SEO Philippines| SEO Hacker Blog SEO Hacker is an SEO Services Company and SEO Blog in the Philippines Wed, 15 Apr 2015 05:10:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Determine Which Link Building Strategy Really Works Tue, 14 Apr 2015 07:31:53 +0000

Link Building Strategies

Last week, I was privileged to join our Link Building Team with their monthly meeting – the time when they will lay down all the strategies they’ve done for the past months, the results, and how they can improve them in the months to come.

Last week was pretty special though because the team, after many months of sticking with the same strategy is finally going to move out of their comfort zone, and test different strategies.

So today, I will reveal three out of five link building strategies our team will be conducting, and how exactly we’re going to do these in the next couple of months. With the goal of determining which link building strategies (out of so many) are still effective even up to this moment.

1. The Skyscraper Technique

The Skyscraper Technique

Thanks to Brian Dean for this strategy.

To help you understand, Skyscraper technique is a strategy that aims to create fresh and better content out of the existing ones in the hope of getting the same or even better number of shares, backlinks or mentions than the original content. But don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to plagiarize; instead, you will craft a better version of it.

How we’ll do it:

Step 1: We will look for link-worthy content – manually and with the help of tools. Based on the niches of SEO Hacker and our clients, we will look for relevant articles, check the number of shares, backlinks or mentions.

We’ll do this by searching topics on Google search, or by looking for topics using tools like Topsy and Buzzsumo.

Step 2: Craft something even better. This part will be quite challenging, especially with so many information available out there, “how are we gonna create something better?”

Thankfully, we have the most amazing and creative writers in the world.

Step 3: Reach out to the right people.

We want to make sure that we’re not just looking for relevant articles, but also creating a list of people who we can tap after we’ve finished crafting the content.

Who are these people? These are people who’ve already linked to an article on that topic, people that are interested in that topic and has the same niche as you.

Over the next few days, we will also draft email templates that we will use to reach out to these people. This will be part of the testing, and we’ll make sure to share whatever template we’ll find effective.

Brian Dean’s Link Building Case Study should help you understand more about this technique.

2. The Roundup Technique

The Roundup Technique

Inspired by Heidi Cohen’s 3 Content Curation Superpowers, we came up with the strategy called The Roundup Technique. The goal is to tap niche-related experts, conduct interviews, write a roundup post and reach out to the right people.

How we’ll do it:

Step 1: List down topics, and from these topics, come out of questions. Questions shouldn’t be random at all, these should resonate your audience’s questions to make sure that they’ll not just read it, but will actually share it as well.

Step 2: Find niche experts. If your client is a Real Estate company, you can tap architects, engineers, real estate brokers – depending on your questions, and your audience’s expectations.

You can find these experts using directories, Google search, or BuzzStream.

Then email these experts.

Step 3: Create a roundup post. Creating a roundup post is very easy, in fact it’s so easy that you only need to be organized enough to be able to craft one.

To help you with creating a roundup post, read our guide for this: How to Write a Roundup Post That Gets Over 400 Shares.

Then you can do two things:

a. Publish it on your blog or client’s blog.

b. Offer it as a guest post to other niche-related website. Offering this kind of article actually gets higher acceptance rate.

Step 4: Promote your roundup post through social media, and by informing experts that your post is now live. Make sure that your article is easy to share to save their time – always remember that experts are usually the busiest people in the world. You don’t want to bother them all the time.

3. Broken Link Building

Broken Link Building Strategy

I know this sounds a little passe, but believe it or not, it’s still working for some, and we believe that will work for us too.

Broken link building is a strategy used by many SEOs to find pages that has dead links, and offer a replacement for it.

How we’ll do it:

Step 1: Find pages with dead links.

This is something that can’t be done manually (unless you have all the time in the world). You’ll need tools to help you. For our team, we will be using Xenu’s Link Sleuth and Simple Google Results.

Step 2: Organize your list. You don’t want a messy, and disorganized list of dead links. You need to filter it, and make sure that you will only tap the relevant and quality websites.

