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3 days, 4 .edu backlinks
wheel




msg:4400887
 2:51 pm on Dec 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

How I got 4 .edu's in three days.

I took my content creation project (that I've previously disclosed in the supporter's section here) and one funky calculator that I have. That was the linkbait.

Then I did the following searches on Google, where term1 and term 3 are my link bait project and term 2 is my niche:
{term1,term2} resources
{term1, term2} links
{term 1, term3} history
{term1, term 3} clubs
{term1, term3} site:.edu
{term1, term3} site:cctld
{calculator}

I followed every link on the first 5 pages of Google for those terms.

I ran into some directories/resource pages. I opened up every single link on the resource pages that looked applicable.

I visited every single site from those terms. If the site looked like it might have a links page, I wandered around the site until I found their personal contact information. I wrote a personalized email (dear professor linkmuch) for every single one that detailed why my resource was good for *their* visitors. I found a few broken links, I mentioned this as well. I was blatant about what I was doing - subject of the email was frequently 'suggestion for you resources page'. if it was a library/directory type of site, I further put in the request 'resource suggestion (from a real human)'. Where there were requirements to be listed, I read them and indicated in the email that I'd read their requirements and met them.

Probably viewed 500-2000 websites. Sent out probably 50-100 emails.

I also sent out one letter asking for a link.

Response to date, 3 'you are a filthy commercial entity who unlike us, works for money'. I'm paraphrasing (why do academics think their paycheck is any different than mine?), but I got 3 'no' responses. And I got 4 yes responses from .edu's.

I hope for more responses over the coming weeks. I also emailed a couple regulatory bodies and gov't authorities so they probably take longer to respond.

One of the 4 responses was actually that they couldn't link to a commercial entity from the page I wanted. So they scraped my linkbait page (links to my home page and all), published THAT in it's entirety on their .edu, and then linked to that page from their main page. I don't know quite what to make of that, but I think I like it.

Couple points worth noting. First, I am still confident that .edu links like that are worth obtaining - they will make me rank.

Secondly, I recently did a convoluted 301 redirect on the site (for valid reasons). The end result was that I took an algo penalty. I undid the 301 and my site has started to recover again. But it reaffirmed why link building like this is important. If I had to file a reinclusion request I could prove that their algo penalty was a result of a problem on their end (in this case a mistaken spam flag) and not from anything I've done on my end. How comfortable would you be if you took a penalty and had to have someone at Google examine your site with a fine toothed comb?

 

Panthro




msg:4400888
 2:55 pm on Dec 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

haa cool, thanks for posting. Maybe I should join the supporters forums...

Hoople




msg:4401237
 8:10 pm on Dec 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

thanks wheel for reminding me of this. In my term2 (niche) there a lot of hobbyist sites hosted on .edu pages that rank as authorities. Now to get the time to do this....

kevinanchi




msg:4402326
 5:57 am on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think that Google started ignoring the .edu, .gov, .mil, etc links mean you wont get link juice from those sites....

martinibuster




msg:4402330
 6:24 am on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think that Google started ignoring...


Thanks for pitching in. You might want to consider expanding a little more on that opinion, otherwise it's a bit thin. On what basis do you support that opinion? Why do you think Google is ignoring those links? What makes those specific links, not .edu links in general, something to be ignored, what qualities make it so?

I appreciate your opinion but it's important to explain why you hold an opinion so that others can understand that there is a reason behind the opinion, that it's not just a baseless opinion.

lucy24




msg:4402336
 7:35 am on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

First, I am still confident that .edu links like that are worth obtaining - they will make me rank.

Like what?

That was a serious question. Are we talking about the front page of Johns Hopkins Medical School under "useful resources" (I'm making this up)? Or about faculty members' personal pages where the syllabus for Linguistics 237 is all mixed up with photographs from your vacation, the latest draft of your CV, an article you're kinda pleased with and, oh yes, here are some web sites I liked in 2004 but I haven't bothered to check the links since then.


Wholly irrelevant aside: You know what enrages me? When I find a bad link on an informational site, and get ready to write the webmaster, and then decide I might as well check the rest of the links on the page because the alternative is to clean the bathroom, which is long overdue for it so I check every single one, and find the updated location for some of the dead links, and compile it all into a phenomenally useful email...

And get no response whatsoever. Not even a curt "Thank you". (Meaning "Oh, ###, I'd forgotten I even had that page, I'm not expected to maintain it am I?")

Grr.

wheel




msg:4402395
 1:37 pm on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are we talking about the front page of Johns Hopkins Medical School under "useful resources" (I'm making this up)? Or about faculty members' personal pages where the syllabus for Linguistics 237 is all mixed up with photographs from your vacation, the latest draft of your CV, an article you're kinda pleased with and, oh yes, here are some web sites I liked in 2004 but I haven't bothered to check the links since then.

