Explorer
  2. Enter a competing domain
  3. Go to the Broken Links report

For example, robbierichards.com is linking to 32 dead pages:

Broken outgoing links in Ahrefs' Site ExplorerBroken outgoing links in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

To see which have the most referring domains, export the report, paste the broken URLs into Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool, and sort by total referring domains.

Using Ahrefs' Batch Analysis tool to see how many links point to broken outgoing linksUsing Ahrefs' Batch Analysis tool to see how many links point to broken outgoing links

Here are a few potential broken link building opportunities in the screenshot above:

  • Google’s discontinued mobile-friendly test tool: 2,654 RDs
  • SEJ’s guide to the Google Hummingbird algorithm: 462 RDs
  • Chatmeter’s list of local SEO stats: 276 RDs

d) Look for broken links on resource pages

Resource pages curate and link to resources on a particular topic. They’re a good source of broken pages with backlinks for two reasons:

  1. People rarely update them, so they often link to dead resources.
  2. They list helpful resources which often have links from many other sites.

To find resource pages in your industry, use one of these Google search operators:

  • KEYWORD intitle:resources inurl:links.html
  • KEYWORD intitle:links inurl: resources.html
  • KEYWORD inurl:resources intitle:resources

For example, here’s how we might search for resource pages about link building:

Searching for resource pages in GoogleSearching for resource pages in Google

Then you need to check for broken links on these pages, which you can do for free with Ahrefs’ SEO toolbar.

  1. Visit the page
  2. Click the toolbar icon
  3. Go to the “Links” tab
  4. Click “Check status”
  5. Filter for broken links only
Finding broken links on a page with Ahrefs' SEO ToolbarFinding broken links on a page with Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

To see the total backlinks to these pages, export the list of URLs and paste them into Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis Tool.

Using Ahrefs' Batch Analysis tool to see how many backlinks point to broken pagesUsing Ahrefs' Batch Analysis tool to see how many backlinks point to broken pages

2. Vet the link prospects

Many people jump straight to creating a “similar” replacement page after finding a dead page with backlinks. This is a mistake for two reasons:

  1. Your broken page may not have any good backlinks. In which case, there’s no point pursuing the opportunity or creating a replacement page.
  2. You need to understand why people linked to the dead page to create a replacement page. This is how you keep your content and outreach in sync, which leads to higher success rates.

You can figure out both things by vetting the page’s link prospects.

Here’s the process in a nutshell:

1653319967 652 Broken Link Building The Complete Guide1653319967 652 Broken Link Building The Complete Guide

a) Check link quality

If a broken link-building opportunity is unlikely to lead to high-quality links, it’s pointless pursuing it. So the first step is a quick spot check to see whether the dead page has desirable backlinks.

Here’s how to see a page’s live backlinks:

  1. Go to Site Explorer
  2. Enter the dead page’s URL
  3. Go to the Backlinks report
  4. Set the grouping mode to “One link per domain”
  5. Set “Show history” to “Don’t show”
Using the Backlinks report in Ahrefs' Site Explorer to check link qualityUsing the Backlinks report in Ahrefs' Site Explorer to check link quality

Then you can eyeball the report to get a sense of backlink quality.

You can do this by reviewing each link manually, but that’s inefficient for a spot check. It’s quicker to filter the report for links with attributes that tend to align with quality.

Everyone’s criteria will differ slightly here, but these four filters are a helpful place to start:

  • Dofollow’ links only. This excludes most low-value links such as those from directories, forums, and blog comments.
  • Exclude subdomains. This excludes links from places like blogspot, which are often low-quality and spammy.
  • DR 5+. This excludes links from very low-authority websites.
  • Domain traffic: 20+. This excludes links from websites with little to no traffic.

For example, if we add these filters to the backlink report for the page above, the number of backlinks drops from 100 to 29:

Filtering for good backlinks in Ahrefs' Site ExplorerFiltering for good backlinks in Ahrefs' Site Explorer

That’s because the dead page has many desirable links, such as this one from celebanswers.com:

Example of a good backlinkExample of a good backlink

But it also has many low-quality and spammy links like this one:

Example of a bad backlinkExample of a bad backlink

It’s up to you to decide whether a broken page has enough desirable links to make creating a page and doing outreach worthwhile.

b) Check link reasons

Understanding why your broken page got links helps you add points that allow you to create compelling outreach angles. This is crucial for improving the link success rate for your campaign, so the next step is to eyeball the filtered report for link reasons.

