Revealed: The Secret Source For Winning Google’s Love

In my last post on, we talked about the big fat truth – without unique, fresh, and lengthy content your blog search engine rankings are as good as dead.

Check out the previous post here:

This time I will take it a step further and explain why, without great content, no link building campaign will take you as far with search engines as you would like to go.

Some time ago, I ran a series on my blog on how to build an email list.

It was only natural to discuss email autoresponder options in one of the posts in the series: after all, the emails you write to your list are only as good as the provider that delivers them or sends them to spam – depending on which autoresponder service you choose.

Naturally, I wanted to rank my post for any and all possible keywords that had anything to do with Aweber, which is what I use, and autoresponders in general.

Lo and behold, as I did my research on who was holding the current rankings for some of those keywords, Yaro’s blog kept popping up on the first page for almost all of them.

Yes, Yaro’s AWeber Review – Email Autoresponder post was what stood between me and high search engine rankings of my own Aweber review.

Naturally, a little competition never scared me away, so I started to drill in on Yaro’s links that played a huge role in ranking his post so highly.

Checking Out Your Competition

The best way to know what you need to do in order to rank your post for any keyword is to see which websites are currently ranking for that keyword and what their link building profile is.

Since it would require a lengthy explanation as to how exactly I do competition research, I will direct you to read this post to learn more on how to use their competition link profile to outrank them: Link Building Tip: How to Do It the Smart Way.

As I was doing research on Yaro’s Aweber post, I discovered that it was (and is currently) ranking for 10, what I would call, “money” keywords – the type of keywords that the potential Aweber buyers would be searching for when trying to make their final decision on their autoresponder choice.

Now that I knew how many and what keywords he was ranking for, I needed to find out what links to his post allowed him to have such high rankings.

And that’s what stopped me dead in my tracks.

You see, as I previously mentioned, the easiest way to rank your own post for any keyword is to match and outdo your competition linking profile.

Find out what their links are, in other words, get most of the same links and throw in a couple of extras. In most markets (barring you are going for some of the most competitive keywords, of course), that should do the trick and at least get you on the first page of Google.

In Yaro’s case though, most of his links came from within content on other blogs.

Learning that pretty much sucked, because there was no way I could get all those blogs to mention my Aweber review in their posts!

The Secret Was In The Source

Yaro’s Aweber post was so thorough and so good that many bloggers read it, loved it, and linked to it in their own posts, giving Yaro significant advantage in high rankings.

It was HIS CONTENT itself that tipped Google scale in his favor.

It is all coming together now, right?

YOUR CONTENT is the single most important factor that will make or break your search engine rankings and either will bring you floods of targeted FREE search engine users or leave you with a donut whole.

You can submit all the articles and videos you want, leave tons of comments on all kinds of blogs, spend some time building links through forums, but if I get a few bloggers to link to my post from within their content, as in mentioning my post because it was that good, I will have an upper hand in search engine rankings for sure.

That kind of link building is what is referred to as “natural” link building and is definitely the best way to get your site ranked and swarming with search engine visitors.

Link Building As A Search Engine Factor

As I did in the previous post, I’d like to take you back to this recently released SEOmoz report on search engine ranking factors.

After all, talk is cheap, but the collective opinion of 132 SEO experts around the world should definitely shed some light as to what are recognized as the best link building practices right now and in the future.

We have already talked about your content being the cornerstone of any successful link building campaign – master that part and the links will come naturally.

To further illustrate my point, allow me to quote the following from the report:

“Through all this analysis of search optimization – we will always conclude that a site needs “more links, more quality links, more content, and higher quality content” – Todd Malicoat

What other areas of link building should we pay close attention to?

  1. Diversity of links outweighs pure quantity: diversity of IP addresses, root domains, subdomains, linking pages where your links are coming from play a huge role – the more diverse, the better.
  2. Number of root domains linking with partial anchor text: yes, PARTIAL anchor text plays the same, if not bigger, role in successful search engine rankings than precise anchor text, as it used to be the case. If you don’t know much about anchor text or would like to learn more, I suggest reading this post: Your Ultimate Anchor Text Tutorial – from Basic to Advanced.
  3. Relevance of links. This one has been and I am sure will remain one of the most debated SEO link building factors: does it matter if the website that is linking to you is on the same subject as yours? Well, the consensus in this report says yes, it does.So don’t do link building to your cooking blog from a site that sells tractor parts.
  4. Nofollow matters: many SEOs say that nofollow links can help your rankings, which definitely goes against the very idea of Nofollow to begin with.Nofollow attribute is added to links to let Google know that, although you are willing to link to a particular website, you are not willing to vouch for them and share your site authority with them. Thus, any of your site PageRank will happily stay with your site and not be passed to the site you are linking to. To learn what Yaro thinks of Nofollow, take a look at this post: No More NoFollow. This new wave of expert SEO opinions on Nofollow links only strengthens “natural” link building point of view: you need both Dofollow and Nofollow links to have the kind of diverse linking profile Google would like to see.

