There has been much debate as to whether backlinks are still important, and whether they have any impact on your SEO ranking, and the answer is a resounding yes. In a time where search engine ranking is becoming a science...

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Why Auditing Backlinks is Essential


There has been much debate as to whether backlinks are still important, and whether they have any impact on your SEO ranking, and the answer is a resounding yes. In a time where search engine ranking is becoming a science and a spot on the first page near the top is worth its weight in gold, backlinks are just as important as they ever were - if not more so.

Although Google’s roll out of Penguin 4.0 made building backlinks harder, this practice still remains one of the most effective ways to rank highly and to drive targeted traffic to your site. Therefore, maintaining the health of backlinks is essential, and regular audits can help you pin point any issues before they affect your search engine rankings.

Keeping Tabs on your Link Profile

Just as a high-quality backlink can boost your visibility, a poor quality link can put it at risk, and reduce the chances of it ranking in Google. While Google is by no means the only search engine you want to rank in, it is the most popular and it has the highest standards to meet too.

An audit will pick up poor quality backlinks, and it will also see if any of the backlinks on your site are spammy- something that you will pay a heavy price for. If you keep your backlink profile clean, you’ll avoid negative SEO and be able to optimize your results quickly and easily.

In the past, Google used to ignore bad backlinks, but now they penalize sites for this, and without regular audits, you could find yourself floundering on page 12 or worse. If you want to remain completive in the web space then removing bad links fast is essential and if possible, avoid adding them in the first place. If you have already been penalized then cleaning up your backlinks is the first step on the road to recovery. If you need a helping hand in working out the case of a penalty, there are web penalty indicators such as Fe International that can tell you what your infringement was.

Maintaining Link Profile Health

Sometimes having spammy backlinks is not your fault, and your website may have been hacked to include links you never intended on having in the first place. You may also find that over time, web masters change the content on the pages that you have back linked to without your knowledge, thus affecting your backlink profile

Fortunately, there are a number of free tools that will help you ascertain the health of your backlink profile, and these should be used on a regular basis. Semrush, SEOMoz, Ahrefs, Google Analytics and Majestic are just some of the many available options and can help you reduce a loss of traffic simply by checking the status of your profile. Google Analytics is the preferred option of many, and you’ll know if you’ve been penalized by Google almost immediately, as your web traffic is tracked in real time and you’ll see a major loss.

Recovery Stations

The longer your site has bad backlinks, backlinks that are spammy or have been added by hackers, or simply poor quality links that don’t add value, the more you’ll be penalized. As it takes on average between 3 to 6 months to be ranked by Google- depending on the competitiveness of the industry and the strength of the keywords, losing any sort of ranking can hit a site hard.

It’s not just that you’ll lose ranking, it’s that other sites will be able to overtake you, pushing you further down the ladder, and further down the page, and reclaiming your spot nearer the top can take months, years or simply never happen.

Act Without Prompting

With backlink audits it’s a good idea to act before you need to. Prevention, in this case, is better than cure, especially if you are in a highly competitive industry that relies on ranking well online. General maintenance is always a good idea and checking your backlink profile weekly or even daily can save you time and money in the long run. If you are unsure of any links it is best to remove them, rather than risk leaving them in, and with the abundance of tools so freely available there is no reason why this monitoring process shouldn’t take place.

The removal of backlinks may not always be simple, and it is a process that can take time and patience, but it is worthwhile. Asking others to remove backlinks may be the more frustrating part of a link audit process, but it is one that is necessary. If for some reason you cannot get rid of a link but are aware that it may cause you to be penalized, you can make use of Google’s Disavow tool. This tool is the last resort, and it allows you to disavow a bad link, but it will only be implemented if you have proof that you’ve tried to remove the backlink and failed.

The importance of auditing your backlink profile cannot be underestimated, and if you value your search rankings and want to remain competitive in the online sphere, it is an essential activity that should be performed regularly.


Worth It? Putting a Price on Your Advertising Efforts

Worth It Putting a Price on Your Advertising Efforts
Out-of-control spending on advertising can literally drive you out of business. The idea that pouring an ever-increasing stream of dollars into that rabbit hole marked “marketing” always yields a commensurate return, is a fallacy. It might be time to step back and take a look at how to reduce advertising costs while increasing the bang for your buck. Here are three tricks that, if you’re not doing yet, hop to it. Why spend more money for the same effect when you could spend less?

The Miracle of Free

In recent years, Google has adopted a policy of rewarding good content with ever higher search engine rankings. If you are producing a single piece of well-written content each week two years ago, you’d probably be sitting pretty in page one for a number of keywords at no cost other than the time taken to write and post the pieces. When you hear the phrase, “content is king,” this is what they’re talking about. Regardless of your industry and whether you’re targeting your hometown or the global market, you’re crazy to not take advantage of content marketing. Make sure you stay current, including industry news and be interesting, unique, and creative in the content you put out. If you don’t have time to do this step yourself, it’s worth the cost to hire out to a content marketing agency. They’ll be able to include the right keywords and stay relevant in your industry.

