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kanye

Big Brands Aren’t Immune to Google Penalties

kanye

On Christmas day, the owners of the site rapgenius.com got a big heap of Google coal in their stockings. The burgeoning site, which the webmasters describe as a “hip hop Wikipedia,” fell victim to a manual penalty from the Google spam team.

The penalty occurred after the webmasters behind Rap Genius employed a tactic which has swiftly been labeled as TieFating.  The team would offer to tweet out the site of any webmaster who would embed a link using the anchor text “Justin Bieber lyrics.” It has yet to be determined which is worse: the fact that Rap Genius would employ such an obviously foul tactic, or that Justin Bieber is a “rap genius.”

“We didn’t see our penalty in webmaster tools. We can’t see when we wear our sunglasses inside lulz.”

 

According to Josh Constine of TechCrunch, the Rap Genius webmasters are working on a resolution with the all powerful spam detectors at the behemoth search engine. Of course in hip hop terms, a resolution can mean a drive by on the Vegas strip.

Rap Genius was launched in 2009. Despite the steep competition of online lyric databases, the site gained a lot of traction rather quickly. It’s not your average lyric database though. Instead, it’s a community in which hip hop aficionados can submit their interpretations to lyrics of their favorite songs. But thanks to Google, their traffic took a hit bigger than the one on Ice Cube’s street cred.

On the first day of the penalty, Google gave to Rap Genius a 60% decline in traffic. On the second day, 52%. I’m sure the webmasters would have preferred a partridge in a pear tree and two turtle doves. Even a carrier pigeon could do more to increase their traffic.

A penalty from Google, whether it be manual or algorithmic, can and will have a detrimental impact on your site. Even the big boys aren’t immune to that. Here are some other well known sites that haven’t always been on Google’s good side (and what they would do if they were on Rap Genius).

Continue reading “Big Brands Aren’t Immune to Google Penalties” »

Jesse Stoler

About Jesse Stoler

Jesse Stoler is a Content Specialist at Page One Power, a link building firm based out of Boise, Idaho. His hobbies include stand up comedy and pretending he has fans.

love actually

Outreach Actually

The most frustrating part of being a link builder: the constant rejection. Even the best link builders aren’t going to hit all of their prospects. It’s hard not to let the rejection get to you, but remember: ’tis the Christmas season. There are polite ways to go about it. Let’s take a cue from the famed cue card scene from the Christmas classic Love Actually.

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Jesse Stoler

About Jesse Stoler

Jesse Stoler is a Content Specialist at Page One Power, a link building firm based out of Boise, Idaho. His hobbies include stand up comedy and pretending he has fans.

anglobust

Anglo Rank Believed to be Latest Target in Google’s Campaign to Punish Link Networks

Anglo Rank

As link builders, we must always keep a close eye on how Google views the links we are acquiring. Building links that appear “unnatural” in the eyes of Google can lead to some serious consequences and potential penalties. Although it is impossible to determine exactly what Google considers unnatural, Google Webmaster Tools does provide some descriptions we can use for reference. According to the “Link Schemes” portion of Google’s Webmaster Tools, some examples include:

  • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
  • Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking

These two examples fit the description of a common black-hat SEO practice referred to as a “link network”. Anglo Rank is the latest target in Google’s relentless campaign to bring down these link networks.

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About Andrew Dennis

Andrew Dennis is a Content Marketing Specialist at Page One Power, a relevancy first link building firm in Boise, ID. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Idaho and consequently a lifelong Vandals fan. This, coupled with his love for the Detroit Lions, has resulted in a life full of sadness.

titlepitch

Strategies to Create Titles Worth Pitching

titlepitch

 

He’s a Ghost!

If You Leave Me, I Delete You

Slightly Pregnant

According to the Jesse Stoler Council on Made Up Economics, cinema has been one of America’s top exports for the last decade (others include chemicals and NSA whistleblowers).  Of course, when our films are screened around the globe, the titles can get Meetings and Failures in Meetings (thank Portugal for that meta title).

Thank China for the first title: the Chinese are officially the only people that rival M. Night Shyamalan at ruining a twist ending. Thank Italy for the second title: congratulations on reducing the greatest film of the new century to nothing more than a Facebook spat. And thank Peru for the third title; now I know that the Peruvians have such a fundamental misunderstanding of the reproductive system they could run for the United States Congress.

All of these titles would have left potential audience members astray. Link builders know that the wrong title in a pitch can leave webmasters astray in the same way. As I’ve said in previous posts, outreach is the crux of link building. Since the dawn of guest posting, webmasters have seen countless pitches that clearly took all the energy of moving fingers from Ctrl+C to Ctrl+V.

Webmasters are eager to see pitches that show even a modicum of personality. What they’re also looking for are titles that are going to pique the interest of their readership. Webmasters, and yes the Google referees even, are looking for content with a purpose; content that will get shared.

So how do you come up with such titles in your pitch? Thankfully, there are a few tips.

Continue reading “Strategies to Create Titles Worth Pitching” »

Jesse Stoler

About Jesse Stoler

Jesse Stoler is a Content Specialist at Page One Power, a link building firm based out of Boise, Idaho. His hobbies include stand up comedy and pretending he has fans.

99probs

I Got 99 Problems and My Niche is One

99probs

Not even the best can master every niche.

Jay-Z is a business titan. He developed a blueprint so he could achieve the holy grail and ended up building one of the most expansive business empires I’ve seen in my lifetime. He has ventured into everything, from clothing to video games to sports management. Some suspect he has his own new world order, but I have my reasonable doubt (last one, I promise).

Despite his astonishing business acumen, there is one niche Jay-Z can’t break into: cars. Back in 2005, he coordinated with Chrysler to create a branded Jeep, one that would be painted Jay-Z blue and would come up with a stereo system already set with the rapper’s discography. The plan fell apart, partly due to new management, but also because of Jay-Z’s criminal past. Other rappers have tried their hand in the automobile business to varying degrees of failure. If even Jay-Z can’t master the niche, I wouldn’t expect anyone else to either.

Some niches are incredibly difficult to tap into; this applies to be link building as well.

I’m going to go out on a limb here: we’re pretty damn good at what we do. Link building is rough. There’s no denying that. That’s why it’s commonly outsourced – a lot of marketing companies don’t have the time, energy or skills to manage a link building campaign.

But not all niches are equal, and it would be terribly misleading to say so. Some are a gift, some a curse (I lied earlier).

The entertainment niche is a gift. The amount of target sites borders on infinite, and the community is (for the most part) incredibly welcoming.

Then there are the curses. There are some niches that leave even the best link builders banging their heads on their desks and devoting extra effort just to find a single solitary link. There are a multitude of reasons why there can be such slow movement in your link building efforts for a specific niche.

Continue reading “I Got 99 Problems and My Niche is One” »

Jesse Stoler

About Jesse Stoler

Jesse Stoler is a Content Specialist at Page One Power, a link building firm based out of Boise, Idaho. His hobbies include stand up comedy and pretending he has fans.

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