It’s starting to look like the more contrived your link building campaigns are (or are perceived) the less effective they’ll be.
Tim Grice recently speculated on the devaluation of exact anchor text, just prior to the furore around the possible ‘over-optimisation’ penalty.
This puts me/you/us in the precarious position of trying to make an unnatural (or what is perceived to be an unnatural) activity, appear natural.
One idea I’ve flirted with for a while is avoiding the request and talk of it full stop if it isn’t an inherent part of my value proposition.
If and when it is broached, avoid giving exact guidance as to the link you want.
We’re all probably familiar with the: ‘To make things easy, I’ve included the code for the link…’
Instead, just sit back and see what happens. Relinquish control.
Chances are I’ll end up with a lot more brand, ‘website’ and ‘click here’ link, but, to an extent, the links would exist as they would have done, had they occurred ‘naturally’.
The other upside of this is it gets you out of the mindset of using people as a means to a link.
Personally, I hate straight-up asking for links. It’s awkward, and I can’t help but feel that in some situations, it jeopardises the chance of getting the link.
Once I’ve asked, I know they’re sat there thinking: ‘Oh, right, so that’s what this is all about…’
There is, without a doubt, a fetishization of links in the SEO industry. (Case in point, this blog.)
For most people, they’re really no big deal. Only once you’re in the business do you start to realise the economy that exists around them.
Unless you’re begging for link, you don’t really need to explicitly ask. In most cases, they occur as a by-product from whatever you’ve done.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t ask if it looks like it’s ain’t gonna happen.
When push comes to shove, I will always ask. I’m just going to concern myself less with the technicalities.
Just a thought anyway…for the record, I still think there is a lot to be said for exact anchor text links, I’m just thinking out loud…
One question I’d also pose: is it is a good idea to work towards monthly quotas of brand and anchor text links?
Post By Michael Smith (31 Posts)
Michael works at 9xb Digital Agency in Harrogate, Monday to Friday. Click here to follow him on Twitter or have a look a his Google+ profile.
Last updated by Michael Smith at August 25, 2012.
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