Archive for the ‘Linker’ Category

The most underused tool in the marketing toolbox – Linking?

August 26th, 2010 by Rand Schulman

Sometimes I don’t understand things - including the inner workings of marketing professionals. Yet I’ve tried to tackle this challenge and have been building and selling marketing applications for marketing folk for decades. I know that working complex web analytics products can be daunting. Marketing automation even more so. How does one create and allocate lead scoring and attribution? What is the LTV of a customer?

But linking?  Gosh, don’t we all know the value of inbound links? Don’t we know how search engines work, for God’s sake? Well, apparently no. This knowledge is not as universal as one would think (Hope! Assume!).

A few months ago we released Linker which, in short, is a dating site for sharing and creating links. A for SEO link building. The good news? We’ve had thousands of people start to take advantage of the service. The bad news? Only five percent of them have ANY links on their site! This data floored me.

So we took matters into our own hands and today released our findings as well as made our link building tool FREE . We understand that linking takes time, which could explain the incredible low rate, but with our Linker product it should be much easier. At least that’s our hope. So, world, let’s get found. Let’s use the product and link away. I would be happy to hear from any of you!

This Week in Links - Week Ending July 30

July 31st, 2010 by Anthony Young

Is Google Planning to Kill SEO?
Bravo to Econsultancy for winning link-baiter of the week with this story.  Econsultancy claims that “If a recent patent comes to fruition, it seems the big G may have plans to undo all your hard work in favour of their own know-how.”  Back in 2004, Google filed a patent, which was recently granted, for something called ‘Enhanced Document Browser with Auto-generated Linkage.’  It seemed to me a rather broad description with multiple applications so I followed the link to the USPTO website to read the abstract.

The abstract states:  “Additional documents are automatically located that are relevant to an original document, such as a document being read by a user, and also potentially relevant to personal information of the user. The additional documents may be located based on descriptive information that includes personal information of the user and content information of the document being read. The additional documents, or links to the additional documents, may be incorporated into the document being read. In some implementations, the additional documents may be presented in-line with the document being read, such as through an in-link link or text snippet. The user can thus be efficiently presented with additional information that is relevant to the original document being read.”

Huh?  Kill SEO?  My less histrionic interpretation would bet on Google implementing this in a way that would show users an overlay of related personalized content and information similar to what Google Maps does with local business information today.   Or Google Adsense… Then again, that’s one possibility and only one personal interpretation.  Remember, just because the patent was recently granted doesn’t mean Google hasn’t already implemented the technology described therein.

Near the end of the article the writer says:  “On the other hand, it {could be} a dynamically generated, personalized link builder that works based on personal user preference, surely the Holy Grail of SEO.”  Ahhh, so the shoe drops.  Maybe SEO will live to see another day…

So what have we learned?  This is a great example of how link-baiting can quickly build a large number of inbound links to your site (although I’m unsure of the success of this particular story).  Just take care not to take too much liberty with the plot line.

Google Dynamic Linking

David Harry from SEO Dojo offers a more reasoned analysis of the newly awarded patent to Google on dynamically generated links.

Phase One Link Building Strategies

Greg Shuey writes an encouraging article for budding link builders on where to find that low-hanging fruit.  He outlines five easy steps that range from internal linking of resources to directories and link reclamation (404 pages).

4 Ways Link Builders Should Use Twitter

Interesting article on using Twitter as an alternative to traditional link building activities.  Not only can social media sites like Twitter help you find link building opportunities but also help identify hot trends and what’s going on in your particular niche in the online world.  With a large enough following and the potential of retweets, site owners can garner significant traffic from links on Twitter even though they are nofollow.

This Week in Links - Week Ending July 16

July 18th, 2010 by Anthony Young

An Inside Look at Competitors Backlinks with Open Site Explorer
Competitive analysis is one of the first steps undertaken when embarking on any new seo link building campaign.  Of course, segmenting your own linkgraph and understanding how you stack up against the competition is also a vital component to any strategy.  This article provides valuable tips and insight on how to get the most out of Open Site Explorer when evaluating your competitors back links (as well as your own).  There’s also great information on nine commonly used link building strategies and how you can apply them to your own efforts.

