Episode 15: Ultimate Guide to Backlinks, Link Building, and Internal Linking – Part 1


Meet the Guest: Arsen Rabinovich

Digital Marketer, SEO, International Speaker, 2X Interactive Marketing Award Winner, Search Engine Land Award Winner. Arsen is the founder of TopHatRank, a Los Angeles based marketing agency that specializes in innovative digital marketing techniques for modern brands of all sizes.
Follow Arsen on LinkedIn. 
Headshot of Arsen Rabinovich

Podcast Episode Notes


Here are some of the biggest takeaways from this episode:

  • Commit to the Process: Understand the long-term benefits and stay dedicated to the process of link building for successful SEO outcomes.

  • Understand the Role of Backlinks: Recognize that backlinks serve as external signals to Google, indicating the relevance and authority of your content.

  • Relevancy and Authority: Prioritize building links that are both relevant and authoritative to maximize their impact on your SEO.

  • Optimize On-Page Content First: Before pursuing backlinks, ensure your content is thoroughly optimized with relevant keywords, proper internal linking, and high-quality on-page elements.

  • Use Competitive Analysis: Analyze competitors to understand their link-building strategies, but avoid mimicking their exact footprint due to Google’s selective use of backlinks.

  • Employ Strategic Outreach: Build relationships with relevant bloggers and publishers for quality link-building opportunities. Personalized outreach can yield better results than mass emailing.

  • Diversify Your Links: Aim for a variety of link types, including mentions in articles, guest posts, and interviews, to create a natural and robust link profile.

  • Leverage Tools for Analysis: Utilize tools like Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Keywords Everywhere to analyze your backlink data and track the performance of your SEO efforts.

  • Internal Linking: Strengthen your internal linking structure as it provides strong signals to search engines and can significantly improve your content’s ranking potential.

Mentioned Tools & Resources:

These are the tools and resources that were mentioned in the podcast episode:

  • TopHatRank – Arsen’s digital marketing and SEO agency.
  • Moz – SEO software offering domain authority and other metrics.
  • SEMrush – Comprehensive SEO tool for competitive analysis.
  • Ahrefs – SEO tool for backlink analysis and site audits.
  • Keywords Everywhere – Tool for integrating search volume data into Google Search Console.
  • Google Search Console – Tool for tracking website performance and keyword rankings.
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Episode Transcript

Ashley Segura: So when you’re not at your desk building links.

And you find yourself in the kitchen. What’s your go to dish to cook?

Arsen Rabinovich: Oh man, right now my go to dish is, uh, it’s pretty boring. It’s ground beef with all kinds of seasoning, uh, uh, mixed with steamed vegetables and I top it with a lot of fermented beans. Vegetables, uh, um, sauerkraut and all kinds of stuff.

Uh, avocado, uh, everything, bagel seasoning on top of it.

Ashley Segura: Okay.

Arsen Rabinovich: Uh, and it, uh, it gives me all the nutrients and it gives me everything I need to survive and not die.

Ashley Segura: Yeah. It’s like you need as

Arsen Rabinovich: much of it as I want, but that’s pretty boring. I usually cook other stuff. There’s more interesting stuff that I do, but right now, at

Ashley Segura: least sounds healthy and check most of the nutrient boxes,

Arsen Rabinovich: right, right, right, right, right.

Ashley Segura: Decent ish, right? Okay. So when you’re not making sure that you get all the nutrients and you’re actually at your desk and working, you start us out by like really explaining what link building is from a very foundational aspect and why it’s important for SEO.

Arsen Rabinovich: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, just a way for, uh, for Google to connect the dots between documents, to really understand relationships between documents.

And over time, as the algorithm matured, as the, as the ecosystem Uh, uh, links started being much more than connectors. Links started, uh, uh, carrying signals, your signals like contextual signals, uh, authority signals, and so on and so forth. And, and as, as the algorithms matured again and again, uh, uh, we, as SEO started noticing that, Hey, the more links we get to a specific document on the web, uh, the better that document tends to rank, and obviously it’s a little bit more complex than that.

