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How do you compete with the big time link buyers?

Are smaller sites destined to only the scraps left behind?

     
6:15 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The top sites in our industry are all huge link buyers. They have between 500K and 1.25M backlinks. Going through Y!Explorer it's easy to see they are heavily into buying links and many of the paid links are from very big internet sites.

And when they aren't buying links they're buying sites and then using sitewide keyword rich links to their flagship sites (a few of them always put their brand on sites so these bought sites are easy to spot). So it's a wide mix of authority links, paid links, and totally spammy links.

As a small player without millions of dollars to spend on link buying are we destined to only the long-tail scraps that are left for everyone else to fight over?

7:07 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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As a small player without millions of dollars to spend on link buying are we destined to only the long-tail scraps that are left for everyone else to fight over?

For many, the sad truth of the matter is yes, we're left with whatever is left on the bone after "they" get finished with it. There are certain industries I wouldn't even consider getting into these days. The online battle is fierce and if you don't have the money, its going to be challenging to say the least.

It all comes down to your marketing plan. If you're looking to be a "global player" then you should have an adequate budget to "play" in that space. I've opted to focus on the local space. Its large enough in many areas that you don't need to go much further than that. Sure, you'll get some National and International stuff but you won't compete there seriously unless you have a serious budget.

There are only 10 spots on that first page. The one's with the serious budget will most likely be occupying those spots. There are of course exceptions to the rule in every case. I know there is a likely to be a damn Tripod site holding a top position for some single word term, it happens!

9:34 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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How do you compete with the big time link buyers?

Relevant link exchange. It still works and is far less costly than "big time link buyers". Simply place a form on your site soliciting relevant link exchange requests and then decide which sites you want to link back to.

10:57 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Simply place a form on your site soliciting relevant link exchange requests

If you do that you need to ensure you have a very robust email filtering software installed.

Link spammers crawl the web for these forms, drop the URL's in a database and then send out templated requests by the thousands... all for total rubbish not even remotely related to your site topic.

I removed my carefully constructed, well worded, impossible to misunderstand, link request forms. They were totally useless because they were being hit by bots, not people.

If you want to encourage link requests, ask the enquirer to email you the details. If they are legit, they'll take the time. If not, they weren't serious.

11:15 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you do that you need to ensure you have a very robust email filtering software installed.
agreed! although I never suggested the form should dump to email.
6:12 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I would tend to agree with page, my theory has always been to leave that genre, or partner with the company that has that kind of money by contacting them :)
1:08 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You still have the opportunity to beat these folks - you actually have an advantage over them.....

The very best authoritative/trusted links won't put up with paid links. Those are the sites you need to go after - the ones that give out links for free.

Develop and publish some industry related research material. Even data (I've published raw data without analysis and still get links) works. Then go aggressively after links. Then you'll have links the paid link folks can't get.

You've got to answer the question 'why would they link to me?'. Get your answer, then start asking for links.

1:13 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think that's my new catch phrase: "the very best links in life are free" :).
3:25 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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report the big time buyers to google
3:32 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Report the big time buyers to google.

What? And have Karma follow me around for the rest of my life? Nah, I'll let Google handle it on their own. They have a force of 10,000+ reviewers who appear to be doing a decent job in keeping most of the stuff in check. Of course each second that passes by, someone and/or something manages to get by the gate keepers. :)

6:56 pm on May 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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report the big time buyers to google

Well, the flip side of the issue is that all of them are lead-gens for us and they provide a significant percentage of our leads.

I won't say our industry but our model is similar to us being a small bank that would buy mortgage or car loan leads from all the large vendors.

 

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