Ultimate Guide to Link Building: How to Build Backlinks, Authority and Credibility for Your Website, and Increase Click Traffic and Search Ranking

Ultimate Guide to Link Building: How to Build Backlinks, Authority and Credibility for Your Website, and Increase Click Traffic and Search Ranking

by Eric Ward, Garrett French

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The web today is comprised of trillions of links: links between websites, links within social media venues like Facebook and Twitter, and even links in email inboxes. Who links to a site and how they link to it is one of the most important factors that search engines rely on when ranking results. But how do marketers control this? Link building expert Eric Ward provides the answers.

Sharing little-known techniques for link building via social media platforms, blogs, partnerships, public relations, articles, and more, Ward teaches marketers which link-building techniques will maximize the quality links that point to their site, allowing them to charm both search engines and customers and which methods to avoid.

This one-of-a-kind guide details a variety of link building tools, tactics, and techniques illustrated by case studies, expert interviews, and resources. Ward leaves no opportunity unexplored, and no link-building questions unanswered.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613081808
Publisher: Entrepreneur Press
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Series: Ultimate Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 693,306
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Eric Ward is recognized as the web's leading expert on content linking strategies. Nicknamed LinkMoses, Ward has been creating linking strategies since 1993, and founded the first online publicity services for web sites, called NetPOST and URLwire, in 1994. Ward’s company was hired by Jeff Bezos as the online publicist for Amazon.com's debut. Today, Ward helps companies create and execute linking strategies, and teaches others his techniques. He is the Chief Link Evangelist for AdGooroo, and writes a private subscriber newsletter. He also writes the LinkWeek column for industry news site SearchEngineLand.com, and has written for ClickZ and Ad Age Magazine. Ward has spoken at more than 125 industry conferences, and his clients have included PBS.org, WarnerBros, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, TVGuide.com, and Weather.com.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Foreword Mike Grehan xv

Introduction Ken McGaffin xix

Chapter 1 A Brief Introduction to Search, Links, and Link Building 1

A Brief History of Links and Search Engines 2

Enter Google 4

Chapter 2 What Makes a Website Link-Worthy? 9

Chapter 3 Link-Building Campaign Design 15

Planning Campaign Scope: Six Factors That Impact Campaign Design 16

Chapter 4 Toward Effective Link-Building Campaign Metrics 21

Link Building as Search Engine Impact 21

Link Building as Market Engagement 23

Chapter 5 Linkable Assets 27

Linkable Asset Analysis 27

Common Linkable Asset Categories 28

Identifying Competitor and Other Market-Determined Linkable Assets 31

A Process for Identifying and Evaluating Your Existing Linkable Assets 32

Chapter 6 Link Opportunity Types 35

Going from Linkable Assets to Link Opportunity Types 35

Common Link Opportunity Types 37

Chapter 7 How to Conduct a Link Opportunity Analysis for Your Keyword Space 43

Know Your Market-Defining Keywords (MDKWs) 43

Design Queries for Each Opportunity Type 44

Analyzing Your Results and Simple Recalibrations 50

Chapter 8 Link Prospecting 51

Common Link-Prospecting Methods 51

Anatomy of a Productive Link-Prospecting Query 58

The Tilde: Advanced Operators in Link Prospecting 62

Chapter 9 Competitor Backlink Prospecting 65

Tools for Pulling Competitor Backlinks 66

Chapter 10 Automating Your Link Prospecting with RSS Aggregation 67

Set Up Several Keyword-Based RSS Monitors 67

Chapter 11 List-Scrape Prospecting for Link Builders 69

List Hunting 70

Aligning Your Pitch with the Available List 71

A Note on Blog List Scraping 71

Spray and Pray? 72

Chapter 12 Link Prospect Qualification 73

Qualifying Link Prospects Based on Available Metrics 73

The Tool for Faster Metrics-Based Qualification 75

Making "By-Hand" Prospect Qualifications 75

Tools for Faster By-Hand Qualification 76

55 Link-Opportunity Qualifiers 77

Chapter 13 What Is Link Trust? 79

Spotting Signs of Trust 81

Chapter 14 Relationship Building: Preciprocation, from Relationships to Links, and Developing Your Content Promotion Network 85