The Death of Natural Linking
A loud and growing chorus of voices in the SEO industry of late have been debating the efficacy of Google’s claim that if you build great content then attracting natural links will happen automatically.  Serious webmasters understand that developing great content is still a necessary component to a successful business.  However, obtaining natural links has become a multi-faceted problem that goes beyond simply building great content.  Eric Enge advises site owners to invest in a mix of link building and social media as he believes social citations will carry more weight in the future.

Evaluating the Lifetime Value of a Link
How can webmasters maximize the value of a link building campaign?  Assessing whether or not a potential link will stick around and continue to pass value (well into the future) is another important variable to consider when maintaining your inbound link graph.  Link building is a notoriously time-consuming part of SEO and coupled with the high churn rate of new sites replacing old sites, the web is in a constant state of renewal.  Identifying potential links with longevity will maximize the value of resources invested into building links according to Ross Hudgens.

Changes in Natural Linking - Death, Rebirth, or a Return to the Roots?

July 15th, 2010 by Richard Zwicky

When contemplating link-building strategies you need to take the user experience into account.  They should look at your citations (links) as references to substantiating or relevant documents. Search engines will use these signals to define your site.  Consider the user experience when focusing on building contextually relevant links for your business, and you will be rewarded with higher amounts of relevant direct referrals and relevant search engine placement.

There’s been some excellent articles recently focused on this issue, including changes in natural linking by Eric Enge, Editorial Citation by Rand Fishkin and natural link building strategies by Michael Gray.

Michael’s analysis was interesting in that he took Google’s guidelines at face value, created great content, and spent only 10% of his time building links manually.  After six months of blogging, Google represented just over 0.5% of his referral traffic.  That’s a pathetic amount, considering how popular the posts were in StumbleUpon, Digg, and other social networks. In fact, when he analyzed his traffic, he discovered that the blog didn’t perform in the top 100 for even the simplest keywords.  The exception was one post for which Michael did a little link building.  Apart from this limited effort, certain posts which received over 30,000 views from social marketing generated almost no natural inbound links.

Now, Michael isn’t advocating that content doesn’t matter.  It does, as it engages readers and entices them to return.  His article restates a point everyone in the industry has been making for years: If you build it, they don’t just come, or in this case, the links don’t just happen, and the engines won’t just refer anyone your way. As Ian Lurie wrote: “content alone is not going to boost you into the top 10 for any even remotely relevant phrase”

Of particular interest to me in juxtaposition to the pieces by Ian and Michael were the articles by Eric Enge and Rand Fishkin.  Rand hypothesizes that 20% of the web’s links exist to influence the search engines.  That’s a lot of noise, but that also means 80% are not there just to influence search engines. Eric makes the point that 80% leaves lots of meat to work with and links are still a big factor, but he also estimates that you need to spend 30% of marketing energy into social media, which is interesting in the context of Michael’s lack of success with organic link building from social networks.

There’s an interesting question in Eric’s article, which every site operator should ask themselves: “If you aren’t good enough to be worth linking to, then what do you have anyway?” The answer is of course, you need to build better content.  But, a hint to the broader correct answer can actually be found in the title of Rand’s article: Editorial Citation.

Rand notes this in his reference to three periods of linking:  1) early web; links were editorial like footnotes and citations, helping people navigate the web; 2) The engines incorporate web page links as a value metric in ranking algorithms (Google / Alltheweb/ Teoma); 3) non-webpage citations.  Google’s recent patent publication which was reviewed by Eric Ward, supports this last point - see Eric’s point #5.

However, another point in the patent leads us in towards additional context: user interaction with links may determine their value, and may go a long way to resolving the dichotomy between the points these articles circle, but also may point search marketers towards clues around link building strategies going forward.

