Thursday, August 6, 2009

Picking The Right Shovel (LinkMoses Resurrected 4)

For backdrop, read Stephan Spencer's
Link Economics 101: A Prerequisite For Advanced SEO.

When you focus and practice a specific skill set long enough, one of the unexpected benefits is you become an unintended expert in spotting those with no skills at all. In fact, at this point my bullshit meter is a finely tuned instrument.

More than anything else, I wish the "sellers of the useless" in the link building industry would just go away.
But they don't.

The frenzy for link building today must be like what I imagine the gold rush was like in the 1800's. You could probably pick from many different types of gold digging shovels, all claiming to be stronger or better than each other, all making sale after sale after sale. Only after you got to the desert did you realize your shovel handle was made from cheap wood instead of Ash and the blade was stamped, not forged. If only you'd done a little homework first.

In my industry niche, I can spot a bad shovel a mile away, and I've saved many a company from making a very expensive link building vendor mistake. Some of the advice I give I am amazed I still have to give period. "Don't use a company in India to build your links?" Well...duh. "Join the local Chamber of Commerce and get a link on the member section?" Well, yes, of-freeking course. "Don't buy anchor text links across 47 school newspaper web sites?"

You mean like this pile of crap below? Click for a close up look.

Good God please help me. When was the last time a college kid needed restaurant supplies? Or a limo in Orlando?

I think it's funny that all over the country school newspaper publishers are wondering why their ad revenue is sky high while the rest of the economy is in the dumps. They think it's their content, when in fact it's .edu link chasing morons. And I mean that whether it works or not. It's crap. Stop it already.

At the same time I'm not so vain as to think I have what everyone needs, because I most definitely do not. But what I do know better than most, perhaps due to longevity, experience, and trial/error is what type of link building approach and service(s) is most suited for any given content deployment scenario.

Call it a link building blueprint.

Every site needs to create a link building blueprint, and whether they create that blueprint in-house or hire someone to create the blueprint for them (like I've been doing for oh, two decades), that blueprint needs to be created by someone who understands the complexity and nuance of link building etiology. Every link building blueprint must be 100% custom to the site it was created for, in order to have any long lasting impact.

And sites that have been around a long time need more than a blueprint. They need a link portfolio evaluation and a forward moving strategy that maximizes what they have already, and augment it with all they have missed without knowing they missed it.

I hate to beat this horse, but it is true; every site has specific optimal inbound link potential. Few sites ever reach that potential, because they don't know what that potential is, or they spend too much time (and money) chasing the wrong types of links. My job is to show them what their site's true link potential is, and help them get closer to it, even if that means sending them to a provider other than me.

Linkmoses can't help everyone.

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About The Link Building Best Practices Q and A
The Link Building Best Practices Q and A is provided free by Eric Ward. For sites with high value content, I offer several fee-based strategic linking services on a project basis.


Blogger RedEvo said...

I think the clue as to why people still do all this stupid stuff is in your article. You said "And I mean that whether it works or not. It's crap. Stop it already."

Many businesses are simply not interested in relevance or the rights and wrongs, they are interested only in page one results and, sadly, spammy links can still deliver these and the proof is in the SERPs for all to see.

I'm on your side and simply refuse to play the spam game but we are bombarded daily with link sellers who, sometimes, can demonstrate the power of crap.

Even if the boys in the Plex are throwing hundreds of PhD's at link spam, in the meantime people are making money from their link spam earned SERPs. It is crap, it is wrong but take a look at the world economy, since when was doing the right thing something that people care about where money is concerned?


August 7, 2009 2:39 AM  
Blogger Eric Ward said...

RedEvo wrote:
> demonstrate the power of crap.

I love that! May I use it as the title for a future

> Even if the boys in the Plex are throwing hundreds of PhD's at link
> spam, in the meantime people are making money from their link spam
> earned SERPs. It is crap, it is wrong but take a look at the world
> economy, since when was doing the right thing something that people care
> about where money is concerned?

Sad but true. I wonder if anyone working at some middle of nowhere school newspaper has ever said "hey, let's not take this money for these text ads, because they just make Google's job harder"

Not likely. Then again, how trivial would it be for Google to have an intern put together a list of 500 school newspaper domains, and pop it into the ever growing "ignore" box?

Thank you for reading my stuff and for commenting. It makes it worth it.


August 7, 2009 3:24 AM  
Anonymous Mark Dlugozima said...

I compare SEO and SEM to how to become popular in school, specifically college. When a freshman starts his first year he usually looks around and wonders how he can get more dates. To become popular with the ladies he can buy friends (join a fraternity, aka "paid search"), have a bunch of strangers tell their friends how cool this guy is (links with no authority), and dress in the latest fashion (site optimization). They will all work to get him first dates, but no girl will go out with him again because he has no substance (no repeat purchasers). Or he can take a different approach: Join some student organizations, meet new people and grow his list of contacts (organic rankings). These new people will tell others that he is a good guy and set him up on dates (link building). He can work out at the gym and learn a few jokes (better site optimization), and once he has had a few dates he can move up to dating a cheerleader (link authority big time!). The internet is just another validator of ages old human behavior. - Mark

August 16, 2009 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Kris Beus said...

Hi Eric,

Personally I think that anyone trying to make it online should have a couple of web presences that they can test and see what types of link building work. I started a website and really started doing well within the make money niche though it took a ton of time to get a few thousand links then once I got the hang of it I started a internet marketing blog and for the blog to do as well as the website only took half the time. Perhaps that is why you do so well the experiance of knowing what works online is priceless and means the diffrence between spending 6 months getting to the top of Google compared to a few weeks. Anyway good post.


August 20, 2009 1:34 AM  
Blogger Eric Ward said...

Kris - I hear you, but take what you are proposing and multiply it by millions of people doing the same thing. Millions of sites seeking and building links just for testing purposes rather than subject passion or content pride. The result is the vast pile of crap that makes up 99% of the web. If you truly have a passion for your subject, you do not need link building testing.

Just my opinion.


August 20, 2009 11:42 AM  

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