Link Building vs. Link Begging

Begging Buster Loves Links!
How successful have your previous link building campaigns been? Find yourself wondering why the response rate to your requests have been so low?

Ever try a typical link building service from a so called SEO expert only to find a multitude of inbound links from splog comments, useless directory listings and dropped domains set up for crappy link exchanges (probably by the guy that sold you the service)?

Think about how you are going about getting your inbound links. It was all too common in the past to search Google for sites related to your own, load it up in your browser, find some contact information and fire off a templated and patronizing message that’s just oozing insincerity while asking begging for a link.

Did you really think they were going to be impressed with your mention of PageRank, popularity and search engine rankings? Come to think of it, why would someone want to link to you if all it does is help your rankings?

There is a better approach.

Link begging still works, to a certain degree. It’s a method I employ on occasion as there are links out there that are worth begging asking for. Invariably, you’ll find sites that are without a doubt authorities in their field. A link from one of these sites is valuable, and can help to increase your presence and stature on the web.

So how do you get one of these sites to link to you? Create something that’s worthwhile for them to link to. Do some research, create some reports or statistical analysis that would be of use to the industry you’re in. Provide some charts or graphs that they could use. Place a summary of your findings with the associated visuals on one page, and link to separate reports. Don’t format it such that they can just copy and paste the content to their own site.  Send them a quick note to advise them of the new content.

Think about what else you could publish that would be beneficial to those in your industry? Case studies, technical documents, translated versions of existing documents, annual statistical reports. There’s quite a bit of public information that you could organize and publish.

What other ways are there to gain links?

Ruin some one’s keyboard. Think about how you felt when you almost spit your coffee all over your keyboard and how quick you were to share something funny. Eliciting laughter can have far reaching effects.

Irritate someone. Posting something controversial can be to your benefit as long as you don’t over step the bounds and expose yourself (I’m not talking about opening your trench coat) to litigation. This method is best when not used excessively; too much negativity can be a bad thing.

Don’t be a scrooge. Give something away for free. Widgets for blogs, themes and counters have the potential to provide you with a few links and visitors. Again, a little self restrain here is a good thing, don’t include too many links in the footer of your hot new WordPress theme – you want people to actually use it.

If you stop and think for a moment I’m sure you can come up with ideas better than what’s already been suggested. Whatever methods you try, just remember to have a little fun and ditch those email templates. It doesn’t take much to compose a personalized message.