To people who view SEO and online marketing as their bread and butter, the word link building means many things. In general, when someone mentions link building, their brain starts auto-suggesting alternative keywords like spam, PBNs, sending out 5000 emails in a single go and how much a backlink costs. But I assure you that when you add the name BIBI Raven to link building, professionals start to think differently. Their alternative word will be white hat, high quality, spam free, real websites, high domain authority and more.
I’m so glad she took some time today and agreed to answer my questions, especially about link building but we’ll also talk about herself andSEO in general.
So here we go!
Question: You talk a little bit about how to get into SEO but I would love it if you can share more details of why you choose link building as your career path?
I didn’t exactly choose link building. I come from an affiliate SEO background, and before that I was a social media marketer in the automotive niche. But my friends who owned their own affiliate sites, waved a wad of cash in my face and asked me to build links. It’s something a lot of SEO’s just hate to do, and that I happen to be good at. I got my first clients before I had a link building business, and I haven’t stopped growing since 🙂
Question: As discussed in my intro, many people when hear link building the alternative words that comes into their mind are spam, PBNs, how to cheat Google rankings and more. I have two connected questions, why do you think this is the case, and how we as a community can change the perspective?
People associate link building with spam and PBNs because those are popular tactics a lot of SEO’s use. And with reason: these are cost-effective, relatively easy to systemize and you don’t have to deal with actual people. I don’t have a problem with them, as long as you don’t break the law and don’t lie to your clients.
For me, other link building tactics just come more naturally, and I like working with clients that gravitate to my way of doing things. I’m a creative, personable little snowflake that loves making people smile and provide them with something that’s useful.
To be honest, I’m not motivated to change people’s perspective of link building. I like sharing knowledge and offering people a different way of doing things. But their opinions and how they want to do stuff is entirely up to them. In a discussion about link building, I’m often the most boring party to argue with. If your method works for your business, all good. You do you, boo 🙂
Question: There is a lot of talk about if Guest Blogging works as a link building tactic or not. What is your opinion on it and what is the number one tactic you will recommend when it comes to link building?
I do a LOT of guest blogging – I love pitching content to prospects and delivering that to them. For most of my clients we see good results in rankings and traffic. And that’s the only frame of reference I have, because I haven’t had time to do any pure, proper testing (you need to hit up Kyle Roof for that ;)).
I’ve done other types of link building, but those have had mixed results as they rely on a linkable asset on the client’s site. So many factors come into play whether that works or not.
So for me, guest posts have worked really well, but I wouldn’t say it’s the number one tactic. Every link building specialist has their strong points – if they execute those strategies well, they ALL work.
If I had all the time and resources in the world, I’d probably focus more on creating linkable assets that pick up a lot of natural links. Those have been just a few in my link building career 🙂
Question: Top 3 SEO tools that cannot live without?
Pitchbox – I remember people criticising me for buying Pitchbox, as it’s quite pricey. But it has been essential in being able to build over hundreds of links every month and not jumping off a cliff.
The devs at Pitchbox understand what building links at scale is, they get the pitfalls of managing multiple projects and teams at the same time. I can honestly say they helped me grow from a one-woman team to a link building agency with 21 employees.
Ahrefs & SEMrush – both of these tools save tons of time finding good link opps, content ideation, competitor research etc.
SEOruler – a powerful tool that helps with scraping SERPs, pages, finding keyword opps and so much more. I’m bummed creator Pablo Rosales stopped working on the chrome extension though, but the desktop version is great too.
Question: SEO is getting more and more difficult with the passage of time. Things that used to work back in the days may be considered as spam. So, my question is, in your opinion, how hard SEO has become and where do you see it’s going in the next 5 years? How SEOs of today can be prepared for the 5 next years to come?
I can only speak about link building, because by now my tech and onsite SEO is super duper dated. And as far as link building goes, I’ve only been active in that field for 2-3 years. So from my experience, it hasn’t gotten harder. The only thing that makes this hard for me is when I operate in certain niches or when the client’s site doesn’t lend itself easily for getting links.
The best way to prepare yourself is knowing when to put on your blinders, and when to listen. That means working concisely on a strategy, while every once in a while perking up your ears to see what’s going on in the industry.
So it’s more about your working mode then any specific tactic.
Question: With the latest updates in Google with regards to SEO like passage-based indexing, core web vitals, and others, do you think in the coming years, the importance of link building/link acquisition will drop significantly?
No idea! It’s hard sometimes to discern what’s real in anything anyone is saying about ANYTHING. No matter who they are 🙂
SEO isn’t an island, it’s part of marketing. If certain parts of marketing become more effective than others, I’ll see how I can play a role in that. Like I said, I transformed from social media marketer, to affiliate SEO, to link builder. The core is still the same to me: content & people.
I just do my thing and as soon as it doesn’t seem to work, I’ll adjust.
Question: HTTP vs. HTTPs: We get it that Google wants the website to be on HTTPs, it’s somewhat a ranking factor, too, but my question is, is it ok to get a link back from a non-HTTPs website? Or do you think it’s ok to get a link from any website that is relevant to your subject audience regardless of HTTPS or not?
I haven’t run a pure test on this, so can’t say anything conclusive about https vs. http. However, I’m fine with having a couple of links in a backlink profile that some people see as less optimal. To me, a varied backlink profile that resembles a natural profile you would normally pick up, doesn’t have all shiny blingy links.
That said, some of my clients do have certain requirements for links, and I usually follow those if they’re not too restrictive.
If it’s entirely up to me, I wouldn’t pass up an amazing site that doesn’t have their “s”. There are some HUGELY popular sites out there that don’t have it.
Question: what are the 3 things you will consider when building links for your website or for your clients?
Only one: your link building goal
Question: Define the Anatomy of an Ideal link?
An ideal link:
- lives on a site that caters to a significant part of your target audience
- sits inside content that attracts your customers
- content that answers a need they have which moves them further along their customer journey for your product or service
Question: As this is the last question, if someone is making a digital marketing movie and they reached out to you to name it, what would you named it?
Bibi the Link Builder Strikes Again
Bibi Raven has given us straight-forward answers that are going to prove magic for all the people looking to improve their website’s SEO. We cannot acknowledge her more for taking time to give us these potions.
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Junaid Hayat is best known as an SEO Optimizer. He is a keen observer and loves to blog. Gaining digital wisdom and spreading it is what he loves. Problem-solver is his second name, as he likes to help businesses that are in the middle of a shipwreck. When he isn’t solving SEO related problems, you’ll find him lost in the sea of Google, learning more about the ranking factors.You can find him on twitter as @Junaidhayat2