|Finding Link Opportunities |
Does anyone have any pointers for finding good link sources. I have done all the searches I can think of in the search engines using the search commands. I just cant find many good on target sites for my niche. It is a small niche but I dont know of any other relevant places to try and get links. I dont want to move to far out from my niche since it wont relate all that well to the topic. I have many social sites set up for it and have purchased a select few directory listings.
A few on topic sites have linked to me but that's about the best I can seem to do. Its a Ecom site its well designed but written content is not my main focus except for the product descriptions.
It ain't that easy any more. You're asking a question so broad that it's like saying 'how do I make money online'.
Some would suggest you read the link building library here, and you should do that. I also suggest you read every thread in the link building forum here going back years. That was something I did years ago.
You're going to need a baseline understanding before you can ask specific questions.
Oh, and go to a pubcon - there's one in November. Beg borrow or steal the money if you have to. At the end of the week you'll have some ideas on how to build links.
|Does anyone have any pointers for finding good link sources. |
Do you know where your competitors are getting links from? It is usually a good starting point to try and get links from the same places.
However, you should really have some idea of how to value the quality of those links. Are they on-topic? High authority? Would they drive traffic to your site?
Also, while some people dismiss it outright, having link exchanges with a few select related websites never hurt anyone. Just make sure that if visitors came to your site and saw that outbound link to another site, it would make sense to them.
As wheel mentioned, look through the library. Also, do look at every post by wheel, martinibuster, and CainIV on these boards. they know what they are talking about.
You WILL need some more content than just your ecommerce descriptions. But content can take many forms, not just necessarily articles.
Ultimately, you will need content that people WANT to link to. Identify the people from whom you want to receive links, create content that would appeal to them (and that they would be "advocates" for), and then tell them about it.
I started reading the link library that is going to take years to go through and longer to completely understand. I have looked at my competitors links many of them are very low quality blog post but they number quite high. I think with a few key high quality links I can get to the first page fairly easily but I just have to wait and see.
|I think with a few key high quality links I can get to the first page fairly easily but I just have to wait and see. |
Yes, it seems that getting a few quality links can help amplify the value of lesser quality links.
From the library, here are some threads to start with:
One example I saw is a woman painter who sells paintings that depict a pretty niche topic. She contacts lots of blogs and sites that write about this topic and allows them to use photos of her artwork on their site, in exchange for a link.
So she gets the value of a link PLUS a little bit of PR value, since people will see her paintings and her name.
(Similarly, I am just starting to do this with some travel photos. I'll let you know how it goes.)
Maybe you can do that with shots of your products? Maybe you can show them "in action" and then you can give them out to non-competitor sites in exchange for the link and PR?
Another thing I did was with a survey that was related to a specific event, so it was time sensitive. I got a few links, and a few mentions on facebook / twitter. I totally did it last minute, and I really should have started preparing four or five months ahead of time. There is potential there, but you really have to think of a systemic way of PROMOTING it that is NOT going to eat up all your time.
|contacts lots of blogs and sites that write about this topic |
Just done a search on Google for 'Paintings blogs'
and there arent enough general painting subject blogs period to do this with (never mind specialist blogs). Majority of the blogs I found are Wordpress, many with zero link pages with no reference to link-exchanging at all and of bad quality anyway.
I dont touch blogs for linking purposes and never will. Far superior ways to link these days.
|and there arent enough general painting subject blogs period to do this with (never mind specialist blogs). |
She doesn't submit to painting blogs.
She paints pictures of widgets. She contacts sites that write about about widgets. There are plenty of sites that write about these widgets, but they don't have much visual media.
People who write about widgets seem to like her paintings, and are more than happy to link to her. Often in their posts, they comment freely on how nice her artwork looks.
Of course, I don't have access to her analytics or her ranking data, so I can't say how much of a boost in rankings it gives, or how much revenue it generates from direct traffic.
But for her situation (since she already has the paintings since that is what she sells, and has thumbnail size images of them already), it is a low effort, cost-effective method of getting links.
Maybe the original poster has some sort of media they can use in a similar fashion.
There are not loads of these specific websites - thats my point.
But you said it perfectly though -
, which says they cant stand out as nobody's linking to them.
|they dont have much visual media |
There's a site in my sector with a keyworded domain, its sat at NO1 for years - years, and I havent seen anyone shift it yet. I know this has nothing to do with content, but it is to do entirely with off-site SEO work.
My guess is their also obviously spending vast amounts of cash to stay at No1. They got 10'205 links alone and I know sites with more than they got, yet they get their behinds handed to them.
Ranking is not about links, its about money.
I went and read Wheels post about building links for a site last year and how he goes trough link pages looking to see who links where. That gave me a good deal of ideas. Wish he would have finished the post out thought was some great info.
Unfortunately my widgets are all over the web so to speak so I cant use Planet's approach even though its a good one.
Develop an assets list and resources list.
Match queries using your keywords - both informational and transactional.
Parallel your contact approach to the query.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Using queries and understanding queries at a high level allows you to return the most relevant set of results for any query type.
This doesnt need to be complicated.
