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Starting link building on a four year old site
My niche encyclopaedia's growth has flattened. What next?

 12:19 pm on Sep 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have a four year old niche encyclopaedia that grew nicely until the middle of last year. Since then growth has slowed and traffic now seems to be flat.

I have concentrated on producing good quality content and I have got very good feed back - including a glowing review on one of the biggest sites in my niche.

What I have not done, is link building, except at the start. I did a lot of directory links, put footer links in my Wordpress themes (i.e. themes I give away), and got one way links from good quality links pages - e.g. from academics listing resources for students studying subjects related to my nice.

All that was in 2005. Since then I have done nothing, and relied on good content to get further links. Its worked but no longer seems good enough.

I am at the top of the SERPS for many searches, but I am not for many more. The main competition is Wikipedia, and one site that is about ten years old and well established.

I am finding it difficult to find more of the same. I have already got a lot of the low hanging fruit first time round. I have read through most of the forum library and a lot of other resources, but I am finding it hard to apply. Any hints on link building for a site of this type?



 2:43 pm on Sep 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Its worked but no longer seems good enough.

Not good enough how?

If you've got nice backlinks, and have built an authority site that ranks on your existing content but are looking for more growth then I'd suggest looking at just adding more content. More content on existing authority sites tend to rank pretty nicely.

If your content isn't ranking, then I'd probably go link begging not for the whole site, but just for the pages that need a boost.


 7:17 pm on Sep 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

By not good enough, I mean not sustaining growth. After three years of moving up steadily, even in periods when I was not working on the site, it does not feel too got.

If your content isn't ranking, then I'd probably go link begging not for the whole site, but just for the pages that need a boost.

Thanks, that is definitely a good point. Deep links are not that good - mostly (not entirely) from blogs and forums. There are lots of pages that are a little way down the SERPS that could do with a boost.

The problem is that it is even harder for me to find sites that I can prod into deep linking.

I suppose I deserve to be told that there is no secret sauce here, and I should just keep at it till I find something?


 8:29 pm on Sep 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

how many outbound forward links do you have to relevant sites? do you have any relevant reciprocals?


 5:47 am on Sep 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

No reciprocals (all though there one or two sites I have linked to that have linked to me without there being any agreement).

There are external links on about 10% of pages.


 12:25 pm on Sep 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well, I've got a site with a similiar situation, my intention is to give it a push upwards and bring in more traffic. It's older, had an initial link dev push a number of years ago and is still ranking, but I want more. So here's what I'm doing (or hoping to do, never seems to be enough time):
- adding instructional videos to the site.
- adding historical research info to the site.
- adding some 'neat-o' calculators to the site. Purpose of the calculators is not the calculation but rather the novelty.
These first three are intended to act as linkbait.
Then I'm going to add a bunch of new articles, probably another 50 to 100.

I've not done video's before so I'm unsure of how that will play out.

Once all that's online, then my intention is to do another link building campaign.

Secondarily behind that, I've been working on some relationships over the past couple of years; some secondary -not-directly-related-to-link-building stuff. The stuff my wife complains about as doing work on that doesn't make any money. Some of that stuff has just in the past month or so started to bear some heavy fruit, I'm going to think about how I can use these connections for link building, or perhaps to drive traffic. You might consider this as well - any friends or relationships in the business that you haven't squeezed for a link?


 6:12 pm on Sep 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I mean not sustaining growth

Are you sure you haven't simply saturated your market?


 4:35 am on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

@wheel, thanks, I think I need to think about link bait. Does the calculator thing still work well?

@piatkow, yes I am sure. I get a small fraction of the traffic that my biggest competitors get.

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