Another one of those boring, "What the hell am I going to do in 2011" SEO blog posts

I feel like I have been living in a cave the past few months. Gone are the times when I attacked writing on this blog like a starved rat trying to get into a bin liner full of last nights kebabs.

I have been busy link building for clients. I’ve developed a few techniques that are quite effective in getting results, actually when I say developed what I really mean is I had a good look round at what others were doing, tested a whole range of techniques, threw out the ones that worked and kept the ones that do the business.

This type of link building is not as exciting as linkbait, but it’s steady and a lot less risky. It’s not really a big secret what works, the problem is what works is hidden in a forest of other stuff that does not work.

The trick is setting up a lab and testing everything and observing the results. Always keeping in mind that what once worked, may not work tomorrow. But, that’s OK because you should constantly have new techniques that are being tested and then tweaked.

This kind of link building is like planting potatoes, simple, dull and time consuming. The more spuds you plant the more spuds you get back. Yes this is obvious, but how many of us stop before the job is properly done.

Link building these days is not about some secret black hat technique being exploited. It’s about logistics, it’s about scale. It’s about the ability to organise large amounts of troops to go fight in a battle.

The competition for eyeballs on Google organic search is immense, even in minor niches these days. If you don’t have an organised link building strategy in place, you may as well just put your feet up and switch on Jeremy Kyle, whilst having a tinny of course.

Most business people who desire an effective web presence don’t have the time to deploy an effective link building strategy. They hire people like me to do it for them. Those who don’t hire specialists are up against people like me who eat, drink and sleep link building.

I love it, I know it’s weird but link building, when you really get into it is a fascinating subject.

Another interesting point that often comes up is how does a business know how much to spend on link building? After all, it’s very difficult to say that X amount spent on link building is going to bring Y amount of profit. Expertise and knowledge of a niche should be able to inform on how much profit you will gain if you have a number one for a specific keyword.

The laws of the market should then dictate that you simply have to spend more than the dude ranked at number 2. Of course it’s not that simple as the factors on where a site ranks are many and a lot of the reasons are shrouded in fog and fuzzy at the edges.

Is link building an art or is it science? It’s the wrong question, as a painter I know that scientific principles are crucial to good art, that techniques must be quantified, tweaked and reused. Painting a good picture is not simply about art, just as effective link building is not always about science.

I thought I would share a few thoughts on link building rather than pledge to write a blog post a day for the whole of January (how tedious) or do one of those lists of 145 Social media sites that give a dofollow link. Which although are inane to write are quite effective in getting a few links.

So, 2011 for me is about ramping up the link building business. Sure, I still knock out the odd linkbait, but the regular link building business is something that can produce more reliable results and can also scale nicely and I have now eschewed the lone gun slinger mentality and have a number of employees who are absolutely fantastic link builders.

My link building service is not for everyone, it’s not the cheapest and it’s certainly not the most expensive and you really need to be geared up to take advantage of it. But, most of my business is with repeat clients. Something which tells me I must be doing something right.

Lyndon Antcliff

May your links be many and aged.

Should I Buy Links to Improve my Rankings

Mark Cook, over at Further.co.uk has written a thought provoking article on why buying links is a dumb idea

As someone who offers clients a linkbuilding service using web content it would be a “of course he would say that”, kinda thing if I said don’t buy links. I’m not an expert on buying and selling links so my opinion is coloured by that fact. But what Mark presents is a logical case for the case against links. Of course it is one of the weapons in the arsenal and does a specific job and you have to know how to handle the weapon to be able to maximise its efficiency. Anyone who has been banned selling links know this.

An interesting quote in the article is from Shaun Anderson,

“If buying links was ineffective, it wouldn’t be against Google TOS. Think about that.”

Another interesting passage from the article:

I love it when our competitors do this, I really do. By outlaying £6k a month, they are taking money away that they could be investing in enhancing their existing content, improving the conversion rate of their website, or investing the money in campaigns to create hooks, interest and engagement.

I’m always shocked when I hear the budget some websites pay for paid links. £6,000 a month can build you some very juicy linkbait. What I would add to this is that the links that are generated through linkbait are natural, organic and extremely hard for competitors to replicate. And as pointed SEO Chicks pointed out this week, there are ways to nobble paid links. Although how many people actually do this I am not sure, I don’t know of any.

You could pay to produce beautiful content such as this which I assume has resulted in buckets of links and rightly so. Most scratch their heads and let the dandruff fall on their keyboard whilst they explain why their insurance – credit card – kitchen worktop website can’t make use of such content. But, that’s where content agencies like mine come in, we look at what content fits your niche and create something that will in all probability get links.

The fact will always remain that fantastic content will go links, so all you have to do to build links is create fantastic content.