Lee Odden

Pubcon X – Link Building

Lee Odden     Marketing PR Conferences, Pubcon, SEO

Linking is still a critical part of helping sites rank higher in search engines and to drive traffic. This session included linking legend, Eric Ward, Jim Boykin of WeBuildPages and Bill Hartzer of MarketNet.

First up was Jim Boykin WeBuildPages. Jim decided not to speak from the podium and walk the aisle. Google Jagger update. Some did well, some not. Shortcuts are no good.

He presented a list of linking paranoia that pops up every time there’s a shift in rankings.

What does Google rank highly?

High TrustRank (lots of authority and .edu backlinks)
Huge and powerful websites sub pages (Amazon)
Old page that never changes, but gets steady links over time
New page on old stablished sites (good internal links)
Old sites that update and get a steady flow of backlinks that coincide with new content additions

Age of web sites influences rankings (Google)
That means slow and steady rate of content.

Shows Touchgraph Google Browser screenshot

Shows Jim’s linking neighborhoods graphic. Unnatural linking structure will not be rewarded

Get links from the neighborhood.

Good link page is annotated links within a paragraph, not:
Link Title – link description
Link Title – link description


Next up is Bill Hartzer MarketNet Inc.

Site Content
Your site is ultimately responsible for getting links.
Bad content = no links
Great content = potential for great links

Great content:
Content people will link to unsolicited
Content that stirs emotion

Types of Links:
External links, Intenernal links
Links must be crawlable with descriptive anchor text.
Search Engine Theme Pyramid:
All pages need at least one link from another page to stay in the index

External Links:
Submit to Yahoo DMOZ, Business.com, Joe Ant, Go Guides
Submit to strongestlinks.com directories
Provide free online tool or service
Press releases
RSS feeds

Search for variations of “add url keyword”

Link tools:
Filthy Linking Rich – Mike Grehan article
OptiLink, OptiSpider
Linking strategy: www.refengeofthemininet.com
linkdomain: search in yahoo for a particular site
Outsource a linking campaign to an expert

Bad links:
Links from the same Class C Block of IPs
Links from the same IP address, but different domain
Links from same whois owner
Off topic links
Sponsored links

What’s happening now:
Links from automated link exchanges and paid text link ads seem to count less
Run of site links mean less
Google spam filters are better at catching hidden text and mini networks of links

Link Advice:
More links. quality, theme, age, anchor text, amount of other links on inbound page, html links, internal linking structure,

Inbound links from authoritative, related sites, consistently adding new links and content

Donate your skills to non-profit sites for a link

College and Universities

Create a relevant blog


Last up Eric ward – Presentation at: ericward.com/pubcon

Has been linking since 1993. What is linking and why does it matter?

Does linking to drive traffic, not for Pagerank,

Google caused it’s own problem with link spam by making it obvious that links are strongly influential for rankings.

Linking terminology:
Authority site – Subject expert
Hub site – Collection of links to expert sites
Quality link – Depends. Paid links, from a blog, editorial link topically relevant sites, discussion lists – long tail links
Organic link – One way, descriptive anchor text, looks natural, not on same Class C blog, not from same from same domain

Links can impact rankings, but also create buzz.
Yahoo Picks, Forbes BOTW

Paid links: AdBrite

Vertical links – links that are subject specific

Email links – while not usually crawlable, many emails are archived to the web

If you seek links only for rankings, you’re missing out on many traffic generating opportunities. Search engines do not crawl the entire available web.

Linking Tools:
Teoma – Resources
Google’s version of DMOZ

Link Popularity Flaws:
Link depth – keep your content at top or second level directory at most
Non-web based links – Forbes BOTW, Lockergnome, Lil.org

Links for your site vs publicity for your site. There are many well-trafficed sites that review other sites.

Take aways:
Recognize the different types of links. Web based links are not the only types of links.

Tags: linking, link building, seo, Pubcon

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Search Engine Smarts says:

    Pubcon X Link Building for Better Rankings

    Link building continues to play an important part in how web sites rank on search engines and also to drive traffic. This session from Pubcon X in Las Vegas included link building legend Eric Ward as well as link guru Jim Boykin of WeBuildPages and Bil…

  2. RU Going to Boston Webmasterworld Pubcon Too? - Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog says:

    […] The last Pubcon I passed on speaking from the podium, and walked the floor instead (see Lee’s coverage). There I tried to get a message accross of "Aim for real links"…and "shortcuts are dead" and "do things in the "white light""….more just trying to get a "mood" to be in when working on link building. […]