Eric Nagel

Eric Nagel

CTO, PHP Programmer, Affiliate Marketer & IT Consultant

Link Building with Robert Adler

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Robert Adler of Microsite Masters (@Bofu2U) presented a session on Link Building at Affiliate Summit West 2012 in Las Vegas.

Link Building with Robert Adler
Link Building with Robert Adler

Adler started his session with a definition of link building that was different than what is normally thought of in the SEO community. SEOers look for links that are keyword rich, and ideally do-follow. Robert, however, will take just about any link.

He then went on to show how a site can move around the SERPs until it settles into its new position, and discussed what metrics may influence ranking.

The different shades of SEOers were defined (white, gray, black) followed by examples of the different types of links you could get back to your site.

This wasn’t your typical link building session, which may have turned off a few attendees (including the one who blamed Robert spamming his forum and wasting 20 minutes out of his day, every day). However, as an affiliate, it’s important to understand the many different types of link builders out there, what tactics they use, and how to compete against them.

Here are my raw notes:

  • Definition of Linkbuilding
    • Game of building connections
      • Getting tweets / Rts to homepage / deep page
      • Activity on Facebook Page / Group
      • Other social links (see
      • If Google can find it, it counts
  • Rank history up & down until it levels off / plateaus
  • Metrics
    • Domain backlinks
    • URL backlinks
    • Domain Age
    • Words on page
    • Keyword density
    • Number / Source of ads if any) on page
    • Facebook likes root domain
    • Facebook likes deep link
    • Twitter root domain
    • Twitter deep link
    • digg / Stumble / Delicious / google +1 / etc etc etc
    • pages indexed
  • Hats in SEO
    • Whitehat
      • Never breaking the rules
      • Likes
        • Press Releases
        • Guest posts
        • Doing things manually
        • Blogger Outreach
        • Matt Cutts
      • Dislikes
        • Everyone that doesn’t do things manually
        • Anything that may be a too fast form of link building
        • Automation of any sort, unless it’s used for reporting
        • Any type of link that they wouldn’t get themselves
        • Robert Adler
      • Examples
        • Slow & steady win the race
        • Press Releases
        • Directories
        • Guest Posts
        • Linkbait
        • Site wide exchanges
        • E-mailing webmasters
    • Greyhat
      • Sometimes break the rules
      • Likes
        • Obtaining / Producing as many types of cleaner links as possible
        • More complex linking schematics
        • Filtering tiers
        • 100,000 links -> 50,000 links -> 10,000 -> … -> 1 page.
        • Usually has ‘test bed sites to throw new links at for testing
        • Rides the line between obviously blackhat and whitehats wouldn’t do that
        • Whitehat on-page with dark(er) colored link building
      • Dislikes
        • People who report his sites
        • Algorithm updates (sometimes)
        • The idea that he’s doing blackhat
      • Examples
        • Blog comments
        • Blog posts
        • Social Bookmarks
        • Forum Profiles
        • Web 2.0’s
        • Wiki’s
    • Blackhat
      • Always breaking the rules
      • Likes
        • Loves automation
        • Promoting lots of sites simultaneously
        • Linking schematics that’ll make your head spin
        • Building more links that an entire country in 1 day
        • If it’s scalable and has a start button, he made it / has it
      • Dislikes
        • Snitches
        • The time it takes to stay ahead of the curve
        • Deindexing based on a footprint that could take 50% of his assets down
        • Matt Cutts
      • Examples
        • Blog comments
        • Blog networks / posts
        • social bookmarks
        • forum posts / profiles
        • web 2.0’s
        • CMS’s like wordpress
        • (my own example, not Rob’s) Hacking a site & injecting links into site header / footer
    Black Hat Link Building
    Black Hat Link Building
  • Test link building methods before doing it on your main properties
    • Do your own tests don’t listen to other case studies, etc.
  • Types (based on footprints)
    • Forum links
      • Xrumer
        • Register accounts
        • Crack CAPTCHAs
        • Check email accounts
        • Click the verification link
        • Set-up a full profile
        • Post a message
      • site-wide
      • In-content
      • Signature links
      • Profile links
      • Category-Wide links
        • sponsor a category
        • Category redirects
    • Blog links
      • Contextual
        • Paid Posts
        • Guest Posts
        • Blog network posts
        • Buying a link in an existing post
      • Blog comments
      • Blogroll
      • Sitewide footer
    • Social Links
      • Social Bookmarking Sites
        • Actual bookmarks
        • Comments
        • Digg, Delicious
      • Stories
        • Can be rated, +1, liked, etc.
        • Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google +1, Twitter (RTs)
    • Article Links
      • Links in the body of the article
      • Links in the resource section / resource box
      • Links on the Author About Me Page
        • 500 articles -> author page -> your site
      • PR links
      • In-context
      • Sidebar / Resource box
      • Author page (only some have this)
      • PR Newswire, PRWeb, PRLog (free ?)
    • Directory links
      • On a page with a list of other links
      • On a standalone page with just your listing
      • Hot vs Not, Best of the Web,, DMOZ, Yahoo directory.
        • DMOZ: volunteer to be the moderator for the cateogry
    • Web 2.0s
      • Profile links
      • In-content links
        • video descriptions
        • article descriptions
        • updates, posts, etc.
      • Flickr, Vimeo, youtube, daily motion
  • 1 Link != 1 link
    • Internal linking
    • Write a Blog post. You link from
      • Homepage
      • Tags
      • Archive
      • Category / categories
      • Recent posts widget
    • The blog post creates a tweet
      • Direct from the tweet
      • Hashtag search pages
      • Every list your listed on
      • syndication on for example
      • then some Rts it. Repeat above
    • digg
      • submit a story
      • thumbs up 20 other stories
      • they all link back to your profile, which links to your story, which links to your page
  • How it works overall
    Link Building: How it Works Overall
    Link Building: How it Works Overall
    • Focus on top 5
      • These determine if your page should rank in the top 10
  • Syndication
    • Submit your RSS feed
      • Take your Ezine article RSS feed & submit to these syndication services, too.
  • Robert Adler
    Posted January 16, 2012 11:55 am 0Likes

    Thanks for the writeup Eric, I hope you enjoyed the session as much as the guy in the back. 🙂

  • Paul Rinaldi
    Posted January 17, 2012 11:43 am 0Likes

    This was an awesome write up. Really gets u up to speed.

    Great infographics too Rob

  • vortex Tom
    Posted January 20, 2012 4:02 am 0Likes

    well done rob.

  • Jacob
    Posted January 21, 2012 1:08 am 0Likes

    I did feel for the guy in the back of the room. However it does show that person was taking little effort to combat spam.

    Great write up. You seemed to cover most of what Rob was talking about. I myself shy away from anything blackhat because I build long term online business and blackhat does not work long term for any given site. With that said I do greyhat every day so who am I to judge.

    Love the Google API write up by the way. Will be using it.

  • Sharky the Streetwear Designer
    Posted February 4, 2012 11:09 am 0Likes

    Thanks for the great writeup. Any chance we can watch the presentation?

    • Eric Nagel
      Posted February 6, 2012 12:08 pm 0Likes

      If you had a Gold pass or higher to Affiliate Summit, you should have access to the videos by now

  • Matt
    Posted February 10, 2012 6:16 pm 0Likes

    Excellent post, and love the infographic. Shame I’m back in the UK, looks like I missed a great talk. Double shame that the video isn’t more widely available!

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