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Image Link Building – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BritneyMuller

Image link building is a delicate art. There are some distinct considerations from traditional link building, and doing it successfully requires a balance of creativity, curiosity, and having the right tools on hand. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Moz’s own SEO and link building aficionado Britney Muller offers up concrete advice for successfully building links via images.

Image Link Building

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Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans, welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re going to go over all things image link building, which is sort of an art. I’m so excited to dig into this with you.

Know your link targets

So first and foremost, you need to know your link targets:

I. Popular industry platforms – top pages

What are those top platforms or websites that you would really like to acquire a link from? Then, from there, you can start to understand who might be influencers on those platforms, who’s writing the content, who might you contact, and also what are the top pages currently for those sites. There are a number of tools that give you a glimpse into that information. Moz’s OSE, Open Site Explorer, will show you top pages. SEMrush has a top page report. SimilarWeb has a popular page report. You can dig into all that information there, really interesting stuff.

II. Old popular images – update!

You can also start to dig into old, popular images and then update them. So what are old popular images within your space that you could have an opportunity to revamp and update? A really neat way to sort of dig into some of that is BuzzSumo’s infographics filter, and then you would insert the topic. You enter the industry or the topic you’re trying to address and then search by the infographics to see if you can come across anything.

III. Transform popular content into images

You can also just transform popular content into images, and I think there is so much opportunity in doing that for new statistics reports, new data that comes out. There are tons of great opportunities to transform those into multiple images and leverage that across different platforms for link building.

IV. Influencers

Again, just understanding who those influencers are.

Do your keyword research

So, from here, we’re going to dive into the keyword research part of this whole puzzle, and this is really understanding the intent behind people searching about the topic or the product or whatever it might be. Something you can do is evaluate keywords with link intent. This is a brilliant concept I heard about a couple weeks back from Dan Shure’s podcast. Thank you, Dan. Essentially it’s the idea that keywords with statistics or facts after the keyword have link intent baked into the search query. It’s brilliant. Those individuals are searching for something to reference, to maybe link to, to include in a presentation or an article or whatever that might be. It has this basic link intent.

Another thing you want to evaluate is just anything around images. Do any of your keywords and pictures or photos, etc. have good search volume with some opportunities? What does that search result currently look like? You have to evaluate what’s currently ranking to understand what’s working and what’s not. I used to say at my old agency I didn’t want anyone writing any piece of content until they had read all of the 10 search results for that keyword or that phrase we were targeting. Why would you do that until you have a full understanding of how that looks currently and how we can make something way better?

Rand had also mentioned this really cool tip on if you find some keywords, it’s good to evaluate whether or not the image carousel shows up for those searches, because if it does, that’s a little glimpse into the searcher intent that leads to images. That’s a good sign that you’re on the right track to really optimize for a certain image. It’s something to keep in mind.

Provide value

So, from here, we’re going to move up to providing value. Now we’re in the brainstorming stage. Hopefully, you’ve gotten some ideas, you know where you want to link from, and you need to provide value in some way. It could be a…

I. Reference/bookmark Maybe something that people would bookmark, that always works.

II. Perspective is a really interesting one. So some of the most beautiful data visualizations do this extremely well, where they can simplify a confusing concept or a lot of data. It’s a great way to leverage images and graphics.

III. Printouts still work really well. Moz has the SEO Dev Cheat Sheet that I have seen printed all over at different agencies, and that’s really neat to see it adding value directly.

IV. Curate images. We see this a lot with different articles. Maybe the top 25 to 50 images from this tradeshow or this event or whatever it might be, that’s a great way to leverage link building and kind of getting people fired up about a curated piece of content.

Gregory Ciotti — I don’t know if I’m saying that right — has an incredible article I suggest you all read called “Why a Visual Really Is Worth a Thousand Words,” and he mentions don’t be afraid to get obvious. I love that, because I think all too often we tend to overthink images and executing things in general. Why not just state the obvious and see how it goes? He’s got great examples.


