Create Great Content Ask for a Link Be Nice

Yesterday I wrote a post that got carried on Searchengineland.com, which was very nice of them. Thanks.

It was titled. Have you Tried Asking for a Link and I talked about that fact that sometimes you simply has to ask. However, to be clear and I have had a few emails about this. The post said that you could “Just nicely ask for a link, using your own words in a real way and ask for a link to something good.”

As I find people tend not to ask the right way for a link and others do not ask at all.

The post goes on to say, “I will give you a link for free, from an authority blog, just give me something to link to, ask nice and make me think you will do something nice back in the future.”

Of course, some thought all they needed to do was to ask for a link and they would get one. And that “something”, meant anything. I clearly stated that I wanted to “link to something good”, meaning it has to be good enough to link to.

Perhaps I was not clear as I should have been, and should have outlined what “something good” actually meant as not everyone creates content for links. In my world, “something good” means a specific level of quality. Quality of communication, quality of attractiveness etc.

And so when I got several of the emails asking for link this morning, a few of them didn’t get it. So I wrote an open letter to those people to save time.

Thanks for that [NAME WITHHELD], appreciate it.

Yes I have had a lot of requests.

The point of the “ask for a link”, article is about asking nicely and in a human way. Just asking me after saying hi is missing the point.

Although I do note that you have helped me with pointing out the error on the email link, although I have had plenty of emails this morning, I’m not really that hard to contact.

Would you give a link simply because someone asked?
Of course not, it wouldn’t be good practice.

You need to have something, a piece of linkable content you want to be linked to, I need a reason to link, something specific or something interesting. As I wrote in the article.

It can’t be just the fact that you have a website there has to be a reason for me to link to the website. Something of merit, something to be cited, something different. The whole reason I have links on my blog is to help the reader, either giving them more context or allowing them to explore the subject further. A link has to be of value to the reader within the context of the blog and the blog post.

Obviously people buy links, you cannot buy links on my website, but you can on others and when that happens it is sometimes blatantly obvious, because there is no context to the link being given or that the content being linked to is not worth being linked to. And if a website exhibits a pattern of bought and sold links and Google finds out, Google may ban them.

I don’t want my website to have the hint of bought and sold links because I don’t want my website banned. Not that linking to your website would get my website banned. I just need a reason to link, as I stated in my blog post.

Of course I can give out a non paid link that is not entirely contextual to prove a point, for example the Blue Bar at Porthtowan beach, where I am often found. OK, this is not entirely non-contextual as it’s a place that I love and go to regularly.

But you see the point about simply dropping in links with no context? There has to be a reason to link.

If you want me to further analyse your request further, it didn’t leave me feeling that you were going to do something nice in the future. It simply told me that you saw the request (not sure you read the article) and thought you simply had to ask.

This is not the point of the article, it’s not the correct methodology for effective outreach and it certainly isn’t a nice way for human beings to communicate.

If you are in a pub for example and someone comes up to you and says, “Hi, I’m John, hope you had a great holiday. Your laces are undone. £50 please”.

It’s probably not going to be effective.

And this is the point of the article.

Not that you simply have to ask, using as few words as possible. But that you actually have to connect with another human being and treat them better than a cynical way to get a link.

Don’t get me wrong, my verbose reply is not indicative as anger or even annoyance. It’s more about frustration that opportunities are being lost, simply because people do not connect with others effectively over the Internet.

I don’t say “connect properly“, as that is subjective. I mean “effectively“, as in getting to achieve your goal.

It’s very clear what works in link building and what does not. No one wants to be taken advantage of or thought of as an idiot who will link to anyone.

People tend to link to people who they like, they do not link to websites but to people, as I have said in my blog and at numerous conference talks.

You can clearly see this human effect in action after a conference when people who have met people and like them, link to their blogs afterwards when they would not have linked to them when based just on the website.

Going to conferences and being liked is the best link building technique I have seen. I say “technique” tongue in cheek, because it’s not. It’s a way of being.

And yes, I suppose some people think it tiresome to actually interact with people you have zero interest in, but this is the point. People can easily sense that, even emails have an odour.

