Chair: Peter Young,Brilliant Media Speaker 1: Kelvin Newman, Speaker 2: Dixon Jones, Speaker 3: Nick Garner

— Kelvin —

Links are votes, you have to win votes. Each time you get a link, it’s a micro relationship.

In gaming there’s an awful lot of money in SEO, and we focus on organising labour to make the process more efficient & cheap.

Or workflow goes something like this:

  1. We collect data for the tasks – shared back link data from competitors.
  2. We run it though parser, and filter to check whether the sites are worth getting a link from.
  3. We outsource the link requests. Based on the response:
    1. If we get a yes, we use a CRM system to ensure that we get a person local to the webmaster to develop the relationship.
    2. If we get a no, we offer a fee.
    3. If we get no response, we keep following up.

Tools used:

  1. Zoho (shit customer service, but useful & cheap).
  2. Majestic SEO – particularly clique hunter data (love it)
  3. SEMRush (evaluates value/rank of the site)

— Dixon —

The real secret about link building is that it’s all about building relationships.

[pause for cringe]

Example –

They created a PR campaign – announcing they were kicking out all ugly people, starting with a PR Newswire release.

The story achieved front page news – with a link on the BBC, Huffington Post, etc.

After the initial links/traffic died down.

This campaign wasn’t based on relationships. The data shows that after the initial campaign, the links/traffic dwindled.

The campaign alienated potential customers.

Example: SEOmoz

Badge scheme – based on relationships.

Links/traffic volume have remained.

Based on these findings…

Majestic developed the ‘Majestic Million’ campaign. Playing on vanity, and using relationships.

The top Million sites based on Majestic SEO data are eligible for a Majestic Million badge.

We shared a private Beta of the Majestic Million with a handful of bloggers, to test the tools.

Prepared an electronic press release, blog post and newsletter.

Results so far:

Launched yesterdays…

  • Links back from some well established sites.
  • Comments on Twitter.
  • Emails from existing contacts.
  • Indexed in Google within 48 hours.

The PR agency are still working on their relationships.

— Nick —

Nick has grown a beard because: Beard = Genius

Tips for finding link opportunities:

Good search operators to find opportunities to reach out to people & request a link (Google):

  • inurl:category/guest
  • brand

Run a broken link checker on target sites. It’s a good opener with the webmaster, which warms them up to a link request.

Stalker tool – qwerly helps you find connected accounts. Handy, because you could find people & contact them using a means that works for them (maybe more likely to reply).

Checkout IP Neighbours -webmasters may have more assets that you could request links from.

Schedule follow up emails in Outlook. (create email, options, set delivery time). Pick a time that works better (i.e. not beer o’clock)

Find trade associations – using

Try crowd flower. Like mechanical Turk but for the UK. You can pay people to do the relationship building/content generation for you.

Toluna – survey site. Results can come back really quickly (e.g. 250 people in 30 mins). Use this for PR.

Sponsorship slots on Anyone looking for a sponsor can list their details – e.g. for branding, link on a website, mention in a newsletter.

Q: You don’t pay for links, but what’s your scope for ‘admin fees’

A: All things are relative. Use good metrics to determine the value, however, you it’s very difficult to estimate. Is it relevant? What effect could it have on rankings.

Q: Is it worth using bad PR to generate links.

A: Balance between brand reputation going to pot, and ranking results. Brand associations will be poor, keywords that you will rank for are likely to be poor. On the other hand, it can work.

Q: Genuine white hat link building wins

A: Check out competitor backlinks. Identify ‘types of site’. Looks for more of these.

Q: What is black hat / white hat

Google is a profit making machine. They set their black hat/white hat guidelines to make money. You should identify what is sustainable, and responsible. Sod Google’s definition.

e.g. of negative PR linkbait:

  1. top 10 hottest sex offenders
  2. kicking out uglies.