The Future Of Link Building

What do SEOs believe will happen in the future with Google’s use of ranking features in the future?

  • Prominence of ads vs content will remain a factor.
  • Content usability / readability / design will increase as a factor.
  • Analysis of perceived value to users will increase GREATLY.
  • Social signals at domain level and page level will increase DRAMATICALLY.

Marketing Takeaway

Link building is here to stay, no question about it.

However, the face of link building is changing and the type of CONTENT you serve to your readers is rapidly becoming the most important factor in any successful link building campaign.

Click here to read part three of this series.

Ana Hoffman

About Ana Hoffman

Traffic, traffic, traffic... Can't do without it, but don't know how to get it?
Ana does, and she freely shares her web traffic advice that doesn't suck on her Traffic Generation Cafe blog. And don't forget to pick up Ana's 7 Steps to Complete Search Engine Domination free SEO report while you are at it - stop hoping for more search engine traffic and go get it!

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  • Hello Ama,
    Thank you on this great post. Your seo tips are simple and straight. I want to say here, that in internet marketing, there is just a lot to learn because each day that passes, you discovered that what you know is not even enough and there is need to learn more. Content is king and Ama has said it all…and more to take home here!
    Thank You!

    • I been Ana blog for a while now, and she really breaks down this internet things for the people. When it comes to seo and more then her blog id the place to be.

      “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Our businesses definitely keep us on our toes, don’t they?

  • Thanks for another great post Ana! In my limited experience, I am finding that this is so true. I’m still learning what makes that quality content, but articles like this one are helping me get there.

  • I quite agree with you Ana. Link building is not all about the quantity, but how relevant and deep they are. Content as king is coming up again – this is enough to let all bloggers know that there is no alternative to high and unique content. I’m glad you shared this – keep up the good works

    • Google always keeps us on tip-toes, but this time around, it’s going in the right direction at least: once again emphasizing content at the genesis of it all. Just the way it should be.

  • “Nofollow attribute is added to links to let Google know that…you are not willing to…share your site authority with them. Thus, any of your site PageRank will happily stay with your site and not be passed to the site you are linking to.”

    In June 2009, Matt Cutts revealed that, while it’s true that no PageRank will be passed to a page linked to using nofollow, those links WILL reduce the amount of PageRank flowing though any other links from the page. So assuming some of the links from the page point to other pages on your own site, adding links to your site WILL reduce your PageRank, even if they’re nofollowed.

    That said, I think people are way too uptight about PageRank. The amount lost through nofollow links probably won’t make much difference.

    Here’s Matt’s article:

    • …and that’s why my blog is fully DoFollow, Antone. It has more benefits for the readership than potential consequences from the search engines – I definitely agree.

  • I think Google is already looking at the prominence of ads on pages but I don’t think the system is perfected. As for the nofollow, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it may or may not help you in the SERPS but the link being there will let people click over to your site. Also, Google is moving more and more away from traditional seo practices and just wants to deliver relevant content to their users. At least that’s my two cents on it all – I’m no expert though. We’ll just have to see what happens.

    • In essence, Google dictates what our SEO practices are or should be – all we need to do is to keep up with it.

      Thanks for coming by, Stephanie.

  • Excellent post Ana. I agree with you that CONTENT will definitely be the major factor in any SEO campaign. Quite frankly, I always believed that it was suppose to be that way. Unfortunately, due to several “less” acceptable SEO practices, many where able to outrank quality sites.. Good thing is that “search” bots are becoming smarter and can now differentiate better, poor for good quality. As for the future of search, only time will tell, but the points you mention will certainly be amongst them. We’ll see.

    • I still see many major sites providing crappy content and outranking quality, but smaller sites, Francisco – unfortunately, brand recognition and online presence is in focus these days and it’s way too easy for the big boys to outrank the small fish like our blogs just for that reason.

      • I agree.. However, I think that the playing field is more leveled (not balanced as we would want it to be) than it used to be before. In addition, there is always the matter of “if you can’t beat em, join em”, right? LOL

        • I agree in theory, Francisco. However, I see Google going back to branding as another essential for the high rankings.

          Problogger certainly gets linked to a lot more often than Traffic Generation Cafe…

          However, I agree with “if you can’t beat them, join them” – guest posting rocks!

