Web Publishing Notes (March 2019 Roundup)

I’m not really celebrating April’s Fool Day, I’m afraid. This is just a very plain round up of some of the more interesting posts I’ve read this month. Just quick “executive notes” along with my own take on these.

I hope you’ll find them interesting and useful.



Joshua Hardwick offers yet another thorough guide by Ahrefs, this time reviewing the topic of nofollow links. According to Hardwick, nofollow links have value. They can make your link profile look more natural, drive traffic and can lead to dofollow links down the road. As always with Ahrefs blog posts, this discussion is followed by detailed guides on how to use the platform to improve that aspect of your links profile.

My take: I was hoping to get solid info about the effect these links have on SEO. After all, they do show up in the search console so clearly Google is, in fact, registering them somehow. Do they carry some link juice after all? The answer to that question – according to Hardwick – is still “we don’t know”. However, Ahrefs’ data seems to suggest that having some nofollow links in your overall link profile is a good thing.

SEO Recommendations that really matter



Paola Didone tries to narrow down SEO recommendations to the bare necessities: What are the 5 elements that stood the test of time (and Google updates) and are therefore really important.

She comes up with the following –

  1. Structured data
  2. Page freshness
  3. Internal Linking
  4. Title tags
  5. Obtain Backlinks

My take: I found Paola’s choice of title for item #5 interesting. She does not advocate active link building. Instead, she suggests creating stellar content that naturally attracts links. That aligns with my own system and I found it interesting that she chose to call this “obtaining backlinks” rather than just “creating brilliant content”.

Where content marketing is headed



Great post by Neil Patel with actual data and charts. (Woohoo! Charts!). The main points Patel found with data collected from 183 companies lead him to believe that –

  1. Traffic from social channels will keep decreasing.
  2. Word count keeps increasing (but there is an upper limit)
  3. Blog content increases confidence in a brand and thus conversion.
  4. Traffic from non-English speaking audiences is on the increase and translations are bringing in more traffic than other channels.
  5. Content gets marketed on more channels than before – not just WordPress.

My take: This is really a reflection of current trends, not necessarily a prediction for the future but it was still an interesting read. I had no idea companies were getting more traffic from translating their content than from YouTube channels. Definitely, an avenue that’s worth exploring.

Authority Builders Review


Shawna shares her experience with buying links from Authority Builders. In her post she she reviews and in’s and out’s of working with service and also of the pros and cons of buying links.

My take: I don’t buy links myself. In fact, my flagship site is constantly harassed by link building agencies looking to place “guest posts” with us or downright buy links in articles. I always say no. I’m just a white hat kind of girl. So, reading this from the perspective of, let’s say a “dark hat” girl was very refreshing and interesting! Plus, Shawna shares lots of GA screenshots which are always fun to look at.

Celebrating women in affiliate marketing


There is also a part 2 here. These roundups bring forward 41 successful women in the affiliate marketing industry. Some are solo entrepreneurs while others are executives in various affiliate networks. The interviews are of the fairly generic “International-Women’s-Day” kind with interviewees sharing their successes.

My take: I think it’s important for women to have visibility in this industry. While I’m not looking for any unique “feminine” outlook on the business itself, it’s good to have role models out there for younger women starting out. To be honest, I didn’t even read all of the interviews – I just enjoyed seeing the collection of names and I’m bookmarking this for further exploration of some of the blogs mentioned.

How I Broke a 6 Month SEO Plateau



Jon Dykstra’s website went through a plateau even though quality content was being constantly pumped into it. That can certainly be scary. In this post, Jon shares what he did: continued to add new posts and improve on existing ones. He didn’t panic and avoided resorting to spammy link building or otherwise change his strategy. And it worked. Six months later, the site finally returned to an upward trajectory.

My take: Fat Stacks blog is by far my favorite web publishing blog. That’s probably because I follow a nearly identical web publishing (and business) strategy. This post helped reassure me that this strategy works very well in the long term. While It never hurts getting help from a fellow web publisher in fighting the inevitable occasional bouts of FUD.

How Google Dishes Out Content by Search Intent



The team over at MOZ looked into the different types of search results Google serves for queries, based on search intent. They differentiated between the following levels of intent –

  • Informational
  • Commercial
  • Transactional

By analyzing thousands of result pages, they came to the conclusion that huge sites like Amazon and Ebay win the commercial queries with their category pages because they offer a huge selection of products there, as well as various filters. That wins the commercial and to some degree the informational searches. As for searches with transnational intent, they win the SERP’s because they provide a lot more information for each product, including user reviews (in comparison to smaller retailers).

My take: This is a great post with quality information that’s heavily backed up by data analysis. Well worth reading – more than once. At first, I thought it was mostly relevant to owners of eCommerce sites but I think content publishers can learn from it too. We can win a lot of the informational and commercial searches – and potentially even transactional searches – by providing users with even more content than Amazon can.

That ends this month’s roundup. Yay to me for sticking to my resolution and keeping on with these posts. If you’re reading this and have ADHD like I do, you’ll probably appreciate the amount of effort and dedication this is taking.

I plan on following up with an income report for Q1 in a few days. I’m typing this from the airport, on our way to a week-long vacation in Italy, so that report may end up getting published only after we return. Then again, if it rains a lot, I may just spend some time on putting it together from our holiday rental there. We’ll see.

Have a great April, everyone!

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