Off-Site SEO Checklist for 2020

By 11/25/2019 SEO

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Anchor Text Diversity – Your anchor text should be varied. This reduces the likelihood that you might be penalized for over-optimization.


Branding – You should focus on building your brand, not just building a link network. Your goal should be to position yourself within your market, not just earn SERP rank.


Competitor Research – Do competitor research but do not obsess about it. Your competitor may be using tactics that are against Google’s or Bing’s guidelines, so it is important to not follow them blindly.
Consumer Review Sites – Make sure you let your clients know that you have a Google My Business or Yelp Business accounts so they can leave you reviews. Never pay for reviews, as search engines are paying special attention to them, and doing so is illegal.
Content Marketing – Generate content that will make people want to visit your site. By being helpful and providing solutions, you can build your brand and position as an industry leader.


Directory Submissions – Nowadays, most directories are spammy and low quality. Only submit to trusted and quality directories like Better Business Bureau, local chamber of commerce and that go through editorial reviews.

In this video Matt Cutts (Former head of Google’s Webspam team) explains why Google does not like most Web Directories.

Video Date: Aug 8, 2011


Guest Blogging – Limit guest blogging to sites that are well-trafficked and offer high-quality content that’s overseen and reviewed by an experienced editor. Confirm traffic volume by looking into social shares. Confirm site reach by typing into your browser’s address bar and look at the number of indexed page results in the upper left-hand corner. The higher the number, the better the result. You can also use tools like Moz, Majestic or Ahrefs to check domain authority and page authority.


Harmful Links – Scan and check your website for irrelevant or inappropriate links. Those that come from adult sites or malware infected sites can have a negative effect on your search ranking.

Here are a few tools that you can use to scan your site for bad neighborhood links, IP addresses and domains.


Infographic Directories– Create beautiful and informative Infographics and submit them to High-Quality Infographic Directories. Infographics are great for building traffic, links, social followers and brand authority!


Keyword Research – Do keyword research before optimizing or building your site. You can get information on search trends and keyword competition by using Google Adwords: Keyword Planner or Market Samurai.


Link Building – You should submit articles to trusted and quality websites that go through an in-depth editorial review. Moz’s Blog,, Wikipedia are excellent examples of this type of resource.
Link Cleanup – Contact webmasters to remove any spammy links that come from past SEO efforts. If there is no way to contact the Webmaster, use Google’s and Bing’s disavow tool.
Link/Content Relevancy – Link and content relevancy is very important. Your anchor text should always provide good context for where the link leads.
Links From Different C-Class IPs – You should not link to sites that share the same C-class IP address when link building or guest posting. Google’s algorithm penalizes sites that seem to be engaging in shady link network building practices, and too many links to the same C-class IP are a red flag for this. Check IP addresses while link building.
Link Juice – You should analyze your link profile, so you know which links are providing the most juice. Ahrefs, Moz’s Open Site Explorer, and Majestic’s Site Explorer can do this.
Link Trading – Do not participate in link exchanges. Google has gone to great lengths in recent history to reduce the juice that comes from reciprocal links.
Local Directories Moz Local is a great resource to get local links and advertise your business on local directories. It also lets you know what sites you still need to develop your brand on.


No-Follow/Do-Follow – Having only do-follow links is a sign of spamming. Make sure you are also including no-follow links in your implementation.


Official Links – Links from trusted top-level domains like .org, .edu, .gov can give you a significant boost in traffic. Google gives great value to such domains.


PageRank – Google PageRank is not being updated anymore. Instead, focus on your Analytics, bounce rate, and conversions.
Press Releases – Only write/submit press releases if you really have something newsworthy to talk about. This can be anything including a new service, product, or promotion.
Google PageRank vs. Google Analytics
Promotion – You should work to promote your brand and website online and offline. Building a buzz around your brand is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic.


Question and Answer Sites – Serve as an informed authority for public Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers, Quora and eHow. Answer user questions clearly and accurately to build professional authority and get your name out there. Identify yourself clearly, link to your site whenever possible, use your own tutorials and articles to source your responses.


Scraping – Do not send automated queries to Google. It is against their Quality Guidelines and can result in temporary bans from use of search services.
Sitewide Links – Links that are displayed on all pages can become problem. Any links that may appear to be gaming search engines to increase ranking should be avoided.
Social Media Marketing – Be active on social sites and build your brand, network, and friends list. Share, follow and tweet your way to popularity and success.

Here are the most popular social media networks in the United States as of October 2018

Most popular social media apps in the United States by Engagement. 2018
Most popular social media apps in the United States by audience. 2018
Spam Comments – Make sure you are not engaged on user-generated spam. Either posting to other blogs or allowing spammy posts to go through on your own blog can lead to SERP penalties.
Stay Up-to-Date – Stay current and informed about new techniques and algorithm updates. Sites like, Google Quality Guidelines, Bing Webmaster Guidelines, Search Engine Land, SEO Books, and our Blog are a great resource to improve your knowledge and stay up to date.


Traffic Analysis – Always check your analytics account and reports. This can tip you off to shifts in the market, which may require you to tweak your own approach.


Underhanded 301s – Do not buy web addresses that pass PageRank via 301 redirects just for SEO. You will always run the risk of those links either losing their juice or becoming harmful and reducing your rank.
Use Social Aggregators – Get involved with professional communities at social aggregator sites like Reddit,, Hacker News and Bizsugar. Share links to your work and tutorials, answer questions and make connections with like minded professionals and prospective clients. Be sure to behave professionally if you do this and provide information that can allow interested people to find your site.


Video Marketing – Post tutorials and other useful information on YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and Metacafe. Identify yourself clearly, provide high-quality content and link back to your own site so people can find you.


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