Citation Labs News

Get updates on what's happening at Citation Labs - including news with our company with our tools, updates on the outreach research we're conducting, and more.

Infographic: Quick Start Guide for Purchase Decision Support Using ChatGPT

This is a quick start companion guide for Garrett’s comprehensive ‘applying E-E-A-T in money page link building’ process. You can also download the full infographic as a PDF:   Download Now     You can download the full infographic as a PDF here:   Download Now  

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Purchase Decision Support: a Guide to Applied EEAT in Money Page Link Building

Your search visitor is not in a funnel or a purchase journey, at least not from their perspective. If they’ve arrived on your money page (from organic search or not…) it’s because they have a problem they’re in the midst of solving… And most importantly for you to understand: they visit your page as a ... Read more

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[Links [are not | are no longer] a | There is no Universal] Top 3 Ranking factor(s)

The SEO community is reeling from an announcement by Googler Gary Illyes – @methode on X – during an AMA session last week during PubCon Pro 2023. Responding to a question, Gary indicated ‘backlinks are not a top 3 ranking factor, and have not been for some time’. Point of clarification: many posts/comments/Xs have injected ... Read more

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AI-Assisted Link Campaign Design for Inventory Management Software

Here’s a guide to applying ChatGPT in the development of a link campaign for this inventory management software page from Xero. In this guide we’ll use ChatGPT to brainstorm: We then use the ChatGPT outputs to determine: We use these roles, key concerns and our reachability metrics to guide our creation of Citable Elements – ... Read more

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Scalable Link Building Ideas for Location Service Pages

Scalable Link Building Ideas for Location Service Pages: Cleaning Services Edition Local sales pages present one of link building’s greatest challenges. Here’s our approach – as always we begin with a deep dive on a URL to understand the target customer, as well as the “decision space” within which purchases occur. Always Start With The ... Read more

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How to Use ChatGPT for Link Building Campaign Brainstorming

Link building campaigns, especially those created for sales page links, require a special focus on audience and context. This differs significantly from digital PR or content promotion campaigns in that the context MUST include the sales offering itself.  To effectively close link gaps of your sales pages and drive your rankings we propose that link ... Read more

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How to Apply Your “Unique Expertise” in Link Building (Ecommerce Edition)

The pressures of ChatGPT have Google scrambling for a SERPs reboot. That is, a fundamental revisioning of how to answer their billions upon billions of daily queries. Part of Google’s response comes in the form of what they’re calling “unique expertise,” which they’ll be increasingly intent upon floating up in the SERPs. These are bits ... Read more

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VIDEO: Sales Page Link Building – eCommerce PDPs and PLPs

Wherein we deep-dive into exploring initial components of a link-building campaign: how we evaluate page content for link-building purposes, demonstrate evaluating the competition, topic ideation, and exploring potential publishers. James and Garrett sat down to have a discussion to help illustrate some of the initial considerations that go into launching a campaign, focusing on evaluating ... Read more

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3 🚩🚩🚩s When Naively Following Authority Links

I’m back with a doozy of a critique of another claim that a small number of ‘high-authority’ links moves mountains. We see so MANY posts about ‘high authority’ link-building having an out-sized impact, with outlandish claims and no data to back them up, so we’ve decided to call ’em when we see ’em. PLEASE NOTE: ... Read more

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Link Building Services
in an AI World

Google’s scared of OpenAI’s significant release of ChatGPT (as are Facebook and Microsoft, but let’s stay focused on search for this article).  From what I’ve gathered, Google’s fears AI primarily because its answer context doesn’t provide clickable advertising opportunities. This lack of advertising opportunity (and a troubling, persistent bias problem) is what led to Google ... Read more

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Buyer’s Journey Link Building: a Campaign Design Worksheet

Let’s say it’s your job to improve the rankings of the sofa category page on your employer’s ecommerce website. Skip glib, superfluous intro >> Your technical, onpage optimizations and DA are – miraculously – at parity with the top 10 competitors for “buy a sofa” and yet your page languishes deep on page 2.  You ... Read more

