outside the “great content” - Profit Hunter

I present another free translation of Ross Hudgens’s article from his series on the theory of link building: A Model For Link Building: “Great Content”.

Content is not the only thing , which determines the success of the site, despite the fact that the expression “content is king” rather accurately reflects the essence of content in the modern network.

If you read the translation of the article by Ross Hudgens (Ross Hudgens) “Content Efficiency in Linking Attraction: Why Quality Content Doesn’t Succeed”, then you know that content’s “link appeal” is determined not so much by itself, as by category the site on which it is located. In other words, even the coolest content created by a resource on the subject of insurance will not create the same mass of backlinks that you can create with the same quality content, but from ICanHazCheezburger. Thus, to build a link mass, something more is needed than just creating content with a view to the well-known mantra “create great content” (“create great content”) and “content is king” (“content is king”), following which Of course, it will give an additional advantage from the point of view of the "appealingness of the content." However, if these statements are empty for you, then professionals who can create a large number of references to even the most mediocre context can build the reference mass. t without spending a dime on it.

Value proposition - the king

Thus, content, despite its great importance, is nevertheless not the key in the process of creating a reference mass. The true goal content, as well as creating a reference mass for this content is the creation of value propositions, i.e. benefits for someone. The essence of the value proposition is how much an object meets the needs, expectations, and even helps dreams come true. Thus, when people ask for a link, the value proposition for them will be to get a mix of content and relevant marketing offers. Unfortunately, the reality is that many resource owners, being under the influence of the sacred mantra “content is king”, create websites without thinking at all about the true usefulness of these resources for their target audience. Such resources, even with sufficient reference mass, most likely cannot compete in the niche they occupy and will be crowded out by resources with stronger management, if not eliminated at all.

Building a model capable of collecting links

Now, having gained experience and intelligently improving the mouth roaring model “content is king”, we can discuss and formulate our model for the formation of a reference mass. This model has two parts - the value proposition and the psychology of the webmaster , and both of these parts play an important role in whether you see these cool little blue links or not.

Value propositions

outside the “great content” - Profit Hunter

Let's talk about value propositions or benefits. Each of the options presented in the figure has the ability to bring you a link, regardless of what influenced it - good relationships with someone or high-quality content of your site. But in most cases, these options will work together, ultimately determining the answer to the question “is it worth referring to this site or not?”. For example, if you offer 1,000 dollars to The New York Times, they will certainly refuse you link to your business insurance website, however, if you offer them $ 1,000,000, I think they will certainly find time for you and a place to link to your website. Similarly, if you are in San Francisco and you have an excellent business site located here, then you have a good chance to get a link with any blog located in San Francisco, but it won't work if your site is located in a different area or if your business is not so interesting as to link to your site.


This is the most controversial of all the options presented, but undoubtedly the most effective - money can help create a link mass for any content like none of the other methods. The problem here is that Google’s policy on backlinks is directed against the links received in this way, so on. inept use of this method may attract too much attention from Big Sam. Bing representatives say that they are not against the purchased links themselves, but against bad links that do not reflect the context, i.e. irrelevant links.

outside the “great content” - Profit Hunter

@jmerhaut: Sing Partasarathy from Bing: links are paid for or not, if they are relevant, they should be useful.

Regardless of how far your ethics and potential risk allow you to go when using this method, cash in any case will always be “useful” and this method of getting links will lead for a long time. When you offering money for linking, the quality of your content does not play a special role, the only thing you should pay attention to in this case is the need for compliance with the standards and the relevance of the resource where the links will be placed. Thus, the notion of "create qualities This content ”(" make great content ") is not very consistent with this way of getting links.

