Linking Odds & Ends
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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