99% of folk on the web dont have a clue about running a business. If they did, then they wouldnt be struggling to find what is very basic methods to accelerate the link building.
Their struggling and always will.
Ofcourse, their main problem is their biz idea stinks, its the first mistake they all make. If noone wants it and you only get 500 visitors a year, then drop the idea right away as noone will find the site to even link with it. Pretty obvious that one.
So to be successful in link building, you must get a great idea, you cannot do this with a £200 wordpress blog or personal celebrity website or some get rich quick affiliate program.
People will only link to amazing or useful stuff, er, which goes back to quality and content.
|People will only link to amazing or useful stuff, er, which goes back to quality and content. |
Demonstratably false. Probably because you're working under the wrong assumptions.
People do not link for reasons of content. They link because it's beneficial to them. Having good content is one way to tickle their fancy, but it's not the only way. And perhaps increasingly it's not even the best way.
|t is a small niche but I dont know of any other relevant places to try and get links. I dont want to move to far out from my niche since it wont relate all that well to the topic. I have many social sites set up for it and have purchased a select few directory listings. |
Seems like you've got the first step.
Check the backlinks of your competitors, and sites that currently rank. You can get specific sites and ideas from there.
You can delve outside your niche, though stay related. For example, make lists of the following industries:
- who are suppliers/manufacturers for your product
- who are the consumers of your product
- who is related to your niche or does something similiar.
Look for any industry that has a point of contact. Then go mine that niche for links.
That'd be the second step IMO.
|Of course, their main problem is their biz idea stinks, its the first mistake they all make. |
Yes, that is entirely true.
Having a unique value proposition is the most important step.
Contrary to the naysayers who say it can't be done, Wheel posted an example of a way to segment link projects into niches. That is not the only way to segment link prospects. Wheel simply gave you an example to show one method out of many. There are many more. Don't listen to those who say it can't be done.
Sure. Do the same thing for levels of gov't, looking for directories. Regional/municipal, state, national. By regulatory body, etc.
I tried to convince my local region gov't to put up a directory - offered to pay for it. It didn't go forward, but maybe youre local gov't/town council has a directory of local businesses - or it's worth a call to your mayor to suggest that perhaps they should be promoting local businesses on the web - as a service to both businesses and visitors. And if they complain about not wanting to look biased, tell them to list everyone then. I would expect that a link from a small regional gov't body like that would be worth something decent from an SEO perspective - normally they're backlinks are from state level, and then above that from the federal level - so some nice link pushthrough.
|People will only link to amazing or useful stuff, er, which goes back to quality and content. |
The word "only" makes this worth a comment, as wheel has done. I think Google, Amazon, the BBC, National Geographic etc are amazing and have tons of useful stuff, but I don't link to them in a way that will give them link love. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have never linked to them.
I link to sites for the following reasons:
- Relevance to my page and my readers (no expectation of a link back)
- No relevance to my page but still valuable to my readers.
- To stroke someone's ego (expectation of a link or other quid pro quo)
- For no special reason other than it feels right.
That just for my personal sites. For clients' sites I would apply more rigour to relevance, but I know that they will link to off-topic sites if they want to.
The best way for me is to apply the WIIFM test before approaching a potential link partner, but this also applies to unsolicited links. Many niches can use the "ego" hook. Find an expert on that subject. They might not even have a commercial website, e.g. they could be a professor at a uni or a politician. Think of questions to formulate an interview that puts them in a positive light. You could leave it at that and hope that they might link to their interview from their .edu or .gov, but if appropriate, you may want to suggest that they link *because it might benefit their own website*.
I never link to the likes of the BBC (even though its one of the coolest sites going) - its not targeted for me. But I do link to large corporate sites, not that I need to as they come to me as clients anyway.
Never saw any real benefit to giving away major link space to 'big websites' (or any actually) - mainly as you'll not get a reciprocal, the corps tend to laugh at webmasters as their not taken seriously, and I learnt this years ago, when first starting out, way before founding one of the largest websites on the net today.
Linking out is always a difficult decision, and my biz is based on 'giving a freebie', as its necessary to provide my visitors with a resource. But I wont give benefit beyond a very basic offering or you go into giving away far too much, which always means valuable homepage/high ranked pages/webspace, and its money for majority of websites. Lets face it - money talks!
|For no special reason other than it feels right. |
I'm not into and hate the above mantra, when I do things, its solely for what I get out of it, every biz decision is taken with a attitude, or I'm wasting my time if the biz doesnt move forward or grow. Like most businesses, if it doesnt accomplish fairly major things, then its not going to do its job for its users whether advertisers or vistors.
I find it ammusing when folk expect linking to just take-off, go auto-pilot, critical mass etc - which is crazy talk/belief, as most sites arent appealing enough, and expectations combined with ego is fatal. We all love what we do, but logic is crucial and no matter what your level of link knowledge is, is pointless without that money-making, media buzz web idea. Personally, I blame the media, the web, Google and people's greed for wealth, they did this to others and its cruel to make others think they can just 'do it too', bcos they can't!