Here are the two broad types of link reasons you’ll see:

  • General links are where people recommend the resource as a whole. You can’t see why they linked to that specific resource from the link’s context.
  • Deep links are where people recommend a resource for a specific reason. You can see what that reason is from the link’s context.

Here’s an example of a general link to a broken page about calculating your net worth:

Example of a 'general link' where the reason for linking isn't clearExample of a 'general link' where the reason for linking isn't clear

You can see that although they recommend the resource, it’s impossible to tell why from the link’s context. The anchor is “here’s an amazing post.”

There’s not much you can learn about creating a “better” page from these kinds of links.

You can learn more from deep links like this:

Example of a 'deep link' where the reason for linking is clearExample of a 'deep link' where the reason for linking is clear

This time it’s obvious why they recommended the resource: it explains how to grow your net worth.

We can confirm this by looking at how the page used to look in the Wayback Machine:

Checking how a dead page used to look in the Wayback MachineChecking how a dead page used to look in the Wayback Machine

Identifying deep links helps you create a compelling replacement page, so note them down alongside how many people link for the same reasons. Search the Backlinks report for relevant ‘footprints’ in the anchor or surrounding text to find this.

For example, we can search this page’s backlinks for words like “increase,” “grow,” or “improve” to see if this advice led to other links.

It looks like it did:

Looking for others linking for similar reasonsLooking for others linking for similar reasons

Here’s what our final notes might look like for this page:

Example link reasons for a broken pageExample link reasons for a broken page

3. Create a replacement page

Now you know why people linked to the dead page, it’s time to create a suitable replacement.

Let’s go through how to do that in three steps.

a) Create a rough outline

Although you don’t want to copy the dead page word for word, you do want to create something similar. This means crafting a piece that fulfills the same purpose and talks about similar things.

You can get a better sense of what the dead page discussed using the Wayback Machine.

For example, this page explains how to calculate your net worth in three steps, gives a few example calculations, and has tips on how to improve your net worth over time:

Looking at what the broken page is about via the Wayback MachineLooking at what the broken page is about via the Wayback Machine

If you were pursuing this broken link opportunity, you’d want to use a similar outline.

Here’s what that might look like:

  • H1: Net Worth Explained: How to Calculate and Improve It Over Time
    • H2: What is Net Worth?
    • H2: How to Calculate Your Net Worth
      • H3: Step 1. Do x
      • H3: Step 2. Do y
      • H3: Step 3. Do z
    • H2: Example Net Worth Calculations
      • H3: Example 1: x
      • H3: Example 2: y
      • H3: Example 3: z
    • H2: How to Track and Improve Your Net Worth
      • H3: Tip 1: Do x
      • H3: Tip 2: Do y
      • H3: Tip 3: Do z

b) Bake in linkable points

Remember the work you put into vetting link prospects for deep recommendations? Now’s the time to add them to your content so that your outreach angles make sense.

In this case, we covered most of these in the basic outline.

TIP

Make sure everything you include is accurate. For example, if a deep link references an out-of-date statistic, include a more recent statistic.

c) Find other ways to improve it

Most of the links to your dead page are likely to be general links. In other words, they’re people referencing the content for no clear reason.

You can’t do much to tailor your content for these people because you don’t know what they liked about the original piece. But you can make overall improvements.

For example, adding a template would probably improve our piece on calculating net worth.

Improving the content allows you to strengthen your value proposition to general linkers by adding a “why”:

  • Without improvement: you have a dead link > here’s a replacement
  • With improvement: you have a dead link > here’s a replacement > here’s why it’s a good replacement

Here are a few simple ways to improve content:

  • Simplify: Make it more accessible and easier to understand.
  • Visualize: Demonstrate concepts with graphics.
  • Templatize: Add a plug-and-play template.
  • Rectify: Fix issues with accuracy.

4. Do outreach

Outreach is where you pitch your replacement resource to those linking to the dead page.

This is usually done in one of two ways:

  • Shotgun outreach. You send the same email to everyone with no personalization.
  • Sniper outreach. You send unique, personalized emails to everyone.

Both of these approaches have their pros and cons.

