3:22 – Early Link Building Days
5:19 – History Of Jim Boykin & Early Days
8:00 – When Link Building Has Changed
8:30 – Do Nofollow Links Count?
10:50 – We Build Pages to Internet Marketing Ninjas
12:20 – SEO Community Actions
14:45 – Business Owner Advice
17:05 – Old Link Penalties vs Google Penguin Algorithm
17:31 – Should You Disavow Links?
22:50 – Google Florida Update Fun
24:35 – Google Featured Snippets & People Also Ask
Jim Boykin from Internet Marketing Ninjas invited me to his office to sit down and chat about links. The funny thing is, he came to my office like 15 years ago to build links, no joke. His company does a lot of content marketing, where the company no longer just does link building but builds out great content for his customers.
Here is one of the pioneers of link building; lumping him with Eric Ward, Morgan Carey, Patrick Gavin and others. So while his team built many links, they have also removed a lot of links over the many years. He explained that now it is about quality versus quantity when it comes to links and content.
He explained how he got into building web sites and more important, how he first discovered search engines. Someone called him doing a search in Alta Vista and hired him to do search marketing. Then we started to reminisce about the Yahoo Directory and how Google said no to building links, but yet, yes to directories. Which led us into the nofollow link attribute discussion.
With the new nofollow link attribute change; he feels that if a link gets clicked a lot, then Google will count the link even with a nofollow on it. And to do that, he said Google will use Chrome browser data.
Web Build Pages was his company name for so many years, but eventually he decided to change it and rebrand it to Internet Marketing Ninjas. Too many people asked him if his company builds web sites, so he had to change it because of the confusion.
Several years go, he purchased numerous forums including WebmasterWorld, SEO Chat, Cre8asite and other forums. He then sold most of those back to Brett Tabke and the previous years. He said he was doing too much, too big, and he realized he had to scale back. Where his company size is at now is a perfect size for him. The key thing is to really do what you love and what you are good at. Find your one thing and be the best at that one thing, Jim said.
He shared a story that at the end of 2008, Google came after some of his clients and penalized them. He said he had to change his business overnight, where 97% of his revenue was link building. So back then, he had to figure out how to get links without paying for them. Looking back at it, it was a blessing because he had to do links this way years and years before Penguin dropped. We then chatted a bit about how link penalties were in the old days with your PageRank values dropping and the penalties feeling more severe.
This led us to talk about disavows and the debate if you should disavow. He believes in using the disavow tool, despite Google kind of implying you don’t need to as much as SEOs are. Jim warned about disavowing too many links because your rankings will dive more if you disavow poorly. The Google recommendation has changed over the years, from using the disavow tool like a machete versus not using it at all after Penguin started to ignore versus devalue.
Featured snippets is a topic Jim has been passionate about because it is no longer about the top ten blue links. The data shows how featured snippets are becoming more important and more so with the people also ask feature. His company built a featured snippet plus tool that helps you see your progress with that in Google. It helps you perform better with featured snippets and people also ask questions. So check it out at internetmarketingninjas.com/tools/snippet/.
Jim has been super important to the grain of the SEO industry from education, pushing the envelope, sponsorships, networking, and so much more. Thank you Jim for all you have done and continue to do.
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