The Advanced Link Building Forum was the next session I attended. Dixon Jones from Receptional Internet Marketing (I think also a WMW moderator). He started off by answering a question asked in the basic session. How important is internal link structure? He feels internal link building is very important, including the anchor text. He explained an example of how links internally with specific anchor text can help your rankings for a keyword. The next question he answered was should you buy or sell links? He said, no, think of it as buying or selling traffic. Because, you will only buy "relevant" traffic as opposed to buying any type of link. He said not all links are treated equal, some links cant be read, some dont pass pagerank, some pass less pagerank then others, etc. How can you create incentives for people to link to a site? He put up a chart with a list of incentives one can offer, a few being; money, giving content, free downloads, etc. Is buying links wrong from a search engine's point of view? He said this is not the best question, buying PPC links is an example of buying links and directory listings is not wrong. But if you get irrelevant links, then that is wrong. You can get links from different 'channel' web sites, I think he means different communities. By that, he means that a link from a site sites that both talk about your topic can be good. Well, maybe you can consider that one big community but sub communities within that big community. How far is too far in link building your internal link structure? If you get de-listed, the more competitive a search phrase the more likely there is a filter, be careful with over optimization. Always look at internal link data, who clicks where on your site? Can natural interlinking be perceived as link spam? Yes, but its difficult to know for sure he says. "Tribal Linking" is how he named his summary slide.
Next up was Warren Cowan from Greenlight, whos first slide is named the "Wheat vs shaft." He discusses how links are no equal, just like the previous speaker. He says its important to look at the page relevance that is linking to you. The placement of the link on the page is important as well - he brings up the "block level analysis" topic. Anchor text is very important. And the document's authority level or expertise is important. He goes over which pages link to that page and is it the homepage or sub pages, he looks at the links of the pages that links to him. He then pulls up a "Radar Link Graph" where he plots the links to a page based on the types of characteristics of the link.
Paddy Bolger from Top-Pile says you should buy links, even Yahoo! directory, be choosy but buy. He is strongly against reciprocal links, not that he might hurt today but it will hurt in the future.
Google and Ask Jeeves gives the diplomatic speech on links.
Q & A:
Q: I asked Google (Magnus, new Google speaker and engineer at Google), why do you bother updating the link command if its not really statistically sound? A: Google pretty much avoids the question, sorry. But then Danny backs me up and says, if you have the command, it should be 100% accurate - otherwise do not give it. Thanks Danny.