The Preciprocation Concept 85

Building Preciprocated Relationships into Links 86

Develop Your Content Promotion Network (to Tap into Others' Networks) 88

Overpreciprocating: The Dangers of Always Being the "Platform" 89

Chapter 15 Analyzing Market Pains to Create Highly Linkable Content 91

How-Tos, Guides, and Other Informational Wonders for DIYers and Curious Prospects 92

Identifying Linkable Content in Your Market 94

Process and Tools for Identifying Linkable Content 94

Remember: Linkable Content Can Generate Conversions, Too! 96

Engaging Your Internal Thought Leaders and Subject Matter Experts 97

Tip-Based Content-How to Research, Scale, and Promote 98

Chapter 16 Link Acquisition 103

Designing the Pitch: Before Sending Your Link Acquisition Emails 103

Warmer Relations: Sending "Preciprocation" Signals in Every Email 104

Demonstrating Concern for Their Audience's Needs 104

Suggesting "Mentions" or "Sharing" Instead of Requesting Links 105

How Much Customization Is Enough for Your Outreach? 105

Sending Your Emails: Gulp...Executing That Irrevocable Moment 106

Handling Outreach Responses: Ignores, Accepts, Declines, and Counters 107

Acquisition Tracking: Keeping Tabs on Your Efforts 109

Submission Acquisition: Covering Your Bases 109

Link Relationship Management Tools 110

Chapter 17 What a Link Request Might Look Like 113

12 Elements of Irresistible Submission Requests 113

Chapter 18 Putting the Pieces Together: Link-Building Campaign Templates 119

The Ultimate Resource Aggregation Piece 119

The Group Interview/Survey of Experts and Other Market Participants 123

Question Design: Warning... You Get What You Ask For 124

Your Own High-Quality, Lead-Generating, Brand-Building Content 126

Expert Engagement: The "Writing Assignment" 127

Free Products and Services: Contests, Donations, and Giveaways 128

Chapter 19 Building Links and Expertise with Guest Post Placement Campaigns 131

Know Your Audience's Name 131

Brainstorm More Target Audiences 131

Quick Viability Check-"[Target Audience]" + intitle: "write for us" 132

Identify the Volume of Placement/Posting Opportunities 133

Gauge the Quality of Placement Opportunities 133

Quantify the Level of Expertise in Existing Guest-Published Content 134

Gently Cross-Examine the Client Before Signing That Contract 134

Tracking the Outreach Phase's "Moving Parts" 135

Outreach: What's Templatable, What's Not 136

Outreach Execution Advice 138

Chapter 20 Broken Link-Building Campaigns 139

Search for 10 to 100s of Links Pages 139

Scrape Outbound Links from the Pages 140

Check the Status of Each Outbound Link 141

Recheck the Status of Each Dead Link for Final Verification 141

Gather Metrics for the Dead/Unresponsive Pages 142

Review Dead Pages by Hand 142

Pull and Qualify Dead Backlinks 143

Outreach 144

Link Equity Salvage Campaigns 144

Chapter 21 Bulk Outreach and Link Building 149

From Link Builder to Email Marketer 149

Lists of Prospects Are Everywhere 149

Create Offers that Work at Scale 150

Write Powerful Pitch Templates 150

Simplify Your Prospect Qualifiers 151

Simplify Your Campaign Success Metrics 151

Educate Yourself on CAN-SPAM 151

Chapter 22 How Reciprocal Links Can Be Viable 153

Chapter 23 Link-Building Tools 155

More about Link Insight 155

Majestic SEO Site Explorer 156

Keyword Combiner 157

Ubersuggest 157

The URL Status Checker 158

Regex Filtering Tool 158

Pick Shortest URL Per Domain 158

List Comparison Tool-jura.wi.mit.edu/bioc/tools/compare.php 158

The Super Deduper-dedupelist.com 158

The Contact Finder-tools.citationlabs.com 158

Archive.org 158

The URL Opener-urlopener.com/index.php 159

The Link Prospector Tool 159

Chapter 24 Six Link-Building Lessons from Our Peers 171

Bruce Clay 171

Christine Churchill 173

Debra Mastaler 175

Rand Fishkin 177

Joost de Valk 179

Mike Grehan 181

Chapter 25 Link-Building Strategies: A Quick Reference for Brainstorming by Jon Cooper, pointblankseo.com 195

