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Link Development Forum

Small Business Link building 2013

 10:01 pm on Oct 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Congrats to Jim Boykin on running this site. Jim is amongst the foremost link builders in the world. Jim was the first person to ever teach me how to build a quality link and I'm only one of many people Jim's selflessly helped. I've got plenty of friends who will relate stories of how Jim's helped them out.

Most of the links in this thread: [webmasterworld.com...] are 2012. I wouldn't touch most of them with a 10 foot pole. Here's where I'm getting links in 2013.

1) Speak at industry conferences. If you have to, go to toastmasters. The networking you'll get as a speaker is unmatched. I recently spoke in front of a bunch of bloggers, and one attendee writes for a national daily newspaper. They're doing a 3 part series on my niche, quoting me each time. My first link has already been published. And I've networked with other people who I will be hitting up for a link in 2013. Networking=links.
2) I'm setting up an affiliate site in a niche related to my main business. But first (as I've noted before)I'm going to set up an advertising network for bloggers. I sell ad space for the bloggers. It'll take a while for the ads to roll in but once they do, I can get either a link or a guest blog post from every single blogger in the niche - because I'm their ad guy. Works every time.
3) I'm holding a national 'I made up a day as national bulls*** day or whatever'. On that day, every blogger in my niche is going to write a blog post. In exchange, they get links as participants in 'national bulls*** day' from 3-4 of my better sites (all pr4/5). Free strong backlinks just for a blog post? Yep. And what do I get? I'm the guy who gets links from national media as the organizer of national bulls*** day. Caveat - I stole this idea from somewhere else,and the guy I stole it from is ranking all over the place right now. Feel welcome to substitute 'national bulls*** day' with something like 'national educate consumers on my niche' day. You can tack this on to existing 'days' if you like and spin it as 'organizing bloggers'. It gives the national media something to write about.



 9:50 pm on Nov 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

- run a local Meetup.com event that attracts a lot of good/targeted people. Enjoy link and push social media followers to your busines

- social media contests are are crazy unique always drive great links and followers

- crowd sourced interviews work great for amazing content and link attraction


 1:41 am on Nov 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I do product and promotional gear giveaways to loyal site visitors. Some vendors donate product for the giveway but most of it is out my own pocket. Builds goodwill, done primarily for building goodwill, but it does create a link here and there.


 2:27 am on Nov 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I do high-quality guest blogging for the selected influencers in my and neighboring niches (it is actually listed in the old thread but it is not going anywhere if you do that right).

I am also investing in buying some high-quality (user-generated) communities (Flippa is great for that) on topics I enjoy (tool reviews and geeks).


 3:21 pm on Nov 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Pro bono work for local and/or related charities is a great way to get links and often leads to paid work from other people involved with the charities somehow.


 4:29 pm on Nov 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've got dozens of bloggers signed up for my national bull**** day now. I wrote a press release and paid a journalist to edit it before I sent it out. I'll be sending it out this week, hope to get some good links from the mainstream media.


 2:31 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm sure you'll "rock it" Wheel! I've watched your posts over the last 6-7 years since joining, and your link building ideas have always been inspirational to me. They always get my "wheels turning" (no pun intended) thinking about things I would never have otherwise thought of.

I watched this post sit for a few days with no responses, and I'm glad to see peeps jumping in now with ideas. I have some great ideas that have really been working well recently but can't figure out how to tell about them without revealing exactly what they are.

But "generally" speaking, I've been building out niche sites and getting them to rank. It's a medium tail EMD strategy. And for each domain, before I even start working on the site, I am first thinking about how I'm going to aquire quality links.

1) Who is my target audience?
2) What web sites do they visit online?
3) What resource or tool could I build that those sites would want to link to because they are useful to the visitors of those sites (and they likely don't want to take the time to create it themselves)?

I'm not thinking solely about getting links for ranking purposes, but also for referral traffic. I'm often getting 25% or more of my traffic as referral traffic directly from those sites linking to me even though my domain is ranking #1 for it's targeted keyword phrase (and a lot of variations and related phrases). There are no "unnatural" links acquired by placing links myself on other sites. All links are editorial, given to my site by other webmasters after having reviewed my site. If I think a link from another webmaster will never send me referral traffic then it's not really a link that I want now days.

Thanks for all of the posts. And keep them coming!


 6:46 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

1. Continue to build "spammy" links into my affiliate sites, and use all tactics considered to be "spammy".

2. Continue to laugh at Penguin/Panda as I have 10 sites waiting in the wings.

3. Profit.

Penguin imparted a serious impression upon me (the original Penguin update). Google cannot control web spam effectively. They have taken draconian measures to attempt to do so, however the "mom and pop" small guys (like "old me") were negatively affected and the spammers walked away to the bank, laughing their asses off. Google doesn't care about "the small guy" because he doesn't drive profits to Google shareholders.

