PubCon 2007's linking session session was one of the highlights of the event and this session promised to be follow up to the same. The session showcased a critical look at all the different linking strategies and included various topics, such as outbound link optimization, outsourcing link building, old-fashioned linking via directories and hiring an in-house link developer.
- Chris Tolles
- Eric Enge, President of Stone Temple Consulting
- Rebecca Kelley, Search Marketing Consultant of SEOmoz
- Roger Montti, Founder and Owner of martinibuster.com
- Greg Hartnett, President of Best of The Web
The first speaker of the session is Eric Enge, who elaborated on how social media can be used in a link building strategy. Social News sites provide a huge opportunity for links.
Its important to match your content to the demographic. You have to target your audience and study on what has worked for them before. Even the title should be in accordance. Content should not just be SERPs oriented, but also authoritative for its particular target audience.
The example of Digg highlights the same. A post on the front page of the same featured some irrelevant content and many unnecessary links. It got real good rankings on Google SERPs but hardly served the purpose it was originally made for.
The main point is to maximize your success by writing content that appeals to the audience. The content should reflect well on your business and target big search terms. A particular site used Facebook to attract sports fans. This way they got a link from some massive players, such as MLB.com, ESPN, TechCrunk, Google and BattleMedia.
Some important things to keep in mind is that the content should increase your reputation, create a good image for your company and appeal to your target audience.
The next speaker was Rebecca Kelley, who highlighted that although link building is time consuming, repetitive and risky, it is essential for all webpages since they act as a vote to the website and ensure better rankings. She went on to propose some strategies to ensure positive result from your link building process.
- Strategy 1: Find your brand mentions: If a webpage is mentioning you, then they will be most likely willing to link out. You can check who all are mentioning your name without a link at the Yahoo Site Explorer.
- Strategy 2: Identifying the broken inbound links: You can use Google Webmaster Tools to spot them. Make sure you contact the site owner and ask them to fix those links.
- Strategy 3: Take advantage of the broken links of your competitors: Search for phrases, such as 'no longer available' or 'no longer offered [keyword]'. Then contact the owners of the site linked to the broken pages and tell them about your product. They might be willing to link to you instead.
- Strategy 4: Check who all are linking your competitors: You can find out the same using the Yahoo Hub Finder.
- Strategy 5: Try to take advantage of confirmation emails: Encourage people to link to you when you send them their order confirmation. Links are editorial, relevant and scalable.
- Strategy 6: You can embed links in Widgets, Banners and Badges: When you create something like a quiz, poll or any other interesting shareable content, you can include a link back to your website.
- Strategy 7: Go ahead and create link some baits: Brainstorm for content ideas and host it on your sites. Then promote the same through mediums, such as social media sites, forums, blogs, etc. Researching your sector's link worthiness can show you a lot of link bait opportunities. Once you discover the big players in your field, go on to target those sites. Be observant about trends and take advantage of whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in and happening.
The third speaker of the session was Greg Hartnett, who revealed the process of link building through directories. Greg clarified a number of misconceptions on directories. His points are summed up as follows:
- A directory is often mistaken as a paid link, but it is not the same. In the case of a paid link, a successful transaction leads to a link on the page. However, on a directory, a successful transaction is a review.
- There's a lot of difference between a directory and a link farm: Link farms are simply a collection of links on a page that have been categorized haphazardly. Link farms are simply created to manipulate search results.
- How to detect a good directory?
Good directories would be showcasing features, such as history, good resources and populated categories. A good directory is designed for the user and has many added sites which are not paid submits.
One can list a website on a directory a number of times. The Yahoo Directory is good idea since it is an aged and trusted domain. Moreover, it is the primary hub for Internet mapping. Other trustworthy directories are DMOTZ, BOTW, Business.com and Librarians Internet Index.
There's no guarantee of listing but if you read the directory guidelines and give good titles and descriptions then you should get listed. There are also a number of places where you can submit your blogs, such as Search Engine Journal, Lee Odden, blogs.botw.org.
The final speaker of the session was Roger Monti, who started off by reminding what were the two main objectives of link building initiatives. Traffic and links with popularity.
.edu may not be that special but they have their own unique advantages, such as being in good neighborhood, being relevant and featuring original and authoritative content. However, if they are poorly linked to and lack authoritative content, then it's best to avoid them.
You can use the backlinks of some of your industry's heavyweights. It would be a good idea to add hotlinks, bookmarks, links and directories to your product keywords and .edu modifiers. Make a note of what sites are your targets linking to. For example, if they are linking to .govs and .edus, then you may also want to follow the same.