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Link Development Forum

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Can Link Development be Fun?
rogerd




msg:425781
 4:45 pm on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another recent thread bemoans the "time consuming and tedious" nature of link development. Those of us who spend time on linkage efforts would certainly agree. But I have had pleasant link development efforts, too. One project I worked on a couple of years ago involved reviewing and contacting hundreds and hundreds of small business sites in all parts of the US and beyond.

I saw a lot of bad web design, of course, but many of these self-designed sites really let the personality of the owner come through. The responses to e-mails were often friendly and provided information beyond essential link details. The business owners were sometimes delighted that someone took an interest in their site, and showed their appreciation.

We ended up developing a couple of business relationships for the site, gained some targeted publicity that may have helped in other ways, and met some interesting people.

The rise of Google made link hunting more intense and I don't see as many chatty replies these days. But I'm curious - is link development pure drudgery for you, or, like me, have you had some fun along the way?

 

sem4u




msg:425782
 4:48 pm on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

It can be both time consuming and tedious, but at the same time it is great when someone praises your website. It can also be the start of a new partnership in some cases.

interested




msg:425783
 7:13 pm on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey! Nice idea? But doesn`t that count to all of your work? It can be fun if you really really like it and keep it fun. As I`m more of a marketing person and just making my first steps in the Internet world, it`s extremely interesting and can be lots of fun. As well as link developing. I`m just finding out what this whole thing is about, and believe me, after this week reading different posts in WW, I can assure you, even only the reading can be fun. I cannot imagine what will happen if I really start working on the project. So, all in all I`d say, everything depends on how to look at it...

Keep up the faith....and have fun!
Interested

martinibuster




msg:425784
 7:25 pm on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's true, if you go into it with the attitude of seeking partners then that kind of thing can happen. I've been fortunate to not only have inbound links from some authority sites (American ****** Society), but the authorities themselves have taken the time to look over some web pages and make suggestions. Really nice.

Thanks for the post Rogerd, as I've been putting off another round of link requests and you've inspired me to launch it.

Tupur




msg:425785
 4:28 am on Jan 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Rogerd,

We do link development for our bread and butter. And it is a very exciting job for us. Though time consuming, we enjoy every bit of it. Visiting all those different types of websites for different clients, making friends with webmasters, receiving e-greetings from them on special days and to top it all the clients' satisfaction at the end of the day - we definitely enjoy linking.

businessezines




msg:425786
 7:06 pm on Jan 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I enjoy the process of finding links, even though it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The reason is because I get to know my competitors and industry really, really well through the process. I also pick up some cool marketing ideas as I surf around and then incorporate them into my site. It just makes my site stronger and stronger.

rogerd




msg:425787
 1:23 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with you about the learning process, businessezines. You end up learning things about your competitors, getting new product ideas, and (occasionally) getting some design or site feature inspiration.

The "intelligence gathering" aspects are one good reason not to outsource all of your link development.

lorax




msg:425788
 5:37 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

In a few of the market sectors I frequent the webmasters/site owners are a friendly bunch. Occassionally I run into a cold shoulder but 99% are chatty - and as you noted - happy that someone found them and took and interest in their website.

The ancillary benefits are nice too. It has brought in additional work for my website development/SEO/SEM services when I wasn't even looking. SO, whenever I do sit down to the mundane task of link pop work - I try to bare in mind the benefits beyond the linking.

ThatAdamGuy




msg:425789
 5:49 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I haven't been sending out many link requests, but I've sure been receiving a lot.

The automated ones irk me, especially the ones pretending that the person actually visited my site. If someone can't take the time to send me even a brief personal note, then I have no guilt when my finger quickly presses the delete key.

In contrast, if someone sends me a thoughtful and personalized e-mail... especially inviting me to check out their site because it might (honestly) interest me or my site's visitors... I'm very open to that.

Kirby




msg:425790
 6:13 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

> You end up learning things about your competitors, getting new product ideas, and (occasionally) getting some design or site feature inspiration.
The "intelligence gathering" aspects are one good reason not to outsource all of your link development.

This is the big benefit for me as I look for links only from the same industry.

