Thursday, March 29, 2007

Getting Clean Links From NoFollow Lemons

I was just as dismayed as the next link builder when places like the Wikipedia, and YouTube decided to turn all their outbound links pink by adding nofollows. I had spent a good deal of time getting some of them placed and thought – oh well, there goes the neighborhood.

But! After thinking about it a bit I decided if I couldn’t get the juice from the link I’d focus on getting the link to the juice.

As a link builder it’s my job to find the best sites to secure links from. I’m after topically relevant, reputation heavy, growth oriented sites that host my demographic. Basically – popular sites in a given niche. If I find those top sites are using nofollow I'll still utter a curse word or two but it won't stop me from going after the link.

Why? There’s a very high probability the demographic frequenting the site will click through to mine because they trust the host site and assume any link they offer has to be relevant. It also doesn't hurt that I'll use the most alluring anchor text I can think of to further entice people to click. Once they land on your site it's up to you to do everything in your power to capture their information and attention.

With emphasis on their information. If you’re establishing new links, point them to pages with special offers and free giveaways that require registration to download. Give away whitepapers, discount coupons, survey results, newsletter memberships… anything with a perceived value that allows you to capture an email address.

This also works for established links now color coded pink. Change the content on the destination page and include the special offers. Once you have the email address, develop a link incentive and send it back to those people who downloaded your info. They took the first step in showing you they liked what they saw and wanted more info so follow-up with another offer and request to link. People link with sites they like or make them look good so take time to develop an incentive that’s mutually beneficial.

Just because someone found your site through a nofollow link doesn't mean they won't link to you using a clean one. You just need to find out who they are and then do the follow-up.

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