Discover the Power of Linking: Link Building Basics

Aug 12, 2009 - 5:30 pm 2 by

Below is live coverage of the Discover the Power of Linking: Link Building Basics from the SES San Jose 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by Patty Adams of Vertical Measures & Keri Morgret of Strike Models.

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

Discover the Power of Linking: Link Building Basics(08/12/2009) 
2:35 Keri Morgret:  The network connection in the room isn't working so we are covering via cell phone.
2:36 Keri Morgret:  Starting with brief history of www and Internet.
2:39 Keri Morgret:  Components of link popularity. Link quantity, quality,
2:41 Keri Morgret:  Also anchor text and page rank (google only)
2:42 Keri Morgret:  Link relevance playing larger role.
2:43 Keri Morgret:  Showing graphic to demonstrate link neighborhood
2:44 Keri Morgret:  Focus your time and money on links from authority sites first.
2:45 Keri Morgret:  Get a good balance of links.
2:47 Keri Morgret:  Avoid throwing up red flags. Don't acquire too fast. Don't use all the same anchor text. Don't use same tactic over and over.
2:47[Standby]  The host is placing this Live Event into Standby Mode.
2:49 Keri Morgret:  Make links consistent (www vs non www)
2:51 Keri Morgret:  Get involved in forums.
2:52 Keri Morgret:  And we're back with internet, for the moment at least.
2:53 Keri Morgret:  She recommends HubFinder, two other tools (didn't catch b ecause of hte problems with the internet)
2:54 Keri Morgret:  Other linking tools: Link Diagnosis, MajesticSEO.
2:55 Keri Morgret:  SearchStatus is a firefox extension that turns nofollow links pink. There are also greasemonkey scripts that can do the same thing.
2:57 Keri Morgret:  Utility Linking Tool by SoloSEO.
2:57 Keri Morgret:  Looks for sites with your keywords, plus "utility" words like "add url" "add site" "add website" etc.
2:59 Keri Morgret:  We're going to now focus on which tactics work best, what they are, and how to do them.
3:00 Keri Morgret:  Link building strategies using content generation tactics work best long term
3:01 Keri Morgret:  She's showing a list of link building tactics. LOTS of things here.
3:03 Keri Morgret:  Passive linking. Ask people to link to you! Give them a t-shirt or something.
3:03 Keri Morgret:  Use Google Webmaster Tools to find links to 404s, then contact origin site and ask for an update for links. Or find links that are going to 404 pages from your competitor and do the same thing.
3:06 Keri Morgret:  Hunting for algorithmic authorities
Sites rank (for the most part) because of their inbound link profiles.

If a site is ranking well it's because of the sites pointing to it.
3:07 Keri Morgret:  You've identified the authorities, now what?

If it's Media, keep an eye on who writes about what, keep track of relevant people. Cheaper and better than paying for a media list.
3:07 Keri Morgret:  If you sell a product and there's a power-reviewer on a site like Amazon, contact the reviewer and see if they'll review your product in a blog post on their site.
3:08 Keri Morgret:  Find industry experts for product reviews, board seats, testimonials, article writing, spokesman. Associate your products with respected community figures. Key search term is expert witness directories.
3:09 Keri Morgret:  Talking about regular directory submissions. dmoz, yahoo,, aviva, best of the web, and a few others.
3:10 Keri Morgret:  These directories let you submit one website one time. These directories are editorially run, all are reviewed by a real human.
3:10 Keri Morgret:  Submit to directories and move on.
3:11 Keri Morgret:  People don't think about all of the different elements on their sites, like video, photos, job listings, downloads, coupons. Find niche directories that let you link to that type of content.
3:13 Keri Morgret:  Traditional and Link Bait: Make it so people don't have to leave your site. Put an article resource center on your site, so people will come there. Look at what people keep asking your customer service department, and put up those answers. Use your keywords once in the title, twice in the body. Even though it's your own site, include a bio with each article. Put a long version of the article on your website, send out shorter versions to other sites. Send out press releases announcing new content -- but make sure that it's new content, and not just an announcement of your site.
3:14 Keri Morgret:  Consider sharing your content by adding a creative commons license to your content.
3:15 Keri Morgret:  Article Dropping. 1. Drop an article. 2. Swap content. 3. drop a link.
3:16 Keri Morgret:  keyword + article, keyword + tutorial.
3:17 Keri Morgret:  Where else to put content? General "how to" sites (eHow, WikiHow, Instructables, etc.), Specialty tutorial sites (NewBaby, AmateurGourmet), Video (Expert Village, Teacher Tube)
3:17 Keri Morgret:  Guest blogging / E-zines. To find guest blogs, look for terms like "looking for writers" "submit an article" "contribute content" in addition to your keyword.
3:19 Keri Morgret:  Three basic ways to attract media links:
1. Target key journalists
2. Issue press releases
3. Develop and promote your onsite media and information (article) resource.

