Link Building Technique Yo Mama Don’t Know About
Search Engine Optimization. SEO. Google vs Bing. Keyword research. Algorithms. Ay ay ay, my head is spinning. Can someone take me down from this Marry-Go-Round, please?
I don’t know anything about any of that, but I do know about that most elusive and difficult part of SEO.
Google algorithm has evolved over the years, but one thing that has remained constant is the importance of numerous, high quality links pointing in your direction.
Dan Cristo and I have conversations about this all the time. One of the most difficult parts of his job (Director of SEO Innovations) is link building. And if this stuff is difficult for him, yo mama don’t stand a chance.
In this post I will reveal the truth behind link building. And the good news for yo mama is that it has NOTHING to do with SEO tools, techniques or even SEO know-how.
What it DOES have to do with is human nature.
What I describe here comes from my own, deep, personal, inner experience and reflection. Perhaps you’re able to rise above these petty mortal drives, and if so, you’re better man than I.
Your Biggest Fan Is…
Who has linked to you the most?
Think about it. Can you name THE person who has linked to you the most? Right now, off the top of your head. Who is it?
You may not know who has linked to YOU the most, but I do. YOU have linked to you the most.
- If you have multiple blogs, you know you’ve cross-linked them.
- When you write a new post, you’re always looking to find an older post of yours to link to.
YOU are your biggest fan. You really like you. You must think your content is king to link to it so much.
My point here is that we link to people we like (mostly ourselves) and we do it out of self-interest.
Rationally, you may (or may not) be able to admit to yourself that your posts are not the best content you’ve ever seen, but you can’t be bothered to search for anything better anyways.
So, you’re linking to sub-par content. And you’re too lazy to look for better content to link to. Of course, when I say “you”, I don’t really mean you. I really mean “me”. You are clearly way more evolved that me. Congratulations.
Liking Is Linking
The next on the list of your favorite people to link to are your favorite people. People you know and like.
Liking is a HUGELLY important factor in linking, and I can prove it to you.
Imagine someone you hate wrote an amazing piece of content. You really hate this person, you can’t stand him. But darn it, his content would fit perfectly with the post you’re writing. Do you link?
I’m sure you do, because you’re more evolved than me, my dear reader. But me? No way. His content could be pumpkin pie; I wouldn’t link to it if my life depended on it.
The lesson here is, if you want people to link to you, make sure people like you. Why do you think “positivity” is so pervasive in blogging and Social Media in general? No one links to an a-hole.
May I Have Your Attention Please?
Who else do we link to?
We link to people who’s attention we’re trying to get. It’s that simple.
Sometimes it’s in the form of link-bait. Sometimes it’s a form of brown-nosing. Sometimes all we really want is for you stop by and retweet our stuff. That’s a fair exchange, don’t you think?
We can call it link4tweet Exchange Program.
Do you see “quality content” in there anywhere? Yeah…me neither.
It’s Still All About Me
Want me to link to you? Make me look good.
I routinely share The Oatmeal cartoons on Twitter. D’you know why?
Because somewhere deep in the murky waters of my brain I think that by sharing funny things people will think I’m funny.
Also, notice that I just linked to it as well.
And when I’m sharing the latest goings on about the genocide in Cambodia, I’m hoping you will think of me as well informed and globally concerned.
So, you want me to link to you? Make ME look good.
Case In Point
D’you know why I linked to these people?
Because knowing them, being in their inner circle (as far as online inner circles go) makes me look good. It gives me social proof.
What I’m really saying to the reader in this post is, “these are my friends, they are amazing, and by virtue of associations, that makes me amazing as well. Don’t you agree?”
Btw, did you catch me cross-linking my blogs while making that point?
Content is King After ME
Finally, after all other drives of human behavior have been exhausted, I may link to you if your content is really, truly awesome AND I’m actually aware of it.
Or is it just me?