Categories
SEO Discussion

How is Link Building Doing?

A few charts from Google Trends over regarding a few search terms within the industry

Past 12 months of searches for “link building”.

link building

Looks pretty stable.
What about over a longer time period?

link building

Looks like it peaked in 2012, and now back to 2009. Seems stable the last 12 months though.

Content marketing seems to be the latest buzzword, but surely that’s a word only the gurus use?

link building

But whatever happened to “social media marketing”, surely that’s old stuff right now and no one searches for it?

link building

Nope! Social media marketing is kicking link building’s ass. But don’t they know that links = higher rankings in the Google results page. Well perhaps people have a perception that social media is far more important than ranking in Google. That may or may not be the case, but for what people are actually searching for. For “social media marketing”, computer says yes.

So does that mean the fragrant and effervescent social media department are crushing the Ben Sherman shirt wearing SEO types?

link building

SEO for the terms of these charts still beats all the other terms into the ground? Does this mean that it’s not dead. Of course it does, but you never thought that anyway, did you?
Does this mean that you should pile everything into SEO and let the social media marketing department more time to play on Snapchat? Probably not, there may be an issue with SEO being highly definable whilst numerous other terms could be used for social media marketing and content marketing.

What I think it does mean is that the SEO engineer should be secure in their employment, ensuring them to invest further in their wardrobe of Ben Sherman shirts.

Categories
Link building SEO Cornwall

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.

Categories
Link building

Learn How to Linkbait like a Pro: Linkbait Coaching 3.0 Launches on Thursday

For over 4 years now I have been training and coaching people in how to get links from people using content. Sometimes known as link baiting, although I prefer the term magnetic web content. This of course is all part of content marketing, which is something I also help clients with.

Linkbaitcoaching.com was launched in 2008 and offers members a way to learn and develop their link building skills. It focuses on the development, production and promotion of content that is specifically designed to attract large amounts of links.

We are now going to open the doors again for the third time in 4 years. As you can tell this is not a mass market product launch and is very low key. This is simply because we don’t have a lot of slots, only 20 are on offer this time, because I give personal, one on one attention to all members within the membership forum.

We have 4 years of archives to plunder, examples, ideas, wild ideas that have to be caged and never go public (if you have been a member you know what I am talking about), and analysis of lots of other successful linkbait.

Please do not sign up if you think this is an easy to do course. It’s not, I expect you to work with me and to follow a process of “deliberate practice” that allows me to coach you to linkbait nirvana.

You do of course have the option to simply watch the process and suck in all the info, but you will get much more out of it if you get stuck in and we knock around some ideas.

This outing we are going to have a closer look at infographics. We have been having a lot of success with using this technique and we can coach you through the process and show you step by step how it is done.

I’m not going to deploy a bunch of sales techniques to get you to sign up, because it is only going to work for you if you really want it and already. So no, “TAP INTO THE AWESOME POWER OF LINKBAIT AND CREATE A TSUNAMI OF LINKS TO YOUR WEBSITE”, and other such nonsense.

Although saying that, past members have gone on to create some of the best linkbait in this part of the Solar System. And you will be surprised to learn who have entered the hallowed and sacred space that is the Linkbaitcoaching.com training space.

Launch is Thursday, 22nd of March.Friday, 23rd march.
Only 20 spaces available.

More info later, in the meantime sign up for the email newsletter on the right and also watch the blog and my Twitter feed.

Oh and by the way, I’m going to be adding a few new goodies to the coaching this time, more on this later.

Categories
Content Marketing

Quick Few Thoughts on Content Marketing Before I finish my Porridge

The online marketing industry is using the term “content marketing”, widely and consistently. Which means I must use it too, even though I have an urge to write a 10k word essay on the subject of why it shouldn’t be used.

Thinking, rather than acting can sometimes (not always) hurt the bottom line.

As Linkbait Coaching 3.0 is about to launch it makes sense to start a Content Marketing course.

Most people still don’t get blogging.

Deeper thinking about the technique will always win, unless you are selling a content marketing course and then it makes more sense to say the stuff is easy. I can’t do that, which I understand does affect business and I really have tried to sell out and be a commerce whore but it goes against my OS. So, always market to those who seek high ability over a quick fix.

All online output is communication and all communication is marketing, even down to the privacy policy.

Basic, bog standard link building still works. Get in touch and I can sort you out with something very tasty.

Categories
SEO Discussion

Google Targeting Public Linking Networks

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:
www.buildmyrank.com
www.articlemarketingautomation.com

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.

Categories
Link building

Why Attract the Linkerati

If you want links, it is the Linkerati you need to get the attention of.

Who are the Linkerarti?

The Linkerati are those who link

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.

Categories
Link building

Would you buy a link for the Price of a Mars Bar?

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)
By hand
Do follow
Indexed
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
= $540
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:

  • Researching forums
  • Opening accounts
  • 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.

It’s interesting though isn’t it?

Categories
Content Creation

Content Marketing Training and a dog called Fenton

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.

Categories
Link building

Link building with content is not the only way to get links

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.

  • Fear
  • Greed
  • Social acceptance
  • Sexual gratification
  • Jealousy
  • Pride

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.

