search engine optimization

Effective Link Building – Affilicon Israel 2009

6 Comments 02 June 2009

I’m live blogging the panel discussion and presentation at Affilicon Israel 2009 entitled “Effective Link Building.” Why am I attending this panel? Because I hope to learn how too  use links to bring visitors to a website, for social media campaign success and to increase web traffic for many worthy nonprofits and businesses. I am not a link-building or marketing specialist, but I believe anyone working on the web should understand the basics of utilizing the web for business. And so should you!

First presenter is Gilad Sasson, Search Marketer, Nekuda. (More information from his presentation will be available at tools.algoholic.com.)

There are many (many!) tools that profile incoming links:  SEO chat (arranges results by page rank), Solo SEO (called Link Search Tool to find sites that can link to your website by clicking in a keyword), Majestic SEO, Seomoz.org (a great community for finding tools), Linkscape (a good tool to analyze links), Yahoo! Site Explorer (the best link exploring tool to allow you to see what sites link to other sites and is simple to use), Google Webmaster Tools (to verify what links drive the best traffic to your site), and many more.

The best tool is having a great site with good content that adds value to your site!

Useful activities (not tools) to build links: social networking links (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), directories/article submissions, comment on blog posts, associations and clients link to your site, create badges/widgets, internal links and putting “no-follow” tags on your site to help search engines understand what pages are the most important pages on your site.

Ophir Cohen (CEO, Compucall) uses Google Alerts to notify his company whenever new content is being indexed by Google relevant to what his companies are looking for regarding links. This offers fresh, new information that you can utilize. (My note: a great tip is to use Google Alerts for any real-time information that your organization needs).)

Amir Yarkoni, Co-CEI of Easynet search marketing: think of links as an “unbiased vote of approval” for your content and product. Google searches the content you want people to see on your site, but links are votes of approval.

Links are an unbiased vote of approval!

Also think about being creative to develop a certain utility (a document, a widget, etc) that will naturally create an interest in others to link to your site.

Elroei Buchman, CEO of K-Logic is the moderator of the panel.

Gary Beal (@scubagary) – Managing Director of VanguardSEO also on the panel.

Ofer Dascalu, CEO of WiseImpact is also on the panel: There are at least 1,000 free link building tools – pick one or two at most and begin working with them. Don’t spend too much time on tools! There are no real “secrets” – just begin working. Advice is to create a one-year plan stating your link strategy and work on that the first year.  Most important is to have a long-term plan, pick a strategy, do it all year.

Question: what is  one case study of creative link building? Answer: Ophir Cohen. He had a client with attractive content who wanted to launch a new product. He approached leading bloggers (such as Wire.com, BoingBoing) by sending them packages with brochures, DVD, and models of new product. He communicated with the key bloggers. One of the bloggers was granted “exclusivity” to publish the information about 12 hours before anyone else could publish it. (12 hours is a big lead time online.) He then became a ‘de facto’ affiliate of the product, and approached his friends and news sites with the information. Result: about 100 new links, considerable website traffic, and the effect has lasted almost a year after the launch of the campaign.

Gary Beal suggests searching SEOchat to look for the forum about LinkBuilding 101 – it’s a great discussion about basics of linkbuilding.

Another example of an effective linkbuilding campaign: one of the clients of Easynet wanted to leverage its existing customers in order to gain links. How to do this? Analyze the customer’s client base and look at their returning customers. Easynet sent a personal message to all of these returning customers asking them to write a review of the new product. Most of the reviews were great reviews because they were happy customers.

Many social sites like Facebook. Twitter, and others have great authority, are very powerful and create higher rankings for websites as a result of the linking.

Another case study: a translation service put part of its software for free on the internet that anyone could use, linked to the service’s website.  It was free, easy to use. These pages helped many people with translating keywords. They sent the free service to many translating sites and potential users. Many, many people linked back to the free translation pages.

Mistakes:

Link profiling is trying to create an unnatural set of links to your website. Example: if you are selling hot widgets and 89% are pointing to the same page then that is a bit fishy. Using and repeating the same anchor text is bad. It’s easy to detect because all the “new” links are originating from the same text. Try to develop the most natural way of linking. (Confession: I am not a website developer and didn’t really understand this part of the discussion so my notes are naturally unclear.)

Buying links from sites not relevant to your own. Don’t just buy links to buy them. Will the links add value to the user?

Don’t host all of your sites on the same server. Don’t use the same network ID. Google will figure it out.

Really check the site you are trying to get links for and find out if it has a good ranking for the terms that you target!

Remember: the amount of links that you add to your site should seem “natural” and not out of the ordinary.

Question is about shorter versus longer links – (like tiny URL or bitly). It’s more for viral use, but not for permanent links. Make sure that the service that you are using is using a “301 redirection” to make sure all your links go where you want them to go. Check whether or not short URLs expire.

My takeaways:

1. Inbound links are important to your website: they help your website reach higher web search ranking and that can only help your organization/business get exposure.

2. Social media use (commenting on blogs, posting on twitter, etc.) is a great way to gain natural links. A real life example: yesterday I followed a discussion on Twitter about nonprofit CEOs on Twitter. I then tweeted that I had recently posted about the same subject. A nice benefit was that my blog post then received an inbound link from the blog pots about CEOs that Twitter. The unexpected benefits of social media in action!

3. Understanding the importance of inbound links when designing social media campaigns can really help a campaign succeed.

Do you think about inbound links? Did this post help you at all? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  • Mobile App –

    Social media use (commenting on blogs, posting on twitter, etc.) is a great way to gain natural links. A real life example: yesterday I followed a discussion on Twitter about nonprofit CEOs on Twitter. I then tweeted that I had recently posted about the same subject. A nice benefit was that my blog post then received an inbound link from the blog pots about CEOs that Twitter.
    thank you for that post nice.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    You are welcome! Inbound links are great for boosting SEO and also finding new people and blogs to connect with. Come back and visit anytime!

    [Reply]

  • Mobile App –

    Social media use (commenting on blogs, posting on twitter, etc.) is a great way to gain natural links. A real life example: yesterday I followed a discussion on Twitter about nonprofit CEOs on Twitter. I then tweeted that I had recently posted about the same subject. A nice benefit was that my blog post then received an inbound link from the blog pots about CEOs that Twitter.
    thank you for that post nice.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    You are welcome! Inbound links are great for boosting SEO and also finding new people and blogs to connect with. Come back and visit anytime!

    [Reply]

  • annawoods04

    There are so many link building services out but looking for the best and effective link building companies.The most essential component when choosing a link building package is to ensure the visibility of your site on the search engine. Then you can improve your site ranking by attaching other links to your site.

    reputation management

    [Reply]

  • Hi Anna,
    Thanks for your comments. The session wasn't really talking about link building packages, but rather how to do it on your own, without paying a company such as yours. If you'd have advice to offer my readers about that, I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

    [Reply]

About

Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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