I am in a service industry and the web is the single biggest way I find new clients (or they find me). Many in my field think their web presence is separate from their actual business. They put it in the same catagory as outsourcing direct mail pieces. What they miss is that the right web presence, especially in a service industry, is simply a different way to get "belly to belly" with prospective new business. They forget that new business can also come from the small business owner/webmaster.

Doing my own link building is a networking opportunity, and is turning out to be the best networking in my business model. Many in my field dont see this, and that is good for me, so I wish all you pro SEM/link finders all the best.

Krapulator




msg:425791
 8:30 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've found that more and more in the past year when I email a link request I get a reply asking for some kind of payment.

notsosmart




msg:425792
 9:01 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hate it and pay someone else to do it.
She hates it too.

Seriously - I found that I often had to deal with people who had absolutely no clue - people who tried to tell me how to design my site, how to do SEO (if I wanted that, I'd post here more often), and how to do a million other things. Obviously I didn't mind the pleasant and polite suggestions - it was the people who for some reason thought that because they just discovered that FrontPage really works they could start telling me what to do. /rant

Like I said, now I pay someone else to do the linking for me. We have a standard procedure in place to insure, and have been very succesful in getting links (though it is becoming harder these days, especially with well-established sites).

Drace




msg:425793
 11:50 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've always considered finding link exchanges kind of a scavenger hunt, so it doesn't bother me (and I'm pretty good at it), but I've had a heck of a time getting my staff to be successful. They can send out emails to sites that really should link to us - as in they will get at least as much from the link as we do - but I'm the only one that has much success. My staff has several sample emails to pick from so that they can match the message to the website. Does anyone have any suggestions how to get staff to be as good as we are in this area?

centrifugal




msg:425794
 1:58 am on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Link hunting is fun when it works but is the oppositte when it doesn't work. If it's hunting just for pr, it can be very time consuming and unproductive, but I guess having a good attitude always helps.

Welcome to WW, drace. I'm no expert but there's tons of great info if you go digging deep in this forum, that's what I did.

rogerd




msg:425795
 3:53 am on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, Drace. I'd start by trying to determine where your people aren't doing as well as you are. Are they contacting the wrong kind of sites? Is their contact e-mail not as personal, or does it not show as much industry knowledge as yours? I think if you study what they are doing, you'll be able to identify what they need to improve.

To some degree, success in link development depends on one's sales ability. That's a fairly complex skill set, and some people are "naturals" while others struggle.

While we are on the "fun" theme, perhaps you could add a bit of motivation - lunch at a nice restaurant for the most successful link hunter. Or, reward everyone who hits some predetermined level. Keep it low-key and fun, though - you don't want it to turn into a grim competition.

Geetu




msg:425796
 9:18 am on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have done a lot of linking requests lately. I feel its fun.But i would be very glad to have
some suggestions here such as how to make the webmaster atleast read your E Mail and go through your website.As in
what should be the Subject Line?
is linking back offer in the first mail favourable?

waiting for your valuable suggestions

percentages




msg:425797
 9:35 am on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

>is link development pure drudgery for you, or, like me, have you had some fun along the way?

It was pure drudgery, and far from my idea of fun.

I have given up on reciprocal link exchanges.....it just ain't worth the effort IMHO.

For the last 12+ months I've concentrated on providing content, and content that I will give away for free if combined with a recognition link. One way links are much better than recips, free content is easier to give away without having to apply so much effort.

IMHO Google and now most SE's created a monster with link popularity based algo's. We need to get back to basics, link because it adds value for the visitor (via content), not for SERP's reasons (they should be a bonus).

kapow




msg:425798
 2:02 pm on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I never have the time I would like to give to link finding. I'll probably have to hire (and train) a dedicated person.

It is annoying that links are so important but if you ran a major search engine what would you replace linkpop with? When rank is ALL about onsite content the SERPs fill with spammy sites.

rtroxel




msg:425799
 2:34 pm on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>The automated ones irk me, <<

Those are the only kinds I get, although I've posted link requests on numerous forums. I guess I'll have to start searching for links rather than having other people find my site.

europeforvisitors




msg:425800
 4:05 pm on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I haven't been sending out many link requests, but I've sure been receiving a lot.