So, from here, we are going to move into optimization. If any of you need a brush-up on image optimization, I highly suggest you check out Rand’s Whiteboard Friday on image SEO. It covers everything. But some of the basics are your…


You want to make sure that the title of the image has your keyword and explains what it is that you’re trying to convey.

Alt text

This was first and foremost designed for the visually impaired, so you need to be mindful of visually impaired screen readers that will read this to people to explain what the image actually is. So first and foremost, you just need to be helpful and provide information in a descriptive way to describe that image.


Compression is huge. Page speed is so big right now. I hear about it all the time. I know you guys do too. But one of the easiest ways to help page speed is to compress those huge images. There’s a ton of great free tools out there, like Optimizilla, where you can bulk upload a bunch of large images and then bulk download. It makes it super easy. There are also some desktop programs, if you’re doing this kind of stuff all the time, that will automatically compress images you download or save. That might be worth looking into if you do this a lot.
You want to host the image. You want it to live on your domain. You want to house that. You can leverage it on other platforms, but you want sort of that original to be on your site.


Source set attribute is getting a little technical. It’s super interesting, and it’s basically this really incredible image attribute that allows you to set the minimum browser size and the image you would prefer to show up for different sizes. So you can not only have different images show up for different devices in different sizes, but you can also revamp them. You can revamp the same image and serve it better for a mobile user versus a tablet, etc. John Henshaw has some of the greatest stuff on source set. Highly suggest you look at some of his articles. He’s doing really cool things with it. Check that out.


So, from here, you want to promote your images. You obviously want to share it on popular platforms. You want to reach back out to some of these things that you might have into earlier. If you updated a piece of content, make them aware of that. Or if you transformed a really popular piece of content into some visuals, you might want to share that with the person who is sharing that piece of content. You want to start to tap into that previous research with your promotion.

Inform the influencers

Ask people to share it. There is nothing wrong with just asking your network of people to share something you’ve worked really hard on, and hopefully, vice versa, that can work in return and you’re not afraid to share something a connection of yours has that they worked really hard on.

Monitor the image SERPs

From here, you need to monitor. One of the best ways to do this is Google reverse image search. So if you go to Google and you click the images tab, there’s that little camera icon that you can click on and upload images to see where else they live on the web. This is a great way to figure out who is using your image, where it’s being held, are you getting a backlink or are you not. You want to keep an eye on all of that stuff.

Two other tools to do this, that I’ve heard about, are Image Raider and TinEye. But I have not had great experience with either of these. I would love to hear your comments below if maybe you have.

Reverse image search with Google works the best for me. This is also an awesome opportunity for someone to get on the market and create a Google alert for images. I don’t think anyone is actually doing that right now. If you know someone that is, please let me know down below in the comments. But it could be a cool business opportunity, right? I don’t know.

So for monitoring, let’s say you find your image is being used on different websites. Now you need to do some basic outreach to get that link. You want to request that link for using your image.

This is just a super basic template that I came up with. You can use it. You can change it, do whatever you want. But it’s just:

Hi, [first name].
Thank you so much for including our image in your article. Great piece. Just wondering if you could link to as the source.

Something like that. Something short, to the point. If you can make it more personalized, please do so. I can’t stress that enough. People will take you way more seriously if you have some nugget of personal information or connection that you can make.

From there, you just sort of stay in this loop. After you go through this process, you need to continue to promote your content and continue to monitor and do outreach and push that to maximize your link building efforts.
So I hope you enjoyed this. I look forward to hearing all of your comments and thoughts down below in the comments. I look forward to seeing you all later. Thanks for joining us on this edition of Whiteboard Friday. Thanks.

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Source: Moz

The Connection Between SEO and 5-Star Reputations

Customer service is one of the key components of any online marketing strategy. Think about your own habits for a moment. When you are purchasing a product online, one of the first things most people […]
Source: Search Reputation

Our Team’s Favorite Festive Local Businesses

We’re sharing our favorite local businesses to visit around the holidays

Local businesses are fun to visit year-round, but there’s something extra special about visiting a your favorite spot in town when it’s decked out for the holidays.

