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Offering a "gadget" to get a link

     
9:36 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There are many small one man businesses in my niche who have their own websites, and their customers will need to pass a particular government test.

One of my sites is focussed on offering practice tests for a smallish sum in flash format using the official government questions which I am licenced to reproduce.

From time to time I send out a batch of emails asking some of these one man businesses to link to me (reciprocal). Linking to me is a genuine resource for their customers.
I get a reasonable number who are willing to do so.

I'm thinking about a way of getting more links. I could offer them a "cut down" version of the test that they could put on their site like a gadget. It would be in swf format dimensions around 180x350 pixels.

My options are:
1. Put a "© my site .com" (my site here are good keywords) at the bottom of the gadget (it would be in flash so presumably could get visitors but no ranking benefit?
2. Ask the website owner to put a separate link manually on their site
3. At the end of the test put a message "now go to mysite.com for acccess to all the questions" - again no SE benefit

Does anyone have any thoughts or comments on what I propose? Any drawbacks I've missed? Any obvious opportunity I've missed? Any (simple!) alternatives
9:42 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It does sound like a not bad idea. One other option is to provide the website with code to paste into their pages. The code you provide contains the embedded flash object and a text link to you. Its up to you if you want to restrict the websites ability to remove this link.

Mack.
2:26 pm on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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From a ranking benefit, #2 is clearly the best. If you do that though, have a conversation with each of them first, don't just cookie-cutter the links. Get an individualized link from each site.

I used to have a competitor to a calculator service I offered. He required a 'powered by' link from each of his clients. I didn't. Years ago he temporarily ranked for some very nice terms as a result of all those links, but no more.

In other words, treat the scaled down gadget as a tool for negotiating links, not a standardized version.

The other thought I have is, if you do tests, could you create a full practice test? That might be of more interest to your associates to publish.
10:02 am on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks wheel - was inspired with this idea by your link building thread.
I've gone for the 1 and 2 option, but left 2 open to negotiation. Have had about 7 enthusiastic replies so far.
12:11 pm on Apr 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I don't do flash, but I am told it can be done so it is crawlable.
Worth taking up with your developer?
No idea if that restricts what can be done with it :(

Ah, yes - [googleblog.blogspot.com...]
(We're allowed to link to the official google blog, right?)
8:40 pm on Apr 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Wheel - I've gone with the "gadget" approach as they can put it nicely on their homepage.
Leadegroot - sadly I'm my own developer. Not entirly convinced at how well Google crawls flash.