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SportsGuy 25th January 2007 03:04 PM

0 - 900+ Links - 6 Months And A Bunch Of My Time
OK, my title is not meant as bragging - indeed, I feel there are actually many more links, but that's what Yahoo is telling me it sees, so there we go.

Truth is, I don't concentrate on actively building links. I'm organic almost all the way.

My exceptions are as follows:

1 - I actively submitted my blog to a few key blog directories, thank you very much
2 - I submitted my actual website to DMOZ a while back (and got in. ;) )
3 - I participate...and that's the one that really counts, IMO.

My site has a couple hundred pages of unique content, plus the blog runs another 500 or so "pages" now - and growing. ;)

But, back when I first started the website, when it had only 20 or so pages, I visited every posting forum related to my topic and joined up. I followed the rules regarding sigs, and promotional posts, but most importantly, I asked to be involved with the community. I posted actively, offered advice and opinion and even to this day, I still make time a few times a year to swing by the 50 - 60 posting forums I originally joined.

What's key to this concept is NOT the link back from the domain - it's the participation in a localized community. By doing this, I not only saw immediate increases in traffic from these areas, but those folks also spread the word about me.

So, I might have actively pursued 15 or so inbound links, and it's grown organically from there.

What does it add up to?

How does almost 200,000 page views each month on that one site sound? With the adsense max of 3 ad units and one link unit on each page... = monthly revenue. :)

Now, for those who intend on actively pursuing links, I also have some detailed advice. The original concept for this came directly from Eric Ward one day during a conversation years ago - he's the real deal when it comes to link building, and a genuinely nice guy. He shared the idea of writing a simple, clear, polite note to a webmaster to ask for a one-way link - and it works. Not all the time, but when the link you're after can make or break your site, it's a solid tool to have in your toolbox.

How to find the right person to send it to is my contribution to the idea - nothing new, I'm sure, but here we go anyway.

(Disclosure - originally posted at my blog)


Here are some useful tips to get you started down the path to finding some of those much-sought-after oneway, inbound links. It takes a lot of work, but if you manage to get even a few of these links for your site it can make a big difference.

1 - inbound, one-way text links using good anchor text are your goal from an SEO perspective. (I’ll define everything below)
2 - DO NOT sweat page rank on the page linking TO YOU
3 - DO sweat that each page/site is topically related to you
4 - Try for these “golden boy” links from the major players in YOUR topical category - better 10 inbounds from related topic sites with a PR of zero, than 100 inbounds from unrelated, PR8 sites. (Think long-term when building links)
5 - one-way links are better than reciprocal links
6 - MOST sites will ask for a recip
7 - Recips are fine, but make sure where you are linking to offers something of value for YOUR users
8 - Recips can be good to bring in traffic - just be careful to take a look at who’s link to THEM - bad neighbors are not good…
9 - Avoid three-way or triangular linking - it’s crap and the engines assign no value to that junk anyway
10 - set a budget - get listed in the major directories, in the correct categories (search here - there’s been a lot of good directory lists posted lately)
11 - when approaching webmasters for a link request, show them respect and be patient. Use a professional approach and respect their right to ignore you completely - just move on. Send them an e-mail, make an effort to track down a contact name for the site and address it to a person. Follow up about a week later - leave it alone after that. (more below)
12 - Vary the anchor text in the text link and vary where users land - don’t just use your site’s name and drop everyone to the index page, in other words. Use keywords to direct people to relevant content within your site.
13 - Avoid link exchange programs, link farms, etc.
14 - Buying links is fine, but the engines like long-term links, so after a few months of paying, when you decide you’re done, the link disappears - so goes any value. Plus, the engines are getting savvy to how & where folks buy links these days. Buy links for traffic, not SEO.
15 - Avoid site-wide links, too - some places offer to put your link into their nav bar and spread it across all their site’s pages - Google, etc. discount any value from these - do this enough and you might trigger a link spam trigger, too…


One-way link - points from some other website to your website
Reciprocal link - they point to you, you point to them
Anchor text - the actual text used which is linked to you - it matters - good anchor text will use a relevant keyword where possible and land the clicker directly on the related content

Sample of a link request letter:

************************************************** ****************

Hi (webmaster’’s name),

My name is (your name) and I work with (website’s name) to help spread the word about their great (free products/services/content, etc.). I was hoping you’d consider mentioning us to your users or linking to us on your (provide the webmaster with the specific page you’d like to see your link shown on, include the section, if necessary - be specific). Please find a brief overview of what we offer visitors below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via e-mail or with a quick call. I am a real person and will reply quickly. Thanks again for your time & consideration. (Your name) (website URL) (e-mail address & phone number) __________________________________________

Brief run-down on what the site’s about and the value it offers.

