22 Jan 2007

Expert Link Building Can be Fun!

You could take this as a continuation of my last post about link bait.
See, even from the 4 articles that I referenced that night, a few of those made statements like:

Sheesh, rather you than me squire. I can’t think of anything more mind numbingly tedious, not to mention soul destroying, than sending out hundreds or thousands of link requests. Whether you do this by hand, or (heaven spare us) automatically, it’s just shit. Plain and simple.  NickW on Search Engine Land

Compared to some of the alternatives – begging for links – link baiting is a far more useful and productive strategy. Peter Da Vanzo

Link begging is mind numbingly tedious compared to fun of linkbait. Garrett French.

Bah! That’s what I say "BAH!"

And it’s just not only these articles that make statements like those above. Many of the recent articles I’ve been reading about link bait have statements such as these. I take offense to these type of statement because I, for one, enjoy building backlinks! Really! And I’d like to think that my team of Ninjas also enjoys the art of getting great links.

A lot of what I’ve been hearing is things like: "Google is too complicated for link building", or "link building is just too hard", or "who wants to build links"?

Let me address a few of these points:  

"Google is too complicated for link building"
 I’m sure most of my readers are pretty advanced link builders themselves, so I’m not going to get into what I think is important to link building (see Jim’s favorite posts on the bottom), so I’ll say that "Google is not too complicated for link building". When you can analyze theories, mixed with speculations (If I were google I’d ….), referenced with "here’s what’s happening based on what I see accross sites", and combined with what the "SEO "word"" is on the streets (forums, blogs, etc)…..hey ya know what, maybe link building IS rocket science…. I didn’t get into that debate last week, but YES, it is. When you’re dancing with hundreds of google phd’s, you sure are doing rocket science – because if you’re not, your dead or soon will be. But if you can see what’s "Food" and see into the future (they’re getting smarter), then you can excel at link building for rankings. If you know what is needed (and I take it most of my readers know what is needed), then it’s not too complicated – it just takes time and thought.

"Link building is just too hard"
Yea it’s hard. It takes time and goes slow. People don’t like that….we’re all guilty of "it’s never enough" when it comes to links….and the day that some big company head says "Can’t you just push some buttons, or outright purchase links on the streets and "be done with it"….that is the day your website just saw it’s death in the future.

Last week one of my ninjas set a weekly record for the most backlinks in a week. She got 39…but keep in mind, she’s got a lot of sites that need links so it’s easier for us to find nice link homes. If a ninja were able to get 10 links for any one site in a week I’d be impressed. Does that number scare you, think it’s too small? Don’t – if your ninjas are getting links the best way, they’re analyzing and writing and not pushing buttons. When you are a HUMAN ASKING FOR A DEAL, you’re talking time. Time to find sites (Human time), Time to compose an email (No Template), Time to deal back and forth a few times, time to create an ad, time to record the work….time time time…..but get a great link and watch your rankings jump faster than all your push button efforts combined.

If you’re got the time, it’s not too hard. It’s only too hard if link building is assigned to some poor guy who’s also in charge of lots of other stuff and is expected to get hundreds of links each month with a total of 10 hours of link building….Ha, yea right. 

 If you’ve got someone dedicated to link building doing it 40 hours per week, slow and steady. It doesn’t have to be hard if they don’t look for short cuts and aren’t expected to get an unrealistic amount of backlinks each month. Humans make deals, not machines.

"Who wants to build links?"
I do, that’s who. I actually get my kicks building backlinks and wish I could do it tons more than I do personally. It’s an art, some may even call it rocket science ;) It’s a combination of SEO knowledge, Analysis, and The Art of the Deal, along with "The art of the ad".

Sure, if I were pushing buttons and analyzing useless data and not seeing rankings, and being told "You Need More!!!" than who would enjoy doing that?…not me.

It’s no fun being a link monkey, but it can be a fun challenge to be Link Ninja. Everyday I have someone here run to me with a great link they got…..it’s exciting to hear about getting an edu link that we asked for, or getting an ad on a page with over 1000 backlinks to that page, or getting a great presell page on an authority related site, etc, etc. It’s a Expert Game if you make it, it’s fun, it’s a challenge. We have 4 Ninja rooms here. Each room has 4 link ninjas, and one designer. The ninjas compete against everyone else (and post numbers on a board to compare against others) and teams compete for the Winning Ninja Room trophy. It’s a fun game around here. We’re not link begging, we’re creating win/win deals with other webmasters. -

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Now, don’t think I’m putting down link bait, because I’m not. I think link bait is a great SEO method, and has huge potential…but it’s not a replacement for getting specific links that you’ve asked for….and ya know what, it can be a challenge, and it can be fun, and most of all, it can be very effective.

Is there anyone else out there that enjoys the thrill of seeking and obtaining backlinks via the Art of Asking?