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Link Development Forum

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My Experience with Link Monkeys
wolfadeus




msg:3473772
 2:26 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

A few weeks ago, I hired a company to do some *strictly white hat* link development. I found them by recommendation from a WW member and specified the following conditions:

1.) No PR constraints, I favour relevancy
2.) The link page has to be indexed and in the cache of Google
3.) Link page is level 3 (two clicks from the homepage) maximum
4.) Maximum 50 links per page
5.) No triangular linking
6.) No blogs, forum links or directories

Now I received quite a hefty bill and a list with 60-odd links, of which more than 50% consisted of www.urlwithindiantermsinit.tld in various versions and php-generated content in exactly the same layout - obviously clones of the same website.

Value of the links: Close to 0, I guess. It was an experiment and my conclusion is that I will not hire link building agencies again. Besides, my contact person was Dutch, whereas all the work was apparently done in India.

 

bcolflesh




msg:3473785
 2:46 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Please tell me you didn't pay the bill for that curry sandwich.

martinibuster




msg:3473826
 3:06 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Imo, it's not enough to specify conditions. You have to tell them which searches to do to find the links and to BCC you on every email sent out. You must lead the project, and let the workers do the heavy lifting.

Never allow the linkers to devise their own work plan. Ever.

wolfadeus




msg:3474586
 6:42 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I did pay the bill - it was meant to be an experiment whether a service was worth the effort and I found out that it is not.

From now on, I concentrate on content and hope for a natural links coming in.

wariental




msg:3475410
 10:55 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Like Martini mentioned you have to be more specific. It failed because you failed to layout the terms properly. Also next time your not happy with the work let them know and try to settle for a lower price. I have had some link builders in the past that didn't meet my expectations and I ended up settling for a lower price because of the lack of quality.

Writing content is important but why not manage your time and do some link building of your own. Its boring but if you want to succeed you can do some on the side. Start with 1 or 2 links a week, if your in no rush thats more than enough links to get you going.

Good luck.

Rosalind




msg:3475420
 11:26 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

It failed because you failed to layout the terms properly.

I disagree, I think it failed because the people involved probably just didn't understand the terms. Link building can be tedious, but that's not the same thing as requiring no skill whatsoever.

pageoneresults




msg:3475422
 11:31 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I disagree, I think it failed because the people involved probably just didn't understand the terms.

Me personally? I think it failed because you approached it from a "commodity perspective". These days, links are to be taken seriously. Serious links require serious work.

There's a new Link Monkey born every minute in that country. What gives?

martinibuster




msg:3475425
 11:41 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

...because you approached it from a "commodity perspective".

Unfortunately, as in most anything else, a package you can point to and purchase is what sells the best. How many links do you want? 500, 2000, or our platinum link services that guarantees a million links?

People, with very good reason, demand a set amount of product for each dollar spent. But quality links, for the most part, may refuse to fit into that box.

As far as the high birth rate of link monkeys, I suspect all it takes to put a gleam in the eye is a list of directories and some software and away we go.

BillyS




msg:3475430
 12:00 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Maybe I'm letting this ship pass me by but I've gotten a great deal of quality links just by writing good content (.edu, .gov and more recently a handful from wiki - which sends me a decent amount of traffic).

No doubt this method is not for those in a hurry to build page views - but it does eventually work. And as my SE positions have improved, the pace of natural links has increased.

Rosalind




msg:3475460
 12:37 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

No doubt this method is not for those in a hurry to build page views - but it does eventually work.

This is why there will always be link monkeys, because most webmasters are in a hurry. It also takes a while for the "write good content" approach to build up steam: one article won't do it, nor will five or even ten (unless they're really something). But once you have a few hundred online they start to gather a momentum of their own, so long as what you write is any good in the first place.

wheel




msg:3475484
 1:24 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

And as my SE positions have improved, the pace of natural links has increased.

How do you think the pace of natural links is for those that are already sitting at the top of the SERPS while you're doing it slowly :)?

BillyS




msg:3475510
 2:12 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>How do you think the pace of natural links is for those that are already sitting at the top of the SERPS while you're doing it slowly :)?

If somone is at the top of the SERPs AND they have good content, then sure they are going to continue to outpace me. BUT if you've got junk it's doubtful you'll get a natural link unless it's picked up by those useless spam bots.

I get links from edu's all the time - mainly professors that use my material as supplemental reading for their students. I don't ask for those links, they just happen. I've never asked for a wiki link and I've got about a dozen that I know of.

Again, maybe my formula isn't optimal, but I focus on writing valuable and UNIQUE content whenever possible. I don't focus ANY effort on link building.

wheel




msg:3475546
 3:20 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

That's what you do....and it's working how? Slowly and you're not at the top of the serps.

You can call it quality all day long. It's not working. Others are getting the traffic, the results, and the money.

