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Link building case study

 8:16 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've just launched a new website and am going to back it up with a link building campaign. I'm going to document my link building here, and welcome any comments.

- link building pros will find this boring. Perhaps small indie business owners will find this useful (which is what I am).
- I'm starting out with great content. I'm in a competitive niche and a regular old website won't cut it.
- I'm looking for 'people' to give me links, not 'sites'.
- I expect folks will find I don't have a lot of surprises.
- current stats, Google has <30 pages indexed (I just launched 4000-5000 pages). Yahoo shows <3500 backlinks.

[edited by: wheel at 8:20 pm (utc) on Feb 8, 2010]



 4:18 pm on Apr 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good thread. Haven't seen any comments about the placement of your links on other websites. Going after top of page, higher level, within a detailed write-up, etc.

When exchanging links, I have also found it useful to have a PR4, PR3, PR2, PR1 to trade links with like minded folks. Usually gives you some bargaining power.

Leaving testimonials with a link back to your website is a great thing to do as well.


 5:09 pm on Apr 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good thread. Haven't seen any comments about the placement of your links on other websites. Going after top of page, higher level, within a detailed write-up, etc.

I don't get into any of that. The sites I target for links are not interested in swapping links, and aren't likely interested in doing things from an SEO perspective. The sites I'm approaching are linking to me because they like the site as a resource.


 9:27 am on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

As has been said by others - very helpful and provocative thread. Had a potential web project with a local professor. Didn't come off but he was very apologetic that it didn't come off and complimentary about my services. Your article made me think - why not jot him a line and ask for a link from his site anyway! He put the link on within minutes of me emailing him.

Don't want to hijack it with my questions but - about your calculators. Do you put them onto your site and ask people to link to them or on their site with a link back to you? I have something similar-ish - One of my sites charges for people to do practice tests using official government licenced questions in a flash quiz format. I could offer a free version with limited number of questions.
Using your calculator experience would you think it best to:
put it on my site and ask others to link to it (likely to get low return)
offer it to others to put on their site and ask them to put a link to me on their site
offer it to others with a button at the end saying "now get the full version"
or any other way of using it to generate a link


 10:58 am on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I mostly put the calculator on my site and ask for links. But I do build some pretty good calculators, they take some time to spec out.

I'm amazed at how many calculator opportunities there are. There was a company that advertised nationally something along the lines of 'what's better, A or B' and then had something gimmicky like 'neither, we're better!'. But the question of A or B was very natural - and there really weren't any calculators online for it! So I built on, and got links and traffic. It was drilled into everyones head for two years to ask 'should I buy A or B'.


 7:01 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been building links this way off and on for my mega site since 2004. It works. I believe that chasing high ranking is a little like chasing after ghosts that are here today, and gone tomorrow for no reason. But still, the site earns almost 6 figs, so the slow, personalized, all day hunting down of 1 individual, customized emails, = does work.

It also works with press releases and newspaper reporters in that specific subject and identifying them through the newspaper directory. I was able to get some major newspapers to do stories by using this tactic.

It's slow and tedious work. You have to try and make it fun by comparing the websites you pass through, see what others are doing, taking notes, coming up with ideas.


 7:04 pm on Apr 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

You can also get their mailing address and send them free SWAG with your logos, etc. I haven't tried it yet, but always wanted to. If you give people something for free, they might feel obligated to give something back and hopefully that will be a link. - Water bottles, coffee cups, thumb drives, other cool stuff.


 10:33 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

thanks great Wheel


 1:48 am on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

am about to read this whole thread (thanks for sharing wheel!), but this here

"And I emailed them with specific details on how their visitors would be looking for information found only on my site, so they should make it available to their visitors."

basically sums up my idea of link building completely:

1. you need to figure out a way to create a really useful (and unique) piece of content for a certain group of people
2. however that only matters if there are also webmasters who are willing to share that useful piece of content with the above group of people
(either b/c they're altruistic ...or... b/c they have something to gain from it and know it (e.g. someone with a money making site that has linked out to usefulc ontent before knowing that the benefit he gets from it > then giving out a link)

I think its all about finding a way to get a certain group of webmasters to share something you create and put on your site with their audience.

If you had the remedy for "really bad disease X", then you could target all sites about "really bad disease X" (whose visitors have or know someone with really bad disease X), and they would very likely share your remedy for "really bad disease X" with them....which would equal a link.

(Of course having a remedy for a disease is an extreme example, but it also shows that the more useful your piece of content is the more likely itll be shared/receive a link)


 7:00 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi wheel

Wanted to thank you in public for this (and all the other) highly informative and well documented link development endevours - got me thinking to the point of me now having a way to long list of to-do's

My list includes the following major points
0 a new version of my downloadable calculator
1 A online demo calculator
2 some technical research - documents on how the calculator works
3 Email to some high ranked resarch .edu and .com sites i know do research in the field og my calculator
4 Research for more .edu sites - every University are likely to have some courses/research in my calculator
5 Emails to sites about calculators, letting them know of my online version

So thank you wheel, you really changed my perspective on how to take my business to the next level!



 7:06 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hey wheel,

would love to ask you something - in some other thread I read a couple of minutes ago, you said that even though you had stepped up the quality of your content the same stuff you were doing a couple of years ago yielded 0 results, today.

I dont have time to go through this long thread again, right now, but when I did read it (a few weeks ago I think) it didn't sound like you were too pessimistic about link building and that your way of building links was still working out great?

Did I misunderstand some of that? You sounded very pessimistic about (non-paid) link building in this other thread I read a couple of minutes ago!


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