• http://www.ericward.com Eric Ward

    Garrett, this is far too good to just give away. But I’m glad you did. Great stuff! The process you describe will be effective in many verts, but not all. I’d also augment YSE with additional data. The challenge I’ve had with this has always been educating the client as to why this type of approach is best, and even then many clients still just want a quick fix. A few years ago I added the word etiologic to the description of my processes on my site. People ask me what the heck it means, and I share my approach and beliefs in understanding the origins, pathways, causes and effects of content and links, links and content. But I still feel sometimes like I’m talking to a brick wall. Your column here helped me feel better, so thank you :)


  • http://www.brickmarketing.com nickstamoulis

    Hi Garrett, This is an excellent approach and it makes perfect sense. I really enjoyed the examples that you linked to as well, each of those posts provided excellent information too…I will be sure to pass along your post to clients that sometimes look at me like I have 3 heads when I conduct this type of research :o)

  • http://ontlo.com/blog Garrett French

    Thank you! We’re excited about this new process – it has really streamlined our linkable content creation AND the distribution and outreach portion.

    I agree also that this process won’t work in all verticals – it’s especially useful in high-passion consumer verticals (outdoors, any DIY) and passionate B2B verticals that have embraced content marketing (SEO, for example ;).

    For B2B spaces without deep content we’ve had to dig much deeper for solid, citation-worthy content, and our methods of link counting and occurrence counting aren’t as likely to float up the best content in a keyword space. The process of identifying missing content and seeing linkable content opportunities are similar though.

    Regarding quick-fix mentality… I’m with you. My belief is that organizations should be creating highly-linkable content on a weekly/monthly basis, sending it out in an email newsletter and working to distribute it through whatever social media channels are used in their industry.

    I’m glad this article and process could be the etiology of better feelings – the process owes a great deal to YSE. Without knowing the link count to individual pages rather than an entire site we’d have a much more difficult time identifying what specific types of content are successful in a given keyword space.

    Regarding YSE augmentation – we’ve also looked at # of delicious bookmarks to a page as a measure of its impact and value within a space. Would you mind sharing other indicators that you’ve found useful? :D

    I sometimes overworry about being overreferrential when using link building content as an example. I’m glad that the highly-linkable link building content we found proved valuable to you :) I hope this article will help your clients relax and pay attention to the DATA ;)

  • http://www.capturecommerce.com tomshark

    Garrett, This is the best post I’ve read on link building in a long time. You asked questions that most of us are asking and then outlined a workable strategy to achieve one of the most elusive goals of content developers.

    I particularly liked your answer to “What are attributes of the highest-linkable content?” because you provided clear aspects to measure for most keyword markets.

    I’m interested to see how many links this piece gets!

  • http://ontlo.com/blog Garrett French

    Thanks for reading, and I appreciate your kind words… We work hard on our internal link building processes and tools – it’s great validation to hear that they’re helpful to others. I’d value an email with links to any content you create and distribute using this method – and especially any variations on the process you discover!

  • bigmastiq

    Hi Garrett,
    I found this great article a week ago and I just said wow when I saw it. Perfectly done :) Then I decided to try this method for the vertical I work in – money transfers, competing with paypal, WU, moneygram, etc. Even for how to [keyword] searched the top 20 results are mainly commercial sites offering money transfers. There’s also some ranking guides that show with 2-3 links, sometimes with even 0 links just because they come from super trusted domains with gazillions of links. How should I proceed here, as I cannot identify highly linkable content? If we keep posting the same boring stuff on the company blog we would never attract the links we need.


  • http://ontlo.com/blog Garrett French

    @bigmastiq yowza, that’s an interesting problem… you’re definitely fighting with some giants there. Congrats on blogging… that can often be a difficult first step to link building :)

    The first thing I thought of was checking Digg: http://digg.com/search?s=money+transfers

    There’s actually some interesting content showing up there… Some political, some “investigative” etc… but what this search shows you is that there IS HOPE for money transfer related content ;)

    (note – I cribbed this check-digg idea from Neal Rodriguez http://twitter.com/notifyneal you could also look at Reddit or other social media sites for other examples)

    Another thought I’m having – without researching, so forgive me if this is off base – is looking at your target markets and identifying what media they’re reading. If they’re into the Personal Finance space for example, then maybe something that compares the costs of all the major money transfer sites, or tips for getting the best deals on money transfers.

    I would also look at different segments of your market who conduct money transfers. For example, if there are lots of college students who transfer money, write an extensive guide that’s targeted towards their needs. Then look for .edus that have mentioned money transfers, and other college student finance-related sites. These could be good prospects.

    But… getting back to research-based methods… :) I would definitely go and aggregate backlinks to money transfer FAQs at your competitors using YSE. Though many of these will be crap links from spam sites, you may stumble upon some consistent, legitimate content needs out there that may not be answered.

    You’re definitely in a tough space – good luck and, if you get a chance, let me know how you proceed!