Both.

I don't disdain the personal pages that have been around for 10 years. Those types of pages aren't thin inner pages like on yours and my website. They're PR4 and PR5 authority pages with their own set of authority backlinks.

Planet13




msg:4402464
 7:46 pm on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

And get no response whatsoever. Not even a curt "Thank you"...


I know how frustrating that can be, too... but that frustration is what prevents your COMPETITORS from obtaining juicy .edu links.

In a situation where there are OBVIOUSLY lots of outdated links, I just find one or two easy ones and email them first and see if I can get ANY kind of a response. If not, then I MIGHT look for a few more, and send those in a follow up email. I would also try and compliment them on the work they had done and maybe ask them a question or two about their research.

If nothing from that, then I would probably move on or, if it is a great site, pick up the phone and CALL them.

Planet13




msg:4402507
 12:21 am on Dec 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think that Google started ignoring the .edu, .gov, .mil, etc links mean you wont get link juice from those sites....


I wonder if you might be thinking of a google video in which Matt Cutts mentioned that they don't necessarily give extra page rank simply because the TLD happens to be a .edu or .gov

So I think probably the main benefit is that the those sites have lots of authority (due to the level of expertise that is found on them) and they also have lots of good quality inbound links (since it is unlikely that the US Department of Agriculture is out buying links and spamming forum profiles).

fom2001uk




msg:4402676
 6:51 pm on Dec 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

MC wants you to believe that .edus, .govs won't help. Just like he wants you to believe that nofollow links are worthless ;-)

Planet13




msg:4402706
 8:45 pm on Dec 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just like he wants you to believe that nofollow links are worthless ;-)


If you could enlighten us as to why they are NOT worthless, that would be greatly appreciated.

martinibuster




msg:4402750
 3:13 am on Jan 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

MC wants you to believe that .edus, .govs won't help.


That is not what he said nor what he intended to say. He merely offered the common sense observation that .edu and .gov links are not inherently special. What he said was that they simply tend not to fall into spammy link neighborhoods. That's it, no more no less.

Just like he wants you to believe that nofollow links are worthless


They really are worthless for ranking. Every site I have inspected that had thousands of those kinds of links ranked poorly- even the ones with PageRank five, they had virtually no traffic and failed to rank for anything meaningful.

jdancing




msg:4402799
 4:14 pm on Jan 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think that Google started ignoring the .edu, .gov, .mil, etc links mean you wont get link juice from those sites....



Thanks for pitching in. You might want to consider expanding a little more on that opinion, otherwise it's a bit thin. On what basis do you support that opinion? Why do you think Google is ignoring those links? What makes those specific links, not .edu links in general, something to be ignored, what qualities make it so?


Perhaps @kevinanchi thinks this is one of those spammy SEO forums where people throw around all kinds of crazy rumors they think they heard.

pageoneresults




msg:4402800
 4:21 pm on Jan 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm so happy I work in a .edu space that doesn't participate in this type of stuff.

Probably viewed 500-2000 websites. Sent out probably 50-100 emails.


Last time I Tweeted something for a client, which wasn't long ago, we acquired 20+ quality links in a matter of 24 hours. It took me all of 1 minute to Tweet.

Planet13




msg:4402802
 4:54 pm on Jan 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Last time I Tweeted something for a client, which wasn't long ago, we acquired 20+ quality links in a matter of 24 hours. It took me all of 1 minute to Tweet.


That is, indeed, quite a good link acquisition ratio. did you specifically ASK people to link to your client's site?

Also, I think we need some more details to help us figure out what the value is on an individual basis.

For example, how many twitter followers does that account have? How much time and money was spent in acquiring all those twitter followers?

And assuming that you tweeted about new content, or a specific feature, or something that was (more or less) unique to that site, how much time and money went into creating that unique content?

Don't get me wrong: I am quite impressed with the ability of social media. If I had the money, I would definitely invest more in it. Especially since it turns out that people who arrive to our site via facebook buy MORE (i.e., have a higher conversion RATE) than those who arrive via google organic search. That was a big shocker for me, especially because our facebook page sucks so badly...

But to help make a better decision on how much of our time and funds need to go toward social media, I think we need a better understanding of the resources invested in making it a viable way to get links.

pageoneresults




msg:4402806
 5:09 pm on Jan 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Did you specifically ASK people to link to your client's site?


NO! We don't ask for links.

For example, how many twitter followers does that account have?


1200+

How much time and money was spent in acquiring all those twitter followers?


Not much. The account is an "information only" timeline. The client does not Follow anyone with this particular account.

And assuming that you tweeted about new content, or a specific feature, or something that was (more or less) unique to that site, how much time and money went into creating that unique content?


