Eric Ward Offers Advice That Should Be Obvious-But Often Isn’t

By Catherine Potts | Nov 5, 2007
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Eric Ward posted an article on Monday, Nov. 5, on Search Engine Land about the five ways linkers hurt themselves.

No, it’s not by “cutting” or any other self-injurious behavior. Sometimes one would wonder… how do link builders get through the day without hurting themselves? After all, it can be mind-numbing to repeatedly input information into what feels like endless directories.

Self-injury aside, Eric has some good points (he is the master after all) for keeping your link building campaigns on-track. With the flood of information, articles and blogs I think it’s entirely too easy to over complicate a process that is really isn’t all that difficult to figure out.

Good links=good visibility. Smart linking=good exposure and respect.

Eric says to not be a “link seeking snob.” One bad thing about some websites is how trashed up with ads and various gobbeltygook they are. For me, it’s sometimes tough to figure out 1.) where the heck to submit a link and 2.) trust that the site is actually valid. I’ve learned to let go of the look of the site in the interest of gaining a link from them. It is true that the better a site looks, the more likely I am to trust it. Same goes for people. Remember those studies?

Also, Eric mentions that some have become over-reliant on social media. While social media and networking is a valid way to gain visibility, I think I agree that it can’t replace good old fashioned link building. I think there is only so much you can do to gain numbers in social media, but one area you perhaps have a smidge more control (dare I call it that?) is link building. I have come to know many of the directories and sites we use to build links and am very familiar with the “personality” of the site’s keepers. Therefore, I think it’s the link building in-concert with social media that gives the best possible chance to build a client’s rankings.

With everyone gushing over the so-called power of social media, I’m baffled as to how in the world us folks ever survived and built links back before sites like Myspace or Facebook existed. Social media was not created so you could dump URLs and treat the people like sheep. Click. Baaaaa. Click. Baaaaa. ERIC WARD

If you’re wondering exactly what social media is here is a partial definition found on Wikipedia:

Social media uses the “wisdom of crowds” to connect information in a collaborative manner. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, message boards, weblogs,wikis, podcasts,pictures, and video. Technologies such as blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, group creation, and voice over IP, to name a few.

The third mistake people often make, Eric says, is to outsource your relationship link building to companies with employees who haven’t mastered your site’s primary language. After all, these link builders are representing your company-and more importantly you’re client’s company. So if they can’t form a respectable sentence, that’s a problem. When outsourcing link building that will require personal contact (not basic link building that does not require direct contact staff-to-staff) make sure you choose a company who will represent you or your client well.

Fourth, focusing too much on the green Page Rank bar at the top.

Internal PageRank are the PageRank scores that Google uses as part of its ranking algorithm. Those scores are constantly being updated. In contrast, the PageRank scores that Google allows the world to see — Toolbar PageRank — is a snapshot of internal PageRank taken every few months.

He goes on to say:

It’s likely that after a few weeks, you’ll have gained some internal PageRank. You might see more traffic, as a result. But outwardly, the Google Toolbar PageRank meter will still show your same old depressing score. Then a snapshot will be made, and the better score you get will reflect what’s already been happening behind the scenes.

Lastly, Eric suggests you let go of controlling all of the content on someone else’s site as it relates to your linking. I think this has less to do with basic directory listings and more to do with appearing flush with a web site’s actual content. We have to make sure our linking and information is relevant to gain the most out of our links placed on other sites.

As always, Eric has a fantastic way of “dumbing down” the basics of link building and general relationships with other professionals in our business. I always find his manner of instructing those of us who are far newer at this game than he, very easy to understand and easy to apply.

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