Thursday, January 22, 2009

Helping Clients See The Bigger Linking Picture


Good read written by Mike Moran over at SearchEngineGuide titled How do I get links to my Web site?

The site in question was an ecommerce site. Skis and snowboards.

Sites that are primarily ecommerce oriented present special linking challenges. Several times each month I get questions like Mike did. Ecommerce sites want links. How do they do it? Will I do it? What will it cost? How long before they see improvement in rank?

Owners of those sites are sometimes willing to listen to what I tell them, accept what they are up against, and decide what to do about it. But some want no part of an actual linking strategy. They want a quick fix. They may be resistant to the "let's add great content" approach, or if they try it, they short-cut the process because they are doing it only because they feel they have to. And even if they have a passion for the subject, they aren't writers, they are store owners.

One of the more eye-opening ways to show the client the link attraction power of passionate content is to find sites in their niche that have already attracted high value links as a result of specific content. Show them the links, show them the content linked to. Then show them a search result like this one for snowboard linkbait, so they see first hand how advanced some folks are already getting, as well as how silly. How many "snowboard selector tools" does the web need? Apparently 163,000. Seeing that I'd be tempted to go old school and create another snowboard glossary (shudder). Heck, why not just aggregate the already existing snowboard video tips onto one central page, living on your site? Nobody's done it yet.

After this exercise, show them subject specific sites they may have never thought of, but which illustrate the potential for high trust inbounds in certain niches. I use cocitation analysis, show them a specific example, and then hope the light comes on for them. For the ski equipment site, show them these pages

http://staff.niacc.edu/skiclub/
http://www.crescentskicouncil.org/clubs.html
http://www.scwdc.org/
and
http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/student/club/ski/Index.htm

They may not see the multiple and larger strategic linking implications and opportunities such sites present. Do you?



NOTE: To ask a link building related question, click the Comments link below, or the Post a Comment link at the bottom of any individual post. You can also email your question to LBBPQ@ericward.com

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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.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Social Media Links - Spam 2.0

I read a great post this morning at InventorSpot titled

As the Algo Turns- 7 Predictions for Search Engine Marketing in 2009

Prediction #6 was this.

Social Media will become a major brand and link-building device.

While I agree, I also felt compelled to leave the below comment.

But...those of us who are in the link building business need to recognize and respect the distinct culture of social media networks. Social media is not there to be exploited for SEO. Don't ask "what can social media do for my links". That's just spam2.0. Instead, ask, "what can I do to contribute to the conversation aside from link drops". If you have nothing to add but company and/or client links, frankly, your wasting your time, and ours. If you worked for the engines, would you really trust anything about social links enough to incorporate it into a ranking adjustment? Maybe In certain cases, and for cetain topics, but if you spend some time looking through the social apps, you'll see they are polluted already by the usual suspects.

Some perspective. A couple years ago I wrote an article for SearchEngineLand titled Social Link Manipulation, where I tried to explain my position that SEO or marketing driven social linking is a pointless and ugly link building tactic. For goodness sake just become an advertiser. Don't pollute the river.

I'll flesh this out in a longer Social Media Linking Best Practices post soon, but you tell me, am I just spitting in the wind?



NOTE: To ask a link building related question, click the Comments link below, or the Post a Comment link at the bottom of any individual post. You can also email your question to LBBPQ@ericward.com

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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.