It's an application designed to attract links. It was originally launched as part of the main site so it is part of the ongoing development process. Social Media is just one of the platforms that was used to promote the application.

If I had the money, I would definitely invest more in it.


I'm not too certain it takes a whole lot of money. It's more of a time issue than anything else.

But to help make a better decision on how much of our time and funds need to go toward social media, I think we need a better understanding of the resources invested in making it a viable way to get links.


Whew, that's a loaded question. We've maintained that Twitter account for 2+ years. We Tweet once or twice a week, strictly informational and promotional. Not an account used to engage Followers like most. We do respond to @ mentions but the main purpose of the account is to supplement the RSS Feed. This particular Twitter account functions similar to a feed.

I've been on Twitter for 3+ years. My very first client promotion on Twitter (2008) got picked up by CNBC, Reuters, Evening Standard, Posterous, Financial Times, Digg and Newsweek. We sold out of product within 1 week of launching the promotion. It was not expected.

For me, Social Media is the shiznit as they say. If you have the right network of Followers, and you've engaged them regularly, they'll take real good care of you when needed. :)

Planet13




msg:4402882
 2:09 am on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the input, Pageoneresults. It really does help.

mcskoufis




msg:4404975
 5:52 pm on Jan 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Very insightful Pageoneresults...

I would add that social media needs consistency. Keep it minimal so that it doesn't eat up much of your time, but consistently spend a few minutes every week.

System
redhat



msg:4406844
 11:12 pm on Jan 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

The following 11 messages were cut out to new thread by martinibuster. New thread at: link_development/4406842.htm [webmasterworld.com]
9:45 am on Jan 14, 2012 (utc -8)

ponyboy96




msg:4407397
 7:14 pm on Jan 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting post and quite timely. I'm working on a similar campaign for a client now and the response rate has been about 14%. Albeit, these are .edu links, but it's a blog outreach campaign for guest blogging. It's all about the numbers. Contact 100 blogs, you might get 10-14 responses. Get an article posted on a good blog that gets syndicated out and you can get about 5-10 links per post. It's getting harder and harder to get good high quality links.

I think pageoneresults is correct. It's much easier to tweet out something and get more links. However, from what I've seen the staying power of those links or the value that they provide is temporary. I've always chalked it up to a QDF algo boost.

internetheaven




msg:4407775
 4:43 pm on Jan 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just like he wants you to believe that nofollow links are worthless ;-)

If you could enlighten us as to why they are NOT worthless, that would be greatly appreciated.


There are some great articles and discussions on this around the place. I'm not going to re-hash it again here as my concern is that it turns in to a "meta keyword tag" (remember that?!) scenario i.e. once everyone starts doing it, idiots will do it wrong and the whole thing kind of falls apart for those who are doing it properly.

I would of course like to thank wheel too for sharing a nicely deep tutorial on good link building. The fact what he said is nothing new compared to 5-10 years ago simply encourages me that the majority of webmasters must still be doing it wrong! ;)

e.g. all those people that buy link exchange software to scrape email addresses and spam them.

Thank goodness, or else I probably would have gone out of business years ago.

ThisIsOli




msg:4409890
 3:07 pm on Jan 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

"I think that Google started ignoring the .edu, .gov, .mil, etc links mean you wont get link juice from those sites."

Google gives no extra weight to TLD's such as .edu .gov, but they don't ignore them, htey are generally higher quality, thus worth more.

kevinanchi




msg:4410690
 2:28 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I read an article about online, dont remember the site now but it said that Google ignores the edu, mil, gov links are there has been more spamming on those sites for backlinks, and also i have read an article that Panda is also ignoring links which are added in footer header or sidebar and also the links from edu gov etc.
i don't know what all makes sense but i think that Google has different strategy for each Niche, or the manual review plays a major part in this game as some niche might be reviewed heavily for example i have worked for one umbrellas site and got very relevant and high page rank links to the site and also got links from the Edu and Gov sites. As compared the top competitor i got 100 links more and also my link influence score was 10% more compared to his, and as it a Ecom site content on the site was also Good, Still i am at the lower ranking.
Based on this conclusion i thought that Edu Gov sites dont add advantage....

buckworks




msg:4410701
 3:03 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

There's nothing inherently magical about .edu or .gov sites ... they have to earn their Page Rank and authority just like anyone else.

Those sites DO accrue signals of trust and authority. Their aura of authority does not automatically come from the TLD, it comes from the way they behave editorially and promotionally.

System
redhat



msg:4410799
 7:20 pm on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

The following message was cut out to new thread by martinibuster. New thread at: link_development/4410797.htm [webmasterworld.com]
11:31 am on Jan 25, 2012 (utc -8)

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