Welcome to another episode of Live SEO Support!
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Live Stream Summary:
[07:33] (site audit) I have attached screenshots of the 404 hits I am getting. I’m not sure what is going on. Some may be clicking images, but why would they get a 404? I’m not sure what the rest are. I’m more concerned with backlinks, anchor profiles, spam scores, and large fluctuations in traffic and keywords over the past ten years (I bought this site six months ago).
We’re not technical SEO experts, so we won’t be able to help you with the 404s. Since you redirected a domain to an inner page, that could be a reason for the 404. Typically, I recommend 301ing only to the homepage and recreating permalinks, or 301ing relevant inner pages to existing inner pages. A lot of stuff can happen in ten years, and it’s very normal for a graph to go down when the site is being neglected. Being six months in, you want to diversify the anchors you’re using to inner pages. A couple of exact-match here and there is fine, but you also want to create long tails. The anchor text profile looks okay. I would focus on the homepage, branded, naked anchors for the time being as you’re just getting started. Of your 220 referring domains, around 50% of the backlinks are Web 2.0s. There is a lot of spam. Focus on high-quality links from here on out, along with some pillow-linking, guest posts, and niche edits. You’re in a niche that’s not terribly competitive, so you have a lot of access points. Overall, treat it like a new site and tighten up things on the on-page and focus on quality backlinks.
[25:35] How did you get your start in internet marketing/SEO? What kept you interested?
Nick got Chris into SEO. They worked in similar hardcore sales-driven companies. Nick got into SEO through a friend who introduced it to him at his company, eventually quitting the company altogether to do SEO full-time and selling PBN links. Chris was teaching English in Asia for a while when Nick brought his attention to SEO. Initially a skeptic, Chris gradually started earning from it and quickly fell in love with it. Not long after, the pair started SirLinksalot. The failure rate in SEO is extremely high because there is so much information out there, and a lot of bad information at that. Nick had seen it all and done it all when Chris came into the picture and gave him a lot of guidance when it came to learning the tricks of the trade. Part of the reason Nick and Chris created their brand was to help other aspiring SEOs avoid having to go through the same BS they did when starting out.
[31:53) Why not 301 to hubs? I have an aged forum URL that fits within the broader domain niche I have. I was going to make a hub just for that as if I bought the forum.
This is actually a good example of using a 301 in a natural way. Let’s say that Sirlinksalot.co acquires an AI backlink tool and 301s its entire website to a page on their website. That would make complete sense. If you’re a newer SEO, always consider what would happen naturally when it comes to websites being bought, used, sold, etc., and try to emulate what existing companies have done.
[36:38] Should I noindex my category pages for a content website where I’m not trying to rank the category page?
No. We love category pages. We call them “hub pages” because they are essentially pages on your website that link out to other pages on your website, like a wheel with spokes. They are useful for a couple of reasons. For one, it shows Google the structure of your website. Also, hub pages increase the relevance of your content. Finally, they’re good for link juice: If you send a backlink to a category page, or an article within a certain category, which then connects to articles in other categories, you get those juices really flowing around your website.
[43:06] Even though I’m not trying to rank the category pages, does keeping them indexed add relevance in Google’s eyes?
Yes. Just keep them indexed. Adding five-to-ten pages to your crawl budget won’t do anything.
[45:20] Who are your top 5 SEOs to follow?
Robert Niechciał, Matt Diggity, Mark and Gael from Authority Hacker, Kyle Roof, Greg Morrison. Check out our podcast to learn from some of the best in the industry. We personally invite every guest to the show.
[54:55] If Google is so against buying/selling links, why do they let these sellers rank in the SERPs or make videos on YouTube (which they own)?
Maybe they’re not technically against buying links, but say that they are to minimize people gaming the system. You get a pass if you know how to diversify your backlink profile so that you’re insulated.
[1:01:55] After purchasing an expired domain, can you rebuild it with the old content?
You can do an archive rebuild. Archive.org will show you how websites existed at different points in time. There are free and paid ways to do this. Consider copyrighted content when doing an archive rebuild, although getting cease-and-desist letters are rare. Also, note that archive rebuilds don’t resonate in the SERPs the same way fresh content does. For PBN building, archive rebuilds are a great option. For affiliate websites, they’re not a great option.
[1:04:32] What are your thoughts on schema? With Google using more AI, shouldn’t they be able to organize this info on their own?
Israel Gaudette uses schema to inject entities into his content to spoon-feed Google what the articles are about. As Google gets smarter, this will become less necessary. But for now, Google is about to run into a resource problem thanks to AI, meaning schema is currently a best practice. But the fundamentals, such as EEAT and link-building best practices, are often missed by new SEOs and are insanely more important than schema.