Craig Silverstein, Director of Technology from Google, started off the Advanced Link Building Forum. Same slides as last December, just a different person behind the podium. He basically discussed how PageRank works, and all of you reading this knows how it works.
Paul Gardi from Ask Jeeves, the man who inspired me to write my Teoma - The Superior Search Engine? article. He said they currently power about 25% of the Web (no source provided). Read the article for what he basically discussed... Subject Specific Popularity and Community Hubs. The concept is beautiful!
Debra Mastaler, Owner, Alliance-Link.com spoke about the power of anchor text and links. "If you want to rank well...you need to incorporate solid anchor text in your linking campaign and partner with authoritative sites." in addition, you must deploy marketing savvy terminology in those links. She then explained what anchor text is. She states you can rank well without content, :). She discusses the OOP (over optimization penalty) that some believe in, I don't believe in that. She said to use the keywords in your title tag in your anchor text to link to that page. Having keywords in the domain name helps, an other bold statement for a hotly disputed subject. Be consistent with the URLs you give to people to link to you, i.e. www versus no www. She said that anchor text does best when on authoritative sites, this goes somewhat against what John Scott said here (scroll down to John's second post on the thread).
Eric Ward was next and he quoted the Google guy on his new term "Link Skank". He came with new material. Discussed the issues with people losing their links because they change domain names or url structures. He outlined some steps on what to do (not going down the path of 301 redirects), he said capture 30 days of data in raw form - this way you can really check your real backlinks. Order by the highest referrals. Also if you already have the problem then look at the highest 404 error pages and relaunch the pages. Make a database of the old versus new url structure.
Greg Boser was next and he discussed how he does link building. First goal, do whatever it takes not to do reciprocal linking. The next thing he does is build an internal link structure that will help impact the SERPs. The other thing is to do something that lets links grow on their own (i assume a blog or something like that). Content syndication is an easy way to generate links, like this blog. If you get published in a press release, ask for a link to your site in the article. Develop RSS feeds, people will link to you. Web tool distribution, like some of digitalpoints free tools and have a "powered by ...". Desktop applications help build links. Buy links from non profits, they will sell and they are good links. The dark side of building links include guest book spamming, log file spamming and blog spamming (if your a site owner, watch out for them).