08 Jan 2006

Software vs. Manual Link Building and Management.

I can’t think of any software offhand that our link team uses, though I think I’ve tried most of them. (a few that come to mind are: SEO Elite, Axandra, link proctor, link explore, OPtiTools, Zeus, pr prowler, etc)

I know that many of you think that automation is key….but in building links, we tend to do manual searching, manual emails, manual checking, etc….manual this and that.

Do you you any SEO software? What for? Why?

** added: We do use some free online tools…..I didn’t include this in my original defination of “software”…but maybe I should have. Some of those tools would be: Aaron Wall’s Link Harvester and Hub Finder and some of our We Build Pages tools.

Comments

  1. Doggone Fresh January 9, 2006 at 12:21 PM

    So what your saying is that as far as speed is concerned, there is no difference between a professional link building service and joe shmoe link building by himself? Is the best method to manually look for sites via linkdomain searches and email webmasters asking for a free link?

    This is what I have been doing for some time and to be honest it seems very, very slow. I get a lot of emails bouncing back and sometimes I’ll spend all day sending out emails and not even get one reply! Very Frustrating…

    Of course I know that the quality of the links you get from manual emails is much better and for google at least, this is currently the best link building method.

    Jim, Is there some advice you can give for getting a higher response rate to email requests? How do you ask for the link? Is there a standard template? Is $$$ involved? Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Jim January 9, 2006 at 1:05 PM

    So what your saying is that as far as speed is concerned, there is no difference between a professional link building service and joe shmoe link building by himself?

    well it depends on the person and the methods used, and the success rate. A “professional”, if they know what they’re doing, should be able to get you better links and faster.

    It all depends on Joe shmoe’s knowledge and use of time.

    Is the best method to manually look for sites via linkdomain searches and email webmasters asking for a free link?

    We search by linkdomain:, by similiar/related pages, by doing regular old search, by doing some “advanced” searches….(I’m going to keep my favorite search phrases a secret)….but I try to fiind natural sites….not SEO’d sites.

    We, more often or not now, don’t ask for “free links”….we mostly pay for advertising on real pages that are somehow relevant (and ones that are not SEO bastardized) – that’s what we’re seeking.

    it seems very, very slow

    It is….so do your best to find the ones you have the best chance with, where you can get the best value for the lowest cost. It’s the art of the link deal.

    I get a lot of emails bouncing back and sometimes I’ll spend all day sending out emails and not even get one reply! Very Frustrating…

    I hear you brother…I hear you. But I also jump around excited when I get a good deal – that’s what keeps me going.

    I spend a lot of my time searching myself…but when I’m searching, I’ve got more an eye on “can I buy this site outright”, and my link people are more seeking the same type of sites, but for advertising arrangements…..sometime when they find a really good one they think I might want to by, they pass it to me…but we’re basically searchinng for the same types of sites…that is, good resources pages with quality natural backlinks to THEM.

    There’s also a whole art as to the types of link we put on these advertising pages as well….we often help the co citation by putting authority links near our links….there’s a professional art in this.

    As far as getting email back, it happens to us all the time. I’m a fan of using the phone as well. Just this weekend I called someone in hawaii to buy their website….the contact email and the form on the sites had been “broken” for years….but low and behold, the whois phone # worked, and he was estatic about me buying his site. It would be the same if I were seeking to pubish a folder of related articles on thier site, or if I were to seek exclusive advertising, or if I were merely seeking to pay $50 for a “perminant” ad on some page of their site that never made them a penny.

    Getting links can be fustrating, but it’s the “scores” of nice ones that get us excited….the numbers game is over, we get excited about quality. When my link teams gets a link deal I know about it and we often do a little dance here when we score great links. I did the jig twice this weekend when I bought 2 sites…..but to get those I sent out lots of emails that got bounced back, never heard from, called me a bastard for trying to buy something so cheap, and then there’s the few who are flattered that I want advertising or whatever on their site that had never made them a dime in the sites history.

    Of course I know that the quality of the links you get from manual emails is much better and for google at least, this is currently the best link building method.

    That’s my question….to me, it is….but if I’m missing something that works for others, and makes sense, I’m all ears – it’s the reason for my post.