But, uh, in, in, in the way that it works, it’s pretty much that it’s external signals that let, uh, uh, Google know they serve other purposes. Uh, but they let Google know that, Hey, this document that I’m linking to from my document, uh, uh, is indeed a good resource on the following topic. And then that’s, you know, what the topic is derived from the anchor text, the content that surrounds that, that anchor text and so on and so forth.

Uh, but basically there we can, you know, the easy way to explain is that these are votes. This may need the more sites that are linking to you, the better. And obviously it’s much more complex than that. And I’m sure we’re going to get into that in this episode.

Ashley Segura: I’m going to pause. I’m getting all sorts of error messages.

Yeah. You were frozen for a second. Yeah. Which that’s fine. Cause you’re going to be the core of that one. I’m really glad that all these issues are happening with you and not another guest.

Arsen Rabinovich: I’m nobody important.

Ashley Segura: Yeah. I didn’t say it, uh, you can hear me, right? You can hear me perfectly fine. Okay. And it’s the things are there.

All right.

Arsen Rabinovich: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Ashley Segura: Okay. Let’s keep going.

Arsen Rabinovich: Some things are there.

Ashley Segura: Yeah. Okay. So to get even more granular with this, like, yeah, we’re definitely going to dive into a lot of that. Right. But. What is like, when I think of link building, there’s usually like, okay, this is the target URL that I want to build links to.

And then you have the anchor text, what’s the anchor text and how do you figure out what your target URL should be? Like that alone seems like a really big piece of the strategy puzzle,

Arsen Rabinovich: right? Uh, you know, there’s all kinds of ways of approaching this. Uh, you know, the easiest way to look at this is. Uh, you have to do a little bit of competitive analysis and really get a feel for, uh, uh, you know, what your competitors are doing from, uh, from the standpoint of external signals that are coming into, to this page.

And we know that Google doesn’t use or calculate or use as a part of their calculation, all of the links that are pointing to your page. It uses a segment. We don’t know how, what kind of segment, we don’t know which links are being used or not. So. Uh, mimicking your competitor’s footprint is not a smart strategy because we don’t know how many of those things are actually working for them, but you can get a sense.

And then there’s, you know, uh, certain tools have, uh, different scores that are specific to them. Like Moz has pay, uh, uh, uh, what is Moz? DA domain authority, uh, SEMrush has, I think website score, uh, uh, uh, uh, HR has ratings, domain rating, page rating. So every either it tools have different ways of really understanding like, Hey, this particular page, and when we look at this, we don’t look at specifically at the domain, we look at the page, right.

And we say, okay, this page has this much authority here. Right. So I want to come as close to it as possible to rank again. Uh, backlings are. In essence, our supporting signals at this point, this is the way we look at this, the way our top hat rate, we look at it internally as supporting signals. So back in the day, I was able to, I can talk about this freely now.

Uh, I was able to put a few words, 350 words on a page, as long as I keyword stuff and then optimize that page and hit it with a lot of links, uh, that page is going to rank. A lot of context was passed to pages. Now, if you remove the anchor arguments, you remove the transcript, but you remove the type of the type of the type of the description, then it stays the same way.

If the text says, Hey, I’m Jason. I’m an expert in JavaScript. So, you know, the type of the type that exists is the context. That’s all you have to do. Sends the contextual signal. So we try to understand which keywords, which topics, uh, uh, how can we contextualize that with links? Uh, and just looking at it from a standpoint of how does, how do things happen in the wild?

Right? Like if I am not actively pursuing links, uh, if somebody was to link to this page, how would they describe this page? What anchor text would they use? Right? So somebody who doesn’t understand SEO, like I reached out to, you know, to somebody who has a blog about. Kids names, right? And then I said, Hey, I wrote this really interesting article.

Uh, do you think you can maybe consider it in your roundup of kids names? And then they should not give them any further instructions. Just ask for that, right? How is that person going to treat this page? How are they going to describe it? How are they going to contextualize it? There is correlation between anchor texts and the keywords that you’re trying to rank for.

Uh, that signal is, unfortunately, is we believe is much, much weaker. Now, uh, uh, Google doesn’t, from what we see, Google doesn’t really pay too much attention to it as long as we get close enough. And then obviously there were like, there there’s certain best practices that apply. You don’t want to oversaturate.

