The Most Important Link Penalty Removal Tool: Your Mindset

Posted by Eric Enge

Let’s face it. Getting slapped by a manual link penalty, or by the Penguin algorithm, really stinks. Once this has happened to you, your business is in a world of hurt. Worse still is the fact that you can’t get clear information from Google on which of your links are the bad ones. In today’s post, I am going to focus on the number one reason why people fail to get out from under these types of problems, and how to improve your chances of success.

The mindset

Success begins, continues, and ends with the right mindset. A large percentage of people I see who go through a link cleanup process are not aggressive enough about cleaning up their links. They worry about preserving some of that hard-won link juice they obtained over the years.

You have to start by understanding what a link cleanup process looks like, and just how long it can take. Some of the people I have spoken with have gone through a process like this one:

link removal timeline

In this fictitious timeline example, we see someone who spends four months working on trying to recover, and at the end of it all, they have not been successful.
A lot of time and money have been spent, and they have nothing to show for it. Then, the people at Google get frustrated and send them a message that basically tells them they are not getting it. At this point, they have no idea when they will be able to recover. The result is that the complete process might end up taking six months or more.

In contrast, imagine someone who is far more aggressive in removing and disavowing links. They are so aggressive that 20 percent of the links they cut out are actually ones that Google has not currently judged as being bad. They also start on March 9, and by April 30, the penalty has been lifted on their site.

Now they can begin rebuilding their business, five or months sooner than the person who does not take as aggressive an approach. Yes, they cut out some links that Google was not currently penalizing, but this is a small price to pay for getting your penalty cleared five months sooner. In addition, using our mindset-based approach, the 20 percent of links we cut out were probably not links that were helping much anyway, and that Google might also take action on them in the future.

Now that you understand the approach, it’s time to make the commitment. You have to make the decision that you are going to do whatever it takes to get this done, and that getting it done means cutting hard and deep, because that’s what will get you through it the fastest. Once you’ve got your head on straight about what it will take and have summoned the courage to go through with it, then and only then, you’re ready to do the work. Now let’s look at what that work entails.

Obtaining link data

We use four sources of data for links:

  1. Google Webmaster Tools
  2. Open Site Explorer
  3. Majestic SEO
  4. ahrefs

You will want to pull in data from all four of these sources, get them into one list, and then dedupe them to create a master list. Focus only on followed links as well, as nofollowed links are not an issue. The overall process is shown here:

pulling a link set

One other simplification is also possible at this stage. Once you have obtained a list of the followed links, there is another thing you can do to dramatically simplify your life.
You don’t need to look at every single link.

You do need to look at a small sampling of links from every domain that links to you. Chances are that this is a significantly smaller quantity of links to look at than all links. If a domain has 12 links to you, and you look at three of them, and any of those are bad, you will need to disavow the entire domain anyway.

I take the time to emphasize this because I’ve seen people with more than 1 million inbound links from 10,000 linking domains. Evaluating 1 million individual links could take a lifetime. Looking at 10,000 domains is not small, but it’s 100 times smaller than 1 million. But here is where the mindset comes in.
Do examine every domain.

This may be a grinding and brutal process, but there is no shortcut available here. What you don’t look at will hurt you. The sooner you start on the entire list, the sooner you will get the job done.

How to evaluate links

Now that you have a list, you can get to work. This is a key part where having the right mindset is critical. The first part of the process is really quite simple. You need to eliminate each and every one of these types of links:

  1. Article directory links
  2. Links in forum comments, or their related profiles
  3. Links in blog comments, or their related profiles
  4. Links from countries where you don’t operate/sell your products
  5. Links from link sharing schemes such as Link Wheels
  6. Any links you know were paid for

Here is an example of a foreign language link that looks somewhat out of place:

foreign language link

For the most part, you should also remove any links you have from web directories. Sure, if you have a link from DMOZ, Business.com, or BestofTheWeb.com, and the most important one or two directories dedicated to your market space, you can probably keep those.