Step 3: Reach out to the webmasters.

This is the most important part of this strategy. If you fail with this, all your efforts with prospecting, and organizing your list of dead links wouldn’t mean a thing.

What you want to do is to send them a personalized email, telling them how much you love their content, and people will love it too, especially if it doesn’t have broken links. You can also email websites that you really love, and help them by mentioning that they have broken links, and that you have a resource that they can use as a replacement.

Here’s a good example of a good template:

Hey (first name),

Just wanted to start off  by saying that I love (and I mean love!) (their site).

In fact, I spent my afternoon yesterday combing through a few of your classic articles.

This one was particularly amazing: (article link).

One thing, though: a link in the post wasn’t working. Looks like the site moved.

No biggie, just wanted to let you know.

Actually, I just posted an article that covers the same topic (article link).

As a huge fan I’d be honored if you’d consider replacing the bad link with a link to my content. If not, it’s cool. I’ll still read your stuff!

(your name)

Along the process, we will also experiment with different email templates, and will let you know whichever we find more effective.

Final thought

Now, these are just three of our main link building strategies. We have two more that we want to share with you as well. But, that’s not the best bit of it. Over the next few weeks and months, we will share with you the actual results of our strategies to help you identify which of these strategies is most helpful and effective, and above of all, to answer the most controversial question, “Is link building really dead?”

Stay with us as we discover answers to this question!

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Here’s a Quick Way to Identify If You’re Ready for Google’s Mobile Search Update Wed, 08 Apr 2015 10:06:51 +0000

How to Identify if You're Ready for Google's Mobile Search Update

Mobile-geddon. Mobile-pocalypse. However you’d like to call it.

Everybody’s talking about Google’s recent announcement on mobile search update that will surely affect search engine rankings of many websites – especially for those who aren’t so prepared.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

Note: To know more about this update, you may visit Search Engine Land.

This is not just another update. The aim is to provide mobile users a better search experience.

Many believe that this has been in the works for a long time now. In fact, over the last couple of years, Google never fails on encouraging webmasters to give attention on improving user-experience, pushing them to make websites mobile-friendly.

While many have secured their websites’ responsiveness even before the said update was announced, there are still those who didn’t take heed of Google’s reminders making the necessary changes, and those who ensured their websites are mobile-friendly yet aren’t certain if they’re ready for the biggest mobile search update this year.

I know you’re too busy to worry about this thing, and you probably don’t have much time to get so technical about this, but what’s good about this generation is that we’re surrounded by so many applications, softwares, and tools that can actually lighten our burdens, and allow us to do other important things.

So, to help you lessen the load, I listed down four of the most amazing and easy-to-use mobile-friendly test tools.

1. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

This tool is very easy to use, as you only need to enter your website’s URL for it to generate a report that will tell whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. It sees your website the same way Googlebot does rather than mobile users might see it. Aside from that, it also allows users to see the actual view of websites on mobile.

It’s easy to know whether you pass the test or not.

This is the example report of a mobile-friendly website:

Mobile-friendly Google

And this is the example report of a website that isn’t mobile-friendly:

Mobile-Friendly Google

But don’t worry, as this tool provides all the reasons why your website failed, and the necessary actions you can take to make it responsive.

2. HubSpot’s Marketing Grader

Just like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, HubSpot’s Marketing Grader has the capability to analyze if your site is responsive enough. It gives users the freedom to see the actual view of their websites on mobile, plus the ability to preview a rotated version.

Mobile-Friendly HubSpot

Aside from the mobile aspect, Marketing Grader also provides free audit for blogging, social media, SEO and lead generation.

3. W3C mobileOK Checker

The World Wide-Web Consortium (W3C) provides a more detailed and technical analysis as well as recommendations that site owners can follow to meet the standards of a good, mobile-friendly website. It also provides a severity rating for each of their findings.

