I am Debra Mastaler, President of Alliance-Link, a link marketing firm in business since 2001 and based in Northern Virginia.
In 1999 I was a new stay-at-home mom, I had just come off a 15 year gig working in the marketing department of a Fortune 500 company. I had zero experience with the Internet or web design but I wanted to open an online business so I taught myself how to code and created a small directory selling organic food and clothing.
In the process of marketing my directory I discovered SEO and quickly realized what I had been doing was something called “link building”. I also realized I liked building links more than maintaining the directory so I closed it, apprenticed with an established SEO (Jill Whalen) and a year later, opened Alliance-Link for business.
It is amazing how fast 18 years flies by, I have seen a lot of changes to the search marketing industry, the search engines and life in general. There have been ups and downs of course but overall, I love the marketing behind being a link builder.
It’s Really Link Marketing
I have always said what I do is more about “marketing” and less about “building” links. I was never a traditional link builder, I have always incorporated content and offline marketing when implementing online link building campaigns. Good thing too given the way the algorithms are going these days, your greatest online asset is the network you create offline.
I come at link building from a marketing angle and incorporate tactics using targeted content, media outreach, email marketing and cross-channel partnerships.
I have spoken at over 150 industry events as a featured keynote speaker or topic panelist at venues such as Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Search Engine Strategies (SES), Digital Book World, MB Summit, High Rankings Seminars, Small Business Unleashed and many more.
I have done, and continue to do, link building trainings for many Fortune 500 brands, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Search Engine Strategies. I am in my tenth year of doing the Link Building Fundamentals training for SMX.
In early 2015 I was certified in link building and as a link building trainer by the OMCP.
I am a featured columnist on Search Engine Land, a judge for the Landy Awards, have written for or been featured in TechCrunch, PC World, Search Engine Journal, Search Marketing Standard, CIO, Web Marketing Today, State of Search, ComputerWorld, Search Engine Watch and other publications.
I am very fortunate to have the confidence of some of the best minds in the SEO industry. I have great respect for these people and appreciate their kind words and willingness to include me in interviews, in their books, and webinars. Here are three people I admire tremendously who think I know a thing or three about link building:
Debra is one of the leading authorities in link building, her background in publicity and marketing give her an edge over people who are just hunting for PageRank™. She gets the Web is a web of ideas, people, and emotions and knows how to leverage it all for amazingly high ROI.” ~ Aaron Wall/SEOBook.com
Debra’s rich background in real world marketing combined with her creative genius make her an effective marketer who “gets” that links are an extension of business relationships.” ~ Christine Churchill, Key Relevance
“Debra Mastaler‘s link building skills are among the most respected in the online marketing industry, the girl knows her stuff.” ~ Marty Weintraub, AimClear
In addition to adoring my husband, children and pets, I love trees, my garden, westerns/science fiction/Harry Potter movies and the Allman Brothers Band. I drink too much Diet Coke, am a fanatic about recycling and if I could be any fictitious person it would be Julia Sugarbaker or Lois Lane.
I prefer riding the Metro over driving my car, dislike olives, anything with soy sauce and being warm. I would move to North Dakota in heartbeat if my husband said yes. I will not get on a boat, I am loyal to a fault, love to hike and do not like having my picture taken. If I’m not puttering in my garden, you’ll probably find me in front of a computer.
Podcasts and Videos:
- SEMRush Link Building 2017
- Intrapromote Links Are Still Important – An Interview with Debra Mastaler
- SEO Dojo: Link Building Tips and Unnatural Linking Messages
- On Stone Temple Consulting Podcast: Debra Mastaler with Eric Enge
- On WOW Web Professionals Debra Mastaler on Link Building Stratgies
- On Web Pro News Link Building Tips with Debra Mastaler
- Link Research Tools – Cemper’s Link Building & SEO Podcast
- CopyPress/Malcontent Podcast Link Building, errr I mean Content Placement
- Level 343 – Post Penguin Linking with Debra Mastaler
- SEOBook – Interview with Link Guru Debra Mastaler
- Word Stream – Link Building Expert Interview Series: Debra Mastaler
- SEO Contrarian – Ari Interviews Debra on Link Building Monday
- Sugarrae Blog – Link Building With the Experts
- Search Engine People – Ruud Questions: Debra Mastaler
- Bruce Clay Blog – Six Questions with Debra Mastaler
- Bruce Clay Blog – The Lowdown on Link Building with Debra Mastaler
- One Degree – 5 Link Building Questions with Debra Mastaler
- AimClear Blog – Tasty LinkBait: Debra Mastaler Interviewed
- CopyPress – Get Links-A-Building Featuring Debra Mastaler
Follow me on Twitter for solid industry news and fresh marketing ideas @debramastaler