The news is Google have nuked another public linking network. These are systems where a few thousand blogs will host one of your articles with a link back to your sites. You know the drill.
Problem is, these networks are massive and so show up on the radar.
Two big hitters have sunk so far:
Interesting AMA says, “It’s not some BS like “demand was so high OMG WE GOTTA CLOSE!”. It’s simple. AMA still works. Google are targeting networks which confirms one thing. Networks work. And they work too well. But this targeting, it’s being done by manual intervention.”
I know more than one agency who has used these systems. Why? Because they work, but obviously they are not long term, but all that means is that there is an added cost. It doesn’t mean they don’t work.
Whilst you rank, you earn. And the cash doesn’t go away unless you spend it on donuts.
But Linkbait and Infographics work too, hint. So do Web 2.0 links.
We are continuing this convo in a little more detail on linkbaitcoaching.com and the subject of how to build your own private domain network. This obviously comes with a big fat, red lettered warning. But we are all grown ups.
So, all good stuff, what Google Giveth, Google can take away.
Ooops! Correction, AMA have not been hit, yet. But have closed their doors to new members.
They are distinctive from your customers or your clients or the other people you would like to impress, but do not have the power to link to you.
There are various tribes within the Linkerati, and these all respond to different stimuli.
Most are excited by information.
Not just any kind of information, but information that intersects their current thinking. Which raises other problems.
How do you find out which kind of information intersects the thinking of the Linkerati?
How do you get the linkerati to take notice of you information?
How do you create information which will juice up the linkerati enough for them to link to you.
You have to tap into the Lizard brain, or the Old brain. You need to get down to fundamentals.
People link, motivated by emotion. It’s why popular bloggers can produce mediocre content and get links. Emotion counts.
A lot of the linkerati get emotional about data, particularly when it’s represented in a graphical format. Hence the rise of infographics for seo. The brain can digest pictures or visualisations quicker than text and the linkerati love information that is steam pumped into the visual cortex.
Although linkbait is still effective, an infographic or visual based linkbait will generally get more links.
But, if you are not part of the linkerati it’s very tricky to get into the head of this tribe. You certainly have no chance if you are a suited marketing executive, you must dip into the tribe and employ a translator, negotiator, emissary.
The best advice I can give is become like them. Even if you are one of the Marketing Executives, come over to the side. Other than that, you are going to have to talk to one of us who can communicate with both sides.
Can a link, retailing at 55p be both profitable for the link builder and effective for the linked to?
A while back I came across a link building scheme that was effectively selling links for 90c, or about 55p. Which is the price of a Mars bar.
As I offer a link building service I was left scratching my head over how they did it whilst keep it effective and making a profit.
Consider one link being built every ten minutes
(they stated all this on the site)
Correct anchor text
6 links per hour
30 links per 5 hours = one day
600 links built over 20 days = one month
Retailing at 90c per link
Costs = $320
Profit = $180
Worker gets $360
This does not take in to account links which are rejected.
To hire a full time worker you would have to outsource to a country where $360 a month is a decent wage. They do exist, but running a team offshore raises other issues.
The only place which fits the criteria are forum links, not the signature links, but within a snippet of text. Could this be performed within the 10 minutes? Probably could be, but you would have to have a team process where each member concentrates on a specific task.
Tasks would be:
Opening email accounts
Seeding the account
Writing link text and posting link
Entry into spreadsheet and saved in Dropbox
Indexing of links
Report to client
It could be done, whether or not a link from a forum is worth the effort is worth it is another thing. And you would only know this if you tested it. And if this did work you would hardly blog or comment about it.
My thinking is that it is cost effective, rather a binary yes/no work/not work.
The problem is the effort involved in setting up this kind of thing is not worth it if you only have one site. It really only works if someone else sets up the service for others to buy and then creates efficiencies of scale which make it worthwhile, and would probably need quite a few clients.
One of the biggest problems I come across in helping people build links to their websites is how to build magnetic content which attracts links. It seems that selling plumbers supplies online does not naturally lead to expertise on online publishing.
Who would have thought?
