Who Controls Link Building SuccessIf you are seeker of link building services, and are evaluating companies or persons to help with your linking strategies or link building, it’s logical and reasonable to have some questions you want answers for.

One of the most telling questions of all is this one:

“How many links can you get for us and how much will it cost?”

If you asked me this question, the best answer is the most honest answer, and here it is.

For highest quality content seeking links, once you have identified the highest caliber and most credible targets, it is never me, the link builder who gets you the link, and it is never me, the link builder who controls anchor text or any other HTML based editorial choices. It is your content that dictates the ultimate result, not me or any other merit-based link builder.

Put another way, the higher the quality of the target site, the more likely it is the editor/owner is a “curator” of links, passionately picky about what does and does not get on their pages, links, text, anchors, and otherwise. Thus it is not the link builder who controls the success or failure of that process. Even fantastic content doesn’t assure links will be granted, or granted in the manner you, as the link builder, wish they were. To try and hold a link builder accountable for editorial decisions made on high merit sites they do not control is, frankly, silly.

Example? Sure.

Let’s say I want on this page. For this client. Pagerank 8 blah, blah, blah. It wasn’t me that got this link. It was the quality of the kbb.com site I was seeking a link for. All I did was match content of merit with link curator of merit.

Yes, I agree it’s easy to do this when the content is that strong. But again, this is the exact point of merit-based linking. And it’s why the engines give them such weight. And once again, notice, no anchor text. It isn’t needed, isn’t used, and to ask for it from this particular target site is like asking the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld for an extra roll with your Crab Bisque.

Just shut up and be happy a link is there at all.

At best, the link builders role with merit or citation based link building is to have the skills to identify the right targets and editorial contacts at those targets, make a brief and polite content introduction, and then leave.

NOTE: To ask a question, click the “comments” link below, or email your question to eric at eric ward dot com

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  1. says

    I have recently stumbled upon your blog and articles on link building and the more I read, the more I am realizing that there is a lot of erroneous information out there about link building. This particular article helped me to “see the light” as to who really controls link building process. I have a lot of work to do.

  2. says

    Your way of looking at seo and link building is helping me re-shape the way I am doing seo for clients and myself.
    I am gradually changing from a link factory to a web relations and promotions strategist.

    Thank you for sharing your perspectives, they are helping me change mine.

  3. says

    Some people have the ability to distil a complex idea into simple bite sized chunks of ‘doh, why didn’t I think if that’ type sound bites.

    Here’s yet another example and with it another great post.

    I do try to educate clients about creating something link worthy but many still don’t get it. They see rankings as a right, not something based on merit.

    Perhaps the worst examples are e-commerce sites where little or no thought goes into the value add side of what they are doing, yet with a little thought a site can stand out from the ranking crowd.

    Thanks again for sorting the wood from the trees.