Tuesday, November 29, 2005


When people could be spending time and research dollars on things like cures for cancer, spinal cord injuries, global warming...they're spending it on this shit: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10243378

If anyone believes they're doing this so businessmen can tickle their kids before they go to bed at night are tickled in the brain.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

New Blog Directory

The folks over at Best of the Web launched a new Blog Directory - http://blogs.botw.org/
There's a couple critera you have to meet before joining...your "blog must have a history of 6 (six) months or longer, contain unique and legal content, and be fully operational at all times."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How Do They Know That Stuff?

Person A told Person B they were buying domain names, parking them and then using for various marketing and business reasons.

Person B remarks he had noticed people doing that but didn't know it was being done for "various" reasons...

Person C (that would be me) wants to know how Person B knows other people are doing this. I mean, how could a person notice other people are buying domains and parking them?

Know Your News

If I had an online buisness in the motorcycle, truck or hospitality industry I'd find this interesting:

Toyota said Monday it would extend its sports-related activities via multiyear sponsorships of several leading motorcycle events, starting with the 2006 racing season. Read rest of article.
Varooom! There are a ton of link marketing opportunities here - let's break them down and take a look.

"The company will become the title sponsor of the American
Motorcycle Association Toyota Motocross Championship (TMS) presented by FMF Racing, Rancho Dominquez, Calif.; and the Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series; and will also become the official vehicle of the Amp'd Mobil Supercross Series. In addition, Toyota will add support to the K&N Filters presents BooKoo Arenacross Championship Series "

There are four race series mentioned here plus a major Association in the field of motorcross. The racing series offers programs and websites to purchase link space from and the Association can be joined for lots of opportunities, linking being one. (could buy email lists, network etc). If your link buying budget isn't huge, consider offering prizes/merchandise/offers in exchange for link space and sponsorship.
"The Torrance, Calif.-based company said that marketing and public relations programs developed and executed by Toyota will accompany each of the sponsored racing series and will be unveiled in early 2006. "

Get a jump on your competitors and contact Toyota now about getting involved, don't wait until it's formally annouced. For people in the hospitality industry - find out what cities host these events and ask to be the official hotel/restaurant to the race. Don't forget to contact the City's CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau) about additional exposure and promotional opportunities. Make getting website links part of every deal.

“The truck market continues to be a major growth opportunity for the auto industry and trucks and motorcycle racing go hand-in-hand,” Brian Smith, TMS corporate manager, truck operations, said in a statement. “The average motocross fan is about 23 years old and about 75% have a pickup truck in their household. This is where truck customers go and it's what they're doing and Toyota wants to be part of their activities and their interests.”

Interesting info in terms of demographics. Target this age group in your link offers and advertising.

I'm only looking at this in terms of securing links but there are MANY other opportunities you could work on with information like this. Taking the time to visit sites like BrandWeek are worth their weight in gold, be proactive in your niche and find other publications like this to help you!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

More Questions

Yes, I think 45 links from on-topic "authority" type sites was a good end-result for my client. Some of the sites secured are big names and I negotiated text links from them. The client moved up in the serps, had a ton of traffic that turned sales and brought lots of brand awareness to their products.

Yes, I had an idea about how many links I needed to get this client to move up for particular sets of keywords. Was I sure? No. Can anyone be sure? No. But looking at what the sites ahead of him had and who was linking to them...I got a general feel. GENERAL FEEL.

And before anyone else writes and asks where I got the "feel" from - I use various pieces of software, one being the
Backlink Analyzer . The tool is down toward the bottom of the page. It let's you see who is linking to whom and information about those sites.

Link Karma is Good.

I had a couple questions emailed to me on the incentive linking program above and it's prompted me to explain a bit more.

Yes, there were only 15 sites that agreed to host the link but there were over 45 total text links secured as a result. The sites hosting the link were all what we would consider "authority" sites, some major portals with very strong traffic. The client benefited all the way around - rank, traffic, sales. And then there was the link viral thang......

Once the partner site's competition (meaning the competitors of the sites hosting my clients link) took note of what they were doing, they would contact my client and ask to participate. The answer was always no since the incentive promotion was exclusive, but the client would turn the competitor request into a link buy or trade.

The whole promotion (start to end) took about 30 days with the bulk of the time used in research.
The incentive offer was valid for a year and was exclusive to the sites participating. At the end of the year they'll have the option of renewing, letting my client pay for the link space or dropping out.
I've done this several times and my experience shows most sites opt to renew in some way. Some don't but it doesn't really matter since the "link karma" usually kicks in.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Win-Win Link Marketing

When you do shows like SES and only have 12 minutes or so to talk about linking strategies, it's hard to share tactics on incentive linking. Incentive linking typically involves a bit of planning and research and is always unique to the industry so it's less cookie cutter and not easily translated to short bursts of linking wisdom.

Anyway, since I can talk all I want here I thought I'd share an example of an incentive linking opportunity since they've worked so well for me over the years. I'm not naming names (I sign NDA's for everyone I work with) but have used the actual industries and demographics.
Here's the set-up:

My client was in the motor coach/travel business, they're a large established company that's been online for a while. They currently rank very well for certain key terms, but wanted to focus on some interior pages and lesser terms that would also reinforce a couple PPC campaigns they were running.