You don’t want to do exact match too much. All of those are red flags. So it, you know, to answer your question, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish because links are not only for improving positions for keywords, links can be built for towards authority links can be built for expertise, authority, and trust signals.

So there’s, there’s different, uh, reasons why you want to build links.

Ashley Segura: So how would you approach it then from a strategy standpoint to say, like, you have a site, you have. Let’s say a decent amount of content. You’re not a brand new startup. It’s not a brand new website. Like you have a decent amount of content.

You you’ve had your site for a few years now and you’re like, okay, I’m creating content very regularly. I’m checking most of the marketing boxes, but I’m still not ranking for a few terms that I’d like to rank for. Where would you then start in the link building strategy? Would you start from let’s build links from an authority standpoint first, or how do you approach that?

Arsen Rabinovich: So, you know, uh, we always want to approach it from like, let’s build links with a purpose, right? And we don’t want to just do it just to do it. So when we building super, if we’re trying to improve positions for specific keywords or we’re trying to identify which posts can benefit from link building, right?

So I have a blog and I’m going to take a look and say, okay, where am I ranking in top 10 for any keywords that I can consider meaningful? Right.

Ashley Segura: Okay.

Arsen Rabinovich: And you have to look at it again from a business perspective. So for like publishers, for bloggers from ad revenue and that’s, you know. Uh, they get paid RPM, uh, basically per thousand, uh, page views.

So, you know, that’s what we’re trying to accomplish. We’re trying to rank for specific keywords so we can drive traffic to the website. So am I going to, if I was the blog owner, if I was the publisher, am I going to spend time and effort, uh, building links towards a topic that doesn’t have a lot of demand?

Towards a topic that I’m not in the top 20, top 10 positions for, right? Uh, you want to do as much work as possible on page before you start going after these secondary signals. And you can definitely squeeze much more ranking potential from properly optimizing your content will always be your main driving force.

Think of links as supporting signals. So I’m going to take a look and I’m going to say, where is my content positioned? Uh, content that’s covering a topic that has good demand and I can potentially earn like once I rank in the top three spots and I can get traffic that I can earn a lot of money because link building requires time, patience, and if you don’t have that, you have to spend money.

Right. So I would take a look and typically like I would say, okay, where am I in the top 10 positions and. The keyword that I’m trying to target has decent volume, and you have to be the deciding factor for what that decent volume is, you know, uh, for certain, uh, niches like recipe publishing, you know, we always recommend going for something that has 65, 6, 000 monthly on an average and above, right?

Because one, if you’re getting paid per page views, you want to go after something that’s actually going to make you money. So I’m going to take a look at them and say, okay, so this piece of content, I don’t know, potato soup recipe, right? Okay. Uh, this piece of content, uh, I’m already in position six. I’ve taken a look at my content.

I’ve, I it’s perfect. There’s nothing, literally nothing that I can do to this content to make it any more. Uh, uh, relevant, uh, to improve the intent match or intent satisfaction, rather. There’s nothing more that I can do from a topic, uh, coverage perspective. Uh, I’ve answered all the questions there is to answer.

I’ve effectively predicted, understood and predicted what the primary secondary intent is behind this query. And I’ve addressed that properly and structured it properly on my website. I’ve optimized all of my internal linking. Those signals are much stronger and, and, and carry much more contextual Contextuality, uh, than backlinks.

And if I can look at that piece of content, that document, and I can say, Hey, I’ve done my absolute best with this piece of content. At that point, I’m going to take a look and say, okay, Seattle soup recipe has decent search volume. Uh, I’m going to start building links to this. Right. And then from that point, you get into a whole different process of trying to understand which anchor texts, trying to understand how many links and all of that and so on.

Ashley Segura: Yeah. That was going to be my next question. Cause from a strategy standpoint, it’s like, okay, that, that makes sense. You’ve now identified Where you’re going to build links to, but how many links should you build to? And how long does that process usually take for it to show any success?

