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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

SMX Advanced Session Synopsis: Beyond the Usual Linkbuilding

Synopsis of the Beyond the Usual Linkbuilding session at SMX Advanced. Written in real time format.

Some Good Link Sources:
-Audience-targeted content
-Useful widgets/tools
-RSS
-SERP listing optimization

Content which is attractive to links includes:
Public Domain Content (federal, state governments, etc.)
Private Domain Content (fair use)

Project Gutenberg: contains formerly copyrighted works now in the public domain.

Widgets and "blog bling": also known as "information consoles", but beware of "bad practices" when developing widgets - Google does not consider widgets with hidden links as a good source of links. Even "good" links contained in widget code will be discounted, i.e. insertion of widget code into a website is not as clear an endorsement as is a link from a blog, etcetera.

Widget "DO"s:
-Provide widget on the same site it is linking to
-Create widgets thematically related to site where possible
-Provide clear legal terms stating links are included
-Provide layout color options
-Keep your branding minimal
-Provide easy to install code
-Promote widgets

Widget "DONT"s:
-Don't hide links in widgets
-Don't link to another website
-Don't bury mentions of links in legalese
-Don't use redirects or pop ups

Create Content or Profile Links - there are many sites at which you can create public profiles with links for free
-make them look good
-examples:
--Google Knol
--Hubpages.com
--Buzzle

Another source of links may be from clients or suppliers
-offer gift cards or discounts
-offer gifts such as tshirts
-old fashioned US Mail asking for a link
-call them on the phone!
-local and national associations, local chambers of commerce, etcetera

Use links in Video embed code

Ask for product or service reviews from friendly blogs

Contests and Promotions
-What makes a good contest? Generally, it starts with the prize. Make it valuable to the people who you want to enter your contest. They have to put in an effort to enter, so make it worth it.
-Something reasonaly innovative, not a "me too" contest (ie don't just copy what a competitor has done)
-Establish a reasonable time frame, give people time to get involved, but also strike a balance as if the reward is too far away in time, people will lose interest
-Create a buzz: panel of notable judges, press releases, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etcetera



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