Call to Action

Any type of content or advertisement without a CTA (Call-to-Action) at the end is about as close to wasted money as you can get. Tell a listener, reader, or viewer what you want them to do next in response to your ad. Your best bet is to induce them to turn over their email address. Since people rarely buy a product or service on a first exposure, your first goal is not to make the sale, but to gain their permission to contact them in the future with more sales messages. If your advertising is targeted and your product or service of high quality, a simple CTA could greatly affect your bottom-line in a positive direction. You can leave a message open for comments at the bottom of social media posts as a good call to action as well.

 Think Mobile

Right now, there is a huge disparity between the amount of internet traffic generated by mobile devices and the cost of targeting that market. Try scaling back your radio and television buys, which, despite what the friendly salesperson tells you, are largely untrackable when it comes to effectiveness. Shift that money into mobile spending. For marketers, it’s a buyer’s market and you can absolutely pinpoint every person that interacts with your advertisement and to what extent. Good outreach marketing solutions will always include mobile options to connect with the right audience in the right ways.

If you find yourself at a loss when it comes to increasing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, try the preceding three strategies. You might notice a difference where it really matters - your bank account. Use better techniques and be sure to stay relevant, unique, and ahead of the curve.

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.


Create a successful Youtube Channel (Infographic)

Youtube used to be a video sharing website back in 2006, people used to share their cats and funny home videos. A decade later, making videos on Youtube is a full-time job for a lot of creators. So much so that Youtube is no longer a website, it’s an industry with their own celebrities, annual conferences, and award shows.

Read More


Protecting Your Brand From Fake News

Over the past year or so, we have all become familiar with the idea of “fake news.” Outlandish stories are popping up in our social media feeds, from disreputable sources, and clouding our view of what is true and false. However, while the content of these stories is often fabricated or embellished, the impact that they have on consumer perceptions is real, and can be incredibly damaging.

Strong brands occupy their privileged space because they are built on specific messages, which are instantly recognizable to the masses. How people feel about Coca-Cola, Nike, BMW, Tim Horton’s, and Roots, is driven by the agency work put into building their brands. When you have worked extremely hard to create a strong brand, the last thing you want is to be associated with something negative, and especially something negative and false. Here are a few ways to help protect your brand from fakes news.


Build Your Brand Consistency

It’s everyone’s responsibility to be diligent in separating genuine news from click bait, propaganda, and lies, and brand consistency is crucial for this. It is very rare that something posted by a strong brand is accused of being fake news, because strong brands put forth an identity that people immediately recognize, and anything that clashes with this brand identity can be easily sniffed out. These brands understand this and act accordingly.

  • In the best-case scenario, this means that any content put out by a brand is met without resistance from most readers or viewers, which can help to encourage constructive discussion.
  • An example of the worst case can be seen with the Pepsi/Kendall Jenner fiasco, where Pepsi tried to take politics and make it apolitical, which offended almost everyone.
  • A balancing act of strong brand messaging and objectivity can help media consumers weed out fake news more easily, which will ensure the safety of your brand in the event of a false story about it.


Leverage Brand Visibility

Brands are some of the most visible things in our society, and this visibility, even on small or local scales, can be used to protect your brand against the fake news onslaught.

  • Whether through traditional ad campaigns on TV or billboards or through more innovative digital and social media work, all of the channels brands have access to are powerful tools for ensuring that your messaging reaches people correctly and appropriately. 
  • Using this space to show positive images and messages is an excellent way to inspire consumer confidence, build brand trust, and reassure people.

The combination of consistency and visibility will allow your brand to build up credibility with your target market, which will train them to be able to separate slanderous fake news from your legitimate marketing materials. Leveraging your visibility will also ensure that your messaging is more prevalent than whatever false stories may arise. This links directly into our next point: creating your own content.


 Control Your Own Message

Another way brands can protect themselves against fake news is to be proactive in making their message available to the public. Two of the main sources of misinformation in the fake news age are hearsay and people repeating headlines for articles that they didn’t read. Being unfairly labeled as fake news can be devastating to the credibility your brand has built up, so you can’t leave it up to the discernment of the public or other media outlets. Controlling your own message, by creating your own content and having an active online presence, will allow the authenticity of your message to shine through. This way, people will be more likely to pick up on inconsistencies that appear from other sources, protecting your brand’s credibility. A few possible ways to achieve this are:

  • An active, authentic, and enthusiastic social media program
  • A blog on your company website
  • Sponsored content articles through traditional or online media publications

Evolution Fresh Drinks: A Brief Case Study

Evolution Fresh Drinks sells cold-pressed juices at Starbucks, with a brand based around the “pursuit of the authentic juice experience.” Their messaging promotes health, happiness, and freshness. However, no brand, however wholesome, is safe from social media rumours.

A report started circulating on Facebook in January 2017, claiming that the juices “are poison,” and that the message should be immediately sent to family and friends because “the drink is already in Nigeria.” The message concluded with a phrase that perfectly captures both the spirit and the issue of fake news: “I don’t know if it’s true, passing it on just in case.”

