Rae Hoffman: Delegating link development.
Outsourcing link dev, exchanging, link buying, spamming, public relations, link bait, ad agencies. The right link dev firm can help you achieve great success, the wrong one can cause a lot of problems. A lot of people are out there looking to take advantage of you. Use a firm you’ve gotten a recomendation for, use a sponsor-list like pubcon, or just jump in, but if you do this, dont do it with a site you’re paying your mortgage with.
Research your choices, use SE of your choice to see what the backlinks and buzz the company gets, how do they develop links, do they utlize networks under their control (aka when you stop paying all your links go away). What kind of training do they do, how to they access your site, do they work for your competitors, what is the average cost and number of links, will they sign a non-compete. Expect at least a general answer for all her questions at least. You are who you hire. Their actions could be recived well or recived badly, could get you good ranks or could get you penalized.
Hiring and training an in house link developer. The number and quality gained by an inhouse person will surpass an outside firm. You must know SEO, to have an in-house link dev program. if you don’t hire an expert to comoe setup your program for you.
Ask them what their favorite SE is, name 3 SE, do they know what a blog is, do they know what link is, do they know what a message board is what is their favorite website, do they use instant messenger (you want someone who does use it, a lot) do they know what an email client is, what browser do they use and why, can you find me a canon sd-200 digital camera I can actually buy. It is easier to hire someone who is familiar with the internet but has no marketing background than hire a marketer.
Training docs are important: different types of links you want to obtain, how to find those links, glossary of terms and acronyms (like ROS) information on competative intelligence (very important), reciprocal linking policies (nofollow tags). links to link dev articles that follow your philosophy. Listing of link myths (like don’t get low PR links), spreadsheet template, email templates, document template, clear listing of expectaions (like quotas, realistix expectations), list to SEO tools. Wow she talks fast.
In the beginiing you’ll want to task your link developers specifically about links. If you try to help them gain independance give them freedom with smaller, less important sites, not your cash cows.
Measures: how many they get how many the obtain, what kind, what quality, what anchor text, where are the links, how are they retained. Most importantly your search engine rankings.
Inhouse vs outsource factors:
expectation of quality, ability to house employees value of rankings vs cost of each, expertise to train and manage, if you want the added work of more employees.
Botton line on outsource: get referrals from friends, do research ask questions.
Bottom line on inhouse: hire internet capable people that you think you can train, task them in detail and keep them away from important sites and create docs and resources.
Joel Lesser linksmanager.com: Reciprocal linking.
When its relevant. Cost effective way to get traffic, even before google.
Link exchanges have gotten a lot of bad press, as have most online marketing methods. Avoid no editorial control services and services that guarantee links. Link exchanging should be a time consuming process, but it is stil usefull. Most people will not respond to link requests with out something in return. Its a give and take world. relevant and related sites should exchange links.
How to indentify a partner: sites that have lots of good related content, have a lot of incoming links.
Reciprocal linking, when done right is a great, cost effective way to build links. There is a lot of misinformation, be careful what you read on the web.
Don’t get a lot of links in a short amount of time, retain editorial control, use link exchange request forms if available. mak linking descisions for users not SEs.
Links lists are perfectly ok, but there are other ways to do it, sidebars, linklets, articles.
He shows two quotes from Cutts and Zawdony, he says they’ve never said not to exchange links.
The most important part of a google patent “a large spike in incoming links could indicate spam” esp in sites “without editorial control”.
Watch your volume
look for relevance, no mentions of pagerank no ads for non-relevant sites, year long purchases. Smaller offline magazines. giving away banner ad space. look for time based, not impressions based costs.
“advertise with us” keyword -cpm
“rate card” -cpm advertising
allintitle:”sponsors” -cpm site:.org keyword
“job far” site:.edu
buying whole websites
search for “temporarily down for maintenance” or allintitle:”site is offline”
sites of the month
search “site of the month” + keyword
site of the day and week
check for archived newsletters
search newsletter keyword sponsors
newsletter “Advertising rates” keyword
remember to dig outside of the .com. .net and .org space (like .co.uk)
concentrate on .org’s (search: keyword sponsorts site:.org)
research competitor backlinks (linkdomain:example.com site:.org)
.edu job fairs (like above)
he very rarely uses google to search for link opportunities, use yahoo.
cultivate leads with informatl sites
create inbound links with satellite sites
take advantage of the power of blogging, get involved in the conversation, comments, blogrolls.
he uses the traderjoes magazine as a blog on paper as a good example on what content to put on a blog.
youtube and google video
links on videos, in youtube “more stats” links to people who are liinking to that video, direct links in descriptions when you upload a video to google video, both of these methods show up in your backlinks and can create real traffic.
submit to software directories, here he talks about using parasite SEO in software directories to dominate a keyword phrase.
charity design, might not pass PR, but if its related it could be a good thing to do.