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Why Would Someone Build Links For Me?

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Why Would Someone Build Links For Me?

Today’s Ask An SEO question comes from Shannon in Vancouver, who asks:

“I have a problem and need to know if it is a huge issue or can be ignored.

Someone is putting my URL and those of other good sites onto a bunch of forums and other websites. This has increased the amount of backlinks Ahrefs and Semrush are reporting. Most are decent DA and even sites with high DAs and names I’m familiar with.

It’s like someone is working for me – but they’re not. I don’t know why this is happening.

I’m concerned because some of these posts are also promoting an escort agency, giving me the escort anchor texts in the Semrush and Ahrefs reports.

Does anyone have any idea why someone would do this? My site’s ranking has been going up, my Google impressions have been going up, but my organic visits fell. I’m not sure if I should waste time trying to figure this out.”

At first, this can seem too good to be true!

Somebody is building links for you, and it’s working? Awesome, keep it up.

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If only SEO was that easy. (Narrator: it isn’t!)

I think a few things are going on here, so we should dive into them.

Without knowing your website or business, I’m going to guess it’s not an escort agency.

It’s normal to get some odd links from all kinds of websites on the Internet.

You can’t control who visits your site or finds it useful – and people who visit escort sites also visit the websites everybody else does and buy the same products.

It could be a relevant link dropped in a relevant discussion on an irrelevant website.

Too many SEO pros quickly disavow links like this, but I wouldn’t.

Given that you said there are multiple of these links, though, that’s not what I think is happening here.

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It’s more likely that somebody is trying to perform a negative SEO campaign or is building some automated links for their clients.

In the case of spammy or automated link-building tactics, some SEO pros will not just build links to their clients but random websites as well.

This makes it slightly harder for search engines to trace it back to them (or their clients) and builds some plausible deniability if they get a manual penalty from Google.

It’s not really a good tactic for long-term results, but as you said, it can work – and does appear to be working in your situation.

I wouldn’t count on that bump for too long, though, as Google is really good at finding that type of link and ignoring any value they pass. More on that later.

The most likely cause is a failed negative SEO campaign.

Negative SEO is when somebody attempts to harm your website in various ways. The most common attempt is by creating spammy links to your site.

There’s much debate in the SEO industry about whether this actually works, though.

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Google has said for many years now that it is very adept at picking up this type of link and just ignoring them, yet several SEO pros still continue to believe in the concept of negative SEO.

Here’s a tweet from John Mueller saying as much back in 2020.

(Side note: I’m not saying negative SEO isn’t real; it is, but it mostly pertains to hacking, XSS, and other exploits or illegal activities. More often than not, attempting negative SEO by building links to a site will only increase that site’s rankings – albeit only temporarily.)

If you’re really worried about these links, you could disavow them using Google’s disavow tool – but I wouldn’t even do that here.

The disavow tool is more for people with manual actions.

The best advice is to just laugh a little bit that somebody is choosing to spend their time trying to hurt your site rather than help their own, and then just ignore the links.

Clearly, whoever is doing this realizes that they can’t create something better than you have and are trying everything else to beat you.

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Take that as inspiration that your content and marketing are working, and keep focusing your efforts there.

More resources:


Featured Image: Mix and Match Studio/Shutterstock

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SEO

What You Need To Know

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What You Need To Know

How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns?

Have you ever felt that some marketing channels’ data seems to be located in “a void” – meaning it’s hard to discover their actual impact?

Channels like connected TV, satellite radio, digital advertising, email, and social networks have made marketing campaign analysis a complex field for marketers.

But you can find valuable insights for your strategies – if you know where to look.

Luckily, you’ll uncover precisely where this hidden data lies, right now.

On September 28, I moderated a webinar by Shaubhik Ray, Senior Director of Digital Analytics at iQuanti.

Ray explained how you can improve your ability to predict the success of your marketing programs.

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Here is a summary of the webinar.

To access the entire presentation, complete the form.

The What, Why & How Of Marketing Effectiveness

Marketing effectiveness goes hand-in-hand with efficiency. If your marketing is performing effectively, the cost of acquiring or executing a campaign is more efficient.

The underlying goal of all marketers is to understand the actual return on their investment in different channels.

It’s important to measure marketing effectiveness because you want to optimize:

  • Marketing performance.
  • Marketing budget.
  • Business performance.

However, isn’t always easy to track due to external and internal factors.

[Learn Your Barriers Of Effectiveness] Instantly access the webinar →

Measurement Techniques To Use To Guage Success

First, create a KPI framework to identify your important business KPIs.

Next, design a solution to capture your company’s KPIs accurately.

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Then, standardize your channel data collection.

Finally, develop a structured approach to identify what marketing KPIs should be collected for measuring business success.

iQuanti, September 2022

Once you understand the different metrics you’re capturing, focus on standardizing how you capture this data.

These methods can include:

  • Campaign tagging framework.
  • Campaign naming conventions.
  • Roll-out of a campaign tracker.

[Easy Technique: Learn How To Use Google & Facebook For Data Collection] Instantly access the webinar →

Advanced Techniques For Measuring Effectiveness

You can measure marketing campaign effectiveness by tracking:

  • Attribution.
  • Cause & Effect.
  • Marketing Mix Modeling.

Digital Attribution

Digital Attribution is the science of assigning credit to each marketing touch point of the customer journey based on that touch point’s influence on their ultimate conversion decision.

Measuring Marketing Effectiveness: What You Need To KnowiQuanti, September 2022

Approaches include rule-based and algorithmic attribution.

[Learn What These Are & How They Help] Instantly access the webinar →

Incrementality: Proving Cause & Effect

Incrementality in marketing is the lift or increase in the desired business outcome (e.g., awareness, web visits, conversions, revenue) resulting from a marketing intervention.

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You can approach this on a user level or geo-level.

[Learn More] Instantly access the webinar →

Marketing Mix Modeling

Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) is a statistical technique used to identify and quantify the relationship between a pre-defined KPI like sales and the factors influencing them.

This approach is privacy friendly, holistic, and flexible.

[See it in action] Instantly access the webinar →

Metrics For Measuring Marketing Spend

By analyzing the spend metrics you’re tracking for the particular campaign, you can get a good understanding of how effective different campaigns are.

There are a lot of spend metrics, but the three cost metrics that help you understand how well each of your campaigns is performing are:

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  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).
  • Cost Per Incremental Acquisition (CPIA).
  • Marginal Cost Per Acquisition (MCPA).

[Take a closer look at each metric] Instantly access the webinar →

Now that you know the techniques and metrics, you can go on selection.

How To Select The Right Measurement Techniques

Consider the following factors while selecting the proper measurement techniques:

  • Availability Of Data
    • Is the data foundation in place?
    • Availability of historical data and granularity of data.
  • Availability Of Resources
    • What’s the current tech stack for measurement?
    • Access to skilled resources.
  • The Use Case
    • The primary objective of the analysis.
    • Industry and customer journeys (path to conversion).

Knowing where to look allows you to find valuable insights for your strategies, gain clarity, and move in the right direction with your campaigns.

[Find Your Best Measurement Technique] Instantly access the webinar →

Measuring Marketing Effectiveness: What You Need To Know [Webinar]

Here’s the presentation:

Join Us For Our Next Webinar!

6 Keys Your Business Needs To Win With Your Marketing Agency

Building trust with your agency and establishing a strong marketing foundation is a sure-fire way to take your business to the next level. This webinar will walk you through ways to have a clear, transparent and trusting partnership with your agency and drive results.


Image Credits:

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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