Hot At Sphinn: DIY Link Building, ‘Sexier’ Google Analytics & More

sphinn-logoIs it possible — and smart — for anyone outside of link building consultants/agencies to successfully scale a link building campaign? Should a “regular Joe” follow the timeworn advice to mine competitors’ links, contact link targets and ask for links? Is that the best use of marketing time and resources?

Our “Discussion of the Week” last week on Sphinn asked, Is DIY Link Building a Good Idea?, and we got a good variety of comments. Our favorite comment came from Sphinn member Cindy Lavoie of Sound Web Solutions, who said:

It’s labor-intensive work and hard to do if you have another role in your company. It’s fine to DIY, but don’t expect to get far if you have other responsibilities on your plate. And it’s easy enough to outsource, so why not?

Meanwhile, a story offering tips for “sexier Google Analytics reports” was the most popular story last week on Twitter. That, and all of the week’s popular content, is listed below.

Most Comments

  • Discussion: Is DIY Link Building a Good Idea? – We all know links are a key element of SEO. But it's also difficult and monotonous work. The tradition of analyzing competitors' links, creating a list of link opportunities, contacting site owners about getting a link — that's time consuming and often unsuccessful. In our new "Discussion of the Week," what's a webmaster or business owner to do about getting links? Is Do-It-Yourself link building the best way to spend time and resources, or are there other ways to build inbound links? (One obvious answer is to hire a link building company/consultant, but that's not D-I-Y, now is it?) :-)
  • LinkedIn Reaches 100 Million Users (infographic) – The LinkedIn blog reports that the business social networking service has reached 100 million users.  Good infographic visualization.  Any takers for when they'll reach 200 mil?
  • Is Facebook Killing Off The Company Website? – There are many consumer brands andmusical superstars that measure their fan numbers on Facebook in the tens of millions. This rapid increase has only happened in the last 2 years and for some Facebook pages that phenomenal growth can be measured in months.  Here are some headline numbers.

Most Tweeted (not already listed above)

  • 35+ tips and tricks for sexier Google analytics reports. – There is however a wealth of data hidden behind its reporting tools in Google Analytics if you can just manipulate it the right way. This collection of tips, tricks and reports should hopefully get you off to a flying start.
  • How to Find Twitter People that Don’t Suck – Really comprehensive article with ideas, tips, and tools for finding quality people/accounts to follow on Twitter. There are lots of articles on this topic — this is one of the best.
  • SEO Checklist: 60 essential checks before launching a website – Launching a brand new website or publishing a new site version is typically a straight forward process given that it is well planned and well organized. Failing to take into account all the known ranking factors or failing to build an SEO-friendly website can lead to low rankings in Search Results. As a result before publishing a website, the Webmasters and the SEO professionals should validate that they are aligned with the best current practices and that they have not made important mistakes in their SEO campaigns. In this article we list the most essential checks that one should make before publishing a website online.
  • Marc Jacobs Hires Intern To Manage Twitter. Fail Ensues. – Kristy Bolsinger brings some tweets to our attention which are certainly doing the Marc Jacobs company any favors!
  • How to use Google Reader to share and promote content on Twitter – Last week I wrote a post here on sharing and promoting content on Twitter, and included seven tips on doing this.  But several of you have asked for a better explanation of the 6th step:

Hot On Sphinn: March 21 to March 27, 2011

  • SEO Is Dead…Love Live SEO! – Lisa Barone, covering the "Is SEO dead?" session at SES, concludes: SEO is dead as a term, as opposed to something you actually have to do.
  • Groupon accused of 'bait and switch' advertising on in lawsuit – "Groupon is being accused of running "false and misleading business and advertising acts" and running "bait and switch" ads on, according to a lawsuit filed by a bus tour company in San Francisco."
  • UGC Gets an A+ on Google Test with Panda Update – Two weeks ago, Google rolled out changes to its algorithm in an attempt to decrease visibility and rankings of low quality sites on 11.8% of search queries, called the Panda Update. “Low quality” is defined on search engine blogs  as content that is shallow or limited, poorly written, copied, and generally not useful to users.In addition to the SEO benefits of fresh user-generated content (UGC) on product pages, we have seen time and time again that UGC aggregated into branded archive-like pages can attract a substantial amount of ridiculous long tail keyword traffic. As the Panda Update was announced, we knew that UGC Archive sites would be affected in some way. With a bit of cautious uncertainty in mind, we randomly selected a group of archive sites and started monitoring.
  • Link Building with Photo Journalism – Jason describes how a picture is not just worth a thousand words, but could also be worth a thousand links. "Contracting a professional photographer to capture images of a news-worthy event can be a great way to both build links and establish new relationships, and based on my experience it can be cost effective as well."/a>
  • Content Sieve: Producing Skimmable Text – A post that accentuates the often forgotten point that the formatting of the article is of critical importance in whether or not it will get read.
  • Google Places : Local SEO That Influences Global Search Marketing – Loren Baker goes into great detail with some good examples and screen shots about how Google Places and the new merged local results are affecting organic SEO.
  • 57 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Website – Dianna Huff asked some of the best minds in the business for their tips on what you can do RIGHT NOW to improve your website.
  • The Keyword Detox: How to Refocus Keyword Research to look for Gaps and Opportunities – Several days ago, I was asked to review a list of keywords for a site and created a nice little layout to provide gaps and opportunities for established keywords. Everyone thought it was nifty, here it is so that you can benefit, too…
  • When Social Bites Back: Dealing With Missteps – Love this from Amber Naslund — thoughts on managing social screw-ups whether you're the offender or the boss of the offender.
  • Google Adwords Slap & Ban Recovery – An in-depth look at how Google is banning some Adwords accounts and penalizing others, with information on how you might recover if this happens to your site or account.
  • Defining Your True Competitors – While clients can tell you who their business competitors are, it's still good to find out who's beating them (or keeping up with them) in the rankings in order to fully identify who their true online marketing competitors are.
  • How to Build a Six-Figure Blog Without Anyone Knowing – Glen introduces the concept of "email blogging" and shows how it could be profitable.
  • 7 Local Web Marketing Infographics To Overload Your Brain – Andrew Shotland covers 7 local web marketing infographics that are sure to overload your brain.
  • Google's Collateral Damage: SEO Cat & Mouse Game [Infographic] – A fantastic infographic developed by the fine people of &
  • 25 Things I Hate About Google, Revisited 5 Years Later – What does Danny hate and love about Google? Here he revisits his post from 5 years ago and with the latest updates.

This is the latest in a weekly look at the stories that were “hot” on Sphinn in the past week. We’ll post these recaps every week.

Related Topics: Channel: Other | Sphinn


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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