Authoritative Links: Search Engine Land’s 10 Top Link Week Columns Of 2015

When Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said earlier this year that webmasters should “try to avoid” link building for SEO, many took this as a clear and unambiguous sign that link building as a practice was done for.
As search engines continue to crack down on spammy and manipulative links, quite a number of search marketers have begun to forgo link building altogether (often in favor of content marketing), fearing that the tactic is simply too risky.
But the fact remains that links are the most important off-page signal for search engine rankings, and strategic link acquisition is therefore critical for effective search engine optimization. For SEO efforts to reach their full potential, businesses and online marketers simply cannot opt out of link building.
It’s no surprise, then, that readers were very interested in how to build links in a safe and white-hat manner — and Neil Patel’s piece on how to do just that earned top honors within the Link Week columns this year.
As technology improves and automation becomes the norm, columnists also

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Locally Sourced: Search Engine Land’s Top 10 Local Search Columns Of 2015

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for any business with an online presence — but for those that serve a specific geographical area, it’s crucial. While the basic tenets of traditional SEO do indeed apply to local businesses, the fact is that local search is its own beast, and it requires a particular set of skills.
Optimizing a local business website for search engines requires some additional work that goes beyond traditional SEO, and our readers took a particular interest in tactical pieces this year, from how to do local content marketing to how to structure local landing pages. Matthew Barby’s comprehensive guide to local SEO was by far the most widely read local search column on Search Engine Land in 2015, serving as both an excellent starting point for newbies and a handy refresher for veterans in the space.
Google threw local search marketers for a loop earlier this year when it made some changes to how local results are displayed,

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Participate in Our Audience Survey & Enter To Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card

We’ve got a special request of our Search Engine Land readers. Take our two-minute audience survey! Please?
If helping us keep the lights on isn’t enough of an incentive, we’ll include a chance to win one of three $50 Amazon Gift Cards.
You can find the survey here: http://www.etouches.com/esurvey/sel2015
We need the survey results so we know who you are. Not personally who you are, but in general. What job do you have? What products and services do you buy? This information helps us tell potential advertisers about the Search Engine Land audience.
Completing this survey takes about two minutes. We ask for your email address only so that we can notify the gift card winners. That’s all — promise. We won’t sell your email or send you more stuff because you took the survey.
Everyone who fills out the survey by Wednesday, September 23, will be automatically entered in the drawing for a $50 Amazon Gift Card. We’ll contact winners on Sept 24.
Thanks

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The Search Engine Land App Now Live For iOS & Android

We are pleased to announce that the official app for reading and sharing all of the news we post daily on Search Engine Land is now available in both the Apple/iTunes App store and on Google Play. Along with the launch of the official Search Engine Land app, we have simultaneously released apps for our sister site, Marketing Land.
Key features on both the Search Engine Land and Marketing Land apps include push notifications and alerts for top news and breaking stories in the digital marketing industry.
In the coming weeks and months, our editorial team will be testing these alerts to find an appropriate balance of topics and frequency of push notifications. We appreciate any reader feedback about frequency and content of alerts.
In addition, we’ve made it easy for you to create a personalized menu of “Favorite” articles and resources to reference at any time, whether you are connected or offline.
All of the other app features are outlined below.
App Features:

Top story notifications for breaking

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