For a decade I have offered people a rule for these types of directories, which is “no more than seven links from directories.” Even the good ones carry little to no value, and the bad ones can definitely hurt you. So there is absolutely no win to be had running around getting links from a bunch of directories, and there is no win in trying to keep them during a link cleanup process.

Note that I am NOT talking about local business directories such as Yelp, CityPages, YellowPages, SuperPages, etc. Those are a different class of directory that you don’t need to worry about. But general purpose web directories are, generally speaking, a poison.

Rich anchor text

Rich anchor text has been the downfall of many a publisher. Here is one of my favorite examples ever of rich anchor text:

The author wanted the link to say “buy cars,” but was too lazy to fit the two words into the same sentence! Of course, you may have many guest posts that you have written that are not nearly as obvious as this one. One great way to deal with that is to take your list of links that you built and sort them by URL and look at the overall mix of anchor text. You know it’s a problem if it looks anything like this:

overly optimized anchor text

The problem with the distribution in the above image is that the percentage of links that are non “rich” in nature is way too small. In the real world, most people don’t conveniently link to you using one of your key money phrases. Some do, but it’s normally a small percentage.

Other types of bad links

There is no way for me to cover every type of bad link in this post, but here are other types of links, or link scenarios, to be concerned about:

  1. If a large percentage of your links are coming from over on the right rail of sites, or in the footers of sites
  2. If there are sites that give you a site-wide link, or a very large number of links from one domain
  3. Links that come from sites whose IP address is identical in the A block, B block, and C block (read more about what these are here)
  4. Links from crappy sites

The definition of a crappy site may seem subjective, but if a site has not been updated in a while, or its information is of poor quality, or it just seems to have no one who cares about it, you can probably consider it a crappy site. Remember our discussion on mindset. Your objective is to be harsh in cleaning up your links.

In fact, the most important principle in evaluating links is this:
If you can argue that it’s a good link, it’s NOT. You don’t have to argue for good quality links. To put it another way, if they are not obviously good, then out they go!

Quick case study anecdote: I know of someone who really took a major knife to their backlinks. They removed and/or disavowed every link they had that was below a Moz Domain Authority of 70. They did not even try to justify or keep any links with lower DA than that. It worked like a champ. The penalty was lifted. If you are willing to try a hyper-aggressive approach like this one, you can avoid all the work evaluating links I just outlined above. Just get the Domain Authority data for all the links pointing to your site and bring out the hatchet.

No doubt that they ended up cutting out a large number of links that were perfectly fine, but their approach was way faster than doing the complete domain by domain analysis.

Requesting link removals

Why is it that we request link removals? Can’t we just build a
disavow file and submit that to Google? In my experience, for manual link penalties, the answer to this question is no, you can’t. (Note: if you have been hit by Penguin, and not a manual link penalty, you may not need to request link removals.)

Yes, disavowing a link is supposed to tell Google that you don’t want to receive any PageRank, or benefit, from it. However, there is a human element at play here.
Google likes to see that you put some effort into cleaning up the bad links that you have gotten that led to your penalty. The more bad links you have, the more important this becomes.

This does make the process a lot more expensive to get through, but if you approach this with the “whatever it takes” mindset, you dive into the requesting link removal process and go ahead and get it done.

I usually have people go through three rounds of requests asking people to remove links. This can be a very annoying process for those receiving your request, so you need to be aware of that. Don’t start your email with a line like “Your site is causing mine to be penalized …”, as that’s just plain offensive.

I’d be honest, and tell them “Hey, we’ve been hit by a penalty, and as part of our effort to recover we are trying to get many of the links we have gotten to our site removed. We don’t know which sites are causing the problem, but we’d appreciate your help …”

Note that some people will come back to you and ask for money to remove the link. Just ignore them, and put their domains in your disavow file.

Once you are done with the overall removal requests, and had whatever success you have had, take the rest of the domains and disavow them. There is a complete guide to
creating a disavow file here. The one incremental tip I would add is that you should nearly always disavow entire domains, not just the individual links you see.

