Link building has always been difficult especially when you want free links to a not so great site.
I get link requests all the time and rarely follow up. I rarely give someone a free link unless I write about their site for some reason. Otherwise I don't see the point. If a certain site might be good for my visitors, if possible I'll create or buy that site and then link to it ;-)
I think the best way for a site with not much to offer to get links now is to give away content that webmasters can slap ads on. Guest blogging and content sites related to the niche are something to look at. But then the links really aren't free as creating that content takes time and effort.
thanks for the reply, but I really just wanted to know if it has become more difficult in comparison to say 1 or 2 years ago. I'm aware of the fact that it's never (or well maybe many moons ago) been an easy task.
Yes link building has become a lot more difficult from a few years ago. Relevance seems to play a bigger part now we have found when it comes to ranking higher.
I've basically abandoned old school link building of top quality content and then going link begging. Simply doesn't work anymore, not for quality commercial sites.
That doesn't mean paid links necessarily, though it might.
Old school way:
1) Build great content
2) Ask for link
3) Get link
1) Build great content
2) NEW STEP!
3) Ask for Link
4) Get link
I'm still formulating what my options are for #2. Certainly you can insert 'offer cash' as #2 - that works by all accounts. However the last half dozen top quality links I got, the response from the site owners started with 'because of everything you've done for us'. The stuff I did for them was the new step 2.
There are likely other things to add in the mix. I'm still working on that might be and how I can create something repeatable, though I've got some ideas.
found it very interesting that you, in particular, brought that up (it not being that easy anymore - mildly put..) in that one thread.
In the very beginning of your link building campaign thread(the old school way), didnt you get 1 out of 3 (strong) .edu links that you asked for? Sounded like you were off to a good start with it - I assume your success rate must have dropped horribly from those 33%..for you to say that the old way just isn't working anymore, I guess?;(
Anyway, good luck for finding a great step 2! I'll see how my campaign for this site will work, hopefully I can still do without a step 2, but Im afraid that's wishful thinking hehe
I don't find it easy getting links the traditional way. Can't comment on what it was like years ago. But for B2B B&M sites it has imho never been easy.
@Mark A: look at my reply at jdancing(,please). I know that link building has never been an easy task. My point is/was..whether it has become dramatically more difficult during the last 1-2 (or so) years.
wheel seemed to be great at link building according to his forum posts on here, and have a relatively easy time - in comparison to most webmasters.
So when he mentioned in that one thread that he had gotten almost zero results from his link building campaign (in a thread that was about how google has basically killed linking out on the internet, if I remember right), that more than surprised me..as he seemed to be quite good at it!
Not trying to be annoying, but I really just wondered if it had changed and become even more (much more) difficult over the last 1-2 years or so!
Step 2 is shake some hands. Actually meeting people is still a solid way to get people to link to you. I don't think that will change unless we get a plague of door-to-door link beggars.
"I've basically abandoned old school link building of top quality content and then going link begging. Simply doesn't work anymore, not for quality commercial sites."
"I don't find it easy getting links the traditional way. Can't comment on what it was like years ago. But for B2B B&M sites it has imho never been easy."
The two of you reminded me about a technique I had thought of before. If you try to get links to a site that people don't really like to link to...
why not put your informational (link-worthy) content on another website. Go out and get the links...and once your link building campaign is done (or maybe before that..if you'd consider that bait & switch)...channel the link juice (and possibly visitors) from the informational site into your money-making site?
I'm not really a big fan of stuff like that one might consider sneaky...but then again if people wont link to great content simply because there's the perceived obstacle of a commercial site (doing ethical business, not ripping people off)...hmm....
Anyone done something like this? Is the link juice that gets lost along the way more than the additional link juice such an informational site can attract?
Is this against google's guideline in a way I don't see right now?
I think it would be hard to get links by just asking because I rarely link to sites that send me link requests unless that request is asking how much it will cost.
However, I am good at getting sites to link to my sites without paying for it. Just think outside the box. What would make you want to link to a site?
I agree that taking a step back and asking yourself "Seriously...Would you link to this if you were in their shoes?" is a good idea. But, again, I was wondering if it had gotten dramatically more difficult during the past 2 or so years, not whether link building was difficult in general :P - see my post from july 27, 8:53 AM
Anyway, welcome to WebmasterWorld! :-)