The reality is, creating effective web content is a highly specialised skill and in some ways is counter intuitive to running a business online. So, someone who may be expert in sourcing plumbing supplies and negotiating favourable terms may not be able to produce digital information which excites the cockles of the linkerati.
Website marketing is a nuclear arms race. If one website in the niche gets a 30 megaton bomb, then everyone has to, just to keep up. If someone goes out and gets a 35 megaton bomb everyone again has to run out and get the latest nuke. And thus it is with getting websites to rank.
Your plumbing supplies website can compete in the rankings without having over 300 back links, just as long as no one else does. Once you get your links from the usual places, the industry body, local chamber of commerce and a link from your web designers (web designers have a cheeky habit of sneaking in an advertising link on the website you just paid for) etc. it becomes a bit more of an effort to go and get the links.
And so a natural backlink ceiling is imposed on your niche. But along comes Frank the plumber and he uploads a picture of a dead squirrel that he pulled out of the waste pipe of a Bosch Dishwasher. The picture goes viral, his local plumbing supplies website starts to rise in the search engine results page and the cash starts flowing in.
Frank the plumber has not offered cheaper prices, or become a better plumber, arrives at his jobs in a quicker fashion or has improved his business in any way. Except, his revenues have increased because a dead squirrel has caused his website to collect more links, thus rising in the rankings and becoming more visible in the search engines.
Frank starts thinking. If the linkerati like pictures of dead squirrels found in the waste pipe of a Bosch Dishwasher, I wonder if they will like a picture of a dead mouse stuck in a hose retaining ring? Frank goes on to find that people online find pleasure in emailing pictures of dead animals found in plumbing, thus creating an online gallery of user generated content and also creating a community of rabid fans who can be nudged to do things with help the marketing of the website.
Now, I’ve outlined a scenario which has happened many, many times. People fall into becoming skilled at using content to market their websites. These people have no obvious training in online publishing or any kind of publishing and yet they just seem to get it, whilst others find coming up with ideas for effective content incredibly hard.
My theory as to why this is so hard for the average business person to grasp is that they simply don’t have the time to understand the basic concepts of what works and why it works. It’s important to know why a piece of content works.
You laugh and share Fenton, but do you know why?
Content like this is sometimes called Linkbait, which is misleading, but that’s for another blog post. This skill of creating magnetic web content and using it to juice up the linkerati can be taught and is something I am going to be teaching with the launch of Linkbait Coaching 3.0. Which takes a focussed look at analysing what works, why and how to replicate it. It’s not ready for launch yet, but soon.
You could of course hire someone specifically for this task, or you could train someone in-house. Training in the art of content marketing will pay you back in sack fulls over time. Investing in creating better content is something that can be used over a variety of mediums and is not just for improving your Google rank.
You may think it counter intuitive for me to propose that link building content is not the only way to go for links, as I earn my crust selling link building services.
But this is what I tell my clients who hire me for link building consultation.
There are many ways to skin a cat and many ways to build links, sure, content is a tried and tested way to build links if properly implemented and this is discussed at length.
But as you roll back the reasons and psychology of why people link you find that content can sometimes be less important.
Something I have observed over the years is that you are more likely to link to someone if you meet and like them at an seo conference. Why is that? The content is still the same.
It’s because the process of giving a link is based on emotion. Not the sobbing into your hanky after watching a tear jerker, but the fact that deep down within the brain the bit that drives emotion always beats the cold hard logic.
In a way it’s odd that a bunch of Spock wannabe seo engineers will link to someone because they feel it deep within them.
But the human condition affects us all.
Good or bad.
We try to be logical and base our decisions on the cold hard data, but we never do and here’s the thing, we don’t even know we are doing it and hate it when it is pointed out.
All impinge on our decision making process. It’s what makes linkbait work. Linkbait is not based on logic, it’s based on the emotional triggers.
Social psychology is what you should be studying, rather than that new programming language.
Don’t believe me?
Watch the links fly after an seo conference. It’s not because the link targets content got better.
Observe that people mostly retweet those who retweet them. Getting retweets is link building lite, same process. If you can do one you can probably do the other.
How can you up your link building game.
1. Develop a social context
2. Control the relationship
3. Know why people link
4. Give back to those that give
We will be concentrating more on link building psychology in the coming weeks.