This is important because even with the four tools we used to get information on as many links as we could, we still only have a subset of the total links. For example, the tools may have only seen one link from a domain, but in fact you have five. If you disavow only the one link, you still have four problem links, and that will torpedo your reconsideration request.

Disavowing the domain is a better-safe-than-sorry step you should take almost every time. As I illustrated at the beginning of this post, adding extra cleanup/reconsideration request loops is very expensive for your business.

The overall process

When all is said and done, the process looks something like this:

link removal process

If you run this process efficiently, and you don’t try to cut corners, you might be able to get out from your penalty in a single pass through the process. If so, congratulations!

What about tools?

There are some fairly well-known tools that are designed to help you with the link cleanup process. These include
Link Detox and Remove’em. In addition, at STC we have developed our own internal tool that we use with our clients.

These tools can be useful in flagging some of your links, but they are not comprehensive‚ÄĒthey will help identify some really obvious offenders, but the great majority of links you need to deal with and remove/disavow are not identified. Plan on investing substantial manual time and effort to do the heavy lifting of a comprehensive review of all your links. Remember the “mindset.”

Summary

As I write this post, I have this sense of being heartless because I outline an approach that is often grueling to execute. But consider it tough love. Recovering from link penalties is indeed brutal.
In my experience, the winners are the ones who come with meat cleaver in hand, don’t try to cut corners, and take on the full task from the very start, no matter how extensive an effort it may be.

Does this type of process succeed? You bet. Here is an example of a traffic chart from a successful recovery:

manual penalty recovery graph

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Building Better Content By Improving Upon Your Competitors

Posted by Bill.Sebald

In rock n’ roll music, stealing is expected. Led Zepplin allegedly lifted from¬†lots of earlier blues and folk artists. The famous¬†I-IV-V chord progression of The Wild One’s song “Wild Thing” was used only a couple years later on “Mony, Mony.” My favorite example of musical larceny –¬†“Let It Be” by The Beatles, “Farmhouse” by Phish, and “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley are built around the exact same chord progression. Yet in all these cases, the songs were tweaked enough to stand on their own in meaning, served as distinct entities, and inspired unique feelings from the listener. Granted record company execs often¬†disapproved, but some artists were often flattered to see interpretations of their riffs and progressions. At the end of the day, this is what spawned (and advanced) the rock music genre. Sometimes stealing is the engine of innovation.

‚ÄúYour idea isn‚Äôt new. Pick an idea; at least 50 other people have thought of it. Get over your stunning brilliance and realize that execution matters more.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒMark Fletcher of Bloglines.com.

In marketing, we don’t just “steal” the minds of consumers, we sometimes steal – and interpret – from our competitors. Sometimes we’re lazy about it, and sometimes we’re perceived as originals. Remember one of the immutable laws of marketing – always appear to be first. Well then why not be first to make someone’s content strategy more effective (for your own gain)?

Wait –¬†so do I condone being a pickpocket, cat burglar, or politician? No. What I‚Äôm suggesting is reviewing what inspires you, analyzing why it was successful, and inspiring yourself to make something better. Better for us, better for our clients, and better for their customers.

Oh no; is this another “Content Is King” post?

I’m not a huge fan of that phrase anymore. SEO has gone through some serious developmental stages in its lifetime. Once the hype was all about “keyword density,” then “anchor text,” then “duplicate content;” now I feel like our latest bandwagon concept is the semi-vague “content is king.”

These are certainly all valid concepts in SEO, but without proper context, they often fall short of sound advice. They become blind directives.¬†So here we are in 2014, with many business executives nodding along, “yes – content is king. I’ve read that a trillion times. We need to crank out 100 posts a month. Go, go go…” But I think this is a problem. Now that SEO is mainstream, there’s so much “good content” that the noise ceiling has simply been raised. I’ve said it before,¬†“Fair-quality copy is becoming the new Google¬†spam.” I go into pitches now where businesses can’t understand why their legacy¬†content isn’t getting searches. In other words, they ask¬†why “content is king” isn’t producing results. It’s usually because content was treated as a homogeneous¬†tactic where a marketing or SEO¬†strategy wasn’t put in place to link the pieces together.