Arsen Rabinovich: Right. Uh, again, you know, if this was our webinar, we’d be giving out a lot of, uh, uh, uh, the prizes cause it depends.

Right. So, so the first thing we want to look at is, uh, we want to take a look at, What’s happening now, right? What’s, what kind of links do you have pointing to this page? Uh, and everybody has a different approach. Some people like to take a more of like a holistic approach and mimic like how things happen in the wild.

Uh, I like to be a little bit more measured and calculated with my approach. I’m going to take a look and see what’s there now, particularly I’m looking at, uh, anchor texts that are pointing to, and you can use tools like SCM rush. Uh, you can use tools like Ahrefs. Uh, you can use key search, any tool that shows you your backlink data and your anchor text is good enough.

And if you don’t have those tools, also fine, right? Cause you’re not going to be building links at thousands of links per week. And you think you’re not going to, I don’t think an average publisher. Unless they working with an agency and or have a dedicated, uh, SEO team, which does, uh, very aggressive outreach for them for link building, or they’re working with a PR agency is ever going to, uh, raise any red flags by building way too many links too quickly.

Right? Like it’s a difficult thing to do, right? It’s not an easy thing. So if you don’t have access to those tools, don’t worry about it. Uh, if you are doing it at scale, you should probably have access to these tools. So if you’re just doing it for yourself, you really don’t need it. Right. Uh, so. Uh, I would take a look at what’s there now, just for the sake of not wanting to maybe over optimize or oversaturate for specific anchor texts or stuff like that.

But again, as a regular blog publisher, if you have a food blog or travel blog, a DIY blog, you don’t have to worry. Then I would take a look at the keywords. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, um, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, uh, it’s a, uh, I can go into search console, uh, and I can see all the keywords that are currently ranking for that post, uh, for that document, for that page.

And you can do that inside of search console. It’s very easy to do. You can easily, you know, Google how to see, uh, which, uh, keywords. My, uh, page is ranking in search console. There’s plenty of tutorials on that. Uh, and you want to take a look at those keywords. Uh, if you use a tool like, uh, Keywords Everywhere.

Uh, I’ll tell you right now, uh, I think it’s keywords, uh, uh, keywords everywhere. Yeah. So if you have the paid version of keywords everywhere, it will actually bring in search, uh, volume data into your search console and Google search console. So now you have a tool. Which is pretty much free that gives you your positions, your keywords, and then also volumes, right?

And this way you can take a look for a specific page. So my potato soup as an example, my potato soup recipe page. I am number four for potato soup. I am number three for potato soup recipe. Uh, uh, I am number five for easy potato soup recipe. Right. Uh, and I’m like, okay, all of those words have decent volume.

All of those queries have decent search volume, right? Uh, I am positioned in top 10, my content from previously that I’ve analyzed my content, my content is perfect. There’s nothing else I can do to it. I’ve answered all the questions, I’ve covered the topic, I’ve satisfied intent. At this point, I’m going to be like, okay, so these are my primary keywords, uh, uh, uh, that I want to build links to.

I’m going to start with either those words as my anchor texts. Or I’m going to, uh, create partial match, right? Partial match would be like, so if I’m trying to rank for potato soup, I’m going to, uh, create, uh, uh, uh, uh, an anchor text that’s going to be something along the lines of like, uh, a delicious potato soup recipe, right?

As long as you have your primary topic within that anchor. And if it’s relevant, that’s the important part, it’s relevant to the content that the link is pointing to. So you don’t want to have your anchor text, say, uh, potatoes and it’s linking to potatoes because that’s not what the document is about.

That link is not going to help you at all. Right? So I’m going to look at it from that perspective. I’m going to target the keywords that I want to improve positions for. Right? So if I’m selecting anchor text, this is how I would do it. I would take a look again. I would go into search console or any tool that you have.

I would take a look at which keywords are ranking. Right? Within top 10 positions and have decent search volume. And as long as I can answer, as long as I can tell myself I’ve optimized my document, I’ve optimized my content, there’s nothing more I can do. I’ve improved the journal linking. I’ve improved the schemas working page speeds on point.

Like I’ve done everything I can do on site. Then we go on, we build links.