Mobile-friendly w3c

If you’re knowledgeable with all the technical components of your website, this is the best tool to determine your website’s mobile-friendliness.

4. BrowserStack

BrowserStack is the tool I’m using to support all the analysis and recommendations I’m getting from other mobile-friendly checker tools. The best bit about this tool is that it gives you actual screenshots of how your website looks on each device.

Also, you have the option to view your website on different operating system, may it be mobile phone, tablet or desktop.

Mobile-friendly BrowserStack


Don’t let your site be left behind with all the algorithm updates! Remember that the best way to stay in the battle for ranking well is by being updated, and by actually executing the necessary modifications to your website.

Over to you!

Do you have other mobile-friendly test tools to share with us? Share them by commenting below!

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6 Common Yet Neglected SEO Techniques that You Should Start Considering Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:15:19 +0000

Common Yet Neglected SEO Techniques

You’ve probably heard the same things over and over – sitemaps, high quality content, title tags and Meta descriptions – and you’re on the prowl for something new.

Note: This article is meant for SEO experts and site owners looking to do more with their site SEO strategy.

In this post, I’ll discuss some common yet neglected techniques that can be employed to make your SEO even more effective.

Of course, don’t expect your rankings to have drastically improved in two days because that’s not how it works. Like every other SEO technique, these tips will help you improve your site’s SEO gradually.

1. Review your link profile regularly

Your link profile is a powerful entity on your site, though it can have a negative effect if you don’t control it. There’s not much you can do about the sites which link to your site (or don’t). Negative SEO attacks are actually quite common. On the flip side, you could have some really good links from high authority sites like .gov and .edu sites.

You should carefully use what control you have to ensure that , like fire, your link profile remains your good servant.

Here’s what you can and should do on a regular basis:

  • Scan through the list of sites with backlinks to your site on a schedule. You can get this info using Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). There are also premium services which monitor your link profile and alert you on possible risks.
  • Ask low-authority and spammy sites linking to yours to remove those links. A polite request works best – send an email to the site’s webmaster. However, sometimes this may not work – they may fail to respond or ask you to pay.
  • Generate a disavow file and submit to Google – this file includes those links you don’t want but are unable to remove, and regardless of the recent confusion surrounding the subject, it still works and should be used when necessary.

2. Include fully optimized videos and images above-the-fold

As you well know, videos and images improve user engagement on a site. What you probably don’t know is that these can improve a site’s ranking in the Universal and/or Image SERPs. On average, pages with images rank higher than those with fewer or no images. The first and second SERP positions give no-image pages higher CTR, but from positions 3-10, it’s a different ball game.

Image Above the Fold

It’s not just about including images and/or videos either, they should also be SE optimized, and here’s how to do it:

  • Give the image an appropriate title, adding a major keyword naturally where you can
  • Ensure the image is relevant and high quality for users
  • Include alternate text
  • Make sure the file-size is as small as possible so that your page-load speed isn’t adversely affected. The image size should be appropriate according to the resolution
  • Include supporting schema

Videos also show similar behavior in SERP as images. By adding them above the fold, you both add value to site users and improve SERP ranking. High value will therefore improve CTR, reduce bounce rate and increase dwell time, all of which further improve ranking.

3. Ensure your major keywords appear everywhere within the site

Employing your major keywords throughout the site is one of the important SEO techniques that get neglected. It’s not just about having blog posts that mention the keywords here and there. Don’t just have a page or two showing the keyword and neglect the rest of the pages.

Google looks for sites where search query keywords and their semantic variations are supported/promoted throughout the site. To find out the level of occurrence of a particular keyword, follow these steps

a) Go to Google and search for inurl:domain, with the desired keyword/phrase included in speech marks.
b) See how many results are provided by Google.
c) Repeat the above steps with as many of your competitors’ sites as you can for comparison.

Sites with higher site-wide keyword occurrence tend to be ranked higher for said keyword, even where the page authority, domain authority and number of good links are lower than competing sites. This suggests that keyword occurrence is an important factor for Google. Semantic variations are also acceptable – synonyms, tense changes etc.