Tips for using this method to get links:

  • Set up Google Alerts to track combinations “Sponsorship opportunity”, “Thanks to our sponsors” (“Thanks to our sponsors”) and “donate to our charity” (“Support us”) - this will help in finding resources for paid links that appear to be quite “natural and free”, and can also help in a good start for the owners of these resources.
  • When you offer sponsorship of an event, use the price anchor setting technique ("price anchoring") - this technique implies that you set the original price during the negotiations. Even if the cost of sponsorship is indicated on the website, start negotiations from a significantly lower price proposal, as if you didn’t see sponsorship prices on their website. Resource owners will often agree with the price you offer, because they are afraid to lose the sponsor if they offer a higher price indicated on the website. In other words, if they are able to count, they will most likely agree to a lower price than they will be puzzled by your question “How much should I pay?”, because in this case they can either lose the sponsor when they roll out a high price or, on the contrary, miscalculate with low price.
  • Use StumbleUpon's advertising program to get valuable traffic. If your content is socially oriented, then using the StumbleUpon advertising program will help to draw users' attention to it and even become the impetus for the start of a viral effect.
  • Purchase listings in BBB (Better Business Bureau), TRUSTe and PR listings. com. BBB and TRUSTe offer quality links, which themselves are of great value, in addition, these listings offer their logos for placement on websites, since it helps to increase user confidence in them and, as a result, increase conversion on the site . If you believe brand advertising rubbish, then it is very possible that these two links, being placed on your site, will give your domain a “bonus” now or in the future. The third site (PR. Com) offers a profile placement with targeted text links, as well as distribution of press releases for an additional fee.
    outside the “great content” - Profit Hunter


One of the most misunderstood chips is the site location, which can be used to get links from local resources - blogs, catalogs, forums, from the site of the local Chamber of Commerce, etc. d.

Tips for using this method to get links:

  • Ross’s recent post on this topic on Search Engine Land:

External (guest) content

This is such content (not necessarily text) that you provide for posting on other resources. This can be a guest post, infographics, technical description, widget and so on, i.e. anything at all that may be relevant to the site where you are going to post it. Of course, such content should contain a link back to your site. Thus, regardless of whether you contact the owner of a car insurance website or directly to The New York Times, if the free content you offer is of sufficient quality, and often this is a more important criterion than the quality of the site promoted by such content, then you will be backlink.

Tips for using this method to get links:

  • Read Justin Briggs's post on how to get backlinks using infographics: How to Build Links with Infographics
  • Develop external content for the widest audience. That is, developing a widget for a resource that ranks blogs of young mothers has more potential in terms of the number of backlinks than developing a widget for a resource with blogs rating on some sports team. It can be said that expanding the potential audience increases the likelihood of a successful campaign to create / implement external content.However, an important point is that the guest content should act as a kind of filter, filtering out the untargeted and bringing the target audience to your site. For example, the “Cool Music Site” widget does not inform the user about how interesting the content of the resource will be, which has placed the widget and as a result will bring you only a headache. However, the “sharpened” under the “narrower” audience of the TOP 25 Music Site will be more productive.
  • Make content placement as simple as possible. A good example of a widget distribution platform is the SEOmoz badge page. A large number of sizes, as well as the availability of code for copying and pasting, will allow even a novice webmaster to use your widget. For posts, you can use Google Docs, because any user, even without Microsoft Office, can use this tool.

Friendly relations / business connections

Ask your friends or business acquaintances to post a link to the resource. The better your relationship, the greater the likelihood of receiving links, regardless of the quality and theme of the site.

Tips for using this method to get links:

  • Agree to place links in archive records. A somewhat dubious way, although a link from a wine blog of your friends to the insurance business site may be quite acceptable. Perhaps this link will not transfer a lot of weight, but if you have the opportunity to get a link from the Wine Library TV ...
  • Use this method from time to time. It is not necessary every time to ask all your friends about the link. You want to keep the relationship? Therefore, use this method whenever possible. Add to your request for linking something interesting for the blog owner, for example, suggest writing a guest post so that the discussion of the site and the link looks more natural within it.
  • Create a spreadsheet to track link placement capabilities based on agreements. The meaning of this table is in the careful management of the established links, which can help to get the link, and both with strong links, i.e., achieved through personal communication, and not very strong ones, i.e., established through e-mail communication. Highlight the most important criteria, for each of which there will be a column in the table, this ensures that when you receive a new order for placing links, you will not miss the opportunity to get a link using the relationships you have established.
    outside the “great content” - Profit Hunter

Satisfaction of vanity (flattery)

The most distinguished and useful of all value propositions, which allows you to get links using the human sense of vanity. Some useful examples are: compliments in a letter asking for a link; installation of badges showing someone's achievements; Mention of a person or her activity in the materials of your resource with the subsequent notification of the author about it.