The solution is simply to be nice. Take the time, be genuine have something real to share.

This of course takes time, and if you can get away with a quick ask, job done. I totally understand why someone would knock out a crafty email link request between a mocha.

But knocking out a crafty one was not the point of the article.

Being effective by being nice was.

Link building should be looked upon as a tribal act. Look how the tribe of Moz acts, totally tribal. Look how Buzzfeed acts, they feed their tribe daily.

I wont tell you that link building is easy, you have to really work at it. But you have to work harder if you see it as a vending machine, or a cash point machine. Gone are the days of the push linker and I am old enough to remember those days. They were fun times. But it’s better now because great content can now give you a reason to properly ask for links.

My goal is to teach people the effective way of doing things, that was the point of the “Link offer”, blog post and this is the point of this blog post.

Thanks for taking the time to email and reading my blog post. If you do have great piece of content to share with my readers, please do not hesitate to contact and if the content works, and if your website is cool and if you are not a horrible person and if you [Insert here all the obvious stuff that most with a basic understanding of SEO understand] then I will drop you a tasty, contextual link.

Regards
Lyndon Antcliff

Too Zen? I don’t think so, this is about what works and what does not work.

It is the sound of a link being built to an idea that does not yet exist.

Have you tried asking for a link

Just nicely ask for a link, using your own words in a real way and ask for a link to something good. It’s a controversial statement I know judging from my email inbox and what doesn’t get talked about on Twitter.

I think I have a pathological aversion to cut and paste emails and cookie cutter content.

I get emails stating, “we are quaility link builders”, good because I always have people looking for those and I am quite liberal in linking out from my own blogs.

But the emails are obviously not written by the sender, but by some dry, crunchy assed, baked in the sun so long it has bleached their soul, copywriter.

I can’t read those emails without feeling my brain trying to escape through my ear.

But I want to link.

I even want to buy links.

Why not talk to me like a Human Being?

I prefer to get links without asking, by crawling inside your head and working the levers mostly. But when I do ask, it is I who am asking, using my own words and sending each request out individually.

Even if it means bleeding into the keyboard, I send link requests out manually.

I will give you a link for free, from an authority blog, just give me something to link to, ask nice and make me think you will do something nice back in the future.

You don’t even have to do a nice thing for me, you only have to make me think you will do a nice thing.

Huge List of very interesting articles on Linkbuilding

Indonesia -Lost in paradise

You may want to bookmark this one.
I’ve been collecting the best of link building articles for a few years now, usually I just share them on Linkbait Coaching, but I thought I would share a few of them here.

Putting Guest Post Outreach Theories to the Test [With Some Real World Data] | SEOmoz
http://moz.com/blog/putting-guest-po…eal-world-data

Blogger Outreach: 9 Tips You Need to Succeed | Heidi Cohen
http://heidicohen.com/blogger-outrea…ed-to-succeed/

Blogger Outreach: 5 Tips for Connecting With Top Influencers
http://mashable.com/2011/10/01/blogger-outreach-tips/

21 Better Ways to Do Blogger Outreach
http://pushingsocial.com/21-better-w…gger-outreach/

The Ultimate Resource Guide to Blogger Outreach and Guest Blogging (list of urls)
http://blog.kissmetrics.com/guide-to-blogger-outreach/

Does GroupHigh Take the Pain out of Blogger Outreach?
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/d…utreach/45627/

Interflora Penalty: ionSearch Speakers Offer Their Opinions
http://www.koozai.com/blog/news/even…heir-opinions/

Outreach Specialist’s Bible | CopyPressed
http://www.copypress.com/blog/outrea…ialists-bible/

The Five Stages of Blogger Outreach: Stage One – Attraction | CopyPressed
http://www.copypress.com/blog/the-fi…ne-attraction/

How Blackhat Mummy Bloggers Killed Interflora | Buzzkeep
http://buzzkeep.com/blackhat-mummy-b…rflora-123295/

Pinterest Image Optimization – How to optimize for Pinterest
http://avalaunchmedia.com/infographi…e-optimization

Keeping Track of Long-Tail Revenue Points | SEM CLUBHOUSE
http://www.semclubhouse.com/keeping-…the-long-tail/

