Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's A Little Guy Have To Do To Get Some Links?

Over on the SEM2.0 discussion forum Adam Audette started a thread titled: Goodbye Little Guy? where he talked about potential changes coming to those doing business online:

One of the most fundamental shifts the Internet made to mainstream media and business was the ability to grant power to the little guy (and girl). We all appreciate how the web makes it possible for anyone to reach a large audience, literally overnight under the right circumstances. The topic I'd like to introduce this week is how this may be changing, in the SEM world at least, with paid search being an indicator.

The gist of the post is PPC focused but what Adam was saying resonated as I hear similiar comments about link building all the time. Unless you're one of the big boys, have unlimited funds or have been online for 10 years and are algorithmically grandfathered, it's tough for the little guy or the new gal to secure links from the kinds of "authority" sites that are going to help you gain exposure and higher rankings in short order.

Yes, (almost) any link is a good link but getting links from established "authority" type sites is what you really want and need for that upward push. With more and more sites coming online, with big companies investing huge dollars in their online venues and the search engines tightening their algorithmic belts, what does a little guy have to do to get some big links?

My answer? Be first. It's not always about being creative or controversial or having gobs of the right anchor text from the better sites. Sometimes, it's enough just to be first.

The implementation of universal search has opened the playing field for anyone to be first in their niche. It's not about size or how much money you can throw at keywords, it's all about creating the element and getting onboard. Develop and optimize video, audio and photo/image elements on your site and get them out there. Don't wait until your competitor does it, get the grandfathering process going now.

Once that interactive component is on your site and operating, jump into the various social media platforms and push it there too. There isn't a lot of cost involved to shoot a video or take a photo and there are even sites offering to turn your blog posts into podcasts for free.

Once you have the new elements on the site, do the basics and get it out there. Pitch reporters with the "hey look we're first to do this" hook, issue a press release, and send an annoucement to your customers and vendors. Heck - pitch the Oprah show. It will be a whole lot easier if you're already established on YouTube.

People root for the underdog and love to see them win, here's where being a little guy can work to your advantage. Play the angle, step up and be first!

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