    Jim, Is there some advice you can give for getting a higher response rate to email requests? How do you ask for the link? Is there a standard template? Is $$$ involved? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Offer money. If your email even smells of a shit link request they will delete it before they even hit the first sentence. We really don’t have a standard template…we’ve tried all types of letters….the better you get, the more you’re able to asses what they might want or take for some advertising. There are no “rules” like the old days of rules like “must be a PR4” or values on PR or BL…it comes down to what you can you offer them of value, what you’re asking, what they will give, how much will it cost and what can you get.

  3. » You Owe Greg and Dax Beer on Fridays - Backlink Scraper Tool - Stuntdubl - SEO Consultant January 9, 2006 at 1:20 PM

    […] Here’s some other great link development tools, and as Jim says, “Manual is good.” document.write(“Add to Del.icio.us”) | Add to Y! MyWeb | Digg it | Add to Slashdot […]

  4. Scott January 9, 2006 at 10:46 PM

    Jim,

    Could you share some numbers with us?

    – What formula do you use to determine what you’re willing to pay for a link?

    – On a typical engagement, how many links do you seek per month during, say, the first 6 months?

    – Do you concentrate on high PR sites, or do you buy up cheap links on low PR sites?

    I won’t be surprised if you don’t answer some/all of these questions… but I have to ask:)

  5. Hoe business January 10, 2006 at 2:14 AM

    Hello:

    Anything from Aaron Wall is highly recommended.

    Other SEO tools we’ve found very useful are SEO Elite and Zeus.

    There are many people who have built million dollar revenue with the help of these tools.

    They automate link building. Most of the webmasters you contact for link exchange will not respond for weeks because they are busy.

    And some website owners depend on these busy webmasters to add those links.

    That is why your link requests take so long. The fastest way to get it going is to use the phone and call them!

    Also, another trick that we found very effective is to submit the web pages where your link partners have your links so that they will be indexed.

    Google is very slow with indexing and ranking web pages, but if you’re patient with them and allow them time to do their work, they will do it well and finally reward you.

    Msn is now number 1 in indexing and ranking pages. We’ve found sometimes they will index a page in 2-3 days and give it ranks!

    That is absolutely commendable.

    If Google will try to emulate them, we’ll all be having a lot of fun, instead of agonizing about link campaign headaches.

    Ikey Benney

    Maychic Corp

  6. Jim January 10, 2006 at 11:39 AM

    Scott,

    “Could you share some numbers with us?”

    free to hundreds of dollars per month for an advertisement.

    What formula do you use to determine what you’re willing to pay for a link?

    My formula is that I try to get my ads for as far under the value as I can get.

    “- On a typical engagement, how many links do you seek per month during, say, the first 6 months?”

    As many as we can.

    Do you concentrate on high PR sites, or do you buy up cheap links on low PR sites?

    PR? PR don’t mean squat to me. I’d rather a PR2 that has an edu backlink to it, than a PR7 that had SEO’d spam shit backlinks to it.

    We look at things like: How does the site rank (prob how we found it through some type of ranking), what’s the backlinks to the site, what’s the backlinks to the page, what’s the words used to link to this page, is the site currently offering any types of advertising, are they a huge company, or some small fry with a great page or site that has respect, will the page bring traffic? I could go on and on of the things we try to quickly look at, and then we make contact based mostly on “what do we think we can get this for this?”

    —-
    To Hoe,
    I agree with your mention of

    The fastest way to get it going is to use the phone and call them!

    As far as the software you are using, are you keeping an eye on things like what I mention below?

    http://www.jimboykin.com/picture-of-link-neighborhoods/
    http://www.jimboykin.com/forward-link-look-tool-5-beta/ (how is your out link respect?)
    http://www.jimboykin.com/will-the-real-link-request-please-stand-up/
    http://www.jimboykin.com/what-a-links-page-should-not-look-like/
    http://www.jimboykin.com/links-within-content-linking-to-content-a-rant/

    Now Ikey (Hoe Business), I do believe the tools you mentioned have parts that can be useful…but they also have functions that I don’t believe to be near as useful as they once were.

    Guess it all depends on what functions of those tools you’re using, and how you’re using them.

  7. Scott January 10, 2006 at 1:25 PM

    Thanks for the response Jim.

  8. Anne Laszlo-Howard January 10, 2006 at 2:47 PM

    Hi, manual versus automatic submission, the dialogue goes on. This is a response to Doggone Fresh’s question…I use a combination manual link building and also linksmanagers paid services. It is a bit pricey for my taste but it provides an efficient linkbuilding system and template for Link Add Submit on my site at RushPRnews, http://www.rushprnews.com. You may see the template being used at http://rushprnews .com/ resources.html. You are all welcome to submit your site for inclusion on mine. But even like that , it is still a slow process…
    Cordially
    Anne Laszlo-Howard
    press release writing and distribution services, free web posting.