Guest Blogging Link Building using BuzzStream – Paddy Moogan Blog
http://www.paddymoogan.com/2012/07/1…ng-buzzstream/

Turning old & existing content into new links | Skyrocket SEO
http://skyrocketseo.com/how-to-turn-…nto-new-links/

Building a Quick Outreach List using Google Scraper for Chrome | Keyword Eye Blog
http://blog.keywordeye.com/post/3329…le-scraper-for

Broken Link Building using BuzzStream – Paddy Moogan Blog
http://www.paddymoogan.com/2012/08/1…ng-buzzstream/

22 Tips for a Better Outreach Response | Zazzle Media
http://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/blog/ti…each-response/

The Human Side of Black Hat SEO
http://tripleseo.com/the-human-side-of-black-hat-seo/

The Art & Science Of Storytelling As Told By Journalists
http://searchengineland.com/the-art-…nalists-150795

How Authorship (and Google+) Will Change Linkbuilding
http://moz.com/blog/authorship-googl…-link-building

Google Drive Has A Handy Spreadsheet Autofill Option For Beer Drinkers | TechCrunch
http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/05/goo…beer-drinkers/

A Glimpse Into Google’s Brain, Hidden In A Spreadsheet App
http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinesharr…preadsheet-app

Top 19 Google Chrome Extensions for Link Builders and SEOs | UK Linkology
http://www.uklinkology.co.uk/top-goo…link-building/

Build Relationships, Not Links – Search Engine Watch (#SEW)
http://searchenginewatch.com/article…hips-Not-Links

How the Daily Mail Became The Worlds Most Read Newspaper « Datadial Blog
http://www.datadial.net/blog/index.p…ead-newspaper/

Gaming Google: 3ac Domains SEO Case Study | Domain Registration & Web Hosting Review
http://www.3ac.co.uk/gaming-google-3…seo-case-study

Link Building Lessons – An Interview with @PaddyMoogan – Kwasi Studios
http://www.kwasistudios.com/paddy-moogan-interview/

Is Content Marketing More Valuable Than Search? – Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2…e-than-search/

8 Reasons Why You Need to Establish Authority on Google+
http://www.jeffalytics.com/establish…lus-authority/

Nine examples of small businesses using social media for branding | Econsultancy
https://econsultancy.com/blog/62576-…wev2ve1cj0dnz1

44 Creative and Innovative Link Building Experts and Their Strategies | Kaiserthesage
http://kaiserthesage.com/creative-li…ing-resources/

6 things SEOs really should know about PR (but probably don’t)
http://firecask.com/things-seos-should-know-about-pr/

5 Creative Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog Posts | Social Media Examiner
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5…ur-blog-posts/

6 ways to find relevant and valuable content ideas for your social media marketing
http://askaaronlee.com/relevant-content-social-media/

10 Journalism Rules That Can Teach You Everything You Need to Know About Content Mark
http://blog.kissmetrics.com/10-journalism-rules/

Where do I get content ideas for my blog? | The Marketing Twins at 1429 Creative
http://www.marketingtwins.com/social…s-for-my-blog/

Marketers Are Not Publishing Enough Content – Mitch Joel – Harvard Business Review
http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/06/quality…tity-tripling/

Link Data Research Study – Majestic SEO vs Ahrefs vs SEOMoz | Analytics SEO
http://www.analyticsseo.com/blog/lin…refs-compared/

5 Outreach based link building that Will Rock 2013 | SEO Basic With Mee
http://seobasicwithmee.com/5-outreac…ill-rock-2013/

The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar
http://io9.com/5916970/the-22-rules-…rding-to-pixar

How To Position A Product Like Don Draper
http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2013/08…on-draper.html

How To Get Your Content Linked To From Top-Tier Websites
http://searchengineland.com/get-cont…ebsites-188316

SEO’s Dilemma – Link Building vs. Content Marketing – Whiteboard Friday
http://moz.com/blog/seos-dilemma-lin…teboard-friday

Relationships between Search Entities
http://www.seobythesea.com/2013/08/r…arch-entities/

Is Search Still the Dominant Way People Use to Answer Questions?
http://www.stonetemple.com/social-vs…-people-study/

3 Ways to Find Great Link Building Opportunities in Boring Industries
http://searchenginewatch.com/article…ing-Industries

What does a perfect agile marketing strategy look like?
https://econsultancy.com/blog/63330-…egy-look-like?