This is precisely the kind of report that brands fear: vague and devastating. There was no clear source of the report, and people sharing it felt like they were doing the right thing in the name of public safety. Additionally, the associations with Nigeria played on the paranoia of some North American consumers towards foreign countries, even though there is nothing specifically negative about the product being available in Nigeria.

So how did Evolution Fresh combat these allegations?

The response consisted of two protective measures. A public statement was given, which provided hard facts repudiating the claims in the post. It stated that Evolution Fresh had no recent recalls, no reports of anyone becoming sick, and that the company has never sold/manufactured in, or been associated with, Nigeria. This public statement worked to disprove the false claims, but another, equally important component helped prevent any lasting damage.

Evolution Fresh has cultivated a strong brand in its 30+-year history, under several names. This brand identity includes openness about their commitment to the freshest and healthiest products, as well as a transparency about their process. People recognize Evolution Fresh as a premium brand, and the associations with health and Starbucks help to mitigate the concerns brought about by the false report.

Fake news, and the industry of trafficking in it has become a major issue for many organizations, and the problem seems like it is here to stay. You can protect your brand by creating a consistent and highly visible brand identity, and extending this across your media channels by creating your own content.

 Kimberley Pickett is Principal and Creative Director for KIMBO Design. She can be reached at @KimboDesign.






Myths That Can Destroy Your MBA Application

MBA is in huge demand and there is not denying it. One of the important things you can do with your life is doing MBA from a reputable university. Anything worth achieving requires a lot of hard work. People all over the world put their time and energy in the pursuit of MBA degree but there are certain misconceptions that have paved their way when applying for your MBA.

We will look to shun some of those myths in this post. So read on!

“I am going to learn a lot in my classes at business school.”

That is true that you will learn a lot in your classes of MBA. But you will not learn by attending classes but by going out and actually doing things. More important is what kind of company you have during you classes; the guy or girl you will sit next to. If the person is good in studies, your GPA will reflect it and vice versa.

If you are an international student, then opportunities for learning are many such as you not only learn through the lessons being imparted instead you learn by interacting with people of different cultures. You get to explore the diversity. In addition, you will build networks that will help you in getting recruited and an excellent career path.

“Schools want me to change the world.”

Why most of us pursue MBA is because we want to get a good job and rightly so – it is a competitive market and to gain an edge you have to be willing put in an extra. But as an applicant enrolling for MBA, you should be willing to express your goals more than just landing a job.

Show your university that you believe in experiencing a progressive life both personally and professionally. And lay down a roadmap showing how will you go about achieving those goals. Are the objective SMART and how that specific is helping you nail it. In this process, if you are changing the world somehow, list that down as well.

“I need to fit as many stories as possible into my app to show EVERYTHING I’ve EVER done.”

It is better to WOW your prospect university than squeezing all your life stories in one application. It is just not a wise thing to do. Instead, focus on one story that you hold dear to yourself above all and showcase that one. Then go deep with narration and how it became the leading hit amongst your “greatest hits”.

“Essay questions matter.”

No, they don’t matter. Not as you would have come to expect. Entire MBA application is judged based on your three to four incredible stories that must be told. Essay questions should be answered but it doesn’t have to be perfect, you can afford some laid back attitude with those but with your stories, they ought to be first-rate at all costs.

“There is no place for storytelling and drama in MBA applications.”

Storytelling is at the helm of making those essay answers work. Storytelling is an art and when you weave a story in the backdrop of an essay, it takes skills because without storytelling your essay(s) is a bunch of loose facts.

If you were to read it again, even you would despise it on what you have written. You cannot expect anyone else to read and find it interesting when you yourself is unable to stand it. The solution lies in telling a story where you appeal to recipients’ emotions; the laugh, cry, care and understand with you. I cannot emphasise the importance of great storytelling any further.

“The guy with the best accomplishments has the best chance of getting in.”

Nope. That is so not the case. Having accomplishment in your bag of tricks and showing them off is wonderful. But that does not necessarily mean you can score. Why? Because accomplishments need a context that should align with university’s objectives. If it was football you are good and led your team to victory, it may count towards as relevant accomplishment.

But if you were to say, you came number 1 in the sack race that was held in your neighborhood, would that hold the same value or accomplishment account for anything in your MBA application? See, context is crucial. Questions like how major was the accomplishment? Who were you with? Did you seek help in accomplishing it? Was the struggle real? And so on so forth.

“Beyond my essays, there isn’t really THAT much I can do to improve my application.”

That is incorrect. You can include recommendations from past employers or you can attach your resume. You can speak of an interview that was a tough one to crack but you scored or other stuff. Details such as these weigh a lot.

Pick the best ones and make the readers excited so they desperately want to meet you. It has been said that those plan in advance for their MBA program (1-2 years before the actual application is made) are most successful in their application process.

Author Bio: Hilda Peter is an Academic Writer who like to write on educational topics. She likes to assist those students who need Assignment Help in their career. you can follow her up on Google+ as well.


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