Is Your Link Building The Dreaded Christmas Socks ?

by on December 6, 2009

The link begging craze that plagued the web over the past 5 years is truly coming to an end. For the average SEO consultant who puts a keyword in the meta tags and searches through competitor links, on the prowl for email addresses, times are a changing. Link building services need to evolve as the web evolves. Like the rubbish pair of socks you get from an irritating relative at christmas, they will be cast aside, steam rolled by better and shinier presents.

When I talk to people in the field, the most interesting part of the conversation is around linking. I love strategies that generate links because they can show true entrepreneurial flair i.e. find something people want and create it. Really, it’s no different from great marketing. But for a lot of people, resources are often not available to put a huge amount of time aside for linking so how can you start getting some links right now ?

The following technique is pretty simple and is just another form of article marketing but it does adhere to the principle above i.e. find something people want and create it.

Gathering Content

The growth of social media has given us direct access to conversations in our target market. It allows us to build an automated list of content that our market may be interested in. For example, let’s say I am in the “dog training” market. I can setup the following feeds.

1. Twitter

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=dog+training

twitter_image

Add this feed to your Google Reader

2. Digg

http://digg.com/search?s=dog+training

digg_image

Add this feed to your Google Reader

3. Google Alerts

You can set up a number of Google Alerts to keep track of keywords in your market. Just remember to add them as a feed:

google_alerts

These are just some quick examples. You can grab feeds from a variety of social sites in this way.

What’s Popular

The next step is to find popular content which is being republished around the web. This will ensure there is a market for your content and somewhere to advertise it. How many times have you written one article that got 0 views and was not republished anywhere on the web? Sure it gets you a link from the article directory but why not improve upon it a little to squeeze more out of your content?

A quick method of doing this is taking articles with a lot of bookmarks and comments, then looking to see where they are being published. For example, I found this article on Digg:

http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=intitle%3A%22Lifeguard+Dogs+Coming+to+Italian+Beaches%22&meta=&aq=&oq=intitle%3A%22Lifeguard+Dogs+Coming+to+Italian+Beaches%22&fp=85206a360d6a28e6

In this way you can build up a list of popular article headers and sites that may be interested in the content.

** Note: There are tools that will do this for you …

Creating + Seeding The Content

You should now be armed with a list of possible article headers and sites to ping once the content is live. If you want to automate the process of creating articles I recommend using WP-O-Matic to pull chosen RSS feeds into a WordPress blog that are setup to store content, train an article team to comb through the data and produce content based upon the metrics set out.

Once the articles are seeded out directories, you can set up Google Alerts to track every site that publishes them. This means you can:

- Get your links indexed
- Build links to your links (if that makes sense)
- Follow up with publishers who have used your content

The purpose of this post is to show one simple technique that can be pretty much automated using simple RSS feeds, WP-O-Matic and a little bit of research. It’s quick and easy, plus can be fully automated. There is another major part of this system (that can also be automated) “Get your links indexed” but that is a different post altogether !!!!

Just make sure you are not the boring pair of socks that no one wants ….

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