Friday, December 28, 2007

The Link Spiel Needs YOU!

The polls are open and voting underway for the 2007 Search Blog Awards.

The Link Spiel has been nominated in the Link Building Blog category and we'd love to have your vote!

We can't promise a chicken in every pot but we will promise to continue sharing all the link nuggets we find! :)

So go! Do your civic SEO duty and vote!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Link/SEO Predictions 2008

With Barry griping about being bored every five minutes on Twitter I thought I'd help out and give him something to do by suggesting he ask around for people's 2008 predictions.

And amazingly, he did!! :

After thinking about it, I have a couple more predictions to add:

  • I think Google will drop the DMOZ this year. It's been taken from their "even more" drop down menu to where-ever so what's the point of having it?

  • Someone will create a hand-held device that is a USB stick, satellite radio, telephone, camera and dictaphone all in one. Ok maybe that one is more wishful thinking.

  • Creative conference swag is going to make a comeback. It started with the mug Stoney sent out for the holiday's, thanks for sending me one as well honey. Hatip Simon .

  • Reputation management is going to be the hot service this year, with more and more people participating in the review process it's going to be extremely important to monitor and correct/bump/trump what's out there.

  • I think you'll see a lot of the smaller SEO agencies/single shops consolidating or merging with larger companies. SEO isn't just about SEO anymore.

  • More private forums are going to blossom as people become hesitant to talk openly about what works and what doesn't in SEOLand. It's sad really because the quality of the content being shared publicly might suffer.

  • And on that note, my last little predication is really an annoucement: at long last we're re-doing our site, adding new services and bringing on new people to Alliance-Link in January.

  • In addition, my poor little blog here will be transfered to a new big girl Link Spiel. See? Hell can freeze over. ;)-

Happy New Year everyone. I wish you good health, family happiness and online business success.

And for Barry I wish no day ever be boring. :)

~ Debra.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dan The Man And Paid Links

Great post by my old friend Dan Thies on the SearchReturn Discussion List today. This comment had been made in a previous edition (sorry can't recall by whom):

"Matt, using VPN, surfed into Google's network (without showingthe audience his screen) to come up with the internal number oflinks the site was actually being credited for towards rankings.The number? Three links."
And Dan responded by saying:

This is an extreme example of what has been the reality of paidlinks for a long time. Google is very good at detecting andfiltering paid links.When Matt said a while back that they were catching 95% of paidlinks already, the text link industry and their flacks in theblogosphere jumped all over it, accused Matt of lying, trying touse FUD to control webmasters, etc.

Here's the truth: the paid text link industry has become nothingbut a big scam. Those who profit by it, and there are many,don't want to admit that. They want to shift the discussion andattention away from the truth.

Here's the truth: renting links has never been a "standard and accepted SEO practice." Bob Massa remembers. Danny Sullivan remembers. No amount of spin and noise on the part of the link peddlers can change the reality of the situation.

If you want links, build something worth linking to and market the hell out of it. It's easier, it's cheaper, and it works. ~ Dan Thies.
Excellent advice! If you haven't had a chance to subscribe to Detlev Johnson's SearchReturn, you should. It's a great, free discussion list with lots of good info and input from people working in SEO and SEM. Here's the link to subscribe to SearchReturn , give yourself an early Christmas present!

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Prime Time To Get A Video Link

I've been following the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike since an old high school friend is a member. She's been writing for a popular police drama for a number of years now so I set my alert services to bring back tidbits on the strike and her writing group in particular.

This morning I got an alert from the Center for Media Research with a survey recap from the Online Testing Exchange with some interesting numbers as they relate to the way people will watch TV (or not) as the strike goes on.

Seems 44% of the people surveyed stated they'll continue to watch their favorite show even if they're repeats and 26% said they'd probably watch more reality TV since those types of shows aren't likely to be affected by the strike. (I love you Simon!)

But the most interesting number IMO was this one:

16% said they'll watch more original content on the Internet as a way to keep themselves entertained during the strike.

The OTX only surveyed 3100 people for this opinion poll but still...... 496 of them said they'll go online for original content. The fact they KNOW to go online means they're already aware it's there and will just do more of it. Don't let the statistic fool you, that little drop in the bucket represents a huge possibility if you think about the millions of people with Internet access.

If you've thought about creating a video now might be the time to get it going. With universal search the topic du jour and the writers strike possibly re-channeling people online, you stand a pretty good chance of being seen -- and linked to.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Here's Why I Won't Quit My Link Building Job

Besides the fact I'm old and have plenty of insurance, here's why I'll stick to link marketing and ignore future casting calls:

This little piece of video handiwork is my daughter's book report. She wrote the script, the cuecards (in crayon since she couldn't find any markers) and directed her dad (cameraman) her brother(cuecard guy) and me (sorry excuse for a talk show host). I'll let you know what grade she gets. ;)

Anyway....... enough schtick, there is some link building spiel here, read on.

Last week Justilien and Roger each wrote a piece on why it's a good idea to build links in-house.

Scott Boyd of FusedNation countered with an interesting and colorful point of view on why you should out-source. While I don't agree with some of his comments regarding link builders as professionals, I do get where he's coming from and agree that linking can be tedious.

I'm not sure there is a right or wrong answer with this whole issue of out-source vs in-house but I do know this:

if you want to rank well, you need links. But if you want to succeed online, you need link marketing.

We tend to put blinders on when we talk about link building and look at it from a technical standpoint rather than a marketing or tactical viewpoint. Everything we do to get online is technically related. Web design, shopping carts, CSS, databases, stat programs, live chat, etc. All widgets/software used for instant interactive success.

But then... we hit the SEO/link building aspect and boom --not so instant, not so easy. It doesn't matter if you outsource or keep this part in-house, this is where it gets hard for everyone.

So why is that? Even Justilen, Roger and Scott all agreed on this point - link building is hard. Why is this necessary evil we call link building so difficult for so many?

I believe part of the answer lies in the approach. Link building requires a technical and creative outlook, it's the one aspect of online business you shouldn't automate and can't just upload for success. The techincal nature of your business needs to be put aside for good old fashioned sales and promotion skills. If your background isn't in marketing or you're not channeling PT Barnum, here's where it gets hard for you.

I recommend a two-tiered approach starting with foundational linking and then branching into the custom work which can use tactics such as link bait, incentive marketing, traditional advertising etc.

Every business is different and requires a custom link marketing program if you want to attract quality links. There's no cookie cutter approach here, everyone is unique from the smallest of online business to the big boys so your custom link programs need to be the same.

If you want to outsource, use these guidelines.

If you want to keep it in-house, look for people who understand the difference between being a short order cook and being a chef. Those are the folks you want to train to be your link marketers.

Fetch / Sphinn
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