Today I have what I hope will be a helpful mashup of link building related notes, news, and tips. This is my attempt to hide that I couldn’t bear to write about link bait again, at least for another week. So onto my prediction of reciprocal Google Bookmark requests, linking lawsuits to perhaps return, cashing in time on link equity, DMOZ as a forgotten resource, appropriate Digging, phase search as a killer link building tactic and mining the 404 mother lode.
Reciprocal Google Bookmarking Cometh
Give the increased importance of Google Bookmarks for ranking, watch Google Bookmarks become the next link building tactic to be abused. Reciprocal Google bookmarks anyone? It can only be a matter of days before I get an email that says…
Did you know Google bookmarks can help your search rank
Please add our site to your Google Bookmarks, and once you do
please email us to let us know you have, then we will place
a Google Bookmark to your site in return.
Ugh. Can paid Google Bookmark networks be coming soon? Bet on it. This is technically pre-spam, since Google bookmarks are only supposed to affect the results of your searches based on your own bookmarks, not anyone else’s. Yet. Also coming soon? Gadget-itis.
Speaking of Google Bookmarks, if you use the import feature and upload all those crusty bookmarks that have been on your PC for years, half of them never re-visited and the other half 404′s, won’t that pretty much ruin them as a algorithmic signal of interest? Note to Google: verify and validate every bookmark uploaded via the import bookmarks feature.
Linking Lawsuits To Return?
It’s funny that today people will kill for links, but remember the wonderful Link Controversy Page? It’s still great reading all these years later. People used to get sued for linking. I wonder, with personalized search coming down the mountain, will we have a new batch of lawsuits? If Dad forgets to sign out of Google and Mom happens across his search history, how will he explain that search for "naked hula hoop amazons"? Gotcha.
Cashing In Time On Link Equity?
Six years ago I wrote…
There’s a battle going on concerning dead dot-com site links. Good sites that were around for a few years had built up a nice collection of links pointing to them. Then the crash happened, and content couldn’t pay for itself. But those sites have one remaining asset: link equity.
Link equity? The term is even more relevant today, but in some ways for the wrong reasons. Combine link equity with the 301 redirect and you have a business. People buy and sell and repurpose older sites/domains that went poof back when link equity had no monetary value. Today, old sites with trusted links are the web equivalent of prized heirlooms.
People love to bash The Open Directory, DMOZ. I know, the majority of categories are orphaned, and it’s easier to get backstage passes to Beyonce than it is to get into DMOZ. But some DMOZ categories still try to stay current. The category I edit at DMOZ has not had a new site submitted via the submission form to it since the day the editor function went back online. Prior to the crash I received about five new link requests a week. Now? Zero. And why do people claim that you can only get one link from DMOZ? This site (disclosure: my client) now has 164 separate pages linked.
I enjoy a good Digg as much as anyone (so Digg this), but I wonder how many of us share common "digg morals" regarding links? Is it OK to place the Digg this! button on your own content and then self-digg it? Is self-digging ok period? Is self-digging just another flavor of spam? Is it right to digg something you didn’t read? What about diggs from multiple accounts? What about sending email to a handful of "friends" and casually mentioning you’d love a digg? Regardless of traffic sent or buzz created, when is a digg no longer trustworthy? Is "illegitimate digg" an oxymoron?
Phase Searching For Link Focus
Quick link building target identifier/timesaver: Jim Boykin’s Search Combination Tool. A secret tip: Once you use it, create the queries and go to each engine, and add quote marks around the search phrases. Now, re-do your search. Bingo. This little tweak really thins the herd. I reduced a one search from 1.5 million results to 17, and all 17 were legit targets for the content I was seeking links for. These and other free tools rock, but nothing works better than your own intuition and curiosity.
I’m doing a project where I have to identify target sites that would be potential link and publicity targets for this content about Percy Julian, the genius African American chemist from 1950s I’d never heard of until four weeks ago. Here’s an example of one of refined searches I used to spot potential venues to reach out to.
That’s 60 really great targets, not just for links, but for people who would be highly inclined to care about the content I’m publicizing and might be in a position to share it with still more folks with that same interest. Another example? How about this. Or this easy one.
Mine The 404 Mother Lode
When was the last time you checked your server logs to see which links from around the web are still sending you traffic but to pages that are now gone from your site? The 404 not found error log file is a goldmine. I once saw that an old article I’d removed from my site was requested 200 times in one month. What did I do? I recreated that file, personalized it just for people expecting to find it, and then used it to direct people to my other content/services.
Can You Believe…
The latest "you’ve got to be kidding me link building tactic:" offering to teach those one session non-credit night courses at universities just to get your own .edu web space where you keep course material, and ummm, other things, like links. As Gomer Pyle would say, shame, shame shame!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.