Live SEO Support 3/17/21 – Full Episode
Welcome to another episode of Live SEO Support!
Live SEO Support is an hour-long Weekly Livestream where our founders, Nicholas Altimore and Chris Tzitzis, take questions from the audience on anything related to SEO.
But in case you missed us live this week, here’s the full episode:
This Week’s Archived Livestream:
[20:49] If someone has a GMB listing with a certain NAP, and decides to move to a different location or change phone number, what is the correct way to go about it? Also, should new citations be updated if they use an old NAP?
You want to update your citations if there is actually a change in NAP details associated with your business or a client etc. You also want to update the GMB listing and your websites (wherever the NAP is located). Your traffic may be temporarily affected during these changes.
You can even maintain the old NAP, service page, and map pack for an old physical location, if you decide to relocate to a new location, and then set up a new service page and map pack for the current location. Practically speaking, you can create multiple GMB listings for your business even if you’re operating just one physical location.
[25:04] What’s your recommended WordPress SEO plugin?
It doesn’t really matter. They all do a good job for the most part. You can try picking one with the coolest logo. We prefer Yoast because that’s what we’ve used for a long time. Rank Math would be our second choice.
[26:36] When your competitors haven’t built any links, should you build links to that money page you’re trying to rank?
We assume you mean the other ranking pages for the target keyword don’t have any backlinks, or your competitor’s inner pages? It seems unlikely that a SERP would have a bunch of competitors without any links (although it’s possible that some inner pages show up without any links). The reason why they’re still ranking is because the domains have authority and there are links to other pages like the homepage.
Regardless, the short answer is yes. We build links to everything. In this case, just building a single link to that money page can give you a significant advantage over your competitors who don’t have any links.
[30:45] While performing due diligence on a website, I found that most links are from forum sites. Also, they are dofollow links coming from niche-relevant forums in the DR 20-60 range. I don’t know how to evaluate this.
Simply put, these are awesome pillow backlinks. Forum links are great for adding niche relevance. Forum links are also more difficult to auto-generate than other types of links because quality forums usually have a set of rules a user needs to follow in order to post comments.
[33:58] Which do you think is best? Giving a strong link to the homepage every now and then or creating a link on a different money page?
You should be linking to both the homepage and money page as much as possible. We like linking to the homepage a lot, especially in the beginning stages of link building for a new website.
Remember to keep things natural. That means a website should be getting the majority of links to its homepage. Natural sites get a bunch of branded, URL, and generic anchors (not just money anchors).
[38:07] What’s the difference between a good and bad PBN network?
Good PBN networks “stand the test of time” in terms of having a very low rate of deindexation from Google. And a good PBN should always give you an influx in the SERPs.
You can look at a few things when trying to assess the quality of a PBN. Does it have very cheap hosting? This is not a good signal. You want the best PBN hosting. The PBN could be connected to other low-quality spam sites through the cheap shared hosting. And having too many sites on cheap hosting, that’s shared with other low quality sites, can get you deindexed or cause problems over time.
Some other things to consider: how many backlinks are going out to clients and what do these target URLs look like? Are there any outbound authority links (just having paid links is not good)? How many links in total? How many posts are up?
Clearly spun content on the PBN is not a good signal either. For example, our PBN links can be seen like a Fiverr guest post. It’s not the highest quality content, but it’s original and relevant to the niche.
Another bad signal is someone offering a bunch of PBN links for a very low price. There’s no way the PBN network can be high quality if you can get 50 links for $5. That price wouldn’t cover the costs of a quality hosting service or acceptable content.
[47:26] Would you create a dofollow backlink to a high authority website? If so, why?
Outbound authority links should always be pointing to high-ranking authoritative domains. We typically make them all dofollow, or the same as other outbound links on the same page. Keep in mind that some authoritative websites will nofollow all backlinks.
[50:34] Do you test your PBN domains, like adding content with an external link to see if there’s any improvement in 3-4 months for that external link?
We don’t personally test our PBNs because we trust our source and know that the domains will have clean backlink profiles when we get them. There are too many variables and it would take too much time/effort to test them all. Our best bet is to trust our source and know we are getting working websites that meet our standard.
We also buy aged domains that have been up and running for a while. For aged domains, we let them sit for at least a month with outbound authority links and content before linking to a money site. For expired domains, we wait for them to get indexed and movement in the SERPs, and let them sit for longer with outbound authority links and content (2-3 months). We just want to make sure they look like a functioning website in the eyes of Google before we use them.
Patience is key when setting up and utilizing your PBN. You could add a really powerful PBN and not see any improvement in the target URL for a few months because of a lack of trust flow. Or there could be some immediate volatility that may scare you into removing the link. Just be patient. Also, a terrible PBN link to a site with a strong link profile isn’t going to harm that site too much.
[56:08] I know domain names don’t affect Google SERP rankings, but if my domain name has a “curse” word in it, can that have a negative impact?
First of all, domain names absolutely affect Google SERP rankings. We proved this recently by using an exact match domain name. Exact match domains still work very well these days. Having a keyword in your domain name is a very powerful ranking factor. Partial matches are great too.
As for the specific question of whether “bad words” can negatively impact your ranking, the answer is probably not because we’ve seen at least one example of a domain with a “bad word” ranking on page 1.
[1:06:49] If I switch hosts, will it affect my ranking?
It depends on how seamless the transfer is. You should try to minimize downtime and make sure everything is set up exactly how it was on the previous host.. Also, the quality of the new host matters. Ultra-cheap hosting that’s associated with low-quality spam sites isn’t going to help your ranking. Still, downtime is probably the biggest factor that would cause your ranking to change.
[1:10:52] Is an 8,000 word article too much for a blog post?
Arbitrarily long articles don’t necessarily autorank or equate to better rankings. It really depends on the competition. You can literally just find the average word length of the top 3 SERP results and try to match or exceed that amount. We use Surfer SEO to suggest a competitive word count for us and we tend to go over the average word length for a target keyword in a SERP. You should try to at least match the competition in word length and write better content too.
[1:17:47] How many clients would you consider to be “a lot of clients” for SEO?
It depends on your capabilities and what you’re willing and able to handle. You may only be able to work with a handful of clients if it’s just you providing the full service. As an individual, you can do very well with just a few clients. You’ll need to reinvest into your business in order to build out greater workflow systems that can eventually handle more clients.
Ultimately, you want to be great at SEO and not just business development or lead generation/sales. You don’t want to attract too many clients whom you’re unable to provide the best SEO service for because you’re actually better at sales than link building or content strategy, for example.
It’s best to start out small and give 100% attention and quality to those clients. Only start growing your client base when you feel confident that your SEO capabilities have improved and your workflow systems can accommodate growth.
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