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Best link dev idea generators

What I'm using right now.

11:58 pm on Nov 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 11, 2003
votes: 12

Roundup of what I use for link development.

Note: I don't so much use tools for link development. I use tools and sources for link development ideas. I develop my links by hand.

1) Raven Tools. Backlink checker (haven't even looked at any of the other tools) It's either that or majestic I guess, and Raven has a nicer looking website. $99/month is a bit steep for a one person operation and I'd like to get out from under that, but right now, it is what it is. Anyway, the tool's nice, I like that it generates a report I can reference repeatedly. I think my next step is to drag the report into a spreadsheet so I can scale the report back to one line per domain (If you've got a ROS link, the report shows a line for every page).
2) The link dev forum here. I have maintained for years that your first order of business needs to be to read every single link dev post going back 2 years. Sounds corny, but it's true - you'll get ideas by reading this stuff. If you haven't followed all or most of the posts, take some time and do that. Heck, I've posted like 3000 times there, I must posted at least one thing that you'd find slightly above a waste of time.
3) Eric Ward's newsletter. I hesitate to even post this. It's a name I've seen through the years but not often. No idea why that is, and don't care, but I went down the rabbit hole on more than 3 .edu level links just from the welcome email on that newsletter. A fourth one I already knew about. Note: this is throwback link dev. If you still believe in .edu level links, this is a breath of fresh air. This is an example of things I think 'I probably shouldn't post that', then I realize most people don't listen even when you show them directly what works, so there it is. Get the newsletter or don't, but if you don't, well, I got nothing. the newsletter is in my ongoing 'todo' file.
4) Logs. Still overlooked and I don't do it often enough. Logs won't do link dev, but search terms and referrals provide golden nuggets on new content ideas.
5) The phone. Not cold calling - call your buddies regularly. If you just got back from pubcon, pick up the phone and call everyone you met. If you call 10 new friends you met at pubcon and don't get at least one link dev idea thrown at you, I'll eat my hat.

All that together, here's some examples of what comes from all that:
- PR6 backlink, authority site. Cost: $250. Website URL: your local chamber of commerce. Found that looking at *my own* backlinks of all things - then realizing that I could apply to chambers of commerce of locations that are near to me. The next city over is happy to take my clams in exchange for a membership, even if I never attend.
- I have a calculator on my site that cropped up for a really weird long tail term. The logs exposed a related niche to get links from.
- I already indicated how the newsletter helped.
- I actually emailed (not called) someone new I met at pubcon. Got a guest post blog out of them, they seemed less enthusiastic about my suggestion that I bring my family to their house so they can show me how they go crab fishing. People are funny that way. And not funny ha-ha either. Funny sideways creepy look funny.
3:51 pm on Dec 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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votes: 31

@ Habtom:

Being nice and asking for links rarely works for me (1 in 20 or so). The ones I acquired were by offering slightly exaggerated compliments on the good jobs they have done with the website

Being "helpful" might be better than being "nice."

I get lots of spam posts on my blog telling me how wonderful a writer I am and ho I have shed new light on my topic. Those are instantly deleted.

What works well is instead, aside from a few VERY SPECIFIC compliments, is pointing out where they have a broken link on their page, and suggest that they fix it. And then kindly mentioning that while they are fixing that link, it would be greatly appreciated if they could also add a link to your site, too.

It's more time consuming though because you have to find broken links on their site first.

I guess you could point out spelling / grammar mistakes, but that might get them upset and think you are a nit picker.

Another option (if they don't have any broken links on their site) is to suggest a COUPLE of different sites for them to link out to, like two other people's sites and yours as well, and you should have no connection to the other sites, but they should be high quality sites as well.

Much harder work, but my success ratio is more like 1 in 3 instead of 1 in 20.
4:40 pm on Dec 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 11, 2003
votes: 12

Why is one in 20 links 'rarely working'? That's a great success rate.

I got asked once how I got 3 .edu links to my site. My respons was 'one at a time'. Because that is how I get links - ask 20 people, and on a good day get one link back.

So you have to ask lots of groups of 20 people. I don't think anybody building links has a success rate where you ask 20 people and most of them give you a link. Well, I sometimes have an almost 100% success rate, but never at the 20 link request level - only ever because I spend a lot of time targetting one specific links so that I know when I ask, I'm going to get.

But that's OK. it's work, and that's a four letter word in most people's vocabulary, making it a huge barrier to entry.
7:09 am on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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joined:Dec 1, 2011
votes: 0

Some great tips Wheel. Kudos.
Is Eric Ward's newsletter worth the nominal subscription?
It's quite cheap in $'s I realise but I don't earn dollars haha.
9:55 pm on Dec 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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joined:Apr 24, 2003
votes: 0

I just bought my 5 most prolific reviewers an amazon kindle plus a 50 dollar voucher. all their reviews divided by the amount of the kindle cost they gave me articles for less than 1 dollar...

...so another tip is to build a community around your niche and use the Pareto principle (law of the few), spoil the good ones, they are worth it...
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