Shotgun outreach is a pure numbers game. Conversion rates will be low, but you’ll get some links with enough prospects. It’s also risky. You can quickly burn bridges and get your domain blocked.

Sniper outreach converts better but takes more time and effort. You can easily spend a whole day sending a dozen emails.

Given the steps we’ve gone through so far, we recommend a hybrid approach.

Here’s how this works:

Instead of sending a unique or identical email to everyone, you segment prospects and create a personalized template for each group. This is why we spent some time identifying general and deep links. The way you target them should be different.

Pitching deep linkers

Each segment of deep linkers deserves a unique template.

For example, we have three segments for the net worth page:

  1. People referencing advice on growing your net worth
  2. People referencing the definition of net worth
  3. People referencing how to calculate net worth

Here’s a simple template for the first segment:

Hey [Name],

Just came across your post on [Topic] and saw that you recommended advice on growing net worth from [Dead page author].

Looks like that page no longer works.

Not sure if you’re still updating older posts, but if you are, my guide expands on that advice and gives a few extra tips.

Here’s where I found the link on your page:

[Screenshot]

No pressure. Just thought it might be useful 🙂

Josh

Here’s one for the second segment:

Hey [Name],

Just came across your post on [Topic] and saw that you recommended this process for calculating net worth from [Dead page author].

Looks like that page no longer works.

Not sure if you’re still updating older posts, but if you are, my guide has a similar process but includes more detail on how to estimate the value of your assets and debts (super important for an accurate calculation!).

Here’s where I found the link on your page:

[Screenshot]

No pressure. Just thought it might be useful 🙂

Josh

Both of these are pretty typical and could use a bit more creativity. But hopefully, you can see how creating personalized templates like this can potentially improve the results of your broken link-building campaign.

Pitching general linkers

As there’s no clear reason why these people linked to the dead page, you can only send them a generic pitch. This should follow the same formula as with deep linkers. The difference is that the value proposition will be a generic one.

You can use the improvements you made to the dead page for this.

Here’s an example template for our page:

Hey [Name],

Just came across your post on [Topic] and saw you recommended this guide to calculating net worth from [Dead page author].

Looks like that page no longer works.

Not sure if you’re still updating older posts, but if you are, my guide explains a similar process and includes a free template to make life easier.

Here’s where I found the link on your page:

[Screenshot]

A few other reasons why I think my guide is better (completely biased, of course):

  • More details on estimating the value of assets and debts
  • Extra tips for growing net worth
  • Flowchart to create a custom growth plan

No pressure. Just thought it might be useful 🙂

Josh

This template is the best we can do for general linkers because we don’t know why they linked to the original page.

Final thoughts

Link building tactics are just streamlined ways of finding link prospects with a reason for contact. In broken link building, the reason is that they have a dead link on their site. In the skyscraper technique, the reason is that you have a “better” page. In other techniques, it’s something else.

No technique will work well without a strong value proposition. That’s why we recommend using custom outreach templates for different segments of prospects linking to the dead page.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

Google’s AI Vision Driven By Panic, Not Users: Former Product Manager

Published

on

By

Hand pressing the red button. vector illustration

A 16-year Google veteran is raising concerns about the company’s current focus on AI, labeling it a “panic reaction” driven by fear of falling behind competitors.

Scott Jenson, who left Google last month, took to LinkedIn to critique the tech giant’s AI projects as “poorly motivated and driven by this mindless panic that as long as it had ‘AI’ in it, it would be great.”

Veteran’s Criticism Of Google’s AI Focus

Jenson stated that Google’s vision of creating an AI assistant for its ecosystem is “pure catnip” fueled by the fear of letting someone else get there first.

He parallels the ill-fated Google+ product, which he calls a “similar hysterical reaction” to Facebook’s rise.

Jenson wrote:

“This exact thing happened 13 years ago with Google+ (I was there for that fiasco as well). That was a similar hysterical reaction but to Facebook.”

Lack Of User-Driven Motivation

Jenson argues that Google’s strategy lacks motivation driven by genuine user needs, a sentiment echoed by a recent Gizmodo article that described this year’s Google I/O developer conference as “the most boring ever.”

The article, which Jenson linked to in his post, criticized Google for failing to clarify how Gemini’s new AI technology would integrate into its existing products and enhance the user experience.

See Jenson’s full post below:

Can You Turn Off Google’s AI Overviews?

