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March 1, 2016

Linkless Attribution Theater Presentation by Duane Forrester #SMX

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Duane Forrester, Vice President, Organic Search Operations at Bruce Clay, Inc., takes center stage during this theater presentation at SMX West 2016, to talk about “Linkless Attribution: Why What People Say Will Matter More Than Ever.”

Duane Forrester Linkless Attribution

Links Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

For the longest time, links were the signal that people tried hardest to optimize. This story has gone the course of manipulation and then adjusted as people wanted links in quality over quantity.

Today, the engines have to find new ways to understand what to trust. Link building today can be potentially dangerous, so obviously you want to be careful with that. Yesterday’s vote of confidence can be today’s question of integrity.

To be clear, links still are valuable. But the engines are very good at understanding if the links are poor quality or manipulative.

Links are good to provide direct traffic. Links are essentially what will get you information directly. If you get a good link on a good website, you end up in a whole new realm of traffic. That could be because you got a link in an article on The Huffington Post. That’s not going to help so much with ranking in an immediate sense. There are other clues the engines use to determine your value:

  • Links
  • Domain/page age
  • Freshness
  • Relevancy
  • Social signals
  • Traffic volume
  • Usefulness
  • History
  • Internal linking

Along with all this, linkless attribution is becoming more important. Do you have a strategy to gain reviews? The search engines just need to know if the tone is generally positive, negative or neutral. You’ll notice that CNN and a lot of news websites will mention you but not link to you.

Win by What People Say About You

At Bing, years ago, the search engine figured out context and sentiment of tone and how to associate mentions without a link. As the volume grows and trustworthiness of this mention is known, you’ll get a bump in rankings as a trial.

Linkless attribution is the moment someone says something about you. Trust him: search engines will notice.

“PR, content, partnerships, customer service and more will come together to help you win.”

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