Me, too. And too many Webmasters ignore our submission instructions (which state very clearly that we don't link to affiliate sites and that submissions should be made via the e-form that's provided for that purpose). There are times when I'm tempted to create an Outlook rule that automatically bounces any e-mail containing the word "hotels." :-)

I'm not big on link exchanges anyway. Most of our best links are ones that we've found on our own, and I've seen too many sites with links pages that obviously were created for SEO purposes and not to improve the quality of the site or its utility for readers.

rogerd




msg:425801
 4:29 pm on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Rtroxel, be sure your site makes it easy for someone to figure out how to link to you and, if desired, propose an exchange. I like to include a "link to this site" page somewhere that has preferred link text, HTML to copy and paste, and logos, banners, and other images.

A few members have talked about delegating link development, and in many cases this is appropriate and necessary. I think it's one of those areas, though, where a little involvement by the boss can be a good thing for the business.

Successful retail store managers get out of their store now and then and visit other shopping centers. Not only do they check out the competition, they see what other stores are doing for merchandising, they find new product ideas, etc. Fun and profitable...

SlyOldDog




msg:425802
 10:57 pm on Jan 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like link exchanges. I like watching our robot crawl all those sites and send out the mails. Then we have Outlook rules that bounce the automated replies so our staff don't even see them, and only need to read ones sent by real webmasters. I guess they enjoy the chat since they get straight through to a human :)

Pure heaven.

We used to have people to do the whole process but it really is about the worst job I can imagine. And I have been everything from a dustman to a delivery boy.

Who said the internet is the future? What a silly job link exchange is! Even our link exchange staff think we are nuts for employing them to do such a pointless job.

tigereyes




msg:425803
 2:56 pm on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am a link exchange person and I dont think that it's pointless sly, I dont find it all that fun but it is something that needs to be done, and it a jobs so I have as much fun with it as I can.

peter andreas




msg:425804
 4:17 pm on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is it something thet NEEDS to be done? We don't bother as it seems utterly pointless to me and our resorces are better spent on developing content. We can't employ a dedicated person .Link to sites to benefit the user Ok

buckworks




msg:425805
 4:23 pm on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Link development is one of those jobs that never goes away.

I can't say I enjoy doing it, but I enjoy the results.

mil2k




msg:425806
 7:46 pm on Jan 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can link development be fun?

Differs from person to person. If you are doing it for others then the joy probably is not as much when your own site gets the link.

One thing is for sure. Its an experience that one should always have. Gives you lots of exposure to the other sites on the net. Also as Rogerd said might give inspiration as regards to design or presentation of content.

If you are doing link development at slow pace then it can sometimes be fun. But if you have deadlines like uploading and sending 40 link requests per day, then the job can get monotonous.

europeforvisitors




msg:425807
 4:07 am on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like watching our robot crawl all those sites and send out the mails.

Yeah, like the one that scoured my site and found the Madonna dell'Orto church in Venice listed. Result: I got an automated e-mail from a celebrity-photo site that said "You've got information about Madonna on your site, so I thought you might be interested in exchanging links."

If I had a politics site and wrote about George Bush, I'd probably get link-exchange requests from landscapers and nurseries. :-)

peter andreas




msg:425808
 4:49 am on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am confused about link development as I thought a lot of the recent sites purged because by the florida thing were because of being linked to a bad neighbour hood and too many recipricol links.

What is the definitive answer on this ie should recipricol links be sought or only one way?

Iv'e read so much on this for and agaiinst that I don't know now.

Drace




msg:425809
 4:08 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I haven't heard a real answer yet about the Florida update (Why so many of us got slapped down by it). I think that the cream is rising back to the top, though. My sites have. Lots of links AND good original content are the answer, that way you win no matter which way the search engines go. They will never penalize for too many links, though they might penalize for too many links to pages ranked 0 or 1 or too many links outside of what they think your specialty is. I just think "What would I do if I were them". Of course, I would take the money and run.... So that isn't much help.

Drace




msg:425810
 4:11 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like the idea of exchanging original content for links. One way links to your site are always better than two way links. Of course you have to be able to come up with original content at a low cost. I've had some success approaching sites that are trying to be comprehensive and making the case that they should link to me just to be complete, but smart webmasters aren't going to bite on that one.

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