Ashley Segura: So when something’s kind of already working or working for the most part, then this is a way to amplify it. You’re not taking something that has never ranked or you’re not getting any traffic and trying to build links to that. You want to build links towards things that already have traffic, already have great potential.

It’s more of that like iceberg effect.

Arsen Rabinovich: Right. Absolutely. So again, When you’re on different brands, different reasons for link building, like some of our enterprise clients have the budgets for us to be very aggressive. They have very large sites, million plus pages, lots of content, lots of user generated content.

They’re generating their own links very well on their own organically. And then we can come in and start working within that flow of links to start molding it, molding those signals into something, but, and being more aggressive with it. Uh, uh, but if you’re doing this for yourself, uh, you start off slow, you build links little by little, uh, uh, and then you see how this works.

Obviously it’s not going to be instant gratification, right? Uh, so, so I wouldn’t say, Hey, you know, build yourself 10 links right away. Right. Uh, I would say, okay, so maybe this is a piece of content has, it’s a little bit, the keyword that I’m trying to target is a little bit more difficult. I’m in position five.

Uh, the, the documents that are ranking above me have, let’s say, um, uh, you know, 25 referring domains at the least. So am I going to say, and I want to build 25 links to this right away? No, I’m going to start maybe with two, three links, pause, see how it moves and then continue to add from there.

Ashley Segura: Okay. That makes sense.

So then you’re, I guess at this point, like you have your strategy down on where you’re going to build the links to now it’s a, how do you build the links process? And I know back in the day there was a lot of spammy practices. So what are the good ways to build links and what are the ways that we definitely want to avoid?

Arsen Rabinovich: So, you know, the links that are deep links, the links that you want to build directly to a piece of content they want to improve positions for. There’s different types of late building. There’s the PR aspect. There’s the authority aspect, right? Uh, so I want to build, I want to bring links to the page that I’m trying to rank for a specific keyword, right?

So two things are very important. Relevancy and authority, right? I would say relevancy trumps authority. So would I reach out to a transmission repair website in Fresno, California? To send a link to my potato soup recipe. Probably not. Cause you know, for a user perspective, Google users going to be like, Hey, uh, I’m here reading about how to repair this transmission.

Why is there a link to a potato soup? Right. And Google sees it the same way. It’s irrelevant. So that’s a useless link. It’s not going to harm you. It’s not going to help you. You just wasted your effort. So relevancy. If I’m writing about potato soup, the first thing that I’m going to do is, And again, this is again, we’re.

We’re building links to a specific page that we want to rank for specific keywords. That’s our objective, right? So I’m going to do. A few different types of link building. The most, the one that’s going to most likely yield the best results is going to be, uh, uh, reaching out to other bloggers, to other publishers, building relationships, uh, and basically once those relationships are built, I’m going to say, Hey, I have this really interesting post on my site.

Uh, it’s about potato soup. I see that you wrote something about, I don’t know, uh, uh, uh, uh, cooking soup with kids on your blog, right? Like, like, uh, great example. A mom blog. It’s a mom blog. She has a section on her site cooking with my kid, right? And one of those is, uh, uh, she, you know, she has a post about, you know, uh, uh, you know how I cook soup with my kid, right?

Ashley Segura: Yeah.

Arsen Rabinovich: That’s relevant, right? Mm-Hmm. if that post. Uh, you know, I cooked soup with my kid. Here’s what happened, right? Uh, links to my potato soup recipe. That’s relevant. That makes sense. Okay. Right. So I would make a connection there. I would say, Hey, you have this, I have this, would you mind referencing me?

Right. You don’t want to say, you don’t need to say backlink. You don’t have, would you mind mentioning me there? Right. And just building the best links that are going to come, that you’re going to be able to develop is through your connections, right? Uh, there’s different ways of approaching that you can do.

Uh, uh, let’s say I have. A newer website, but I have a very strong social presence, right? And you actually, you have that, that, that mom blog about cooking with kids, right? Uh, and you have a very old website that’s been around for a while, but your social is really poor, right? So here we can help each other, right?

