Linkbuilding outside of the box - SMX 2010 Recap

Tue 18 May 2010 14:38, Editors

The third session of the first day is about linkbuilding. It is one of the most time consuming and difficult elements of SEO, so the room was packed with people dying to know more on how to easily get more links.

Linkbuilding is wrong

Andrew Girdwood is up first and start with a slide that says: "Link building is wrong".

Andrew proceeds and explains that we, if we look at it objectively, are making a mess of the online landscape with our poor attempts to gain links and keep gaining links. On the other hand, link building still is a important external ranking signal. He shares one or two tips with us. You should focus on getting links on trusted websites, since Google is looking into relevancy more and more. Next to that, you want to make sure that the number of links to your website grows naturally. When it looks artificially, Google will filter those links. 

If you use GTalk, you can use the PUSH Bot. Add it to your contacts, and receive (blog) updates via GTalk faster than you would via RSS. If you follow blogs to see if any link building opportunities are present, you might want to give it a try. 

Visualize your anchor texts

Dixon Jones, of MajesticSEO, is more than happy to see that over 90% of the audience is or have been using his software. MajesticSEO delivers one of the most complete link building services in the world. Where Google and Yahoo offer only a small portion of your backlink data, MajesticSEO shows everything it finds with their own crawlers. Other tools you can use to find more information about your backlinks are Open Site Explorer (Linkscape) and InfluenceFinder. 

MajesticSEO not only offers you insight in who links to your website, but will also show you the anchor texts, ip diversity, etc. The best thing is that it's free for the websites you own. A nice tip of Dixon is to export your anchor text data, and import it into Tagcrowd to get a nice visualization of the most used anchor texts. 

Build links on government and university websites

If you want to connect links to rankings, we can state that a good ranking often comes down to just a handful of links. Its as simple as that. Kelvin Newmans presentation is loaded with tips on how to get links on government sites and sites of Universities. To sum up:

For universities

- write good stuff about universities, as the tend to highlight positive coverage

- sponsor student events. They cost as much as nothing, but can deliver good links

- become a guest speaker. Universities (or high school) like to have guest speakers for their students

- get a link on the careers department, or become a case study 

For government sites

- start a community website 

- start a charitable website

- look for business directories on government sites (yes, they do exist)

- punt on (local) events 

- start a campaign 

- start a job website

Finally, you could run for parliament if you are really desperate. Next to all the tips above, you can focus on blogs of course. Make sure you don't focus on pagerank when selecting possible link spots, but use relevance and freshness. 

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