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Link Development Forum

    
Minimizing Frustrations With Link Building
Planet13




msg:4339141
 6:32 pm on Jul 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Don't know if anyone has an idea about this, but...

So I was going through my list of about two thousand sites that I could potentially ask a link from, and I noticed that a lot of the sites that I found had been abandoned long ago. They were on hosts such as angelfire or other "free" shared hosting, and there seem to be a couple of sites that now have "archives" of geocities sites, since I guess geocities has Gone Elvis (I think that reocities is one such site).

There were some other sites that had their own domain but it looks like they hadn't been updated since 2001. Some of them you could still fill out a contact form, but once you submitted it, you get a page not found error.

So the question is, Does anyone have any suggestions on how to easily / quickly determine what sites / domains are most likely NOT going to updated? Because when you have some many sites in a spreadsheet, it is a big time waster just to click on the link, go to the site, and look around and try to figure out whether it's still maintained or not.

Maybe you have a mental list of shared domains that you don't even bother looking at?

One Tip I have: I have the seo quake plugin installed and when a page loads it will give you a note saying how many domains are using the same google analytics id. So sometimes if I look at a potential directory, and I see that the same GA ID is associated with 50 other domains, it seems likely that page is run by some SEO person who is just trying to build sites that link to their money site.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

 

CainIV




msg:4339345
 4:03 am on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

We don't have an easier way of doing this. We send out an email to each person we want to try and get a link from.

It is difficult to ascertain when a website is abandoned. I have emailed many in my time that I thought were completely gone, only to find someone replying within an hour. It's hit or miss. Best to call or email everyone that looks to provide value to you, your business and campaign.

FranticFish




msg:4339392
 7:37 am on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some of them you could still fill out a contact form, but once you submitted it, you get a page not found error.


I've sometimes still had success after this by chasing the admin contact for the domain (admittedly many times this info is hidden).

Whenever I can now I get a phone number. Sometimes I've managed to get name and number from the designer / webmaster - or get a message relayed through them.

Response rates via phone are so much better than via email.

Planet13




msg:4339601
 5:52 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi there, CainIV and FranticFish:

At what point do you decide whether it is worth it to spend the time and energy to purse the link though the phone or other methods?

I am up most nights until 2:00 am writing link request emails, haven't shaved in about two weeks, don't really remember what my son's face looks like (a bad thing), nor my wife's face (a good thing).

I guess what I am asking is, how do you decide how much time and energy a particular link is worth?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Planet13




msg:4339603
 5:55 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

@ CainIV


I have emailed many in my time that I thought were completely gone, only to find someone replying within an hour.


Yeah, I did get one of those last year. The response wasn't within an hour - more like two days - but he did tell me that the link to my site was the first link he had added in five years.

Hoople




msg:4339629
 6:45 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some of them you could still fill out a contact form, but once you submitted it, you get a page not found error.
Hit a few of those myself. A few give up in the error or the page source the email address the form was to be sent to.

Searching on that email address gave an associated name. Searching on that name gave another email address.

An email sent to the new email address resulted in a link shortly therafter.

Planet13




msg:4339668
 8:18 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

An email sent to the new email address resulted in a link shortly therafter.


Glad to hear that. It is encouraging.

By the way; did you mention to them that there contact form was broken? I guess that would get you in there good graces. However, it would also make it easier for your competitors to contact them if they tried to submit to the same site.

Crush




msg:4339672
 8:24 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

fire up the mailer and go to bed. Let the grunts deal with the replies in the morning.

FranticFish




msg:4339685
 8:48 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

At what point do you decide whether it is worth it to spend the time and energy to purse the link though the phone or other methods?

I'm new to this and still learning but I always phone now if I can.

There's usually nothing special about the sites I work on; I always used email to start and success rate - a 'yes' - was 2-3%.

Now, even for sites that aren't great, response rate (as in 'yes, send me that email to my personal email address') is more like 80%, and final success rate more like 25-35%.

