Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick His Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Christoph C. Cemper, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.

Christoph started working as an affiliate in many verticals providing link building services with his agency from 2003.

He built LinkResearchTools and later launched to the public.

When the famous Google Penguin update changed the rules of SEO in 2012, Christoph launched Link Detox®, software built for finding toxic links in a website’s backlink profile.

Christoph is a data geek and has invented all the methods and machine learning in his tools based on his experience and observations.

He also pioneered the process for ongoing link audits in 2012 as well as pro-active removal and disavow of toxic backlinks.

Christoph also teaches at different universities about online marketing, SEO, link building or business process management. Please feel free to pick his brain.

More about Christoph can be found on his personal website.

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s success and strategies.

3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.


Table of Contents

What’s the story behind your orange jacket? Interesting branding.

Great question and I have a long video to answer that:

as well as a post here:

In short – it works wonders, since 2008.

Do you use spam for ranking in google? I find it still kinda works but not as strong as before.

“Do you use spam for ranking in google?”

I believe you mean spam links like comment links etc Xuezhi Hu?

All spam methods still work at varying degrees over the years – some keep coming back at times…

DO you do google penalty analysis? Had a site that went from ranking number one for everything I wanted to; to almost nothing basically overnight in Feb 2012…. Even today It still really never came back all that much… Do you think you’d be able to determine whats wrong? fix it? It’s not a competitive niche at all. local niche.

Interesting that you say Feb 2012. I would have guessed April 2012, when Google Penguin 1.0 came around.

If you dropped back then, then probably for a ton of really simple spam links.

The question is always – what good links will you have left when all the trash is disavowed?

Next question will be – is the content and site up to par with 2012 standards?

We could certainly arrange for a full site audit project, but that comes with no assumptions or guarantees.

In general most of the sites that dropped so early on in Penguin actually deserved to drop by today’s standards.

1. What would you consider to be the top 2 link building services 2. What is your process for link building?

If a “Link Building Service” or “Network” has a brand, a name, then avoid at all cost.

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Rule #2

Simulate Links before Building. No exceptions.

1. Get link prospects

2. Simulate for risk against your existing link profile

3. Take the remaining 1-5% of links

4. repeat

-1) If everyone knows “SUPER HOT LINKS INC.” is selling awesome links, then Google does, too – simple.

Stay away from “big brand link factories” and do your own homework.

-2) I need to plan a webinar for that, for sure

How much of a impact does toxic links have in 2019? is disavowing and keeping a clean link profile still necessary? Goolge says the search engines have become quiet good at understanding and discounting spam links and there is no real need for a disavow unless there is negative SEO attack. What are you thoughts on this matter?

Google doesn’t want us to talk or think or use links for “manipulation” of search results. That’s it, and that’s where all of this comes from.

We see constant improvements from link profile maintenance.

Even disavowing bad deleted links (that you had) helps!

ANYONE who engages in SEO can use the disavow tool.

Their statements often refer to the general webmaster who has no tools, no experience and not resources he wants to invest.

With no time and money to invest, other than reading Google guidelines and following them on twitter.

Just doing “something” using the disavow tool is probably a bad idea.

I’ve focused on on-site for the past month and a bit, ensured all keywords are in place, meta title/des are good, page load time is optimized to 2s so far, and at the moment have a contractor posting submitting 160 backlinks per month. What else should I do to help ranking? I have some solid guest posts in great sites, social media is doing well, just for some reason my company’s site is stuck on the 4-5th page on average.

A new site where a contractor “posts 160 backlinks per month”?

Where? by which criteria?

How many new links per month does your competition earn per month?

How does their Link Velocity Trend (LVT) look like?

(see )

Without knowing all that, I am not sure, but 160/month sounds too much and those “contractor posted links” sounds like outright spam….

What does the contractor use to prospect those pages to build links on? How does he decide where to build a link and not? Which anchor texts is he using?

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Happy to review your site in a site clinic type of webinar also, if you want

How many backlinks should I build for a brand new website? And how I can determine that number? And when do I start building backlinks?

Answer in my webinar tomorrow

Any tips what to avoid for highly competitive and also “red flagged” sort of industry such as online casino?

Yes, Link Simulation.

Checkout my webinar tomorrow

How do you approach anchor text for both internal and external links?

Make sure to visit my webinar later in ca. 4 hours on EXACTLY this topic!

How long do you think link juice takes to kick in?

No rule of thumb, no standards everything from 1 day to never.

Power and Trust of the link source matter a lot, but also the link target… both go into the equation

Great topic for tomorrow’s webinar also


So I have a client for which I am trying to push down a bad URL. I have built links for his friendly URLs and ranks have fluctuated but this bad guy doesn’t move at all. What should I do?

My webinar tomorrow would be perfect for that!

Have some links which were presumed good now moved into neutral or bad category?

Yes. all the time.

What are your favorite sites or FB groups that you regularly visit when learning/keeping up with everything going on in SEO?

Good question. Not sure actually.

Took a look at your site – lots of experience there. What got you into public speaking?

A friend recommended me to do it. It’s fun.

What would you do if you are unsure if 1) your site is having trust issue with Google (Google soft-penalizing some of your pages) or 2) you are not optimized (either links or other factors) enough to win the competition? (BTW I’m an ex-LRT user – great tool and helpful info on your site, I left after I am done with clean up.)

1) I’d run an audit again and do pro-active disavows.

That helped a lot of clients. Watch out for “Deleted” links that you can also disavow and boost.

2) go optimize more – you can always DE-optimize – just keep an eye on all the ratios in competitive research.

ex-LRT – “done after cleanup”

SEO is never done.

See answer #2

– do you know the Brand vs. Money Anchor Ratios of your competition vs. your own?

– when was that cleanup? what have you “earned in links” since that you haven’t seen?