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Where Is The Mother of All Links?
by Eric Ward
July 2006

Where is the Mother of all Links..?

In the never ending quest to obtain links for your content, do you ignore the most useful sites of all?

My younger flashier peers in the link building trade like to call me Link Building Moses, because I've been around so long and am a huge proponent of white-hat-only link buildng tactics....I bitch about the folly of link bait and pagerank, I whine about sandboxes and anchor text schemes. And then at the conferences I stay in my room and work, rather than spending hours schmoozing in the bar. I'm boring to them.

An entire industry niche has evolved around me over the years and made what I do seem so ccomplicated and sophisticated. Sometimes I like to remind people that when I started, Yahoo didn't even have a Web promotion category. Hard to believe? See for yourself.

Nostalgia aside, there are more important linking subjects that the "young turks" of link building need to be aware of. One of them I like to call The Mother of all Links.

What is The Mother of all Links? It's the one inbound link to your content that matters the most for your content. It's the one type of link that can make or break you. It's the one type of link that will have the greatest ability to help your site attract users.

And it could be different for every site. And it's usually not a very flashy link, or a real obvious link, or even a highly visited link. Knowing your Mother Link and why is a key part of your job, fellow linkers.

A client asked me the other day why in the world he should care about getting links from a few K-12 public school library Web sites, most of which look horrible, have very few visitors, and live way out in the middle of nowhere in the .us or .org frontier...

I told him, "If you are worried about your search rank, those links are the most trustworthy links you could ever hope to obtain, and will remain so long after the search engines have spotted and disregarded your other links that aren't."

If you understood that answer you understand the "Mother of all Links" proposition, and if you don't, well, it's never too late to learn. Sometimes just one or two links make all the difference. I've seen it happen.

A library in South Dakota might just hold one of the keys to your Web site's success.

Tags: links | librarian

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About the Author
Eric Ward founded the Web's first service for announcing, linking, and buildng buzz for Web sites, back in 1994. His client list is a who's who of online brands. Ward is best known as the person behind the linking campaigns for Amazon.com Books, Weather.com, The Link Exchange, Rodney Dangerfield (Rodney.com), the AMA, and PBS.org. His services won the 1995 Award For Internet Marketing Excellence, and he was selected as one of the Web's 100 most influential people by Websight magazine in 1997, and has spoken at over 125 internet industry conferences. Eric has written online marketing advice columns for Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, MarketingProfs, ClickZ, Web Marketing Today and Ad Age magazine.

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