Links from different areas of the document will have different value, and will pass different amounts of link juice flow.  Obviously, a link from one site to the next where the link is located in the main body content and is relevant to both the origin and destination will end up scoring higher than an irrelevant link, or links within footers, template side navs and the like.  Which really is the point: links as citations are the oldest form of linking, and still carry the most value.

This Week in Links - Week Ending July 9

July 10th, 2010 by Anthony Young

Case Study: I Listened to Google and Failed
Graywolf’’s SEO Blog has a great article on why natural link building no longer seems to work despite Google’s insistence that if you write great content then you will attract great links. “If you build it, they will come” never really worked, which is why marketers constantly strive to build links, not just content.  Most find the passive method of link development no longer valid as social bookmarking sites barely proffer consistent quality links over time to maintain competitiveness in the Google index for key terms.  And folks just don’t link out like they used to for fear of leaking PR juice to external sites.

Where Is Your Link Army Hiding?
There’s a Trojan Horse in your link graph you may not be aware of… as inbound links age their power and authority deteriorates over time.  Webmasters must remain committed to the link building process to maintain competitiveness in an increasingly crowded online world.  But where do you find fresh, high quality links?  Gabriella Sannino provides some basic advice on where to look for links relevant to your web property.

Link Building with the Experts – 2010 Edition
Rae Hoffman’s (aka sugarrae) second installment of link development interviews with some of the best minds in link building and SEO.  This is a long interview (but well worth the time to read) with multiple link development questions posed to 11 top SEO experts.

The Launch of Linker - SEO’s Version of Matchmaking

July 6th, 2010 by Richard Zwicky

Ten days ago, after a long period of development followed by extensive testing during our Beta period, Linker has been launched to the public for anyone to sign up.

In the early days of the Internet, before the search engines came along, navigation was driven by links which allowed people to jump from one place (document) to another.  People used hyperlinks as authors use footnotes in reference texts.  The purpose of the links were to provide citations, and to advise readers of other valuable resources which they ought to consult.

When the Internet began to become popular with the masses, marketers started using links as a means of traffic acquisition. I did this type of link building as far back in the mid 1990’s “Before Google” for my own businesses.   This marketing trend was actually followed by, not preceded by the search engines recognizing the value of links, and embedding a weighting value for links into their algorithms.  Of course, at first the search engine did things differently, valuing any old link as a positive score.  When this link recognition system was discovered as a performance score value in search results, it was unsurprising that some marketers saw the opportunity and took advantage of it.   What is surprising is how far away from the fundamental reasons for link building the noise in the marketplace has taken this strategy, especially in light of how strongly the search engines have driven away from volume.  Their mantra could be qualified as back to the future in regards to link values.

The reality is high value links matter. Period. A high quality link is one which readers will find of value.  Generally, these links are found within the body content of a document and the link points out to content on another page or site which is relevant to your content.  Your link is adding perspective for your readers, and also helping build both your sites’ authority in the search results.

Finding great resources to link to is not easy however.  There’s so much content, how do you know which are the best resources, and the ones which are the most relevant to you and your readers?  Just as importantly, how do you get in contact with representatives of the right sites which are the appropriate matches for yours?  This was the challenge I used to face as an online marketer, and the manual process I was explaining internally when we came up with the idea behind Linker.

I’ll be starting a series of posts shortly around the philosophy behind the Linker product, and how it came to be.  The reality is, no one likes to get all those spammy “link to me” emails that flood our email inboxes. They really are useless Junk.  Links from, or to these low value, low relevance domains won’t add to your site’s user experience, or add any value to your business in terms of visibility in the search engines.  That said, everyone with any online marketing knowledge recognizes that link building is a formidable tool in any good marketing campaign. The point everyone needs to focus on is that good quality, relevant link-building improves the user experience of your web site, and at the same time also drives traffic via search engines and direct referrals.  Addressing this need is why we built Linker, a context and relevance driven introduction system which people have labeled a dating service for online marketers.

This Week in Links - Week Ending July 2, 2010

July 3rd, 2010 by Anthony Young

The best articles this week from around the web on SEO link building.  Please feel free to comment and provide us with your feedback.  Have a great July 4th holiday!

