Live Coverage of Ask The Link Builders at SMX West

Feb 12, 2009 • 12:55 pm | comments (0) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Marketing Expo 2009 West
 

Below is live coverage of the Ask The Link Builders from SMX West 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by both Barry Schwartz, the editor of the Search Engine Roundtable and Keri Morgret of Morgret Designs.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed. In addition, you can interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog.

Ask The Link Builders(02/12/2009) 
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9:52
Barry Schwartz:  8 minutes until we start this panel
9:55
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9:55
Barry Schwartz:  Them setting up...
9:56
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10:03
Barry Schwartz:  Matt Cutts joins the first row to live blog or just take notes of the latest link building tips?
10:03
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10:05
Barry Schwartz:  We were suppose to start five minutes ago!!! common!
10:06
Barry Schwartz:  6 minutes late, Danny Sullivan starts
10:07
Barry Schwartz:  Danny mocks Google Japan with Matt in front row
10:08
Barry Schwartz:  Ask you questions, we can submit them for you.
10:08
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10:09
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10:09
Keri Morgret:  Rae Hoffman is introducing herself. She's co-owner of Outspoke Media, blogs at sugarrae.com, runs affiliate marketing, and has a couple of companies.
10:09
Barry Schwartz:  Rae is one on the left
Roger is one in middle
Debra is on the right (looking at picture)
10:10
[Comment From Daniel]
Hi evebody
10:10
Barry Schwartz:  Rae Hoffman, Owner, Sugarrae Internet Consulting
Debra Mastaler, President, Alliance-Link
Roger Montti, Owner, MartiniBuster


10:11
Barry Schwartz:  Guys, ask Qs, we will submit them for you... this is only Q&A
10:11
Keri Morgret:  Q: We've heard a lot of disaster stories of what companies have done wrong during the conference. What are the top mistakes? What should we not do if we are being white hat?
10:11
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10:12
Keri Morgret:  Debra: If you want to stay out of trouble, stay away from things that look like they go against the guidelines of the search engines. Don't be obvious.
10:13
Keri Morgret:  Rae: To stay out of complete trouble, follow Matt's blog, and do only greate content, etc. She says that it's like sex -- abstinence is the only way to be completely clean with acquiring links.

One way to stay clean is the Matt test -- would you tell Matt Cutts that you were doing it? Though this can lead to fairly boring things, too.
10:14
Keri Morgret:  Danny jokes that he has a "What Would Matt Do?" book coming out. ;)
10:14
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10:15
[Comment From Brian @ Pingo.com]
When working with a link builder. What should you set as a goal for a days worth of work? how many sites researched, contacted or targeted posts a day?
10:16
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10:16
[Comment From @ashbuckles]
Can I get into trouble buying press releases that may be re-published in several different places? Why or why not?
10:17
Keri Morgret:  Debra talking about costs for link building from a personnel standpoint. Needing people that know the niche areas, the social network in those areas, research fees are involved, etc.
10:17
Barry Schwartz:  Submitted those two Qs, will keep you posted on answers
10:17
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10:18
Keri Morgret:  Roger says it's a good idea to bring your link building in-house. Good quality links are going to take time to develop. Hard to put into a "bronze, silver, gold link building package"
10:18
Keri Morgret:  He'd be suspicious of someone that could give you a quote for x amount of links. Every situation is different.
10:19
Keri Morgret:  It might take a few months to build up to 50 or 100 quality links, slow and steady. In the long term it will help your site.
10:19
Keri Morgret:  Rae: Organic links are going to cost you more. If you can, hire someone in house. Need to be able to train them though.
10:19
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10:20
[Comment From @ashbuckles]
What ratio of building links vs generating content (for links) should be considered?
10:21
Keri Morgret:  She gives examples of things that are out of the box rather than just 25 links in a specific category. These do take time more time though. Stay away from someone who can guarentee a certain number of links. You want information about what you could do for your site and how to build the links. Can't just spend x amount for y links for organic.
10:21
Barry Schwartz:  @ash, I know what they will say... they will say, there is no percentage or ratio
10:21
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10:21
Keri Morgret:  Don't lock yourself into a long-term contract with a new company.
10:22
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10:22
Barry Schwartz:  Matt is looking at something on his computer, what is it?
10:23
[Comment From @ashbuckles]
So the cost to hire a blogger, for example, to generate content can't be determined vs hiring a firm to build links? Where should companies put their dollars?
10:23
Keri Morgret:  Debra gives an analogy if you're an offline business. You don't just buy an ad in the yellow pages then do nothing else. You have to establish yourself in the community, be found, etc.
10:23
Barry Schwartz:  @ash it really depends on your situation.... depends on your current content and current link situation. you need a tailored answer
10:24
Keri Morgret:  Link building is relationship building.
10:26
Keri Morgret:  Roger: As a forum owner, he encourages people to put a link to their site in their signature file. However, this is in the context of being a valuable member of the community. Coming in and saying "great post" and not joining the conversation isn't the way to do this.
10:26
Barry Schwartz:  Dont get banned in those forums ;-)
10:26
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10:27
Are you part of a community in a discussion forum?
Yes
 ( 50% )
No
 ( 50% )

