Posted by randfish
OK, we know what you're all saying. You're saying, "But…why would I want to help someone else rank for my brand?" Stick with us, though. You can leverage the strength and authority of other sites to help increase the authority of your own site.
This week, Rand discusses this theory and shares a few reasons why (along with examples of how) you should work SEO on someone else's page to help yourself.
Have you tried this tactic before? How did it work out? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
"Howdy SEOmoz fans. Welcome to this special Thanksgiving edition of Whiteboard Friday. As you can see, today I'm dressed in my fancy pants clothing. Today is actually the What the Fancy Wednesday at SEOmoz. It's the first time we're ever doing it. Joel, who's behind the camera, I know you can't see him, look really hard. If you turn around behind you, that's where he is. He's also wearing a tie. Lots of people at the Moz offices are dressed lovely. But it's eclectic lovely, which is why I'm wearing a green sport coat and a pink tie and all that kind of stuff. All right. And the beard is back, thank goodness. It was rough going without it for a couple weeks there. Whoo, that was hard times.
This week on Whiteboard Friday I wanted to talk a little bit about why you might want to do SEO on somebody else's site. This might seem a little bit strange, because in SEO we learn very early on that putting all of your content on one domain, putting all of your links to that domain, doing all of your SEO work on a single domain is much, much better than spreading out your efforts, not just from an effort and protocol perspective, but also from a rankings perspective, because of domain authority, because of how domains and an individual sub-domain inherits domain authority and link metrics and all these kinds of tings,
But weirdly enough there are some cases when it might make great sense to do SEO on somebody else's site. Now the classic example that you'll always hear is reputation management., meaning I want to control the search results for my brand name or my brand names because I don't want anybody else getting in there or saying something bad about me or having the ability to draw away my traffic.
But actually there are some other big ones. Let's start with number one. I like to say don't just reputation manage, meaning don't just control the fact that there's no bad stuff on there. If there are great things that are being written about you or your company or your brand or your product, make sure they rank well.
For example, imagine I have opened Rand's Fancy Pants Shop. It's quite possible. Who knows, maybe the career here at Moz won't work out. I've got Rand's Fancy Pants on Twitter, my Facebook page, and that kind of stuff. But what if The Seattle Weekly or the Stranger or The Seattle Times wrote an article calling Rand's Fancy Pants the best men's shop in the city? It might not rank very well normally, naturally because they probably aren't doing a great job at SEO. But me getting that independent press piece to rank highly for my brand name will probably actually improve my conversion rate and make more people want to come site and buy from me and come to my shop and all these kinds of things.
If you have positive press out there or if you're going to start generating some and get it to rank well for your brand name, that's even better than reputation management. That's reputation improvement.
Number two, you can leverage the domain authority of other websites. Now, I don't just mean this from the perspective to help put links back to you. I mean there might be search results where you say to yourself, "Boy, you know what? These keywords are just too darn competitive. I'm too early stage. My site doesn't have that much authority. It's going to be hard." A lot of times it's hard to get people to link to your site, but it can be much easier when you're independently requesting links or pointing links to a third party site that happens to have some interesting content that you might have controlled or uploaded or those kinds of things.
So there are great places to do this. If you're throwing an event and you happen to use good branding for the keywords you want to target for that event, places like Eventbrite can be amazing. For pages that you might want to control around specific campaigns or specific products, you could have a specific Twitter or Facebook page that you have that is earning all of those social signals as well as the rankings. Remember Twitter, in particular, Google just loves to rank Twitter pages for brand names.
SlideShare, putting content on SlideShare, you can control everything about that page, the text content that's on there, that's the content from the slide. The comments you get to control. You control the URL and the title. So you've got a lot of control on SlideShare, and if you can make that SlideShare do well, perform well, it will go to the front page of SlideShare, which means it gets a lot of links and attention and awareness from SlideShare internally that can help boost it up. I've seen SlideShare URLs ranking for all sorts of highly competitive phrases.
Google+, I've noticed that a lot of Google+ threads, individual threads that are public rank quite well and they're improving and improving as Google+ gets more and more domain authority of its own. What this means for you is use that title element on a Google+ thread. If you start some text and you surround it with the asterisk or star character, that will become bolded. That becomes kind of the title of the post. Then you can have URLs that you put in there. You can upload images there. You can put video and share video inside of Google+. All those opportunities.
YouTube same thing. Quora same story. You can start conversation threads, questions. Individual responses to questions get their own URL. Forum threads at forums you might find and guest posts. I particularly wanted to call out guest posts because guest posts is a great opportunity where you see that there might be someone who's ranking particularly well in your niche, has a lot of domain authority, has a popular blog, and rather than trying to get a link, which is what a lot of guest posts expect, you can say, "I don't want a link. I just want to write a great post for you."
Your real goal is to have that post rank, to have that post rank well and be associated with your name and your brand name. You're not even going after a link. When you're not, you seem less selfish and sort of have much more opportunity to do these kinds of things. Obviously, you're going to have to write a great post if you want it to rank well.
Number three, this one is a little bit of a chain effect, and this is kind of an old school SEO tactic, but something that still works. It actually started out in the spam world, where essentially black hat spammers would have a legitimate page that was linking to them and they'd point a bunch of crappy, low quality links to the page linking to them, rather than to their own site, essentially bolstering up the strength of the page that was linking over so that if those links got banned or penalized, it wouldn't impact their site. It would only impact the site linking to them.
This is sort of keep things that might harm you one step away from yourself. But this actually works very well in the totally white hat SEO world as well. If you've got a great link from a source, and especially if Google's not crawling it or they haven't crawled it yet or that link doesn't appear to have had much impact, you might want to point some links at it to help that page gain some extra authority, particularly if it's on a powerful domain, but you're feeling like, man, it's just not getting the credit, what I would normally expect it to provide to me, you can pump that page up.
I've got an article that The New York Times wrote years ago literally about facial hair trimming styles or something, and I had done a blog post about this years ago. They link over to SEOmoz. But it wasn't particularly valuable. So over the years, every once in a while I'll throw out, "Oh yeah, I was mentioned in The New York Times once here. It was kind of a weird article." But that's actually improved the value of that link coming from the NYT coming back over to SEOmoz.
Then fourth and finally, you can control bigger portions of SERP real estate. If there's a ranking that you particularly say, "Man, I'm ranking number two, number three, or I'm ranking number one and I'm getting great traffic. This is highly converting traffic. People come back again and again. They subscribe. This is wonderful traffic. I wish I could get more people from this."
This leveraging some other domains, leveraging SEO on other people's sites that reference or point to you can be a great way to kind of own more of the search engine real estate that shows up, and this can be done not just with standard search results, but think about videos, think about articles that include rel=author, any type of rich results that they're mixing in there, not just rich snippets, but vertical types of results. So location style results or news style results, you can enhance the rankability of other pages on other people's sites that reference you in order to control more of the real estate for a key phrase or term.
All right everyone. This is going to be wonderful. You're all going to go out. I hope you had a great turkey day, by the way. I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving for our friends here in the States, and for those of you overseas, we love to give thanks around this holiday in the U.S. and hopefully you have a lot to be thankful for as well. Of course, now you can go and link build to lots of other people and optimize other people's websites, and they'll be very thankful for that of course too.
All right everyone. Take care. We will see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday."
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