Tips for using this method to get links:

  • Generate a desire for “flattering flattery.” Create widgets that can be used on a wide group of resources to help maximize feedback. The advice is similar to that in the section on external (guest) content: “Create external content for a wide audience.” For example, AdAge has developed the Top 150 blogs widget, which each of these blogs can host. If they limited the number of ranked blogs to 20, it would attract much less attention to their brand, and the likelihood of placing their badge would fall to meager 3-4 placements.
    outside the “great content” - Profit Hunter
  • Add personality to the compliments. Don't say “your blog is cool”, better say something related to the author and / or his activities. For example, if in my blog you say “Ross, I saw that you graduated from Chapman University. My friend finished it too! I used the tips from your post on link valuation post, they really helped me, thank you ”, and then you start talking about your software from the field of SEO, then I will be more pleased to deal with this in more detail. If you just blurt out “cool blog!”, I probably won't believe you and give this post any meaning. On the other hand, if I make another widget “Top 150 marketing blogs”, then I’m almost sure that nobody of these blogs will not use it, since such already exists.
  • Look for new approaches. If you see that some of the considered options have already been used on the site where you would like to place links, then try developing a combination of offers that would be interesting to the owner of this resource.

Content of the site

Of course, I have not forgotten about the content of the site itself, which is also an incredibly important value proposition. Create great content on the site and you will constantly receive new links. Even if your super content is not able to bring links regularly, in any case, it is important and necessary for successful conversion of users, which in the end is the most important goal.

Tips for using this method to get links:

  • Do not use marketing slang. I see many pages on which it’s written “put a link to our website!”. Phrases of this type too clearly show your capitalist attitude. Using formulations like “Share this” is a little different in essence, but the difference between “put a link to me” and “share the link with others” is very great. So also with the letters in which you ask for the link, do not write “Could you put a link to my site”, you'd better write “I really like your resource list with widgets. I would like to know what you think of my resource a similar focus WIDGETBAIT. tv. ”With this treatment, the same goals are pursued, but it’s not the interests that are put at the center, but the interest in what the other person is doing, and this may increase the likelihood of receiving a link. > Observe the norms accepted in society. By doing what is described in the previous example, you can get a link, because such a "non-capitalist" approach is valued more and more. Social norms are a very surprising thing, people will offer you food for free on Thanksgiving Day, but if at the end of the meal you offer them 10 bucks, they will be offended and forget about you. So, your behavior, showing that at the moment you are not interested in your site or links to it, as well as the lack of benefits offered by you, can really increase the number of links. More information about this in the post How Offering More Value.

Psychology of webmasters

So, now you understand which value propositions you have and you start rushing with them around webmasters, throwing them at everyone who “catches” in your hands In this case, I will say that this method is doomed to failure. Recall our model of getting links, where the second part of equality is the webmaster's psychology. processing ”our value proposition.

outside the “great content” - Profit Hunter

Ability to perform actions

The time interval during which the webmaster receives a request with our value proposition is very important. What is the probability that the webmaster will perform any actions related to your offer at that time when he receives your offer? If he saw your proposal from a smartphone on Friday at 11 o'clock in the evening, it would be better if it is a very good proposal that can stimulate his actions in the future (for example, on Monday). However, if you find him during the lunch break on Tuesday at 2 pm, when he is next to the computer, and even with an empty inbox, it is a much better way to get a link immediately.