Recently, for the first time, I was asking for links on the phone for a business that my 'prospects' had heard of. Response rate there was close to 100% and final success rate 75-80%.

Lesson learnt: BE KNOWN!

Planet13




msg:4339703
 9:06 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

@ FranticFish:

Thanks for the numbers.

Do you have a script (or general guide) that you use when you call? I've never been good at making cold calls for anything. And unfortunately, people have told me I have a voice like a telemarketer, which makes it worse. Maybe they mean I am TOO polite when I call?

What is the first thing you say / ask when you call?

Planet13




msg:4339704
 9:08 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

@ Crush:

Let the grunts deal with the replies in the morning.


That would be great, except that I AM the grunts... :(

FranticFish




msg:4339730
 10:17 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I worked at sales for a while in another life and was useless, probably because I hate it with a passion.

I tried cold calling when I set up on my own and failed miserably at that too.

First thing: introduce yourself, introduce the business, explain how your business (or the business you're calling for) relates to theirs.

My first rule is I NEVER mention Google or anything technical. This much I learnt from sales jobs: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Although if you get someone with some technical knowledge then switch to jargon to impress them, drop some SEO hints into the conversation.

My second is that I don't have a script. I found that if you have a script you just reel it off. Ever taken a sales call and felt like you're being read small print by someone with a gun to their head? That's what scripts do to people. Also, if you're on a script and then get asked questions you don't anticipate then you suddenly switch to 'real you' mode and people notice the difference.

All I can say is to be yourself, say it your way (but be brief and straightforward), and really LISTEN to what you're being told. You just pick it up as you go. Make an effort to talk a little slower than you think you should until you feel relaxed and confident about what you're saying. Finally, recognise that people are busy and once you get a 'yes' get the f*ck off the phone unless THEY want to chat.

One other thing I do is to tell them the email address I'm using to send and who it'll be from. I do everything I can to get them to remember my name.

Planet13




msg:4339734
 10:25 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks FrancticFish:

I guess my next question would be, how do you even start the conversation? Do you say something like: "Oh hi, I was just calling with a question about your web site?" Or something like that?

The more details you could give, the better.

Thanks again.

ken_b




msg:4339750
 11:30 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

So here's one that worked to get a link from me.

"Hi ken;
One of my customers came in the other day with a printout of a list of (business type) on your website and asked me why my (business) wasn't listed there. How do we get a link from your website?

Thanks,
(business person)
business name
etc.
etc.

My response..... tell me more about your (business). Got the info, gave the link.

Planet13




msg:4339753
 11:35 pm on Jul 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the tip. :)

Planet13




msg:4340185
 9:36 pm on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, today was a bad day...

Checked my email this morning and I got like 10 rejections from the last two days. Everything from people telling me that they abandoned their site, or their webmaster died and they don't know how to update their site themselves. There was a "thanks for reminding me I need to take that site down anyway."

One woman literally wrote a ten paragraph response about how that web site used to represent a significant part of her dreams for the future and how her life has changed and what her new dreams are and yadda yadda yadda... Really, it would have just been more compassionate of her to just tell me to go take a hike.

Then, to top it off, there were a couple of "your site really isn't good enough for me to link to."

I was about to write a long email back saying how wikipedia, university of Michigan and Emory university all thought it was good enough to link to, but decided that discretion was the better part of valor in this instance.

Besides, I've got like three thousand other sites I am trying to get links from, so it's not like I don't have anywhere else to look for links.

martinibuster




msg:4340191
 9:59 pm on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

people telling me that they abandoned their site.. "thanks for reminding me I need to take that site down anyway."


Offer to buy it.

their webmaster died and they don't know how to update their site themselves.


Some email responses can be treated as an opportunity. You can still obtain the link. Offer to buy it. One site I approached, learned was abandoned, purchased, rehabilitated and added content to has earned me a substantial amount of money. It's not uncommon. I've heard the same story from others who have initially approached a site for a link and ended up purchasing the site and earning significant amounts of money from it.