One prime example of Google’s AI overreach is the AI overviews feature, which generates summaries to directly answer search queries by ingesting information from across the web.

This controversial move has sparked legal battles, with publishers accusing Google of violating intellectual property rights and unfairly profiting from their content without permission.

Related: Google’s AI Overviews Documentation: Key SEO Insights

Turning Off AI Overviews

While Google doesn’t provide an official setting to turn off AI overviews, a viral article from Tom’s Hardware suggests using browser extensions.

Alternatively, you can configure Chrome to go directly to web search results, bypassing the AI-generated overviews.

Here are the steps:

  • Open Chrome settings by clicking the three dots in the top-right corner and selecting “Settings” from the menu.
  • In the Settings window, click on the “Search Engine” tab on the left side.
  • Under the “Search Engine” section, click “Manage search engines and site search.”
  • Scroll down to the “Site search” area and click “Add” to create a new entry.

In the new entry, enter the following details:

  • Name: Google (Web)
  • Shortcut: www.google.com
  • URL: {google:baseURL}/search?udm=14&q=%s
  • Click “Add
Screenshot from: chrome://settings/searchEngines, May 2024.

Lastly, click the three dots next to the new “Google (Web)” entry and select “Make default.”

1716224163 590 Googles AI Vision Driven By Panic Not Users Former ProductScreenshot from: chrome://settings/searchEngines, May 2024.

After following these steps, Chrome will now default to showing regular web search results instead of the AI overview summaries when you perform searches from the address bar.

Tensions Over Data Usage

The controversy surrounding AI overviews creates tension between tech companies and content creators over using online data for AI training.

Publishers argue that Google’s AI summaries could siphon website traffic, threatening independent creators’ revenue streams, which rely on search referrals.

The debate reflects the need for updated frameworks to balance innovation and fair compensation for content creators, maintaining a sustainable open internet ecosystem.


FAQ

What concerns has Scott Jenson raised about Google’s AI focus?

Scott Jenson, a former Google product manager, has expressed concerns that Google’s current AI focus is more of a “panic reaction” to stay ahead of competitors rather than addressing user needs. He critiques Google’s AI initiatives as poorly motivated and driven by a fear of letting others get ahead.

How does Scott Jenson compare Google’s AI strategy to past projects?

Jenson parallels Google’s current AI focus and the company’s response to Facebook years ago with Google+. He describes both as “hysterical reactions” driven by competition, which, in the case of Google+, resulted in a product that failed to meet its objectives.

Why are content creators concerned about Google’s AI overviews?

Content creators worry that Google’s AI overviews, which generate summaries by ingesting web content, could reduce site traffic. They argue that this practice is unfair as it uses their content without permission and impacts their revenue streams that rely on search referrals.

How can users turn off Google’s AI overviews in Chrome?

Although no official setting exists to disable AI overviews, users can use a workaround by enabling a specific Chrome setting or using a browser extension.

Here are the steps:

  • Open Chrome settings by clicking the three dots in the top-right corner and selecting “Settings” from the menu.
  • In the Settings window, click on the “Search Engine” tab on the left side.
  • Under the “Search Engine” section, click “Manage search engines and site search.”
  • Scroll down to the “Site search” area and click “Add” to create a new entry.

In the new entry, enter the following details:

    • Name: Google (Web)
    • Shortcut: www.google.com
    • URL: {google:baseURL}/search?udm=14&q=%s
    • Click “Add

This will force Chrome to skip AI-generated overviews and show the classic list of web links.


Featured Image: Sira Anamwong/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

How To Use ChatGPT For Keyword Research

Published

on

By

How To Use ChatGPT For Keyword Research

Anyone not using ChatGPT for keyword research is missing a trick.

You can save time and understand an entire topic in seconds instead of hours.

In this article, I outline my most effective ChatGPT prompts for keyword research and teach you how I put them together so that you, too, can take, edit, and enhance them even further.

But before we jump into the prompts, I want to emphasize that you shouldn’t replace keyword research tools or disregard traditional keyword research methods.

ChatGPT can make mistakes. It can even create new keywords if you give it the right prompt. For example, I asked it to provide me with a unique keyword for the topic “SEO” that had never been searched before.

Interstellar Internet SEO: Optimizing content for the theoretical concept of an interstellar internet, considering the challenges of space-time and interplanetary communication delays.”

