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How many people are still building links successfully?

 5:41 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was able to make a few link building campaigns "work", which means not nearly as good as I was hoping for. and the effort certainly didnt justify the returns.

Obviously, I'm not the first one with this problem LOL.

But what Id love to know is the following:

Do you know of any people who still are building links effectively - e.g. at a high ROI? I wouldnt be surprised if the top guys in this game are still doing it (or are even they not doing it anymore?).

would love to get an idea of the market for link building so to speak. Are the top 1% still doing it successfuly with a high ROI? or even the top 10% (and I overestimate how bad the situation looks)? Or is hardly anyone doing this well anymore?




 6:00 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

That's a loaded question. Much of the link building today is centered around fairly automated stuff; getting links where anyone can get links, or using automated methods to get somewhat one-up links.

In terms of the old school white hat linkbait/link begging, that still works, just with a much more limited success. I wouldn't disregard it as a base, but I don't think it's enough on it's own.

My next link building campaign, to be launched very shortly, is going to involve some unique content-type stuff followed by some link begging. But the link begging is going to be secondary - I'm going to offer something of unique value to people with top quality sites - and then pull the ole' switcheroo - you want access to what I got? You got it, conditional on paying me money AND a link. No link for me, you can go pound salt on what I'm offering.

The 'what I'm offering' could be considered linkbait, but it's more than that because my potential link sources want the linkbait - it's beyond just 'i have nice content, so give them a link'.

In fact, I'm expecting to run some ads in industry magazines, saying 'you want this, gimme a holler'. Hopefully the phone rings.

Sorry that's a bit vague. But if you can find something that website owners are demanding or can use even if it's not website related! then you've got a case to demand a link.

And I continue to get my one ups. Had a guy from a local computer user's group come by to use some specialized equipment. He offered some payment, I declined. Then somehow the conversation turned to links and how that's my form of conversation. I'm expecting a link from him. I do as much of that one-on-one link building as I can.


 12:58 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Last winter J.C. Penny reportedly got a lot of extra traffic during the Christmas season because their SEO department bought a lot of backlinks which boosted their site's Google rankings. So that was evidently a successful campaign.


 8:35 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Guest blog, write link bait, create cool web apps, get links from having a mobile app, comment on industry related blogs/forums without being a spammy c$#!, videos, product giveaways and buying sneaky sneaky links! Just a start really...use a backlink tool to see what others are doing as well (obviously)


 10:40 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

thanks for the replies @everyone...especially @you wheel.

the thing is...most of the SEO folks I know (one guy who is on here and runs his own sites successfully + other successful consultants)...they have basically abandonned the old school white hat link building approach. one says return on time just isnt there anymore, others are paying for links.

the first signal that struck me was that you/wheel (by who I had read many link building posts about successful campagins) started to be less than satisfied with his success at building links.

so it looked like there arent that many people out there anymore, who are actually doing it successfully...

@wheel - the stuff you mention sounds like you have basically stepped up the quality of your content extremely in order to get links. Have you been able to make this work, already? or is this your first attempt at trying this?

thank you!


 11:46 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not the content I've raised, though over the top content is part of it. It's the 'why would you link to me' that I think you have to take over the top.

The content is part of it, but great content + link begging is tough for sure. Change that to 'I have something unique that now you're aware of it you percieve as a need'. Well, I'll sell you the product, there's just one little condition........

I'm not so sure that this stuff isn't being done by the real hardcore SEO's. I think it's being done, but quietly.


 2:03 am on Aug 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

seems like we've been thinking along the same lines, wheel. ive done this kind of stuff - "why why why in the world would you link to this kind of content?" & trying to cater to 'needs' that webmasters have.

Unfortunately it hasnt worked out as well as I would have liked to (the first 2 or 3 attempts worked much better than I had expected, but then I got very little success)...i am hoping that if i had continued to try, I would have steadily improved at building links.

however doing this would be horrible resource allocation for myself at the moment (my main goal right now is still finishing my college degree :-), and I dont know how long links will stay how important for the search engines) + it would take me a ton of time that i simply dont have right now)

Have you already gotten out of that hole of building links, and made some of this stuff work (well) for you wheel? that was the main thing I was wondering (in my mind anyway, cannot necessarily be seen in that post hehe) - hope Im not coming off as too critical(?) - I always thought of you as someone great at building links, and when you started to mention on here how difficult it had gotten to build decent links, lately, that is pretty much one of the signs that showed me link building might be a crazy challenge at the moment if you couldnt do it anymore (take that as a compliment hopefully :-), it always seemed like building high quality links came easy to you!). Have you been able to go back to building links well, again (or is the stuff you mentioned mostly what you plan on working on to get back there)?


keep in mind i said i am hoping that if i had continued to try, I would have..... less than sure it would actually have worked out LOL


 6:59 am on Aug 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

A business associate of mine does a lot of link building that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole, e.g. article directories, paid links, etc and has enough success to keep going.


 10:17 am on Aug 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I do well with link building as I own the sites ;o) I gave up with link building as I was fed up seeing them getting dropped a few months are setting them up - so now control all my own links and make sure I spread the hosting around


 6:22 pm on Aug 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Decent links on quality, high traffic websites are tough to get, its not like it was in 2005/6. Now website owners realise the worth of what they think they got, and all pretty much demand some form of payment for links, and thats not even their best web space being offered.

I feel its a case of approaching related low-key websites, as these are easier to persuade, where the 'big authority' sites will almost certainly turn you down, and likely to not even reply back.

Eg: take the university websites, these have nearly always high PR resource pages - but unless you too own an authority website, you cannot match them in status, nor equal their link offering. See, such sites link to huge resources/well-known sites, so unless you are famous, I doubt you'll be on their radar somehow, and huge authority sites will always be able to pick and choose who they link to.

