Link building continues to play an important part in how web sites rank on search engines and also to drive traffic. This session from Pubcon X in Las Vegas included link building legend Eric Ward as well as link guru Jim Boykin of WeBuildPages and Bill Hartzer of MarketNet.
First up was Jim Boykin of WeBuildPages. Jim decided not to speak from the podium and walk the aisle, which was interesting. Regarding Google’s “Jagger” update, some site did well, some not. Takeaway: Shortcuts in link building are no good.
He presented a very long list of linking paranoia items that pop up every time there’s a shift in rankings. What’s important is to not react to short term fluctuations. Link building is a long term strategy.
What does Google rank highly?
High TrustRank (lots of authority and .edu backlinks)
Huge and powerful websites sub pages (Amazon)
Old page that never changes, but gets steady links over time
New page on old stablished sites (good internal links)
Old sites that update and get a steady flow of backlinks that coincide with new content additions
Age of web sites influences rankings (Google). That means slow and steady rate of content.
As an example to illustrate a link neighborhood, Jim showed a Touchgraph Google Browser screenshot.
Unnatural linking structure will not be rewarded. If your site focuses on a particular topic, then get links from the “neighborhood”, not from unrelated sites.
A good link page is embeds links using relevant anchor text within paragraphs:
“Leading search marketing firms use ethical and effective tactics for building link popularity for a given web site. Link building is a long term strategy that is driven by useful content.”
Next up is Bill Hartzer MarketNet Inc.
Your site is ultimately responsible for getting links.
Bad content = no links
Great content = potential for great links
What is great content? Content that people will link to unsolicited and that stirs emotion.
Types of Links:
External links, Intenernal links
Links must be crawlable with descriptive anchor text.
Search Engine Theme Pyramid:
All pages need at least one link from another page to stay in the index
Submit to Yahoo DMOZ, Business.com, Joe Ant, Go Guides
Submit to strongestlinks.com directories
Provide free online tool or service
Search for variations of “add url keyword”
Filthy Linking Rich – Mike Grehan article
Linking strategy: www.refengeofthemininet.com
linkdomain: search in yahoo for a particular site
Outsource a linking campaign to an expert
Links from the same Class C Block of IPs
Links from the same IP address, but different domain
Links from same whois owner
Off topic links
What’s happening now:
Links from automated link exchanges and paid text link ads seem to count less
Run of site links mean less
Google spam filters are better at catching hidden text and mini networks of links
More links. quality links, theme, link age, anchor text, amount of other links on inbound page, html links, internal linking structure. Inbound links from authoritative, related sites, consistently adding new links and content
Donate your skills to non-profit sites for a link
Ask or buy links from College and Universities
Create a relevant blog
Last up Eric ward – Presentation at: ericward.com/pubcon
Has been linking since 1993. What is linking and why does it matter?
Does linking to drive traffic, not for Pagerank,
Google caused it’s own problem with link spam by making it obvious that links are strongly influential for rankings.
Authority site – Subject expert
Hub site – Collection of links to expert sites
Quality link – Depends. Paid links, from a blog, editorial link topically relevant sites, discussion lists – long tail links
Organic link – One way, descriptive anchor text, looks natural, not on same Class C blog, not from same from same domain
Links can impact rankings, but also create buzz: Yahoo Picks, Forbes BOTW
Paid links: AdBrite
Vertical links – links that are subject specific
Email links – while not usually crawlable, many emails are archived to the web
If you seek links only for rankings, you’re missing out on many traffic generating opportunities. Search engines do not crawl the entire available web.
Teoma – Resources
Google’s version of DMOZ
Link Popularity Flaws:
Link depth – keep your content at top or second level directory at most
Non-web based links – Forbes BOTW, Lockergnome, Lil.org
Links for your site vs publicity for your site. There are many well-trafficed sites that review other sites.
Recognize the different types of links. Web based links are not the only types of links.