Basic Strategies 195

Content-Based Link-Building Strategies 197

Link Attraction 199

Helping Webmasters 207

Paid Strategies 209

College/Educational Links 211

Community Strategies 213

Community Projects 213

Leverage Existing Opportunities 214

Give 216

Develop Relationships 217

Traffic Drivers 218

Local 219

Linking Out 220

Conclusion 223

Chapter 26 Epilogue 225

Resources 227

Link Building and SEO Glossaries 227

Index 229

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Eric Ward and Garrett French have put together a solid, easy-to-read link-building primer. The book provides simple explanations and straight forward advice when it comes to building links; chapters are well outlined and flow from point to point. If you are new to link building this book is a great resource for anyone looking for tools, tactics, and case studies to learn from.
- Debra Mastaler, President of alliance-link.com

Eric Ward has been a thought leader in how to build links the right way since before there even was a right way. His extensive relationship building background mixed with challenging projects has given him insights and methodologies that are advanced and increasingly necessary in today's Internet marketing world. He has brought his many years of hard fought experience to the pages of this book, and I heartily recommend it to anyone seeking to grow their skills.
- Bruce Clay, CEO of International SEO firm bruceclay.com, and author of Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies

Eric Ward pioneered the practice of link building as a marketing channel and continues to be among the thought leaders of the field. His expertise and hands-on experience are virtually unmatched, and I'd recommend his book to anyone who uses links to help grow their business.
- Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz.org

Those who want link building done right by the best in the business flock to Eric Ward and count themselves lucky that the maestro isn't booked into the next millennium.
- Jim Sterne, targeting.com, Founder of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and Founding President and current Chairman of the Digital Analytics Association

An SEO classic! This link-building book by far provides the very best advice, stories and actionable white- hat link-building tips. This is the best link-building book I have ever read!
- Nick Stamoulis, Founder of SEO Firm BrickMarketing.com

For anyone who's been ‘hit’ by Panda, Penguin, or any other algorithmic update by Google, this book is a must-read. It’s time to quit looking over your shoulder and start building links that will stand the test of time. Eric has been one of the foremost thought leaders on link building since before links became a dominant ranking factor, so there's no one better to train you on seeking out and acquiring the high-quality links that will bring you visibility and mindshare that go far beyond search engine results.
- David Mihm, DavidMihm.com, Co-Founder of GetListed.org.

Eric Ward is the old school mac daddy link master.
- Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, Publisher of toprankblog.com

Eric's skill at website promotion is legendary. We've been using his services since 1995, and on more than one occasion had to work closely with our hosting service to keep our servers up under the high traffic loads that resulted from Eric's publicity!
- Amy Strycula, Founder of CatsPlay.com

Eric Ward has been building links and educating people on how to do it the right way since before even search engines decided links were important. Read and learn!
- Danny Sullivan, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of SearchEngineLand.com

Eric Ward is hands-down the smartest thinker in the space when it comes to link building. I guarantee this book will open up any mental blocks you've had about where to get started and set you on a path to becoming a link magnet.
- Mike Grehan, Publisher of Search Engine Watch and ClickZ.com, Producer SES International, and SEMPO Board of Directors

If you're in SEO and take your job seriously, you know Eric and Garrett. When Eric and Garrett talk about link building, you listen. The only issue when they talk is— there's too much genius to write it all down. So, when they do the writing down for you, you buy the book and read it. Twice. At least. You won't regret it.
-Joost de Valk, Founder and CEO of Yoast.com

Eric is the undisputed master of quality link building. We've worked together for years and he's frequently surprised me with new insights and little-known, and easily executed, strategies to build our customers' backlink portfolios.
- Richard Stokes,CEO of AdGooroo.com and author of Mastering Search Advertising - How the Top 3% of Search Advertisers Dominate Google AdWords and The Ultimate Guide to Pay-Per-Click Advertising

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