Moz Confirms That Building a Partner Program With Links Is Top-Priority


Every Friday, SEO giant Moz has what they call “Whiteboard Friday”. These sessions give authoritative people with a lot of influence in the SEO industry opportunities to explain best practices and techniques so marketers know how to properly market their businesses online.

Each session is done through a fun, classroom type environment, filmed, then published and promoted online. The key points of the overall messaging come together in a colorful whiteboard diagram, serving as a powerful and valuable visual learning aide. Classic content marketing. Well done Moz!

Until recently, Moz’s previous CEO, Rand Fishkin, led these sessions. Last Friday (4/4/14), Moz’s Senior Content Producer (aka Astronaut) Cyrus Shepard put out a fantastic video and transcript in which he talks about the importance of building a partner program through relevant link building.

This article completely confirms that building your audience and a partner program is actually the first priority, and then links just happen by default if you’re doing the first part right. In fact, if you try too hard to build links as the first priority you’ll probably get in trouble.

Here’s Cyrus’s Whiteboard Friday session for your viewing pleasure. I highly recommend watching it right now:

Also, here’s a link to the full post with the text transcript.

What did you think?

I found the theory that Google will reward you when the actual links you build are sending you high quality traffic very interesting. It makes total sense, and reinforces BoostSuite’s emphasis on audience building. We use keyword relevancy to pair you up with your best partners so you know you’re getting the best quality inbound links AND traffic. The better quality traffic, the most leads and customers you’ll receive, making the links more rewarding.

A way to measure this would be  the initial bounce rate (also, conversion rate) of visitors referred from each link to your website. Multiple that quality measurement times the number of monthly visitors and you’d get a link value measurement.

This means it’s all about getting new exposure to “the right audience” which only comes from building relevant marketing partners. That’s exactly what BoostSuite does best.

Moz is indicating they believe Google tries to approximate this “value” measurement and they then use it as part of “link impact” component of search rankings. Makes perfect sense actually if you think about.

Here’s why… this is exactly how Google treats ads in Adwords. Same bat time, new bat channel. Very very smart stuff here. I totally agree.

Here are a few of the best parts from the video (transcript) for those of you who want a quick summary of Cyrus’s takeaways:

1. Focus on distribution

“One thing I would emphasize doing is shifting from actively building links to more of a focus on distribution, because The more eyeballs that are on your content, the more natural links you’re going to earn. Tweet this.

That’s something we do here at Moz; we have a huge emphasis on social distribution, distribution through our partners. We just want to get the eyeballs on the content because that’s the end goal anyway. There is a huge correlation between getting eyeballs on good content and link building. It’s one of the best kinds of link building you can do. It’s just getting your content out there on the right eyeballs.”

2. Do some outreach

“Along those same lines, outreach is still okay. Writing those emails, finding those influencers. Our friends at BuzzStream just wrote a really excellent guide on how to do outreach. Really worth a read. The idea is, along with distribution, you want to get the right eyeballs on your content so that they have those opportunities to build those natural links that you don’t control the anchor text, where it’s not scalable. It’s a real human being putting a real link in their content and endorsing you.

3. Link value = traffic quality

“One thing to always keep in mind that when we’re looking at links and how we judge them, the value of the link equals the quality of the traffic that it can drive you. Meaning that this is kind of how Google judges links. It’s not necessarily the quantity of the traffic that the link can drive you, but the quality. If you run a mechanic shop and you want good leads from those links, you would want other mechanic shops or auto part stores to link to you. A link from an SEO blog probably doesn’t have a lot of value because it’s not very relevant.

When you build links, one of the golden rules is look at the quality of the traffic that it’s going to drive you. That’s going to help you a lot in those relevancy signals that Google is looking at.”

If you want even more help building your partner program and your audience, sign up for BoostSuite today. We’ll automatically find your best partners and give you the opportunity to easily build your relevant backlinks and thus your partner program. This will do wonders for business by getting your content in front of more qualified eyes!

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