I think it’s time SEOs put that phrase to rest, and start thinking in terms of how a traditional content¬†marketer would think about it. “Content that is unique in value, strong in expertise, provides a necessary point-of-view, and leads the pack in terms of usefulness is more than king –¬†it’s fundamental to success.” A bit of a mouthful (and less sexy), not to mention harder to develop, but it¬†really needs to be adopted.

So if you would, please keep that in mind during this post. Continue on!

What are your competitors doing?

Content ideas come from lots of sources. Some are vapid (like content topic generators) and some are interpreted (like reviewing customer poll results). Often a simple interview with your sales or service team can teach you plenty about the mindset of your consumer. Studying on-page product reviews can also be inspiring. Focus groups, experiments; all this and more can help produce pieces of content that can be strung together and tracked in order to build a truly converting funnel.

We all know¬†the most effective content is inspired by data, versus ‚Äúcrazy ideas‚ÄĚ with no concrete evidence quickly thrown against the wall. While this occasionally has some SEO benefit (arguably¬†less and less with Panda updates), it rarely does much for your conversion¬†funnel. It takes that extra digging that some aren’t quick to execute (at least in my experience). But what happens when your competitor is willing to do the work?

That’s where you can learn some interesting things. Marketing espionage!

Granted, most competitors don’t want to share their data with you, no matter how much beer you try to bribe them with (believe me, I’ve tried). We have tools like
SEMrush to estimate search metrics, and services like Hitwise and Compete to get more online visitor data. While that is certainly helpful, it’s still¬†directional. But we’re marketers – so what do we do? We get creative.

How to get a birdseye view of a content play (with common SEO tools)

It’s time to lift the hood. I like to start with
Screaming Frog. Most SEOs know this tool. If you don’t, it’s a spider that emulates what a search engine spider might find. In my experience there’s no better way to find the topics a website is targeting than with¬†a “screaming” crawl.

Filter down to HTML, and¬†you’ll find the URL, Title Tag, Meta Description, H1, and sometimes the Meta Keyword data. If you already have your own¬†keywords and entities in mind, and want to see what a competitor is doing with them, it’s as simple as searching for them in Screaming Frog (or an excel export) and scanning for it.

Click for a larger image:

 

Consider this totally¬†random “shammy”¬†example in the screenshot¬†above. If I worked in the shammy business, through a quick scan I might be interested to know that at least one of my competitors found value enough in creating a section around an iPad cloth. Is that a segment I never considered?

Don’t have Screaming Frog? The site:operator is a less powerful option. You can’t export into a spreadsheet without a scrape.

Ubersuggest or¬†keywordtool.io can be used in clever “quick and dirty” way – put in a keyword you think there’s opportunity for, and add “who,” “what,” “where,” “why,” or “how” to the query. Your fragmented query will often show some questions people have asked Google. After all, plenty of great content is used to answer a query. Search some of these queries in Google¬†and see what competitor content shows up! At the very least, this is a nice way to find more competitors who are active with creating content for their users.

At this point you should be¬†taking notes, jotting down ideas, observations, potential content titles, and questions you want to research. Whether in a spreadsheet or the back of a napkin, you’re now¬†brainstorming with light research. Let your brain-juice flow.¬†You should also be looking for connections between the posts you are finding. Why were they written? How do they link together? What funnels are the calls-to-action suggesting? Take notes on everything, Sherlock!


Collect the right data

Next, step it up with more quantifying data.Time to trim the fat.

Search data

By entering and measuring¬†your extracted¬†in¬†Google’s¬†Keyword Planner, you’ll see not only is there interest in an iPad cleaner (where an “iPad Shammy” might make sense with¬†its own strategy), but some searcher interest in the best ways to clean an iPad. That could be fun, playful content to write – even for a shammy retailer. It could tie directly to products you already sell, or possibly lead you into carrying new products.

