Mike Grehan is moderating this session, and starts off with some jokes. He explains that they rolled the basic session into the advanced sessions. This is probably the 5th time I have seen him do the sticky note on the bottom of the chair trick...I wonder how many times he can get away with that. So basically, why should your page be the #1 result and not your competitor? Well, Search engines look at what other people say about your pages, and use that data to determine if you should rank well. He explains with his great, classic slides how direct and indirect edges work (linking pages together). Linkage data has two main algorithms; HITS versus PageRank. PageRank is keyword independent, HITS is keyword dependent. He then puts up his "GAS" slide, Google Anxiety Syndrome and you are suffering GAS. Mike moves on to explain the hubs and authorities concept. He then gives the top ten of linkage; (!) its quality over quantity, (2) anchor text and text around links are important, (3) use search engines to find link partners (the top 10, you want links from), (4) don't dilute content to multiple pages for same keyword, (5) affiliates can cause issues, sometimes (6) be choosy who you link to, (7) dont fake linkage data, (8) when asking for links, offer something of value, (9) link building is time consuming, should I automate it? (10) why waste time building a link directory, why not build content.
Next up was Keith Hogan from Ask Jeeves. He goes over some Ask Jeeves news, acquisition, and so on. He then moves onto the standard slides Ask uses to explain topic specific popularity. Sorry, more basics, not willing to type them out. He explains link building using directories, specifically showing ODP. He discusses that wikipedias are good places (but they do use the nofollow link tag). He shows the teoma resources area on the right side of the results pages. Should you buy or sell links? Ask Jeeves does not list directory pages highly, in general. Local search is big. He then puts up what to avoid. He did say, if you are going after "viagara" then try the tricks, otherwise do not.
Debra Mastaler from Alliance-Link was up next. Anchor text. All link building tactics use targeted anchor text to succeed, match your anchor text to the title/h1 and even the file names (she is a strong believer on file names). She uses Teoma to find authority sites, to get links from. When doing a link building campaign, try to emulate a natural link pattern (dont use the same anchor text over and over again, link in, link out within the community, secure links from a range of PR sites, avoid placing links in "typical ad spots"). It is doubtful that a page would get 5,000 links from the same site in no time, so don't do it if its not natural. How much cross linking between sites can you get away with? She said, cross link in moderation with a single rather then site wide links. The fastest, easiest, and safest way to get links is from a directory. She then discusses the topic of "Trust Links", so if someone bought something from you, ask them for a link, etc. Blog/RSS for link popularity is great.
Eric Ward is the last speaker for the day, the legend of link building. He brings up the amazon.com, then furniture.com, and so on. He has been doing this since 1993 and hasn't changed the way he works. He does believe that old links help, over new links. He explains hubs, authorities, and "quality links". What would the company your building links for tell you what a quality link is? He said he would prefer on topic links with good anchor text on pagerank 1 then off topic links with wrong anchor text from pr 8 sites. He said, don't ever let a search engine dictate your link building. He showed Teoma as a way to find new links, he also uses LinkSurvey, DMOZ categories (Google Directory lists it by PageRank), Yahoo Directory and so on. He said don't buy links for search engine reasons, but for marketing.