I can feature some of your content promoted on my social in exchange. You can do something for me, right? Uh, you can link back to my post. So those kinds of connections are going to be delivering the best type of links. And there’s a lot of agencies that offer this kind of link building where they’ve already established relationships with publishers, with bloggers, who will help with that the other way to do this.

And that’s the more traditional way. This is how we do it. This is how, uh, uh, we prefer it done. And that’s if you, you were working with agency and that’s traditional outreach, right? Uh, there’s no scamming, there’s no hacking websites, there’s no, uh, uh, there’s no farms, website farms, there’s no private blog networks.

If you’re making a list. Of websites that are relevant to you and the topic. Uh, you’re checking things out. You want to make sure the website is in good shape. You’re checking things out. You’re looking at, Hey, does this website looks like it’s, there’s a real person behind the site, right? Does it have a functioning contact page?

Does it have a, does it have a good about page, right? Like all of the things that like, will hint to you that there’s a human behind this, that’s not a robot or a farm, right? Check out their socials. How active are they on the social look at last day? They published something. Uh, how frequently are they publishing?

And if all of those boxes are checked for you, right, this is a good potential for you to reach out to. Right. So at this point you can reach out to them. You can figure out, so am I going to reach out to them on social? Am I going to reach out to them through email? How am I going to make contact? They usually make contact and you say, Hey, uh, you know, I wrote this really interesting piece of content about potato soup.

I see you have this other post on your website. Uh, I have a, uh, I believe that. Uh, uh, my piece of content, uh, is very complimentary to, and the good point of reference that you can include in your piece of content, uh, would you be willing to do this and that works? It takes time, it takes effort, it takes energy.

It’s literally a pain in the butt process, right? Uh, it’s been. Uh, muddied by, uh, uh, uh, agencies that just do this in mass and do it dirty and trick people. And the email publishers from like, you know, uh, uh, link builder three, eight, one at yahoo. com. Right. Uh, uh, it’s very unprofessional. So a lot of publishers already have a bad taste in their mouth.

Those emails are ignored. I ignore those emails. I’m sure you would get them on LinkedIn. Right. So how you craft that, how you craft your pitch, how you craft your email. It’s very important, right? There’s also other things you can do. You can say, Hey, I wrote this piece of content. This is what we do. I wrote this piece of content and I would like for you to public this.

Here’s an additional piece of content that I feel will work very well on your website. Yes, it does reference my post on my side, but I’d love for you to take a look and you can modify it as much as you want. You can, you know, Whatever you want to do with it, we’re releasing the copyright to you. We feel like it will work very nicely on your website.

And then certain publishers will accept that they will publish it. And then we have a backlink. So there’s different ways. There’s different ways of doing this. Uh, I think for like, if I was in a position where I am working, not working with an agency or not working with a provider who does backlinks because I’m limited on resources, I’m limited on money.

Uh, I am going to do the relationship building approach. If you have resources, you’re working with a provider, uh, you, you know, and depending on who you’re working with. So if you’re working with an agency is going to help you figure a lot of stuff out. Uh, if you’re going to self directed and work with an, with a provider, uh, that you can just come in and say, Hey, I need to build links.

I want you to do outreach. Here’s all the stuff that I need. Uh, you have to be a little bit more self directed. But, um, Those are the ways to build links directly to, we call these deep links, directly to the piece of content that I want to write. There’s other things that you can do, there’s ego baiting, there is basically, Hey, uh, uh, Ashley, let me interview you, right?

Uh, I want to publish it on my site. I want you to reference this interview from your website, from your socials, right? That link is going to go directly to the interview. It’s not going to go to the post that I want to optimize, that I want to rank. That’s authority building. That’s just building, bringing in sites, bringing in links from, you know, from relevant websites that are not so much on the topic that you’re covering.

Right. Uh, uh, that, you know, going out to, uh, getting yourself, uh, uh, to be guests on podcasts, right? Like right now, like you’re going to, you’re going to record this. You’re going to publish this on content. Yum. There’s going to be a link to TopHatRank, right? Arsene from TopHatRank. So that establishes credibility, authority, trust.