4. Enhance site security

Last, year Google revealed that site security is among the new factors added into their ranking algorithm. Using HTTPS sites is now an indicator that Google considers. While its impact at present is still small, we expect that it will grow stronger with the passage of time.

Given the recent disruptions that have happened in the recent past, security is now important to users, and Google.

Site Security

Although data is important to the practice of SEO (especially the one not offered upfront), there must be limits to which we adhere.

If you are able to, add site encryption, which alerts users and search engines through by having ‘https://’ instead of ‘http://’ used for non-secured sites. This lets users know that there’s an extra layer of security, and this may improve your other metrics like CTR, dwell time, and bounce rates.

5. Ensure your URLs are keyword-specific

It’s time to check your URLs if you aren’t ranking for specific keywords. While exact-match domains are now considered a spammy SEO technique, Google still attaches importance to the URL and considers it an indication of relevance to a SE query. You can rank higher by using popular queries in your URL as they are. If you’re using long-tail keywords, you might create specific targeted pages to insert the keyword string into the URL.

6. Include image sitemaps

You probably know all there is to know about XML and HTML sitemaps, but image sitemaps are important too. You’ll be surprised at just how few sites have sitemaps at all. Image sitemaps will especially improve ranking for Google’s Image SERP tab, and it’s not hard. You only need to add information describing your images within the current site XML sitemap.

Your sitemap may include these tag definitions: <image:image>, <image:geo_location>, <image:loc>, <image:license>, <image_title> and <image:caption>. Image sitemaps are a must if you want to boost your image SERP ranking and traffic.


We tend to look at the most complicated things in terms of SEO, neglecting some of the most common techniques that we need to review once in a while.

Share us some of the common SEO techniques that you’re doing even until this moment!

Thank you to Jack Dawson of BigDropInc for collaborating with us in this topic.

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How Subdomains and Subfolders Affect SEO Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:06:35 +0000

How Subdomain and Subfolder Affects SEO

“Yeah, so which is better, a subdomain or subfolder when it comes to SEO?” This is perhaps one of the frequently asked questions by clients who have an in-house IT team. I don’t blame them. Sometimes even SEO specialists ask me this question when I bump into them.

This entry is part of the SEO Hacker School series: Complete On Site Optimization Tutorial

I don’t blame them – I’ve had my own questions back then which led me to testing it out where to put my subsite. And you know what the verdict was? Generally speaking, if you want better rankings, go with a subfolder.

First, let’s get our Definitions Right:

TLD – Top Level Domain is the main domain names around the web. Today, we have tons of TLDs to choose from but very few of them rank well globally. The main TLDs that rank well globally are: .com, .org, .net

SLD – Second Level domain is the domain name that we usually purchase at Godaddy or Namecheap. For this site’s URL, seo-hacker is the SLD. To highlight it further, this is the SLD:

You see, search engines treat subfolders as if it was part of the second-level domain (SLD) while they treat subdomains as if it was a different site altogether – with much less authority to boot.

What is a Subfolder?

A subfolder in a URL perspective is this: – if you visit this URL, you’ll notice that it hosts a different installation of WordPress altogether. as an SLD has its own WordPress installation and this is mainly evident from the different designs of both.

SEO Hacker Internal Onboarding

Why do I need a completely different installation of WordPress in the same domain name?

Mainly because we use for the internal team and it makes a lot of sense to me to make our internal new-hire onboarding system as part of the main site instead of purchasing another SLD altogether. It also makes sense to me to beef up with more indexed pages through the internal onboarding system.

I also needed a lot of new functionalities in the back-end using custom plugins and I didn’t want to mix the plugins with my SEO Services site with my Internal Onboarding site.

SEO hacker Services

That said, it’s not really hard to put in a new WordPress site (or other CMS for that matter) in a subfolder. But, I concur that it’s much easier to put it in a subdomain – technically speaking.

What is a Subdomain?

