Ross Hudgens will be speaking on Links at the Engage Conference, which will take place March 9, 2017 in Portland. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please click here.

Ross Hudgens - SEMpdx Engage 2017 Speaker

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.

I’m the founder of Siege Media, a 20ish person content marketing agency based in San Diego that specializes in SEO. I have a background creating websites from scratch and getting them to rank on the web, specifically in competitive areas.

2) How much of link-building is “asking” for links and how much of it happens “organically”?

Definitely a combination of the both. We hamper heavily on our clients to create mid/top funnel content for terms that have a history of attracting links: that’s a sign that future organic links are soon to come down the pipe. However, to get in ranking positions, links are very often necessary. So almost always, you have to ask in order to get them organically: unless, of course, you’re a power player that publishes and attracts them at scale. Unfortunately for most, that’s probably not your brand. We talk about that a lot more in this post which pretty much details our process end to end.

3) Do you see the rise of semantic search impacting the value and necessity of link-building?

Specific anchor text is likely less valuable given semantic search/Google’s increased intelligence around topics. But I don’t think it makes it any less valuable. For example, topics mean there’s now a big bundle of keywords your page can rank for that previously wasn’t possible. How can Google really pick the winner for the super long tail that you’re kinda relevant for, but not overly relevant for because nobody really is? Links. Those nudges I think help flatten the dominance around the keyword spread, that pure engagement metrics may have difficulty doing given lower search volume terms/disconnects in results to intent.

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