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Old 25th January 2007, 03:04 PM   #1
SportsGuy
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
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Default 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…

DEFINITIONS:

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 GoDaddy.com
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.

Duane

__________________
My name is Duane - TheOnlineMarketingGuy. I share my SEM, online marketing and contests knowledge at my blog and speak at conferences on In-House SEM topics.

Last edited by SportsGuy; 26th January 2007 at 06:46 AM.
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