George Kepnick from LocalLaunch was first up. He will tell us mostly how to hire someone internally to build links. Why do you need a link builder? It can save you time, its a profitable addition to your company, it is scalable. Strategic examples of link building, directory, geo targeted and industry specific links. How do I start? You need an email account from the client's address, computer, excel, browser. Compensation methods; hourly, per link, per PR, and internships. Where do you find link builders? online (craigslists), college/high school, word of mouth. What do you look for? Internet users, computer savvy, excel skills, blogger skills. How to train? The basics; be careful with long dynamic looking URL, check backlinks on the url of the page you request the links, excel is important (columns; type of links, free, recip, paid, PR, number of outgoing links, submission date, approval, submitted to page, and page your listing should be on. The list of keywords is important, then search for "add url + keyword" stuff like that. How to motivate your link builder? tell them they are important and what they are doing is important, offer bonuses, experience will help, foot in the door. RoboForm helps save time, and WMW Subscription helps you learn.
Next up was Roger Montti from martinibuster. He breaks down sites into categories based on competitiveness. Leverage personal networks, directories, paid links and buy other websites for inbound links. He said he called some guy who had a hobby site that was ranking very well and he bought it for $800. He sometimes searches on "temporarily down for maintenance" and calls the web site owners and tries to buy them. Don't worry too much about DMOZ, submit once and then walk away, you do not need DMOZ. Some long term strategies include; build your own backlink network, build your own directories, and blog away. Link development for highly competitive topics like casino, you need to be very aggressive text link buying, aggressive domain name purchases and automated link exchanges. Consider outsourcing link development but be careful with price (a good price is 5 - 7 per link) and the quality varies. Built an attractive links page, do not hide it.
Q & A:
Q: What do you recommend for automated networks and link exchanges? A: Roger said he personally doesn't like them, but he partners with people who do. He doesn't recommend it for the average Web site.
Q: Do we need to be worried about lots of link exchanges (reciprocal links)? A: Mikkel said do not put all your eggs in one basket, there are other types of links. Reciprocal link campaigns can only go so far. Build viral pages (tools, articles, etc.) that people want to link to you - one way. Mikkel gave an example of little online movies they made, and they are very viral, they are jokes. Build unique tools that are useful. Then give it away, for a link.
Q: Someone asked, I have 27,000 links but I want to pay someone to pay to give me more, how do I know if they are duplicating the links I already have? A: It is very hard, almost impossible. Mikkel recommends using the API and George recommends GoogleAlert.com.
Q: IP addresses and Class C - how important to separate them out? A: If you are aggressive about it, then you need to watch you back. You can track it down easily if someone or something raises a red flag.
Q: Which programs should you stay away from and which should you use? A: Roger, you really have to learn the software before using it. Do not go on all automated mode. ARELIS is good for finding link partners. Mikkel, said if you want to go back hat, then build your own systems. Its ok, but if your going to do it, make sure you do not leave a footprint and the only way to do it is to build your own tools.