Imagine the situation that you received a regular (without the "important" flag) letter with any request on the eve of your vacation, what is the chance that you will do something on this letter after you return? The probability of your actions will be almost Zero if this letter is not too important, does not apply to work, or if you are not reminded again of what is waiting for your reaction. Use the same logic when calculating the time you send your letter with a request to place links, even if the above example seems you are far-fetched. note that if your offer is interesting enough and the webmaster simply cannot refuse it, then you probably should not worry too much about the time intervals, they simply will not matter.

Tips for using this method for receiving links:

  • Align the time when the webmaster received your proposal with the high traffic period on your site. If the peak of your site’s traffic falls at lunchtime from Monday to Thursday, then as necessary s audience of webmasters is also at this time in computers and is ready to put a link to your site. Although this period is quite constant for the sites of many verticals (niches), but there are exceptions, in this case it is necessary to adapt to such periods of your site.If you are not involved in mass receipt of a large number of links, then try to take into account the features of a particular webmaster, for example, wait until he makes a large number of consecutive tweets or when sending a request for a link to take into account the time zone in which the webmaster is located.
  • Try to have your link request highlighted in the webmaster's inbox. Please note that in the morning in the Inbox there is the largest number of unread emails, so if your email is read at this time, then most likely your proposal will simply not be given proper attention. The likelihood of immediate action will be on your request more if he gets exclusive attention of the webmaster somewhere in the middle of the day.

Commercial focus

Some webmasters do not in principle link to sites with commercial content, so your offer should would It is both interestingly presented and qualitatively in and of itself, otherwise you will fail. It is difficult to say when such a situation may arise, since refusing to place links to commercial sites does not mean giving up linking in general, but you must take this into account moment during the submission of your proposal.One of the ways to circumvent this situation is to distance yourself from the promoted website by using the previously mentioned technique of adhering to public rules, to tie the relations with the webmaster in as a friend, not the owner of a commercial site, in this case you can get links that you would not otherwise get.

Tips for using this method to get links:

  • Create an anonymous mailbox with a female name for negotiation, and then find broken links on the webmaster's website. Use the SEER Interactive Broken Link Post: This Thanksgiving and their tool to find broken links on sites that could potentially link to you. Praise the author of the site, say that reading the materials of the site, found a couple of broken links and point out these links, and at the end of the message offer him a couple of sites to which you think you can put links. One of these sites should be a non-competitive site with similar topics, and the other should be your site. Offering two links you look more likely, and besides, there is no association of your person with a commercial site. Thus, your letter will be considered as an aid to the author with good intentions. The use of a female name in the name of the mailbox also increases the likelihood of receiving a link, because people tend to consider women less self-serving.

Nuances related to the niche / site

Do you have an interesting infographic? But it makes no sense to post it on sites other than blogs, i.e. you cannot interest owners of such sites with this offer. Similarly, trying to ask for a link from a business site is a waste of time. Thus, these points should be carefully considered when deciding who and how you will make your proposal. Other topics have their own characteristics, which must be taken into account to improve ROI, for example, the availability of links from resources about cancer tumors or other resources of a similar type.

Attempting to write a frivolous or incorrectly styled letter can also lead to a zero result and you will not receive references.

Tips for using this method to get links:

  • Use the Excel for SEO guide Mike Pantoliano (Mike Pantoliano) to segment the list of resources by type. Segmentation will help to divide resources into groups to quickly find the resources of the desired type, as well as to reduce the time to switch from one type of resource to another. This way you can work with resources from the same group using similar rules. I propose to divide the list of all resources into “blogs”, “links” and “resources not related to the first two types.” Use Mike’s guide to determine whether a resource belongs to one type or another from the title tag using the Open Site Explorer service without visiting these resources. Next, when lists of resources are formed, decide which of your benefits, or perhaps even their combination, will be most relevant for each group of resources, as well as the best way to negotiate with webmasters in this group.


The described model does not claim to be a scientific model, and its terms / statements may, if desired, be considered from different angles.Anyway, I trust this model, because every time I need to get links, I use many of its directions and there was no such case that I used some other method outside of it.

The most important thing is that I don’t rely on the one-sided model “create high-quality content”, as some people are inclined to do, because it's just silly.

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