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Stop Obsessing over DA & Just Get the Links

H/T to @joehall, who recently called out the SEO Industry’s collective over-focus on the “quality” of a backlink.  As Joe puts it in his article: “The SEO community has this almost unhealthy obsession with high-quality backlinks. So much so that many ignore the fundamental basics of content promotion and marketing in an effort to acquire ... Read more

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Links to Sales Pages: Total Overhaul for 2021-2022

Earlier this week, Garrett and I presented a 90-minute webinar that showcased a start-to-finish approach to building links to sales pages. Hosted by SEMrush, about 500 people registered and nearly 400 watched the broadcast live on YouTube and Periscope. Thank you to all who took time out of your day to join us, and a ... Read more

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Upcoming Webinar: Building Links to Sales Pages on 12/19 1230pm EST

Landing Pages Need Links Too

Our guide to landing page link building was one of our biggest publication hits of the year… and it’s also a topic I love to talk, write and strategize about as you can see in the article itself. This is the page where the webinar will be watchable. URL for copy/paste sharing if you do ... Read more

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What are your team’s stories? Case study: [video]

How to uncover great stories among your staff - and use them in your content marketing. Duration: 5:52 minutes – full transcript below. is a different kind of company… “the kind of place we want to work, that makes the kind of food we’d like to eat, and it strives for a healthier, more sustainable world”. The Idaho company recognizes the value that the team members bring, not only ... Read more

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Heart-Shaped Surprise: How a Valentine’s Day Link-Building Campaign Helped Us Break Into Newsletters

The best holiday for your content may not be during "the holidays."

At Citation Labs, we believe in the link-building power of newsletters, and we also believe in holiday-focused outreach. Never did we think these two beliefs could converge in such a powerful way, but they did and the results led to a bit of a fairy-tale ending…for us anyway.

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Why ‘fresh prospects’ are your hottest prospects [podcast]

Focusing on fresh prospects has seen conversion rates at Citation Labs skyrocket.

A website that has been updated in the last month, the last week and even the last 24 hours is what Garrett calls a ‘fresh prospect’. These updates are sure signs of life – that there is a person behind the site that cares about it, adds new content – and is likely to respond ... Read more

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[Video] What you can learn from Shopify’s resident entrepreneur?

Your team can create terrific, newsworthy content if you allow them to use your products as your customers would.

Your team can create terrific, newsworthy content if you allow them to use your products as your customers would. For example, Shopify’s have a full-time resident entrepreneur, Jane Lee as part of the staff team. And she has set up a Shopify store, using Shopify software to sell Shopify products – and it has proved to be ... Read more

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Video Review: The Sleep Matters Club

So who are the influencers in your market? shows you can go very wide in your choice!

The Sleep Matters Club from a UK-based bed and mattress company, takes a highly creative approach to content marketing. In creating content for their blog, you might expect they’d concentrate on sleep psychologists and sleep experts. That’s what many of us would do – but that’s not good enough Dreams! So how about a ... Read more

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Is the phone the most underused tool in link building?

Yes, says Garrett French, founder of Citation Labs.

Old phone unused

Is the phone the most underused tool in link building? Yes, says Garrett French, founder of Citation Labs. In this podcast he takes us under the hood at his agency to show how the phone is an essential tool in all the link building they do. And he also explains how you can persuade, perhaps, ... Read more

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The Perfect 1st Client-Agency Date


First, a congratulations is in order. You made the choice to commit, to hold hands in the hallway, to check YES. I must say – you two make a super cute couple. You’re not necessarily out of the woods yet, but since this client made it through the initial checklist, the good news is that ... Read more