Click for a larger image:

Estimated searches don’t tell the whole story. We know plenty of keywords and metrics from this tool are either interpolated or missing. I’ve found that small estimated searches can sometimes still lead to more highly-converting volume than expected. Keep that in mind.

Social data

What searches enter into Google’s search box isn’t the only indicator of value.¬†Ultimately if nobody likes a certain topic or item your content, they aren’t going to share or link to it. Wouldn’t it be great to have another piece of evidence before you get to structuring a strategy and writing copy? That evidence may lie with your competitors’ social¬†audience.

At this point you have keyword ideas, content titles, sample competitor¬†URLs, and possible strategies sketched out.¬†There are some great tools for checking out what is shared in the social space.¬†Topsy,¬†Social Crawlytics, and¬†Buzzsumo are solid selections. You¬†can look up¬†the social popularity of a given URL or domain, and in some cases drill down to influencers. If it’s heavily¬†shared, that may suggest perceived¬†value.

Click for a larger image:

Look at the image above.¬†If my agency is a competitor of yours, you might be interested that one of my posts got 413 social shares. It was a post called “Old School SEO Tests In Action (A 2014 SEO Experiment)”.¬†You can dig in to see the debates boiling through the comments or the reactions through social media. You can go so far as see who shared the post, how influential these people¬†are, and what kind of topics they usually share. This helps qualify the shares.

With these social¬†metrics I believe It’s reasonably¬†safe to infer people in the SEO space care about experiments, learning about things that move rankings, and that most believe older tactics aren’t worth pursuing. With very little time at all, you might be able to come up with ways to improve upon this post or ideas for your own¬†follow up. Maybe even a counter argument? Looking at who the post resonated with, you could presume my target audience was SEOs with a goal of providing industry insights. With a prominent lead generation form on this post, you might even suspect a secondary interest was as¬†a source of new client leads.

If you surmised any of these things from the social data, you’re 100% right! This was certainly a thought out post with those goals in mind.

Backlink data

Let’s examine link¬†popularity and return to the shammy¬†industry. Specifically let’s look at a pretty¬†unique item –¬†a shammy for Apple products –
https://www.klearscreen.com/detail.aspx?ID=11.

  • Open Site Explorer found 1 link from a retailer.
  • Ahrefs found 8 links from 8 domains, one being a forum conversation on Stackexchange.com, and the others from a retailer.
  • Majestic found 13 links from 6 domains. Similiar to what Ahrefs found.
  • WebMeUp found 30 backlinks from 9 domains.

From this data it¬†looks like the iPad shammy market isn’t exactly on fire. Now it doesn’t appear iKlear (or¬†Klear Screen) is doing much marketing for this particular product – at least not according to Google. Their¬†other Apple product cleaners seem to get more attention, but perhaps iKlear¬†simply¬†knows this isn’t a high demand product. It could be true –¬†after all¬†it hasn’t gone viral. It hasn’t generated much in the way of online discussions. But it also hasn’t been marketed much.

This is why all the data needs to be collected, correlated, and analyzed.  You want the best hypothesis you can get before you start committing your time to a content strategy. Did this just kill a possible content strategy for an iPad Shammy, or is this a huge untapped opportunity? It entirely depends on how you interpret all the data you collect.

You’ve got some ideas; now what’s the execution?

You just did a lot of work. You can’t go off half-cocked throwing up willy-nilly content. Jeepers, no! The next step is the most crucial!

At this point you should have uncovered some great ideas based on your competitor’s clues. Now¬†comes the part where you¬†thoughtfully determine how to implement these ideas and craft a strategic roadmap. The options are endless, which could provide a decision-making¬†struggle. From new¬†microsites to overhauling existing content, there’s so much you can do with the gems you’ve dug up.

Remember to examine what your competitors did. How did they plug everything together?