It's also a huge fallacy that you have to sit around and twiddle your thumbs to get .edu's and quality links. While some folks are creating quality content, others have already created it and have gone out and aggressively developed the quality links. For the folks that let it come naturally, you're left with a slower pace and no better links.

But I'm drifting off topic. You can get decent link monkey work, though I think it's hard. I've never done it myself, but I've met for-hire link developers that I know do an awesome job. But they're not 'cheap'.

pageoneresults




msg:3476088
 4:50 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

What I don't fully understand is how one could entrust a task such as this to anyone outside of the company or to anyone who was not intimately familiar with the industry and the goal of the campaign.

I've received automated link requests from third party offshore link firms and if I were the owners of the companies being promoted, I'd be a bit concerned about how the campaign was being executed. I'd be more concerned about how my brand was being "executed".

No, link development is not something to be delegated to "link monkeys" as you call them. I think there is more harm being done by these primates than good. Anything being performed from a commodity standpoint is not something I'd want my clients involved with. Tis' a bit risky these days. There are more optimal ways to obtain quality links.

wolfadeus




msg:3476127
 5:39 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

"What I don't fully understand is how one could entrust a task such as this to anyone outside of the company or to anyone who was not intimately familiar with the industry and the goal of the campaign."

I can only reply for myself, whilst I think that there are various reasons for hiring link monkeys. I chose to give it a shot because I develop my websites in my spare time and have very limited ressources for this purpose - since I want to concentrate on creating content, I thought it might be good to have somebody else for links.

What I wanted were people to do the work that I would have done: E-mail webmasters with websites that are genuinely useful for my users - and vice versa.

That is what I meant with "strictly white hat". I did not approach this issue naively, I think.

Crush




msg:3476542
 6:57 am on Oct 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I will take any link from anyone as long as it is indexed. Themeing does not exist. I see comment spam from arabic,Japanese site with English anchor that works fine. So relevancy is total bull I am afraid.

For quality I would look at alexa and page rank.

sitemaker




msg:3477776
 1:30 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Crush you are so wrong it's unbelievable

I pay no attention to PR and especially Alexa

Relevancy is everything, you just got to make sure your links are on the right pages ie.

1) Title tag containing relevant keywords
2) Relevant keywords in the url (but not so important)
3) The general theme of the site is better than just the theme of the page, but I still exchange links if just the page is relevant.
4) Outgoing links all pointing to similar topics, not pointing to off topic subjects
5) Pages with limited amount of links not 100's
6) Cached in Google, Sometimes I consider pages not cached and these still appear as backlinks within Google's Webmaster area.
7) I generally stay away from directory pages listed as /YourOnPage234of ThisCategory.php

Following this, I can get sites on the first page with just 2 or three backlinks meeting the criteria above.

Hollywood




msg:3477791
 2:02 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am getting ready to hire a link builder myself but they love to push link directory pages, as they own them and access them fast, they charge way to much and in the end I hate directory sites.

If any of you have suggestions for white-hat guys that know how to do this right sticky me please.

I just wish that there was an easy way to get people to send you (e-mail) link requests that matter not 1 out of 1000 that are not junk, any ideas on best method for this type of gathering? I have tried so many ways...

Hollywood

SEOMike




msg:3477798
 2:11 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sitemaker:
Crush you are so wrong it's unbelievable

Your point on link requirements is good, but take it easy. This is a friendly community where people should feel comfortable stating any opinion without getting flamed.

So relevancy is total bull I am afraid.

Crush: I disagree. Well, maybe at this exact moment it's still effective to have links from non-theme sites, but remember, anything that has the ability to artificially manipulate the SE indexes is a short term solution. You know that Google fights hard to stop us, and link building (free or paid) is one way of improving our position.

[edited by: SEOMike at 2:16 pm (utc) on Oct. 15, 2007]

pageoneresults




msg:3477820
 2:34 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am getting ready to hire a link builder myself but they love to push link directory pages, as they own them and access them fast, they charge way to much and in the end I hate directory sites.

We're glad you stopped in. Please, don't get caught up in that particular part of this frenzy, it is a bit dated.

If any of you have suggestions for white-hat guys that know how to do this right sticky me please.

It's not about the color of one's hat. It's about knowing what links you need to obtain. There won't be many, forget the numbers game. No, you'll acquire strategic link partners on a slow "natural" basis as you move forward with the development of your site.

Be careful in how you develop your Link Profile.

maximillianos




msg:3477843
 2:57 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is why I do link building myself. I have total control over the process... and I only have myself to blame if it all goes south... ;-)

pageoneresults




msg:3477850
 3:09 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

And I only have myself to blame if it all goes south.

If you are promoting a site that is responsible for your livelihood, or that of someone else, in this particular instance the buck stops in your pocket. You could easily garner 5, 10, 15 good quality links over a "natural" period of time. In the process, you'll know "exactly" what has taken place in regards to promotion of the site.