Although I want to jump into my LinkedIn profile and update my title to “Interstellar Internet SEO Consultant,” unfortunately, no one has searched that (and they probably never will)!

You must not blindly rely on the data you get back from ChatGPT.

What you can rely on ChatGPT for is the topic ideation stage of keyword research and inspiration.

ChatGPT is a large language model trained with massive amounts of data to accurately predict what word will come next in a sentence. However, it does not know how to do keyword research yet.

Instead, think of ChatGPT as having an expert on any topic armed with the information if you ask it the right question.

In this guide, that is exactly what I aim to teach you how to do – the most essential prompts you need to know when performing topical keyword research.

Best ChatGPT Keyword Research Prompts

The following ChatGPT keyword research prompts can be used on any niche, even a topic to which you are brand new.

For this demonstration, let’s use the topic of “SEO” to demonstrate these prompts.

Generating Keyword Ideas Based On A Topic

What Are The {X} Most Popular Sub-topics Related To {Topic}?

Screenshot from ChatGPT 4, April 2024

The first prompt is to give you an idea of the niche.

As shown above, ChatGPT did a great job understanding and breaking down SEO into three pillars: on-page, off-page & technical.

The key to the following prompt is to take one of the topics ChatGPT has given and query the sub-topics.

What Are The {X} Most Popular Sub-topics Related To {Sub-topic}?

For this example, let’s query, “What are the most popular sub-topics related to keyword research?”

Having done keyword research for over 10 years, I would expect it to output information related to keyword research metrics, the types of keywords, and intent.

Let’s see.

ChatGPT keyword prompt subtopicScreenshot from ChatGPT 4, April 2024

Again, right on the money.

To get the keywords you want without having ChatGPT describe each answer, use the prompt “list without description.”

Here is an example of that.

List Without Description The Top {X} Most Popular Keywords For The Topic Of {X}chatgpt keyword research prompt for most popular keywords

You can even branch these keywords out further into their long-tail.

Example prompt:

List Without Description The Top {X} Most Popular Long-tail Keywords For The Topic “{X}”

chatgpt keyword research prompt longtail keywordsScreenshot ChatGPT 4,April 2024

List Without Description The Top Semantically Related Keywords And Entities For The Topic {X}

You can even ask ChatGPT what any topic’s semantically related keywords and entities are!

chatgpt keyword research semantic intentScreenshot ChatGPT 4, April 2024

Tip: The Onion Method Of Prompting ChatGPT

When you are happy with a series of prompts, add them all to one prompt. For example, so far in this article, we have asked ChatGPT the following:

  • What are the four most popular sub-topics related to SEO?
  • What are the four most popular sub-topics related to keyword research
  • List without description the top five most popular keywords for “keyword intent”?
  • List without description the top five most popular long-tail keywords for the topic “keyword intent types”?
  • List without description the top semantically related keywords and entities for the topic “types of keyword intent in SEO.”

Combine all five into one prompt by telling ChatGPT to perform a series of steps. Example:

“Perform the following steps in a consecutive order Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, and Step 5”

Example:

“Perform the following steps in a consecutive order Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4 and Step 5. Step 1 – Generate an answer for the 3 most popular sub-topics related to {Topic}?. Step 2 – Generate 3 of the most popular sub-topics related to each answer. Step 3 – Take those answers and list without description their top 3 most popular keywords. Step 4 – For the answers given of their most popular keywords, provide 3 long-tail keywords. Step 5 – for each long-tail keyword offered in the response, a list without descriptions 3 of their top semantically related keywords and entities.”

Generating Keyword Ideas Based On A Question

Taking the steps approach from above, we can get ChatGPT to help streamline getting keyword ideas based on a question. For example, let’s ask, “What is SEO?

“Perform the following steps in a consecutive order Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and Step 4. Step 1 Generate 10 questions about “{Question}”?. Step 2 – Generate 5 more questions about “{Question}” that do not repeat the above. Step 3 – Generate 5 more questions about “{Question}” that do not repeat the above. Step 4 – Based on the above Steps 1,2,3 suggest a final list of questions avoiding duplicates or semantically similar questions.”

chatgpt for question keyword researchScreenshot ChatGPT 4, April 2024

Generating Keyword Ideas Using ChatGPT Based On The Alphabet Soup Method

One of my favorite methods, manually, without even using a keyword research tool, is to generate keyword research ideas from Google autocomplete, going from A to Z.