But sometimes your competitors don’t have a discernible content strategy. Instead just fragmented¬†content floating like an island. This is even better for you. Now you have opportunity to not only outshine in the actual content, but put together an actual¬†experience¬†that your users will value, thus providing a likely¬†positive¬†SEO result.¬†Here are three options I tend to build a strategy around most often:

  • Create a new funnel
  • Create content for off-page SEO
  • Create emphasis content

With fresh metrics, the
new funnel is often necessary. Chances are you discovered uncharted territory (at least from your website’s perspective). All future or existing¬†content should have pre-conceived goals – there’s a top and bottom to every funnel, and maybe some strategic¬†off-ramps leading¬†to forms, contact pages, or products. Remember,¬†you’re goal is to be driving the reader through an experience, eliciting emotions and appealing to their needs of which you’ve already built a hypothesis upon. This new funnel¬†can dip into your current website or run parallel (ie, a microsite, sub-domian, or otherwise disconnected grouping). The greatest thing about digital marketing is that nothing is in stone. It’s so easy to test these funnels and redesign with collected data when necessary.


Off-page
is also very common (right link builders?). Find something that is popular, and go share it with sites more popular than yours. Maybe you can even start generating new popularity and create a segment of its own. Build a strategy to take this burgeoning topic and let the widest audience know about it. Get branding, mind share, links, and ideally profit like a beast.

The
“emphasis content”¬†(as I call it) has been a solid go-to plan for me when I discover small pockets of opportunity; notably the stuff that may have a smaller impact and isn’t worth a month long content strategy. If I were to create my own iPad shammy play, based on what I’m seeing so far, I’d probably think about a page or two as emphasis content.

This content is like an independent port of entry or landing page, either to an existing funnel or a direct money maker. In a previous post I talked about
creating niche¬†collection pages for eCommerce. That could serve as emphasis content to a parent collection, but I’m usually thinking of heavier use of text in this case. Where you really take your goal, slice it up, and provide nice, beefy communication¬†about it.

This play can be nuclear. By creating these one-off pages based on all the metrics discussed above, it’s usually much easier to do targeted outreach and social marketing. A well placed page, providing well placed internal links (ideally off popular pages), can pass PageRank and context like a dream,¬†A tool like
Alchemy API can help you see the relevance of pages and help you determine the best place to publish this page

Summary

A content strategy doesn’t go far if it’s phoned in. Take all the help you can get, even if it’s from a¬†competitor. Learn from businesses who took steps before you. They may have very well discovered the holy grail. Competitive research has always been a part of any marketing campaign, but scratching the surface only gets you superficial results. Look deeper to uncover more than just a competitor’s marketing plan, but the very reason why the competitor may be beating you in search. Then, hopefully you’ll become¬†the rock star others are trying to copy from. That’s a good problem to have.

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Silly Marketer, Title Tags Are for Robots! Whiteboard Friday

Posted by jennita

Like all good marketers, we think carefully about our title tags before publishing new content. Then we just take that carefully crafted title and plop it into the OG tags for social shares, right?

Think again!

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Jen Lopez explains why we need to put in a little more effort than that.

Here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard:

Video transcription:

Hey, Moz fans, welcome to yet another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Jen Lopez, the Director of the Community here at Moz, and today I’m going to take you on a tale of two marketers.

We have the SEO, right? We focus on making sure that the robots and that the spiders are crawling through our sites and can get to them. Then when we want things to show up in the SERPs, we make sure that our title tags are keyword rich and our meta descriptions are super enticing, right? We make sure that when somebody clicks from the search engine results page, that they see exactly what we want them to see. And that’s smart, right? Those keywords are actually a high ranking factor. All of these things that we focus on, we work very hard to make sure that our keywords are at the beginning of the title and that sort of thing.

But then we have the social media marketer. Yes, I drew that. I’m sorry, all social media marketers. I know you don’t actually look at that. We think about the people, right? How are people going to look at it? How are people going to re-share this? And so as a social media marketer, we’re thinking like, “How can we change the Open Graph tags so that people on Facebook and people on Google+ and people on LinkedIn are seeing these things exactly the way we want to see them?” We want to see big images. Who cares about keywords? That’s what that SEO person does, right?