Here are some of our team’s favorite small businesses when the holiday season is in full swing:

Glascott’s Saloon

Chicago, Illinois

“Glascott’s is one of those friendly neighborhood establishments in Chicago that people find themselves drawn to time and time again. Their over-the-top, yet classy, Christmas decor is something to be relished and looked forward to every December. You’ll see friendly faces throughout the year, but the holidays are special here and is the be the place to be for a familiar experience while embracing the holidays.” — Matt Lapinski, VP Marketing

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

Austin, Texas

“It’s a pop up business / event that starts Thanksgiving weekend and goes until Christmas Day. Blue Genie Art Bazaar hosts local Austin artisans, so I’m able to purchase gifts and treats for myself from small businesses all in one place! They have something for everyone — clothes, jewelry, homemade soap, toys, robots — you name it!” — Katie Ratcliffe, Community Manager

Mama’s Boy

Athens, Georgia

“You are going to wait a long time, but it’s worth it! The flakey buttermilk biscuits, the homemade jam, and fried chicken is so good, it will make you jump out of your seat! It’s a great start to the holidays and a place where I always leave with a to-go box. They have been around for almost 12 years, and recently opened up a second location. The atmosphere and the great customer service make it one of my favorite reasons to go home — that and I get to see friends and family!” — Geoffrey Brown, Regional Development Representative

The Driskill

Austin, Texas

“The lounge in the Driskill feels so cozy especially during the holiday season. The hotel is a landmark in Austin and it’s fun to admire the architecture while sipping a drink and listening to some live music.” — Megan Blackburn, Account Manager

Succulent Native

Austin, Texas

“Succulents make a PERFECT gift for the holidays! They’re beautiful, affordable, and super low maintenance to take care of, and (IMHO) no place in Austin does succulents better than Succulent Native. I love this business’ story, the owner is so kind and creative, and her shop is so unique! You can find all kinds of fun things to create the perfect succulent arrangement. I just love this place!” — Rebecca Bradford, Account Manager

via Pittsford Farms Dairy on Facebook

Pittsford Farms Dairy & Bakery

Pittsford Farm Dairy

Pittsford, New York

“Fresh ice cream, baked goodies and bread, and other things you can only get Upstate! It’s always festive around the holidays and a must-stop when I’m back in my hometown.” — Emily Howeth, Event Marketing Associate

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

Austin, Texas

“Every Christmas, Mozart’s puts on a light show for free. It runs every night, and the lights follow different Christmas tunes. It’s pretty spectacular to sit there holding a cup of hot cocoa and watching the show. What’s more, I love that the crowd is always diverse — you’ll hear at least three different languages around you!” — Brooke Bullard, Content Specialist, Out of Office

Learn more about the small businesses that our team loves to visit during the holidays and year-round here.

Want more content like this? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Our Team’s Favorite Festive Local Businesses was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub

Narrow Definition of “Personally Identifiable Information” Kills VPPA Case–Eichenberger v. ESPN

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 8.56.07 AMThis is a Video Privacy Protection Act case. Plaintiff downloaded the WatchESPN channel on his Roku device and used it to watch videos. When he watched a video, ESPN disclosed the plaintiff’s device serial number and video title to Adobe Analytics. Plaintiff alleged that Adobe used the information to “identify specific consumers” by connecting the data shared with existing data in Adobe’s database. Adobe obtained the information in its database (used to identify consumers) from sources other than ESPN. Adobe gives the data it derives back to ESPN in an aggregated form, and ESPN “in turn provides advertisers with aggregate information about its users’ demographics.”

Plaintiff alleged Adobe used the data ESPN provided to identify him as having watched specific videos. He asserted that ESPN’s disclosure violated his rights under the VPPA. The district court dismissed, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed.