Categories
Link building

Link Building Machine Introductory Price ends 1st October

Note: If you have already ordered from Link Building Machine, don’t worry, you are locked in for one year at the introductory price.

The introductory offer for the Link Building Machine will be finishing on October 1st. Those ordering the minimum spend before then will be locked into the introductory price.

Why have an introductory price?

  • I like to reward those who sign up first
  • Uptake has been surprisingly high
  • Generates loyalty from those who sign up first
  • Highlights the inexpensiveness of the product, this is important when price is a buying trigger
  • An increase in price allows the potential for an affiliate offer
  • So many people have told me its too cheap, it probably is.

Order before the first of October and get locked into the introductory price for one year year.

If you have already placed an order, don’t worry about it, you are already locked in at the intro price for a year.

To order, subscribe to the email list on the right to receive preferential information on how to order.

Categories
Link building

Where Can I Find a Great Link Builder

Throughout my travels in the world of Internet Marketing and SEO, you meet a lot of liars, bullshitters, schmoozers and arse-lickers, (a nice line inspired by Alan Sugar). There are a bunch of other words too, but I don’t have that long to write this.

Point is, how do you know who is good.


How do you know when you have found a good link builder?

It makes little sense for a good link builder to show work they have done as it is commercially sensitive. I always keep a few in my back pocket that I know I can show, but most of the time there is little visible sign of anything really happening.

Link builders tend not to have showrooms or large shop front windows.

But, one bunch of people do know and that’s long term clients. I say long term as there is no such thing as short term link building. Not if you want a long term business.

Great link builders take a strategic look. Here are a few I have found along my way who I would recommend.

This is not a definitive list by all means, and if you are a great link builder and feel you should be on my list then let me know and I can make another list.

But these link builders stand out and would be who I would hire to manage my link building. They are also who I recommend to other clients when I have no client spaces available.

So, take it from me. These are people who are at the top of their game and have impeccable credentials and can be trusted to get the job done.

Of course the more interesting blog post would be the dark side of link building and the story about the one armed, Ukrainian, transexual midget, who can do amazing things with sub-domains – but lets save the best till later.

You may be interested in these other posts:

Great wordpress plugin

Categories
Link building

Secrets of Link Building

Yesterday I had three people from separate companies ask me to sign an NDA, actually they weren’t people they were clients. And clients have a much higher status than people, at least they do around these parts.

The bigger the client of course, the more you are likely to trigger an NDA and of course an NDA can cut both ways. It protects you if you are offering seo services and protects your client who is hiring the seo company. So, everyone should be happy and signing the NDA is all good stuff.

But that got me thinking. What’s the point of the NDA? Ultimately is about protecting confidential information and secrets.

Secrets!

It’s a massive word, much over used in online marketing of course. Come learn the secrets of link building, buy the latest ebook, SEO secrets revealed.

The Zen master will tell you that the secret to success is that there are no secrets. That the secret lies within yourself.

Megh!

Whilst there is truth in that, I know of a high ranking authoritative website where you can drop a dofollow link, point it at a target page, using the correct keyword and get it to rank quickly and rank well. But, I’m not going to tell you where it is. It’s a secret. If I published it on this blog the harvest would be shortened and the fruit would soon be over ripened and riddled with maggots.

So it stays secret. The point is, there are secrets, little bits of information floating around that would benefit your online marketing efforts.

No this isn’t a lead in to a “Secrets of Link Building” ebook.

To get to know these secrets of link building you do have to revisit the Zen Master and learn that there are no link building secrets. The reality is, there is nothing that you cannot know in the click of a mouse that will teach you all you need to know to create the most amazing online marketing campaign.

Because, it’s not the secrets to link building that will make you a great link builder. It’s the other stuff, the stuff that expert link builders give away for free on their blogs, it’s what gets talked about at SEO conferences, in free downloads of pdf files. It’s what given away in the seo books stacked on the shelves of you local book shop for a tenner.

The secret stuff, probably only makes up 5% of the mix, if that. The other 95% is hard work and focussing on what works.

The reason why people are looking for that link building secret is because link building is boring, simple and hard work. Which is why people outsource to link building agencies.

Categories
Link building

Link Building is like Planting Potatoes, Simple, Boring and Hardwork

Link building is Like planting potatoes

Link building is Like planting potatoes

Although in the past I have been known more for my link baiting skills, for the past 6 months I have been hunkered down and concentrating more on less prosaic building of links. The down and dirty stuff that does not glisten in the sunlight like a finely crafted piece of linkbait.

Here are a few thoughts on the subject:

Link building, as we know is a process.

A process that can be replicated.

Correct implementation requires the correct methodology.

So it’s really just of case of find what works, make it as efficient as possible, construct the process in a way that’s easy to scale and then implementing. Easy until you realise that it’s the implementation that can be the tricky part.

It’s not difficult to find what works, but it does take time and concentration, hence my hiatus from regularly blogging and Tweeting in 2010 . You need to run your own tests to confirm the effectiveness of any link building.

It’s important to realise that you can only confidently know what has worked in the past and even then it’s very tricky to be absolutely definitive. Only by repeat testing and observation can you really have any idea of what really works, and of course you have to constantly test to see if what worked yesterday is working today.

