Moderator: Detlev Johnson, CEO, SearchReturn introduces the panel. He basically shows the age of the panelists, at least in web years. :) He describes link building as a "cat and mouse" game between search engines and SEOs.
Debra Mastaler, President, Alliance-Link is first up.
Why are Links Valuable: - They connect sites like threads in a web - Links provide paths - They are an indicator - They are value indicators
She goes into how the internet came around. Soon after came search engines. Search engines use to just read content. Then came along Google who went beyond content and looked at link analysis (PageRank).
Link Popularity: - It measures the quality and quantity of links pointing to a web site. - All major engines use - Off page factor - Link love, juice, pop, rep
4 Components: (1) Link Quantity (2) Link Quality (authority of host sites) PageRank is a lot different than it was, it is more about quality over quantity. (3) Anchor Text, it is a query ranking factor. This is the most powerful component in links. (4) Link Relevancy. It helps establish where you belong. Search engines read text around links. Linking out and being linked to establish connections. Build links within your neighborhood. Links to and from contextually relevant or "thematically related" sites convey more authority
Authority Sites: - Rank well - Well known - Have strong inbound links - Are insulated against algorithmic fluctuations
Bottom Link Line... Focus on linking efforts on securing keyword rich anchors from authority sites.
Part Two: Ranking Influences...
Avoid: - Control your rate of link acquisitions - Repetitive anchor text - Dont use the same tactic over and over again
Optimal Linking Success: - Screen partner sites carefully - Place links in content areas - Understand all links have value - Redirected links or links passing through third party sites will not pass link pop - Avoid losing PageRank, be consistent in your links (www vs non, etc.)
Link Learning and News Sources - She lists a bunch - Link Harvester - Hub Finder - Langeriter.com - GoogleGuy.de - Quirk.biz/SearchStatus - SoloSEO.com/tools/linkSearch.html - bad-neighborhood.com/text-link-tool.html - google.com/alerts
What's Working? - Everything still works but link building strategies using content generation tactics work best. - Traditional, edus, wiki, content targeting, media, press releases, directories, reclamation, trust links, local links, article writing. -- Create a media contacts database and then break out editorial and commercial sources.
-- Look at review sites and contact those people leaving reviews. - Directory Submission, general, niche, rss, article, podcast, blog, wiki, local. -- Avoid directories hosting excessive ads -- Check pages for nofollow or robots.txt -- Steer clear of directories with a lot of wite wides -- Yahoo Directory worth it for newer sites -- Niche directories tend to be less scrutinized such as Directory Big Board, ISEDB and Blog Catalog can give you some ideas.
Article Writing: - Write a shorter version for syndication and write a longer version for your site. - Answer questions in your article - Add bio to your articles - Add links within content if possible - List of article directories given
Content Network: - Publish content on any topic - Distributes content to engaged audiences through its web site and content partners - Some use nofollow
Guest Blogging - Search for "looking for writers" + keywords etc...
Link Bait: - Digg, Propeller, Mixx, SU
Eric Ward, CEO, EricWard.com
November 1st, will be his 15th year doing link building for pay. 15 years!
Link building is PR work, public relations...
In 1993, he had 10 places to submit to. He showed off the Netscape What's New page. That is where you built links. In 2008, it is endless - where you can submit links. Big change was Google and PageRank. You want click traffic and you want that helps you rank. Some links can do both. That is the holy grail.
Effective link building is PR, linkbait, link buying, etc.
The approach is to get trusted links, its not the link, its the author of the link. Find out where people care about your topic and reach them.
Link building has to vary based on content, focus and audience.
Your link tells a story about your site. Like a transcript or "rap sheet."
You don't need a lot of links to do well.
FYI, here is Eric's presentation: ericward.com/smx/.