6 things SEOs really should know about PR (but probably don’t)
http://firecask.com/things-seos-should-know-about-pr/

The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 2.0
http://moz.com/blog/the-web-develope…t-2013-edition

The Technium: 1,000 True Fans
http://kk.org/thetechnium/2008/03/1000-true-fans/

Why you should build content that lasts 7 years

acroplis
Pic source

Just a quick one, as I have a ton of work to do today.

Recently someone contacted me, noticed one of my old posts, Beginners guide to SEO links would benefit from having a link pointed to content that had just created. I had created it seven years ago and it still gets traffic, although most of the information was applicable to that time, which makes a link proposition to update it attractive.

I checked out the content asking for the link and found it was top notch, something that people who read this blog would benefit from.

So I gave them a link.

The email wasn’t fancy, but was polite and to the point.

Is link building that easy?

Well, no because first you have to invest a lot of time into content, then you have to build a contact list and then you have to catch the target at the right time. I read the email 6 days ago but as I am catching up with a lot of work left it till now. And that’s the thing, the people you contact have real lives going on and it’s really just a case of numbers and …. well you know the rest.

This kind of link building is hard, at least I have always found it hard, because it’s a bit of a grind. Wins results though.

I am always willing to link out to people who offer something of value to my readers. That is what keeps the web interesting.

Massive links or Tribe Building

totem
Pic source

As I sit at my desk with crystal blue, Cornish skies out of my window, I clear the inbox of client emails and consider what will 2014 will bring.

It used to be, one massive link from a website which Google deems as an authority was all you needed to kill it in the ranking pages. Linkbait, infographics, etc. all did that.

And that was great.

But now, things have changed. To get links these days, it’s better to forget about link building.

Manipulative link building, (if you want to fluff it up by calling it something like Inbound Marketing, content marketing etc. knock yourself out) has been negated. But it’s not dead, and SEO is not dead yet.

But link building has gone from the rabid wolf to the one legged coyote

Lots of people in the industry have hitched their wagon to a specific aspect of website marketing and will defend their territory when challenged, even with only one leg the Coyote is a animal to be weary of. This is why the industry is slow to change, although compared to any other industry it turns on a dime.

Google has changed things, they always do. They are like that.

It’s the animal that can change and adapt which will survive, not the one who can say, “look at my great kills of 2013”

Past performance is not an indicator of future success

The Cheetah is a fantastic killing machine, honed by evolution to perform one method very well, wait for the weakest, go fast and kill. But it’s the Coyote that thrives, who adapts, who looks at what is happening around it and changes tactics.

This is what you have to do to survive in 2014.

I am going to go out on a limb here and state that I don’t think manipulative link building is going to have the same effect as it once had. We are already seeing this happening. You probably don’t consider it “manipulative link building” and may even still believe in Santa. (thankfully my kids don’t yet read this blog, sshhhhh)

Are links still important, yes they are. But you have to respect Google for being the biggest cat in the jungle and if you annoy it, it will eat you turn you into fertilizer for the weeds.

Link acquisition should still be part of the strategic plan, but it certainly should not lead or be your only tactic.

What is becoming more clear is that tribe building is becoming more and more crucial, I have talked about this way back in 2007 and it was clear even then that this is the way to go.

Building a tribe is why you should create great content, of course links are important but people are more importent. They are they who make up your tribe, and it’s wise to consider what it is your tribe wants, do they want Game of Thrones content? Do they want you to help them save time, make money or get laid?

It’s the tribe you are the servant of, not the bot.
And don’t think your interests are more worthy than the tribe, if they want Kim Kardashian’s ass, then I am afraid you have to give it to them.

Yes, there will be outliers who kill it with links and end up on a sun drenched beach drinking a cooled beverage. But it’s not a business that can be replicated by most people.

This year is also going to be about publishing to the tribe. and giving them giving them what they want.