Standing: The Ninth Circuit first tackles standing under Spokeo and has no trouble concluding that plaintiff satisfies Article III standing. Spokeo dealt with “bare procedural violations” and held that in some circumstances, these violations could be sufficient to satisfy standing. However, plaintiff alleged the violation of a restriction on disclosure, and unlike a procedural rule, every violation of this restriction “offends the interests that the statute protects.” The court also cites to Congressional judgment as supporting this interpretation. The statute was intended to give consumers greater control over their personal information. Similarly, privacy torts don’t require actual harm (beyond the disclosure) to be legally sufficient. Finally, the court looks to the VPPA’s history and says that the disclosure of Judge Bork’s viewing records were not themselves harmful (they were “decidedly commonplace”). Under ESPN’s interpretation–that he needed to have been “aggrieved” beyond the disclosure–the VPPA would not have even provided him with recourse.

“Personally Identifiable Information”: The court says “personally identifiable information” extends beyond actual viewing or rental records, and covers some information that “can be used” to identify an individual. But it’s unclear precisely what the definition encompasses. The key question is whether the statute embodies a purely subjective or a foreseeability-type standard. Some courts have said that if information would be reasonably likely to reveal a person’s identity, then it’s personally identifiable information (Yershov). Others have looked to the perspective of the disclosing party (Nickelodeon), and the Ninth Circuit adheres to this view:

the statute views disclosure from the perspective of the disclosing party. It looks to what information a video service provider discloses, not what the recipient of that information decides to do with it.

The court follows the Third Circuit and adopts a subjective, “ordinary person” test.

The court says this interpretation “fits most neatly” with the regime Congress must have had in mind in 1988. In that time, a video store clerk would know:  if he or she disclosed someone’s name and viewing history that they were violating the statute. But if they merely described the person in more generic terms, there would be no violation. The court says the Roku device serial number is more like the latter scenario: “It created a sizeable ‘pool’ of possible viewers . . . ” The court notes that technological changes have undoubtedly altered the ability of companies to derive identity information using data but

the advent of the internet did not change the disclosing-party focus of the statute.


It would be really interesting to see data on how the numerous VPPA class actions have panned out. There have been many!

The court’s test, like many other Ninth Circuit tests, leaves you with a lot of questions. The court says that some information beyond conventional identity information still constitutes personally identifiable information, but it never provides any meaningful examples. Nor does it provide any scenario in which disclosure of this other category of information that can be used to derive identity would trigger the statute.

As to the subjective test, does this mean that the disclosing party has to know that the recipient can use the information to de-identify? Would contractual assurances from the receiving party help insulate the disclosing party’s conduct? The court’s concerns about liability being imposed by something outside of the disclosing party’s control resonate, but the test it articulates seems to leave a lot of room for workarounds. And ultimately, perhaps the court’s decision is driven by the fact that there’s no human reviewing the de-identified records, and it all occurs as part of a large-scale data transaction between companies.

The court describes what looks like a mild circuit split. I wonder if there’s any chance the Supreme Court could take up a case presenting this question?

Eric’s Comments

1) We’ve occasionally blogged on privacy concerns about analytics services (e.g., Garcia v. Zimride). This case raised the issue squarely, and it worked out for the defendants this time. However, if you are running an analytics service, you’re probably increasingly nervous about the wide range of potential privacy risks you face. And if you are a publisher using an analytics service, this case highlights the potential exposure you might face from your analytics provider’s activities.

2) The court’s approach to reidentification is interesting: the disclosing publisher isn’t responsible for an analytics service’s potential or actual reidentification unless the publisher discloses information that readily permits an “ordinary person” to identify a particular individual as having watched certain videos. This is a defendant-favorable definition of reidentification, and it will be interesting to see if courts similarly do not hold publishers accountable for the reidentification capacities of third parties in non-VPPA contexts.

