Link Building: What It Is and How It Works

link buildingIn the field of search engine optimization, link building describes actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage.

In SEO, links aren’t everything—but search professionals attribute a large portion of the engines’ algorithms to link-based factors.

Through links, engines can not only analyze the popularity of a website & page based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority.

Link building is almost always the most challenging part of an SEO’s blog, but also the one most critical to success. It requires creativity, hard work, and often a budget.

No two link building campaigns are the same, and the way you choose to build links depends as much upon your website as it does your personality.

Below are three basic types of link acquisition.

  • “Natural” Editorial Links
  • Links that are given naturally by sites and pages that want to link to your content or company. These links require no specific action from the SEO, other than the creation of worthy material (great content) and the ability to create awareness about it.

  • Manual “Outreach” Link Building
  • The SEO creates these links by emailing bloggers for links, submitting sites to directories, or paying for listings of any kind. The SEO often creates a value proposition by explaining to the link target why creating the link is in their best interest.

    Examples include filling out forms for submissions to a website award program or convincing a professor that your resource is worthy of inclusion on the public syllabus.

  • Self-Created, Non-Editorial
  • Hundreds of thousands of websites offer any visitor the opportunity to create links through guest book signings, forum signatures, blog comments, or user profiles. These links offer the lowest value, but can, in aggregate, still have an impact for some sites.

    In general, search engines continue to devalue most of these types of links, and have been known to penalize sites that pursue these links aggressively. Today, these types of links are often considered spammy and should be pursued with caution.

    Source: Moz

    Why LinkedIn is an Effective Tool for Businesses


    We live in an integrated society. In today’s corporate climate, social media is everything. People don’t want to just log into their computers to check spam from businesses—they actually want to connect to people.

    Now, of course, you’d practically have to be living under a cave to not know what LinkedIn is. It’s currently the #1 social media tool for working professionals. In the third quarter of last year alone, there were 184 milion unique visitors worldwide to LinkedIn.*

    Now, if you’re a business owner or you have some some juice going in your business, you’re probably wondering: what does all this stuff really mean, in terms of cash? Well, the number of B2B and B2C marketers generating sales via LinkedIn is growing at a fairly consistent rate. And 80% of LinkedIn members have been shown to connect with companies, which opens up a vast opportunity for a sophisticated marketer to engage them.

    By using LinkedIn to build relationships with the world’s top professionals, you can achieve a full range of marketing objectives, including:

  • Generating Awareness
  • Increasing Consideration and Preference
  • Driving Traffic and Leads
  • Building Community
  • Creating Advocacy
  • You can also use LinkedIn’s API to create custom branded experiences that allow members to engage using their LinkedIn login. This simplifies the need for them to enter additional data. Even more importantly, by using the API to access LinkedIn’s rich data, you can tailor the user experience based on profile data and encourage virality by triggering your app to publish updates about a user’s activity on site.

    Plus: you can even extend the quality traffic of LinkedIn professionals to your own branded sites. Embedding calls-to-action on LinkedIn will ensure the flow of influential, affluent, and educated professionals to your own online properties.

    So, sure, you may have known about LinkedIn before—but now you also know to never underestimate it.

    * Statistics sourced from The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn

    Magento Version Control: A Guide Using Git and Beanstalk

    magento version control

    What’s Version Control?

    Version control is a system that records changes to a file or set of files over time so that you can recall specific versions later. For the examples in this book you will use software source code as the files being version controlled, though in reality you can do this with nearly any type of file on a computer.

    Every change made to the source of the file is tracked in version control, along with who made the change, why they made it, and references to problems fixed, or enhancements introduced by the change.

    You may have already heard of this term before if you’re in anyway familiar with the popular version control systems Subversion, Git, and Mercurial.

    So why do we need version control systems?

    The Necessity of Magento Version Control

    In its very basic essence, version control works like this:

    • The developer makes a file
    • Person A checks that file into a repository
    • Later on, Person A decides to make changes to that file, so they process a checkout.
    • When the changes are done, Person A commits the file to the code repository. The file is then given a new version number.

    Now your old version is kept in history so if you mess something up you can always put it back.

    Other Features of Version Control


    Branching allows the user to create new features or versions of a product. You can work in a branch and not affect your stability.


    Merging allows you to get code from one place to another. This is often used once a development branch becomes ready for release. You would at that time merge that branch into the trunk. You can also merge revisions.


    Tagging is generally used for creating a snapshot for a release. You may tag releases as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc.

    This is a great way to do it and is easy no matter which version control system you use.

    SecureBuy: Leading Architect of Fraud Technology


    What’s SecureBuy?


    A wholly owned subsidiary of SignatureLink, Inc., SecureBuy is the leading architect of fraud technology and commerce solutions. SecureBuy Labs, the R&D arm of SecureBuy, is contracted for use by some of the largest players in the payment eco-system as a think tank and development incubator for new technology.

    Best known for the creation and development of one of the most widely adopted patented technologies in the mobile and eCommerce space utilized daily for payment acceptance: SecureBuy is a direct global provider of payer authentication services, risk management and end-to-end automated fraud solutions for acquirers, ISO’s and/or payment processors.

    SecureBuy also provides merchants all over the world, game-changing auto-detect fraud technology for high-risk transactions and the ability to authenticate consumers with no human intervention. SecureBuy 2.0 fraud prevention solution protects merchants from fraudulent transactions and protects their consumers from account takeover and identity theft.

    SecureBuy can be easily integrated within any eCommerce shopping cart or mobile payment application, and is certified by Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express® and Diners Club International.

    From their website: “At SecureBuy, we are very proud of our contributions to the world of commerce. We are also proud of our progress to educate the payment eco-system concerning new best practices to fight and eliminate payment fraud. The political environment in the payment space causes new technology suppression and disruption of new best practices. SecureBuy is on a mission to stop the white noise surrounding aged best practices and antiquated technology that has not progressed for today’s environment.

    “SecureBuy will continue to provide the latest next-generation automated technologies and solutions to reduce revenue erosion from payment fraud and to stabilize commerce. We will also continue to apply pressure to the payment industry as a whole to take responsibility and come together to address the overwhelming amount of fraud being perpetrated on a daily basis.”

    Black Friday 2014: Ecommerce Desktop Pages 20% Slower Than 2013

    black friday 2014
    Image Credit: scyther5 / Shutterstock

    Black Friday 2014

    The top 50 ecommerce websites were reportedly slower on Black Friday 2014 than they were in 2013. Some of the major sites that were down include Best Buy, Gamestop, and J. Crew.

    Web performance monitoring company Catchpoint Systems looked at aggregate performance this weekend and compared it to the same timeframe in 2013. The results are notable: desktop webpages were 19.85% slower, while mobile webpages were a whopping 57.21 percent slower.

    More specifically, the firm made the following finds:

  • Median webpage response times for desktop websites for the entire group (aggregate) was 3.991 seconds, compared to 3.330 seconds in 2013.
  • Median webpage response times for mobile websites for the entire group (aggregate) was 2.954 seconds, compared to 1.879 seconds in 2013.
  • The data is for all of Black Friday (November 28, 2014) until 10:00 a.m. EST on Sunday, November 30. The comparison was made to the same time period in 2013: November 29 to the morning of December 1.

    Catchpoint hints that the main reason for the slowdown was not simply because there were more users overloading the systems. Most webpages in the ecommerce group monitored by the firm were also bigger; there was simply more data on the page to download.

    The five fastest desktop sites, according to Catchpoint, were H&M, Costco, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Etsy. None of these five were present on the top five list for fastest mobile sites: Sears, WW Grainger, Office Depot, Ikea, and Saks Direct.

    Best Buy actually went down more than once: twice on Friday, and also experienced issues on Thursday. Neiman Marcus was down for 2.5 hours on Saturday night, with poor availability leading up to the outage. Gamestop had poor availability all weekend, and J. Crew had slower-than-normal load times as well.

    Catchpoint Systems conducts its performance tests on a customized list of 50 web and mobile sites identified as leading ecommerce retailers. The tests were run from 30 backbone nodes located in various U.S. cities, which the company says allows for noise and connection variables that occur in real-user environments to be factored out of these results.

    NetSuite Status Definitions – What You Need to Know

    netsuite status

    NetSuite Status Definitions – What You Need to Know

    During NetSuite development cycles, it’s common for certain individuals to be listed with certain statuses by NetSuite managers or developers. The following statuses are taken from

    Consumer – DD/Delay
    The individual has been determined by the Early Intervention system to have a developmental delay or
    by Case Management to have an intellectual disability under the state of Colorado’s definition.

    Consumer – Non DD

    The individual has been determined to NOT have a developmental delay or intellectual developmental disability according to the Early Intervention system and the state of Colorado’s definition of a developmental disability.
    Consumer – Eligibility Undetermined
    As a result of incomplete testing, inconsistent testing, or no testing at all, an individual’s general intellectual functioning cannot be determined to qualify or disqualify that individual for services under Colorado’s definition of a developmental disability. This status will primarily be used for children transitioning from the Early Intervention system to children and adolescent services.
    Consumer – Terminated from Services
    An individual has been discharged from services and/or programs at Imagine! for reasons including, but not limited to, transferring to another CCB, moving out of the state, declining services, or passing away. Before inactivating a consumer record, all consumers should be transferred to this status to maintain an accurate real-time count of true enrollment numbers in programs. After all departments complete NetSuite processes for that consumer discharged from services, the Business Office in particular, the consumer record will then be made inactive.

    Consumer – Business Office Only
    This status will be used only by the Business Office for the purpose of reconciling their accounts receivable, completing unique financial transactions, and other activities.

    Lead – Web Store Only
    This status will automatically be assigned to consumer records created by NetSuite for people who make purchases from the Imagine! web store (Imagine! memorabilia).
    Prospect – Intake
    This status will be given to consumers who are in the process of applying for a program, or have completed the application process, but are on a wait list to become a participant in that program. Only the ASD and EI programs are operationally ready to utilize this status but it can be expanded to other programs and processes in the future as strategized by departments.