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Link Development Forum

    
Training a Link Building Team
BenFox




msg:4247423
 12:06 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I've got to train up some linkbuilders in the new year and was wondering if anyone had suggestions of good (free) resources for information on linkbuilding.

When they start they're going to know nothing about SEO but I'm going to have them read the Google SEO Starter Guide and a well known Beginner's Guide.

After that I want to move on to improving their theoretical understanding of the linkgraph before moving on to specific tactics for link building. Finding articles on tactics is easy but I was hoping someone might be able to recommend a good high level resource.

Also any other training material for link builders would be much appreciated.

 

cloudtap




msg:4247483
 3:28 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd use the DP forums, there is SEOBook's 101 ways to build links as well as other sites out there on all tactics for link building. Linkwheels are another thing that they should learn

BenFox




msg:4247490
 3:39 pm on Dec 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the response. There's too much "noise" on the DP forums for my liking but I appreciate the suggestion. Do you know anywhere that does a great breakdown of the technical side of linkbuilding? Articles that look at various tehories about the metrics that links pass?

Planet13




msg:4248210
 3:55 am on Jan 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd use the DP forums...


What are the DP Forums?

Hoople




msg:4248433
 3:14 am on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

What are the DP Forums?
Digital Point. +1 on the noise comment. IMHO DP's posts 'takeaway value' overall are a step down from here @WW (you have to read a LOT more and still get less value).

There are a number of great posts here in WW in the Library [webmasterworld.com] section. Ignore their post dates as the knowledge you seek is, for the most part timeless. Some that I found useful:

Link building case study [webmasterworld.com]

Link Development vs. Traffic Development and Staying with the Times [webmasterworld.com] by sugarrae
The ONE to read if reading the rest is too daunting!

Link Building According to Bing [webmasterworld.com]
"...is long-winded, but it's done with the intention of disclosure on what one can/can't do in the linking area..."

Second Tier Link Development [webmasterworld.com]

Some very wise posts in the above. The 'why' to do certain things is many times more valuable than 'how' type posts.

BenFox




msg:4248587
 3:40 pm on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the links Hoople - much appreciated

wheel




msg:4248596
 4:11 pm on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sugarrae has done a number of sessions at Pubcon's where she shows how to train new linkbuilders. If you can somehow get at that info, that'd probably be your best bet.

martinibuster




msg:4248708
 9:09 pm on Jan 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Is it necessary to train the link builders? All you really need to train is the point person, the manager, for the overall strategy. Everyone else below them can use scripted actions, much like Google support employees do.

Creating campaigns, choosing the direction to move forward should be handled by a point person for the link building account. The grunt work can be done through scripted responses by employees who do not need to know the higher level information, who may not be able to handle higher level information, but are perfectly capable to handle the routine scripted responses.

Robert Charlton




msg:4248823
 5:25 am on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

For the point person...

Link Development vs. Traffic Development and Staying with the Times
Popularity Has a Whole New Meaning
http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum12/3047.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Link Cliques - Rethinking Link Acquisition Tactics for 2009
How to Assert Your Relevance Among Established Sites
Membership required....
http://www.webmasterworld.com/supporters/3853810.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Have you read any Good Link Development Blogs/Articles?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/link_development/4212758.htm [webmasterworld.com]

jedz




msg:4248841
 7:03 am on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi Ben,

Why not hire a person who already have an experienced? It's a time consuming if you will need to train the person instead of looking for more experienced staff.

BenFox




msg:4248904
 11:28 am on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

@MartiniBuster - technically we could just have linkbuilders run through scripted actions but we want them to have the ability to make tactical decisions. I know it might not be the most effiecnt system initially but I think it's going to give them ownership of the role.

@jedz - We're going to be training them up to have a full and nuanced appreciation for SEO and I've noticed that a lot of people, even the heads of agencies, don't always have that kind of understanding. So hiring someone with more experience might seem to save time but really we're probably going to have to train them up anyway.

@Robert Charlton thanks for the pointers - I'll check them out.

Thanks for the feedback everyone; it's much appreciated.

martinibuster




msg:4249034
 6:49 pm on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am not saying my way is the best way. Your way likely has many merits. However I do want to expand on my post to add more details for others who may be interested in the topic. I want to emphasize that the task based approach I am proposing is not the only way. It's likely the way that best fits my management style.

...but we want them to have the ability to make tactical decisions.