      • Flo

        This is so true Ana, I guess that the overall authority of the domain is transferred to the crappy content. Domain authority obviously still plays a huge role in rankings.

        In this post, you brought your classy writing from Traffic generation cafe to Yaro’s. Keep rocking traffic generation Queen or is it Tzarina? 🙂 And “small fish” you are not!

        • Thanks, Flo!

          I think I need to do some research into what Google currently thinks about brands and how that plays into rankings. Have a feeling it will be a great post…

          Great to see you here!

  • Wonderful post, Ana. I have been a fan of both the Traffic Generation Cafe, and Entrepreneurs-Journey for some time now, and I’m happy to see these two SEO/blogging worlds cross!

  • Ann

    Thanks for the tips, we have noticed our page rank is increasing on page 1

  • Hi Anna
    Quality content is certainly a must if you want to rank on the first page of Google but if you don’t build links from high page rank pages it will be very hard to rank even on the top 100 for your keywords on the other side if you just build links but you publish poor content the result will be the same and you will struggle to get to the top 100, additionally you will have high bounce rate which means that you will get low quality traffic.

    For that reason there should be a combination of these two to get the best results.

    • Of course, no one was saying that all you need is good content. Rather, my point was that great content is a natural link magnet, so the links will start coming naturally.

      Of course, you can and need to take some of that link building into your own hands…

  • I always though content was king

  • We should focus on content as the first thing, because content is the thing attracting guests.

    Nice post Anna =)

  • Nice Post Anna — Deliver a meaningful connection to your audience and it will spread. Thanks for sharing your well thought out post.

  • Ana – you said:

    “but if I get a few bloggers to link to my post from within their content, as in mentioning my post because it was that good, I will have an upper hand in search engine rankings for sure.”

    Would the value of the link inserted into the content of an article you produced, that was picked up as a guest post on a prestigious blog, be of equal value?

    If so, it gives a lot of credibility to the current rage of guest posting with quality articles.


    • Yes it would Bruce, and take a look how Ana linked directly to her blog from within this article. I don’t like to call this a “guest” post since Ana is a columnist, not a guest writing once or twice – she is here for the long haul – but you can see one of the benefits for writing for another site is linking within your articles to your own site. Of course you can’t abuse this by doing it too much or when it doesn’t make sense to link through to your own work, but you can see the SEO rewards are there if you are smart with it.

  • Nice Post Anna. Thanks for your NOFOLLOW list 😉

  • Hi Ana,
    Thanks for these wonderful tips on seo. I am looking forward to implement these tips for seo of my upcoming websites.

  • I’ve truly enjoyed reading the post. Link building really does wonders and each online marketer. But it takes careful detail and understanding in order for it to work in your favor. Thanks for the additional tips.

  • The secrets to top your blog in the search engine is unique articles whith interesting title. getting a unique article is not quite easy as it take a deal to come up with one, but once yu master the trick, creating unque article will be your daily activity. thought i should add this, thanks for sharing.

  • hi Ana! first of all thank you for such detailed post. I totally agree that nowadays unique content does the thing however still backlinks are the most important factor. it is just we need to search for the alternative ways of getting those links because all the old methods like “articles” now donot work..

  • Great post and with the world of SEO changing everyday, it is smart to try and do it right from the start. I have run into the same problem when researching my competition before, it just means you have to step up your game and provide better content. I really like you writing style as well Anna.

  • Link building is definitely here to stay as you say Ana. It’s tough though at the same time… when you think something is one way… but yet you see something ranking for a certain word that you just shake your head at and wonder how it could be. Certainly though, having the best content you can have will help in the long run as evident by Yaro’s aWeber post that many other bloggers linked to. The game is changing all the time… but alot of the same basic elements remain the same in my opinion.


  • I am a strong believer in natural links, and excellent content is the cornerstone. That being said, you have to get your name, or blog, ‘out there’ so your excellent content is noticed. To me, that is the difficult part. How does one go about being noticed in the first place?

    • Kathleen, thats a pretty generic question, what do you exactly mean by being noticed on the first page? Are you referring to making it so that people are more likely to visit your site versus checking out another’s site? So essentially your visibility of your link once you are on the first page?


  • well at least you get 50% from all visits if your site is n1
    rest 50% is spread between rest 9 sites in top10

  • Nobody knows what’s going on inside google. I’ve seen a sites ranked top on a high volume keyword with no backlinks at all. It makes no sense.

  • Loved this article. It really is all about the content. Without fantastic content, nobody is going to want to link to you. And if nobody links to you, then Google can never love your website! Thanks for the insight.

  • This is a very helpful post, Ana. I love the tip about spying on your competitor and using what works for them to build quality links. That’s a no brainer 🙂

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