Case citation: Eichenberger v. ESPN, Inc., 2017 WL 5762817 (9th Cir. Nov. 29, 2017)

Related news:

Netflix recently tweeted the following and predictably came under fire for it:

Related posts:

VPPA Still Doesn’t Protect App Downloaders–Perry v. CNN

Important and Troubling Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) Ruling From First Circuit–Yershov v. Gannett

App Users Aren’t “Subscribers” Under the VPPA–Ellis v. Cartoon Network

9th Circuit Rejects VPPA Claims Against Netflix For Intra-Household Disclosures

Court Rejects VPPA Claim Against Viacom and Google Based on Failure to Disclose Identity

Court Says Plaintiff Lacks Standing to Pursue Failure-to-Purge Claim Under the VPPA – Sterk v. Best Buy

Judge Dismisses Claims Against Pandora for Violating Michigan’s Version of the VPPA – Deacon v. Pandora Media

Disney Not Liable For Disclosing Device IDs And Viewing Habits

Ninth Circuit Rejects Video Privacy Protection Act Claims Against Sony

AARP Defeats Lawsuit for Sharing Information With Facebook and Adobe

Lawsuit Fails Over Ridesharing Service’s Disclosures To Its Analytics Service–Garcia v. Zimride

Android ID Isn’t Personally Identifiable Information Under the Video Privacy Protection Act

Minors’ Privacy Claims Against Viacom and Google Over Disclosure of Video Viewing Habits Dismissed

Hulu Unable to Shake Video Privacy Protection Act Claims

Source: Eric Goldman Legal

The Biggest Content Trends for 2018

Step up your content marketing in the new year

Every year is the year of something in the world of content marketing. Getting ahead of the content curve is the best way for your brand to start off the new year fresh, relevant, and engaging!

As you plan your small business’ 2018 brand and content strategy, keep these 4 things in mind:

Visual Content

Visual content — especially video — has been on the rise since 2015. It’s a great way to grab your audience’s attention and keep them on your social media pages. People are 6x more likely to retain information if you present it visually than in a text post.

It’s the best way to get your audience engaged on social media, especially Facebook, which brings us to our next trend — live video.

Live Video

When Snapchat launched, it was the only mainstream platform that offered disappearing content. Since then, dynamic, as opposed to static, content has become so popular that Facebook and Instagram have started offering their own versions of this type of content.

Read more from Facebook and learn how people are spending more time watching and interacting with live video than static video content.

It’s worth evaluating your business to make sure these strategies are in line with your brand voice and ROI, but staying relevant and on top of trends like this is a sure-fire way keep your customers engaged for the year to come.

Organic Content

In the competitive world of paid content on social media, even if you pay to get more reach for your content, it can still can get drowned out by other paid content. For that reason, it’s going to be super important going into 2018 to make sure your organic content is just as high-quality as the content you would boost. If your fans and followers are drawn to your page by an ad or sponsored post, it’s important that the organic content they see on your pages is thoughtful and consistent as well.

Plus, odds are, your business is trying to figure out the best ways to reach new audiences and build a younger, millennial fan base along the way — the best way to do that is to be authentic in your content. And you can do that with organic content. It’s generally accepted that the millennial generation is skeptical of ads and don’t want to be “sold,” but it’s important to note this doesn’t just apply to millennials. According to marketing expert, Neil Patel, “consumers overall want that same transparency.”

TL;DR: Tell your story with high-quality, organic content, and if you want to put money behind some of your content, be sure to boost what you think might draw in new audiences.

User-Generated Content

The majority of consumers trust other shoppers’ and diners’ opinions more than advertisements, which is part of the reason user-generated content has become so popular. What is user-generated content?

“User Generated Content is defined as any type of content that has been created and put out there by unpaid contributors or, using a better term, fans. It can refer to pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, and everything in between and is the act of users promoting a brand rather than the brand itself.” — TINT

Whenever you reshare a happy customer’s photo or review, you’re sharing an authentic, unaltered view of your business. This is a great way to build trust and bring in new customers in the new year.

Integrate Main Street Hub into your content marketing strategy for 2018! Get started with us here.

Read up on what we do for 10,000 small businesses across the country.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram so you don’t miss a thing.

The Biggest Content Trends for 2018 was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub