Sep 16, 2011 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

This session of the SMX East New York 2011 aims at bringing out the wrongs the pros might be committing in link building. Some link building trends are no longer effective in the day. So where do we stand, and what to do was discussed by the panelists that included-


  • Elisabeth Osmeloski, Managing Editor, Search Engine Land

Q&A Moderator:

  • Arnie Kuenn, President, Vertical Measures


  • Jenny Halasz, Director, Search Acquisition Strategy, Nine by Blue
  • Byrne Hobart, Co-Founder & CEO, Digital Due Diligence
  • Rae Hoffman-Dolan, CEO, Sugarrae SEO Firm

The first speaker of the session is Jenny Halasz, Director, Nine by Blue. She started by asking a question – “Why should we care about links? We care about link because of Google and PageRank.”

She then took a look at the past trends and said that before the algorithms update, the trend was cross linking with everybody.But in the present scenario, search engines and particularly Google uses social as a signal in our organic and news rankings. This means that if you have links from social networks- with real people talking about you, then you are good for Google.

She mentioned Rand Fishkin's words- “Social correlates with higher rankings.” But- correlation is not causation.

This is where we are going wrong. She then spoke of the prominent Link Building Myths of the day-

  • Link Bait –Content creation just for links doesn't work anymore. Even if it works, its just for the one time. Not sustainable links.
  • Viral Marketing– It is not guaranteed to succeed and you cannot end the marketing strategy if it does not work
  • Link Sculpting – There is no point in using all no follow links
  • Cross Linking – Google knows what you own, they can catch you.
  • Toolbar Page Rank – Not valuable as a major ranking factor.

The Takeaway:

  • In the case of links- quality over quantity.
  • Don't waste your time with directory submissions.

The next speaker to hold the mike was Rae Hoffman-Dolan, Sugarrae SEO. He started with showing off bad guest posts. There is a major difference between a bad and a good guest post. The key is not to sell. Instead write an informative article with one good link back to your site. Also if you see that it does not attract traffic, and no one shares it, then you are simply wasting your time on it. The benefit of a good guest post is that if you continue with them for a long time, you can build a long term relationship and get ready to welcome traffic you didn’t know you could have.

Rae then said that he understands that it is not an easy task and guest posting takes time, but the value derived could have a positive impact on your site's rankings. He said, “SEO is not a fast process, it takes a lot of work.”

She then spoke of Vertical Guest Posting- where you post within the topics that are obvious to you. But she recommended that you can separate yourself from the competition with Horizontal Guest Posting.

To do this, find a general issue and somehow link it with yours creatively. Make sure that you give out quality information for users, so that the blog webmasters are convinced of your value addition. To find such guest blogging sites, search for “guest blog” and similar words to see if you can write for them.

The Takeaways- How do you convince these blogs to let you guest post?

  • Go through the writer guidelines
  • Send individual emails
  • Use names and come across as bright and intelligent
  • Ask genuine questions
  • Include a potential topic idea and example post
  • Do not mention links, but do make a reference to edits.

The third speaker of the session, Byrne Hobart, Digital Due Diligence, took the floor then. He started by showing the links he got from popular and trusted sites like- TechCrunch, Mashable, New York Times, Marginal Revolution, Matt Yglesias and Andrew Sullivan. He has one thing clearly deciphered- and he shares with the attendees, “If you are willing to speak up and create content, you have the potential to see results.” Original unique relevant and well written content with the intent to inform will be accepted and get linked to.

He then cautioned that one must make sure that you stick to the rules in regulated industries. He used a lot of case studies to explain that This works best with data driven, subjective areas that are full of bloggers. It does not work in law, health care, B2B etc. where you need the specifics.

The Take Away:

  • Use outrage instead of black hat. This is because outrage is-
  • More fun.
  • Less competitive
  • The search engines like it.
  • Give yourself a stand apart identity

The path to follow is- measure what you are doing (number of links) and judging where the users are coming from. This wrapped up the session. But we have more coverage of SMX East New York 2011 coming up. Keep watching this space.

Link Building- Why You're Doing It Wrong: SMX East New York 2011, Day3!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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