Lets face it, people chase links for SEO, when they should be doing it for targeted visitors who will return for them:

1. Portal needs returning traffic to make sales/pass the word
2. Shop window sites need to sell products
3. Forums want new members

so even with different needs, the traffic must be targeted, which general linking cannot provide, and most link campaigns fail. Also to do this en-mass requires automation, far beyond any webmaster 200 blog or site.

Unless you are the next TechCrunch or notgoingtouni, Id forget dreams of 1000's of links suddenly linking to you - chances are you wont have that big idea, and no fame bcos of it. No rush of links without serious fame and presense.

@ Wheel

I'm expecting to run some ads in industry magazines

Forget this and save your cash, I appeared in 2 top industry magazines and got nothing out of it. One magazine piece was very quite cool too, it just doesnt work that way as people wont link to you just bcos you appeared in some magazine.


 10:10 pm on Aug 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

That's not why I'm running the ads. The ads are to notify a group about my new 'product'. Just by letting them know, there's some obligation/need to partake of that product.

Except to partake of the product, I'm going to require a link back to me in most cases.

People that have to link to me as a condition of purchasing a product they believe they need. It's my most evil plan yet.

I wouldn't do a traditional ad though. I've spent thousands in years past with basically no return. I don't know what I'm doing there.


 12:43 pm on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

People that have to link to me as a condition of purchasing a product they believe they need. It's my most evil plan yet.

You really think this will work do you. See, the majority of businesses/sites that visit a website just to read adverts is small, even less will make a purchase and less will consider linking. Adverts are a secondary consideration thing - people seek information first.

Your best bet for free exposure is a press release to your local paper, so start sending it out and then phone the journalists and sell yourself that way.

Press articles DO get read. News articles are information.


 1:42 pm on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

You really think this will work do you. See, the majority of businesses/sites that visit a website just to read adverts is small, even less will make a purchase and less will consider linking.

I'm betting my business on it.

I expect you're reading the part where I said people 'need' it as a faint hope on my part. It's more along the lines of a professional obligation to have this product available, not a nice-to-have.

Say you're a home inspector and you develop a gadget that does something important, like I dunno, tests for mould. Other mould tests cost $2000 (I'm making this up, I have no idea), so people don't do it. Your new gadget retails at $300 - but you offer it to other home inspectors for $100 and a link to you website.

You now have two classes of home inspectors. Class A gives you links. Class B saves the $100 and lives nervously over inspecting a house that has mould that they didn't detect. A lawsuit waiting to happen.

For those that are looking at this trying to replicate this, this wasn't just a bright idea (though that was the seed of it, it was a question/problem I've seen in the industry for decades, just not a 'big' problem). I also spent months discussing it with vendors, developing it, dealing with lawyers, etc. It might look externally like a simple idea, but it's been months in the making. Might actually take it live today with any luck, then it's time to start link begging.


 4:32 am on Sep 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am sure that you'll be on their radar somehow, and huge authority sites will always be able to pick and choose who they link to.


 4:09 am on Sep 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sure guys can do it, at a high level, and do it well.

They are the thinkers and innovators of that area of SEO. Generally they are paid very well, because often building out high quality links takes commitment, hard work, creativity and manpower.


 9:07 am on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I do only on page SEO and then outsource the link building to freelance SEO people. There are lots of affordable SEO people out there in India and other Asian countries.

Link building is very time consuming and its good to outsource it to other people who can build good links and take only a small amount of money. It's all about finding such people.

This way you will be investing a small amount of money and if it all works well then you will be getting much better ROI.

@Makaveli2007 What you say?


 12:01 pm on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

The link we have got from India soon get deleted for some reason once payment is made. Waste of time in my experience and better to do with some control over your guys.


 12:25 pm on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)


considering some of the spammy link request I get from these "so called" Indian SEO / links companies I think anyone using them would need there head testing

The links they get must be so low quality they would never get picked up by G or offer any benefit


 6:06 am on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The key to getting natural links is value. Have content that is valuable and you will have no trouble getting people to link to you. Sure you may need to do some work to get people to read it, but if its good and they like it, its easy.

Spend more time focusing on providing value for readers/users/customers and in the long run you will do well.


 8:03 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

@SEOPunk the trick is to hire the people by the hour ... not the job. I have one person that churns out 10-12 hand made links per hour. She costs $3.50 an hour ... that's 80 links a day for 24 bucks ... and if her links start disappearing she has to go back and replace them, off the clock ....


 2:43 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Since link building is the key to get a higher SERP so it takes time. You can not expect a sudden boom in your inbound link no matter how much you are spending on it. Getting Quality back links is possible only if you have some quality. The best and most effective way to get some quality back link is link begging. Once you achieve the Quality yourself you will have tons of Offering from other low quality websites having high quality content or information.

In start every website have no quality but after improvements and improvements it become a Quality standard website. So I always considered NICHE as the QUALITY and not the PageRank of inbound link. I am quite satisfied by my link building campaign and have nice 4th place ranking in Google with my targeted keyword which has more than a trillion competition.



 1:52 pm on Nov 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've been on a link building campaign since shortly after Panda originally hit back in March. I can tell you that it's been an extremely slow process, but we've managed to get some highly ranked and high PR pages linking back to us along with some lower value, lower ranking pages. Overall, the last PageRank update has shot our PR values up across the board.

We haven't been aiming for difficult anchor text, as most sites will link back with our brand name as the anchor to a variety of different pages. The horrible side effect is that in some weird occasions, some internal pages will ranking for our brand name and our home page doesn't always get the #1 spot.

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