If you’ve ever tried building links to your site, you’ll have some idea how difficult they can be to acquire. People are always trying to find quick, easier ways to build links. People are creating services to save you and them time when building links. But this is not the way to go about acquiring relevant, high-quality inbound links. You want to be using a professional link building company, rather than a lazy link builder.
Supplied by Barrie Smith of Receptional Ltd, here are some traits of the Lazy Link Builder:
Same Email Request Text
If you haven’t asked your link builder to copy you in on every email link request they send out, you’re very unlikely to know what they’ve sent out in each of their emails. It’s very easy to write a generic, vague paragraph or two in Microsoft Word that can be relevant to all 100 or so of your targets. And then send it out, starting with Dear Sir, Dear Webmaster… etc. (I receive these all the time as a gambling affiliate).
This is a common trait of a lazy link builder. While they’re spending a few minutes doing that, a professional/good/clever/call-us-what-you-like link builder will be getting a feel for each of the 100 websites, trying to find a name of the contact they’re about to email before they personalise the email they send out. Whether it be a comment about their latest blog post or a compliment about the site; something personal that gets the attention of the recipient. I’m a firm believer this increases the request conversion rate.
Auto Directory Submission
Unless they’ve improved since I had a look at them, auto directory submissions are a little tool that publish your website to hundreds, sometimes thousands of nonsense directories. They come with a fee, and take about 5 minutes to submit. Easy, right? Lazy? Ja. Unless they allow you to use 100 different home page titles (ie the anchor text link you’ll receive from these directories), then you’re also at risk of being penalised for creating a large batch of links with the same anchor text. Not to mention, just a large bundle of links in quick succession (provided all of the directories you’ve submitted too can process your site within a couple of days). And what benefits do you really get out of directories? As far as I can tell, there are only a few worthwhile directories worth submitting too. Directory submissions are a fine example of quantity not being better than quality.
Manual directory submission is the way around this. It’s not an exhausting task. There are a handful of worthy directories, plus there are often a few directories in your niche that are worth submitting too. Find out if they pass any value before you submit.
Auto Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking can be a used as a good method to increase exposure and visitors to your website, if done correctly. But the basic task of submitting a client’s work to a social bookmark doesn’t cut the cheese for me. The lack of effort and link juice coming back isn’t as effective as it can be.
An effective social bookmarking strategy would be to get a good following on these sites, and help your content go viral to increase its and your popularity.
Linking from their Own Sites
I won’t deny I enjoy winning a client where we have a website or two in the same industry as them, and thereby I have the most straightforward task of linking our site to theirs as an easy win. But in a lazy link builder’s mind, some of them find it acceptable to build links from all of their unrelated in-house sites sidebars or footers, to the client, presumably to impress the client. I’m thinking specifically about an example in my mind now as I write this, but trying to build sites to an English site, offering an English service really doesn’t help their rankings when you’re building links to these sites in Bulgarian from a Bulgarian domain!
Taking your time to build up a network of sites and from a range of authors will have much more benefit to you in the future, rather than the quick wins from your own link building company. Especially when it comes to ending your contract with the chosen link building company, and they just remove all the links from their in-house sites that were pointing to yours.
Blatant Forum Spam
Forum commenting and networking does have its value. If you’re using these to build up forum reputation, relevant traffic and even potential customers on these sites, it’s all beneficial. I don’t see any value in the long run for using a forum spamming tool to build links to your site. Enter a paragraph of text, your anchored link and press submit to spam forums automatically. Likely to be the same forums that similar lazy link builders have already submitted too, and therefore your website is listed amongst a large number of other links and on unrelated content. This has no positive benefits and could even turn out to be a negative for you.
Spend 5 minutes a time on each industry-related forum you can find that you think will be beneficial to your company, and post useful, insightful comments to build up your reputation. The benefits in the long run include reputation, trust and relevant visitors. Someone who knows your product best, or is most passionate about it would be ideal candidate to do this task.
Blatant Comment Spam
Similar to the forum spam above, blatant comment spam doesn’t have any benefits to your website in the long run. Again, using tools to do this can often lead to your link being placed on unrelated blogs and amongst a large list of links (bearing in mind that this is a common trait for porn and Viagra sites, do you really want to be listed alongside those?) is not worthwhile.
Commenting on blogs written by powerful people in your industry is another good way to building your reputation, whilst also having the potential to receiving valuable clicks (as demonstrated by Marko Saric).
Don’t fall victim to the lazy link builder! Make sure they are armed with a creative strategy before you select your link building team!