I worked with their marketing manager and SEO firm to identify the keyword phrases/pages to target and set out to develop an incentive strategy to attract a specific demographic. It's really important all the key players agree on what to target so it's a focused campaign. You only get one shot to secure a good link so the site has to be ready.

We talked about several demographics and settled on the over 55 crowd. We determined the who (seniors), the what ( kw anchors to use) and the where (pages to link to). From there I had to create the "how" or the "how will I attract the link" incentive.

I started by researching the senior market in general then senior publications, portals and associations to find senior sites repeatedly mentioned or those with high visibility in the search engines. I wasn't just looking for well ranked senior sites, I also needed high traffic sites with offline publications since the over 55 crowd (based on the research I did) tends to be less computer savvy, likes to and has the time to read hardback publications. Armed with all this info, I went link fishing.

Creating link offers can be a lot of fun provided your client buys into it before you start. Most offers include a discount/change to a price point which means a change to the shopping cart which means programming issues which could mean delays if they don't buy into it at the start. So be sure everyone is onboard and site changes have been made before you begin.
The bigger the giveaway, the better the incentive. The better the incentive the more links you get. Free shipping and merchandise is always a hit (I'm still amazed at what people will do for a free tee shirt) piggyback promotional offers, rebates, coupons etc. All good - all work. In my case, I was giving away per person discounts on motor coach tours if the site hosted an optimized image link plus three optimized anchor text links embedded in two paragraphs of text on various pages within their site. (Try to get both links and optimized content for max ranking and brand awareness benefit).

I worked with the motor coach site's marketing manager and their copywriter to create a promotional email that succinctly explained the promotion. I followed up with a phone call but the initial contact was via email so a paper trail could be started. The promotion was successful with all the sites (15) I contacted opting in somehow and adding the links.

So why didn't I just buy text link ads on all those sites instead of going the incentive route? Because it established a relationship that was beneficial and long term to everyone involved. Each of the sites I offered the incentive to saw it as a no-cost-to-them-long-term- benefit they could offer their users. Made them look good, was good for us and good for the consumer. It was win-win link marketing :)

It's more than submitting to Directories, swapping or buying a couple links.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Is It Worth It? Yes It's Worth It.

While we're talking about Directories, I wanted to chime in with an opinion on whether or not you should pay for a Yahoo Directory listing.

As a link - YES. It's a solid, human reviewed link so it's a good one. It might seem like a lot of money to plunk down but for anyone who buys links and knows market pricing, paying $25 a month for a link like that is a good deal.

( Ok-- so now I hope they're NOT listening... ;)

They're Baaaack!

It's no secret I'm a big fan of Directories, I like what they stand for and their Nadar-like fight to have a place in search online. It wasn't a good summer for them, a bunch fell out of the Google index or lost a measurable amount of green - signs they were caught up in some sort of policing action. But all the sites I watch and use are back on track, some even stronger than before. That's good to see.

It's also nice to see the new facelift at
Best Of The Web Very nice.

I think the Directory resource at
ISEDB (which also got a new do) is one of the best ones out there, you'll find hundreds of general, niche and specialty directories to add your site to. Some are free, most aren't but the ISEDB indicates which are which so it's easy for you to review and establish a budget before you start submitting.


"Google Inc. has won the approval from city officials it needs to begin building a Wi-Fi network in its home base of Mountain View, Calif., the company said Wednesday...Google hopes to use the Mountain View network as a proving ground to show officials in large metropolitan areas that the search giant can provide city-wide Wi-Fi access."

I've got another suggestion for them since they're in do-gooder mode.....how about providing FREE WIFI in airports. Since the airlines can't seem to get flights in or out on time, people/I'm spending a lot of time waiting around - time that could be spent surfing online!

Yo Yahoo...... are YOU listening?

Friday, November 11, 2005


"The computer is a moron"
"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said."

Peter Drucker 1909-2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Follow The Bouncing Ball

What a great spot...Sony's new commercial for it's Bravia LCD TV. Made me smile.

I also LOVE this ad. Click the Quick Time text link in the center.
The coordination here is awesome and I think the song is hilarious. And it's not even Anheuser-Busch beer! Whoo hoo!

Since When Has It Been About Reciprocal Linking?

Read an article today Are Reciprocal Links Dead? Google's Jagger Update where it said:
If the current indications are correct, we may be looking at the end of reciprocal linking as a method of building rank and link popularity, at least as far as Google is concerned.
I'm not sure I agree with this. What's going on appears to be about irrelevant links of ANY type, not just reciprocal links. If two sites in the same industry decide to swap links are they going to be ignored? I can understand devaluing links swapped between sites in totally different niches, but to say all reciprocal links could potentially not count toward link popularity doesn't make sense.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Think Like Them

I was reading something the other day (don't remember where sorry) and it said people went through three stages of search when buying:

  1. They're thinking of buying and want to see choices.
  2. They research to find what they want.
  3. They buy what satisfies them.

If you're looking for sites to leave/buy/barter links, knowing where your buying public goes in any of these three steps would be smart. Look for sites and blogs that host product reviews, DIY guides, testimonials etc for items in your industry and negotiate for a link. If people are searching for info on services/products chances are they'll find these sites and your link. Finding those sites should be fairly easy, do a search using your keyword + "DIY Guide" or "product review" and you should find candidate sites.