10:27
Keri Morgret:  Rae: Forum moderators can tell if you're in there to pimp your site, even if you provide answers. Don't always come in and provide an answer that links to your site. Be a real person. Go into the water cooler forum, talk about your favorite TV show, your favorite MMA person, etc.
10:28
[Comment From Akos]
I have an online store and I find it impossible to get past the established 8-10 year old sites even though their links are 95% trash links like gaming links for a hardware site. but they have 1000's . At this rate it will take me a decade to even get near them if I stick with the guidelines which I am determined to do. Any suggestions?
10:29
Barry Schwartz:  @Akos yea, this is an issue and it isn't fair but if you can create buzz about your site, kinda like how Will It Blend did for BlendTech, then you too can rock
10:31
[Comment From Akos]
Barry I am trying to create a buzz but I sell tarps...:) hard to do....
10:31
Keri Morgret:  Debra: She's very transparent when she's in a forum. Hey, we're here, we're from this company, here's a new product we have.
10:32
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10:32
Barry Schwartz:  @akos send your tarps through a firestorm, take videos of it....
10:33
Barry Schwartz:  Someone asked, frequency of content more important than solid links strategy... one of you asked that...
10:33
Barry Schwartz:  Roger said, it depends, like I said... depends on your niche and your site.
10:34
[Comment From Akos]
Off to Australia they got one going...:)! Poor guys
10:35
What is "king" to you? Content or Links?
Content
 ( 23% )
Links
 ( 15% )
Trick Question ;-)
 ( 62% )

10:35
Keri Morgret:  Rae: You need both create content, but you do need to also promote that content.
10:35
Barry Schwartz:  "Hundreds of questions were submitted" Danny said
10:38
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10:39
Keri Morgret:  Next questions are related to directories.
10:39
Barry Schwartz:  "dmoz sucks"
10:40
Barry Schwartz:  Easiest way to get into DMOZ is to pay an editor, said Rae
10:41
Keri Morgret:  How can I get into dmoz? Is there a complete list of directories on the net? How much weight do directory links provide?
10:42
Keri Morgret:  Google used to have directory links as something they recommended, but it's no longer in their guidelines.
10:43
Do you like DMOZ?
Yes
 ( 0% )
No
 ( 86% )
Sometimes
 ( 14% )

10:44
Barry Schwartz:  Rae, submit to DMOZ and forget about it, if you get in, great, if not, dont worry about it.
10:44
Barry Schwartz:  Dmoz has a blog by the way, http://blog.dmoz.org/ --- comments are open
10:45
Barry Schwartz:  StrongestLinks.com and DirectoryCritic.com and ISEDB.com are good lists of directories, said Debra
10:45
Barry Schwartz:  Directory submission is a good place to start with link building... about 20 or so carry weight, the rest dont.
10:46
Keri Morgret:  Go for the niche directories.
10:47
Do you use PageRank as an indicator for going after links?
Yes
 ( 43% )
No
 ( 57% )