A subdomain in a URL perspective is this: – this site is non-existent. I’m merely pointing out that it’s structured in such a way that the subdomain is added before the SLD in a URL structure. So why do people use subdomains?

For starters, if you don’t want the pages in your new site to be indexed together with the pages in your SLD, a subdomain would be perfect. Putting those pages in a subfolder means that it will be indexed as coming from one and the same site.

I used to use a subdomain because it’s hell of a lot easier to set up than a subfolder. But once I figured how to setup a site on a subfolder, I never looked back.

How do you Setup a WordPress Site in a Subfolder?

Go to your cPanel File Manager

cPanel File manager

Upload the WordPress zip file


Extract the WordPress zip file

Extract WordPress Zip File

Rename the new WordPress folder to what you want your subfolder site to be

Rename this

Then follow the usual WordPress 5-minute install here.

Once you access your subsite from its subfolder for the first time, you should be able to set it up like how you setup a normal WordPress site in a SLD

And voila! You have an all-new WordPress subsite in a subfolder. Easy, right?

Why use a Subdomain then?

It makes sense to use a subdomain if you are:

Language Barrier

Setting up a site that caters to different languages. Diffrent versions of your site that cater to different countries can be put in subdomains such as:,, Putting these in a subfolder would make your site seem huge but have the same content – just in different languages.


Sometimes you have people who bought a franchise from you and you want to keep them (or they want to stay) on the same SLD. In this case, you may not have complete control on whatever they are going to do with their site so you’re better off giving them their own subdomain rather than putting them in a subfolder and risking your entire site when they do something stupid with their SEO.

Conflicting URLs

There will be times when your SLD site is so big and you find yourself in danger of overlapping the URLs. If that’s the case, use a subdomain. That way your URLs will never conflict with any of your SLD’s URLs.

Tips for Keeps: The unbeatable advantage of having your subsite as a subfolder is that it gets all the link equity and other SEO factors that your SLD receives.

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How a Break from Work Helped Us Build an Amazing Team Fri, 20 Mar 2015 02:05:42 +0000

SEO Hacker Team Outing

For many years we’ve been crafting content that will enhance our audience’s knowledge with SEO and all sorts of online marketing.  I must admit that we seldom write about our company – its culture and the people behind it, making others think that all we do is work, work, and work.

But like any other company, we take time to relax, to refresh our minds, to bond and strengthen our team’s chemistry.

Just last week, I was very privileged to join the rest of the team in our three-day company outing.

The preparation wasn’t easy. We had to look for the most convenient accommodation, an available mode of transportation, and to be able to shop for the things we’ll need. I must say it’s a bit tiring. But was it worth all the efforts?

Yes, definitely.

So, allow me to share with you our great experience, what we did to build the camaraderie, and how it helped us as a team.

1. We talk about personal stuff.

We call it “real talk”. There were nights where we would all sit down, and talk about personal stuff. I remember when one of our teammates shared how he was bullied when he was young, and how it made him lose too much of his confidence.

I know that it may seem too personal and uncomfortable to talk about – probably takes too much courage to open up, but the good thing about this kind of talk is that we make each other feel comfortable, and less afraid to trust.

Building a Strong Team

How it helped our team:

It develops a better relationship. It develops trust – contagious trust. I say it’s contagious because I noticed that when one person opens up, the other one will automatically share their own personal experience as well. Suddenly, everyone has something to share, making everybody feel a lot more comfortable with each other.

The best bit of it is that the effect is very evident to our work. We became more productive and happy, we tend to finish our tasks on time, and with joy in our hearts. I’ll be very honest here, and tell you that I don’t know the psychological explanations to how this kind of activity improves productivity, all I’m sure of is that it’s easier and more fun to work in an environment with trust and honesty.

2. We do fun stuff together.

There’s a thing called “burnout,” and it’s existing even in the most creative and well compensated companies. The sad thing is that people tend to run away when they feel tired.