I can use, I can take that. I can put that on my about page. Say, Hey, I was interviewed by Ashley at ContentYam. So like there’s different types of link building and all of those things are essentially links that help Google connect the dots,

Ashley Segura: right?

Arsen Rabinovich: At the end of the day, Google is crawling a web, right? And Google needs to understand how things are connected.

Right? So it’s not just a matter of like, I have more links than this guy, right? It’s about really showing Google. You can have, you don’t need to have a lot of links. You can have like a handful of links, but if they’re super relevant, they’re coming from authoritative websites that, that, that are so focused around specific topics and they’re linking to you and they’re clean, nice websites.

You’re going to squeeze much more ranking power. Whatever that is out of that link, then 10 links from crappy websites that don’t, they’re not relevant. And then relevancy can be established across multiple, uh, aspects, right? You can establish relevancy at domain level. You can establish relevancy on a, on a silo level.

Like if you have like a category cooking with kids, right. Uh, or you can do with page level. Right. And then there’s like different things that you can do with that information also. But relevancy is definitely the number one thing that you want to focus on.

Ashley Segura: Yeah, that, that makes a lot of sense. We do link building at content EM from the manual outreach perspective that you’re talking about.

And it’s literally looking at the site, do the niches work, do the industries match as it makes sense from the get go, but mentioned Google. So I got to dive into the Google leaks and talk like, okay, so since all of that happened, did any info come out from the links that you’re at least aware of that has changed your perspective on link building or should change our strategies at all?

Arsen Rabinovich: I, you know what? We gotta apply a filter to this, right? So, mm-Hmm, , uh, the leaks are not what the algorithm is. The leaks is what data the algorithm has access to. We don’t even know if it pulls those data in, right?

Ashley Segura: Mm-Hmm. .

Arsen Rabinovich: So these are API calls, right? So these are not, this is not like, these are the ingredients, it’s not the recipe for the soup.

Does that make sense? Gotcha. Right. So we know what the ingredients are, we don’t know if they’re gonna be used or how they’re gonna be used. Right. Uh, having said that. Has it changed our approach? No, because we stick to very specific, old school, monotonous, boring, uh, approach to link building that is, is deeply nested in, uh, outreach and doing outreach from a PR standpoint.

We’re, we’re not just spamming sites. We’re trying to actually find the match. I’m not going to give away our secret sauce, obviously. But we’re looking for a way to start a conversation with a publisher, right? And I’ll leave it at that. Like, am I looking at like when Blast did they publish something, right?

Am I trying to find an issue on their website that I can make friends and say, Hey, by the way, here’s what’s wrong. And because I’m an agency and I work with clients, um, you know, I have authority on this. You should probably fix this. There’s different ways of doing this. Uh, and, and I’ve seen some, I’ve seen some crazy creative stuff.

Like some of these link builders, uh, that I’m friends with, they get so creative, they have a funny comedic email pitches that they send out. So there’s definitely different ways. Uh, people send presents. People will send a present to a publisher. They’ll say like, you know, I want to start, I want to be your friend.

Right. There’s different ways of doing it. I like to look at it from a standpoint of, uh, uh, uh, regardless of how Google, what, how Google looks at link building, right? Diversity is always key, right? Uh, you can’t have the same type of link outreach link. Pointing only to your deep content, while your homepage has very few links.

While the overall link flow to your site is really poor, right? Those that does not look natural. And I’m not talking about like mimicking an actual footprint, right? I’m talking about just looking at things, take a step back and look at things from like a logical perspective, right? Like if I’m only building this one type of link, am I creating a single point of failure for myself?

Right? Is there diversity? Look at my competitors. What kind of diversity do they have? They have probably press releases. They have, uh, they’ve been mentioned on, uh, newspaper sites. They’ve been interviewed. There’s their social links. There’s, uh, there’s podcasts, there’s directories. It’s not just other bloggers linking to you.

It’s not just roundups, right? So relevancy and diversity, I think is even more important these days than before. Just because of what’s in the leaks. Right. And that’s where I’m going to leave it because we’re going to go down the rabbit’s hole and talk about like a whole bunch of stuff that’s in there, but without knowing how it’s being used, it’s really difficult for me to like, give you any kind of, uh, concrete advice.

