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

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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

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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.

To Get Links you need to Forget about Link Building

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Pic Source

I have been building websites and getting people to go to them since 1998. Doing it for such a long time does not always make you a better link builder, but it does give you a long view. It allows you to note that the current changes in the building of links to increase search engine rankings is just one more change in an constantly changing landscape.

The cost or value of links has changed too, experts would usually quote an average link on an average website, giving an average amount of Google juice would cost around $100 – $150. These would be links that would pass the “natural” test. You would need a few hundred of these links for the average niche to rank and get a decent ROI.

But what has happened is a whole level of the SEO industry has been eviscerated. These are SEOs who would rely on a fixed cost for link getting and could quite easily plan it out with blog network buys, industrial guest posting, web 2.0 articles, plus many more techniques that are available on black hat market sites.

Some of it still goes on of course and still works if you don’t abuse it.

Current link building best practice is more akin to PR than it is to SEO. The ironic thing is that the traditional PR agencies are still quite poor in achieving an effective ROI. This is because power has shifted from those slick smooth talking PR types to the passionate, creative, online digital publisher, or what we would call the Blogger.

Pick a jargon phrase and run with it – conversation marketing – inbound marketing – relationship marketing – content marketing – and so on. These phrases have a high copulation rate and so if you don’t like one another will be along shortly. If you employ a digital agency or find yourself on a self styled “guru’s” website, they will be using these types of terms and explaining how you need to buy their book that will reveal all.

But the reality is, the way you link build is actually quite ancient. It’s called “Publishing”. You create an idea, make it physical (ok digital but lets not distracted by semantics) by using a medium such as a blog post and then you share that idea with other people who react, hopefully in the way you desire.

It’s not about “build it and they will come”, publishing includes marketing, advertising, means of production, delivery etc.

To get links you need to be a publisher, you need to publish. Anything else is mechanics, the way or form in which you publish.

Effective publishing involves knowing the audience, achieving an effective ROI, developing relationships with those who consume the published material.

This is where effective link building resides right now. It could be argued that it has always resided in the concept of publishing (and as we know from Reddit pretty much anything can be argued).

Where does that leave you if you want and need links? You are probably not a publisher but sell something like, plumbing supplies online.

You simply have to build an efficient, effective publishing machine. This can be a one man band or a huge army of workers to build out a magnetic for links.

Your effort will have more effect if it is consistent, rather than a few linkbaits here and there.

Go get published and go get links.