In my opinion, only the "stupid spammers" were affected by Penguin/Panda. The guys with half a brain in their heads are still making money hand over fist. I have first hand knowledge of several guys (black hatters, no hacking, nothing illegal) doing just that.

So excuse me if I don't hop on board the "omg teh white hats" bandwagon. Yes, my sites will be "dinged" by Google here and there, but as every day that goes by, I learn more and more as I try out new theories and see what works and what doesn't work. I liken it to me being a prisoner and Google being the jailer. I got nothing but free time on my hands to knock on metal bars looking for the weak one, fashion crude instruments (programs) designed to break through my concrete jail cell walls.

At the end of the day, it's nothing more than a cat-and-mouse game and how long before the next barnyard animal algorithm update which suddenly determines "this method of link building is a no-no" and all the white hats get wiped off the face of the map as they did with Penguin/Panda?

There's an old saying I'm sure many of you are familiar with: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice.....

(and I understand that some of you guys own eCommerce/etc sites and you rely upon these sites to put a roof over your head and food on your table, so my advice probably isn't the best for you. But for those of us looking to make $10k/mo. and up.....and have a big enough bankroll to play the cat-and-mouse game with Google.....party on!)

<<edit>> I'm sure there are going to be many on here who chastise me for my post.....but at the end of the day, I'm an internet marketer for one reason and one reason only: To make a profit.

Anything else is pure nonsense.


 7:30 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's not about white hat. It's about risk management. White hat should lower the risk and allow you to keep a site longer. Black hat needs to be scalable. It's not 100% either way though, blackhat can last and white hat can be penalized.

Suggesting white hat is the way to go is as wrong as crowing about being black hat. One should properly be doing both.

The two are not mutually exclusive - in fact if you're only doing one then you are missing the boat - including the 100% spammers. White hats should be dabbling in spamming, and spammers should be able to white hat. If you can't white hat as a spammer, then I'd suggest your days are numbered too.

For example, I bought a defunct blog this year for $500. Left it stand, with two changes:
1) I put up a 'guest blog post' page for the spiders
2) I did some searches on top terms and found some sites that clearly had paid backlinks. And I linked to them for free.

Now when I get guest blog post requests, I just respond with a price. Surprisingly the blog is now active again with regular content - from 100% paid blog posts that aren't as bad as I'd have expected. And people buying links now see my site in the backlink profile of their competitors. So, selling links.

The site turned a profit in six months and is going strong. So what if Google smacks it in six months? In the meantime I make money and learn.

That site times 50 is a living. But frankly I don't have the time to scale that as I spend much more of my time doing traditional link building and working on my business.

>>>But for those of us looking to make $10k/mo. and up.....and have a big enough bankroll to play the cat-and-mouse game with Google.....party on!)

Laying your brass balls on the table in this game is a guaranteed way to look foolish. Who is that supposed to impress? I make more than that on one single white hat site I own and it's not even my main business line - it's a sideline I use to promote my main business line. So it's perhaps less impressive than you may think. And I know my income is dwarfed by many others here. I've sat next to people who make $750/year.

[edited by: wheel at 8:02 pm (utc) on Nov 7, 2012]


 7:45 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

>>I've got dozens of bloggers signed up for my national bull**** day now. I wrote a press release and paid a journalist to edit it before I sent it out. I'll be sending it out this week, hope to get some good links from the mainstream media.

I just sent the press release through a traditional PR firm (i.e.not the standard online PR folks). I am targetting traditional media, i.e. daily newspapers. An hour or two later they sent me notification that it'd been picked up and published by a dozen or two news sites. I checked the sites out, seems like a lot of low end crap. Not sure what's going on with that, but it's just background noise. It did get picked up by yahoo.com and my local yahoo news sites, but I doubt it's front page.

Hopefully it'll make some national newspaper websites - that's the intent.


 5:25 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing three kinds of link building here.

1. Intricate and ambitious, involving a lot moving parts

2. Wash, Rinse and Repeat

3. Projects with links not primary goal


 6:36 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

No, what you're seeing is quality link building from someone who hasn't automated it.


 8:48 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

1. Intricate and ambitious, involving a lot moving parts
National Bull**** day. That's intricate with a lot of moving parts because it takes detailed planning across several stages of the campaign. There are many moving parts to this campaign because it involves different kinds of outreach to press and publisher involvement.

2. Wash, Rinse and Repeat
Blogger outreach A. Find bloggers via twitter, mine their connections for others in similar niche. Initiate contact. Repeat.

Blogger outreach B. Find bloggers via keyword searches, mine their connections for others in similar niche. Initiate contact. Repeat.

Blogger outreach C. Find bloggers via backlink searches, mine their connections for others in similar niche. Initiate contact. Repeat.

Blogger outreach Infinity. Find bloggers via Blekko, mine their connections for others in similar niche. Initiate contact. Repeat.

