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I guess there is the old standby... sending out a ton of emails and hoping.
I'm not looking for anyones "secret sauce", but if you're willing to share, I'd like to know what tools or methodology seems to work for you.
Start learning the art by reading the threads in the Library: [webmasterworld.com...]
Ironically, the current first thread in the Library is titles "The Secrets of Link . . . "
Short Linkdev Lesson #1: Create something link-worthy and your website might receive a link, without even asking.
[edited by: Webwork at 6:49 pm (utc) on Aug. 28, 2009]
Let me save you years of fruitless effort: The answers that you seek, particularly the ones that will work for you, you will only find by doing, experimenting, taking some action, etc. So, for every hour you spend searching for or soliciting answers spend 10 hours trying things out for yourself.
I've been learning more by doing, i.e. putting ideas into action, in the last year than I learned by "looking for answers" in the preceding 5 years.
Read the library threads for a few hours and then start doing what they suggest. Chances are the feedback you get from doing/experimenting will generate more value for you then the next 100 hours you might spend looking for ideas or suggestions about how to "get (the right, whatever) links".
1. Start by reading the Library. That method tends to yield a significant payoff.
2. Create something link-worthy and you might get links. That's about 95% of link development. Create crap and you can attempt to develop quality links all day . . without success.
3. "Last week" we discussed the "Best Link methods". Here's a link.
4. You learn by doing. Read the Library and experiment with the techniques.
So, londrum, #5 would be what?
Yes I am awakened, although "to what" may be something different than you were thinking.
#5 Would be allowing others to share their thinking and experience, beyond potentially what has already been said in the past. That is, unless you believe it has all been said and done, which would be tragic indeed and preclude the need for this forum.
I have learned much from "doing", so have others. I would like to take the shortcut of learning from others... again, that is why the forum exists right?
i've got an events section on my site, and i let people add the events they fancy onto a kind of itinerary page -- for which i generate a unique URL. i then encourage them to share that itinerary with other people. i get about ten or so people doing this every day, and a lot of them end up going through gmail.
if you're struggling with normal link building, then maybe that is another way of doing it.
Interesting, is the gmail link persistent? Also, do you encourage those people who post information to your site to give you a static link if they have a site or blog?
Do you solicit links via email or some other way? I used to send out emails asking for links, I then hired others to do it. It was a slog and really netted very few quality links.
Oddly, some of my sites have been up for 5 years or more, and at one time had PR as high as 5. I did seem to have quite a few back links at that time gained mostly through simply being in the serps. Unfortunately entropy, and lack of focus on my part, has caused all that was built to fade away.
it's pretty easy to do with cookies. in my example, if each event has it's own number, then you can stick all the numbers that the user picks into a single cookie using an array type thing.
all you have to do then is add the numbers in the cookie onto the end of the link in a query string.
when the user returns to the page, you just do a database look-up, or whatever, on the numbers in the query string and print the events to the page. voila! they have their very own page which they have constructed themselves. that is what makes them want to share it with other people.
Lesson #1: Create something link-worthy and your website might receive a link, without even asking.
There is truth to that, I have experienced it myself, BUT passive organic link growth and word-of-mouth traffic will only happen if you invest some energy in some active promotion first. Spontaneous links only come from people who know about your site.
Launching a website is like launching a space satellite. Natural forces will carry you once you've reached orbit, but it takes a big push to get there.
I do subscribe to the organic link growth model. However, it seems a double edged sword... people seeing your site engenders the potential for link growth... links (votes) get you listed so that people know you're there. No people, no links... no links no people... sort of.
In my particular case the sites have been up for years and have cycled in and out of "orbit". However, I'm trying, before "splash down" to achieve "orbit" once again. Adding additional content is always a good plan...
I suppose the answer is simply to climb back slowly by doing all the things that worked in the first place.
It can be time well invested to polish up the pages you've already got. Are headings, titles etc. well worded? Do your pages have logical semantic structure? What's the ratio of source code to content? How well does everything validate? Can the loading speed be improved? Does your internal cross-linking do a good job of funneling link juice to the money pages? Are your meta descriptions crafted to attract the click when someone sees you in the SERPs? Etc. etc.
Think "signals of quality".
climb back slowly by doing all the things that worked in the first place
Yes. But there's not so far to climb this time!
sending out a ton of emails and hoping
Do a ton of research, but be extremely selective about whom you contact by email. One well-targeted, well-written email to exactly the right person is worth a million junk link exchange spams.
It makes for a lousy discussion forum when people come here asking for the basics, without knowing how to research the answers already here. It's a lousy forum when we keep repeating the basics over and over. It's a lousy forum when people drop in for a personalized business plan.
It's not apparent there's a library here so it's actually good advice to teach someone how to do their research. Once they've done their research they can return and ask the more interesting questions. Once they have done their research they can return the favor and relate interesting experiences and techniques. A discussion forum with informed members is more interesting than one full of one-post wonders asking for a personalized business plan, in my opinion (no offense to the OP). ;)
What the OP needed is to be given the tools to learn the basics. After that he can return and discuss what works nowadays because he has the experience and foundation to do it.
Re Webwork's advice, I recall one of his early posts where he discusses the research he'd done and lays out twenty two things he'd learned in a thread called, Look into my Eyes [webmasterworld.com]. The thread lists the twenty two things he learned and asks for feedback about them.