Entrusting this task to a third party who are not "Professionals" at what they do is akin to playing Russian Roulette with your Brand. I've received link requests on behalf of other companies before. I contacted the owner once of one of the companies being promoted. That owner had no idea that this type of promotion was being performed, or so they claimed.

If you are the President of a Search Marketing Firm and you are treating link development as a commodity, I personally feel you are at risk. You are ultimately responsible for the outcome of that client's campaign and these days, the type of link development I see being performed is more apt to cause potential challenges for those clients.

If I "had to" sub-contract link development to a third party, one of the areas I'd be focusing on are the number of links. If they are talking high numbers, cya! If they are talking low numbers, then let's talk and see what your strategies are and if they align with my goals.

You know what though? The above is just one small part of the process. What have you got for me to link to?

Oh, and one more thing. For me, if the third party is outside of the U.S. and I am promoting a U.S. Brand, you are not going to be considered for the project, in most instances.

ron_ron




msg:3477956
 4:10 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of the biggest problems in with marketing on the internet is that most companies do not have the time to do link building inhouse. I have outsourced link building many times and have been disappointed.

So, tell me board, how do I find a good link builder that won't get me in trouble? I have always found it hard to find a link builder that really knows what s/he is doing.

marketingmagic




msg:3477983
 4:40 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

To me, link building = advertising.

First you need a decent site, with great content. Then you advertise the hell out of it, offline and online.

This results in two things - sales from the media buys (which pays for itself), and natural one way inbound links from people reading the ads.

I've stayed away from recip linking, even tightly related ones - though I am not sure if this would get me in trouble.

Clark




msg:3478015
 5:22 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

What was nice about search engines was free traffic. Now there is so much focus on SEO, links and it is expensive too. Work done today can go up in smoke tomorrow by the tweak of the algo.

This field has gotten too crowded to interest me anymore. I'll always keep up to date on what's going on, but buying links? No waaaay. Time to come up with new strategies that no one else is doing instead of following trends and chasing search engine gold...

iThink




msg:3478084
 6:18 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

more than 50% consisted of www.urlwithindiantermsinit.tld in various versions and php-generated content in exactly the same layout - obviously clones of the same website.

my contact person was Dutch, whereas all the work was apparently done in India.

So you know the problems.

1. Your specifications were not good enough.

2. You outsourced to a person who outsourced it further. Did you even ask your Dutch contact about who was actually going to do the job for you? I guess no.

3. You have no respect for the people who are working for you (even if they are getting paid). You call them monkeys and you still expect quality work from them?

I'd say you deserved what you got.

Almost every day I see people posting projects on elance and similar sites. All that they mention in their list of requirements is "I need 200 links for my online Poker site in 2 weeks. I'll pay no more than $4 per PR4 link". Just how can one expect to get the desired results with requirements like that?

I can't agree more with martinibuster, you have to lead the team from the front to get the desired results and that is exactly what most successful people do.

Tapolyai




msg:3478145
 7:11 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I often outsource work.

I outsource because I lack the expertise, time, or resources to do the job. Sometimes I outsource because the 'expert' can do it more efficiently and more cost effectively for me.

I expect; nay; I demand a specialist to know their specialty. I expect my specialist, be it a butcher, baker, or candle stick maker to know their business.

I should not have to define every detail about the job. When I say to a baker I need a loaf of fresh wheat bread, I should not have to define what a, loaf, fresh, wheat, and bread are and are not.

'Link Money' with 6.8MM occurrences in G, is an industry de facto term, no matter how one considers it derogatory or not.

I have yet to find a firm to outsource link building, as I think it is often over priced, and highly volatile to fraud by the contractor.

Maybe there are no good link building firms out there.

[edited by: Tapolyai at 7:12 pm (utc) on Oct. 15, 2007]

CainIV




msg:3478171
 7:27 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

So relevancy is total bull I am afraid.

If it is now, it might not be tomorrow, and a large scale campaign for links in a competitive sector would then see large changes in ranking for a website that banked on that premise.

For quality I would look at alexa and page rank.

Alexa is not a good qualifier of traffic for many reasons, included it's often innaccurate and bloated result set.

martinibuster




msg:3478176
 7:39 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

When I say to a baker I need a loaf of fresh wheat bread...

You may very well receive naan. ;)

Seriously though, I don't think it's an entirely appropriate analogy- even though I agree that we shouldn't have to micromanage link monkeys. But these are different times.

Btw, link monkey is a common industry term for link hunters, it's not a derogatory phrase. Sort of the way "fag hag" doesn't mean the object of that term actually resembles a hag. Quite often the opposite.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:44 pm (utc) on Oct. 15, 2007]

bcolflesh




msg:3478177
 7:41 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I need some hag hunters to bake me some monkey-stuffed naan after reading all this.

This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: 58 ( [1] 2 > >
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