13 Nov 2008

Real-World Low-Risk, High-Reward Link Building Strategies

Hey, hey, kids. It’s time for more link building strategy talk. Yey. Links are delicious. So was the burger I just had for lunch. Petrified sandwiches, what?

This time we’ve got Eric Enge, Rebecca Kelley, Roger Montti and Greg Hartnett. Chris Tolles will be our moderator of awesome.

Eric Enge is kicking things off.

Eric says: Social Media and Link Building: Think BIG

Opportunity: Get tens of thousands of visitors and links.

Key: Match your content to the demographic. If you’re on a site like Digg, know the age range (13-28 year old males). Study what has worked before. Write a great title. Vote for posts in front of you on the upcoming pages.

He shows an example of a post on the front page of Digg with some potty-level content (literally).  2/3 of a year later that page still had 159 links and it’s prominent in the Google SERPs. But did it help the site? Why is it relevant?

Authoritative content can win.

He shows a post from a blog design site about 45 Excellent Blog Designs with 1,100 Diggs.  If you do a search for [blog designs] they’re number one. Stuff like this is successful because it fits the theme of the Web site, the content is credible, it had 1160 links a year later, and the term [blog designs] gets 645 searches a day. And it’s relevant to their site.

Maximize Your Success

  • Write content that is of interest to the audience
  • Be Authoritative
  • Reflect Well on your Business
  • Target big search terms: Put it in article title and Digg submission title.

Eric talks about a site that used Facebook to attract users. They created great social media applications on Facebook that were targeted at sports fans.  You could run an entire fantasy baseball league in Facebook.

Why is this link building? They got a link from MLB.com, a link from ESPN, TechCrunch, Google, and BattelleMedia. Success!


  • Build content and tools that increase your reputation. Be authoritative. Create the right image for your company.
  • Match the demographic to the business needs of your site and the social media network
  • Think big

Rebecca Kelley is up.

Becs asks how many people enjoy link building. Four people lie and raise their hands.

Traditional link building sucks. It’s time consuming, it’s repetitive, it’s risky and it has a low ROI.  However, we all need links. Links are a vote to your site. More links equal better rankings. They bring traffic. Yada, yada, yada.

Strategy 1: Find Brand Mentions and Ask For a Link — if they mention you, they may be willing to link out. Go to Yahoo Site Explorer and see who’s mentioning you without a link.

Strategy 2: Identifying Broken Inbound Links — Google Webmaster Tools’ Crawl Error Sources. Contact site owner and ask them to fix the link.

Strategy 3: Take Advantage of Broken Links To Your Competitors: Do a search for “no longer available” or “no loner offer [keyword]”. Contact the site owner and sites linking to the broken page and say that you’re offering a similar product, maybe they’d like to link to you instead.

Strategy 4: Who’s Linking To Your Competitors: Yahoo Hub Finder lets you enter in a list of sites and a keyword and it’ll tell you who’s linking to what hub.

Strategy 5: Take Advantage of Confirmation Emails: When you send people their order confirmation, encourage people to link to you. People who like you will comply. Links are editorial and relevant. It’s scalable.

Strategy 6: Embed links in Widgets, Banners and Badges: Create a quiz, poll or other shareable content. Offer embeddable tools or programs and include a link back to your Web site.

Strategy 7: Create Link Bait – Brainstorm content ideas and host it on your site. Promote the content via social media sites, forums, blogs, etc. Get links!

Identify link bait opportunities by researching your sector’s link worthiness. Discover the big players in your field and target those sites. Analyze current trends to take advantage of what’s hot.

Don’t neglect your own industry. ID niche blogs and forums. Start participating and networking. Build those links.

Greg Hartnett is up to talk about link building via directories.

Isn’t a directory just a paid link? No.  Pay for placement vs Pay for review

Isn’t a directory just a link farm? No. A link farm is a collection of uncategorized links. There’s little to no discretion and they’re created to manipulate the search results.

How can I tell a directory from a “directory”? Good directories have a history, contain great resources, are designed for the user, have populated categories and add lots of sites.

What kind of traffic can I expect? Not the Digg Effect. You’ll receive a mere percentage of what you’re getting from the engines, however, the traffic is much more targeted.

Can I list my Web site multiple times? Yes. It’s called “deep linking”. As long as you have relevant content for the category.

Is submitting to the Yahoo Directory Worth It? Yes. It’s an aged, trusted domain. And a primary hub of Internet mapping.

Is the ODP corrupt? No. There may be a corrupt DMOZ editor or two, or stories about people bribing editors to get listed, and he’s not going to say that never happened, but a few don’t represent the whole.

Which directories are the most trustworthy?: Yahoo, DMOZ, BOTW, Business.com, Librarians Internet Index.

How can I ensure my site gets listed if I go and pay one of the review fees? You can’t. TO help your chances you can follow the rules, read their guidelines, comply with their guidelines, write good titles and descriptions and beef up your content.

Where can I submit my blog?: Yahoo and DMOZ have categories. BOTW Blog directory.

Roger Montti is going to finish us off.

There are two main link building initiatives: Traffic and links with popularity.

Dot EDU links are NOT special…but can I have  a second helping please? These links are desirable because they’re usually in good neighborhoods, they’re relevant and they often feature original and authoritative content.  They’re NOT desirable when the pages aren’t authoritative, if they’re link farms or if they’re poorly linked to.

Find Industry Heavyweight Backlinks

  • check the backlinks of the largest most important companies in your sector.
  • Find opportunities to sponsor events or donate to charity

Do the following queries for your keywords and add .edu modifiers: hotlinks, bookmarks, links, directories.

White Hat Black Hat Strategy: Almost every black hat technique can be turned to white hat by using no follow or rendering link with JavaScript.  Blog widgets, counter, calculators, wordpress theme.


  1. Create Extraordinary Content for Extra-ordinary Link building « Nashville Search Engine Optimization, Ethical SEO, and Social Media Marketing Company November 28, 2008 at 8:32 PM

    […] 29, 2008 · No Comments Eric Enge had some great suggestions at Pub Con 2008, which Lisa Barone summarized: Authoritative content can […]

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