Patrick Gavin is up first and is going to talk about more on the buying part of links. He mentions that when looking at links to buy, you should always consider the traffic that can come from those links. He mentions Alexa as a general indicator about the traffic a site can get. However the Alexa numbers can get skewed at times depending on who is using the toolbar to look at your website. In the end however your logs are going to reveal the most information about what type of traffic you got from the links. He discusses the difference from single page v. site wide links. Single links are harder to track, but other people like to obtain site wide links. He recommends staying with single links from website. Link popularity he mentions is better indicator than Page Rank which is more of a general indicator of the links from a site. He recommends to stay away from straight PageRank buys and find other factors you can use to buy links. He puts up an example of an oversold link section which has too many links and most are not on topic. You want to find sites that have a higher quality of editorial standards than those that links tons of links on the page. The less amount links on the page the better chance you will receive some of that targeted traffic. Patrick also recommends to check if the site will allow links to spidered by a search engine and to do that look at the cache to see what Google has spidered.
He puts up some tips. Number one is to do keyword searches in your industry and contact other sites and offer to advertise on the site. You can often find good informational resources that are not direct competitors, and offer them cash. They like cash. His second tip is to cull referral logs. Be sure to do an evaluation on the sites in the logs you are getting links from. Look at the return that a link can give you. He next mentions a TouchGraph chart, and says it can provide some cool visual representations of the network around you.
Eric Ward is up second in the session and he starts talking about various places you might not have thought about to obtain links from. He says there are networks that cull sites for links and combine them together. He mentions BlogAds, where you buy links in bulk not a single links. These links are not necessarily for ranking, but for traffic. Do a search for “blog ad networks”. This type of advertising is coming and its getting bigger. He also mentions you can build links from newsletters. Its not about pagerank or search rank its about reaching that audience. iVillage.com is an example of a site that has 44 newsletter you can advertise in. He also mentions ezines that can also be benefical to advertiser in. Ezinehub is one site and ezine locator is also good. Search engines say they look for reasons to trust a link or site. Editorial type links are a good start for this. Visit Eric’s website for a full list of good places to check out (http://www.ericward.com).
Thomas Bindl from Quisma is up third. He starts by asking if PageRank is real and explains that some sites can display fake pagerank and to be sure to watch out for that. Look at the cache of the website and see if anything look suspicious. He next goes into redirects and seeing what type of websites use redirects for links. His next suggestion is to look at meta robots tags as well as robots.txt and see if the websites are the search engines to spider there links. He also says to watch out for comment tags as the html code can be commented out. Iframe links are also bad news. He next mentions some hard fakes. Be sure to watch out for sites with no cache version, if a site: check return unsuccessful results, meta-tags are different in the cache, and the cache is different.
Greg Boser is up next and is talking with presentation. He mentions his historical purchasing of links back when the game was “wild wild west” style. Greg mentions that things have changed since then and the search engines have a better ability to filter out links and differentiate between the different type of links.
Debra Mastaler from Alliance Link is up last. She says there are a good amount of opportunity out there. She mentions to be careful of buying links from page that use words like “sponsored links” and so on the page. Know your demographics too, if you think you target market is in the mid-20’s, these types of people have completely different types of sites than older folks. There is nothing wrong with ads if you do it smart. She says its advertising and it’s been done a long time.
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