Ashley Segura: Yeah, that’s a really good perspective because so many people are taking the leaks and now. Everything that’s in there, I’m going to redo my entire strategy. And there are some really helpful things in there that kind of like validate a lot of what SEO is already kind of new. And now they dive into a little bit more, but from like, Trashing your original strategy that you’ve been doing, that it, And it has been working, especially from like a foundational aspect of like how you guys do link building, how we do link building, like, and taking what’s in the leak information and switching it all together is not necessarily the best recommendation here.

It’s more of, okay, this is information to add to our potential strategy or validate what we’re already doing, but not pivot. And that’s kind of, I feel like with a lot of. The updates between the spam update, helpful content update. It’s like, okay, here’s things that you can change to your strategy or pivot within your strategy overall, but it’s not a slice and dice.

We’re starting from scratch.

Arsen Rabinovich: Essentially. Absolutely. A hundred percent. That

Ashley Segura: makes a lot of sense. Okay. So I am curious, you said you didn’t want to share your secret sauce, which is fine, but we need some kind of secret sauce. Like what’s your favorite tool right now? What’s a new resource that you came across or a strategy that you’re doing, whether with links or without links?

Arsen Rabinovich: Um, so. Look, the secret, I can’t even say this is a secret to us, right? So you, it’s, it should be, it’s, it should be a part of what you do. Right. So like, again, I’m not going to give away what we do because it’s unique to us. Uh, but, and I think we’ll have resources on this also, but like internal links, right, such a strong signal, such a strong signal, and a lot of publishers, a lot of sites, a lot of e commerce sites, uh, lead gen sites.

Uh, just don’t get it right, right? Uh, and I’ve said this before, link building is very resource heavy and time consuming.

Ashley Segura: Yeah.

Arsen Rabinovich: Resources, including money, right? There’s a lot in there. You might be writing content. It’s time consuming because you’re building relationships. You have to keep track of all of this.

You can at one point start buying tools to do all of this. Like you really need to be committed to this process. They really understand the benefit of committing to this process in order to be successful in it. Right. Uh, internal links and your on page signals, your onsite signals are so much stronger. I want you to think of backlinks as just supporting signals.

And I’ve said this in the beginning of this, of the, this interview, uh, they’re supporting signals. I am not going to, even if a client comes to me and says, Arson, I want you to build links to this page. Here are the anchor texts. Right. I’m going to take a look at it because I’m an agency and I’m gonna say, Hey, have you optimized this page to be as perfect as you can get before you build links to it?

Right? So a part of that is internal linking and how you properly structure that. I would spend more time on optimizing and more resources on optimizing my on page signals and my internal linking signals. Uh, and getting them as close as possible to like, even if I can move myself from position five. To position four, that’s already worth the effort.

Right. Right? And then from there start building links, right? A lot of webmasters, a lot of site owners, uh, big brand sites, uh, they’ll come in and say, okay, we want link building. This is, these are the pages that we want to build links to. And then we look at them and we’re like, Whoa, hang on. Like this page does not, like for the links that you want to build or the anchor text that you want to use, this page is not optimized for that.

So I can build these links for you, but it’s not going to move. Uh, I say this all the time, like, uh, building links to a piece of content, to a document that’s not optimized properly is like putting gas into a car that has a broken transmission. That page is not going to move very far or very fast. Right.

We’ll move, but it’s not. So, you know, wind up putting more and more gas, which are the backlinks, which are much more expensive and resource heavy than optimizing content that’s on your page. So I would definitely start there. That’s the secret sauce that I’m willing to give away.

Ashley Segura: Yeah, that makes sense.

And I definitely want to dive into internal linking, but that’s going to be a part two of this, cause that’s a huge conversation and there’s so many different aspects to that. So thank you so much for what you’ve shared. Definitely for those listening, stay tuned for part two, that will be on the next episode.

All right, everyone. That’s it for part one of this episode on all things links. Next, we’re going to dive into the conversation on internal linking with Arsene Rabinovich. So stay tuned for the next episode.