Webcast Online Publicity and Link-Building 2007

Webcast Online Publicity and Link-Building 2007 (2/15/2007)
Presented by: Eric Ward, President EricWard.com

This is a summary of the webcast. The topics were a bit basic, but informative. The Q&A could have been a little longer and would have had more value if the question submission took place in advance. Eric Ward did a fine job and offered some good advice.

  • Audio available after the webcast at www.searchmarketingnow.com Basic introduction regarding IBL (in bound links)and the power that they have.
  • IBL analysis. Certain types of links can have different outcome
  • 4 Link types
    1. One that will actually deliver traffic, might not help rank (ie: banner link, advertisement, adwords, YSM)
    2. A link to help rank alone
    3. A link to do both (the mother lode or holy grail link). Helps rank and delivers traffic (author note: wiki)
    4. A link that doesn’t accomplish either of the first 2. (no traffic, no rank help)
  • Type 1) When buying links, you must make sure you are buying links because the audience of the site where you are buying represents a legit place for your ad to appear.
  • Type 2) If a site is trustworthy and links to your site, some of the trust spills over and will help your site.
    • Example using stormwater authority web site. Looking for sites that should help your rank (ie: a trusted sites). EPA.gov.
  • Type 3) The holy grail of links. Traffic and rank. ahhhh. Hard to find and to earn. You must have some high quality content.
    • Example given: Forbes (I question this due to the fact that Forbes is allowing Advertorials).
  • Type 4) MFA, FFA pages, Splogs, Link farms. Really just garbage and what the engines need to weed out.
    • Example:
  • Your content has link potential.
    • Nice, focused topics allow for high impact with few links.
  • Linking for publicity rather than search rank. Public relations have become more important. There is an overlap with PR and link building. Ultimate goal is the same.
    • Objectives:
      • Improved search rank
      • Awareness among their audience
      • Coverage by mainstream media. Sites such as CNN, MSNBC, CNET, ZDNet.
      • Building buzz around a site or project. Attracting social media, bloggers, editors, and reviewers. Example: movie web sites.
  • Beyond Google.
    • Yahoo picks of the week http://picks.yahoo.com, sites for kids, etc. Buzz and click traffic that can come from these sites. High traffic while featured.
    • Best Sites for Kids
    • Exploratorium’s Web Picks.
    • If your site has a legit chance to be a pick of the week candidate, there are places to submit (Yahoo example). Fill out form if your site is worthy. Yahoo does still select from submissions.
    • User generated links and social linking.
      • Bookmark Services: Furl.net, blinklist.com
      • Tagging tools: Technorati.com and Del.icio.us
      • Community: Digg.com and Reddit.com
      • Blogs
    • Discussion and example of Digg.com.
    • Discussion of the amount of weight given to the links from the social bookmarking sites. Ask: Can this tool be abused or gamed?. If yes, what weight does that deserve.
  • Conclusion: Different types of links.
    • Consider your objective.
    • DIY or outsource? Don’t outsource 100%. No company will have your interest at heart. In the long run, you are the most passionate person who will find the difference making links.
    • Challenge: Find the best person or service that is right for your particular site and/or content and niche.
    • No link builder can be an expert in all areas (niche). These little difference making points from one industry to the next are the key to identifying the highest value links.

Question and Answer:

  • Feelings on personalization of Google. Jaguar example. Depending on history, the result could be tailored for the person who is researching animals compared to the people who are buying a new car.
  • Can you be penalized for organic? Links that you didn’t seek. Probably not going to happen for something that was natural or organic.
  • Pagerank discussion regarding internal pages. No pagerank pages can still be found. Depends on the site and Google’s overall perception of the site. New content will probably be given higher value
  • Reciprocal Links: Speaker is not really against recip’s. No absolute answer. Some make perfect sense, others do not. What is the focus of the reciprocal. If you have a collection of related links because you want your user to learn. Don’t reciprocate with off topic sites. Sends a mixed signal regarding the site and your outbound links. If your goal is to show people a terrific new site, do so.
  • Why don’t PRWeb or press release links count? Press releases should be a part of strategy, however the release shouldn’t just be used for it’s link value. There might not be a lot of value there. If you were Google, wouldn’t you consider that a paid link? If ANYONE can create it, how much value should it have?
  • .EDU, best way to obtain? Speaker reviews the worst way. Find a professors blog and post a comment with links. Not effective.
    • Contact University departments that are related to topic you are promoting and/or providing. Professor might provide links to value added content. Reach out to professor 1 to 1. Find the owner of content and contact politely.
  • Is link building a long term effort? Yes. Your efforts should be ongoing to always attract and build with great content. Natural links will come. You won’t have to ask. Certain events will happen and it will make sense for you to seek links. Example: Major news event. Bring your content forward based on urgency and current events.
  • Should corporate sites run blogs in house, on main domain, or use a third party service such as Blogger or blogspot? Both have value and you shouldn’t restrict what you do.
  • How has nofollow impacted link building process? If your intent is purely click traffic when buying links, you might want to be sure to use the nofollow to be sure the search engines understand that your intent wasn’t to game.
  • Is it worth asking a site to format a link to you in a certain way? If it is an extremely popular site linking to you, the more faith an engine has in that site, the link anchor should still carry tremendous power. Keep in mind anchor text can be gamed and measured. That isn’t natural and the engines can value it as such.
  • How important is it to monitor in bound links. (IBL). Don’t obsess over it. Tools available to analyze.
  • Long term effects of broken links?? Not sure of the exact nature of the question. Use 301’s to recapture link popularity from moved pages.

End of discussion. Link to audio at the top of this page.

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