Alternate Link Building Strategies: The Linkerati Effect

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Several bloggers have suggested writing about the linkerati as way to draw editorial backlinks. This post is a sort of lens to some great articles elsewhere, plus a bit of value-added on my end.

Rand at SEOmoz identified the linkerati, and says that every site is linkbait and linkerati worthy. But that’s provided that you can identify the people most likely to link to you and attract them to your site. Obviously, you want to profile them or give them recognition in some fashion, and more often than not, they’ll link to your article. You also want to put some thought into your content. (I’ll be repeating that mantra a great deal.)

A summary of tips:

  1. Forget the A- and B-bloggers.
    They get lots of link love as it is. Go after the other linkerati. Of course, ByLinking takes care of that indirectly, though Google may soon be devaluing links from theme templates, etc.
  2. Mind the Cs and Ds.
    There are many newer bloggers that just don’t get the attention they deserve. Profile them, their blogs, their niche. Interview using video Skype or just voice or text.
  3. Check the comments.
    Who is commenting on your site? Can you profile them? Don’t be shy. There’s nothing that says the interview has to be serious or even long. Pick 5 linkerati types in one niche and interview them about their blogging tips.
  4. Check the trackbacks.
    Profile those who link to you – makes it easy to choose the next post. Put some thought it into the content you use.
  5. Go wide.
    Instead of one big linkbait per week, try 5-6 solid smaller resource posts. Why? Well, you’re casting your net wider for editorial links. Maki’s DoshDosh and Daniel’s Daily Blog Tips are two of the best examples. There is so much linkworthy content there. I may link to 3-4 posts there, and so will another several dozen bloggers, because there’s just so much good content.

    For example, if you write one solid, linkable article per day, 5 d/wk, that’s about 250 per year. If they’re good, and you’ve developed enough of a profile, each post is probably worth 3 backlinks each or more – because you’re catering to other bloggers. That’s at least 750 backlinks per year, hopefully from different sites. And slow and steady links are often more valuable and persistent – at least to some SE algorithms. [Of course, if your blog is new and has low visibility, you may not gain 3+ backlinks per post, but going wide is still a good strategy.]

    If you go with the root domain trust model, you place this blog aimed at linkerati/ bloggers in a subdirectory of your main site. Not just another blog about blogging, but one with your personality and enough extra content value that you stand out and induce editorial links. (Of course don’t forget to deep-link your archives or try alternative link building strategies.)

The diagram below shows the Linkerati effect. Write something interesting about one member of the Linkerati, and if they link back to you, their readers may see that and link back to you as well. I’ve seen it happen first hand, though I stumbled across this concept. And after the primary and secondary back links are the tertiary links. Those are from readers of the secondary linkers.

Linkerati effect - inducing links diagram

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  • Pozycjonowanie

    Thanks for article Raj i used some links:) The diagram “shows the Linkerati effect” – i use this since last year and it works really good. Greetings

  • Raj Dash

    Pozycjonowanie: Very nice to hear! Proof, indeed. Hope you read the articles I linked to. They are very worthwhile.

  • Raj Dash

    Addendum: Read Steve Pavlina’s Confessions of an A-list Blogger. If I recall correctly, Steve says he probably picks up 10-50 new links in a given day. And while that’s obviously from other bloggers, he doesn’t write for bloggers per se. So my comment in my post above is a bit misleading (writing for bloggers).

  • Daniel

    Raj, top notch post as usual.

    “But that’s provided that you can identify the people most likely to link to you and attract them to your site.”

    Good point.

  • Raj Dash

    Hi Daniel. Thanks. And keep up the great work.

  • Mark Lee

    Great article Raj. Could you please give the right link to tat steve pavlina’s article?

  • Raj Dash

    Ooops. So sorry:

  • Wayne Smallman


    It’s relevance I’m after with my links, not a brown nose from getting much too close to an ‘A’ lister.

    When I use a website or ‘blog as a source for anything I write, I make sure to give them some excellent, full-fat anchor text, and link to the article and not the TLD.

    So the starting point for me is a question: what would my ideal back-link look like?

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  • brad shorr

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve tried a little of this, and it does seem to work. Your suggestions will help me improve.

  • Raj Dash

    Brad: It’s one of those persistence things. You have to pick the right people to write about, link to them, and keep at it. However, you shouldn’t write about the linkerati just for the sake of doing so. Add something into the mix, some unique perspective.

    Here’s a weird thing. I’ve done this on both high PR and low PR blogs, and linkerati will most likely respond if your PageRank is high (4+). (Sounds like a dilemma, so you have to find your way to a certain plateau first before climbing to the next plateau. It really is exponentially harder to get to higher levels in the blogosphere.)

  • Raj Dash

    @Wayne: All back-links from “good” sites are good. Ideally, you want lots of links from high PR sites, but “natural” linking evolution would suggest more low-PR links in the early history of most blogs. So there’s the temporal factor, too.

  • Wayne Smallman

    Hi Raj!

    As you know from the last time I commented on one of your articles, I was PR 5 up until about 3 weeks ago, when I changed web addresses.

    So depending on how people come to my ‘blog, I’m both very low and relatively high.

    I ran an article today featuring feedback from other ‘bloggers. I gave them all the chance to specify what anchor text they’d like from my article to their ‘blogs.

    So I’m all from spreading a little link luv.

    Over time, the ‘up link’ from me to them might be a little more evenly balanced…

  • Raj Dash

    Wayne: Yeah, it’s a tough game sometimes, especially with a blog with “low” PR. I constantly have to think of different ways to build links for new sites – mine and that of clients. Sometimes, though, that comes simply from writing from the heart, not with expectation of getting links. No intention of being mystical – simply stating an observation.

    Not too helpful, I know, but hang in there. It’s like a golf swing: so many things to get right, but when you get it, and follow through, you know it’s right.

  • Wayne Smallman

    Oh, I’ve no doubt that I’ll make it back where I was.

    If golf is to be the analogy, didn’t Justin Rose make it through a few years ago, even though he didn’t have the standing to begin with?

  • Raj Dash

    Wayne: Hmm. I’m not familiar with Justin Rose. But I stopped watching golf after Jack Nicklaus stopped winning 🙂

    Good attitude, though. We’ll see if Google’s new algo pemits sites to easily retain their lost PR. Although since they’re so secretive, good luck to all of us who lost PR.

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  • Karen Richards

    This may be a little late but thanks for this great article that clears up some questions I have had about this “linkerati” concept. I am going to be following the links that you have in your post and see what I can do to use this effect

  • Karen Richards

    This may be a little late but thanks for this great article that clears up some questions I have had about this “linkerati” concept. I am going to be following the links that you have in your post and see what I can do to use this effect