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.
At the Link Building Victories & Failures Affiliate Summit session, Wil Reynolds explained that authority links aren’t always the answer! In his example, Wil explained how a client of his had numerous
authority links (fashion magazine websites) but still was not getting the same rankings as the competition. So Wil and the folks at SEER tried some different techniques.
To start, before you can ask for help, you must offer help. RT others, link to their content,
build your Karma bank. Some ways to do this for your niche are twitter searches (search.twitter.com or a column in TweetDeck)
Wil mentioned The Ontolo Link Building Book which has given him many ideas, and briefly showed Majestic SEO as a tool he uses at SEER.
Side note: There was a 20% off coupon for the book, but it was expired by the next day 🙁 . I tweeted @WilReynolds and Garrett French saw my plea and hooked me up! Thanks! I can’t wait to dig into this link building e-book.
Back to the session recap… when researching your competitors’ links using Open Site Explorer, consider:
- % anchor text
- exact / phrase anchor text
- domain age
- delicious tags
- average domain auth (open site explorer)
- # of links w/ PR > 6
Open Site Explorer was referenced multiple times, and is useful for seeing where backlinks are coming from, what are the top pages of a site, and anchor text distribution. I can’t believe I’ve lived without using this tool.
Wil shared a few techniques for obtaining backlinks with specific anchor text, including:
- Build micro-site named w/ anchor text
- Build a widget
- Buy a new domain
Some of the best advice from Wil surrounded finding broken links, and contacting the other websites and informing them their link is broken, and where the new content can be found. If the content was removed, recreate it! He covered specific techniques for doing this, but the LinkChecker FireFox Add-on is a great tool. What to do:
- Find a
your topic+ resources page
- Right-click, find broken links
- Take the URL of the broken link, and submit to Open Site Explorer to find who else is linking to that page
He covered some other specific techniques for finding these broken links, including how to find delicious bookmarks which are expired.
In any niche, there’ll be competitors who have tried, and gave up on an idea. However, their data may still be indexed, and people may still be linking to them. If there are websites linking to a 2006 report, and you write an updated 2010 report, they’ll probably want to now link to you!
Wil then showed a method of using Google suggest (while not logged in) to generate keyword ideas and find low-value content sites. If you can recreate the content and provide more value, others will be more willing to link to your resource, instead of the junk one.
Wil finished with a word on APIs, and mentioned one of his sites to gain more valuable information, Pickwilsbrain.com
If you’re into SEO, or want to improve your SEO game, I recommend picking up The Art of SEO. Wil and I had a brief discussion about the book and its’ authors while hanging out in the Blogger’s Lounge. The Art of SEO is full of other link-building tips, which will help your SEO efforts.