Etcetera. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

3. Projects with links not primary goal
ZydoSEO discussed finding projects for traffic.

This is all good advice, I love it. One thing that especially stands out is that it can all be done without leaning on a tool crutch and for me that makes it real.

Have you noticed a recent trend in link building advice that leans on tools? A lot of link building advice in blogs and at conferences are thinly veiled sales pitches for data mining tools that the writers and speakers are associated with, either directly or indirectly. It's not link building advice. It's tool marketing.


 9:28 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

(Too bad you decided on bull***day; I have national ***holeday, we coulda made a deal, ork ork)

I'm in the "Projects with links not primary goal" category; I link out like a mofo to really high quality sites, and some of them link back. Including a bunch of .gov travel blogs and whatnot. But it doesn't matter if they link back, I link to them.

Someone even published something (unbeknownst to me ahead of time) to HuffPo with a link to one of my sites in it.

One of my clients actually created an industry watchdog "nonprofit" organization with memberships and standards, just to mainly get authority and links. Nobody'd done it yet for that niche, so it worked out great.


 6:41 am on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anything else is pure nonsense.

Maybe for you...

Not everyone is in this to make money as the pure number one objective.

Some have money. Some start with it. Others blow it.

Some want to add value to the Planet. Apparently this doesn't apply to you :)


 4:43 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm wrapping up my national b***it day campaign. Got some limited links from the press, nothing to write home about, but some links.

However I am getting what looks to be links back from many of the participants. I expect I'll have about a dozen top quality links as the result of all this. Plus a whole bunch of tweets - which are worthless IMO, but I guess some people care.

All in all, one of the easiest and most successful link building campaigns I've done in the last couple of years.


 4:47 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

>>>One of my clients actually created an industry watchdog "nonprofit" organization with memberships and standards, just to mainly get authority and links. Nobody'd done it yet for that niche, so it worked out great.

Hmmmmmm. Something smells like opportunity. Requires more thought on this one.


 9:25 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

The non-profit thing sounds like more trouble than it's worth, plus it sounds sleazy, not the kind of thing I would recommend getting involved with. If you are truly serious about establishing a U.S. non-profit organization, then it might be in one's interest to hire an attorney to help shepherd it into existence. Seems like a lot of trouble to go through in order to extract some kind of commercial advantage.

In the USA it means registering the organization as a non-profit organization. What about if they lie about their non-profit status, what are the legal issues inherent in that? What about lurking reputation management pitfalls?

[edited by: martinibuster at 10:09 pm (utc) on Nov 15, 2012]


 9:43 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Half of the world considers link building sleazy. It's in the eye of the beholder.

One doesn't need to incorporate as a nonprofit to be not-for-profit. It's could be as simple as offering a website badge in exchange for signing a standards of excellence and privacy declaration.


 10:47 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have no idea how that's handled in Canada, but in the United States it is a legal issue. Non-profit/not-for-profit organizations are regulated on a state by state basis in the United States.


A non-profit organization is a group organized for purposes other than generating profit and in which no part of the organization's income is distributed to its members, directors, or officers. Non-profit corporations are often termed "non-stock corporations." They can take the form of a corporation, an individual enterprise (for example, individual charitable contributions), unincorporated association, partnership, foundation (distinguished by its endowment by a founder, it takes the form of a trusteeship), or condominium (joint ownership of common areas by owners of adjacent individual units incorporated under state condominium acts). Non-profit organizations must be designated as nonprofit when created and may only pursue purposes permitted by statutes for non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations include churches, public schools, public charities, public clinics and hospitals, political organizations, legal aid societies, volunteer services organizations, labor unions, professional associations, research institutes, museums, and some governmental agencies.

Non-profit entities are organized under state law.


 12:20 am on Nov 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the primer.


 4:53 am on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

We've done memberships as well.

Your experience might differ, but we have found it more problems than it was worth.

We use a strict set of particular types of links to each client / website. Some include creative 'gems' like the ones Wheel has created / develops. This consists of about 5% total of any profile.

The rest are a careful mix of a range of sites.

Remember that in each niche only a particular number of unique c class links of quality is required to take position one.

People laugh at business profiles, local niche directories and citation links on a National campaign.

But mixed in with associations, memberships, proof of business links and "gems", the value of those links is magnified in my opinion.


 7:00 pm on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

My rankings just took a noticeable jump, I suspect due to the links I received from the national b***it day promotion I did.


 1:55 am on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's B***it! j/k ;)


 6:41 pm on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wheel, how do you manage your time with all this lot?

Do you ever worry that your spreading yourself too thinly with so many ideas?


 10:46 pm on Dec 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wheel, how do you manage your time with all this lot?

Seriously? Marketing is part of the job, it's part of the work. And I discard 3X the ideas that I work on, and 3 out of 4 of the things I try fail. But throw enough crap at the wall and something will make you a superstar.

And as a friend told me once, do stuff that 'touches' your existing business. So I do a lot of stuff, but it's all related somehow.

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