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Announcing ZipSprout

Our Sister Agency for Local Engagement

It’s not a secret that we’ve been focused on local engagement for the past few months. But to make it official, here’s the news: Citation Labs now has a sister agency – ZipSprout – focused on finding local engagement opportunities for national brands. ZipSprout finds opportunities with local nonprofits, events and associations, not with national billboard or television brands ... Read more

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Link Builders and SEOs Desire PR Skills

Results from our Survey: Online PR in Link Building

At Citation Labs, we see PR as an essential component of any link building campaign, and we wanted to know if our clients and customers felt the same way. So earlier this year, we surveyed Citation Labs newsletter readers and customers with two questions in mind: How much is PR a factor in your link building efforts? How well qualified do you feel to develop your own PR campaigns? Here are our key findings.

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Introducing New Language Prospecting Options

A new feature in our Link Prospector tool

Great news, Prospectors! We're releasing new language prospecting options in the Link Prospector Tool, meaning our customers will soon be able to search for blog partnership opportunities among native speakers of many more European languages. We're partnering with UK-based communications agency, ICS-digital, to create and implement these new international language report types.

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12/18 Webinar – Link Building Brainstorm with Eric Ward & Garrett French

Announcing our Webinar on 12/8

On Thursday, December 18th (at 12pm ET), Eric Ward, and Garrett French will speed brainstorm link building ideas for ten websites. They'll be developing content and outreach ideas for each business as if working for a new client.

Want your website to be considered for a free on-air speed consultation? Fill out our survey to enter.

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53 Link Building & SEO Posts

A Round-up From Fall 2014

What a Fall we're having at Citation Labs - new Director of PR Services, Ken McGaffin, making our link building agency service offerings stronger than ever. We held our first webinar, and we're currently planning our second.

We're also big fans of learning from our fellow link builders. Explore our round-up of the best link building & SEO posts we've read this fall (so far!)

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11/20 Webinar with Ken McGaffin & Garrett French

A Live PR Brainstorm Workshop

Ken McGaffin and Garrett French will use your business PR concerns to fuel the discussion on PR Strategy from a link-builder's perspective. From our first webinar, we learned that participants join with questions and ideas already brewing. This time, we're making viewer participation a key component of the Webinar. In other words, WE NEED YOUR INPUT to make this FREE WORKSHOP a success!

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Agency Hacks for the In-House Link Builder

Our 10/17 Webinar

We held our first Webinar - "Agency Hacks for the In-House Link Building Team" on Friday, October 17. If you missed it, or would like to watch again, the video and Webinar notes are below. Or, to skip to a hack or audience question of the video, check out the minute-by-minute here.

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10/17 Webinar Topic Announcement

Agency Hacks for the In-House Link Builder

You’ve got a small SEO team. Your organization understands the value of building links, but you don’t have the organizational power of a full-on link building agency. From prospecting to content creation to outreach (and then reporting!), it can feel like you need an office full of you-clones. How do you pull off a thorough link-building campaign with an in-house sized team?

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Developing Surveys for Outreach

Six Questions with Buzzstream’s Stephanie Beadell

Getting responses from email outreach can be difficult. You must ask the right questions, and crafting the perfect survey can be difficult without adequate preparation.

For expert insight into survey development, we asked Buzzstream’s Content Marketing Director Stephanie Beadell to share some of her essential tips.

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2 New Tools for Outreach-Based Campaigns

Contact Finder + Outbound Link Scraper

I have a confession. It’s more than a little embarrassing… Off and on for the last several years I’ve gathered contact info by hand. Yup that’s right, I’d spend hours going site by site to copy/paste contact us form pages and email addresses into a spreadsheet. Usually for batches of 100 or fewer sites. Sometimes ... Read more

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Setting the Advanced Targeting Parameters for Useful Prospects

Link Prospector Mastery

Once you've selected your report type and found some productive research phrases, it's time to "dial in" your prospects with the Link Prospector's Advanced Targeting Parameters. Setting the parameters can help reduce your time spent qualifying your results by "weeding out" or narrowing the non-prospects before you even download your results.

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