************************************************** ****************

Now, you’ll need to research the site a bit to try to dig up a name to address this to. I use the following method:
1 - I go to
2 - type in the URL for the site you want to request the link from
3 - it’ll say the domain is taken, but offer a link to “More information” - click it
4 - Enter the code presented to you and click again
5 - IF they are not paying for private registration of the domain name, you should be able to now see contact information such as a person’s name, address, e-mail addy, phone number, etc. NOTE: This assumes THEY entered real data and it does not work 100% of the time. It works often enough, though, that I can land on someone’s doorstep and get them to stop spamming our forums.

Hope you find this helpful gang. :canadaflag1:


east2west 26th January 2007 01:28 AM

Great post, Im sure I speak for alot of others when I say ......thank you

SportsGuy 26th January 2007 06:49 AM

Happy to help others. :)

...and I've updated the title to be more accurate.

I ran my Link Survey tool on the site this morning and it's showing 971 external inbound links. I knew it was more than 300...LOL

BTW - Antsoft puts out the Link Survey tool - it costs some money (can't recall how much right now), but it's worth it, IMO.

everypcneed 26th January 2007 07:05 AM

Yes indeed it was a great post.

Logan 26th January 2007 08:37 AM

Good info SportsGuy, thanks for sharing!!

You mention link exchanges and give some advice, but also say don't participate in threeway links because the search engines can figure them out and don't participate in link exchange programs. Are you ignoring all recip link exchanges, or following thru on ones that meet your standards? If following thru, what do you check to see if a recip link request is good or bad for your site.

east2west 26th January 2007 08:51 AM


Originally Posted by Logan (Post 36146)
If following thru, what do you check to see if a recip link request is good or bad for your site.

Yes good question. This is what Im struggling with now.

SportsGuy 26th January 2007 10:09 AM


Originally Posted by Logan (Post 36146)
Good info SportsGuy, thanks for sharing!!

You mention link exchanges and give some advice, but also say don't participate in threeway links because the search engines can figure them out and don't participate in link exchange programs. Are you ignoring all recip link exchanges, or following thru on ones that meet your standards? If following thru, what do you check to see if a recip link request is good or bad for your site.

Drat - someone was paying attention to that oversight, eh...? ;) Excellent catch Logan.

OK, here goes:

I am not in favor of link exchanges happening because you feel they will help in SEO work.

I believe in using link exchanges for developing traffic and getting a new website spidered.

Now, I realize those two points basically amount to a perspective shift, but that's how I have it squared in my head.

Do I check every website that I would exchange links with - you better believe it. The site itself, and I Control F for select words I don't want to be associated with on their pages, I check the WHOIS data to see if everything seems realistic and I check a sampling of the inbound links they have pointing at them - link spammers beget link spammers. ;)

Sad as this is, if you rub me the wrong way for any reason, I skip the link request.

...and to further refine this point even more, I actually do not, at this point, do any link exchanging with my larger, more established websites.

I think exchanging links is a necessary part of marketing a new website - not search-marketing a new website - just plan old marketing of a product here.

As time goes on, your traffic grows, your userbase increases and you're seen my more users as a "resource" or "authority" site. As sanctimonious as this is going to sound, you've now reached the point where you can afford to skip recip link requests - nature has taken over and the Internet is busy doing what it does best - spreading info (namely yours) far and wide.

It's truly entertaining to watch, week on week, Link Survey reports. The numbers flow like waves on a beach - in, out, up down, big wave there, back to normal, oh look, the tide is out, must be seasonal, etc.

Basically, when you reach a certain point, you have your own gravity. getting their takes traffic to the website, which spins users out to spread the word about you. Those users link to you, thus creating organically grown one way inbound links.

As for threeway links - nope - never - under any circumstances. I know never is a big word - but it's the right word when speaking of three-way link exchanges.

They are seen for what they are these days - link spam.

Hope that helps clarify my original thoughts somewhat. if anyone still has questions, by all means, post up - I'm happy to answer base don what I know.

Logan 26th January 2007 04:38 PM

Great clarification, and I do think it needs to be emphasized. I also don't do link exchanges typically. In my opinion, there is a lot to work on the list provided above before you ever even think about having a need for relying on link exchanges. And if you have a marketing focus, you'll like never get there unless it is a link that makes great sense from a marketing standpoint.

east2west 26th January 2007 07:20 PM

How often after link exchanges do you find that the other party has not listed your link on their website?

Logan 27th January 2007 10:06 AM

Often/usually/always. I guess I can't emphasize enough, link exchanges typically worthless so your time should be spent on all other tactics of link buidling instead.

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