10:48
Keri Morgret:  Debra: Google has put in a new patent that gives credibility for human-reviewed directories. Gives example of Yahoo and DMOZ. Not everything in patents gets implemented, but interesting that it was a recent submission.
10:49
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10:49
Barry Schwartz:  I am the missing seat
10:49
Keri Morgret:  Rae looks at directories like reciprical links. There is still a place and a use for them, but you can't base your entire marketing campaign off of them. Applies this to newer sites.
10:50
Barry Schwartz:  Danny got mad at me for sending your questions, simply because he has hundreds of questions, but normally, I think it would be okay...
10:51
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10:51
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10:51
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10:51
Keri Morgret:  Talk about getting better response rate from email requests regarding links. Don't go for generic email templates.
10:52
Keri Morgret:  Rae: If it's a good link, I don't care about the anchor text they're using. She's not going to go and ask the Washington Post to change their anchor text.
10:53
Keri Morgret:  If she does ask someone to link to them, she makes sure it's personalized, doesn't ask directly ask for a link, asks how we can work together. She doesn't suggest link text to the person. She wants a natural-looking link profile.
10:54
Barry Schwartz:  Havent heard much discussion around the ....
10:54
10:55
Barry Schwartz:  Use to be a big topic at these sessions...
10:56
Do you use PageRank Sculpting?
Yes
 ( 50% )
No
 ( 50% )

11:00
Keri Morgret:  Debra doesn't approach people with email, but instead with snail mail. Then follows up with email. Open rates have really increased.

She never approaches anyone out of the blue. She always has a referral list. She has her clients join associations, have memberships, etc.
11:01
Barry Schwartz:  "Snail mail thing works, big time," Debra said
11:02
Barry Schwartz:  Panel will take links with low pagerank or nofollowed links
11:02
Keri Morgret:  q: favorite link building tool to help you find links?
11:03
Keri Morgret:  Debra: Likes Aaron Wall's suite of tools. Uses alert services.
11:03
Barry Schwartz:  Debra thinks Google reads all Google Alerts
11:03
Barry Schwartz:  So she is paranoid about that..
11:03
Keri Morgret:  Rae doesn't use any tools. She's paranoid she's going to miss something if she's using an automated too.
11:04
Barry Schwartz:  Matt Cutts shakes his head to Debra's comment
11:04
Barry Schwartz:  Roger likes linkdomain operator at yahoo...
11:05
Keri Morgret:  q: good link building forum?
Debra: webmaster world has good link building forum. Aaron Wall has a private forum that's good. Digital Point can be a bit racy.
11:05
Keri Morgret:  Roger: there's a library of past quality posts at webmaster world.
11:06
Barry Schwartz:  Aaron Wall's Forum: http://community.seobook.com/
11:06
Barry Schwartz:  Useful posts at WMW http://www.webmasterworld.com/libraryv4.cgi?viewforum=12
11:06
Keri Morgret:  Rae mentions that there's this link column at search engine land. ;)
11:06
Barry Schwartz:  ~ 30 people watching this live!!!
11:09
Keri Morgret:  q: what's the wackiest link you've ever built? what's the craziest contest?

Rae: gives example of bacon explosion http://www.bbqaddicts.com/blog/recipes/bacon-explosion/
11:09
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11:10
Barry Schwartz:  Link Bait -- it works
11:12
Keri Morgret:  Rae: You want to try to target your audience and make them want to come back and interact with your site. Can't just do the 10 best that people come to, then never come back again.
11:12
Barry Schwartz:  Session is over in 5 minutes, next session is "Ask the SEOs" featuring:
Greg Boser, President and CEO, 3 Dog Media
Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc.
Todd Friesen, President, Oilman SEO
Rae Hoffman, Owner, Sugarrae Internet Consulting
Jill Whalen, Founder and CEO, High Rankings

Starts at 11:30am (PST) at http://www.seroundtable.com/
11:14
[Comment From some guy]
maybe i'm dumb, but what is greg boser known for? i know the rest of them
11:14
Barry Schwartz:  http://www.gregboser.com/ also known in the past as WebGuerrilla
11:15
Barry Schwartz:  Guys, you can follow Keri and I:

Barry at http://twitter.com/rustybrick
Keri at http://twitter.com/kerimorgret
11:15
Barry Schwartz:  Debra is talking about Digg
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