What about Twitter cards? You want to make sure that when you send something in a tweet or somebody tweets your blog post or your infographic, or whatever it may be, that it’s coming across exactly the way you want to see it. You’re thinking about rich pins, and you salivate when you’re on Pinterest and you see a recipe and it actually shows all of the ingredients in the recipe. That might just be me, but in general that’s often what we do.

What tends to happen is people are getting better about using the Open Graph tags and the Twitter cards and that sort of thing. But what we normally do is we take what we have, put in the title tags and meta description, and we make it the default so that it’s really simple. So we’re doing the basics. We’re being lazy. That’s exactly what we’re doing.

We do it on our own blog. You go to our blog, the title that you see on the page, the title of the post, the title that you see shared on social network, it’s always the same. You’re going to see it across the board, and it is time for us to stop being lazy because think about if you did this.

Now let me give you first an example — Huffington Post. I recently wrote a post for Huffington Post, and being a SEO myself, I worked very hard at making sure that the title tag was something that would come across in the SEO world very nicely so that it would show up in SERPs great and it would do all this stuff. What was interesting was, that without my prompting, that something that the Huffington Post editorial team did, is after I submitted my post with all of my information, they told me it took several days. I get this email that says, “Congratulations, your post is on Huffington Post.” I did a little happy dance because now I can put in Google+ that I contribute to Huffington Post.

Besides that, the first thing I did is I went to share it on Facebook. What’s interesting is when I shared it on Facebook, it was not the image that I’d used. It was not the title that I’d used nor was it the description. It was very specific to social.

So I went back to my page thinking, “What the hell, did they change all of my stuff?” No, my title tag and images and everything are still exactly the same. However, they’ve set the Open Graph and the Twitter cards to be specific to social. I had this like “Oh my gosh moment,” when I realized: Why in the world aren’t we all doing this? Why aren’t we taking one piece of content and making it so that not only do the robots see it and do we care about the keyword rich title and meta description that looks good in the SERPs and getting all the schema just right so that it looks right there? Why don’t we do that plus we make sure that the Open Graph tags are great, that you have an image that’s super shareable, that you have a description and the title that can be somewhat up worthy?

I’m not a huge fan of, “This woman wrote on a Whiteboard, and you’ll never guess what happened next.” I really don’t like those, but people click on that stuff. You put a different image, a different image here than a different image you have here, and you make it something. You put a circle around somebody’s face in the background. We’ve all seen those on Facebook, right? They work really well. It’s brilliant. You take one piece of content, and you make it work really well for the robots, and you find that happy place. You get the people plus robots equals love. That’s because you’re making your content that you’ve worked really hard at, you’ve put time and effort into this, you’re making sure that it’s easily consumable by the people who want to share it and re-share it hopefully and make it viral because you want that virality here. But you also want it to be stable, and you want the robots to see it and you want the spiders to be able to get to it and all of that.

So my quest, you have a quest. I am doing this hopefully internally as something that I’m pushing very hard, and I would like to see you step up your game as well. So rather than just keeping those defaults of, “Here is my title tag and I’m going to use it in all of the places,” that you’re going to take the time to write not only your title tag and meta description for SEO purposes, but that you’re going to work hard at taking these and doing really great things with your social meta tags as well.

Below, I’m going to give you some resources to specific posts that talk about how to do this well and how to do this well and then take those and combine them. When you do that, you are going to find that people are going to love the heck out of your stuff. I will be the first one when we get that set up on our site, I will tell you exactly how it’s working for us. So stop being lazy, do the hard work, and make your stuff super
shareable all over the Web.

That’s it for today. I hope to see you again soon. Have a great weekend.

Additional resources

For more info on title tags: 
New Title Tag Guidelines & Preview Tool

For more info on social meta / open graph (OG) tags:
Must-Have Social Meta Tags for Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and More

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