Inventing any old idea and expect it to work is crazy. The idea must be a goer from the off, useful to the masses (eg: millions) and ideally highly expandable into other sub-areas. You aint going to make 100k off any old website, the site needs media buzz behind it eg: notgoingtouni is such a site, as a site in its early days was awful content-wise, but the founder sold it for 100k! Its now a lot better looking, but this is not a normal website, its special and is why it has the popularity.
Being popular is everything on the web.
|the corps tend to laugh at webmastersKfisch |
Maybe that's your personal experience but that is not everyone's experience. I get links from large corporate websites from the likes of Hearst Publishing for my high quality site- simply by asking and most often without asking.
|find it ammusing when folk expect linking to just take-off, go auto-pilot, critical mass |
I do not doubt your personal experience of links has given you this view. But it is not true for everyone. Different kinds of sites have different linking patterns. In other words, what is true for you is not a universal experience. Your personal experience is not Universal. Because it is raining over your house does not mean it is raining around the world. So perhaps you need to reword the way you phrase things so as not to appear to be representing your personal experience as those of the entire Internet? ;)
Self-reinforcing inbound links is a commonplace for large and popular websites. It's not easy to get to this point. But that particular experience does exist. It's a real phenomenom. A link echo-chamber effect is real. High ranking across a range of phrases tends to be self-reinforcing. People find you on the SERPs and link to you from their news articles, their corporate website, from their blogs, from forum posts.
I monitor my referrals and see it every day. It happens. It's why some sites sit their fat asses on the first position and can't be moved. Being number one tends to reinforce their rankings as long as searchers find the information useful.
|But that particular experience does exist. |
That's part of my life, but I doubt its part of most on the web - with all due respect. There are 'levels' and thats something I enjoy, unfortunately for you, you cant grasp this.
|People find you on the SERPs and link to you from their news articles, their corporate website, from their blogs, from forum posts. |
Well, if thats your idea of heaven and success, you're most welcome to it. Probably goes hand in hand with 'self worshipping' nobodies I suspect. Self important people - ugghhhh, everyone's a guru, oh no!
|It's why some sites sit their fat asses on the first position and can't be moved. |
No, they cannot be moved because they have piles of cash that says so. They buy hoards of links, so its quicker than the link swap crap the lesser websites have to endure. Its not difficult to know what they are doing to reach the top.
The web is not a level playing field anymore I'm afraid.
Paid links are not what they used to be. I suspect the game is and will continue to change in this respect.
Tons of genres I study and work in have websites in position one that have what I would deem to be mostly trade / publication / corporate and editorial type links.
Sure some of those could be paid, but that is less likely. The sites offer value in various forms and that resonates with people.
Developing an old idea into a new one is not only crazy. I have some ventures that are doing quite fine and they are by no means unique and original ideas.
I simply used systems thinking and moved past where the others had left off.
Applying general stereotypes across businesses is rarely accurate unless you start referring to systems within a business.
|I suspect the game is and will continue to change in this respect. |
Na, how can it when the big battle for No1 spot will always exist - I doubt the search engines are going to suddenly quit or disappear tonight....
People/businesses will always need links, whether its banners, direct links, display adverts etc - you cannot stand out without them. But what will change is advertising platforms everywhere will go paid instantly to cash-in on the constant demand for web presence and increase in advertising.
I suspect, what wont change is cash hungry websites, many will go bust as they cant find enough links to sustain visitor-flow, and links are too expensive. No longer can any website ride the search engine wave without significant links, and am not talking about a few hundred, that wont scratch the surface.
Tens of thousands are needed to compete for the first results page. One site I checked was No1 and it has got 428'025 links pointing its way.
Links make a website's advert space valuable to a point. Its all about eyeballs.
|Na, how can it when the big battle for No1 spot will always exist |
Was referring to the notion of sites in position 1, as you postulated, being all about purchasing links, which simply isn't true across the board. In several very difficult niches I work in the number one and number two websites are old, established gamers with long term difficult to get links made by relationships and hard work.
|One site I checked was No1 and it has got 428'025 links pointing its way. |
No tool can accurately check this that I am aware of unless you are speaking about site-wide links.
Sure the battle for position 1 will always exist, I agree.
But the battle to prevent sites from buying position 1 is also on - and to a much greater effect now from what I see than ever.
No I dont mean site-wides links at all.
My point is although links are attainable, the amount needed for decent page one spots are unattainable for most. I doubt many can compete for NO1 for the big keywords, and its these keywords that bring the big visitor numbers.
Perhaps they are unattainable for most. But they are not unattainable.
The only impediment I've seen to getting there is the willingness to work/put in effort. It's not budget, or even knowledge. There's enough information on this forum along to get someone to front page on any term they want.
|My point is although links are attainable, the amount needed for decent page one spots are unattainable for most. I doubt many can compete for NO1 for the big keywords, and its these keywords that bring the big visitor numbers. |
Definitely would agree with this statement. I would suggest however that there are lots of opportunities to attain top five positions.
Sometimes the reason websites are position 1 is that they have earned position one. They are organized, well running and well respected businesses that have both earned links and can afford a quality SEO that can put together the rest of the puzzle and most importantly leverage the trust, respect and assets of that business to translate to citations and inbound links.