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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Daily Feed Issue #11: How to get high quality links

I'll be away until Sunday. Since I'm free at the airport, I'll advance post up some interesting sharing. Will be up whole week :D Hope it helps you in gaining the traffic you always wanted ;)

Welcome to Issue #11 of The Daily Feed. If this email was forwarded to you by a friend, you can subscribe on this page.

Yesterday I covered the 5 rules of linking. Today I'm going to give you a few tips on how to get links to your blog or website from high quality sites to give your search engine traffic a serious kick in the tail.

Last week I promised you something really special in this morning's edition. My team and I have come up with something we've never done before.

Feedjit is used by over 500,000 site owners because we show who is visiting your blog or website in real-time. Feedjit Pro lets you watch visitors click through your site, see live events like new cities and countries visiting, get email alerts about traffic spikes, see live graphs and much more.

We're offering Feedjit Pro at an unbelievable 60% discount for a 1 year membership. We've never given a 60% discount on any of our products before and we don't offer yearly memberships to the general public.

Because this is an unusually large discount we need to limit signups. The good news is that it includes a free 10 day trial!

(Hurry. Yesterday we passed 20,000 subscribers who are also reading this email.)

Once you click the link above simply follow the instructions on the page and you're all set. Please don't post this link or tweet it - it's only available for Daily Feed subscribers and it will be disabled once we remove the offer.

Now lets chat about getting high quality links!

In case you're a new subscriber, at the beginning of last week I introduced my basic SEO philosophy: "Create new, unique and useful web pages, host them on a user-friendly website that Google can understand and make sure the right people know about them."

Link bait is the "make sure the right people know about your pages" part of this philosophy.

Link bait is an essential strategy for any blog or website. I tend to quote Matt Cutts a lot, but there's a reason: He's on the search quality team at Google and they're the guys who decide what the definition of web spam is. Here is Matt on the subject of Link bait. Clearly Google wants high quality websites to let them know where the other high quality websites are on the web. So link bait is good for Google and good for us.

So what is link bait? Link bait is any page on a blog or website that is designed specifically to get others to link to that page or the website in general. The goal is to get high quality "backlinks" - which are other websites that link to your site.

A great example of link bait is BoingBoing's recent blog entry refuting Wired Magazine's articleclaiming the web is dead. How successful was it? Less than a week after hitting the publish button Google has indexed 235 new inbound links to that BoingBoing URL alone. Many of the links are very high quality and include GigaOm and Wired themselves. Bingo!!

A few of things that made BoingBoing's linkbait successful are:
  • The headline: "Is the Web really dead?" The headline is the most critical part of link-bait. More below.
  • It's informational - BoingBoing actually did some research to put this article together and they present useful data.
  • It's current. Wired's article is on this month's cover of the dead-tree version of their magazine. It's being talked about all over the web and offline including on NPR (national public radio which is very popular in the USA)
  • It's emotional and taps into something controversial.
BoingBoing is already a successful blog but the reality is that anyone could have done this research, turned Wired's story against them and gotten a flood of traffic.

Some of the blog entries I've posted on my personal blog have either intentionally or inadvertently become link-bait. (sorry, no links as I'd rather not promote my personal site here):
  • A blog entry titled "If your bank doesn’t like your startup’s blog, they may freeze your funds". I broke this story about a friend's business who was being discriminated against by their bank. It ended up on the Financial Times, ValleyWag, GigaOm and many other A-list blogs and newspaper sites with back-links.
  • A blog entry complaining about a large company's unresponsive sales team. It was picked up on a very popular social media website and got over 10,000 uniques in 24 hours with lots of new inbound links. A day later a senior manage from Dell called me to repair the relationship.
  • A blog entry on how to launch a startup in 10.5 hours. This actually was the start of Feedjit. Also was very popular on several social media sites, got a ton of new links and is still my most popular blog entry to this day. As a footnote: The blog entry is of course a bit of hyperbole. No one creates a business in 10.5 hours. But it makes for a great headline! :-)
  • "Think you work hard? Think again". I created this headline and blog entry to help promote a friend's business and it worked. Over 8,000 uniques in a day to this page alone. It's still my 4th most popular page on the site. The slightly controversial or challenging headline is what made it work.
Tomorrow I'll give you strategies to help you create link-bait that will get you the high quality links you need to boost your search ranking.


Mark Maunder
Feedjit Founder & CEO.

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