You get a lot of feedback from the media people. They're competitive, if one person writes about something, it interests other people.

If you issue a press release, make sure you actually have news!
3:21 Keri Morgret:  How to find media contacts:

Back link competitors, develop your own media database.

Mine social news and bookmarking sites like delicious, topix.

Set Google Alerts for "news" and add keywords (editor, journalist, reporter, blogger, etc.)

Look on Twitter.
3:23 Keri Morgret:, blogcatalog, yahoo news, Bacon's media directories good places to look.
3:24 Keri Morgret:  There are niche media services that are great.
3:25 Keri Morgret:  In addition to Digg, Reddit, Mixx, StumbleUpon, try niche sites like Fetch (small biz), Pick Station (music), and more.
3:26 Keri Morgret:  She doesn't make Digg front page, but instead goes after the reporters on the sites that made the front page.
3:27 Keri Morgret:  Correction: she wasn't able to get to the front page by submitting on her own.
3:27 Keri Morgret:  Build credibility and links. Join industry-related groups like the BBB, chamber of commerce, alumni associations, industry associations.
3:27 Keri Morgret:  Good for both getting people to trust you, and for search engines to trust you.
3:29 Keri Morgret:  People link to what they like and trust. Who trusts you?

Association Members
Chamber of Commerce members.

Dollar off coupons, encouraging viral action, email-only contests.
3:31 Keri Morgret:  Gives case study of a contest that she ran to build links. Join an industry association. Sent intro email. Month later, discount coupon, another month later offered bigger discount and contest, suggested links.

Got 52 links, sales from the links, established trust and authority. Great promotion and a fairly low budget.
3:31 Keri Morgret:  Getting .edu and .gov links. Register with the State is the first step to approaching government entities.
3:33 Keri Morgret:  .edu sites: job opportunity boards.
3:35 Keri Morgret:  She showed a graph of link tactics, from least to most effective. Less effective was blog commenting and reciprocal links. Don't spend as much time on them. Blog carnivals and buying old domains can be more effective (copyright dates on a site can help indicate an old domain)_ Forum drops can be moderately to very effective.

Moderately effective: blog carnivals, buying old domains

Forum drops are moderately to very effective.
3:36 Keri Morgret:  Not all of link juice is passed during a redirect, Search Engines won't tell us how much. They also said they might not always honor redirects, but she's never seen that case.
3:39 Keri Morgret:  In Conclusion: Take a good look at the partner sites. You want to avoid those that have site-wide, sponsored links on the footer of every page, and/or have a bunch of reciprocal links. Don't add all kinds of links at once, and also add content as you link. You want to look natural. Don't use the same type of link building tactic, vary them. Spend your time and money on getting links from authorities. Don't forget traditional content generation tactics. Issue press releases when you've added a good amount of content. Find an alert service (like Google Alerts or a paid alert service) and be sure to use it. For emotional content, use a social media site. Use online communities in your niche.
3:40 Keri Morgret:  Search engines frown on things that look too manipulated. Don't do all links with super-optimized anchor texts, doesn't look natural.
3:41 Keri Morgret:  How fast is too fast for building links? Depends. It can be OK to have a large jump, IF things are in balance, like increased searches, media mentions, they understand things are cyclical, etc.
3:43 Keri Morgret:  Missed the last question, as I got distracted by a WSJ blog article about the lack of a Google Dance this year.
3:44 Keri Morgret:  What to farm can outsource some of your research and identifying sites, media contacts, give them parameters, but then do the actual contacts yourself.



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