A Comprehensive Guide to Link Building via Blog Commenting
Link development via blog commenting is a popular technique.  This article shows you how to get your comments approved more often than not. [...]

Boy Do I Love Linkbuilding - And You Should Too
Link building is what makes any SEO campaign work.  SEOmoz explains how content, page and link structure are important but will only get you so far. [...]

Top World Domains by Backlinks
A very interesting blog post from Majestic SEO that shows the top 200 world domains ranked by number of external referring domains that pointed to them.   [...]

The Beginner’s Guide to Getting Links from Bloggers
Danny Dover takes the helm for the SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday this week sharing 5 tips that beginners can use to get links from bloggers.   [...]

Basic but Essential SEO Link Building Tips
Link building is a very important part of SEO and is considered one of the most arduous and time consuming to achieve great results.  This article from Daily SEO Tip shows some of the simplest and free techniques to ease your link development pain. [...]

This Week in Links

June 29th, 2010 by Anthony Young

With the recent launch of our new social link building marketplace; Linker, Eightfold Logic will publish a weekly roundup of the best articles on link building and link development called “This Week in Links.”  Our first installment has great content from the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, Search Engine Watch, WebProNews, and Search Engine Journal.  We will continue to build out our resources and knowledge base from the very best authorities on link building and white hat techniques.  Please feel free to comment and provide us with your feedback.

Major Strategic Link Building Advances with Linker

June 17th, 2010 by Richard Zwicky

Last night we published a major update to the Beta of our forthcoming Linker product.

The Linker product went into Beta in late March.  We want to use this opportunity to offer anyone interested one last window to reap free link-building benefits before we migrate to the commercial release of the product.

Between when the first Beta went live now we’ve made a number of enhancements to the product. Many of these changes were a result of user requests.  Our mandate has always been to build products and services which meet your needs.  Continually improving the product based on your needs is key to all our success.  If you haven’t tried it out yet, I urge you to register and log in today and take advantage of all the opportunities in your account, and process any and all you can! (for free)  I’d suggest you also want to sign up any additional sites you can now, the more you take advantage of today, the less you’ll pay for tomorrow…!

If you don’t know what Linker is, you should read all about it, on the Linker Product page.  At its most basic, Linker is an opt-in matching service which is focused on contextually relevant link building.  It’s like a dating service, not a stalking system which so many other products seem to mimic

So, what’s changed in this release?

  • We’ve streamlined and improved the sign-up process, to make it simpler.
  • We’ve improved the graphical layout and interface, and workflow within the application.
  • There’s a lot more in-application communications to help guide you through the process.
  • We’ve limited the number of business categories you can qualify your business as being relevant to.  Spammers were attempting to game the system by choosing every possible business category.  The reality was, they were undermining themselves by lowering their overall score.  You’re now limited to choosing just 20 relevant business categories per profile.  In fact, if you’re more selective and just choose 5, you’ll probably end up with even better results.  We do recognize some businesses really do transcend more than 20 categories.  For example a large directory like Yahoo! would be relevant to almost every area of the Internet.  In that circumstance, we suggest you create a site profile per major business unit.  Then the link opportunities will be relevant to those units, or pages within your site.
  • We’ve dramatically improved the matching algorithms to look at more variables, and take more contextual data points into account when defining relevant match opportunities.  The increase on variables is designed to take a larger number of objective datapoints into account, and minimize the risk your business could be introduced to one which is not an optimal, relevant match.
  • There’s now a series of friendly reminder emails which go out to advise you that opportunities will expire, and reminding you to process any you’ve got.
  • Scoring is tougher.  An match quality 8 is harder to achieve, and 2’s are still contextually relevant. It’s more of a bell curve, with low quality matches just getting 0’s, meaning you’ll never see them.

I’m including the screenshot below to provide you a sense of what the new look and feel is like.

The product you will be logging in to today is the almost final version of the service.  We’re excited to have evolved this with your assistance and support, and look forward to continuing forward delivering strong value to you and your businesses.