  9. Jim January 10, 2006 at 3:03 PM

    Anne,
    You might want to think about leaving a “footprint” on your pages which linksmanager does….what I mean by that is that (going to a random page in your links directory), I see this piece of code for example:

    document.LMClickTrack.src=”http://www.linksmanager .com/cgi-bin/lookup/click.cgi?userid=rushprnews&id=162″

    That can be known as a “footprint”…let’s pretend that google says “ya know, links manager is only used by those trying to game our system….how could be stop this….hum…any page that has the url of linksmanager.com in them, don’t count those pages” ….now you may see these pay may show as backlinks…but do they count…ya know…they just might not mean squat.

    Using popular programs that leave footprints on your pages is dangerious in that those pages might not pass link value….and if you’re getting links from these types of pages, they might not count as well.

    I was one of the first people to use linksmanger back in the day…in fact I populated it with lots of PR7 and PR8’s and had a grand ole time for a while…but we dropped it a few years ago when we felt it might not be worth the time to mess with anymore.

    Also, check out the links above that I gave to Ikey (Hoe Business) – if you’re using linksmanger, these ideas are someting you might want to consider as well.

  10. Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog » Blog Archive » Link Building Software - is it worth it? January 11, 2006 at 12:22 AM

    […] but anyways…there’s a good discussion going on over in the comments of the post about Software vs. Manual Link Building and Management. […]

  11. Jason Golod January 11, 2006 at 6:03 PM

    heh, Jim you crack me up. I like your “been around the block” attitude and it comes out in how you speak and write. I listened to you at Vegas PubCon briefly and I chuckled then and I am now. I agree with your thoughts and sentiment on the commercial link building software out there. I have much of it…I use none of it. If there is something I need, we usually build it, but that is for evaluation and not trying to gain links by automating email, etc. Just added you to my RSS reader. Cheers.

  12. Anne Howard January 12, 2006 at 5:49 PM

    Hi Jim, so are you saying that it is a FACT that google will NOT count my backlinks if the linksmanager.com is not not counting them? If that is a fact, I will drop out of linksmanager all together. I just like the setup, the control panel etc..aaah…well hey, I was interviewed by the New York Times yesterday. That was the highlight of my week! good ol’Public Relations.
    Anne Howard
    RushPRnews, public relations and media services

  13. Jim January 12, 2006 at 6:02 PM

    Anne,
    Nope…won’t say it’s a fact that they won’t count…some might count for something…some might count for nothing….but I wouldn’t bet on them counting for much, if any.

    I know that most of the pages we were working on a few years with linksmanger got Boinked (on 30+ sites) …but could also be because we did other dumb things like naming our links pages things like “links-43.html” as well as I broke all the rules that I later wrote on a page called “What a links page should Not look like

    ….I’d say Google doesn’t like automatic link exchange software, and probably has filters in place to take care of these having an impact.

  14. Ed Kohler January 12, 2006 at 6:42 PM

    I’ve found some of Arelis’ functions useful. It’s a good way to track the status of link building, and build lists of prospective link sites. However, it can get ugly if used for automatic link solicitations. Not recommended.

  15. Online shopping January 12, 2006 at 7:17 PM

    Yeah Jim:
    You’re right. It is dumb to leave footprints when doing automated linking that can be traced back and used to boink you in the future.
    Ikey

  16. Dave January 17, 2006 at 9:07 PM

    Jim,
    This is my first read of your blog but I commend you on your straightforward approach. I’ve added you to my reading list and look forward to future posts.

    I also found it interesting that you’re outright offering to buy valuable sites that you find. Do you bring them over to your own server or do you keep them all seperated to maintain seperate IP ranges? Do you then optimize them for advertising or how do you make them worth what you pay for them?

    -Dave

  17. Jim January 17, 2006 at 10:13 PM
  18. Tips for finding the best pages to get links from. - Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog May 3, 2006 at 6:24 PM

    […] More: This is stuff that you have to do by hand (forget automating link building, keep it under the radar, and of course you don’t want links on "link pages", and you want your ads to be within content, and if you can slip in some good co citation, even better. […]

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