Generating Keyword Ideas using ChatGPT Based on the Alphabet Soup MethodScreenshot from Google autocomplete, April 2024

You can also do this using ChatGPT.

Example prompt:

“give me popular keywords that includes the keyword “SEO”, and the next letter of the word starts with a”

ChatGPT Alphabet keyword research methodScreenshot from ChatGPT 4, April 2024

Tip: Using the onion prompting method above, we can combine all this in one prompt.

“Give me five popular keywords that include “SEO” in the word, and the following letter starts with a. Once the answer has been done, move on to giving five more popular keywords that include “SEO” for each letter of the alphabet b to z.”

Generating Keyword Ideas Based On User Personas

When it comes to keyword research, understanding user personas is essential for understanding your target audience and keeping your keyword research focused and targeted. ChatGPT may help you get an initial understanding of customer personas.

Example prompt:

“For the topic of “{Topic}” list 10 keywords each for the different types of user personas”

ChatGPT and user personasScreenshot from ChatGPT 4, April 2024

You could even go a step further and ask for questions based on those topics that those specific user personas may be searching for:

ChatGPT and keyword research based on personaScreenshot ChatGPT 4, April 2024

As well as get the keywords to target based on those questions:

“For each question listed above for each persona, list the keywords, as well as the long-tail keywords to target, and put them in a table”

question and longtail and user persona using a table for ChatGPT keyword researchScreenshot from ChatGPT 4, April 2024

Generating Keyword Ideas Using ChatGPT Based On Searcher Intent And User Personas

Understanding the keywords your target persona may be searching is the first step to effective keyword research. The next step is to understand the search intent behind those keywords and which content format may work best.

For example, a business owner who is new to SEO or has just heard about it may be searching for “what is SEO.”

However, if they are further down the funnel and in the navigational stage, they may search for “top SEO firms.”

You can query ChatGPT to inspire you here based on any topic and your target user persona.

SEO Example:

“For the topic of “{Topic}” list 10 keywords each for the different types of searcher intent that a {Target Persona} would be searching for”

ChatGPT For Keyword Research Admin

Here is how you can best use ChatGPT for keyword research admin tasks.

Using ChatGPT As A Keyword Categorization Tool

One of the use cases for using ChatGPT is for keyword categorization.

In the past, I would have had to devise spreadsheet formulas to categorize keywords or even spend hours filtering and manually categorizing keywords.

ChatGPT can be a great companion for running a short version of this for you.

Let’s say you have done keyword research in a keyword research tool, have a list of keywords, and want to categorize them.

You could use the following prompt:

“Filter the below list of keywords into categories, target persona, searcher intent, search volume and add information to a six-column table: List of keywords – [LIST OF KEYWORDS], Keyword Search Volume [SEARCH VOLUMES] and Keyword Difficulties [KEYWORD DIFFICUTIES].”

Using Chat GPT as a Keyword Categorization ToolScreenshot from ChatGPT, April 2024

Tip: Add keyword metrics from the keyword research tools, as using the search volumes that a ChatGPT prompt may give you will be wildly inaccurate at best.

Using ChatGPT For Keyword Clustering

Another of ChatGPT’s use cases for keyword research is to help you cluster. Many keywords have the same intent, and by grouping related keywords, you may find that one piece of content can often target multiple keywords at once.

However, be careful not to rely only on LLM data for clustering. What ChatGPT may cluster as a similar keyword, the SERP or the user may not agree with. But it is a good starting point.

The big downside of using ChatGPT for keyword clustering is actually the amount of keyword data you can cluster based on the memory limits.

So, you may find a keyword clustering tool or script that is better for large keyword clustering tasks. But for small amounts of keywords, ChatGPT is actually quite good.

A great use small keyword clustering use case using ChatGPT is for grouping People Also Ask (PAA) questions.

Use the following prompt to group keywords based on their semantic relationships. For example:

“Organize the following keywords into groups based on their semantic relationships, and give a short name to each group: [LIST OF PAA], create a two-column table where each keyword sits on its own row.

Using Chat GPT For Keyword ClusteringScreenshot from ChatGPT, April 2024

Using Chat GPT For Keyword Expansion By Patterns

One of my favorite methods of doing keyword research is pattern spotting.