Past performance does not guarantee future performance.

Causation and correlation are two words you need to get to know intimately.

We know what happened in the past, but this is no guarantee of what will happen in the future. But, we do have a very good idea. Or should know if we heavily test.

Some people say that certain techniques work and certain ones don’t. I’ve found that people tend to say some techniques do not work simply because they do not implement correctly. I don’t like to say you should only ever do one technique, if you have time and resources do them all. Constantly testing to see which works and which doesn’t.

Many times I have heard people claim a certain technique does not work only to find on the next blog that it does. You only really find out when you do your own tests.

My wild theory and it is only a theory is that everything works. That every link will benefit your ranking, but sometimes that benefit will be minute. I certainly don’t know for sure and it’s probably impossible to be absolutely sure.

Take blog commenting for example. You drop a link, leave some juicy anchor text with some witty comment. The link is of course nofollowed. I have done numerous tests with this but find it difficult to isolate the results so I cannot be entirely sure, but my informed opinion is that commenting on blogs directly effects your rankings.

Note, I did not say how much the effect is, nor did I say how the effect actually comes about. Because a nofollow link is not supposed to pass Google juice. I cannot for sure say why it has an effect on rankings, but I believe it does.

If you think the only purpose of a link is to pass Google juice you are missing a trick.

Because humans click on the links in comments, and humans give links and sometimes they give links that let the Google juice flow like Niagra Falls.

As a webmaster I have clicked on every link that has been posted in the comment of my blogs and assume most other bloggers do the same. You go and check out the blog of the commenter, it’s what humans do.

There have been many times I have done this and it has led to me linking to the blog. The blog comment initiated the sequence of events that caused me to drop a link. Of course it helps if you have linkable content, which is easy enough to produce if you have the time, money or the right skill set or peferably all three.

Now, I could have said that perhaps the Google bot sometimes has an electronic sneeze and accidentlly follows the links by mistake. But, I have absolutely no way of confirming this. And doubt any of the representatives from Google are going to give me any answer unless it’s wrapped in dense fog which slightly smells of sulfur.

But it’s a nice thought and that’s the problem, sometimes hope can infect thinking.

And of course you have to factor in that the landscape is constantly changing, the variables that influence where you end up in the rankings seem to be constantly in flux.

If you hold the premise that every link has an effect it simply becomes a matter of scale. Which in turn becomes about logistics, who can implement in the most efficient manner and on the largest scale wins.

It’s scale which can negate the flux, if you can do enough of what works, or what you think works and keep from becoming a target of the Google spam team then I think you can influence your ranking.

And that’s why link building is like planting potatoes, plant enough of them, water and weed them and enough should survive to bring you a good harvest. However, it’s really hard work and it’s really boring to implement on such a scale that you know it will work.

I am of course talking about competitive industries which is where I work.

So over the past 6 months I been testing out anything and everything, been very surprised at some of the results and been able to build a link building machine made up of systems and process which any of my employees can simply crank up and start planting potatoes.

Not as fun as writing linkbait, but it’s scalable and it’s easier to predict the results.

If you want to do the same it can be done, you simply have to invest the time, money and focus to build your own system. However, a lot of people are very good at selling widgets and not developing link building machines and so come to people like to myself and others like me to help them.

Categories
Link building

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.

Categories
Link building

How to get links by gently farting into a leather sofa

In a recent post I mentioned that “some bloggers only have to fart softly into a leather sofa to get links”. This wasn’t an attempt to get links to a leather sofa site, although now I think about it…..

It was to highlight that some people got it and some people ain’t got it.

So the questions that are important are.

  • What is it that they got that others ain’t got?
  • Can what they got be got by others?
  • Can what they got be taught by those that got it?
  • How do I know if I aint got it
  • Will listening to the Bangles, “Manic Monday” help in any way?

The zen part of this post is that even if you have the answers to all these questions you will be no closer to getting what they have got.

Which makes me wonder about the efficacy of all these, “Give me $1,000 a week and I will show you how you can charge $1,000 a week showing people how to make $1,000 a week from showing people how to make $1,000 a week” type sites.

Before you spend the $1,000 a week to find out if you got what they have got , spend £12.99 and £16.99 and book yourself 2 weeks in that Scottish Highland croft.

I know I’m mixing currencies here, but I live in multi currency world. And no I am not trying to rank for “multi currency”.

The £12.99 is for, Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin.
The £16.99 is for the hard cover of Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell.

The 2 weeks in the Scottish croft is to give you time to read and let the information sink in without you being distracted by wanting to tweet that you just ate a corned beef bagel with dijon mustard.

The point is….

What I hope will happen is you come to a realisation that you don’t really have the desire to do what it takes to get what those have got and to spend your cash and time on something more useful like making a model of Hugo Chavez out of the sticks you get from Starbucks to stir your liquid caffeine delivery product.

In conclusion….

Those bloggers who get links are those types of people who get it. Most of the time they don’t even understand why they “get it”, they just get on with it.

And if you are thinking right now that, “I don’t get it.” Then you are probably right.