In Ben Fanning’s book, “The Quit Alternative: The Blueprint for Creating the Job You Love Without Quitting“, he explained how he used to be frustrated and burnt out with his job, but instead of running away, he turned all these frustrations into inspirations – aiming to help people create the job they love without quitting.

We don’t want the team to feel exhausted and burnt out, moreover, we don’t want them to leave, that’s why we choose to relax and disconnect with our computers once in a while, and do this…

SEO Hacker Banana Boat SEO Hacker Water Adventure

How it helped our team:

According to studies, people that work more than 10 hours per day have a 60 percent higher chance of getting a heart attack. When overworked, you’re also overtired, and believe it or not, the employee who works 8 hours a day, and gets a good 8 hours of sleep is actually more productive than the one who works for 12 hours and only gets 5 hours of sleep.

We’re sometimes guilty of this, and I admit that even if I’m aware that it’s not healthy, I still do it. So, having this kind of activity refreshed our minds in tremendous ways.

Being disconnected with our daily lives helped us stop worrying, loosen up, and just enjoy the moment. And when we came back, it feels like everything is new, and we’re thrilled and excited to do our tasks again.

3. We show enough transparency.

Our last night was spent sharing the things we love about a certain team member, as well as the aspects that need improvements. This reminds me of the Johari Window model.

The Johari Window

The four Johari Window perspectives are called ‘regions’ or ‘areas’ or ‘quadrants’. Each of these regions contains and represents the information – feelings, motivation, etc – known about the person, in terms of whether the information is known or unknown by the person, and whether the information is known or unknown by others in the group. (Source:

There are things that we know about ourselves, there are things that we know about ourselves but we tend to deny it, and there are also characteristics that we don’t think we have but others believe we have. The purpose isn’t just to speak, and make others feel that you know them so well, it’s more of encouraging each and everyone, to reveal potentials, and show what else they can contribute to the team.

Team's Transparency

How it helped our team:

I’m amazed at how our points of improvement were retained in our heads. In fact, after that night, all I could think of is how I’ll manage to deal with all the suggestions.

Everyday since that night, I always sleep really early, and avoid working overtime. Other teammates stopped making decisions when they’re feeling too emotional. The other one started working on his posture after being told that he’s lacking in confidence and that it shows in his countenance.

I can’t enumerate all the improvements I’ve noticed in just a short span of time, but I’m telling you, they’re all good.

4. We don’t talk about work.

We don’t talk about work during the outing – not a single moment.

In a survey conducted by employment website Glassdoor, 61% admitted working while on a vacation. 24% reported being contacted by a colleague about a work-related matter, and 20% have been contacted by their boss.

33% of those who admitted working while on a vacation said that they’re doing it because no one else in their company can do the work, others are afraid to get behind, some desire for a promotion, while others are afraid of losing their job.

But no matter what the reason is, one thing is for sure, we all deserve a break. We all deserve rest. And real rest doesn’t include worrying about what you’ve left in your workplace. Truth is, the more you think about your work when you’re supposed to be enjoying vacation even exhausts your brain.

Off time for SEO Hacker

How it helped our team:

The will to work is commendable, but skipping the time where you could just stop your brain from thinking about your tasks is actually making you less productive.

Since we never bothered mentioning anything about work for three days, it’s not hard to talk about it when we arrived back in Manila. In fact, it gave us the energy to live another week.


Just yesterday I was reading Buffer’s post about their latest trip in Australia. They’re one of the many companies that I look up to. And I’m always amazed by their greatness. They’re great not only because they work with so much passion, but also because they take time off, they value relationships, and they make sure that being a remote team wouldn’t harm their performance and camaraderie.

I’m glad that we value the same thing in SEO Hacker.

I hope you take time to relax and do fun stuff with your team too, and just like us, I hope it’ll help you strengthen the relationship you’ve built for so long even more.

Over to you!

Share with us some fun experiences you have with your team. What have you done with your summer outing? Perhaps you’re only planning to have one, share us your plans and your expectations after the trip!

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