Most seed keywords have a variable that can expand your target keywords.

Here are a few examples of patterns:

1. Question Patterns

(who, what, where, why, how, are, can, do, does, will)

“Generate [X] keywords for the topic “[Topic]” that contain any or all of the following “who, what, where, why, how, are, can, do, does, will”

question based keywords keyword research ChatGPTScreenshot ChatGPT 4, April 2024

2. Comparison Patterns

Example:

“Generate 50 keywords for the topic “{Topic}” that contain any or all of the following “for, vs, alternative, best, top, review”

chatgpt comparison patterns for keyword researchScreenshot ChatGPT 4, April 2024

3. Brand Patterns

Another one of my favorite modifiers is a keyword by brand.

We are probably all familiar with the most popular SEO brands; however, if you aren’t, you could ask your AI friend to do the heavy lifting.

Example prompt:

“For the top {Topic} brands what are the top “vs” keywords”

ChatGPT brand patterns promptScreenshot ChatGPT 4, April 2024

4. Search Intent Patterns

One of the most common search intent patterns is “best.”

When someone is searching for a “best {topic}” keyword, they are generally searching for a comprehensive list or guide that highlights the top options, products, or services within that specific topic, along with their features, benefits, and potential drawbacks, to make an informed decision.

Example:

“For the topic of “[Topic]” what are the 20 top keywords that include “best”

ChatGPT best based keyword researchScreenshot ChatGPT 4, April 2024

Again, this guide to keyword research using ChatGPT has emphasized the ease of generating keyword research ideas by utilizing ChatGPT throughout the process.

Keyword Research Using ChatGPT Vs. Keyword Research Tools

Free Vs. Paid Keyword Research Tools

Like keyword research tools, ChatGPT has free and paid options.

However, one of the most significant drawbacks of using ChatGPT for keyword research alone is the absence of SEO metrics to help you make smarter decisions.

To improve accuracy, you could take the results it gives you and verify them with your classic keyword research tool – or vice versa, as shown above, uploading accurate data into the tool and then prompting.

However, you must consider how long it takes to type and fine-tune your prompt to get your desired data versus using the filters within popular keyword research tools.

For example, if we use a popular keyword research tool using filters, you could have all of the “best” queries with all of their SEO metrics:

ahrefs screenshot for best seoScreenshot from Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, March 2024

And unlike ChatGPT, generally, there is no token limit; you can extract several hundred, if not thousands, of keywords at a time.

As I have mentioned multiple times throughout this piece, you cannot blindly trust the data or SEO metrics it may attempt to provide you with.

The key is to validate the keyword research with a keyword research tool.

ChatGPT For International SEO Keyword Research

ChatGPT can be a terrific multilingual keyword research assistant.

For example, if you wanted to research keywords in a foreign language such as French. You could ask ChatGPT to translate your English keywords;

translating keywords with ChatGPTScreenshot ChatGPT 4, Apil 2024
The key is to take the data above and paste it into a popular keyword research tool to verify.
As you can see below, many of the keyword translations for the English keywords do not have any search volume for direct translations in French.
verifying the data with ahrefsScreenshot from Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, April 2024

But don’t worry, there is a workaround: If you have access to a competitor keyword research tool, you can see what webpage is ranking for that query – and then identify the top keyword for that page based on the ChatGPT translated keywords that do have search volume.

top keyword from ahrefs keyword explorerScreenshot from Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, April 2024

Or, if you don’t have access to a paid keyword research tool, you could always take the top-performing result, extract the page copy, and then ask ChatGPT what the primary keyword for the page is.

Key Takeaway

ChatGPT can be an expert on any topic and an invaluable keyword research tool. However, it is another tool to add to your toolbox when doing keyword research; it does not replace traditional keyword research tools.

As shown throughout this tutorial, from making up keywords at the beginning to inaccuracies around data and translations, ChatGPT can make mistakes when used for keyword research.

You cannot blindly trust the data you get back from ChatGPT.

However, it can offer a shortcut to understanding any topic for which you need to do keyword research and, as a result, save you countless hours.

But the key is how you prompt.

The prompts I shared with you above will help you understand a topic in minutes instead of hours and allow you to better seed keywords using keyword research tools.

It can even replace mundane keyword clustering tasks that you used to do with formulas in spreadsheets or generate ideas based on keywords you give it.