...there were a couple of "your site really isn't good enough for me to link to."


The opportunity to obtain the link is still there. If someone thinks your site is not good enough, then craft a polite email thanking them for the feedback, then tell them that your site has been featured on bla, bla, bla, won bla, bla awards, is recognized as a leader in the space by .edu,.gov, etc. and any other verifiable third party signals you can produce to demonstrate that your site is over qualified for a link.

Planet13




msg:4340241
 2:56 am on Jul 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks, martinibuster.

I will think about it when I am in a better mood. This afternoon turned into a day filled with bounced emails... so I am going to have to spend some hours tracking down working emails for all the requests I wrote this afternoon.

Thanks again for the encouragement though.

CainIV




msg:4342992
 6:10 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

At what point do you decide whether it is worth it to spend the time and energy to purse the link though the phone or other methods?


25% Hunch
50% Metrics of the potential linking site itself
25% Time available in total for link building

I am up most nights until 2:00 am writing link request emails, haven't shaved in about two weeks, don't really remember what my son's face looks like (a bad thing), nor my wife's face (a good thing).


You should have scripts for this purpose....

I guess what I am asking is, how do you decide how much time and energy a particular link is worth?


Metrics analysis.

tangor




msg:4342994
 6:45 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

At what point do you decide whether it is worth it to spend the time and energy to purse the link though the phone or other methods?

For me... it depends on whether that link will serve visitors to my site. Have a feeling that the SEs (g in particular) do the same.

Link building is part of what we have to do, of course, but link building for SEO sake, as in the old term for SEO, is not anywhere as strong as it used to be.

Pasteur, Currie, and perhaps Sabin had "magic bullets"... I fear there are few left in the bandolier for webmasters these post Panda days...

Planet13




msg:4343004
 8:06 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

@ CainIV:


Metrics analysis.


Could you elaborate, please?

What metrics do you look at? Just page rank of that page? How many inbound links they have? How old is the page? How few other pages they link to? All of the above?

Thanks in advance.

Planet13




msg:4343005
 8:14 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Link building is part of what we have to do, of course, but link building for SEO sake, as in the old term for SEO, is not anywhere as strong as it used to be.


You know, I was looking through the SERPs today for sites that are not in my niche, and I could see why so many people are disraught over panda. Lots of big name / big money retailers taking up the top spots where there had (probably) been smaller sites with optimized text ranking before.

But in each of those instances where there is a mega chain in the top spots, all of them certainly had a boatload of backlinks. Far more than any of the smaller businesses had to their sites.

I am sure there are exceptions, but in my brief tour around the SERPs, they all had backlink profiles that put their competitors to shame.

Also, as martinibuster and wheel have pointed out in other threads, there are lots of spam sites doing really well right now, too.

So I am still not convinced that we should break out the eulogy for link building just yet.

CainIV




msg:4344372
 6:06 am on Jul 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

CainIV, Could you elaborate, please?


-Age of site
-Age of page on the website
-Number of relevant inbound links to that page and quality assessment of those links
-Location of potential link on the page
-Number of outbound links on that page
-Relevancy of outbound links on that page
-Page rank of page
-Cache date of page
-Internal link structure to page
Type of link on page (Listing, contextual link, advertising placement, resource list, comment, sponsorship, etc.
-Title and H1 tag of that page
-Relevance of page keywords to core keyword query
-Length of time link could be negotiated for

Hope this helps

I am sure there are exceptions, but in my brief tour around the SERPs, they all had backlink profiles that put their competitors to shame.


Definitely a good observation. Google is now able to use a much wider range and rich set of signals to determine relevance of a given page, and of brand.

In my estimation, diversity wins currently - a wide mix of a range of different types of citations that all support the notion of your brand.

Always think from where your brand would be 'expected' to have links at.

T

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