At this stage of the game it’s fairly obvious that search engines are getting much better at identifying purchased links and artificial link schemes (like link directories) and devaluing them. So where should an old school link monkey look to pick up some new tricks … the blogosphere!
Not Just Your Creepy Next Door Neighbors Blogosphere Anymore
Sure some of you cringe every time you hear any thing that sounds like the word “blog”, and conjure up the image of your weird next door neighbor typing away at her keyboard all hours of the night writing cat poetry. Well she’s still here, but so are lots of other folks too, like Business Week, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Yes lots of blogs are nothing but pure drivel but then again so are lots of websites.
Blogging platforms and software have made great strides in the past few years and have really grown up from the online journals that they once were. Most of them are fully fledged content management systems now, with lots of bells and whistles. Here’s the great part, most of them are dirt cheap or even free!
Why You Should Buy into the Blogosphere
Ok I hear some of you out there, I know how to program in PHP/HTML/ASP/JSP use templates and include files to crank out a website in three shakes of a lamb’s tail, why the heck do I need blog software to do it for me? Well here’s the secret, if you want some link love from your blogging brethren you gotta’ play in their playground and with their toys.
Bloggers are a vain bunch, they may not all admit it, but they do get a rush when someone writes about them, quotes them, or links to them. Some blogging software will tell you when you log into the control panel what other bloggers recently linked to you. For more in depth searches, bloggers use blog search engines like Technoraiti, Feedster, Google Blog Search, or Yahoo Blog Search (currently only part of Yahoo News)
Making the Most of the Blog Playground
Ready to give it a try here’s my quick primer. Spend some time looking around your niche and try to come up with a list of 20 or so high to medium quality bloggers. Pay attention to their style, what they write about, who they link to, and why. Now get started on your own blog, after you have about 20 or so entries you’re ready to start getting involved. After reading others blogs make some relevant meaningful NON SPAMMY comments. Don’t screw it up by dropping an obvious keyword stuffed URL. After making a few comments and seeing how they are received, see who’s most interested in carrying on conversations in their comments. Chances are it will be someone from the middle of the pack but you might get lucky and get a blogebrity who is “chatty”. Every few days make a post and quote one or two of them and link back to them. One thing, before you do this make sure you have trackback enabled for your blog. Basically a trackback will notify the other person’s blog that you quoted and linked to them (remember bloggers are vain and love to be quoted and linked to). Now if you’re a crafty devil you might even click the link a few times to make sure they see traffic coming from you. Keep up the cycle of posting and linking to other bloggers. As long as you keep at it, and have something meaningful to say in your blog, eventually they will start to link back to you. Keep it up until you figure out what type of posts get you the most links, lather, rinse repeat.
Bean Counting and Link Monkeys
Now I’m sure one or two of you out there are saying something like, ok so I spend a month blogging or having someone else blog for me and all I get is like a dozen links. I have a link monkey who can get me 500 links in the same amount of time so what’s the point? If you’re getting 500 links in one month I’ll wager most of those links aren’t really good quality links, and probably don’t look very natural either. Nothing is going to look more like natural linking than well … natural linking. In addition to these natural links you’ve now also got content to boot. Once you’ve got the link love flowing freely, resist the temptation to drop affiliate links and adsense on every nook and cranny. The occasional affiliate link in the main body will probably be tolerated without convincing your fellow bloggers you’re a sell out. However this would be a great time to use the programming skills you mentioned earlier to have adsense or affiliate links “magically” appear on older posts.
Getting Blog Links Recap