That's what I'm getting at. Tactical decisions can be scripted. Tactical decisions are scripted wherever you interact with a banker or a waitress. Before the Internet, in the real world, I managed several teams of people in different departments simulataneously. Each department was tasked with a different goal, each member of the department had unique and different tasks requiring specific skills. I found that it was enough for me to know the laws, rules, and regulations behind the why we did what we did. All the workers needed to know is what to do and how to do it. That's where the script comes in. This is the task-based approach to training workers. Tasked based training gives you a greater ability to control the outcome.

When you talk to someone at Netflix, Google, or your phone company, the responses you receive are according to a set of scripts they have been trained to use for given situations. It's enough to teach them how to drive. They don't need to know how to remove and replace the engine.

From my experience, most people, regardless of education, experience, and age will not be cut out for higher level understanding of a job. You can train someone to change oil and most workers will be content to do that until they get bored and move on to real estate or data entry. It's the rare worker who becomes intellectually engaged with their job and desires a deeper experience with it.

If you train your workers in a task-based fashion as I am suggesting then you will find individuals who take to the job like a fish to water. Those are the ones to promote to a higher level of management if they demonstrate the ability to communicate well with others, can work independently, and show initiative and creativity. Most people do not have these qualities, regardless of age, experience, and education.

I am managing several simultaneous link campaigns and I have found there are a limited set of responses necessary to the task. Rarely does a situation call for a new response. For every campaign there are a limited set of actions to be taken.

The above is not the only way to manage a team for link building. It's certainly not the best because I don't think there is a best way, only different ways. I'm certain there are other approaches. I am sharing my approach with the hope that others will step up and share about their approach to the job.

CainIV




msg:4253138
 3:08 am on Jan 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

It all depends on time management and budget. It also depends largely on the ability to delegate.

Some people want to be involved at the tactical level and make primary decisions even if they have employees who might be experienced and intellectual enough to make those decisions.

However, the problem with giving ownership of the role of link assessment and analysis to a a link builder you have hired is that in my opinion they have absolutely nowhere near the experience to make those types of critical decisions for clients in competitive genres yet.

shnize




msg:4258111
 10:49 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am glad you asked the question. Now I have a lot of good material to read over. I really don't think I can drop links in here but if you go look at what Eric Ward has done you could probably get some really good information.

Receptional




msg:4259961
 6:18 pm on Jan 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

I Concur with shnize. Look at Eric Ward's stuff. Also Garrett French's Ebook.

But it is also not just about the training when you are talking "team" - it is also about how you maintain quality control and transparency. You will be MUCH better off if you have a diggerent person verifying a link's "worth" to the one that acquires it or sets out on the strategy to acquire it. It may simply be a strict excel spreadsheet structure or a more elaborate CRM system, but you need good project management tools and need to teach the team to use these properly too.

martinibuster




msg:4260031
 10:52 pm on Jan 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Garrett French has an eBook out? I've been putting an e-book together but have been on the fence about whether to release it or not.

CainIV




msg:4260371
 3:45 am on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Mr. French does have an Ebook out, yes.

Hugene




msg:4260748
 7:52 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Somehow I feel like I should know this, but what are "Linkwheels"?

Do you mean circular-linking (Site A -> Site B -> Site C) ?

On the training topic, I think the most important is to teach them not to create "spam-like" links. keep it quality (as much as that is possible for a link-building campaign).

JohnRoy




msg:4260954
 3:13 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Is it necessary to train the link builders? All you really need to train is the point person, the manager, for the overall strategy. Everyone else below them can use scripted actions, much like Google support employees do.

Agree. Investing in your employee to teach them the complete industry is not what I would choose.

Another reason why NOT: they might say goodbye and offer their own link building services to your competition...

[edited by: JohnRoy at 3:25 am (utc) on Feb 1, 2011]

JohnRoy




msg:4260960
 3:24 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

what are "Linkwheels"?

Link Wheels at WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

BenFox




msg:4261035
 8:20 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Agree. Investing in your employee to teach them the complete industry is not what I would choose.

Another reason why NOT: they might say goodbye and offer their own link building services to your competition...


Slightly off topic but staff retention isn't a problem in this scenario - it's a large company that invests in its staff precisely so they don't feel like they could be doing better at its competitors.

Anyway anybody with any sort of drive and passion about their work is going to be able to teach themselves pretty much everything there is to know about link building in their spare time. Why not formalise that, guide it and make sure that you're both reading from the same page?

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