Paired with traditional keyword research tools, ChatGPT for keyword research can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.

More resources:


Featured Image: Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

Google Hints At Improving Site Rankings In Next Update

Published

on

By

Google Hints At Improving Site Rankings In Next Update

Google’s John Mueller says the Search team is “explicitly evaluating” how to reward sites that produce helpful, high-quality content when the next core update rolls out.

The comments came in response to a discussion on X about the impact of March’s core update and September’s helpful content update.

In a series of tweets, Mueller acknowledged the concerns, stating:

“I imagine for most sites strongly affected, the effects will be site-wide for the time being, and it will take until the next update to see similar strong effects (assuming the new state of the site is significantly better than before).”

He added:

“I can’t make any promises, but the team working on this is explicitly evaluating how sites can / will improve in Search for the next update. It would be great to show more users the content that folks have worked hard on, and where sites have taken helpfulness to heart.”

What Does This Mean For SEO Professionals & Site Owners?

Mueller’s comments confirm Google is aware of critiques about the March core update and is refining its ability to identify high-quality sites and reward them appropriately in the next core update.

For websites, clearly demonstrating an authentic commitment to producing helpful and high-quality content remains the best strategy for improving search performance under Google’s evolving systems.

The Aftermath Of Google’s Core Updates

Google’s algorithm updates, including the September “Helpful Content Update” and the March 2024 update, have far-reaching impacts on rankings across industries.

While some sites experienced surges in traffic, others faced substantial declines, with some reporting visibility losses of up to 90%.

As website owners implement changes to align with Google’s guidelines, many question whether their efforts will be rewarded.

There’s genuine concern about the potential for long-term or permanent demotions for affected sites.

Recovery Pathway Outlined, But Challenges Remain

In a previous statement, Mueller acknowledged the complexity of the recovery process, stating that:

“some things take much longer to be reassessed (sometimes months, at the moment), and some bigger effects require another update cycle.”

Mueller clarified that not all changes would require a new update cycle but cautioned that “stronger effects will require another update.”

While affirming that permanent changes are “not very useful in a dynamic world,” Mueller adds that “recovery” implies a return to previous levels, which may be unrealistic given evolving user expectations.

“It’s never ‘just-as-before’,” Mueller stated.

Improved Rankings On The Horizon?

Despite the challenges, Mueller has offered glimmers of hope for impacted sites, stating:

“Yes, sites can grow again after being affected by the ‘HCU’ (well, core update now). This isn’t permanent. It can take a lot of work, time, and perhaps update cycles, and/but a different – updated – site will be different in search too.”

He says the process may require “deep analysis to understand how to make a website relevant in a modern world, and significant work to implement those changes — assuming that it’s something that aligns with what the website even wants.”

Looking Ahead

Google’s search team is actively working on improving site rankings and addressing concerns with the next core update.

However, recovery requires patience, thorough analysis, and persistent effort.

The best way to spend your time until the next update is to remain consistent and produce the most exceptional content in your niche.


FAQ

How long does it generally take for a website to recover from the impact of a core update?

Recovery timelines can vary and depend on the extent and type of updates made to align with Google’s guidelines.

Google’s John Mueller noted that some changes might be reassessed quickly, while more substantial effects could take months and require additional update cycles.

Google acknowledges the complexity of the recovery process, indicating that significant improvements aligned with Google’s quality signals might be necessary for a more pronounced recovery.

What impact did the March and September updates have on websites, and what steps should site owners take?

The March and September updates had widespread effects on website rankings, with some sites experiencing traffic surges while others faced up to 90% visibility losses.

Publishing genuinely useful, high-quality content is key for website owners who want to bounce back from a ranking drop or maintain strong rankings. Stick to Google’s recommendations and adapt as they keep updating their systems.

To minimize future disruptions from algorithm changes, it’s a good idea to review your whole site thoroughly and build a content plan centered on what your users want and need.

Is it possible for sites affected by core updates to regain their previous ranking positions?

Sites can recover from the impact of core updates, but it requires significant effort and time.

Mueller suggested that recovery might happen over multiple update cycles and involves a deep analysis to align the site with current user expectations and modern search criteria.

While a return to previous levels isn’t guaranteed, sites can improve and grow by continually enhancing the quality and relevance of their content.


Featured Image: eamesBot/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending